My new novel, The Dish, is a romantic comedy about a relationship between a restaurant critic and a chef, but the main love affair – as in all my books – is with food.
In recent years London has seen the arrival of many brilliant (and not so brilliant) new food trucks, pop-ups and car-park-kimchee-ramen joints – but one of the most consistently excellent places to eat has been Duck & Waffle, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, near Liverpool Street station. D&W has it all – creative, beautifully executed food; a glamorous, fun atmosphere; one of the most spectacular views of London – and it’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the week! If you go there and don’t order the flatbreads, don’t ever bother speaking to me again.
Executive chef, Dan Doherty (you can buy his fabulous book here! – right after you’ve bought mine) is one of the most generous, talented and hard-working people I’ve ever met. He kindly let me study his kitchen during evening service to observe a master chef at work. (Supremely calm, totally focussed, insane attention to detail – none of your sweary, testosteroney nonsense.) Plus he didn’t report me to security when I spent twenty five minutes going up and down in the amazing glass lifts, trying to capture the extraordinary view of the city in fast motion, that makes it onto p.75 of the paperback.
I asked him some quick food-related questions and here’s what he said:
Cooking whatever you crave, it’s also relaxing too. Most importantly I get to do what I love.
Your best cheap eat in London?
Hard one – Honey & Co set lunch. Not really a cheap eat but it’s cheap and bloody tasty.
King crab at Beast.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration in your career / life?