The Comfort Recipe: Nancy Silverton’s omelet
This Saturday, 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
Friday 16 September 2022 By Soho House Illustration by Adam Menzies
Tomorrow, Soho Farmhouse will host our annual Food Festival in partnership with Porsche. To celebrate this special gastronomic occasion (and to ramp 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 you can try it too.
Today, it’s the turn of US chef and co-owner of the Mozza Restaurant Group, Nancy Silverton.
'The life of a chef is new problems every day. No problems? No challenges? Then something is wrong.’
What’s your ultimate at-home comfort dish?
‘An omelet or frittata. The obvious difference being that an omelet is folded.’
And your specific recipe?
‘The best eggs you can find, butter, Pecorino and Parmesan. And salt and pepper. Cook as you would any other omelet.’
When did you first fall in love with cooking?
‘It wasn’t so much that I fell in love with cooking as I fell in love with a guy who cooked at my college, Sonoma State. Maybe not “in love”. But he was cute and that’s how I started my career. If he hadn’t been attractive, I might have never got into the cooking world. Who knows what I would have become? As for actually falling for cooking – it was at 464 Magnolia, in Larkspur, California, with chef Bobby Miller, who first taught me about the wonders of cooking.’
What was the first dish you cooked for someone else?
‘Canned Hunt’s tomatoes with paprika for my friend Margy. I was nine.’
If you had to pick a death-row meal, what would it be and why?
‘Bread and butter. Crusty sourdough, maybe made by myself. The butter is Beurres de Baratte, from Rodolphe Le Meunier of France. In my restaurants in Los Angeles and at my home that butter is simply called “Rudy”. It’s available at only a few places in my town. I get mine at Monsieur Marcel, at the Original Farmers Market.’
What are your three favourite ingredients to cook with and why?
‘Salt, is that an ingredient? Olive oil, and, hmmm… so many. Too many to only name three.’
Above from top left: Pizzeria Mozza at Treehouse Hotel London, one of Nancy's famous pizzas and Nancy at her Italian bistro Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles
What's the one dish you still struggle to get right at times?
‘An omelet or a frittata.’
And finally, a go-to comfort food that you don’t have to cook yourself?
‘Lately, it’s been pistachios. There’s a little Armenian market near my home that gets them from Aleppo and they are my salvation late at night.’
What has been your most challenging kitchen experience to date?
‘Every day brings a certain challenge. If not an employee issue, then a new dish. Today, for example, I was invited to celebrate the birthday of my old boss, Wolfgang Puck. I needed to bake a tart and the dough I’d made the day before wasn’t quite right, so I had last-minute adjustments to make it work. But it turned out. The life of a chef is new problems every day. No problems? No challenges? Then something is wrong.’
Click here to book tickets to Soho Farmhouse Food Festival.