Guest blog: We love it when there’s leftovers

2. Smoked Prune Aebleskiver with Duck Liver Parfait copy  “It’s a revelation to eat your own food”.

In professional kitchens enjoying your own creations is rarely indulged. Here the two chefs made extra plates for themselves at last weekend’s service. It helps keep the stomach before the head when you know you want to eat your own cooking. Let the head rule and it can get weird (see Blog 3), some things are best just left in there.

Guests are now repeat customers, no doubt the strongest expression of satisfied stomachs. Parting with cash is a louder statement than compliments and empty plates. Here diners fall into two groups: those who really enjoy going to restaurants and industry colleagues. “There’s less bullshit cooking for industry, less to hide behind because everyone knows your tricks”. It keeps you honest when you can’t impress your way out of a situation. And being authentic, true to roots, is part of the Scratch Series vision. Both have had formative food experiences, embedding a sense of home and belonging. Chewing on an orangey bitter-sweet creation David says “growing up with my godfather’s marmalade has been one of the most powerful memories of my life. It’s a continual quest since he died to try and recreate its flavour”. For Ben, Italy still feels like home and local French hospitality remains firmly etched into the memory-banks, including barbequed duck carcass from a foie gras producer.

Back in Scotland, his parents can recall when the freshest veg you could get in Edinburgh was tinned potatoes. 30 years on and the Scottish diet still lags. Climate and religion are put forward as culprits. “Food isn’t something to be enjoyed here, it’s a necessity”. This Calvinist streak doesn’t extend to Ireland (Catholic) which, so said, has a less restrained attitude. Look at Nordic countries however and you see that religion (or climate) doesn’t need to be an excuse. It just needs a few concerted individuals, like Claus Meyer, to step up.

So step up some more weeks to anticipate with Scratch Series: French (29-31 Jan), Italian (19-21 Feb) and Veggie (5-7 March) all coming up in the next two months. Happy days!

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