Fine Living | Diary of a Somebody

Mark Hix – Day 3

The chef-restaurateur returns to London – and to thoughts of the Christmas turkey

Mark Hix – Day 3

November 22 2012
Mark Hix

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

What do you do on your return from a truffle trip? I fancied something light last night after we’d touched back down in London, and thought Locanda Locatelli would be just the ticket. Although it’s Italian, Giorgio’s menu is perfect for the start of a post-Piedmont detox.

I struggled to get a table but managed it in the end, and so off we went for a quick supper and a glass of Prosecco. After we were seated, the white truffle menu appeared! I turned it over and laughed as Giorgio appeared with a delicious salad of porcini to try along with my puntarelle salad and Lara’s bowl of minestrone. For my main course, I opted for veal kidneys with lentils, as that’s the only part of the beast that we hadn’t eaten in Italy over the last few days. I’m a bit of an offal freak.

It’s straight into a full-on day this morning with a Cock ’n’ Bull Gallery meeting, followed by our weekly Hix Mayfair catch-up, and then a Hix Soho menu tasting. Later, I head off to host my carving masterclass at Brown’s Hotel, which includes, naturally, the festive turkey.

Although I’m not a big fan of turkey – or the way it’s normally prepared and cooked – I do advocate removing the legs and stuffing them so that they take the same time to cook as the crown. This way, the turkey doesn’t take up too much room in your fridge either, and you can make your gravy properly, a couple of days before Christmas, instead of scrabbling around after the turkey is cooked.

I also demonstrate using a leg of lamb on the bone, as it creates a much better yield – it doesn’t shrink as much as a boned and rolled one, and the flavour is just far superior. A leg on the bone is also a great way to practise your carving – daunting maybe, but once you have worked out where the bones are, you will carve with confidence in front of your guests. My class dismissed, I head home feeling just that bit more festive.

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