Treat your­self to a night in

As Ge­orge Os­borne be­gins slash­ing the bud­get this month, so the rest of us will have to cut our costs. In­deed, at the end of last year, 40% of peo­ple were re­port­edly al­ready cut­ting back on eat­ing out...

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Food & Drink -

BUT any cook will tell you that en­joy­ing great food is not sim­ply about spend­ing money. There are plenty of ways to cre­ate a res­tau­rant-style ex­pe­ri­ence in your own home. Ac­cord­ing to chef and author of How To Eat In, Adam By­att, all am­a­teur chefs need to do is a lit­tle bit of plan­ning.

“Peo­ple are far more afraid to pre­pare things in ad­vance than they should be,” he says.

“At my res­tau­rant, we’ll make all of our food dur­ing the day. Be­cause when cus­tomers come in and they or­der lamb, we can’t start tak­ing it off the bone!

“We act like the host of a din­ner party - some­one who should be ready to serve the guest when they ar­rive.”

Wise words. But does Adam fol­low his own ad­vice?

“If ever I have a din­ner party, I will do ev­ery­thing and more to make sure I can just pro­duce the food when my guests ar­rive,” he states firmly.

“Even with a Sun­day lunch I do ev­ery­thing to a point where I can make it hap­pen in 10 min­utes.”

The se­cret to happy cook­ing, ex­plains Adam, is en­joy­ing the cook­ing, and en­joy­ing the eat­ing.

“Peo­ple flap around, they’re in a mess and sud­denly the guests are ding­ing on the door.

“When I turn up to a house like that,” he adds, “all I want to do is help them - but ob­vi­ously that’s the last thing they want!”

And when it comes to choos­ing what he cooks, Adam says his guests tend to get in­for­mal fare.

“I’ll go for a roast chicken, or a bar­be­cue,” he says, point­ing out that sim­ple food, cooked well, is of­ten the quick­est route to suc­cess.

“For ex­am­ple, hav­ing a pot au feu for lunch - which is sim­ply meat and veg­eta­bles - is easy, but it’s the way you cook, look af­ter and care for it that makes it won­der­ful.

“Like­wise, there’s been a real up­surge in gen­eral ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish food, and I’m very com­fort­able serv­ing them in my res­tau­rant,” he adds.

“The cot­tage pie in the book has been on my res­tau­rant’s menu for three years, and we don’t take it off be­cause peo­ple just go mad for it.”

Adam sug­gests that, if you’re mak­ing some­thing sim­ple, you use top qual­ity in­gre­di­ents.

“If I make shep­herds pie, I might use shoul­der of lamb or a dif­fer­ent cut of beef. That will make a nor­mal dish into some­thing that’s stun­ning.”

Here is one of Adam’s favourite recipes to try...

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