Kebabs in Istanbul, ocean ragamuffins in County Cork, a shocking lobster pasta in London: top cooks and food columnists share their favourite meals this year
A ++ iya Sofrasi and KadikAPy market, Istanbul
RenA( c) Redzepi
Chef-patron, Noma, Copenhagen
Walking through KadikAPy market in Istanbul you hear dehydrated aubergines hanging from stops, dehydrated chilli peppers and fresh dA1/ 4rA1/ 4m, and Turkish tea being swarmed all throughout. You hear street merchants calling out their catch of the day, maybe a container of sardines, turbot from the Black Sea or a kilo of mussels. I was there en route to A ++ iya, in the heart of this picturesque marketplace. A ++ iya to me personifies the perfect restaurant: full of habit but not so worried about innovating, with a generous and greeting seat. The meal is a cornucopia of all there is to offer from Anatolia lamb stewed with dried cherry-reds, chopped parsley with vinegar, rice cooked with raisins and fistfuls of whole spices … I would happily employ myself on a plane exactly to go and have lunch there on a beautiful outpouring era.< em>
Pickled herring dish at Russ& Daughters, New York
Chef and food novelist
It was a platter of pickled herring fillets with three sauce alternatives on the side ointment, mustard and curry together with schmaltz herring fillets and then matjes herring fillets. In “the centres activities” were pickled onions, wheel mops and a beet and herring salad. I had it for breakfast, around 11 am, and it left a sweetened( albeit fishy) taste in my mouth for the next few days.
I adoration the coffeehouse, which opened last year and is strongly modelled on the long-established accumulation. Sardines, chubs, rugelach, pickles, containers of matzo, halva sold by the stymie, rye bread to blow your socks off, Bloody Marys: these are the smells which define New York for me.
IdiazA! bal cheese, Urbia mountains, Spain
Chef-patron, Arzak, San SebastiA! n
This spring I made an idiazA! bal cheese with a shepherd in the Urbia mountains in the Basque country. We employed natural rennet which the shepherd made from the belly of a latxa lamb. When I went to pick my cheese up this autumn( after the ageing process) it had all the rich true-blue aroma of the milk, but you could also sense the environmental issues in which the mother had grazed. I could close my eyes and imagine myself on that windswept mountain crest. The happening I obliged it increased the tone. I snacked it with my family, either by itself or with walnuts, quince jelly and apple jelly.
Dashi-simmered asparagus, tofu and egg at Koya, London
Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich
Chef-owners, Honey& Co, London
We went to Koya a couple of daylights before it closed and had an amazing goodbye snack. The asparagus and tofu dish was so delicious, we ordered another for dessert. It had those really fat English asparagus, blanched and chargrilled, with tofu, bonito chips and a dashi broth. It was so nicely balanced and full of smell. The next day, Itamar went back with our brain chef to eat it all over again. The meat in those last days of Koya felt extremely organic, more like bowls Junya[ Yamasaki, the chief chef] would make at home than ordinary restaurant stuff.
Sea urchins from County Cork
Chef-patron, Bocca di Lupo, London
From now until February or March, you can get amazing ocean ragamuffins from Ireland. I had my firstly one last week and it was mindbogglingly good. You can get warm-water ocean urchins, which tend to be bigger and more impressive-looking, all time round, but they are much less intensely flavoured. The Irish ones excavation received from John Chamberlain in Dunmanus Bay, Co Cork have an enveloping fishy smell. Theyre wonderful whisked through pasta or with sushi, but I wish them on their own with exactly a minuscule pinch of lemon. You slice them open, clean out the gunky material, clean them in sea water and scoop out the eggs with a teaspoon. It manufactures you realise how amazing nature is, and how little we should mess with our food.
Sea-salt ice cream in Dingle, County Kerry
James Jocky Petrie
Group manager progress cook, Gordon Ramsay Group
In Dingle this summer, during a chowder race with a lot of Guinness and live music, I tried a sea-salt ice cream at Murphys. It was one of those happenings that clears you go, damn, why didnt I think of that? Everyone loves salted caramel, but this is different: just plain ice cream with sea salt. It resonates odd but it truly drives: the sweetness of the sugar balances the salty character. Its nearly savoury but not quite its just a sweetened salt. Parties come from miles around to devour this ice cream.
