Mary Queen of Scots executive chef Chris Rendell grew up in Melbourne enjoying a hybrid cuisine comprised of dishes from his English father’s traditional British Isles favorites. Rendell’s entree into the culinary field was a job at the local franchise of a national pancake operation. “As soon as I walked into the kitchen I felt at home,” he recalls. He started out as a dishwasher and within one year was running the chain’s flagship location.
Inspired by the unlikely combination of efficiency and chaos in the kitchen as well as by Marco Pierre White’s iconic book, White Heat, Rendell looked for a greater culinary challenge. He found this at the highly regarded Carmine’s in Melbourne. Rendell went on to work with David Selex at The Sugar Club. His four years there included his involvement in the opening of The Grocer of Elgin, one of London’s best-known food retailers.
His most recent job in London was at the Mews of Mayfair, where the kitchen put out elegant renditions of modern British cooking. This is where Rendell realized his love for class-modern British cuisine. He finally crossed the Atlantic to work alongside fellow Sugar Club alumnus Brad Farmerie first at PUBLIC, and then at Double Crown and Madam Geneva, where he flavored his British cooking skills with a touch of Indian and Asian influences.
Rendell also serves as an ambassador for Visit Britain and he has served as judge for finals and lead demonstrations at both the Institute of Culinary Education and the French Culinary Institute. In addition, he appeared and was part of the winning team on Iron Chef America.
Sometimes a quick, delicious meal is a simple as having a great sauce on hand—or, in this case, a refreshing salsa.
Not so much a dish but a condiment suited for almost any meal, salsa verde would have to be one of the tastiest condiments. This fresh parsley sauce goes well with most grilled meats and fish. The best part is it can be simply tossed through fresh pasta for a quick, simple, satisfying meal. It only takes minutes to put together, lasts a week in the fridge, and will be ready for dinner even when you’re not!
Ingredients:2 cups sourdough, crust removed and diced¼ cup red wine vinegar2 cups picked parsley7 white anchovy fillets2 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon capers, drained3 cups extra-virgin olive oilSeason to taste
Directions: First, pour vinegar over bread and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl with the bread. Divide into 2 batches and puree in vita prep with about 1.5 cups of oil in each batch. On a high speed combine the ingredients. When it reaches a smooth consistency, quickly cool. Repeat with second batch. Combine the 2 batches well. Season to taste.
Pho is all the rage right now, so if you find yourself in NYC make sure this spot is on your radar.
Pho Bang in Manhattan's Chinatown. I always seem to be in the mood for Pho Bang no matter what time it is. When I first moved to NYC back in 2003 I was working just up the road in Nolita and happened to stumble across Pho Bang one day for lunch. Eight years later I still find myself craving the crispy Vietnamese lettuce rolls with special house-made chili sauce and the pho. Not only is the food fantastic, but the same staff has been serving me from day one. A rare treat in this town.
The amazing one-stop resource for both the professional and home chef alike.
The Flavor Bible by Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg. One of the essential go-to cookbooks. The years they spent putting this together for chefs to have on hand is incredible. To find the depth of knowledge and experience in one place is amazing. It’s a book that will draw you in and you will find yourself using it as a reference no matter how much or how little experience you have in the kitchen.
Nothing pairs better with the breathtaking lands of the Mediterranean than the phenomenal dining scene.
Côte d’Azur. From the borders of Monaco to St-Tropez, I can always find an amazing meal at any level. My wife is from the south of France, and her brother also happens to be an amazing chef, both with incredible local knowledge of food and wine, and, of course, beaches! Along the Mediterranean you can see the local fishing boats heading into port, taste homegrown tomatoes (my wife’s grandfather’s garden is always the best), or eat the local favorite, socca, in the laneways of Nice. Whether you are in the mood for a five-star experience or a casual, roadside stop, the Côte d’Azur offers both delicious experiences. Two of my local favorites are La Chevre d’Or in Eze village (on the high end) and La Mere Barale, a local institution.