Food at 52’s owner and head tutor, John Benbow, shares his gastronomic memories and culinary tips from butterscotch Angel delight to PYO Cornish lobsters
First food memory?
Pushing a single piece of very dark chocolate into a round of fresh warm baguette. Les Arcs c.1970.
First cookery skills?
Mixing the perfect batch of Angel Delight, butterscotch naturally!
Fish sauce, chilli and lime. Amen.
Recipes or improvise?
Improv of course! And then refer to a recipe when it goes horribly wrong. The same approach works well for flat-pack furniture!
Most underrated dish?
Minestrone soup with a dash of fresh pesto. Veg heaven in a bowl.
Indispensible kitchen gadget or utensil?
My Southern Indian daal grinder. How does anyone live without one?
Tell us a cookery tip.
Increase the flavour of chillies by using more of them and soaking them in warm water for 15 minutes to reduce the heat.
Eat at home or eat out?
Home every time, especially if you use your dining out budget.
What’s Britain’s best kept food secret?
“Pick your own” lobsters and crabs from seafood wholesalers in the harbour at St Erith, Cornwall. Best served simply with garlic and butter under a hot grill.
What are the key ingredients for a successful cookery class?
An appetite for fun, wine and food!
What do students most enjoy about learning to cook?
Seeing how easy good food can actually be to make.
Click here to read more about John’s cookery school, Food at 52