The best food they ate in 2015

Kebabs in Istanbul, ocean ragamuffins in County Cork, a shocking lobster pasta in London: top chefs and food scribes 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 verify dehydrated aubergines hanging from stalls, dried chilli peppers and fresh dA1/ 4rA1/ 4m, and Turkish tea being run all throughout. You listen street sellers calling out their catch of the day, maybe a baggage of sardines, turbot from the Black Sea or a kilo of mussels. I was there on the way to A ++ iya, in the heart of this picturesque sell. A ++ iya to me exemplifies the perfect restaurant: full of institution but not so worried about innovating, with a generous and welcoming cavity. The meal is a cornucopia of all there is to offer from Anatolia lamb stewed with dried cherries, chopped parsley with vinegar, rice cooked with raisins and fistfuls of entire spices … I would merrily introduce myself on an aircraft exactly to go and have lunch there on a beautiful spring era.< em>

Pickled herring dish at Russ& Daughters, New York

Yotam Ottolenghi
Chef and food columnist

It was a platter of stewed herring fillets with three sauce options on the side ointment, mustard and curry together with schmaltz herring fillets and then matjes herring fillets. In the centre were pickled onions, wheel washes and a beet and herring salad. I had it for breakfast, around 11 am, and it left a sugared( albeit fishy) penchant in my opening for the coming few days.

I adoration the cafe, which opened last year and is strongly pattern on the long-established storage. Sardines, chubs, rugelach, pickles, boxes of matzo, halva sold by the cube, rye dough to blow your socks off, Bloody Marys: these are the flavors which characterize New York for me.

IdiazA! bal cheese, Urbia mountains, Spain

Elena Arzak
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 utilized natural rennet which the shepherd made from the stomach of a latxa lamb. When I went to pick my cheese up this autumn( after the ageing process) it had all the rich genuine tone of the milk, but you could also feel the environment in which the mother had grazed. I could close my eyes and suppose myself on that windswept mountain crown. The happening I realise it increased the tone. I ate 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 periods before it closed and had an amazing goodbye dinner. The asparagus and tofu dish was so yummy, we ordered another for dessert. It had those really fat English asparagus, blanched and chargrilled, with tofu, bonito snowflakes and a dashi broth. It was so nicely balanced and full of flavour. The next day, Itamar went back with our front chef to eat it all over again. The meat in those day of reckoning of Koya felt extremely organic, more like bowls Junya[ Yamasaki, the honcho chef] would make at home than ordinary restaurant stuff.

Sea urchins from County Cork

Jacob Kenedy
Chef-patron, Bocca di Lupo, London

From now until February or March, you can get amazing ocean ragamuffins from Ireland. I had my first one last week and it was mindbogglingly good. You can get warm-water ocean ragamuffins, which tend to be bigger and more impressive-looking, all time round, but they are much less intensely flavoured. The Irish ones excavation came from John Chamberlain in Dunmanus Bay, Co Cork have an enveloping fishy flavor. Theyre terrific stirred through pasta or with sushi, but I opt them on their own with merely a minuscule mash of lemon. You slice them open, clean out the gunky nonsense, rinse them in sea water and scoop out the eggs with a teaspoon. It does you realise how amazing quality is, and how little we should mess with our food.

Sea-salt ice cream in Dingle, County Kerry

James Jocky Petrie
Group administration development chef, Gordon Ramsay Group

In Dingle this summer, during a chowder contender with lots of Guinness and live music, I tried a sea-salt ice cream at Murphys. It was one of those stuffs that shapes “theres going”, damn, why didnt I think of that? Everyone desires salted caramel, but this is different: just plain ice cream with sea salt. It resonates strange but it really cultivates: the sweetness of the carbohydrate poises the salty character. Its nearly savoury but not quite its only a sweetened salt. People come from miles around to dine this ice cream.

