Q&A with Chef Matthew Scully

Published 21 Aug 19 by Caroline

Duckie Loves Fanny on Friday 6 September will be a night of celebration of Fanny Cradock, with an amazing array of dance, cabaret, music and - most importantly - food.

Ahead of the night, we chatted Chef Matthew Scully, who is creating the menu of finger food for the night, which will be presented by 25 identical Fanny Cradock dragsters!

How did you become a chef, what’s your story?

My relationship with food started from a very young age, encouraged by growing up with a grandmother and mother who cooked from scratch every day, made their own bread and carved out their own style as Brits in South Africa.

Later in life, whilst working in a completely different field as a materials and warehouse manager, I decided that I wanted to cook and develop my love of food. Every Saturday and Sunday I ‘staged’ myself in different gastro pubs and restaurants working pro bono to learn professional cookery and service. Working my way up the ranks, I found my first head chef role and stayed for 6 years.

Currently, whilst working as head chef for a large well known organisation, I offer my services as a private chef and consultant to push my creative boundaries.

What excites you about the Duckie Loves Fanny project?

Being able to create a menu based on Fanny Cradock’s eccentricities and adding a modern interpretation to the dishes for this project with a diverse and creative company, Duckie, excites me. What can people expect from the food on the night?

I have created a “10 course canape tasting menu” that will resurrect kitsch 60’s - 80’s Fanny Cradock dishes and bring them into the modern age; dishes packed with flavour with some of the garish colours and styling of the Fanny era. I have also recreated traditionally non-vegan dishes into vegan alternatives mimicking the flavour profile and look for the ultimate plant-based experience.

What inspired you when creating the menu for Duckie Loves Fanny?

I began by researching Fanny Cradock’s recipes and the kitsch dishes of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. But Fanny was not just her food; some of the dishes from the tasting menu started with her life and relationships - from the tastes of alcohol to memorialising (one of) her husbands in “Johnnie’s Mess”. My only regret is not managing a dish that incorporated her penchant for fertilising her tomato plants with her own urine…

What’s your favourite food?

It’s impossible to pin down a single favourite food! My favourite dishes are pretty much anything Asian or middle eastern and these cuisines are a huge influence on my menus. I love everything from the simplicity of fresh sashimi to an elaborate Persian jewelled cous cous.

Want to grab your tickets for the big night?