Peter Gilmore: 'Congee – Chinese rice porridge – is great hangover food'

Kitchen confidential

My earliest food memory... I have a photo of me aged two sitting in my mum's kitchen and licking the beaters from her mixer after she'd made a pavlova. I can't remember that particular occasion, but I do generally remember always wanting to give the beaters a lick.

My store-cupboard essentials... If you have a packet of pasta and good-quality Parmesan cheese, eggs and butter, you can always make yourself a meal. I also have fish sauce, green curry paste in the fridge, and Basque chilli powder [Piment d'Espelette]. It's got lots of flavour and a lovely aroma but it's not too aggressively hot.

My favourite cookbook... I have hundreds of cookbooks, as all chefs do, but one of my favourites is Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook. It was one of the first cookbooks that I found really got behind the scenes [of a restaurant], in terms of Keller telling you the stories of his suppliers and the lengths they go to to provide amazing produce. It was a benchmark for me when I was writing my own book.

My top culinary tip... When you're planning a meal, don't think too far ahead. It's nice to be able to go down to your local shop or market and be inspired by the produce that you see.

My favourite food shop... Victor Churchill, the butcher in Sydney, which is probably the most impressive butcher's shop I've seen anywhere in the world. You walk in there and it looks like a designer salon – it's all copper and brass and glass and you can see the beef dry-aging through the glass against a wall of Himalayan salt. It's all about their sheer commitment to quality: they treat meat with serious respect.

My desert-island dish... Dim sum. I love Yauatcha – I think it does the best dim sum in London, if not some of the best in the world – so I'd get them to cater for me on the island. I could probably live on that for the rest of my life, I reckon – there's enough variety in there.

My dream dining companion... [The revered French chef] Michel Bras, though I've already been lucky enough to dine with him. I know his son Sébastien and when I went to Bras restaurant a year-and-a-half ago, he invited me over to his father's house for lunch the next day. It was a beautiful country lunch – simple, or simple for Michel Bras at least – and pretty much the dream meal.

My guilty pleasure... Definitely ice-cream: late at night; every now and then I'll break out the good-quality vanilla ice-cream from the fridge.

My comfort food... Congee, which is a Chinese rice porridge. I make a mud-crab congee at [my restaurant] Quay, but I also love going down to Chinatown [in Sydney] and having a really big bowl with some nice fish such as cod, and ginger and spring onions et al. It's great hangover food, actually.

The strangest thing I've eaten... Raw ox heart, which was made by the Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson at the Sydney International Food Festival last year. It's one of his signature dishes: he just dices it up sashimi-style and serves it with horseradish or something. It was challenging but surprisingly tender, considering it's a muscle that works all the time in a big animal.

My pet hates... Kidneys: they're one of the only things I don't eat – though I'm not a really big fan of offal in general. It's the smell, the flavour... everything, really.

My tipple of choice... Single malt whisky. My dad used to drink it, and I've had an appreciation from an early age. I particularly like the more smokey ones, such as Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

Peter Gilmore is the executive chef of Quay Restaurant, Sydney, placed 29th in San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants of 2012. His cookbook, 'Quay', is published by Murdoch Books, priced £35

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
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
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
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

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband