Esquire, May 2017
Native Brit Dan Doherty knows a fair bit more than us about whipping up a good meal. Having trained under Michelin-starred chef Herbert Berger he then worked at a number of top London restaurants including Noble Rot and The Ambassador.
In 2012 he took the elevator the 40th floor of the Heron Tower to become the Executive Chef of Duck & Waffle, the trendy 24/7 restaurant responsible for all those sunrise breakfast Instagrams you’ve seen.
As he launches their second off-shoot Duck & Waffle Local, we caught up with him to get his steer on some cooking tips to help get the basics right, he does boast nearly 70,000 followers on his foodie-heaven Instagram after all.
ESQUIRE: What’s the one ingredient you can’t live without?
Dan Doherty: Salt! Although butter comes in at a close second place.
What’s the secret to cooking a perfect steak?
I think the main secret is starting with a good steak in the first place. Spend that little bit extra and get a rare breed from a good butcher.
What do you always avoid ordering on a menu?
Pork scratchings, they’re always so hit and miss.
What tricks do you use for perfect scrambled and poached eggs?
For scrambled, cook them slowly over a low heat and finish with a touch of cream. For poached, lower the eggs in slowly at first to temper them, then drop in to continue cooking.
What is your go-to meal when you’re low on time?
I love a good frittata, and you can add plenty of different ingredients to mix it up too. Courgette, garlic & parmesan is a regular go to combination.
What would your last meal be?
Easy question! Sunday Roast followed by steamed treacle pudding.
What do you think is the best recent food trend?
I’m not really one to follow trends, but I was so happy when ramen became a thing here and there are some great spots all over London now.
What is the most overrated recent food trend?
I do find it a shame when something starts as something small, new and special, and some huge corporation tries to run with it or whacks it on a supermarket shelf.
What dishes get the most likes on your Instagram?
Hard to say, generally something that looks great and is posted at the right time of the day. For example, some great baked eggs at 10am on a Saturday is perfect.
What is your secret London restaurant recommendation?
It’s no secret but I love Bocca di Lupo. Sitting at the counter in front of the kitchen is just bliss.
What dish are you bored of seeing on menus?
Avocado on god damn toast.
What country in the world has the best food?
This is a hard question. I’d say Italy, as there are dishes that are heavy or light, spicy or rich, and there are great options for snacks. It covers everything.
Easiest meal to impress someone?
Make a great brunch dish. Shakshuka is always a winner.
Duck & Waffle local is open now