Roy Brett loves his oyster knife and say­ing it with salmon

The Guardian - Cook - - To Finish -

very shiny. Re­cently fit­ted, it has lovely clean lines and an in­duc­tion suite with three drop draw­ers un­der­neath. I can put ev­ery­thing away – even my blender. I don’t like clut­ter or mess. The only thing I have out on my counter is my espresso maker.

My kitchen is …

an oyster knife from Wright Broth­ers in Lon­don. It has a beau­ti­ful han­dle, which sits very com­fort­ably in your hand. I have been get­ting the same knife for 20 years – I must be on about num­ber 40. When we were do­ing the Ed­in­burgh fes­ti­val this year, we opened 6,000 oys­ters over the three weeks and I used the same knife the whole time. It still hasn’t bro­ken.

My favourite kitchen tool is …

long­grain brown rice, usu­ally Un­cle Ben’s in­stant. When I come home from work it makes the best quick sup­per for the kids. I’ll cook it up with a lit­tle hot wa­ter or chicken stock, take it on a bit of a jour­ney by the spice cup­board, chuck in some fresh herbs or veg, and it’s done: a lovely meal that took all of five min­utes to make.

My store cup­board sta­ple is …

have canned tuna in olive oil – al­ways MSC-cer­ti­fied al­ba­core. I add lemon juice and sea salt and eat it right out of the tin. When you’re look­ing af­ter peo­ple all day at home and at the restau­rant, you are third in the peck­ing order, so you need some­thing ben­e­fi­cial and nu­tri­tious.

When I’m starv­ing I …

hmmm, I have a lot of food he­roes. In par­tic­u­lar,

My culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion is …

Keith Floyd when I was younger, then Rick Stein and Mark Hix. I learned so much from them: their re­spect for pro­duce and sea­son­al­ity, the im­por­tance of keep­ing it sim­ple and not mak­ing make your­self look clever. Run­ning a restau­rant has to be about sat­is­fy­ing the cus­tomer – peo­ple come to have a great time, and to feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter when they leave your care.

to re­ally un­der­stand how to cook things prop­erly, know­ing the tra­di­tional meth­ods that have stood the test of time. There are very few peo­ple who can do the ba­sics well: how to fil­let a fish, how to cook it un­der­stand­ing the pro­duce and how to de­liver it to your guest at the right point.

My best-kept kitchen se­cret is … When I’m in­vited to din­ner I al­ways take …

a whole side of smoked salmon When you hand that to some­one, and give them a hug, say­ing, “This is for you”, it means some­thing. Flow­ers don’t taste so good – not even nas­tur­tiums.

Ev­ery­thing tastes bet­ter with …

zest and sea salt

get car­ried away. If I have a bit of time, I theme the meal – Span­ish, Ital­ian etc – and I see it all the way through from the starter to the pud­ding. A ro­man­tic jour­ney.

When I go shop­ping I …

the guys are do­ing a lentil and pancetta soup be­fore din­ner ser­vice. Just some­thing light – I don’t like work­ing on a full stom­ach.

For din­ner tonight …

citrus

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