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Mitch Tonks’ Loves & Hates

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

Great British Food

Jan 19, 2016
6 minutes to read


I have an egg every day – my preference is fried in olive oil, crispy round the edges or in an omelette. I love a crab or prawn omelette, when the eggs are in the pan and still runny on top. Add a few raw prawns or crabmeat, a little grated ginger, some sweet soy sauce and some hot sriracha chilli sauce. Sprinkle in some fresh coriander, fold over and serve – with some more chilli sauce on the side!


I eat seafood of some sort every day, and I like fish for breakfast as much as I do dinner. I’m lucky to live in the fishing port of Brixham so supply is easy; if I see a boat landing that I know I’ll grab a fish from them, or as I did last week, a handful of fresh still alive anchovies!


Salted anchovies from Cantabria are a joy; the thin, salty cheap tinned varieties are only good for sauces. When you pull a pink thick fillet from oil, lay it on top of a piece of bread with a slice of unsalted butter under it and finish with sliced shallots they are a snack from heaven!

Feta Cheese

There are some things you just can’t beat, and a Greek salad is one of them. I love the salty taste with fiery onion, olive oil and oregano. I always have a pack in the fridge; my preference is good barrel-aged stuff from La Fromagerie.


Every room in the house has a few cookbooks in. They change a lot but I like to just dip in and read sections of them. It’s a constant learning experience and I’m amazed at how often I discover a little nugget from somewhere and take it to the restaurant that day.

Smears, Square Plates, Slates & Foams

I’ll get this out of the way in one go! I like to eat off a round plate and have my food cooked in the old fashioned way – with heat, not warm water. I prefer precise, simple cooking rather than a myriad of textures and techniques (although I do respect those who are good at it).

Poor Quality Eggs

There is nothing worse than a cheap pale egg on your breakfast plate – what a terrible way to start the day!


I bet you don’t even know what this is! It’s a muddy tasting cheap white fish grown in lakes and rivers – certain retailers call it river cobbler in an attempt to sell it to us. It is poor quality and downright awful. Fish farming is a must to feed the world, but please; this shouldn’t be seen as a quality white fish!

Unripe Vegetables

Going to the supermarket and seeing unripe veg and fruit with stickers saying ‘ripen at home’ infuriates me! Pick it ripe and sell it at its best!

Processed Food

I recently went to a food factory and in the sterile environment saw the unhappy look on the workers’ faces. No smiles, no love, nothing good going into the food. I realise this doesn’t represent all food factories, but it shouldn’t happen in any. There’s such a dissociation from what we eat.

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