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GASTRO NEIL RANKIN tradition that continues to unite people. Indeed, just as a Sunday to create new, interesting flavours that customers may not roast is still his favourite feast to cook (“You can take your time have tried before. with that sort of thing”), so too do flame-grilled delicacies hold a “Male goats tend to get killed anyway, so it’s good to have special place in his heart for the communal spirit they inspire. some sort of use for them, as they’re really nice meat,” he insists. “I like cooking on fire more than just cooking meat – it could “They’re now getting bred to be eaten, which means they taste be anything,” he confesses. “I just think cooking over fire is really great. My new restaurant will mainly use lamb, pork and the original way we cooked. There’s something primal and beef, as there are so many different breeds, but goat’s one of my comforting about it, and it’s the favourite meats, and is also very thing that helped us develop small, so it’s quite quick to cook.” into human beings; we’ve been Speaking of which, Neil’s next doing it for 1.5million years, so eatery, Temper, will open its we’re all drawn to it. doors in Soho in November. Here, “When somebody’s got a fire patrons will be served succulent I eat vegetables most of the week or a barbecue going, people cuts cooked right before their eyes, at home, and don’t actually eat that huddle around it. I like that but perhaps even more excitingly, much meat. I just think it should be about food – it shouldn’t be the new venue will showcase ‘nose stiff or stuffy, and it shouldn’t to tail’ eating for devout carnivores, a celebration like it used to be, and be something you’re forced to where animals are barbecued whole that we should take a bit more care do; it should be something that to reduce wastage – a move that’s about cooking it brings people together. I much raised no shortage of eyebrows. prefer roasts and sharing stuff to “Vegans see the ‘whole animal’ thing sitting down with some intricate as barbaric, whereas I’m seeing it from a completely different angle,” counters Neil. “If I’m buying meat plate of food. There’s a time and a place for that, but in general, I don’t eat that way.” for a restaurant where we’re doing short ribs, we’d have to buy 50 As for the future, Neil looks to the younger chefs of tomorrow or 60 portions. There are only two short ribs on a cow, so in order to as the most influential, and appreciates his customers’ newfound supply one restaurant, we’d utilise meat from 25 different cows. knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the heritage and “That kind of thing has stuck in my throat a little bit for a while, quality of meat. And although his top tip remains the same (“Just as there’s certainly a lot of food that doesn’t get used, which is turn your oven down and take your time over it – there’s no why, if I buy a cow, I do the butchery myself and sell it like that. rush”), everything else, it seems, is always open to interpretation. We haven’t opened yet, so time will tell how well it works out, but “The misconception about home cooking is that restaurants in theory it should be a more sustainable way of cooking.” have all the time in the world, and home cooks don’t, but it’s Ironically, Neil’s view and general outlook on meat is one that’s the complete opposite as far as I’m concerned,” he concludes. peppered with its fair share of scepticism. He champions the “I don’t take stuff for granted, wellbeing and ethical treatment of livestock, not only as a point and always like to stop and of principle, but also in terms of taste, flavour and quality. And question things a little bit. I’m whereas he reveres British beef as being ‘the best in the world’, he just inquisitive, and probably firmly believes that it can sometimes be too much of a good thing. mistrusting as well!” “I eat vegetables most of the week at home, and don’t actually eat that much meat,” he admits. “We’ve gone on the wrong path Low and Slow by Neil with meat, because it’s become so ingrained in everything we eat, Rankin is out now, priced which is why we need to breed so much of it, and why the quality £25, from Ebury Press. of it goes down. I just think it should be a celebration like it used Read on to make one of to be, and that we should take a bit more care about cooking it.” the book’s mouth-watering For Neil, cooking is only part of the story, however; just as recipes at home… important is the social element of barbecuing, a ritual and

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Gastro Magazine Winter 2016  
Gastro Magazine Winter 2016