I simply love my job. I love getting out and about meeting chefs, restauranteurs and a whole host of interesting hospitality and catering people. A big part of the pleasure is that I get to meet them at the source of our industry, preparing, cooking and serving food and drink.
I also love to see where it all starts. I’m fascinated by the process of the chef thinking up a way of combining ingredients, tasting and testing and then finally releasing a brand new idea. Voila, a recipe is born.
At the end of every month at H&C News we are always keen to see which categories of content have been read most. That goes on to shape the next month’s content focus. Just like developing a menu, we need to know which items are consumed most.
I am glad to report that recipes continue to be at the top of our charts, which gave me a delicious idea.
What if you could ask a chef to create a recipe for you, or read about her or his favourites in outline to then select one you want in full detail?
Well now you can, and here’s how.
First ingredient: a willing and able chef, come in Dave Pigram.
Dave Pigram, (Don’t call him Chef) and I have been working together now for about 3 months. We connected through twitter from to our mutual appreciation of adventurous, beautiful and delicious food. We then met at The Science Museum at a Harbour + Jones experiential catering event, we have collaborated regularly since.
We have built on our working together over recent months on features like- Potter meets Chef, where I also had the privilege to work with Chris Bowen. Then again with Maham Anjum in creating my ‘spring’ Image of the Month.
I want to give readers a little insight into the chefs themselves, and then choose a recipe from the shortlist that they would like to try, vote for it on the Twitter Poll and then the recipe with the most votes will be released in two weeks’ time for their cooking pleasure.
So let’s meet Chef Dave Pigram…
Where does your passion for food come from?
“I always had a deep rooted passion for cooking, I was so fussy at a young age and later discovered that it was really down to the fact that I loved all foods in their unique way but they had to be treated in the correct manner. My grandfather used to make amazing wedding cakes and was a fantastic baker, I never really got to learn from him as he passed away while I was still young, I hope he’s proud of what I do now though.”
Who or what are your sources of inspiration?
“I’m an absolute cookbook junkie, I’ve always got my head in a book, looking at flavour pairings and different styles and methods of cooking. Sometimes I’ll take inspiration from something totally in-food related and transfer that emotion or image into a dish, that’s what I love doing most!”
How would you describe your cooking style?
“I would say I’m quite a simple cook, I like clean flavours and I like to keep an element of fun in my dishes.”
What is your favourite ingredient?
“I’d definitely have to have mango and finger lines at the top of the list, I love halibut and really love a high quality vinegar, and we all know there’s only one brand for that! And of course we wouldn’t be anywhere without salt…”
What is your favourite meal to cook at home?
“It would have to be a roast dinner, I find them so personal and food being shared by the family is what eating is all about for me.”
Here are the three recipes from Chef Dave Pigram to choose from…
- Salmon pastrami
- Ox cheek
- Lemon tart
Restaurant Openings and Reviews Editor, Majella O’Connell