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.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

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

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

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little