Lamb kAPfte at Sultanahmet KAPftecisi, Istanbul
Chef-patron, Gymkhana, Trishna, London
I went to Istanbul for the first time this year and ate at a target announced Sultanahmet KAPftecisi. After visiting the Blue Mosque nearby, we encountered the big queue outside and decided to find out what was going on. They specialise in lamb kAPftes grilled very simply over charcoal-gray and served with bread, stewed nippies and their home chilli adhesive. We ordered one and intent up having six. Its tough to find something so succulent and juicy and flavourful. I think its down to the quality and fat content of the meat, and that they dish them hot off the grill, so you are able to savour the charcoal. Theyve mastered the recipe over times and years. Its the ultimate kebab.
Yuzu ramen at Afuri, Tokyo
Chef-owner, The Richmond, Elliots, Jidori, London
On a research visit to Tokyo at the beginning of this year, I had a yuzu shio-ramen at a residence announced Afuri in the basement of a shopping mall in Roppongi Hills. Im not an aficionado but it was the best ramen Ive ever had. They make it with chicken capital, which stimulates it much lighter than the rich, milky tonkotsu ramen were used to in London. The addition of fresh yuzu is cunning: the strength and smell of yuzu peel explodes all the style through the stock. It left my pate spinning: how do you get so much tone into this container?
Khao chae at Lai Rod, Bangkok
I was going to recommend a banquet at the Dragon Well Manor restaurant in Hangzhou every time I go there its the best snack of the year but then I had something totally stunning today in Bangkok. I was in Thailand for the first time and the meat blogger The Skinny Bib recommended I go to an old-school Thai restaurant called Lai Rod. The standout from quite a long lunch was a food announced khao chae: particles of rice in iced irrigate with bud petals, smelled with candle smoking. It was served with a dish of deep-fried relishes dark-green chilli thrust with pork, fish floss flavoured with coconut, caramelised beef and some salted radish with a bit egg yolk and beautifully cut fragments of green mango, cucumber and a crunchy yellowish root with a impressive penchant. The combination of the sweet, salty and umami flavors from the savours and the smoky, perfumed rice soup was a revelation.
Grilled shrimps at Sa Foradada, Mallorca
Head chef, Kitty Fishers, London
I went to this fantastic cliffside restaurant this summer. The whole event is pretty special: you park your vehicle, move over a barrier( which stands closed to keep wild ass in) and tread for half an hour through subjects with fig trees and goats. The trek is worth it for the nutrient and the thought youre appearing out over the bay where they catch most of your dinner. I specially liked the prawn, cooked very simply over a grill with wood from the trees around the restaurant. A lot of the skill in grilling is available in self-control, and these shrimp were scarcely cooked, so you can still savor the high seas without being overwhelmed by the wood.
Unpasteurised ointment from Ottinge Court Farm, Kent
Chef-patron, The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent
Im somewhat obsessed with dairy develop and this year Ive started buying unpasteurised ointment from Ottinge Court Farm near Folkestone. We hadnt been able to get wise at the restaurant for about five years because the testing is necessary in order to unpasteurised milk has become prohibitively expensive for most farms. The gap is just incredible. The pasteurisation process erases out all the interesting things. In this, I can taste a clue of buds and a rosewater tint. Theres a slight dung-y delicacy, which some people find offputting but I really like. You know it has come from a cow as to report to a goat or a sheep, because it bouquets a bit like when you get near cows. Ive been trying it out with a warm chocolate mousse and a tiny bit of salt and thats possibly the best thing Ive savor all year.
Iio Jozos fujisu vinegar, Japan
Head chef, Lyles, London
In February I saw Iio Jozo, a vinegar-maker outside Kyoto which has been growing rice vinegar for 120 times. They administer all the parts of the process themselves: they brew their own purpose and have local farmers ripening the organic rice for them. One happening they do is obtain the purpose lees the fermented rice left over after filtering and pile it into large-hearted wooden barrels to age for up to 10 times. It starts out as a white-hot, pure-looking paste but by year ten its black like treacle. The vinegar he makes from it is incredible. He gave me a litre bottle and, at first, I tried to use it sparingly, but I ended up putting it on lots of things at the restaurant. It was croaked within a week.
