Desert island dishes

With Jack Shaw
Head chef for Lexington Catering and National Chef of the Year finalist

Potato and roe from Core, by Clare Symth 

I went for dinner at Core the Saturday after it got its two Michelin star rating and the food left my mind blown. This dish was made from the humblest of ingredients, but it was my favourite of the night by far. 

Broccoli, walnut, egg yolk, blue cheese 
This was my winning starter at the Lexington Chef of the Year competition. The theme of the competition was ‘trashed', and we were tasked with creating a vegetarian starter, a main course and dessert focusing on wasted products and sustainable breeds and cuts.

This dish kickstarted a part of my identity when it comes to cooking. Food waste wasn’t always at the forefront of my mind, but the competition really opened my eyes to a better way of thinking and cooking.

Ritz belle epoque
As a 17 year old staging at the Ritz through college, I saw this insane dish be delivered with such ease. It showed me how special food really can be. One of my all-time favourites.

Dishoom bacon breakfast naan
Need I say more? A sheer breakfast delight, get yourself to Dishoom for breakfast. The nation was in lockdown for my 30th, so I got these delivered so I could have breakfast in style. 

Tipsy cake dinner by Heston Blumenthal
My time working at Dinner was short, however, the tipsy cake will live with me forever. So will glazing those pineapples in front of the dining room as a young chef. A magnificent pudding.

Amaretto, mirabelle plum, salted custard tart
Mirabelle plums are one of my favourites, we use them savoury and sweet, and as soon as they are in season we get kilos of them. This dessert incorporates them into the dish perfectly – it’s a dessert I think I will use every year as I really love it.

Pork pie, pickles
My lockdown daily treat. In fact, as we weren’t shopping every week in lockdown, I would buy a large pork pie and ration it out for the full 10 days. Also, during lockdown I turned my hand to making them, which I loved. 

Smoked ham hock and cheddar toastie 
In my eyes, this is the greatest treat you can ever eat. Tons of mustard, smoked ham, gherkins, cheddar, grilled. Absolute perfection. 

What book would you take?
My secondary school science teacher, Joe Martinez, bought me Harold Mcgee’s Food and Cooking. We always talked about food and he would often try anything I cooked in food tech. Being dyslexic, I would love taking the time out to fully read and take it all in. Joe also wrote on the inside of the cover “Don’t dream it, be it”, which I really like.

And luxury item?
It would have to be my phone, with endless charge of course! I struggle when it’s too quiet, so I always have music on.  Being alone on a desert island, I would definitely have music blaring all day. 

What dish would you take if you could only have one?
If I could only take one dish with me, it would have to be the toastie. My family and friends have long said that I could live on ham and cheese sarnies for the rest of my life – and honestly, they are spot on!



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