In the early days of lockdown, we began pairing up with some of the amazing chefs we've come to know over the last few years. The REAL Chefs Project was started in order to help raise money for those really feeling COVID-19 pressure in the hospitality industry.
Inevitably, many of the recipes suited spring (bookmark Ollie Templeton's hake with Spring vegetables, Tobyn Excell's brown crab and ransons, and Chantelle Nicholson's hot cross buns for next year). However, some of them are evergreens, and many are just perfect summer food recipes. Here are a few you really must try while you can.
Aloo chaat potato salad - Atul Kochhar
Need we really introduce the legend that is Atul Kochhar? India's first Michelin-starred chef is a huge fan of what we're doing here at REAL, and he was kind enough to take us through this wonderful dish, inspired by some of his favourite street food. He says he delights in pairing it with REAL's Royal Flush, and who are we to question this inspirational chef's culinary decisions? Watch the video below and then get stuck in. Let us know what you think.
Seaweed and asparagus salad - Santiago Lastra
Santiago Lastra is a Mexican chef with a passion for combining his native customs with local ingredients. Bringing a sense of Mexican celebration to his cuisine, Santiago merges traditional recipes from his homeland with regional produce to create vibrant, flavoursome dishes. We're just heading out of prime asparagus season, but if you can still get your hands on some, this is a light and moreish summer food delight.
Halloumi, orange, fennel and pistachio salad - Maria Elia
Award-winning chef, author, and globetrotting foodie extraordinaire, Maria Elia has worked in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens. Now based in London, she is a consultant and teacher, as well as the founder of Smashing Plates, a residency at Great Guns Social SE1 that draws on her Anglo-Greek heritage and redefines Greek cuisine as we know it. You'll still be able to get some fennel out of the ground in these early summer days for this recipe, so head over to your nearest organic grower and see what you can find.
Thai-inspired fish soup - Andrew Clarke
Plenty of ginger and chilli make this a soup to get a sweat up. Andrew Clarke is an award-winning chef and prominent figure in the London and UK food scene. He is best known for his previous London restaurants, Brunswick House and St Leonards. More recently, Andrew stepped away from restaurants to concentrate on Pilot Light, a social good business he co-founded, which aims to tackle the stigma around mental health in hospitality through raising awareness and prevention.
Vine tomato & camembert quiche - Steven Edwards
Best known for winning the 6th series of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013, Steven’s dream became a reality with the opening of his first restaurant located in Hove: etch. by Steven Edwards. His vine tomato and camembert quiche, offered up to the REAL Chefs project in this great video, should be a prerequisite at any summer picnic. All the better if you've lovingly crafted this classic summer food yourself. Here's how the maestro does it.
Warm toasted nettle Caesar, asparagus, green apple & fennel - Kirk Haworth
Again, you'll have to act swiftly to grab the last of the seasonal ingredients for this early summer food treat. With a focus on sustainability for people and the planet, Kirk Haworth is a leading figure in British plant-based cookery, spear-heading a mission to improve chefs' wellness in the wider industry. “Sustainability is not just about the earth, the food or the ingredients – it’s about people, and creating a lifestyle that’s sustainable for all of us to coexist in good health.”
Summer food fruit bowl with Royal Flush kombucha granita - Ashley Tinoco
You didn't think we'd leave you without a dessert, did you? For an Italian classic with a kombucha twist, here's a summer food treat to really get the mouth watering. Ashley Tinoco moved to London in 2016, where he worked as a Junior Sous Chef at the Rib Room in Jumeirah Carlton Towers. He then worked at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel under the direction of celebrity chef, Adam Handling. In 2019, Ashley joined restaurateur Sam Harrison and currently cooks up a storm at the newly opened Modern Brasserie – Sam’s Riverside in Hammersmith.
Please remember that each of these chefs videoed their recipes especially for our readers during lockdown. In return, they're raising money for Hospitality Action. . Title image by Sheila Joy/Unsplash.