Have you ever wondered what the inside of top chefs dining spaces look like? Dying to know how they kit out their kitchens? Well in Claire Bingham’s newest book Wild Kitchen: Nature Loving Chefs at Home you can find out. From foraging to farming, Claire travels the globe to show you how the culinary giants do it. Find out more from the author herself…
My background is publishing and homes. As an interiors’ journalist and photographer, I’m at my happiest scouring the world for beautiful spaces to capture, meeting the talent behind the scenes and seeing an idea come to life, whether it is for a story in a magazine or a concept for a book. I started my career at the Pimlico Road antiques dealer Christopher Howe in London, before working as Homes Editor at UK Elle Decoration. Since then, I’ve lived in Milan and Sydney writing for international magazines and newspapers. I now live in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.
Wild Kitchen is about stepping inside the kitchens of nature-loving chefs, farmers and food writers from around the world, taking a peek into their homes and how they think about food. It’s fascinating to see how someone who works in a kitchen as their profession switches things up in the home. I enjoyed looking on their bookshelves as much as finding out about their backgrounds but most of all, getting a glimpse into their everyday life.
Through the process of writing Wild Kitchen, I’ve learned that everyone can make better choices, however small. It’s about being more mindful, not only about growing, but buying food with intent and maximising on ingredients so less is thrown away. How much better is it to make a soup or stock from the leftovers of a roasted chicken? It’s so easy. The pot smells amazing whilst its simmering and you have an extra meal in the process. On the more experimental side of cooking, I’ve been inspired by chefs such as Jasmine Hemsley and Camille Becerra who use Ayurvedic thinking as well as adaptogenic herbs in their recipes. When it comes to the health benefits of certain power plants, there’s so much to learn.
Lemon-braised butter beans, Fennel and herb salsa by Anna Barnett, London
- 700 g (1 lb 9 oz.) giant butter beans (lima beans), rinsed
- 120 ml (4 fl. oz.) or 1 small glass of white wine 700 ml (1 pt 7. fl. oz.) of vegetable stock
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 large bulbs of fennel, halved, with fennel tops trimmed and kept to garnish
- Glug of olive oil
- Sprinkle of sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the herb salsa
- 5 leafy sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 5 leafy sprigs of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped, plus a splash of their pickling vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Several generous glugs of extra-virgin olive oil Juice from half a lemon
- Preheat your oven to 190C (370F).
- Combine the butter beans, white wine, vegetable stock, bay leaves,
onion and garlic and pour into an ovenproof dish. Next place in the
halved lemon and halved bulbs of fennel. Drizzle the fennel bulbs with oil and add seasoning, then roast for 30–35 minutes or until
the fennel is soft and starting to darken around the edges.
- For the herb salsa, simply finely chop or blitz all the ingredients.
Taste for seasoning and adjust to your preference.
- Serve the butter beans and fennel with seasoning, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a scattering of the fennel tops and generous dollops of the herb salsa. Serve with a crusty loaf and salted butter.
Don’t forget to head over to our Instagram page to be in with a chance of winning a copy of Wild Kitchen plus a £60 Farmdrop voucher!