Tomos Parry is an absolute boss when it comes to cooking over open fire, so I was BUZZING when he invited me down to London for a trailblazing tour of his favourite restaurants, including his own Michelin-starred baby, BRAT. I headed to the Big Smoke - crew in tow, train beer in hand - to film the wild adventure (you’ll need to watch Bwyd Epic Chris 2 for the full lowdown!).
Our food mission began at the mothership - BRAT opens its epic door to the streets of Shoreditch at midday, but we were given out-of-hours access beforehand. Stepping inside and seeing the seasoned Turbot cages hanging by the grill was like being back in the Basque country. The staff were mad busy that morning prepping for the next wave of hungry hipsters, meanwhile I soaked up some serious VIP vibes as Tomos cooked up a firestorm in my honour…
Imagine this: turbot roasting for 40 minutes over the holm-oak coals. Tomos spray-basting the king of fish every couple of minutes with a fish-stock vinegarette. The turbot fat rendering and hitting the hot coals, mixed with the ‘basque juice’ spray, sent my nose into fucking overdrive. THIS IS WHY I LOVE FIRE! But the heat here must be gentle to stop the skin from breaking!
Once cooked, Tomos took out the spine which, combined with more of the vinaigrette, made a magical turbot sauce - thickened with the gelatenous marrow. HOLY SHIT! I was blown away by the different textures. The beautiful, delicate cheek. Sucking mother-of-pearl flesh off the collarbone. The fatty belly. The charred dorsal fins made insane turbot crackling! OMFG! Tomos’ turbot took me to a place I’ve never been before!
I was then let into BRAT’s meat cave. I love the smell of aged beef. I can only describe it as a cross of intense beef with a whiff of matured charcuterie. I chose a Hereford beef chop. Golden fat cap. Glorious marbling. Aged to the MAX. Roasted on a high grill to bring this big boi bone-in sirloin chop to temp before a ferocious sear on a lower grill. Aged beef Maillard reacting over the embers is the greatest chemical reaction of all time - that crust, baby!!!!! Perfect steak. Medium-rare. Dipping the steak slices in the resting juices = HEAVEN!
Before heading off, I gave Tomos a gift to remind him of home - ‘Trysor y Fenai’ Menai Oysters. Caught a stone’s throw from where Tomos grew up on Anglesey. We shucked a few, put seaweed in a cast-iron pot, placed the oysters on top and covered. Then into the wood oven to gently warm the oysters for a couple of minutes with salty seaweed steam, before adding the final touches of charred cucumber and pickled laver. The Menai Oyster liquor was like a next-level stock cube from the sea - fucking amazing!