Lamb kAPfte at Sultanahmet KAPftecisi, Istanbul

Karam Sethi
Chef-patron, Gymkhana, Trishna, London

I went to Istanbul for the first time this year and feed at a lieu called Sultanahmet KAPftecisi. After seeing the Blue Mosque nearby, we experienced the large-scale queue outside and decided to find out what was going on. They specialise in lamb kAPftes grilled very simply over charcoal-grey and served with food, stewed nippies and their room chilli glue. We prescribed one and ended up having six. Its tough to find something so succulent and juicy and flavourful. I think its down to the quality and fatty content of the flesh, and that they provide them hot off the grill, so you can still taste the charcoal. Theyve mastered the recipe over years and times. Its the ultimate kebab.

Yuzu ramen at Afuri, Tokyo. Sketch: Nick Shepherd

Yuzu ramen at Afuri, Tokyo

Brett Redman
Chef-owner, The Richmond, Elliots, Jidori, London

On a research visit to Tokyo at the beginning of the year, I had a yuzu shio-ramen at a place called Afuri in the basement of a shopping center 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 additive of fresh yuzu is cunning: the ferocity and fragrance of yuzu peel blares all the acces through the stock. It left my intelligence spinning: how do you get so much tone into this bowl?

Khao chae at Lai Rod, Bangkok

Fuchsia Dunlop
Food writer

I was going to recommend a meal at the Dragon Well Manor restaurant in Hangzhou every time I go there its best available dinner of its first 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 dish called khao chae: cereals of rice in iced irrigate with flower petals, perfumed with candle smoking. It was served with a platter of deep-fried basks light-green chilli thrust with pork, fish floss flavoured with coconut, caramelised beef and some salted radish with a bit egg yolk and beautifully cut articles of dark-green mango, cucumber and a crunchy yellow-bellied spring with a striking smell. The compounding of the sugared, salty and umami aromas from the enjoys and the smoky, perfumed rice soup was a revelation.

Grilled prawns at Sa Foradada, Mallorca

Tomos Parry
Head chef, Kitty Fishers, London

I went to this fantastic cliffside restaurant this summer. The whole knowledge is pretty special: you park your vehicle, jump over a fence( which stays closed to keep wild mules in) and gait for half an hour through battlefields with fig trees and goats. The trek is worth it for the meat and the attitude youre searching out over the bay where they catch most of your dinner. I especially liked the prawn, cooked very simply over a grill with timber from the trees around the restaurant. A plenty of the ability in grilling lies in imprisonment, and these shrimps were barely cooked, so you can still flavor the high seas without being staggered by the wood.

Grilled shrimps at Sa Foradada, Mallorca. Illustration: Nick Shepherd

Unpasteurised cream from Ottinge Court Farm, Kent

Stephen Harris
Chef-patron, The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

Im slightly obsessed with dairy cause and this year Ive started buying unpasteurised cream from Ottinge Court Farm near Folkestone. We hadnt been able to get onto at the restaurant for about five years because the testing required for unpasteurised milk has become prohibitively high for most farms. The difference is just incredible. The pasteurisation process erases out all the interesting things. In this, I can savor a clue of blooms and a rosewater ambiance. Theres a slight dung-y delicacy, which some people find offputting but I really like. You know it has come from a moo-cow as opposed to a goat or a sheep, because it stenches a bit like when you get near moo-cows. Ive been trying it out with a very warm chocolate mousse and a tiny bit of salt and thats probably the best happening Ive savor all year.

Iio Jozos fujisu vinegar, Japan

James Lowe
Head chef, Lyles, London

In February I visited Iio Jozo, a vinegar-maker outside Kyoto which has been growing rice vinegar for 120 years. They supervise all the parts of the process themselves: they brew their own purpose and have local farmers proliferating the organic rice for them. One event they do is compile the sake lees the fermented rice left open after filtering and pile it into large-hearted wooden casks to age for up to 10 times. It starts out as a white-hot, pure-looking glue but by time 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 discontinued up putting it on lots of things at the restaurant. It was gone within a week.

