Q&A: Fergus Henderson
“Life without wine would be too sad to contemplate. Oysters without white wine, cheese and no red… It does not bear contemplating.”
When are you happiest? Most of the time, particularly on a rock with a dram being blown about by the wind just off the west coast of Scotland on a island
What is the best part of your job? I love it all – the preparation in the morning, then lunch when we open our doors and any one can come in so every day is different. Where there was calm in the dining room, it’s suddenly full of folk eating and drinking, grappling with bones etc… Then calm again, we relax, only to open our doors and more chaos ensues. The spirit of time and place is strong in restaurants – what’s not to love?
And the worst? Drains backing up; people not doing as they ought. But that’s the rich texture of life
Describe your typical day I don’t think I can answer this question. I am still waiting for a typical day
Tell us one thing you can’t live without Life without wine would be too sad to contemplate. Oysters without white wine, cheese and no red… It does not bear contemplating. No champagne to lift the spirits!
Who is your hero? Isambard Kingdom Brunel – he built the Great Western Railway. He got to Bristol and did not stop there, but built the SS Great Britain and sailed to America!
You’re hosting a fantasy dinner party – who’s coming? Friends, family and Audrey Hepburn of course
Describe your perfect meal A pile of sea urchins, a tea spoon, the sea not too far away, much pink wine, then cheese with red burgundy. Finally, bitter chocolate ice cream followed by dancing to Wilson Pickett to aid digestion
If you could turn the world onto one piece of offal/cut of meat, what would it be (and why)? One should be very careful turning folk on to foods – it can easily backfire on you. Having said this, the pig’s trotter are wonderful things, bringing a lip-sticking unity to every dish they’re in
Complete the sentence: “The meaning of food…” …is a good lunch