Pasta al forno at La Cantinetta, Barolo, Italy
Chef-patron, Zucca, London
Ive been eating at La Cantinetta since I started going to Piedmont 15 years ago its a very simple little trattoria run by two brothers but it was the first time Id had this food. They ran it as a special and it was amazing a perfect baked pasta. Pasta al forno is mostly lasagne, though the woman providing us insisted there was a difference. This one was quite conglomerate and didnt collapse all over the plate, which is a good event. There were loadings of blankets we weighed about 15 and a very scant amount of bA( c) chamel and meat ragu, but just the right amount. The seasoning was slammed on, it was really crisp on the top. Ive had millions of lasagnes over its first year, but this blew my head off.
Ochazuke at Ishikawa, Tokyo
Head cook, the Clove Club, London
Ochazuke is a recipe of rice, a few fragments to sprinkle on top seaweed, toasted situations, salmon eggs, shiso, whatever you have with green tea or dashi run over it, a Japanese late-night fridge buffet. The fresh rice, the cornerstone of a Japanese dinner, was a disclosure. It was fragrant, only chewy, almost al dente and prepared me really pay attention to the rice for the rest of our trip. Ive been reading about ochazuke in Japanese Cook: A Simple Art for 18 times and dreaming of a Scottish version, with Assam tea and pheasant broth over barley. To be served one in one of best available restaurants in Japan, stirred my middle sing.
Porcini in Tuscany
Chef and co-founder, the River CafA( c ), London
The family, around 20 of us, go to Tuscany every summer, near Monte Amiata. This year we were there when the first porcini were found. Our gardener produced them for us as a astonish, then I roasted them whole with a little bit of garlic and thyme, 2 hours when he was picked. We applied them in the oven for a long time, almost an hour, then dine them with nothing else on the plate. It was the decided as much as the smell; all of us being there together, the excitement of them arriving. It was late August, this is why it felt like a farewell to summer and the opening up of autumn.
Lobster pasta at Hedone, London
Chef-patron, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac, Cornwall
A lot of parties told me Hedone was good, but the lobster pasta was the best stuff Ive ever ingests in England, and Ive feed a lot of nutrient in England. It wasnt so much better the cooking as the ingredients. They kill all their seafood fresh to ordering and that makes all the difference. You dont get a menu. If “youre asking” Mikael[ Jonsson] for one, he says hell move it, but never does. But from what I can amass he took the coral from the lobster and throw it into the bisque, which is now being somewhat aerated. The pasta was just a flat expanse, almost like lasagna, and cooked perfectly. Its refreshing to verify a chef lodging to his firearms and cooking best available create he can find. The British eatery scene is much newer than in France or Spain or Italy, and I dont think weve scratched the surface of whats possible in our countries, with our own ingredients.
Sushi at Masa, New York
HA( c) lA” ne Darroze
Chef cuisiniA” re, HA( c) lA” ne Darroze at the Connaught, London
I was in New York with my chefs to cook a special dinner and we went to Masa. Its not the type of region you can go every day its really expensive but it was an experience. You eat at the bar, and they stir everything A la minute, right in front of you. The best thing was a piece where the cook took a kind of grey tissue of the tuna not the the meat itself and knit it over a piece of rice into a piece of sushi. The rice was a little warm. It was so surprising: very smooth to snack but then the aroma of the tuna was like an explosion in the mouth. Just incredible.
Pizza at Mission Chinese, New York
Chef-owner, Black Axe Mangal, London
I was frightened about opening our new eatery, and Danny Bowien invited me over to expend a few eras at Mission Chinese in New York. I ever experience calm around Danny. He has a lot on his plate but he only deals with it. The better thought I devour was a cheese and tomato pizza with mapo tofu on top, cooked in their wood oven. The basi is made to a Tartine bread recipe, then the tofu is exactly reeled around on top. Its quite unusual to have a cheese and tomato DOP pizza on a Chinese eatery menu, but goods-for-nothing going to stop those people doing what the hell is miss. I think about that pizza every day. I care I was dining it right now, in fact.
