With Dubai's restaurants closed and only some offering delivery during the current #Stayhome initiative to curb the coronavirus, a lot of us have turned to cook at home and rediscovering our cooking skills in the kitchen. We reached out to chefs & UAE- residents Nick Alvis & Scott Price about their pantry essentials and cooking during this quarantine period. Both gentlemen are known for playing a pivotal role in shaping and developing the region’s dining scene and have spent over a decade living here.
In the ten years that they have spent in the UAE, long time friends and colleagues Nick Alvis and Scott Price have played a pivotal role in shaping and developing the region’s dining scene. Having spent over a decade working for Gordon Ramsay in London, Paris and Dubai, after launching some very successful concepts, they are almost fully involved at Folly by Nick & Scott in Madinat Jumeirah, also home to Madinat Jumeirah Living. This restaurant is a UAE resident sundowner favourite, offering sweeping views of the Madinat Jumeirah area as well as the iconic Burj Al Arab in Jumeirah. Both Nick & Scott offer us their tips on keeping pantry and fridge essentials at home and have shared an easy recipe to try during your social distancing time.
1. What are your pantry essentials? Can you suggest some things that needs to be stocked always to make a quick meal?
Scott Price: Chicken stock is always in my fridge or freezer, along with white pepper corns because I love them! Then there’s smoked paprika because you can put it on anything, along with garlic, olive oil and salt.
Nick Alvis: Fusili pasta, curry powder, salt, a full pepper-mill, white vinegar, and a good olive oil.
2. What are your fridge essentials?
Scott Price: Butter, whole milk and chicken. I pretty much always have broccoli in the fridge and some button mushrooms.
Nick Alvis: Onions, garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, green chilli, fresh vine tomatoes, any soft rind cheeses, any charcuterie/cold cuts and a jar of pickled silverskin onions.
3. How are you currently dealing with the Covid-19 situation at home/in the restaurant?
Scott Price: I’m starting to get very creative with chicken and whatever else I have in the cupboard - my daughter and I have made lots of bread this week!
Nick Alvis: Of course we are following all government advice and restrictions, but when we can we are creating online cookery classes which is work in progress but keeping us active. Being at home this much and having the time means that I am cooking a lot which I love to do.
Nick & Scott's olive oil & rosemary focaccia recipe
500g strong bread flour
15g fresh yeast
50g good quality extra virgin olive oil
320g water (320ml but weighing is more accurate)
50g olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Method of preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Rub the yeast into the flour with your fingertips until a rough crumble is achieved. Add the salt, olive oil and water and mix the ingredients together for 2-3 minutes until a dough is formed. Fold the dough as instructed until a smooth and springy dough is achieved. Place in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a cloth, leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour.
2. Once the dough has doubled in size carefully turn it out into a heavily oiled baking tray. Press gently into the tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover and leave to rest for one hour.
3. After one hour, strip the rosemary from the stalks and press gently into the dough and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Cover and prove for one more hour.
4. After one hour, remove the cover and sprinkle the Maldon salt liberally with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 225 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!