Anna Hansen Says It’s Not Fun Boiling a Pig’s Head
New Zealand chef Anna Hansen, 45, who worked with Michelin-starred Fergus Henderson and fusion expert Peter Gordon before opening her own London restaurant, The Modern Pantry, talks with the Independent about music to make pastry by and the horrors of boiling a pig’s head.
“Henderson taught me how to do simple food well,” Hansen says. “I worked at his French House Dining Room when I first arrived in England, and saw how he used just a few ingredients. One of my favourites was rabbit and mustard braised with almonds, shallots and garlic: delicious with boiled potatoes.
“Boiling a pig’s head isn’t much fun. I had to do it to make brawn [jellied pig’s head]. The lips curl back, and it looks kind of sinister – like the pig is sneering at you.”
Hansen says she likes to sing when she’s making pastry.
“There’s more brain space with that sort of work compared to cooking – so I’ll put on a Kiwi band such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, or even play Pink Floyd’s The Wall and sing the whole album.”
Hansen has collaborated with gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective to launch a limited-edition rhubarb, vanilla & lemongrass yoghurt to raise money for Action Against Hunger, for which she is an ambassador
Original article by Adam Jacques, The Independent, July 26, 2015.