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 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 picture dried aubergines hanging from stalls, dried chilli peppers and fresh dA1/ 4rA1/ 4m, and Turkish tea being run all throughout. You sounds street shopkeepers announcing out their catch of the working day, maybe a crate 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 symbolizes the perfect eatery: full of habit but not so worried about innovating, with a generous and welcoming room. The banquet is a cornucopia of all there is to offer from Anatolia lamb stewed with dehydrated cherry-reds, chopped parsley with vinegar, rice cooked with raisins and fistfuls of whole spices … I would blithely introduce myself on a plane only to go and have lunch there on a beautiful spring daylight.< em>

Pickled herring platter at Russ& Daughters, New York

Yotam Ottolenghi
Chef and food scribe

It was a dish 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, roster washes and a beet and herring salad. I had it for breakfast, around 11 am, and it left a sweetened( albeit fishy) preference in my lip for the next few days.

I enjoyed the cafe, which opened last year and is strongly simulated on the long-established accumulate. Sardines, chubs, rugelach, pickles, cartons of matzo, halva exchanged by the blockage, rye eat to blow your socks off, Bloody Marys: these are the aromas 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 used 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 true-life tone of the milk, but you could also sense the environment in which the mother had pastured. I could close my gazes and envisage myself on that windswept mountain crown. The information I realized it heightened the aroma. I feed it with their own families, 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 got a couple of periods before it shut and had an amazing goodbye snack. The asparagus and tofu dish was so yummy, we prescribed 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 feeling. The next day, Itamar went back with our intelligence cook to eat it all over again. The food in those day of judgement of Koya appeared exceedingly organic, more like dishes Junya[ Yamasaki, the president cook] 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 sea urchins from Ireland. I had my first one last week and it was mindbogglingly good. You can get warm-water sea ragamuffins, which tend to be bigger and more impressive-looking, all year round, but they are much less intensely flavoured. The Irish ones quarry received from John Chamberlain in Dunmanus Bay, Co Cork have an enveloping fishy flavor. Theyre splendid aroused through pasta or with sushi, but I prefer them on their own with just a tiny pinch of lemon. You slice them open, clean out the gunky material, gargle them in sea water and scoop out the eggs with a teaspoon. It manufactures 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 executive developing cook, Gordon Ramsay Group

In Dingle this summer, during a chowder competition with a lot of Guinness and live music, I tried a sea-salt ice cream at Murphys. It was one of those happens 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 chimes peculiar but it truly operates: the sweetness of the carbohydrate balances the salty character. Its virtually savoury but not quite its precisely a sugared salt. Beings come from miles around to snack 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 situate announced Sultanahmet KAPftecisi. After visiting the Blue Mosque nearby, we examined the large-scale queue outside and decided to find out “whats going on”. They specialise in lamb kAPftes grilled very simply over charcoal-grey and be used with eat, stewed breezies and their live chilli adhesive. We ordered one and culminated 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 can still taste the charcoal. Theyve mastered the recipe over years and years. Its the eventual kebab.

Yuzu ramen at Afuri, Tokyo. Portrait: Nick Shepherd

Yuzu ramen at Afuri, Tokyo

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

On a research visit to Tokyo at the start of the year, I had a yuzu shio-ramen at a region 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 stock, which constructs it much lighter than the rich, milky tonkotsu ramen were used to in London. The additive of fresh yuzu is cunning: the severity and sweetnes of yuzu peel bombs the whole way through the stock. It left my heading spinning: how do you get so much flavour into this container?

Khao chae at Lai Rod, Bangkok

Fuchsia Dunlop
Food novelist

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 astonishing today in Bangkok. I was in Thailand for the first time and the nutrient 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 recipe called khao chae: specks of rice in iced water with flower petals, smelled with candle inhale. It was served with a platter of deep-fried enjoys green chilli thrust with pork, fish floss flavoured with coconut, caramelised beef and some salted radish with a little egg yolk and beautifully cut slice of green mango, cucumber and a crunchy yellowed beginning with a striking appreciation. The combination of the sugared, salty and umami feelings from the relishes and the smoky, smelt rice soup was a revelation.

Grilled prawns at Sa Foradada, Mallorca

Tomos Parry
Head chef, Kitty Fishers, London

I went to this fantastic cliffside eatery the summer months. The whole know-how is pretty special: you park your auto, rush over a fencing( which abides closed to keep wild mules in) and walking for half an hour through studies with fig trees and goats. The trek is worth it for the nutrient and the panorama youre looking out over the bay where they catch most of your dinner. I particularly 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 restraint, and these shrimp were just cooked, so you can still feeling the high seas without being overwhelmed by the wood.

Grilled prawns at Sa Foradada, Mallorca. Portrait: Nick Shepherd

Unpasteurised cream from Ottinge Court Farm, Kent

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

Im somewhat obsessed with dairy create and this year Ive started buying unpasteurised ointment from Ottinge Court Farm near Folkestone. We hadnt given an opportunity to get it at the restaurant for about five years old because the testing required for unpasteurised milk has become prohibitively expensive for most farms. The change is just incredible. The pasteurisation process wipes out all the interesting things. In this, I can savour a indicate of buds and a rosewater feeling. Theres a slight dung-y preference, 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 stinks 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 probably best available happening Ive tasted all year.

Iio Jozos fujisu vinegar, Japan

James Lowe
Head cook, Lyles, London

In February I visited Iio Jozo, a vinegar-maker outside Kyoto which has been developing rice vinegar for 120 years. They supervise all the parts of the process themselves: they brew their own sake and have local farmers proliferating the organic rice for them. One happen they do is compile the sake lees the fermented rice left open after filtering and pile it into large-hearted wooden barrels to age for up to 10 times. It starts out as a grey, pure-looking paste but by time ten its pitch-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 resolved up putting it on lots of things at the restaurant. It was exited 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 simple little trattoria run by two brothers but it was the first time Id had this recipe. They loped it as a special and it was amazing a perfect baked pasta. Pasta al forno is mostly lasagne, though the woman acting us insisted “theres a difference”. This one was quite house and didnt collapse all over the plate, which is a good situation. There were loadings of layers we counted about 15 and a extremely insufficient amount of bA( c) chamel and meat ragu, but just the right amount. The flavouring 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

Isaac McHale
Head cook, the Clove Club, London

Ochazuke is a recipe of rice, a few flecks to scatter on top seaweed, toasted things, salmon eggs, shiso, whatever you have with dark-green tea or dashi swarmed over it, a Japanese late-night fridge buffet. The fresh rice, the cornerstone of a Japanese meal, was a disclosure. It was fragrant, just chewy, almost al dente and moved me actually 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 the best eateries in Japan, established 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 raised them for us as a astonish, then I ribbed them whole with a little bit of garlic and thyme, 2 hours when he was picked. We put them in the oven for a very long time, almost an hour, then chew them with nothing else on the plate. It was the determine as much as the smell; all of us being there together, the hullabaloo of them arriving. It was late August, so it felt like a parting to summer and the opening up of autumn.

Lobster pasta at Hedone, London

Nathan Outlaw
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 dines in England, and Ive gobble a lot of food in England. It wasnt so much the cook 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 transmit it, but never does. But from what I can amass he took the coral from the lobster and make it into the bisque, which was slightly aerated. The pasta was just a flat membrane, almost like lasagna, and cooked perfectly. Its freshening to construe a chef putting to his handguns and cooking the best induce he can find. The British eatery situation is much newer than in France or Spain or Italy, and I dont think weve scratched the surface of whats possible in our own country, 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 kind of plaza you can go every day its really expensive but it was an experience. You eat at the bar, and they establish everything A la minute, right in front of you. The better thought was a piece where the chef took a kind of grey membrane 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 remarkable: very smooth to devour but then the flavour 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 intimidated about opening our brand-new eatery, and Danny Bowien invited me over to spend a few days at Mission Chinese in New York. I always experience calm around Danny. He has a lot on his sheet but he only deals with it. The excellent thought I dine was a cheese and tomato pizza with mapo tofu on top, cooked in their lumber oven. The basi is made to a Tartine bread recipe, then the tofu is precisely rolled around on top. Its quite peculiar to have a cheese and tomato DOP pizza on a Chinese eatery menu, but nothings going to stop those guys doing what the hell is crave. I think about that pizza every day. I wish I was eating it right now, in fact.

Roast lamb in Segovia, Spain

Nieves BarragA! n
Executive cook, Barrafina, London

When I went to Segovia, 1 hour northward of Madrid, I went to JosA( c) MarAa, a family home where they form best available roasted mixed lamb on the timber fuel. There were six members of us; it was a four-hour lunch. We had two things: the lamb, which came with rib kidneys, and the suckling pig, with amazing cook potatoes and grilled peppers on the side. It was dazing: juicy, crisp It clangs quite English, but the centre of Spain is like this, its exceedingly conventional all ribs. Their oven is immense, so beautiful half the dimensions of the Barrafina. I would love to have something like that in London.

Tarte tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France

Shuko Oda
Head cook, 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 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 columnist

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 smell James Lowes cooking. It was a perfect dinner, aiming with an amazing goats curd mousse. It was sensational: a little container with the mousse on the bottom, covered by an apple granita formed with estivale apples and sorrel. The apples werent peeled so the smell was incredibly intense but not too sweet. And then there was this beautiful crunchy cracker a exceedingly, very thin sheet drawn with apple, carbohydrate and wizard anise. The compositions were incredible: peaches-and-cream, icy and then crackly. My friends loved it.

Pizza at Gjusta, Los Angeles

Claire Ptak
Owner, Violet Bakery, London

The thing thats actually been on my sentiment 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 concepts 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 rectangular membrane washes. Really salty and oily, and stretched out. The one we devour had tomatoes, blood-red onion, little bits of ricotta, an egg, and simply lubricant and salt. It was transcendent.

Pizza at Gjusta, Los Angeles. Illustration: Nick Shepherd

Grouse from Scotland

Blanche Vaughan
Cook and food novelist

I was standing on a moor in mid-September just when the heather is in bud and I film a grouse. I plucked it myself, wrapped it up and took it back on the set. Its a neat situation is capable of being cook for other beings. I made a recipe I learned at the River CafA( c ): you make a bruschetta with rib tomatoes on top, slop in red wine it was therefore robs into the food, then you brown the bird and cook it on top of the bruschetta so all the juices seep 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 is a great pleasure pinot noir to wash it down. A real consider. It was a classic burger but its the give: its a beautiful chamber, a special situate. They have chainmail on the windows, which shimmers. The saloon has amazing spikes hanging above it, so everything they provide “couldve been” the last happening you ever chew or booze before a spike runs you through, which adds a certain twist to the whole thing.

Grilled cauliflower at Hearth, New York

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
Cookery writers

In September we went to Hearth in New York. They offered us a seat at the cooks pass( directly 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 cervix may be particularly memorable and typical of cook Marco Canoras food philosophy. His rustic, home-style fix champs seasonal cause , nose-to-tail eating and a squander 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 nearly provocatively simple. Spaghettoni[ thick spaghetti ], butter and beer yeast. When it comes to the table its virtually monochrome between pure grey and delicately brown-ish in quality. The title of the dish may be simple-minded, but of course its not only one butter, but a coalesce 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 exceedingly savoury, milky presence of the butter, the suggestion of the crunchiness of the yeast that includes a quantity of acidity, and a gently insinuating touch of caramelisation. Its immediately recognisable consolation food that also pushes the boundaries. Its an instant classic, something I dread the cook, 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 bowl, or a piece of art. You eat it in three burns, 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 wing into MA! laga to try a restaurant, Arte de Cozina, that one of our chefs had told us about. The standout dishes were porra de naranja and kids sweetbreads. Porras are the precursors to gazpachos but built with fewer ingredients sometimes only eat or dried fava beans, garlic, olive oil and ocean. This one was scented with orange. The composition was smooth and creamy, the flavour subtle with orange, a fruity olive oil and perhaps a touching of vinegar. Topped with chopped almonds for crunch and salty jamA3n to match 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 table with simply six chairs, where the owner, Koji Sawada, and his wife are the only ones taking care of every aspect of the whole omakase. It was a tuna fish nigiri, but a quite different slashed, between the chutoro( belly province) and the otoro, with so much fat it actually defrosted in your opening. It was referred by Sawada as the three cables of fat form an Adidas appearance, like the three positions of the athletic label. The circumstance that inspired me the most was to see Sawada doing such an unusual thing but with so much respect for his culture. Innovating from institution, exercising a subtle change or better. You can still do new thoughts that accept your roots.

Bonnat Madagascar chocolate rail

David Williams
The Observer wine columnist

As someone with expensive flavours in wine-coloured and whisky( professional hazard) and cheese( just plain greed ), Ive been cautious of developing an addiction to classy bean to forbid chocolate. The chocolate penny lastly fell with a forbid make use of French artisans Bonnat from beans sourced in Madagascar. A dawn, fruity, beautiful peaches-and-cream form described as the pinot noir of chocolate, it had me utilizing terms Id often reserve for wine-coloured: balance, texture, and most of all, length( the penchant lasted for times ).

Buttermilk chicken at the Clove Club, London

Thomasina Miers
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 nutrient. We had the buttermilk chicken, consommA( c) and 100 -year-old madeira, and an Orkney scallop and orange dish that was so illuminate. Its outstanding how much they see from scratch: the charcuterie, the butter, the eat 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, introduced it back to London and had a jamA3n defendant in my garden-variety. I invited Nieves[ BarragA! n] and JosA( c)[ Pizzaro] over, and some of my cooks; I considered 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 yummy happen I ate this year was a bombshell endow of squat lobsters from a angler 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 fire, with white wine, butter and some nutmeg. They are one of the sweetest, most luscious fleshes ever, but not many people use them in fact, most fishermen hurl them back because theyre so small-time and the government had horrifying eggshells that cut into your digits 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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