DG at Home | The heart of the home with Sally Clarke
This week’s House Guest is chef and restaurateur – Sally Clarke.
‘Growing, preparing and cooking food that is fresh and seasonal has always been important to me. Sally Clarke has been at the forefront of seasonal cooking since the 80’s. Offering a simple menu with no additional choices – just exactly what was at its most perfect that day. It was revolutionary and of course everyone loved the simplicity of ingredients, as well as the bravura of her cooking. At her bakery, delicatessen and restaurant in Kensington, she continues to offer her daily take on delicious, seasonal and locally sourced food - prepared and cooked with a genuine love and understanding of her ingredients that is always delicious, as well as a feast for the senses.’ Tricia Guild
You have always said how cooking and eating seasonally has multiple benefits, tell us why this is so important to you?
‘As a restaurateur to be the first serving the ‘first of the season’ each year has been an aim for me for as long as I can remember. There is something magical about the first apricot or the first peas arriving from Italy or France. To receive the first bunch of Yorkshire rhubarb within a few weeks of the start of the new year, is like a gentle breath of spring interrupting the cold winter months. Simply put, eating seasonally not only feels right, but it tastes right too. It lifts the spirits, both visually and mentally - Whilst supermarkets tempt their customers with a wide range of fruits, vegetables and herbs year round, whatever the season, we have always been very strict about adhering to the ebbs and flows of the season.’
Given that we have all had more time at home, many have been making more of their meal-times – do you have any rituals when laying your table?
'When the restaurant is open, I tend to be there most of the time - both for lunch and dinner - so I have very little time to enjoy my house. However, I do try to make sure that at least one meal a week is prepared at home - from scratch, without any ‘takeaways’ from the restaurant or shop. Even Sunday breakfast - it has to be a clean tablecloth, freshly squeezed juice, lovely glasses, perfect coffee and Radio 3 playing in the background.'
The first few months of the year are often seen as lacking in fresh produce but there is still much on offer – what do you tend to use?
'There are so many seasonal ingredients that we look forward to each year. Blood oranges normally arrive at the end of December and last for up to 3 months, Seville oranges of course around the same time - and this is when we start our marmalade making in earnest. Leafy clementines, parsnips, celeriac, Savoy cabbage and Jerusalem artichokes - all have their place on our menus whether in salads, roasted with meats of fish or simply made into warming soups.’ Sally Clarke.
A sense of occasion
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