Tom Hunt: My life in food...

 

Tom Hunt is a self-proclaimed  eco-chef who started his career working at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage.  He then went on to co-found Forgotten Feast, which works to revive British heritage recipes and reduce food waste. He works closely with the food charities FareShare, FoodCycle and StreetSmart. He has a restaurant, Poco, in Bristol and will be spending 2013 writing a cookbook.

What are your most and least used piece of kitchen kit?

 My most used thing is a barbecue. When we’re at music festivals doing a stall it’s burning all day long. It has to be charcoal. You can’t get that sort of flavour with anything else. It turns the simplest piece of meat or fish into a delicious dish. My least used but most treasured is my clay oven. It takes hours of preparation, but once it’s ready there’s a whole cycle of dishes you can cook with it: pizza, bread, cakes, and then you can lock it down for a slow, overnight roast.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

Since my main focus is food surplus, I’d go down to Borough Market on closing day and get all the end-of-day bargains. I’d head down to the fish shop, they sell everything half price by closing – so I’d get a huge fish and roast it for my mates.

What do you eat for comfort?

Home-made pasta. I’d make a really simple sauce to keep preparation to a minimum, so time would be spent on the actual technique of making the pasta. A big plate of pasta with loads of cheese is something that lulls me right into comfortable sleep.

 If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Bread, mostly because of my sourdough starter, Cleo. A big part of Forgotten Feast is giving out Cleo to help people value the food they’re eating by making and enjoying it, before passing it on to friends. Bread is  a staple and can be cooked in so many different ways. Even as it stales you can cook a multitude of dishes with it – from Tuscan bread soup to bruschetta.

What’s your desert island recipe?

I’m a massive fan of coconut, although it doesn’t really fit in with my whole eco ethos, so I’d make the most of being on the island by creating a delicious marinade for some fish, which I’d then barbecue on the beach.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Definitely Moro in Exmouth Market. I’ve always loved their food and aspired to their Moorish style of cooking. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with them, too, at the Wilderness festival. The food is simple, but exotic at the same time. My favourite dish – one of many – has to be  the scallops with chorizo and morita. The heart of their kitchen is the clay oven so they do amazing wood-roasted fish and stuff like that.

What’s your favourite cookbook?

The River Cottage Meat Book. I’m obviously slightly biased, but for me it’s a bible of thrift. It really helped me develop my own moral compass when it came to buying local. I can see it being an inspiration for the book I’m writing. The depth of knowledge in it is huge.

Who taught you to cook?

I’ve always cooked since I was a little boy, but it was probably my first chef and best friend, Ben Hodges, who really taught me. He and his brother Jake also helped to set up Moro. He taught me two things: how to cook with passion and always understand the quality of the ingredients you cook with.

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

    Guru Careers: Front of House Receptionist / Receptionist

    £21K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Front of House Receptionist to provide th...

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders