The Comfort Recipe: Chantelle Nicholson’s Butter Fried Cabbage
On 17 September, Soho Farmhouse hosts our Food Festival in partnership with Porsche. As a taster, we’ve asked chefs appearing at the event to share their lives in food. Yum
Friday 2 September 2022 By Soho House Illustration by Adam Menzies
Later this month, Soho Farmhouse will host our annual Food Festival in partnership with Porsche. To celebrate this momentous gastronomic occasion (and to build up some delicious anticipation) we’ve asked a few of the most prominent chefs at the event to tell us what food means to them – and to share their ultimate comfort recipe, so we can try it too.
Today, it’s the turn of award-winning chef and owner of Mayfair restaurant Apricity, Chantelle Nicholson.
What’s your ultimate at-home comfort dish?
‘One of my favourite simple comfort dishes to cook at home is butter-fried sliced cabbage, with homemade chilli oil and a fried egg atop.’
And your specific recipe?
1 sliced white cabbage
A knob of Butter
A splash of crispy chilli oil (homemade or Tonkotsu's Eat the Bits)
Enough thick chicken stock to cover (make it saucy!)
1 fried egg
‘Sauté the cabbage in butter and salt until golden, add the chicken stock and chilli oil, so it goes a bit soupy. Pop into a bowl. Then, using the same non-stick pan, fry the egg. Garnish with a bit of coriander if there's some in the fridge or garden.’
When did you first fall in love with cooking?
‘From an early age – I can't remember when, but I was always wanting to help in the kitchen. My parents, my grandparents and my aunties were all really good cooks, so I had great teachers.’
What was the first dish you cooked for someone else?
‘I think it was probably toast for my parents for breakfast in bed on one of their birthdays or anniversaries. Not sure toast can be classified as cooking, so other than that I think it would have been some form of baking. I remember we used to get the pastry scraps when Mum made a tart, so we would make these wee “biscuits”, which consisted of a small disc with a blob of jam on top baked in the oven.’
If you had to pick a death-row meal, what would it be and why?
‘I couldn't possibly. But some of my top meals would include, perhaps, something spicy, great sourdough and salted butter, crisps, cheese and an apple tart tatin to finish.’
What are your three favourite ingredients to cook with and why?
‘It generally depends on the season, so right now it would be sweetcorn, green beans and aubergine. Non-seasonal top-three ingredients would be butter, eggs (you can do so much with them) and cabbage (my fave vegetable).’
What’s the one dish you still struggle to get right at times?
‘I guess it is generally baking or pastry recipes where I am used to working with an oven that has so many settings to control things (fan, humidity, accurate temperature), then [trying to] translate that to an oven I’ve never used before.’
What has been your most challenging kitchen experience to date?
‘There have been a few. Cooking on the Orient Express was one – a tiny kitchen and a very rocky journey!’
And finally, your ultimate comfort food that you don’t have to cook yourself?
‘Pho (namely, Thuy’s from The Little Viet Kitchen).’
Book Chantelle Nicholson’s lunch at the Food Festival here.