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Glasgow chefs share their tips on the best autumn produce to cook at home

Unsure of how best to cook the abundance of produce this autumn? Then read on as three Glasgow chefs share their tips.

Published: October 24, 2022
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Make the most of the autumn season, with these tips for cosy seasonal dining and cooking by some of Glasgow’s top restaurants and chefs. 

Created in partnership with Experience Glasgow Food & Drink, the city’s Regional Food Group who delivered the recent #MadeinGlasgow campaign, they are inviting hungry Glaswegians to choose local and support their city this autumn to help boost local independent operators. 

Celentano's

Celentano's is a relaxed Italian-inspired restaurant, built on a passion for sharing good food and drinks with family and friends.

Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand earlier this year, chef patron Dean Parker shares why he loves autumn. 

Dean said: “The colours, the flavour, cob nuts and squash, makes autumn a perfect season for cooking.” 

“We are just about to add squash into our popular Agnolotti dish making it a super warming primi dish.

"Find it on our menu, next time you visit. I also love the combination of beer (malt) pear and honey.

"We have our own beehives at Celentano’s and the first draw of honey coming out of the hives at the start of autumn is always so interesting. You can taste the frames and notice different floral notes coming through.

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"It’s amazing and we are incorporating that into our dishes and drinks here at Celentano’s.” 

Dean’s top tip for autumn cooking at home - Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, Gorgonzola

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Autumn squash Agnolotti dish. Picture: Celentano's

"Butternut Squash is so versatile. I like it best roasted in wedges at 180 degrees celsius with a sprinkle of brown sugar until it’s very dark. Then serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and gorgonzola. It’s a wow!"

Dean’s favourite seasonal ingredient is onion squash.

Of this, he said: "the colour and flavours are incredible, but also the starch that comes out of it when cooking is so useful to add to other dishes."

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The Gannet

The Gannet is a multi-award-winning Scottish fine-dining restaurant. You’ll always find seasonal set menus featuring the best of local and Scottish produce there. 

Peter McKenna from The Gannet loves autumn. He said: “It’s fair to say that autumn is my favourite food season, long walks in the woods foraging for mushrooms, our game dealers bringing young tender grouse, the first partridges.

"The menu tends to write itself with every phone call from my supply chain.

“Jerusalem artichokes are incredible at this time of the year, they are so sweet when just dug from the earth, and still sweet before the sugars break down.

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"This versatile vegetable is perfect for soups, crushed in pasta fillings, roasted and served with game also surprisingly fantastic in desserts for those a little more adventurous.”

Peter’s top tip for autumn cooking at home - autumn soups

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Grouse, wild mushrooms, celeriac and brambles Picture: The Gannet

Peter said: "If you're intending to make a butternut squash or pumpkin soup, you’re best to cut these in half then roasting skin side up until it breaks down and the sugars start to caramelise.

"I like to add an abundance of herbs while it’s going through this process, by doing this you will concentrate the flavour by reducing the water content and making it perfect to add to your soup base or to make a pasta sauce."

Ralph & Finns

Acclaimed chef Kevin O’Neill from modern Scottish bar and brasserie, Ralph & Finns thinks autumn is the perfect time for changing your seasonal ingredients. 

He said: “It's a time for warming, comforting dishes and moving away from summer produce.

"It's a great season for well-cooked meats, roasted vegetables and incorporating autumnal fruits in starters and desserts.

“Delicious autumnal ingredients such as sweet and sour red cabbage, sweet potato fondant, tender stem broccoli and figs, take centre stage on our menus at this time of year, alongside seasonal game like Highland venison. 

“These autumnal ingredients also lend themselves well to vegetarian options - our Roast Butternut with spiced potatoes, lentil dahl and curried mayo is a big hit with our customers.”

Kevin’s top tip for autumn cooking at home - Butternut Squash

Kevin said if this vegetable: "Butternut squash is a difficult vegetable to peel. You don't need to do this as the skin is edible once roasted.

"If you cut the squash in half long ways and remove the seeds, you can also lightly toast the seeds, they are a really good way of adding texture to butternut soup, stews or curries. 

"Cut the squash into equally sized cubes and roast at a low heat with olive oil, seasoning, rosemary, thyme and heather honey to bring out the natural sweetness and maximise the flavour."

Support local this autumn, follow @experienceglasgow for more tips and seasonal food and drink inspiration from Glasgow’s independent hospitality scene. 

Funded by Experience Glasgow Food and Drink, Made in Glasgow is a collaborative initiative aimed at championing our inspirational Glasgow food and drink heroes, encourage bookings and drive consumer confidence and tourism.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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