Isaac McHale: The chef of The Clove Club on racing crabs and eating testicles
My earliest food memory Racing large brown crabs across the kitchen floor with my dad. We'd buy them from our local fishmonger, MacCallums of Troon, in Glasgow. And the winning crab would get cooked first – and made into a Singapore chilli crab dish. Afterwards, my dad and I would take the inner claws from them, clean them and use them as devil horns come Halloween.
My favourite cookbook European Peasant Cookery by Elizabeth Luard. It gives the full gamut of soups, pickles, meat braises and every kind of common style of food across Europe, from Irish potato and parsley soup to Portuguese fish stew. So rather than looking at the Noma or French Laundry cookbooks – and trying to do something similar without copying – I'm looking for inspiration for my restaurant elsewhere, and this book is a great starting point.
My favourite restaurant I love how [Japanese noodle bar] Koya, in London, uses the same seasonal ingredients as I do, but through a Japanese lens instead. At the moment we have a wild Irish Pollan fish, smoked over cherry roots and served with chilled courgette soup. While Koya uses the same fish but ferments it with barley.
The weirdest thing I've eaten Chicken's testicles. I had them about a week ago when we were breaking down a whole chicken to produce a chicken-based tasting menu. I tried parts such as the parson's nose, the gizzard, and the testicles. They tasted delicious, like a chicken mousse.
My gastronomic guilty pleasure I grew up eating Pakistani food in Glasgow and chicken pakoras are a classic Glasgow takeaway item: I've always loved the lightly spiced, battered chicken, deep fried. The Indian restaurants in London tend to be Bangladeshi so you don't see so much of that dish in London.
My tipple of choice I love all forms of the Americano, served with bitter vermouth and a spritz of orange and soda water. Amaro means bitter in Italian, which is where the cocktail's name is derived from. It's a refreshing and not too strong aperitif, so a nice way to start a meal without killing the tastebuds with a super-strong cocktail.
Isaac McHale, 33, is the chef at The Clove Club, London EC1, thecloveclub.com
Life & Style blogs
Most women have lived out their sexual fantasies, survey shows
Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
International abortion laws: The six nations where it is still illegal to have an abortion
Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
iJobs Food & Drink
£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...
£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...
£24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...