Flavour Profile Q&A: Chris Turnbull, head pastry chef at The Kitchin and owner of Desserts at Home by Chris Turnbull
We hear about his love for Wispa Golds, Scottish seafood and strawberries
What’s your favourite ingredient?
We have such an amazing larder in Scotland and red berry season is a pastry chef’s dream. Especially strawberries. When they are at their peak you don’t need to do much to them, though you can do lots. Puree, coulis, consommé, jelly, crisp, dried, powder, sorbet etc. However, I like them best chopped with some wild mint.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure?
Caramel chocolates, like a Wispa Gold or Cadbury’s Caramel.
Tell us about your first food memory?
My father worked in Singapore for a while and I visited when I was around 14 years old. We went to a hawker market and dad ordered for me. My food came on a tray wrapped in tin foil. When I opened it, the aroma of fresh Singapore noodles woke all my senses. I can smell it now, and the taste was amazing, all for $2.
What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or café?
Aside from The Kitchin, I enjoy simple home-style food, like the steak pie at The Birds & Bees in Stirling. If we go away for a night I like the Old Course St Andrews hotel and the food at The Jigger Inn.
What would be your last supper?
I LOVE Scottish shellfish, so it would be a platter: seared scallops, dressed crab, oysters, langoustines (with Marie-Rose) and lobster.
Starter or pudding?
I typically only get dessert to see if it’s better than I could do, though I love simple desserts like sticky toffee pudding and caramel sauce, or lemon tart.
Do you have any food hates?
Anything anise and grapefruit.
What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner party and who would you invite?
I’d invite Gordon Ramsay, Sir Alex Ferguson, Marco Pierre-White, Billy Connolly and Marshall Mathers. We’d have nachos to share, fully loaded with my wife’s guacamole, a full leg of lamb on the BBQ, slow cooked with full roast sides, tatties, charred broccoli, parsnips, juicy Scottish asparagus, Yorkies and lamb gravy. Dessert would be a stack of choux buns.
What’s your favourite geographical foodie destination?
New York. I ate like a king there.
Desserts at Home by Chris Turnbull is now offering nationwide delivery, www.dessertsathomebychristurnbull.co.uk