30th August 2011

Interview with Daniel Clifford

Daniel Clifford Midsummer House

Daniel Clifford has been serving up ambitious, vibrant dishes at the beautiful Midsummer House in the heart of Cambridge since 1998. The Good Food Guide put a few questions to him, about everything from career highlights to favourite foods.

What would you cook Great Britain's Olympic team?
Spaghetti bolognese, and bread-and-butter pudding, as they're both healthy and hearty.

Midsummer House

What kitchen gadget could you not live without?
A mobile phone!

What is the biggest myth about being a chef?
It doesn't get easier, it only gets harder.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Seeing all of my five children eating in my restaurant.

Do you have a favourite local recipe or ingredient?
Cambridgeshire asparagus, as it is the best in England.

What is your favourite tipple?
Tea.

What most excites you about the restaurant industry today?
Young chefs breaking away from tradition and cooking with their hearts instead of following other people.

What do you eat when you're feeling lazy?
Cheese and salad cream sandwiches without butter.

What's the most ridiculous culinary term you've heard?
'A bed of...'

What's been the worst culinary trend of recent years?
Chefs using tweezers to dress plates.

...And the best?
Lots more local suppliers that are prepared to supply small businesses with their best produce.

What's your favourite job in the kitchen?
Fish prep. But also washing up, because you don't have as much intense thinking to do.

What's the best training for a chef?
To work in as many decent restaurants as possible, or to find someone willing to spend time teaching you and explaining the whys and ways of the kitchen.

What is your favourite food combination?
Bread and cheese. As long as both are perfect, you can't go wrong or beat them. 

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