8 Chefs Share Their Favourite Winter Lunch
8 Chefs Share Their Favourite Winter Lunch

8 Chefs Share Their Favourite Winter Lunch

Soup isn’t the only comfort food you can make at this time of year. Just ask one of these eight chefs – who like anything from gyozas to pasta as a warming winter lunch…
By Sherri Andrew

Skye Gyngell


“There’s nothing like a thick ribbon pasta with a rich sauce for a hearty winter lunch. My favourite winter lunch is oxtail ragu with pappardelle. Flavour is extracted from the bone during cooking, while the marrow adds wonderful gloss and body – it’s the ultimate comfort food. The sauce can be made a couple of days ahead and tastes all the better for it. To make a batch for four, place an oxtail (jointed into six pieces – ask your butcher to do this) in a large cooking pot over a high heat to remove any impurities. Immediately take off the heat, drain and set aside. Then, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add 2 chopped carrots, 2 celery stalks and an onion. Crumble in 2 dried red chillies, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 3 thyme sprigs, and 3 rosemary sprigs. Sweat over a gentle heat for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are softened, sweet and translucent. Turn up the heat, pour in 400ml of full-bodied red wine and 700g of good-quality tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil and add the blanched oxtail pieces, then immediately turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, for 2-3 hours until the meat is meltingly tender and falling from the bone. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, pick off any meat that is still attached to the bone and place in another pan, discarding the bones. Pass the sauce and vegetables through a sieve onto the meat, pressing down with the back of a ladle to extract as much juice as possible, and discard the residue in the sieve. Warm the meat and sauce through. Taste and adjust the seasoning – it will need a good pinch of salt. Serve with fresh pappardelle.”

Visit SpringRestaurant.co.uk

Helen Graham


“My go-to is burnt lemon and butternut orzo with parmesan crisped kale. It’s much simpler than it sounds, and you can buy the ingredients at your local supermarket. You get bitterness from the lemon, sweetness and richness from the squash, and umami and crispiness from the kale chips – all in under 30 minutes. To make it for four, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Heat 70ml of oil in a pan on a medium heat and add half a lemon (sliced) until it’s a little jammy – this should take around 5 minutes on each side. Fry the second half in the same way (without overcrowding the pan) otherwise they will stew rather than caramelise. Transfer to a chopping board and allow to cool a little, before finely chopping. Then add three crushed cloves of garlic to a pan and cook for 2 minutes until soft, before adding in a whole butternut squash (grated), 300g of orzo, 800ml of hot vegetable stock, and 1.5 teaspoon of Maldon salt. Stir, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, until the orzo is thoroughly cooked through. Stir in a knob of butter and season. Meanwhile, place 200g of kale on a lined roasting dish and toss with 60g of grated parmesan, a handful of chilli flakes and ½ teaspoon of salt. Roast for 10 minutes until crisp, tossing halfway. Plate up the orzo and top with the crispy kale.”

Visit Bubala.co.uk

Dominique Woolf

Dominique Woolf

Chef & Author

“Being half Thai I eat more than my fair share of noodles – there's nothing like a bowl of warming ramen to lift the spirits. I love making sesame ramen with caramelized pork, which is spicy, rich and nutty. To make two portions, start by making a paste by whisking together 6 tablespoons of tahini, 1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste, 2½ tablespoons of soft brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger. Divide between two bowls. Cook two packets of ramen noodles according to instructions then rinse well under cold water. Set aside. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add 2 finely sliced spring onions, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, 1 clove of crushed garlic, and 1 finely sliced red chilli and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 200g of pork mince, turn up to medium-high heat and fry for another 4–5 minutes until brown, breaking up the meat as you go. Mix in 2½ tablespoons of honey and 1½ tablespoons of fish sauce and stir-fry for a further couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

“Then, fill a small saucepan with boiling water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add 2 eggs and cook for 6 minutes, then immediately remove and run under cold water for a minute or so. Peel and cut in half. Bring 800ml of chicken stock to the boil in a large pan. Add 100g of tenderstem broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just done. Remove and set aside. Add the cooked noodles and turn down the heat. Add a ladle of stock to each serving bowl with the paste and whisk to combine, then stir in the remaining stock. Add the noodles, and top with the caramelised pork, the halved soft-boiled eggs and the broccoli. Garnish with spring onions and a drizzle of soy or chilli oil.”

