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Tom Tsappis, chef patron of Killecrankie House answers our food questions

This chef owns hotel and restaurant Killiecrankie House with his wife, Matilda

Published: December 20, 2021
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What’s your favourite ingredient?

Eggs or soy sauce. Eggs are equally at home in sweet or savoury foods, are a solid building block, but also delicious on their own. Custard is the original superfood. Soy sauce is a secret weapon for seasoning. It turns up in a lot of our recipes, so much so that we are making our own and barrel aging it in old whisky casks.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Pork pies, Easter eggs, Wine Gums, KFC Hot Wings – take your pick.

Tell us about your first food memory?

When I was about three years old I stole a Fray Bentos pie from a supermarket by slipping it into my backpack. I guess I knew what I liked from a young age, and what I liked was a pie in a tin. Classy.

What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?

There’s a craft brewery in Blair Atholl called Wasted Degrees who have a taproom open in the summer. It serves excellent sourdough pizza topped with foraged wild mushrooms and local charcuterie, alongside their beers. We like what they’re doing so much that we’ve had them brew a beer especially for the restaurant.

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What would be your last supper?

Weirdly, this is a question we ask in the kitchen at least once a week, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I’ve decided on three courses with matching drinks is as follows – a starter of 12 oysters, mignonette, two pints of Guinness, a main of two Peking ducks and pancakes, Grand Cru Alsatian Riesling. Dessert would be sticky toffee pudding, custard and ice cream, pina coladas and Chateau d’Yquem. It would have to be my last supper because the ensuing gout would be terrible.

Starter or pudding?

Pudding. Is there anything in the whole world better than ice cream, cake, biscuits – the list goes on. I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

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Do you have any food hates?

Not really. Although there is a delicacy called shirako, which I had in Japan. It is the sperm sack of a cod and I’m not in a huge rush to try it again. 

What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner guest and who would you invite?

This is largely the same as my last supper. Unless it’s me cooking, in which case I’m getting take-out. As for guests, I’d invite Tom Cruise. Margot Robbie, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Mike Tyson, Stephen Fry, Richard Osman, Elton John and Judi Dench. We’d need a big table. Also if any of these people happen to be reading this, take it as an open invite.

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What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

San Sebastian or Tokyo – both are very special places for me. I met my wife in Tokyo, in a very classy establishment named the Hobgoblin, and we got engaged in San Sebastian. Also the food in both places is world class.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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