Olive Magazine

Meet the chef: Mitch Tonks

Published: March 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Read our interview with the legendary seafood-obsessed chef, Mitch Tonks. Discover his favourite quick supper, what's always in his fridge and what he considers to be the three most useful ingredients in the world

My favourite wine

I like to drink Italian wine and I prefer red to white, although that can change. Right now my favourite wine is Cavaliere, a Sangiovese made by a winemaker called Michelle Satta in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. The 2000 vintage is superb because it’s aged well, but the recent vintage is also amazing.


In my fridge there’s always...

Anchovies, kimchi, pickles of some sort and yogurt.

My favourite 15-minute supper to make at home is...

Salmon tacos. After cooking a whole salmon I always have leftovers, so I’ll use it up in a quick taco recipe. The same thing works just as well with prawns or any fresh crab from the fridge.

My guilty pleasure food is...

I love crab sticks with white pepper and malt vinegar! I walk around the harbour in the summer and often grab a pot of prawns and a few sticks and eat it whilst walking. I can’t resist seafood.

If you gave me a tenner I’d spend it on...

Fish, chips and a pint.

A restaurant trend I see being the next big thing is...

After the BBQ and steak trends comes live fire. It’s exciting for chefs and I think more and more are starting to cook over it. I see it as becoming central to many more restaurants.

On a Sunday I like to...

Pack a lunch and head out to sea with my wife. We'd relax on my little boat, which is named 'Nellie' after her. Sunday nights are chilled evenings with my wife and the family. It's also the night I often spend making pickles, ferments or making bread.

My favourite country to visit for foodie inspiration is...

Italy. I love the Italian approach to food, the sheer simplicity of it and the reliance on taste from top quality, fresh ingredients. Though often I head to any Mediterranean shore where I can find the best seafood in the world.

What are the three most useful ingredients and why?

Olive oil, Sriracha chilli sauce and anchovies. I love olive oil on toast with salt, and often fish; just about everything in our house is dressed with good quality olive oil.

Siracha chilli sauce can transform just about anything into something magnificent, but especially fried eggs.

I always have salted anchovies hanging around, we eat them with everything: roasting lamb, salads, in butter for grilled fish or just on toast or with sliced onions on bread lightly grilled on the BBQ and served with ice cold unsalted butter.

Mitch Tonks has teamed up with Asda to tackle fish waste this Easter. For more on Mitch Tonks, visit mitchtonks.co.uk

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