Two’s com­pany

A gi­ant oven and an eclec­tic mix of cu­rios are Sam and Sam Clark’s most cher­ished items

The Guardian - Cook - - A Cook’s Kitchen - Sam and Sam Clark are the founders of the Moro restau­rants. Moro Far­ring­don cel­e­brates its 20th an­niver­sary this year; @restau­rant­moro

We did the kitchen be­fore we moved in. It’s been 10 years though, with a young boy caus­ing de­struc­tion ev­ery time he runs his greasy hands along the wall, so we’re about to give it a lick of paint. We put all the gad­gets we find ugly out of sight, so only the things we love are out front. We wanted to bring the out­side space into the kitchen, so we had a French com­pany make some beau­ti­ful glass doors that open out on to it.

Our 1950s enamel cooker (1) came from the kitchens of West­min­ster Abbey. It’s so beau­ti­fully de­signed; it’s prac­ti­cally in­de­struc­tible. It has a huge cater­ing oven, which can fit our largest 100-litre pot – we cooked a tagine for 2,000 peo­ple in it last week.

The pes­tle and mor­tar (2) is es­sen­tially a stone mill – the kind you might make ground por­ridge oats with. Sam saw it in Mar­rakech about five years ago and wanted to buy it, but was wor­ried about get­ting it back. He says: “The man in the shop showed me a way to carry heavy things and make them look like they aren’t. So we had this comedy mo­ment of prac­tis­ing lift­ing a lit­tle rock sack, pre­tend­ing it was light and plac­ing it the over­head locker. His trick worked – we got it through. I need to find a stone­ma­son to have the grooves re­cut.”

This vi­o­lin-shaped chop­ping board (3) was given to Sa­man­tha af­ter she did some work for a school on their menus – one of the ladies in­volved is mar­ried to a luthier, and he made it spe­cially us­ing his jigs.

“I was spend­ing a quiet mo­ment look­ing at Anissa Helou’s In­sta­gram as she trav­elled around Uzbek­istan,” says Sa­man­tha, “and I saw one shot from Tashkent of flat­breads with beau­ti­ful pat­terns in the cen­tre made with wooden stamps, called che­kichs (4). At Moro, we make flat­breads to or­der, so I bought two or three, each with a dif­fer­ent pat­tern. They ar­rived wrapped in hes­sian cloth, hand­sewn, with the ad­dress hand­writ­ten and sealed with wax. It was a beau­ti­ful hour spent in an­other world.”

We’ve had our sour­dough cul­ture for 20 years; we’ve al­ways made our own yo­ghurt and vine­gar. We have two vine­gar mothers – that strange liv­er­like ob­ject that lives in the bot­tom of the crock (5) and grows and grows. Quite of­ten we give peo­ple a lit­tle of the mother; it’s a lovely thing to share.

You see these chunky, su­per-sharp knives (6) all over Spain. They’re used to fil­let or gut fish, or cut up meat. The shape means you use it in a curved move­ment – half cleaver, half knife. All our knives have a dif­fer­ent pur­pose.

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