Nibbles – a Q & A with Chef Tom Kitchin
What would you order for your last meal?
I would have to say fresh Scottish langoustines with aioli and a glass of crisp white
What is your favourite restaurant?
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at d’hôtel de Paris in Monaco. As a young chef, I spent
time working at the three Michelin Star restaurant. For a young Scots lad, it was
unbelievable. It was incredibly hard work, but I felt honoured to be working there and
I learnt so much that I still bring to my restaurants today. The dining room is one of the most incredible places and the cooking shows respect for each and every inch of seasonal ingredients and uses it to create truly outstanding dishes.
What is your favourite bar?
Taggy’s Bar & Beer Garden in Liverpool. It’s my favourite pre-match haunt and one I
love to visit whenever I’m able to watch Liverpool play. It’s a great spot to get the
pre-match vibe. The atmosphere is electric.
Most memorable holiday meal?
I had a weekend trip to Bordeaux to celebrate a special birthday with my wife
Michaela and we went to the wonderful three Michelin Star restaurant
Michel Guérard. We had a lovely time meeting the chef and the setting was just
stunning. It was very inspirational.
Who would you most like to go out to dinner with and why?
My wife Michaela. Running four restaurants and making sure our four young
boys get to their football games and activities is quite something. We don’t often get
the chance to enjoy a meal together, but we try to make time whenever possible.
Who would you most like to go drinking with?
I have some great friends in Liverpool who I enjoy spending time with when I visit the
city for matches. It’s the coming together of the Scots and the Scousers and we all
share a love of the game - the excitement is always high pre-match.
What is your most memorable childhood meal?
Fresh mackerel. When I was growing up, we had lots of holidays on the West Coast
of Scotland. We would go mackerel fishing, and whatever fish we caught we’d cook
on the barbecue with lemon and thyme, straight from the water. To this day I still
really enjoy freshly cooked mackerel.
What is your ‘go-to’ quick supper?
It depends on what is in season but quick family suppers at the weekend tend to
be Chicken Tacos with Avocado and Pea Guacamole which appears in my book
Meat & Game and has evolved into a Kitchin family favourite. We also love quick
and easy one-pan dishes like a big frittata using up all the seasonal vegetables in the fridge.
What is your top food hack?
Try to cook as much as you can with seasonal ingredients – the fresher and more
local the ingredients, the less you have to do to make them taste great.
Often the simpler the better.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I had great ambitions of being a footballer when I was younger but with a name
like Kitchin, it was kind of meant to be!
Who is your food hero?
Pierre Koffmann has been a real mentor to me and still is to this day. He taught me
to cook from the heart and truly respect the produce and really influenced my early
What is your favourite Edinburgh restaurant or bar?
One of our favourite places in town is the French restaurant l’Escargot Bleu run
by Fred Berkmiller. You get really authentic French food and great produce there.
We like to enjoy the classic escargot and the French pates.
What is your comfort food?
It’s hard to beat a good Scottish steak pie on a Sunday with the family. We like to
cook a big steak pie or fish pie on a Sunday and pop it in the middle of the table for
everyone to tuck into and enjoy for Sunday supper.
The latest venue from Chef Tom Kitchin and his wife Michaela, KORA by TK has opened
its doors in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, revealing a stylish, cosy and convivial space celebrating local, seasonal produce.