Sunday March 20, 2022 – La Minute Monocle

Sunday Roast / Russell Norman

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Restaurateur Russell Norman’s eclectic take on the Venetian cichetti helped his Polpo restaurant group become the toast of London in the 2010s. Today, the chef and writer runs the Tuscan-inspired Trattoria Brutto, which he opened in Farringdon last year. Here, Norman shares his hardworking weekend habits, his fondness for markets and pantry staples.

Where do we meet you this weekend?
I will be at home in Blackheath this Sunday. I have a huge celeriac in the fridge and I’m going to make a lemon mustard mayonnaise remoulade to go with it. The trick is to slice the root as thinly as possible. This will be a good opportunity to sharpen all my knives. I just bought a beautiful French desk from the 1920s, so I’m also going to lay out all my stationery. I plan to make it a very cheesy Sunday.

What is the ideal start to a Sunday?
A trip to the Blackheath Farmers Market. I’ll get a good coffee or two and buy the Sunday papers.

Walk the dog or dog down?
If the weather is dry, when I’m in London I’ll take Twig (my bedlington whippet) across the moor to Greenwich Park and take in the views from the Royal Observatory.

Soundtrack of choice?
Right now it’s either Father John Misty, Lianne La Havas or Prefab Sprout.

What’s for breakfast?
A few coffees, a pot of Yorkshire Tea and anchovies with glazed butter on cold toast.

Do you have kitchen essentials?
I get grumpy if there isn’t a scotch egg in the fridge for emergencies.

News or not?
Newspapers, of course, but no news on TV or online. I try not to look at my phone more than necessary.

Lunch inside or outside?
If I’m really lucky, I’ll be invited to a friend’s house but I’m also very happy to cook myself an elaborate lunch. Even if I dine alone, I always cook enough for eight people.

The pantry essentials you can’t live without?
Canned anchovies, cannellini beans, onions, and at least four quarts of extra virgin olive oil. I’m always afraid of missing out.

Sunday culture must?
Radio 4 is practically on all day. A midday comedy – I’m sorry, I don’t have a clue, Just a minute Where The Incredible Truth – is obligatory. And The food programof cours.

Sunday rituals?
I’ll take the dog for a long walk and maybe watch a movie at night with a Double Decker or Starbar, if I feel unsafe.

A glass of something you would recommend?
A little negro.

The ideal dinner menu?
It must be comfort food. Lots of roast vegetables with guinea fowl or duck and an appropriate sauce. And seconds, always.

Perfect dinner spot?
There are so many in London that I love. Madame Pigg in Dalston, Andrew Edmunds in Soho, Quality Chop House in Clerkenwell and Noble Rot in Bloomsbury.

Are you going to present your look for Monday?
I always dress the same. My wardrobe is just full of several versions of the same clothes, so no need to put anything on.

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