Richard Corrigan: 'I love it when the heat of mustard makes your eyes water'

 

My earliest memory… Mum making bread. She made fresh bread every  day and the smell was just incredible.  I could live off warm crusty bread with butter and nothing else – it’s one of  life’s greatest pleasures.

My store-cupboard essentials… Horseradish, which is  a classic partner for a good old-fashioned roast rib of beef. I know it’s hard to get hold of but if you can grate some fresh horseradish and add a bit of cream, it knocks the socks off the jarred stuff.  I also have Colman’s Mustard, which makes a great addition to cold cuts of ham: I love it when the heat hits the roof of your mouth and makes your eyes water. And, lastly, farm butter – once you’ve tasted it spread on thick bread,  it’s almost impossible to go back to supermarket stuff.

My favourite cookbook… North Atlantic Seafood by Alan Davidson. If you like fish, this is a must-have. It lists every fish, mollusc and crustacean between Europe and North America,  and it comes with recipes from all sorts  of places, from France to Greenland. 

My most valuable culinary tip… Too much knowledge is a bad thing; sometimes I really think ignorance is bliss, especially when it comes to dining. It would be great to eat out  and not notice every little detail, but being a chef and restaurant owner,  it’s impossible not to notice when something isn’t cooked or served right.

My favourite food shop…  I Camisa, a fantastic Italian deli in Soho. I’ve been going there so long, I feel like part of the family. The place is packed to the rafters with incredible produce, and I usually pick up some buffalo mozzarella, marinated olives and air-dried pasta.

My top table… Gambero Rosso in Tuscany. Sadly, it shut in 2008 but  I adore Tuscany and this was Tuscan food at its best. [Former chef-patron] Fulvio Pierangelini is a true master and the way he uses ingredients is a pleasure.

My desert-island dish… That would be a dish that takes me back to Ireland and reminds me of my mum’s home cooking, such as collar of bacon, summer cabbage and English mustard. Collar of bacon is always so succulent and it’s just as good cold the next day with a baked potato and salad.

My guilty pleasure… I can’t resist a Kit Kat with a cup of Barry’s Tea. Most of Ireland drinks Barry’s so a big mug of the stuff takes me back and it obviously goes hand in hand with a sweet treat.

My favourite comfort food… Roast chicken, lemon stuffing and olive-oil-mashed potatoes. If it hasn’t all been eaten up, the lemony chicken is fantastic in two slices of fresh brown bread with home-made mayonnaise and rocket.

The strangest thing I’ve eaten… Eating chicken feet in  a Chinese restaurant was pretty strange, but I’m not afraid of trying new things and I appreciate that some of these dishes came out of necessity when there wasn’t much food around. I applaud people who use parts of animals that aren’t usually eaten. In this day and age, we can’t afford to waste anything.

My pet hates…Food snobs. There shouldn’t be that sort of attitude around food: it’s about enjoying cooking, eating and spending time with friends, not turning your nose up at simple, hearty dishes that may not look like much but taste divine. With the dining scene as  it is now, food snobs are missing out on some of the best food around.

My tipple of choice… Being Irish,  I like a simple Jameson with a dash of water on the side. I’ve experimented with other things, but I always come  back to that. 1

Richard Corrigan is chef and owner  of Bentley’s Sea Grill at Harrods,  London SW1 (harrods.com)

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower