Category Archives: Interviews

In conversation with… Dom Joly

Dom Joly is a British television comedian and journalist. He came to note as the star of Trigger Happy TV, a show that was sold to over seventy countries worldwide. He has just released a Book called The Dark Tourist and is currently developing a movie called War Of The Flea. He recently left the Australian jungle after finishing fourth in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

I spoke to Dom about his favourite Scotch egg and if he remembers the first one he ever tried? Here are his answers:

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Yummy, comforting, satisfying.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Cold.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. To my great shame – salad cream – very common.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you’ve tried? Some chefs have used venison meat and there’s the Manchester example made with black pudding instead of sausage meat.
A. Well, I’ve had one made of wild boar and quail egg.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. Simpson’s in the Strand.

Q. Can you remember the first Scotch egg you ever had?
A. Yes, terrible one at eight-years-old on a school picnic, it nearly put me off for life.

You can follow Dom on Twitter at: @domjoly

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Ricky Gervais describes a Scotch egg

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In conversation with… Melissa Cole

Melissa Cole is an independent beer journalist and member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. She regularly judges events such as the Great British Beer Festival, the World Beer Competition and the International Beer Challenge and contributes to Sainsbury’s magazine, What’s Brewing and Beers of the World. She has also appeared on TV and radio as a beer expert, most recently on Market Kitchen and Something for the Weekend.

It’s a little known fact that Melissa also cooks her own Scotch eggs and has her own unique version of the British classic.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Piggy, eggy & glorious (when done well!)

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Warm.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. With, English mustard or curry mayo.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? I heard that you’ve made your own with a slight twist.
A. I do! I add cold softened onions, sage, thyme and grain mustard to organic sausage meat and then add a mixture of grated & small chopped Lancashire Black pudding. I also panne it three or four times. However, most important is the yolk still being runny, so boiling that for just five & half mins & then plunging into ice water is vital! I also only use groundnut oil for frying so it doesn’t mess with the flavours.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. White Star Tavern in Southampton after a day of cricket & beer at the Rose Bowl!

And finally, perhaps the most important question of all:

Q. Which ale is best served with a Scotch egg?
A. A great British bitter like Young’s Bitter, Fuller’s Chiswick, Marble Pint, Sharp’s Cornish Coaster or Moorhouse’s Premier. (That’s five Melissa, but I’ll accept that answer)

You can follow Melissa Cole on Twitter: @MelissaCole

Keep track of Melissa at: www.girlsguidetobeer.blogspot.com

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In conversation with… Andy Lynes

Andy Lynes edits the Metro newspaper’s Good Taste food and drink pages which appear every Tuesday. He is a Glenfiddich Award nominated freelance writer specialising in food, drink and travel. He contributes regular food and drink themed travel articles and hotel reviews to the Independent on Sunday and for three years wrote the paper’s Food of the Week column. Andy’s work has also appeared in The Times, Sainsbury’s magazine, Waitrose Food Illustrated, Independent on Sunday Review magazine, History Today, Saab magazine and Scarlet magazine.

Here, Andy answers a few questions about how he best enjoys a Scotch egg and describes it in very melodic language.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Crispy, ovate, calorie-demon (that could be a Captain Beefheart lyric!)

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Hot, but who can resist even a crappy supermarket Scotch egg straight from the fridge?

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. If served hot, you could argue the runny yolk makes it self-saucing, but I think they’re best with a bright and herby sauce gribiche, ravigote or tartare. Grain mustard would be fine but ketchup or HP are verboten.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? Some chefs choose venison over sausage meat, others may try to spice the meat etc.
A. I’ve never had it, but I’ve always liked the idea of Gary Rhodes’s smoked haddock Scotch egg.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The Harwood Arms in Fulham serves a mind expandingly excellent venison Scotch egg – it’s by far the best I’ve had. It’s obviously far too late in the day to say that the pub’s head chef Stephen Williams is a name to watch, but his remarkable talent extends way beyond bar snacks, even if those bar snacks are historically good.

Read Andy’s articles on the Metro website: http://www.metro.co.uk/search?q=andy+lynes

Follow Andy on Twitter: @AndyLynes

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In conversation with… Marina O’Loughlin

She (we can assume her sex), goes by the name Marina O’Loughlin and is the anonymous restaurant critic for the Metro newspaper where she writes a weekly restaurant review. Since 2008, she has had a monthly travel column in the BBC’s Olive magazine and was recently recognised as one of the most influential Londoners in the annual Evening Standard “1000 Most Influential People in London” supplement. O’Loughlin is an ardent Twitterer and there is even a ‘Marina O’Loughlin Appreciation Society’ on Facebook.

