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Table Talk with Adam Culverwell

The Head Chef at Podium talks toddler etiquette and family traditions

Posted: 17 April 2010
by Catherine O’Dolan

What was your favourite food as a child? My grandmother’s home-made ravioli served in a chicken broth.

At what age did you start cooking? I started at around four, helping my Italian grandmother make the ravioli. My grandparents lived in a small village at the foothills of the mountains, north of Milan, and it was a family tradition that we would visit every Easter and Christmas. I loved to help my grandmother roll out the pasta on the big kitchen table. 

What’s your idea of the perfect family meal? Roast dinner with all the trimmings – and extra Yorkshire puddings. I’d put everything on the table, so that people can help themselves to what they like. I’d like it to be an informal and relaxed meal.

Who is your culinary inspiration? Lots of people, but from an early age it was my grandmother; I use her recipe for potato gnocchi, which has been in her family for 200 years and was passed down to her from her own grandmother. 

What’s the best dish on your menu to entice a fussy eater? I think it would definitely have to be the
pan-fried sea bass with artichoke and asparagus vinaigrette, as it’s light, fresh and uncomplicated.

What would be your Last Supper? It would have to be ribeye steak with nonna potatoes and salad. Nonna is the Italian for grandmother and this is how my grandmother would make them – boiled potatoes that are diced and then dressed with warm olive oil, salt and pepper.

Any golden rules for restaurant etiquette for toddlers? Only to encourage children of all ages to enjoy their food and to try everything. That’s how it was in my home.

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