Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Fried chicken to Nutella: Top chefs reveal their guiltiest pleasures

Even chefs can't resist licking chocolate spread off a spoon once in a while...

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 21 March 2017 10:49 GMT
(Getty Images )

At work, top chefs are all about using the finest ingredients to piece together the most delicious meals - otherwise they wouldn't be top chefs.

But what happens when they've clocked off? After a day spent sweating over the stove in deep concentration as they create the perfect jus or lobster bisques or foie gras or whatever other hard-to-pronounce-foods that's on their menu that day, do they really always head home to start all over again? Can they really resist the lure of the fried chicken shop near the train station or Nutella spooned into the mouth like the rest of use mere mortals struggle to do?

To find out, The Independent asked a handful of chefs to reveal their guiltiest pleasures

Paul Macnish is executive chef at Knowsley Hall and the private residences of the Earl and Countess of Derby

I'm all about pizza, I literally can't get enough, hot and fresh, old and cold, I don't care. I've always been mad for the circles of deliciousness, basic pizzas are the best and chilli is a huge player in this passion I have. It's just so delicious and easy to order after cooking for hundreds of people.

That being said, my go to meal is without a doubt a good old bacon buttie, simple white roll, loads of butter, ketchup and crispy bacon.

I don't even want to try and quantify how many of these bad boys I've demolished over the years, it's in the thousands I would imagine. And why do I like this them? Because it has bacon and butter in it, of course.

Steve Groves is head chef at Roux at Parliament Square, London, and former winner of MasterChef: The Professionals

I love salad cream on Jersey royal potatoes. I also add Nando’s piri piri sauce to a few too many meals at home.

Silvia Baldini is a New York-based chef and winner of Food Network’s Chopped

I do love Twix and frozen peanut butter cups. Once in a while I indulge. I also love buttered angel hair pasta and little Babybel cheeses. And of course I love Nutella. We have to hide it at my house. I love to eat Nutella with salty pretzels. Yum!

Mike Whitehurst is a La Belle Assiette private chef based in Wolverhampton

A quarter pounder with cheese from McDonald's is something I'm not hugely proud of, but when I'm on the road a lot I tend to think about the clients menu prep and not my own needs so I end up with one of those.

Rick Barlow is the head chef at the Spirit Restaurant in Warrington

Because I have quite a sweet tooth, my biggest guilty pleasure would have to be toffee chocolates but do I have to confess that I’m partial to a kebab from Turkish Delight in Manchester.

They’re so much more than something you might only eat on a Friday night. The flavours are fantastic.

I think it comes from my love of food from different cultures and countries around the world.

I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate different influences into my own food.

Omar Allibhoy, chef and founder of Tapas Revolution. He was born in Madrid and lives in London

I have a sweet tooth so churros con chocolate, it reminds me of growing up in Madrid with my family when we used to buy them for breakfast every Sunday. I also love Haribo - who doesn’t?!

Loic Le Pape, is a La Belle Assiette private chef based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex

(La Belle Assiette)

My guilty pleasure is cheese and red wine late at night. The smellier the better.

Ping Coombes is a Consultant Chef at Chi Kitchen and is based in Bath and London

I have a great love for fried chicken. The best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted was in Ipoh, Malaysia, where I was born.

The stall is still around today, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on any for a while as there’s always a long queue.

Nick Thirkell is a La Belle Assiette chef based in Bristol

My guilty pleasure is chocolate, real chocolate. I’m also partial to the occasional Pot Noodle, with added soy sauce and ketchup.

Daniel Petitta is Head chef at Saint Luke's Kitchen, LIBRARY London. He is from Rome

(La Belle Assiette)

A basket of calamari fritti with a glass of chilled Gavi wine. This aperitivo instantly transports me back to my childhood summers on the beaches of Sardinia. What can I say? I’m a bit nostalgic.

Stuart Brown, is a La Belle Assiette chef based in Moseley, Birmingham

My guilty pleasures include good cheese, pizza, KFC, and living in Birmingham I’m partial to a good curry.

Anton Trail is the head chef at Hilton London Canary Wharf

I don’t have a guilty pleasure per se, but what I look forward to eating when going back to the Philippines is balut which is a duck embryo; or whole spit roasted pig reared, butchered and cooked live on the day. It's an amazing experience!

Paul Fielding is a La Belle Assiette chef based in the Cotswolds

(La Belle Assiette)

My guilty pleasure is the 'Waffle House’. When I’m over in the US I can’t walk past one without going in. I can't resist maple soaked crispy bacon, hash browns and, of course, the waffles.

Alec Tomasso from Stevenage, has been a chef since 2013 after being in the final of MasterChef​ 2012

I’m guilty of not wanting to cook at home, a Thai king prawn jungle curry or a nasigoreng won’t go amiss though I’m partial to the odd pot noodle (the green one of course) as much as the next guy.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in