Interview with Hilary Sturzaker


You might have heard that we’re shaking up our Dine Out menu this season, and have collaborated with Edinburgh’s leading food connoisseur Hilary Sturzaker, of My Monkfish. Enjoy seasonal dishes from local farmers markets that have been designed by Hilary and our Head Chef, for only £15 for two courses. We checked-in with Hilary to find out a little more about the woman behind the blog…

Tell us where the name MyMonkfish came from?
If I had a pound for every time I got asked this question......! 
Monkfish is a fish that I love, I particularly like the tail for a fragrant Moroccan curry. I like to ‘tell tales’ on the blog so the name kind of came from there. It’s not as interesting a story as I wish it was to be honest!

What does MyMonkfish make for Christmas Dinner?
This Christmas it was full on traditional turkey and all the trimmings. Hope that doesn’t disappoint you! We got all of our meat and veg from one of our favourite farm shops with a few special treats too including an extremely chocolatey chocolate log!

We only really have turkey once a year so we go for it, pigs in blankets, sprouts with chestnuts and pancetta, red cabbage, various stuffings, and ALL the veg. Roast parsnips in honey, celeriac mash (new to the table this year thanks to a chance listen to Mary Berry on the Chris Evans Xmas show), carrots, and lots and lots of crunchy roast potatoes.

Did you overindulge during the holidays? And is there anything food-wise you’re avoiding/cutting down in January?
I probably didn’t over indulge too much to be honest but that’s just me. My lifestyle is a fit and healthy one and I pretty much continued that throughout the festive period with the exception of fine wine, some indulgent dark chocolate and champagne of course! 

What was it that interested you in collaborating with us?
I enjoy working with people who love food as much as I do so having the opportunity to work with the kitchen team at Tigerlily was a real treat for me. The collaboration included visits to the farmers market and the local cheese shop in Stockbridge so there were lots of tasting opportunities and plenty of food chat over numerous coffees. It was a no brainer for me.

When designing the menu, where did you look for inspiration?
At home I like to eat food that has been made from scratch using the best quality ingredients I can afford. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend lots of money and that’s what we are trying to get across with the Dine Out menu. 

If you eat seasonally and shop around you can get good value for money particularly on fruit and veg. We do root veg very well in Scotland and they are abundant during the Winter months. Meat, fish and cheese is where you will spend a bit more money but buy less and do something really special with the key ingredient in your dish. Simplicity is also key so let the ingredients speak for themselves.

Sum Dine Out up in ten words or less.
Unexpectedly affordable seasonal dining from a great kitchen in Edinburgh.


Outside Edinburgh, what is your favourite restaurant?
I love Dishoom but as many people know we are now lucky enough to have one in Edinburgh. My current favourite at the moment is Caravan at Kings Cross for brunch, the best meal of the day for me. Their baked eggs are to die for!


If you could eat at any restaurant, where would it be and what would you have?
My food dream is about to come true as I’m off to L’enclume in March - Simon Rogan’s 3 Michelin star restaurant in Cartmel, the Lake District.  I will definitely be partaking in the tasting menu with matching wines. I’ll get back to you after that and let you know how it was, can’t wait!

For menu details please click here

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