Anna Du Pré shares five minutes with Andrew Owen, Head of Food Development at Individual Restaurants working across the Gino D’Acampo, Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill venues.
I understand that sourcing high-quality local produce is essential, can you tell us what we can expect on your winter and festive menus?
At Individual Restaurants, we pride ourselves on the marriage of locally sourced seasonal ingredients, supplied from our most trusted British producers.
Expect delicious flavours including mezzelune prosciutto & nduja, slow braised lamb & roasted root vegetables, and festive clementine cheesecake, across our Piccolino menus. We’ve introduced some perfect winter warmers at Gino D’Acampo, My Restaurant – like traditional ribollita soup, spicy Italian sausage risotto and hearty beef and wild mushroom stew.
The Grills take on a more classic feel – we’ve added delicious French onion soup with Mayfield Swiss cheese, grilled wild venison from Argyllshire and for those with a sweet tooth, apple and almond tart with vanilla ice cream.
Can you share with us your secret tips for the perfect Christmas dinner?
I always buy quality, local ingredients – you really can taste the difference, and prepare as much as you can the day before to make your day as stress-free as possible.
When roasting the turkey, make sure you don’t tie up the legs – they take longer to cook than the breast, and this ensures the breast meat doesn’t dry out. Once it’s roasted, cover it in tin foil for an hour. You’ll have room in the oven to roast your potatoes and other trimmings.
For the perfect roast potatoes, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your water before boiling. This breaks down the edges of the potato and makes them crispier when roasted. And finally, cooking with a gin and tonic on the side always helps!