Jimmy Doherty: 'My first chicken laid one egg and four of us shared it'

 

My earliest food memory... Getting told off by my mum for eating cat food when I was a toddler. I think my brother used to put the cat's bowl out deliberately so I'd spot it, then he'd sit and watch me eat it. My first memory of food production is getting my first chickens when I was about 11. I had three bantams, which I'd bought off this guy at school. When the first one laid, I had fried egg on toast. There was only one egg, and four of us sharing it, but it was a feeling of, "Wow, I've produced this thing I can eat."

My store-cupboard essentials... A good olive oil, a good cider vinegar, some Maldon sea salt and also a jar of pork or beef fat. Meat fat is really fantastic to use for cooking and I use it as often as I do vegetable oil. Also, I have a little baby, and I always make sure I've got some broccoli, and potatoes and eggs knocking around: with those [ingredients], I can pretty much come up with anything both for her and myself.

My favourite cookbook... Pork and Sons by Stéphane Reynaud. It's a beautiful book, with great warmth, which goes through all the different stages of killing, preparing and cooking a pig. It demonstrates that we may turn these animals into food, but there's an element of respect there, as well as an element of celebration. That aside, the recipes are very good: it's the kind of thing that would inspire more people to take the whole nose-to-tail eating [concept] on board.

The kitchen gadget I can't live without... My knives. I've got a Henckels knife which I use all the time in the kitchen and then I have boning knives and things like that. I also have a very good porcelain knife sharpener, which is really important, because if you're dealing with meat all the time, having a blunt knife is dangerous and having a serrated knife is even worse. If you have a really nice, sharp knife, put it in your cutlery drawer wrapped in a tea towel – and don't put it in the dishwasher as my wife has!

My favourite food shop... Eastwoods, a butcher in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, run by a guy called Joe Collier. He's quite continental in the way he takes [butchery] to the nth degree: he'll do beef Wellington all prepped up for you, for example, and make all these sauces and things. It's very different to our on-farm butchers, which is very rustic – we do great big joints of meat and things like that – and I find his style intriguing.

My top table... Pinney's, a great old-school fish restaurant/café in Orford, Suffolk. They do really good things such as smoked eel on toast and they have their own fishing boat; it's not pompous, and it's always rammed. I like going there on a rainy lunchtime and having a nice bottle of white wine, getting four or five starters and eating them like tapas.

My dream dining companion... Billy Connolly. I've seen him live in Dublin, and I think he's one of the great storytellers: when he tells one, you can almost see the characters, and someone like that at a dinner party is just awesome.

My guilty pleasure...I never used to be a sweet person but it would be a crème brûlée when done really well. In my restaurant, we serve our crème brûlée as Cambridge custard cream, which is the original brûlée: the French stole it off us! Also, a fried-egg sandwich with a bit of tomato sauce, and a yolk that will run all over your fingers: it should probably be on the list of the world's top delicacies.

The strangest thing I've eaten... Bull's testicles in Kenya. They castrate them very late there, when they're six months, and they just chuck them on the fire for about 30 seconds and then eat them. I think the bit I ate was probably the urethra, as it was long and stringy. It wasn't the best.

Jimmy Doherty is a farmer, restaurateur and broadcaster. He is working with Jordans cereals to encourage Britain's gardeners to make at least 10 per cent of their gardens, patios or window boxes wildlife-friendly (jordanscereals.co.uk)

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home