We’re all now getting over our over-indulgences after the festive period.
The head chef of Thomas Wallace of Café 52, at 52 The Green, Aberdeen, tells Scottish Field about his favourite meal to enjoy after over-indulging at Christmas.
What’s your favourite January dish?
I like eating something lighter in January after all the food at Christmas. Cod or hake are always nice options. My favourite dish is butter roasted cod with a garden herb broth, peas and potatoes. When I’m at home, I get my fish from our local fishmonger in Ellon. I try and keep it all fresh and locally-sourced.
What kind of food don’t you like?
Mushrooms. I think the texture puts me off them. It’s just something I’ve never been able to eat. I pretty much eat everything else, but it just hasn’t happened with mushrooms.
What’s your star ingredient?
I like cooking with a good bit of fish more than anything. At Café 52 we get all our fish locally from Peterhead Harbour which comes in to Blue Flag Seafoods.
Where’s a good spot for foraging?
If you go out towards Haddo when the wild garlic season is on, it’s great. It’s everywhere. Obviously the season doesn’t last long but when it’s there you can pick bags upon bags of it. We also get a lot of Café 52’s produce from Mrs B’s garden – that’s my boss’ mum. So we pick home-grown apples, plums, and herbs from there. We use whatever is in season.
What local produce do you use at home?
When I’m at home I like to use the Aberdeenshire Larder. It’s a specialist butcher and gamedealer in Ellon. They’ve got everything up there – they’re part of the Scotch Butchers Club.
Who’s your favourite celebrity chef?
Gordon Ramsay is always a good laugh to watch. I like his attitude in general, but he’s also a good chef and he’s done really well for himself. He was a footballer for Rangers but he injured his knee badly and couldn’t play anymore. So he started working in kitchens and worked his way up from there.
What’s been your biggest kitchen disaster?
I once left a stock pot on full heat overnight and it burnt completely dry. It smokestained the whole entire
kitchen and the fire brigade had to come down and open the door up. I had to pay for a new door and had to really scrub everything to get the smoke-stains off. Everything was fumigated and then we were back to business.
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