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Food & Drink

Seasonal Cooking with Heinz Beck

From the secrets of great barbecuing to tasty dishes that you can prepare at home, esteemed chef Heinz Beck shares his top tips on seasonal cooking, ensuring your culinary calendar is deliciously sorted. Discover his essential advice and what’s currently cooking at Beck at Brown’s.

Do you have any favourite late summertime ingredients?

“I love graffiti aubergine, sometimes called Sicilian aubergine. They’re different to regular ones with white stripes and are seasonal and flavoursome, perfect for cooking with at this time of year. I also love using fresh caper leaves paired with lots of vegetables.”

What do you love the most about produce at this time of year?

“Produce now is bursting with flavour and taste because it’s been grown in plenty of sunshine. Late summer is a time when lots of vegetables like tomatoes and red peppers are at their best so now is the time to take advantage of them.”

What kind of seasonal dishes are delicious and easy for people to prepare at home themselves?

“My Caponata Siciliana is delicious and easy to make. It’s a traditional stew made from aubergine, which is chopped and sautéed. Simply chop into cubes and fry until golden, then brown some diced onion, celery and red pepper in a pan. Add some tomato purée then season with honey and red wine vinegar, mix in some pine nuts and raisins, place the aubergine on top and season, then serve.”

What qualities should a good late summer meal have?

“For me, food needs to be light, healthy and fresh. In fact, that’s my food ethos year-round, but especially at this time of year, you don’t want anything too rich or heavy.”

What would you recommend people prepare when hosting a garden party?

“My Caponata. It’s perfect for lots of people and can be made in advance plus it’s a real crowd pleaser and vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free etc. You can’t go wrong!”

And what would you recommend for a barbecue?

“It doesn’t matter what meat or fish you choose to barbecue as long as it’s good quality. The real secret to great barbecuing is the wood you use. Cherry wood is an ideal option because it’s dense so heats to a good temperature and gives a really great flavour too.”

What new dishes can diners expect to find on the menu at Beck at Brown’s this season?

“We have a daily changing menu according to what produce our suppliers recommend and what’s in season. This can change easily from week to week as vegetables come in and out of season. We have really delicious sweetbreads on the menu currently, which is a beautiful-looking vibrant dish and, one of my all-time favourites, spaghetti alle vongole.”

Experience Heinz Beck’s mouth-watering dishes at Beck at Brown’s. To reserve a table, call +44 207 518 4004 or email beckatbrowns@roccofortehotels.com