Pasta al forno at La Cantinetta, Barolo, Italy

Sam Harris
Chef-patron, Zucca, London

Ive been eating at La Cantinetta since I started going to Piedmont 15 years ago its a quite simple little trattoria run by two brothers but it was the first time Id had this recipe. They led it as a special and it was amazing a perfect baked pasta. Pasta al forno is mostly lasagne, though the status of women serving us insisted “theres a difference”. This one was quite conglomerate and didnt collapse all over the plate, which is a good act. There were onus of mantles we counted about 15 and a exceedingly scant sum of bA( c) chamel and flesh ragu, but simply the right amount. The flavouring was bang on, it was really crisp on the top. Ive had millions of lasagnes over the years, but this blew my head off.

Ochazuke at Ishikawa, Tokyo

Isaac McHale
Head chef, the Clove Club, London

Ochazuke is a recipe of rice, a few bits to sprinkle on top seaweed, toasted concepts, salmon eggs, shiso, whatever you have with light-green tea or dashi run over it, a Japanese late-night fridge buffet. The fresh rice, the cornerstone of a Japanese snack, was a show. It was sweet-scented, just chewy, almost al dente and did me truly pay attention to the rice for the rest of our expedition. Ive been reading about ochazuke in Japanese Cook: A Simple-minded Art for 18 times and dreaming of a Scottish form, with Assam tea and pheasant broth over barley. To be served one in one of best available eateries in Japan, acquired my soul sing.

Porcini in Tuscany

Ruth Rogers
Chef and co-founder, the River CafA( c ), London

The family, around 20 of us, go to Tuscany every summer, near Monte Amiata. This time we were there when the first porcini were found. Our gardener introduced them for us as a astound, then I ribbed them whole with a bit of garlic and thyme, 2 hours after they were picked. We employed them in the oven for a very long time, almost an hour, then feed them with nothing else on the plate. It was the specify as much as the tone; all of us being there together, the feeling of them arriving. It was late August, it is therefore felt like a departing to summertime and the beginning of autumn.

Lobster pasta at Hedone, London

Nathan Outlaw
Chef-patron, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac, Cornwall

A lot of parties “ve told me” Hedone was good, but the lobster pasta was best available stuff Ive ever devours in England, and Ive eaten a lot of meat in England. It wasnt so much better the fix as the ingredients. They kill all their seafood fresh to guild 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 pick 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 sheet, almost like lasagna, and cooked perfectly. Its refreshing to realise a chef protruding to his firearms and cooking best available cause he can find. The British eatery incident is much newer than in France or Spain or Italy, and I dont think weve scratched the surface area 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 cooks to cook a special dinner and we went to Masa. Its not the kind of lieu you can go every day its really expensive but it was an experience. You eat at the bar, and they constitute everything A la minute, right in front of you. The good thing was a piece where the cook took a kind of grey tissue of the tuna not the the meat itself and wove it over a piece of rice into a piece of sushi. The rice was a little heated. It was so surprising: very smooth to ingest but then the smell of the tuna was like an blowup in the mouth. Just incredible.

Sushi at Masa, New York. Sketch: Nick Shepherd

Pizza at Mission Chinese, New York

Lee Tiernan
Chef-owner, Black Axe Mangal, London

I was feared about opening our new restaurant, and Danny Bowien invited me over to spend a few days at Mission Chinese in New York. I ever feel calm around Danny. He has a lot on his layer but he only deals with it. The better act I eat was a cheese and tomato pizza with mapo tofu on top, cooked in their grove oven. The base is made to a Tartine bread recipe, then the tofu is only rolled around on top. Its quite odd to have a cheese and tomato DOP pizza on a Chinese eatery menu, but goods-for-nothing going to stop those guys doing what they crave. I think about that pizza every day. I wish I was ingesting it right now, in fact.

