What's on your menu?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Shaun Hill, chef-proprietor, Merchant House, Ludlow

"People sometimes jump the gun, wanting spring vegetables and the traditional produce associated with Easter before they are ready. This year has been so cold many things are not in their prime." So Shaun is going for fish, the traditional Good Friday offering, on the restaurant menu, with wild salmon, sea bass, and red mullet. At home he will cook a big fish stew made with the leftovers from the restaurant kitchen.

Lindsey Bareham, food writer

As Easter is a time for children she usually prepares a special Easter tea with cakes, sandwiches, chocolate eggs and egg hunts. This year, she will also cook a navarin of lamb, a light stew with the first spring vegetables added at the last minute. And perhaps a plate of tiny Jersey Royal potatoes with butter and mint. Lindsey does not observe any religious traditions but sees Easter as an excuse for spring indulgence.

David Lidgate, Lidgate butchers, London W11

"Popular at Easter is new season lamb, always a treat, but it has come in late this year as it has been so cold. Something that is gaining in popularity every year [and will be on David's table on Sunday] are miniature turkeys weighing about 4-5 lbs. They take hardly any time to cook, stay moist and have a really good turkey taste." Also popular with his local customers are whole goats, part of the traditional Greek Easter feast.

Priscilla Carluccio, Carluccio's delicatessen, London WC2

She feels Easter food should be something special and distinctive from the rest of the year, reflecting the birth of new life. In southern Italy they use young dandelion flowers (or leaves) in Easter food. This weekend Priscilla might make baked quails' eggs with truffles, baked fish or roast lamb with a lemon and cream sauce. To finish, there could be Pastiera di Grano, an Easter speciality from southern Italy. This is a big lattice tart of cooked wheat grain, crystallised fruit and ricotta cheese. Another traditional Easter dish in southern Italy that might be on Priscilla's table is Casatelli, a bread baked with whole eggs.

Franco Taruschio, head chef, Walnut Tree Inn, Nr Abergavenny

"This time of year is very much a family affair. The restaurant is only shut at Christmas and Easter so it is a good excuse for everyone to get together and enjoy seasonal Welsh produce." He will be having a new season Welsh leg of Lamb.

ROBIN CROWTHER

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