I’ll barbecue in any weather; I’ve even done it in the Alps in winter. It’s probably to do with my upbringing because I’m from Western Australia where we had to barbecue a lot. I say ‘had to’ because I grew up in a little town that got stinking hot in summer, and our house had no air con. We only had a really old-fashioned combustion stove, which meant we had to build a fire to cook. If you wanted a hot dinner and the stove was lit, no one could bear to be inside; honestly, the house turned into a sauna. So instead, mum would prep a salad out of something growing in the garden, and we’d sit outside and light the barbecue. It was a bit more caveman than I’d like, but it was a case of do or die.
My Wilderness Festival menu is made up of dishes that started off as ideas and have evolved over time. I thought they’d be good ones to use for the festival because I’ve done food in so many weird locations around the world, and I think it’s a very cool thing to bring Japanese cuisine, or my version of it, to that kind of setting. For Wilderness, it’s really all down to the preparation: we’ll do all the hard work back at the restaurant, like the slow cooking and the marinating, so that when it comes to serving, it’ll just be a matter of doing a couple of bits and pieces, and bang, it’s gone.
The chef's Wilderness menu
Scott Hallsworth will be at the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, UK, on Friday August 8.