Neil Perry talks to JONES about home cooking and his special affection for the artichoke.
How much do you cook at home?
I’m often travelling or working, but I like to cook for my family at least twice a week.
What do you like to cook at home on a night off?
If I had my way, I’d cook mud crab with ginger and shallots every night. Sadly, it’s usually only for special occasions. Popular weeknight meals are grilled chicken, tacos or pasta – simple and easy.
Your most essential piece of kitchen equipment?
A slow juicer or centrifugal juicer. I also use our little Bamix a lot. It’s a handy tool and much easier to wash than a benchtop blender. But my most important piece of equipment is my mortar and pestle. It is the only way to make pesto, grind up spices or make a curry paste.
Clean up as you go or save it for the end?
I definitely clean up as I go. This lesson is drilled into all chefs from the first day they walk into a kitchen.
Must-have pantry items?
Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, anchovies, chilli flakes.
Your dirty cooking secret?
Tinned food has a place: anchovies, tuna, bonito and sardines and high-quality French peas. I like frozen peas, too. They’re often better than fresh, as peas start to lose their sweetness the moment they’re picked.
What’s your go-to home dish?
Roast chicken cooked in my Big Green Egg (kamado-style ceramic charcoal barbecue). This barbecue keeps meat succulent and gives a golden colour to the skin.
Tip for the home cook?
Don’t over-complicate things, and shop well. You also need to be organised. Mise en place makes cooking efficient, stress-free and enjoyable.
Interview by Larissa Dubecki
Cook at home in style with these kitchen essentials