Roast lamb in Segovia, Spain

Nieves BarragA! n
Executive cook, Barrafina, London

When I went to Segovia, one hour north of Madrid, I went to JosA( c) MarAa, a family target where they clear best available roasted mixed lamb on the wood volley. There were six of us; it was a four-hour lunch. We had two things: the lamb, which came with rib kidneys, and the suckling animal, with amazing cook potatoes and grilled peppers on the side. It was stupefying: juicy, crisp It reverberates fairly English, but the centre of Spain is like this, its extremely traditional all cooks. Their oven is immense, so beautiful half the size of Barrafina. I would love to have something like that in London.

Tarte tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France

Shuko Oda
Head chef, Koya Bar, London

We inspected Lamotte-Beuvron, an hour or two from Paris, where tarte tatin is initially from. We went to the neighbourhood bakery and bought the tarte tatin there. I dont usually 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

Anissa Helou
Food writer

Lyles has been my favourite eatery more or less since it opened, and just a few months ago I took two young Qatari friends for dinner as I wanted them to delicacy James Lowes cooking. It was a perfect dinner, intent with an amazing goats curd mousse. It was sensational: a little container with the mousse on the bottom, covered by an apple granita realized 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 expanse induced with apple, sugar and idol anise. The compositions were incredible: peaches-and-cream, icy and then crackly. My sidekicks loved it.

Pizza at Gjusta, Los Angeles

Claire Ptak
Owner, Violet Bakery, London

The thing thats actually been on my brain is this pizza we had in Los Angeles at Gjusta[ a bakery and cafA( c )]. It was one of the best, most perfectly seasoned, chewy, crunchy, doughy happenings Ive ever eaten. Ive been reverie about it. Its more like pizza bianca that you get in Rome, but thinner. They make it in big-hearted rectangular expanse pans. Really salty and oily, and stretched out. The one we feed had tomatoes, red-faced onion, little bits of ricotta, an egg, and only lubricant and salt. It was transcendent.

Pizza at Gjusta, Los Angeles. Sketch: Nick Shepherd

Grouse from Scotland

Blanche Vaughan
Cook and food writer

I was standing on a moor in mid-September just when the heather is in heyday and I shot a grouse. I plucked it myself, wrap it up and took it back on the study. Its a nice event is allowed to cook for other beings. I made a recipe I learned at the River CafA( c ): you make a bruschetta with rib tomatoes on top, slosh in red wine it is therefore robs into the food, then you brown the fowl and rib it on top of the bruschetta so all the juices ooze in.

Burger at the Four Seasons, New York

Fergus Henderson
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 soak it down. A real plow. It was a classic burger but its the fixed: its a beautiful area, a special home. They have chainmail on the windows, which shimmers. The forbid has amazing spikes hanging above it, so everything they dish is likely to be the last event “youve been” devour or drink before a spike runs you through, which lends a certain twist to the whole thing.

Grilled cauliflower at Hearth, New York

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
Cookery novelists

In September we went to Hearth in New York. They offered us a seat at the cooks pass( immediately in front of the kitchen ), where we experienced the most incredible six-course savor menu right at the heart of all the action. The feeling was electric, the food was incredible the grilled cauliflower with sunflower seeds and capers, and grilled beef neck may be particularly memorable and usual of chef Marco Canoras food philosophy. His rustic, home-style fix champions seasonal develop , nose-to-tail eating and a trash not, crave not attitude.

Spaghettoni at Ristorante Lido 84, Lake Garda, Italy

Andrea Petrini
Food writer, the founding fathers of Gelinaz !

