Desert island dishes

Desert island dishes

With Alan Giannasi, CH&Co Chef of the Year 2019.

Kebab
I’ve eaten a lot of kebabs of varying quality; however, a good one is something to be savoured. There are several excellent places to get a kebab local to me, but I’ve recently discovered the Kurdistan café in Rusholme where you are greeted with a lentil soup, followed by a bowl of mixed salads and pickled vegetables, Kurdish kebab and Yufka bread. Delicious!

Roast lamb dinner
I love a roast shoulder of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and vibrant greens (broccoli or kale) served with a rich red wine lamb-based sauce that sticks to the roof of your mouth. The way the creamy potatoes and red wine sauce mix together is amazing. I think everyone likes some style of roast or Sunday dinner and this is my go-to favourite.

Mussels and chips
Moules marinière with chips and a chunk of buttered bread, washed down with a couple of pints of ale, fantastic! In fact, the food that is served around the whole of the British coast is going into this one. I love a pint of prawns, fish and chips, crab sandwich, freshly caught mackerel that goes straight onto a BBQ – anything from the sea! All of these remind me of great summers in Devon attempting to catch and cook my own mackerel.

Goat curry
The way the meat falls off the bone in its aromatic sauce, served with rice ‘n’ peas, along with some steamed veg and a vibrant slaw. You can adjust the heat with hot pepper sauce, the perfect complement. It’s a festival special, along with a Friday dinner favourite.

Tibetan momo
A little shout to Tibetan Kitchen in Manchester here, a regular on the festival scene. Its momos, in my opinion, are by far the best around; steamed wheat flour dumplings stuffed with beef or vegetarian, lightly fried with a vibrant chilli dip.

Lemon tart
If I see this on a dessert menu, there’s usually no contest. It must be really lemony and tangy, surrounded by a sweet pastry that has a good crunch. That’s all, no need for anything else on the plate, apart from maybe some fresh pouring double cream.

Paella
Such a simple dish, yet it packs so much flavour and covers both the seafood and meat requirements, perfect for a summer gathering of friends. It’s a dish that I really enjoy making either in a field or at home. What’s not to love

Tagine
This can be veggie, chickpea, chicken, lamb or goat. The flavours and spices of North Africa and Morocco have long been a favourite of mine. The sweetness from the dried fruits, tangy preserved lemons and aromatics from the spice, along with richness from the tomato vegetables and chosen protein. All this piled on top of some fluffy couscous is both comfort and restaurant food.

What book would you take?
I should probably take a survival book by Bear Grylls, but I will choose Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. As a chef there is so much in this book that I can relate to. It makes you laugh, cry and motivate yourself, perfect for a desert island.

And luxury item?
A bag of records, assuming there’s a system to spin them on.

And which one dish would you take?
Well, it would have to be goat curry. It’s delicate, rich and aromati, and it would be a nod to Friday evenings at home with some tunes on.

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