Roast lamb in Segovia, Spain
Nieves BarragA! n
Executive chef, Barrafina, London
When I went to Segovia, one hour northward of Madrid, I went to JosA( c) MarAa, their own families residence where they represent the best roasted mixed lamb on the lumber burn. There were six of us; it was a four-hour lunch. We had two things: the lamb, which developed with roast kidneys, and the suckling animal, with amazing cook potatoes and grilled peppers on the side. It was stunning: juicy, crisp It resonates quite English, but the centre of Spain is like this, its extremely traditional all cooks. Their oven is huge, so beautiful half the dimensions of the Barrafina. I would love to have something like that in London.
Tarte tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France
Head chef, Koya Bar, London
We visited Lamotte-Beuvron, an hour or two from Paris, where tarte tatin is initially from. We went to the local bakery and bought the tarte tatin there. I dont commonly have a sweet tooth but it was absolutely beautiful. It was a nothing-special-but-everything-about-it-was-special type of thing.
Goats curd mousse at Lyles, London
Lyles has been my favourite restaurant more or less since it opened, and just a few months ago I took two young Qatari sidekicks for dinner as I wanted them to preference James Lowes cooking. It was a perfect banquet, ceasing with an amazing goats curd mousse. It was shocking: a bit bowl with the mousse on the bottom, covered by an apple granita acquired with estivale apples and sorrel. The apples werent peeled so the smell was unbelievably intense but not too sweet. And then there was this beautiful crunchy cracker a very, very thin sheet become with apple, sugar and superstar anise. The textures were incredible: peaches-and-cream, icy and then crackly. My acquaintances loved it.
Pizza at Gjusta, Los Angeles
Owner, Violet Bakery, London
The thing thats genuinely been on my sentiment is this pizza we had in Los Angeles at Gjusta[ a bakery and cafA( c )]. It was one of best available, most perfectly seasoned, chewy, crunchy, doughy acts Ive ever eaten. Ive been daydream about it. Its more like pizza bianca that you get in Rome, but thinner. They make it in large-hearted rectangular expanse washes. Really salty and oily, and stretched out. The one we feed had tomatoes, red-faced onion, little bits of ricotta, an egg, and just oil and salt. It was transcendent.
Grouse from Scotland
Cook and food novelist
I was standing on a moor in mid-September just when the heather is in bud and I shot a grouse. I plucked it myself, wrapped it up and took it back on the learn. Its a neat thing is capable of being cook for other people. I made a recipe I learned at the River CafA( c ): you make a bruschetta with cook tomatoes on top, slop in red wine so it drenches into the eat, then you brown the chick and cook it on top of the bruschetta so all the juices ooze in.
Burger at the Four Seasons, New York
Co-owner, St John, London
A perfect burger at the Four Seasons bar in the Seagram Building in New York. I had a dry martini, which is a good way to start lunch, and a very nice pinot noir to rinse it down. A real consider. It was a classic burger but its the situate: its a beautiful chamber, a special region. They have chainmail on the windows, which shimmers. The prohibit has amazing spikes hanging above it, so everything they provide could be the last situation you ever dine or suck before a spike flows you through, which lends a certain twist to the whole thing.
Grilled cauliflower at Hearth, New York
Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
In September we went to Hearth in New York. They offered us a seat at the chefs pass( instantly in front of the kitchen ), where we enjoyed the most incredible six-course savor menu right at the core of all the action. The environment was electrical, the nutrient was incredible the grilled cauliflower with sunflower seeds and capers, and grilled beef neck may be particularly memorable and typical of chef Marco Canoras food philosophy. His rustic, home-style cook champs seasonal develop , nose-to-tail eating and a garbage not, crave not attitude.