Here, the country’s most incognito critic answers some questions about her favourite Scotch eggs and what’s best served with them.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Guilty, bliss, Bunterish.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Just warm.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. I like a home-made piccalilli, the mustardy crunch gives it a little extra oomph.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? Some chefs choose venison over sausage meat, others may try to spice the meat etc.
A. I’ve tried a quail’s Scotch egg, Scotch eggs with black pudding and Scotch eggs made with salt cod instead of sausage. All good, but I like the original best.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The Bull and Last in Kentish Town, Clerekenwell’s Coach and Horses, the venison one from The Harwood Arms and the version served with caper mayonnaise as part of Dean Street Townhouse’s lovely, retro High Tea.

Read restaurant reviews by Marina on the Metro website: http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/restaurants

You can follow Marina on Twitter: @MarinaMetro

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In conversation with… Michael Caines

Michael Caines MBE, was born in Exeter, Devon, and is one of the UK’s most respected chefs. He is currently head chef of Gidleigh Park in Devon, the Royal Clarence in Exeter, and The Bath Priory in Bath, as well as developing the Abode hotels concept with Andrew Brownsword. Caines worked with influential mentor Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, before moving to France to learn under Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and Joël Robuchon in Paris. In November this year, The Sunday Times Food List and Harden’s restaurant guides, named Gidleigh Park the best restaurant in Britain.

I spoke with Michael to discuss his favourite Scotch egg, as well as some inspiring creations and possible new developments to the retro bar snack.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Simple, British, flavoursome.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Hot.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. A seasoned Scotch egg is fine on its own, but when I was a kid I’d have salad cream with a cold Scotch egg. I think that’s the problem with people’s perception of the Scotch egg; it’s usually from their childhood when they were given a cold and bland one at a picnic. At ABode Chester we’re serving Scotch eggs with grain mustard mayonnaise, and that seems to be proving very popular.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg you enjoy?
A. I know some chefs experiment with the meat, sometimes opting for venison over sausage. You can experiment with herbs and seasoning of the meat, seasoning I think is vital. Use some sage and onion, perhaps some spice, to find new variations in the flavouring. How about keeping the eggs in a scented box before preparation? Maybe use truffles so that there’s a musty, woody aroma to the egg.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. I had a delicious venison Scotch egg only the other week at The Barn at Coworth Park (head chef is John Campbell). Is was deep-fried and crunchy with a fabulous runny yolk at the centre.

Keep track of Michael Caines at: http://www.michaelcaines.com

You can follow Michael Caines on Twitter: @michaelcaines

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In conversation with… Mark Sargeant

Mark Sargeant was born in Kent and was formerly head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred restaurant at Claridge’s in London.

He is the co-author of several books alongside Gordon Ramsay, and his first solo cookbook My Kind of Cooking is out in September. Next year he will be opening two new restaurants in Kent.

I spoke to Mark about his love for the Scotch egg and where he thinks the best one can be found.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Traditional, delicious, British!

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Definitely hot.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. HP sauce. I think you need that fruitness, that little hint of spice. Most people would probably say ketchup, but I’m really not a big ketchup fan.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg you enjoy?
A. Well, there’s Welsh Scotch eggs that you can make with seasoned mash potato, add some pancetta and some crunchy bacon, then some cockles, and finish with a little thyme. Breadcrumb and deep-fry.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The best Scotch egg I’ve had was at The Hind’s Head in Bray (Head Chef is Kevin Love). They use a quail’s egg and it was served perfectly symmetrical, seasoned, and with a warming, runny yolk. I remember the shell being hot and crunchy. Great stuff!

Follow Mark Sargeant on Twitter: @sargeant10

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In conversation with… Douglas Blyde

Culinary curious, Douglas Blyde is a food, wine and travel writer for consumer and trade publications. He has written for Foodepedia, Fire & Knives, Fork, Glass, Harpers Wine & Spirit, Caterer and Prodigal Guide.

I asked Douglas a few questions about how he likes his Scotch eggs served and where he believes the very best can be found.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Nurturing gentrified snack.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Gently warmed and served, scalpel halved, with egg yolk molten, upon a slate.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. Nakedly, nobly pure.

Q. What is greater: the Scotch or the egg?
A. Or what came first? They are not mutually exclusive and therefore of equal value.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. Dominic Chapman’s small, precise quail egg in panko crumbs ensures The Royal Oak, Paley Street is worth the journey – a Michelin endorsed nurturing, gentrified snack!

Keep track of Douglas at Intoxicating Prose

You can follow Douglas on Twitter: @DouglasBlyde

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