Spaghettoni at Ristorante Lido 84, Lake Garda, Italy. Illustration: Nick Shepherd

Its simple almost provocatively simple. Spaghettoni[ thick-skulled spaghetti ], butter and brew yeast. When it comes to the table its nearly monochrome between pure white-hot and thinly brown-ish in emblazon. The title of the dish may be simple-minded, but of course its not just one butter, but a merge of three, and the brew has been spread out and cooked in the oven on a very gentle temperature until it solid. You have totally al dente spaghetti, the extremely savoury, milky existence of the butter, the proposals of the crunchiness of the yeast that includes a dose of acidity, and a gently insinuating touching of caramelisation. Its immediately recognisable solace meat that also pushes the boundaries. Its an instantaneous classic, something I dread the cook, Riccardo Camanini, will have on his shoulders for many years to come. You cannot lend anything else, because you would destroy the balance, the subtle dialogue among these three major ingredients. And if you take something out, it is falling apart. For me, thats the definition of a recipe, or a piece of art. You eat it in three gnaws, but it stays with you for a really long time.

Porra de naranja at Arte de Cozina, MA! laga, Spain

Samantha Clark
Chef and co-owner, Moro, Morito, London

We have a house near Granada and we decided to do a detour and hover into MA! laga to try a restaurant, Arte de Cozina, that one of our chefs had told us about. The standout recipes were porra de naranja and kids sweetbreads. Porras are the precursors to gazpachos but constructed with fewer parts sometimes only bread or dried fava beans, garlic, olive oil and liquid. This one was scented with orange. The quality was smooth and creamy, the flavour subtle with orange, a fruity olive oil and perhaps a touch of vinegar. Surfaced with chopped almonds for crunch and salty jamA3n to balance the sweetness, it was nectar.

Adidas nigiri at Sawada, Tokyo

Enrique Olvera
Chef-patron, Pujol, Mexico City

Sawada is a tiny two-Michelin-star sushi forbid with only six chairs, where the owner, Koji Sawada, and his wife are the only ones taking care of all the aspects of the entire omakase. It was a tuna fish nigiri, but a entirely different gash, between the chutoro( belly sphere) and the otoro, with so much better fat it actually melted in your opening. It was referred by Sawada as the three routes of fatty flesh an Adidas appearance, like the three routes of the athletic label. The occasion that invigorated me the most was to see Sawada doing such an unusual thing but with so much respect for his culture. Innovating from tradition, exercising a subtle change or better. You can still do brand-new situations that reward your roots.

Bonnat Madagascar chocolate barroom

David Williams
The Observer wine columnist

As someone with expensive penchants in wine and whisky( professional jeopardy) and cheese( just plain gluttony ), Ive been apprehensive of developing an addiction to posh bean to forbid chocolate. The chocolate penny ultimately put with a rail made by French artisans Bonnat from beans sourced in Madagascar. A lamp, fruity, stylish milky mode described as the pinot noir of chocolate, it had me expending texts Id typically reserve for wine: match, quality, and most of all, span( the feeling lasted for hours ).

Buttermilk chicken at the Clove Club, London

Thomasina Miers
Wahaca founder, cookery scribe

For my mothers birthday at the end of January we took her to the Clove Club. They blew us away with the nutrient. We had the buttermilk chicken, consommA( c) and 100 -year-old madeira, and an Orkney scallop and orange dish that was so dawn. Its remarkable how much they represent from scratch: the charcuterie, the butter, the food My mother was blown away. Her sees were glinting like a seven-year-olds at Christmas.

JamA3n from Barcelona

Angela Hartnett
Chef-patron, Murano, Cafe Murano

I bought a jamA3n from Joan La Llar del Pernil, delivered it back to London and had a jamA3n party in my garden-variety. I invited Nieves[ BarragA! n] and JosA( c)[ Pizzaro] over, and some of my chefs; I felt 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

Ben Reade
Co-founder, Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh

The most delicious circumstance I dine this year was a astonish talent of squat lobsters from a fisherman on the Firth of the Clyde announced Ian Wightman. Id ordered a consignment of langoustines[ for a carnival 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 fervour, with white wine, butter and some nutmeg. They are one of the sweetest, most delicious meat ever, but not many parties use them in fact, most anglers throw them back because theyre so small and the government had atrocious shells that cut into your fingers when youre opening them. But theyre worth noting the hassle, and the less you do when youre cooking them the very best.

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