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