Fergus Henderson: “I’m happy to eat most things – but I hate raw celery.” | Fergus Henderson

My mother was an amazing cookAnd my dad was a terrific eater. She was from Bolton – mums from Bolton seem to be a common theme among quite a few good cooks I know. They’re used to throwing dinner parties the kind people threw in the ’70s—paisley tablecloths, lots of claret, creme caramel and sleeping unwashed. I remember coming downstairs in the morning to find the night before’s wreckage, half-drunk glasses and ghostly whiffs of cigar smoke, and longing to be a part of it all.

My favorite food as a kid It had steamed sponge and custard syrup. When I was young I had a mysterious illness that kept me in the hospital for a few days. My mom told me she knew it had to be serious when she rejected the steamed sponge.

Architecture shaped me. It gave me clarity and sharpness to my vision…or maybe that’s always been the case. My dad was an architect, and when I told him I was leaving architecture school to become a chef, he said, “Okay, but be good.” I suppose I have to take that seriously.

I’m happy to eat most things And I feel like almost everything has a place or context in which it is retrieved, but I hate raw celery. It seems pointless, as if chewing takes more energy than it gives you. This makes it strange, as a food item. I can eat it braised, though I’m still not crazy about it.

I always recommend that people cook half a braised pig’s head, If they are hoping for a romantic meal. What could be sexier than staring into your lover’s eyes as you peck on the cheek, or nip on the ear? The other thing for me is pigeons and peas. It was the first thing I cooked for Margot [Henderson, his wife]When she visited me in the kitchen. I was surprised it was just that: a pigeon, some peas. Get her attention.

When we opened St. John’s We have been accused of being outdated by 400 years. That gave us freedom – if you’re never out of fashion, you’ll never be out of fashion. This is why I hate the idea of ​​food “trends”. The idea of ​​trends in food is tragic — they are inherently impermanent, elevating bad foods where they don’t deserve or consigning good foods to history. Good food should always be.

I think my style can sometimes be too harsh. White food is becoming more popular in some areas, but many people still have trouble eating it. And though offal is now more tolerable to many than it used to be, I still struggled to impress the masses on the joys of tripe.

Parkinson’s disease has changed method I run my restaurants in the most important way – that I can’t cook in a St. John’s kitchen at all. What a sadness. But I offer encouragement and advice, and I’m always present, which is what chefs love. This contributes to what is on the plate, even if it is not directly painted. this is important.

Unforgettable dining experience It was a meal at Michel Guérard’s restaurant [in Eugénie-les-Bains, south-west France] Through which all emotions were passing. We were two families, mine and my father’s friend Terrence Conran. Two days ago, we went to a great restaurant where they were both behaving very badly, in a distasteful way, but this meal was well received and lasted – delicious, yet incredibly rich. I remember eggs decapitated and stuffed with everything possible – lobster, foie gras, truffles, truffles. It was a lot and to help digestion, which is what we needed, we drank a whole bottle of Poire William. Getting back to our accommodations was difficult and wobbly. It was an evening full of excitement, joy and regret.

My Favorites

food
Bone marrow here in St. John’s. Roasted with toasted sourdough, parsley salad and moist salt (the French call it sel gris). Every element works in perfect union, and the architect in me relishes a dish you should start building rather than destroying: taking the marrow, building every bite.

He drinks
cheater. Almost everything he could drink, I feel some affinity for him. I couldn’t live without a good red burgundy. But then again, what would I do without a dry martini? impossible.

A place to eat
I would have gone to Ikeda, if they could have us that night. And of course I would have gone with Margot, who is the best company I know and who would also be mad if I went without her. They once served us a bowl of simple miso soup that was so perfect and delicious that it made us cry.

New Saint John’s Restaurant is located at 98 Marylebone Lane, W1; stjohnrestaurant.com

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