Chef Chris Denny set up his restaurant Fiend in Notting Hill last year. The adventurous tasting menu features a range of incredible dishes that incorporate a variety of vamped-up vegetables. Denny shares his top tips on maintaining the natural goodness of vegetables and using them to enhance your culinary creations.
1) Respect The Vegetables
My job as a chef is to elevate, not reinvent.
2) Keep It Raw
A follow on from the first tip, the natural sugars and purity of raw vegetables mean there is really no reason to mess with them.
Vegetables do not only taste great but have terrific benefits for our gut, mental health and so on. In simple terms, lactose fermentation breaks down nutrients, making them easier to digest. All you need is salt, mineral water and time. I use this process all year and it is a terrific way to preserve vegetables that are only in season for a short period, such as wild garlic buds.
4) Sparkling Water
Boiling vegetables in sparkling water. This nifty trick keeps vegetables looking vibrant, as there is no loss of pigment. The technique dates back to Roman times, and also preserves the great crunch and other textures vegetables have. I will only use Vichy Catalan water because it’s high in sulfur and its sparkles are very alive.
5) Kelp Baking
Kelp is an umami-filled seaweed, that retains moisture once soaked and this makes it a great natural tinfoil when baking.
All images provided by FIEND.