2nd July 2015
Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin
Wafflart-Antoniolli champagne »
Nico has a few boxes of this extraordinary champagne in the shed at the bottom of his garden. It’s hard to come by, but if you see some snap it up. (If you’re in Dublin you could get in touch with Nico to see if he has any left.) The cheaper bottle is 40% pinot meunier, 25% pinot noir and 35% chardonnay. The more expensive is 100% pinot noir which, according to Nico, “results in a very fine bubble and a subtle creaminess”.
La Chaume (Bellae Domini 2009) red wine »
Another fantastic wine in Nico’s collection, this one from the Loire Valley.
Conserverie Larroque confit de canard »
“This is proper duck confit from my home town which I brought back in a suitcase. If you want something quick, just have it with some lentils – 20 minutes in the oven.”
Coriander, cumin, fennel and mustard seeds
These are fixtures in Nico’s spice drawer.
Gros sel gris de Guerande »
Nico is very particular about his salt and has several bags in his kitchen including one of gros sel gris, a coarse sea salt from the salt marshes of Guerande in western France.
Mini pestle and mortar
Nico has a large pestle and mortar for spices and a smaller one for grinding salt. The smaller one is quite clever: the pestle sits inside the mortar, clasped by it, which means the salt doesn’t go everywhere when you grind it. There is a hole at the top of the pestle and another near the bottom, which allow you to get the salt in and out. Nico can’t remember where he got it and we can’t find it either – sorry!
Ripailles: Traditional French Cuisine, Stéphane Reynaud »
“This book is very good. I don’t actually own a copy but I want to get one.” – Nico
Festival de Soupes en 60 Recettes »
Viv: I got this in Paris.
Nico: There’s a recipe in it called “Soupe Chinoise – Soupe de la grande serenity”. I’ll translate it for you: “In equal quantity, mix some good mood, some good wisdom and some good faith. Season with good sense. Add a pack of patience and a pinch of euphoria. Mix everything together. Complete with a good portion of humility, some patience and a bit of hope. Sprinkle with charm. Finish up with a good dose of philanthropy.”
Viv: Go way out of that!
Nico: I like this recipe, it shows you how you should be approaching food in general. That’s what food is all about: a bit of patience, and whatever.
Inside Roger Phillips’ Kitchen – The master of mushrooms on his favourite vegetable, a divisive kitchen gadget and his two most prized food books
Inside Erwin Gegenbauer’s Kitchen – Vienna’s “vinegar pope” on two revelatory types of wheat, a brilliant alternative to olive oil and his favourite Austrian wine
Inside Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Kitchen – The pioneering bar owner on an amazing green tea with toasted rice, some crazy-looking champagne glasses and two cocktail books that inspire him