Lunch Date with Dubai 92's Tom and Dan
Exclusively for our Lunch Date with Tom and Dan, Chef Daniele Capobianco created a flavour-packed lamb rack stuffed with artichokes and finished with a chocolate glaze. In between mouthfuls, we spoke about Dan’s new-found love for burrata, Tom’s meat-carving coming of age and their mutual love of Hardee’s Super Star combo.
WHAT’S YOUR DESERT ISLAND DISH?
T: Dad’s carbonara – one of my favourites growing up and we had it for special occasions, like birthdays.
D: You would get sick of eating anything day after day so I’d keep it simple with a white-bread sandwich with cheese and pickle.
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY FOOD PLEASURE?
T: Jacob’s Club orange biscuit – one turns into eight!
D: Jaffa Cakes. They make a special yard-long Jaffa Cake at Christmas and I can eat the whole thing. And we both love the dirty delight that is the Hardee’s Super Star combo. Best eaten in the early hours of the morning.
FAVE FOOD MEMORIES?
T: My dad would have a pizza night once a month where we would each get our choice of toppings. It was great family time, all together at home, cooking and eating, with music playing.
D: One of my best foodie memories in Dubai was meeting Antonio Carluccio at the opening of his restaurant in Dubai. We sat on his table and he told us (dirty) jokes all night – a very funny man – and he kept telling the staff to bring more and more food. It was such a nice evening out by the Dubai Fountain and of course the food was great.
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR FOOD INSPIRATION?
T: Ronald McDonald.
D: Come Dine with Me, The Great British Bake-Off and Nigella Lawson.
WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL THING YOU HAVE EATEN?
T: I asked my dad what he thought it would have been, and his response was: “Anything that your mum has ever cooked.”
D: Horse in France and deep-fried crickets (or some sort of insect) in Thailand. Also some unusual parts of the usual farmyard animals.
WHAT MAKES A PERFECT DINING OUT EXPERIENCE?
T: Company, of course, but also the sound of the waves lapping onto the beach and sitting outside in the fresh air.
D: Company – cheesy but true – and being really, really hungry.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO COOK AT HOME?
T: I don’t cook as much as I did back in the UK because I don’t generally have the time, but when I do it’s got to be a pasta dish.
D: Spaghetti bolognese and home-made pizza. But there are people that cook way better than me in restaurants so I’d rather eat out.
WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO COOK?
T: My dad – very much so. I should’ve taken more of it in while I was growing up. Last Christmas I got turkey carving honours, which is a seriously big deal in our family.
D: I learnt to cook when I worked in my local country pub. It was literally a rite of passage for kids from the village to work there in the kitchen when they became old enough. It served food and had a big dining room and garden and was very popular. I started by washing up, then helping make the desserts and then actually cooking. I say cooking… I mean mostly deep-frying and operating massive industrial microwaves. It was hard work actually and so busy but so much fun.
WHAT ARE YOUR KITCHEN CUPBOARD MUST-HAVES?
T: Cans of Heinz vegetable soup – I love it.
D: Mango yoghurt from Organic Foods and Café and their wasabi chips, which are great with a glass of vino. And Marmite – very British.
WHAT IS YOUR FOODIE DREAM?
T: Mine is mainly about the location – it has to be eating breakfast on a red-and-white checked table cloth in a restaurant in some European city. Perhaps sitting in the main square in Madrid, watching the world go by, or by the sea in a little town on the south coast of France called Cassis. I’d also be keen to be somewhere in the Italian lakes with the mountains as a backdrop.
D: My dream would be to eat Rivington Grill’s roast dinner every single Saturday without worrying about how much it cost or them ever running out of beef.