With more people than ever feeling the pinch as the cost-of-living creeps higher and higher, every little helps. Serving up easy and simple ways to make high quality food more affordable, five top UK chefs share their tips on how to feed yourself for less
1 Jonas Karlsson, Head Chef of Aquavit London on souper meals
“If you have any raw vegetables that are about to go out of date, or any leftover vegetables from a meal such as a roast, whip them up into a soup. It’s really easy to do – you just need to chuck any vegetables you have into a large pot with a good amount of water and a couple of stock cubes and simmer until the vegetables are completely soft.
Then, blend the vegetables and liquid until you reach your desired consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family and also perfect for freezing for a rainy day.” aquavitrestaurants.com
2 Sameer Taneja, Executive Chef of Benares Mayfair on ‘canny’ alternatives
“Tinned fish like sardines and mackerel are a brilliant, cheap way of enjoying the benefits of fish including omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients and protein while being low in calories.
The humble tinned fish lasts a long time in your cupboard and can be used in so many ways – simply paired with toast or mixed with pasta and salads, it allows anyone to knock up a decent snack or delicious dinner for very little cost in no time.” benaresrestaurant.com
3 Kenneth Tyrrell, Head of Kitchen Operations and Food at Burger & Lobster on mastering meat
“Try buying larger joints of meat and cutting them up yourself – while this will take more time than say buying a pack of sliced ham, you will reap the benefits when it comes to cost (and quality). Slice up meat and keep part in the fridge for immediate use and put the rest in the freezer to be brought out as and when needed.
You can also make cheaper cuts taste their best by cooking them for longer, for instance with beef or lamb – low and slow is the key here. A slow cooker will also save you energy and help keep costs down.” burgerandlobster.com
4 Nathan Eades, Executive Chef of The Montagu Arms, New Forest on the daily grind
“If you have any old herbs that are going past their best-by-date, dry them out and grind them to a powder – this is a great way to enrich sauces in a dish. This method also works well with tomatoes; you can infuse or preserve them in olive oil in a sterilised kilner jar to reduce waste.” montaguarmshotel.co.uk
5 Ioannis Grammenos, Executive Chef, Heliot Steak House on bulking up
“Batch cooking meals in bulk is a great way to reduce wastage, save energy and – crucially – save money. It’s also a good way to ensure you have healthy, nutritious meals readily available which will stop you reaching for faster alternatives that might not be so good for you.
If you’re going to batch cook, get your freezer organised – clear it out regularly (again, reducing wastage), and label everything with a name and a date before you freeze it. Vegetarian curries and chillis are great candidates for batch cooking and freezing and can be made with canned goods like chickpeas and pulses in place of meat to ensure protein but reduce spend.” hippodromecasino.com