We asked two award-winning professional chefs what they thought everyone should be able to cook. Here’s what they said.
Dishes such as chilli con carne, lasagne and spaghetti bolognaise are a basic requirement in anyone’s repertoire, says Chef Patron John Bradley from the multi-award-winning Dunkery Beacon House Hotel on Exmoor.
These crowd-pleasing basic mince beef dishes or their equivalent vegetarian or vegan options are comfort foods that can be easily prepared.
They require minimum fuss and can be created in batches, so you can freeze them for use at a later date.
While these dishes aren’t haute cuisine, they are universally loved and can be elevated to restaurant standard with a bit of thought with regards serving.
You could add a crunchy side salad featuring some of this month’s seasonal British produce such as radishes, rocket and young French or broad beans. Or you could make your own artisan garlic bread.
Risotto is one of those fantastic all-rounder dishes that can shine too. Once again, there are options for vegetarians and vegans, and once you have mastered the basic recipe, it’s easy to create variations on the theme.
To make your risotto stand out and have an Instagram-able experience, make sure you serve it in gorgeous dishes like our Nordic Sea Deep Dish or one from the new Sue Ure spiral range.
What about dessert? A real winner is banoffee pie, says John, which is a combination of crisp sweet pastry, filled with toffee and bananas and then topped with softly whipped cream.
Or a seasonal fruit cocktail, using fresh, British-grown, seasonal produce like strawberries and raspberries with mint, is a great alternative. The most snapped fruit on Instagram during the lockdown was the blueberry!
There’s a lot of joy to be had from cooking and eating at home, and one of the nicest meals to celebrate the end of the week, or the start of another, is a Sunday roast.
Although many of us were cooking before the lockdown, staying at home has reignited our passion for home cooking and for the simple pleasures of life that don’t involve rushing hither and thither.
Everyone should know how to do a tasty roast on a Sunday, says leading chef Donna Berry from The Swan in Devon, which is in the top 50 gastropubs in the country.
The Sunday roast is an English tradition and, although it isn’t hard to do, it does require planning, organisation and meticulous timing. It can easily be vegetarian or vegan, or you can go for it by roasting a joint of beef and serving with homemade Yorkshire puddings, says Donna.
It’s essential to have crispy roast potatoes, well-timed vegetables and flavoursome gravy.
What a fantastic way to spend a summer staycation Sunday, whether you’ve been able to hire somewhere for a holiday or are enjoying reclaiming your dining room at home.