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WHAT CHEFS EAT: FESTIVE TRADITIONS

Have you ever wondered what chefs eat at home during their time off? We asked our restaurant chefs about their food traditions over the festive season. Here’s what they told us…

MARKSMAN

“We cook so much classic, Christmassy food at Marksman that by Christmas Day I’m over it”, says Jon Rotheram, “so last year, I sacked off the whole thing! Instead of traditional Christmas dinner, we started with a seafood platter of Scottish langoustines, oysters, crab and smoked salmon, then I made a delicious truffle linguine – it might have been the best Christmas lunch I’ve ever had!” – chef and co-founder, Jon Rotherham

“Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with toasted bagels is a Harris family favourite,” says Tom Harris , “we always buy a whole side of salmon from Secret Smokehouse, a smokery in East London.” – chef and co-founder, Tom Harris

BUBALA

“We don’t celebrate Christmas so we like to make up our own traditions” says Helen Graham, “we love to make a giant boreka pie filled with spinach, ricotta and lots of warming spices – as a family of cheese and pastry lovers, it really is a massive treat!” – chef and co-founder, Helen Graham

10 GREEK STREET

“We always do something different at Christmas, but never turkey,” says 10 Greek head chef James Mossman, “Last year we had short ribs on Christmas Day, but it will usually be some kind of beef, pork or chicken, with whatever vegetables my mum has grown in her garden that year.” – head chef, James Mossman

PARSONS

“I’m lucky that the restaurant is closed over the Christmas period so I can spend it with my sisters” says Feri Nemicsk. “As I cook fish everyday at the restaurant, I don’t usually want it when I go home, so my favourite dish to make at Christmas is pork belly”, he explains “ I usually braise pork in cider, then crisp up the skin in the oven. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted hispi cabbage”

“For dessert, we have traditional Hungarian beigli. It’s a sweet, rolled yeasted loaf which is usually filled with either a walnut, poppy seed or sometimes chocolate filling – my favourite is the walnut” – head chef, Feri Nemicsk

JOSÉ PIZARRO

“For me, Christmas is all about getting together with the family over lots of food, and having a good time. On Christmas Eve, we have a lot of picar picar (tapas dishes), including prawns and seafood, rice and lamb. On New Year’s Eve we do the same again – a lot of food and cava is very important!” – chef and owner, José Pizarro

OKLAVA

“I always have a bacon and date butter sandwich for breakfast at some point over the Christmas holidays,” says Selin Kiazim, “it’s a classic from the Oklava menu – I use sourdough, spread with copious amounts of the date butter that we make at the restaurant, then add in some good quality streaky bacon. I also spread normal butter on the outside, then fry it in a pan with a weight on top to make a toastie.” – chef and founder, Selin Kiazim

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