The Lockhart & Shotgun’s Brad McDonald, Grilled!
Mississippi born chef, Brad McDonald heads up southern American restaurants Shotgun and The Lockhart in London. The US chef previously worked under John Currence at The City Grocery, Alain Ducasse, Per Se and Noma. His ‘deep south’ dishes are fundamentally contemporary, innovative and well crafted.
Not content with two restaurants and a book, he also sells 1235 Donuts from his very Instagramable doorstep on Columbia Road on Saturday mornings. Plus, he’s hosting a lunch feasting event with Tabl at Shotgun on Saturday 23 April 2016, where he’ll be bringing the kitchen into the dining room – slicing brisket, pulling pork, and splitting ribs before your eyes! Buy your tickets here.
If money was no object, what kind of restaurant would you open and where?
The question should be ‘if money and time were no object…’ There’s a place in the mountains of Tennessee called Blackberry Farm. I did a short stage there a long, long. long time ago when I was inbetween jobs. It’s a place where the essence of Southern hospitality is distilled to near perfection. The reputation is flawless and the setting is breathtaking. I’d like to do something like that, anywhere in the pastoral south that’s not too far from the coast. The problem is, I don’t have the guts to leave the city any more now than I did then.
If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Could I just narrow it down to a genre? If so – tacos. If I had to be specific, either classic Al Pastor or Chorizo Y Papas Salsa verde for both, please.
What do you keep on your bedside table?
All of the books I’m currently reading, which at the moment are three travel guides for Japan and a book on the Carolina rice kitchen.
When is the last time you had a McDonald’s?
Honestly, I can’t remember. It was probably the last time I was on the road traveling in the US, where often there can be little other choice (though I will always hold out for a Chic Fil A instead) Here’s something you might not guess, but I’ve never eaten McDonald’s hamburger. Ever.
What is your career Plan B?
I sold my motorbike last year out of the single fear that if I came home without an arm or a leg as a cause of a crash that I would have to find another way to feed my family. That’s as far as I’ve gotten with Plan B – extra insurance on Plan A.
What is your favourite dish from your restaurants to cook at home?
Jambalaya. You can’t imagine how tasty this dish is as a cold leftover. The leftover factor is huge when it comes to cooking at home – never underestimate how a dish can mature in your fridge overnight.
Is there any food that you can’t stand?
Ketchup – this is not some altruistic answer against processed food. I’ve always hated it, as far back as my memory goes. Long live mayo.
Do you have any recurring dreams?
None that I wish to talk about 🙂
Who would be your ideal dinner date?
When you’re married with kids, there’s only one answer to that. The appreciation you take from cooking for your family trumps any feeling of professional accomplishment. It’s ground zero for passing on your culture.
What is the one object you can’t do without?
A good pen. I just can’t suffer to write with a plain old Bic. I’m very specific about what I use to write with.
Pre-order Brad’s book – ‘Deep South – New Southern Cooking’ on Amazon now.