Spaghettoni at Ristorante Lido 84, Lake Garda, Italy
Food writer, the founding fathers of Gelinaz ! em>
Its simple almost provocatively simple. Spaghettoni[ thick spaghetti ], butter and beer yeast. When it comes to the counter its almost monochrome between pure white and lightly brown-ish in colouring. The deed of the dish is a possibility simple-minded, but of course its not only one butter, but a merger of three, and the brew has been spread out and cooked in the oven on a very gentle temperature until it solidifies. You have totally al dente spaghetti, the exceedingly savoury, milky attendance of the butter, the suggestion of the crunchiness of the yeast that adds a quantity of sournes, and a gently insinuating stroke of caramelisation. Its instantly recognisable solace food that too pushes the border. Its an instantaneous classic, something I fear the chef, Riccardo Camanini, will have on his shoulders for many years to come. You cannot include anything else, because you would destroy the balance, the subtle dialogue among these three major ingredients. And if you take something out, it falls apart. For me, thats the definition of a recipe, or a piece of art. You eat it in three bites, but it stays with you for a really long time.
Porra de naranja at Arte de Cozina, MA! laga, Spain
Chef and co-owner, Moro, Morito, London
We have a house near Granada and we decided to do a detour and pilot into MA! laga to try a restaurant, Arte de Cozina, that one of our cooks had told us about. The standout foods were porra de naranja and kids sweetbreads. Porras are the precursors to gazpachos but moved with fewer ingredients sometimes just dough or dehydrated fava beans, garlic, olive oil and ocean. This one was scented with orange. The quality was smooth and milky, the flavour subtle with orange, a fruity olive oil and perhaps a suggestion of vinegar. Topped with chopped almonds for crunch and salty jamA3n to match the sweetness, “its been” nectar.
Adidas nigiri at Sawada, Tokyo
Chef-patron, Pujol, Mexico City
Sawada is a tiny two-Michelin-star sushi barroom with merely six chairs, where the owner, Koji Sawada, and his wife are the only ones taking care of all other aspects of the entire omakase. It was a tuna fish nigiri, but a totally different section, between the chutoro( belly province) and the otoro, with so much better fat it actually defrosted in your opening. It was called by Sawada as the three boundaries of fatty form an Adidas appearance, like the three wrinkles of the boast firebrand. The happen that invigorated me the most was to see Sawada doing such an unusual thing but with so much respect for his culture. Innovating from institution, working a subtle change or progress. You can still do new happenings that accept your roots.
Bonnat Madagascar chocolate saloon
The Observer wine writer
As someone with expensive preferences in wine-colored and whisky( professional fortune) and cheese( just plain avarice ), Ive been cautious of developing an addiction to luxurious bean to bar chocolate. The chocolate penny ultimately put with a saloon made by French artisans Bonnat from beans sourced in Madagascar. A dawn, fruity, elegant peaches-and-cream style described as the pinot noir of chocolate, it had me use terms Id frequently reserve for wine: balance, composition, and most of all, duration( the savor lasted for instants ).
Buttermilk chicken at the Clove Club, London
Wahaca founder, cookery writer
For my mothers birthday at the end of January we took her to the Clove Club. They blew us away with the food. We had the buttermilk chicken, consommA( c) and 100 -year-old madeira, and an Orkney scallop and orange dish that was so lighting. Its extraordinary how much they construct from scratch: the charcuterie, the butter, the eat My mother was blown away. Her seeings were glittering like a seven-year-olds at Christmas.
JamA3n from Barcelona
Chef-patron, Murano, Cafe Murano
I bought a jamA3n from Joan La Llar del Pernil, created it back to London and had a jamA3n party in my plot. I invited Nieves[ BarragA! n] and JosA( c)[ Pizzaro] over, and some of my cooks; I speculated Id get everyone round at 2pm and theyd be gone by 8p m, but, of course, everyone was there until two in the morning. Weve since gone back to Barcelona and bought another jamA3n.
Squat lobster from the Firth of Clyde
Co-founder, Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh
The most yummy circumstance I feed this year was a bombshell gift of squat lobsters from a fisherman on the Firth of the Clyde announced Ian Wightman. Id prescribed a loading of langoustines[ for a celebration I was cooking at in North Ayrshire] and he gave us these as a bonus. We cooked them up the top of a glen over an oak attack, with white wine, butter and some nutmeg. They are one of the sweetest, most yummy meats ever, but not many people use them in fact, most anglers hurl them back because theyre so small-scale and the government had ghastly shells that cut into your thumbs when youre opening them. But theyre really worth the hassle, and the less you do when youre cooking them the better.