The dishes that made me: Adam Byatt
Chicken filo pie
Image via Food Lover
This is really 80s, retro dinner party territory. For special occasions, my mum used to make chicken filo pie. She’d make the filo pastry, get it all lined up and then put the chicken pie mix in. I remember the textures and the pastry vividly and at the time, I thought it was the poshest thing in the world.
My mum was a chef for a few years before she had me, which put paid to that. But we always ate well at home and she’d cook fresh, homemade food all the time.
It wasn’t crazy, or posh, we lived off very simple food but she cooked a lot. She often made lovely cakes and flapjacks for when we came home from school, which was amazing.
When I was in my early teens, my godparents bought me a book about French cookery. There was a beef wellington in there and on my 15th birthday I asked for the money to buy the beef fillet and make a beef fillet wellington.
I made it for my entire family, including my nan, aunt, sister—everybody. It wasn’t as extravagant as I’m making it sound, but it wasn’t a disaster. It worked really well because I was very particular about making it work.
Looking back now I realise how poignant that particular plate of food would have been. I probably served it and then went back in the kitchen and thought, Hang on a minute, this is quite cool, I like this, I can do this.
Crispy trotters, sauce Gribiche and crackling
Image via Very Kerri
It’s tricky to sum up 10 years, 300,000 customers on one plate of food but this starter at my restaurant, Trinity, in Clapham, is special.
We use braised pig trotters and dice them up with smoked ham hock and onions. Then it’s set, coated in breadcrumbs and served like a big croquette. It’s served with sauce Gribiche, a fried egg and crackling.
That dish has been on the menu for eight years and I can’t really take it off. People love it and they come back for it, it’s the biggest selling starter in the restaurant. It's quite an ironic dish because the way we prepare it is true to very classic French gastronomy, but essentially, it's ham and eggs.
He will be taking part in the Great Chefs Dinner in February in support of support DEBRA—more info here