Kenny Tutt is a British cook and winner of MasterChef 2018. He grew up in Hove and Pulborough. After winning MasterChef, he opened his own restaurant and cookery school called Pitch in Worthing, West Sussex. He then opened The Bayside Social on Worthing seafront (now closed) and has recently opened Patty Guy in Brighton and Hastings, where he champions the great burger (with a menu of smashed burgers, sides and shakes)!
He lives in Worthing, West Sussex with his wife, Lucy and two daughters. This year, he’s also a guest at the I caught up with him recently to ask a few questions about life as a Sussex chef, favourite ingredients, top tips and more. Apart from his many enterprises, he is also a busy dad and very down-to-earth. In fact, he was so lovely, I could have happily chatted all day but here’s what he had to say about food!
You often talk about making good food accessible, so what are your tips for busy parents and those on a budget?
It’s all in the preparation and planning ahead. Try and make things like sauces, or marinades in advance and have bags of chopped shallots, garlic or ginger in the freezer. No one wants to start prepping a meal after a long day so shortcuts are perfectly acceptable. You don’t have to spend a fortune, it’s just about balance.
You’ve got a thing about burgers, but what’s so great about them?
Well, I’ve always loved street food. Burgers do need to be good burgers with great quality meat but I think it’s the fact that you get the full spectrum of flavours. You get the fatty meat and the acidity of the pickle, then you get that saltiness from the cheese … it’s a one-stop comfort food and flavour experience. All hand-held. At the Patty Guy, we try and keep it simple and affordable and everything is made fresh on the day.
How is Patty Guy doing?
It’s going really well (Patty Guy is at venues in Brighton and Hastings and at this point, we deviate onto how much we both like Hastings Old Town). We’ll soon be opening in the Dome in Worthing and we’ll be adding alcohol shots to the milkshakes for parents who have to sit through three hours of Disney!
So what are your favourite Sussex ingredients and dishes?
I love our Sussex seafood and shellfish and we use a lot of the local catch from Littlehampton. I love the local cod and mackerel. We cure a lot of that. But I also love South Downs lamb. Especially with a Wiston wine or Bolney Pinot Noir. And one of my favourite Sussex dishes has to be South Downs venison with a rich sauce. It’s so decadent and the quality of the meat from a smallholding rather than a big operation just shines through.
The three million dollar question: which do you prefer Banoffee Pie or Sussex Pond Pudding?
Well, I’m an avid fan of Banoffee Pie and in fact, we made our own Jevington Banoffee cocktail as a homage. But I have to confess, I don’t know Sussex Pond Pudding. (The conversation digresses as I explain very badly the ingredients and method of a Sussex Pond Pudding and beg him to add it to the menu. Surely a Sussex Pond Pudding a la Tutt will be a thing of great pleasure.)
You’re a big fan of gravy, what’s the secret to the perfect one?
A good gravy or sauce can make an OK meal great. And to make a great gravy, you really need those meat juices but also a good glug of wine or port and then something a little sweet, like redcurrant jelly. But don’t be afraid to add a stock cube for flavour.
What’s the best thing about Worthing (apart from Pitch)?
I love the whole stretch of coast around Worthing. It’s got everything. The stunning South Downs and countryside, the beautiful sea and beaches, its own micro-ecosystem and great weather. Worthing still has a little bit of kiss me quick kitch and I like that too and I like the people. It’s a great place to live.
What do you miss about your life before Masterchef?
Well, strangely I sometimes miss the routine and predictability. In hospitality, no two days are the same and you never know what’s coming around the corner. That’s fun but routine and monotony can be a good thing. I also miss the people I worked with as well of course and sometimes the fact that the buck didn’t stop with me back then.
What’s the best thing about being a chef?
It’s the reactions you get from people and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to spread the word that food doesn’t have to be complicated or pretentious to be great, in particular in the cookery school. That’s a nice feeling.
What are your Sussex foodie experience recommendations?
There are a few great local experiences. The Artisan Bakehouse is one where you can learn to make your own sourdough and other breads. And the Slake Spirits foraging experiences are also really good. There are a few foraging activities in and around Worthing worth checking out.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu at Pitch at the moment and what Sussex wine would you pair with it?
At the moment it’s the lovely crisp South Downs lamb belly with a white sauce and braised barbeque lettuce, feta with new peas and mint. It’s very summery and I’d pair it with a Wiston sparkling Blanc de Blanc.
And finally, you’re going to be at the BBC Good Food Festival at Goodwood. What can people expect?
I love Goodwood and in fact, I got married there so it has a special significance. For my set, I’m going to be showcasing the creme de la creme of Sussex produce. It will be educational and fun and without giving too much away, will involve shellfish. I’ll be cooking and you can ask questions and we’ll chat about how to make delicious food at home. I’m looking forward to it.
You can find out more about the Good Food Festival and get tickets here: BBC Good Food Festival
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