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Adriana Cavita


“My favourite winter lunch is chicken and bergamot soup, as it reminds me of my mum’s cooking back in Mexico. For four portions, put one raw chicken breast in a large saucepan with 2 garlic cloves, 2 pinches of salt and 500ml of water, and bring to the boil. Cook on a medium heat for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Strain through a sieve, set aside for later and shred the chicken meat. Then, heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add a thinly sliced white onion and cook until translucent. Add a crushed garlic clove, cook for a minute, then add 2 tomatoes (blanched and skins removed), 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and a large pinch of black pepper. Add the reserved chicken stock and bring to the boil. Then add four sliced bergamots (or limes), turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some of the shredded chicken.”

Visit CavitaRestaurant.com

Judy Joo

Seoul Bird

“Kimchi fried rice is my go-to recipe if I'm craving comfort food and want something quick and easy. It's so simple, packed full of flavour, and a great way to use up leftovers. This recipe serves four. In a large pan, heat a glug of oil over a medium-high heat. Add 2 slices of thick-cut bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a kitchen paper-lined plate to drain. Reduce the heat to medium, add 2 diced carrots and a clove of crushed garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the carrots are just softened. Add a handful of button mushrooms, half a diced courgette, two chopped spring onions, and 225g of kimchi and cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add 700g of steamed white rice with a wooden spoon and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot. Season and spoon the rice into four bowls and top each with a fried egg and extra spring onions.”

Visit Seoul-Bird.co.uk

Bettina Campolucci Bordi

Bettina Campolucci Bordi


“Baked shakshuka with butter beans is the ultimate comfort food. To make two portions, heat a little oil in a medium pan and fry half a red onion, half a red pepper and half an aubergine with a tiny pinch of salt until lightly browned. Then add 400g of tinned tomatoes, 230g of tinned butter beans (drained), four sundried tomatoes, half a teaspoon of sweet paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Give it a good stair and leave on a medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Check on the mixture when the time is up, give it a stir and leave for another 10 minutes. By now the shakshuka should be done, the liquid should have mostly cooked off and turned sticky and there should be a smoky gorgeous mixture in your pan. Serve immediately from the pan with a good sprinkle of fresh basil, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, bread for dipping, plant-based yoghurt and lemon wedges to squeeze over.”

Follow @Bettinas_Kitchen and visit Native Places 

Sarah Wasserman


“I always crave gyozas in a shiitake miso broth. This recipe uses dried shiitake mushrooms and, because of their rich, intense flavour and meaty texture, you can achieve an umami-packed broth in 15 minutes. To make a portion for two, soak 20g of dried shitake dried shiitake in 1 litre of boiling water until they are puffed up and rehydrated. Heat a glug of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add a crushed garlic clove and a 2cm piece of ginger until golden. Add 80g of mixed mushrooms, sliced and cooked for five minutes until golden and tender. In the meantime, drain the dry shiitake, keeping the water to one side. Slice it into thin strips and add the water into the pan with the mushrooms and bring to a steady simmer. Add ten vegetable gyozas and cook for 4-5 minutes, over a high heat. Take off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of white miso, 1 tablespoon of soya sauce and pinch of chilli flakes, stirring gently. Finish with chopped spring onions and divide between two bowls.”

Visit Mildreds.com

Lily Jones

Lily Vanilli

“My go-to is a quick crispy chicken salad, which can be kept simple or made as decadent as you like. I like to serve mine with salsa verde and roast potatoes. To make one portion, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Season one skin-on chicken breast with salt and pepper and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes, leaving the skin side up. Then, heat a heavy-bottomed oven-proof pan until it's very hot, drizzle with olive oil and leave the oil to heat for 30 seconds. Turn down to a medium/high heat, and put the chicken into the pan, skin-side down, manoeuvring it with tongs from time to time to ensure all the skin gets really crispy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken onto its other side, still in the pan, and put in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes until it’s cooked through. Meanwhile, finely dice a shallot, and sweat it in the same pan you used, with one tablespoon of butter. After a few minutes add one teaspoon of capers and 300ml of chicken or veg stock, and reduce to make a sauce. Take off the heat, stir in a handful of chopped parsley and the juice of half a lemon. Serve the chicken on a bed of baby gem lettuce leaves, the shallot mix and a wedge of lemon.”

Visit LilyVanilli.com

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