Fried, poached or scrambled? There’s lots you can do with eggs, but making them really good is sometimes trickier than it seems. The five Michelin-starred chefs in Channel 4’s Burger Bar to Gourmet Star tell Radio Times how they like their eggs in the morning…
EARNED A MICHELIN STAR AT L’ORTOLAN, SHINFIELD, BERKSHIRE
I do like a good Spanish omelette because it’s a great way of using stuff up. I love chorizo, I love the fact it’s a store cupboard dish – you can go through the fridge and go, “I’ve got some potatoes, I’ve got some meat, I’ve got some vegetables…” because a good stodgy Spanish omelette is, for me, a completely balanced meal. You’ve got protein in there and carbohydrates and you can incorporate any vegetables that you’ve got knocking about in the fridge – broccoli or peas work really well – and almost any fresh herb will work, so it’s quick and easy to make. My top tip is make sure you pre-cook the potatoes – and to be honest I don’t put the frying pan under the grill to finish off the omelette. It goes in the oven because my grill at home doesn’t work!
THE CHURCH GREEN, LYMM, CHESHIRE – 1 MICHELIN STAR
I love hollandaise sauce, absolutely love it, and it’s a real testament to the skill of a chef, or of any cook. What I have been doing lately is making a beurre noisette. Usually, you melt your butter to make the hollandaise sauce, but instead I’ve been caramelising the butter so that it has a toasted flavour. Whip the egg yolks until they are nice and fluffy and then add the caramelised, nut-brown butter to the hollandaise sauce to give it a totally different flavour to what you normally expect. At the moment we’re serving it with roasted scallops and a chicory salad.
HIBISCUS RESTAURANT, MAYFAIR, LONDON – 2 MICHELIN STARS
I like mine scrambled. I add a bit of butter in the beginning, some salt, and with a spatula I just break down the eggs, just to make it nice and flat. I add a bit of cream at the end to keep them moist once I’m about to take them off the heat.
MIDSUMMER HOUSE, CAMBRIDGE – 2 MICHELIN STARS
You can’t beat a good poached egg. You need a deep pan of water, make sure the water is just about boiling, then poach the egg and serve it with a nice asparagus velouté, or at this time of year a Jerusalem artichoke velouté. If the yolk is really runny I can’t think of anything better.
THE ANGLER, LONDON – 1 MICHELIN STAR
I think my wife married me for my fried egg banjo. Every weekend, when I’m not working, I make her fried egg banjos. It’s a fried egg sandwich, basically… Frying an egg is a good test of a chef – give a guy a pan and an egg and see how he gets on. You need an even temperature across the pan, but not too hot, and good eggs, obviously. Then you need a decent amount of oil, but not so much that you’re deep frying, and crack the eggs into it. The eggs should be a little bit crispy at the bottom, but not over-crispy, where you’ve got to chew it. I hate it when an egg’s not cooked – spoon the oil over the yolk so the white part over the yolk cooks as well.