It was only a few weeks back that we were talking about chef Mark Poynton defending salt as a necessary ingredient in many dishes, but already another chef has come forward saying the same thing.
Owner and chef, Nathan Outlaw, of two Michelin star restaurant Nathan Outlaw http://www.nathan-outlaw.com/ based in Rock, Cornwall, believes that salt is a necessary flavour enhancer to dishes. “The flavours of a dish could be compromised if we didn’t use salt, as it is used as a flavour enhancer. For me, as a fish and seafood specialist, it is essential in my kitchen. Also, I’m currently offering cured and raw dishes on my menu, which require salt in order to complete the process.”
Does Outlaw think that customers would accept no salt within his kitchen? Most certainly not! “Whilst using no salt would provide an interesting comparison, I don’t believe that customers would accept it. It would be interesting to see the effect on customers though.” And he should know. Starting out his career at just 8 years old where he helped out his father who was also a chef during breakfast service, Outlaw has worked with the late Peter Kromberg, Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein.
Outlaw is a keen believer in adding salt during the cooking process, but he doesn’t think that this should extend to a customer’s table. “In our two Michelin starred fine dining restaurant, salt is not placed on tables. Rarely do fine dining customers ask for it. We are confident enough of the skill of our chefs that they season correctly and that it is acceptable to our customers. We do offer salt on the table at our A la Carte Restaurants, but we try to encourage our customers to rely on the chefs’ skills before reaching for the salt shaker automatically.”
With Nathan Outlaw also fighting salt’s corner when it comes to good food, hopefully it might start a springboard action with people starting to understand the importance of salt in cooking.