After the “seismic shift” from full-time chef to TV cook does Tebbutt ever miss the adrenaline rush of restaurant life?

Not really, is the answer: “I’m 48 at Christmas. Your average head chef is 25 now, so it is very much a young guy’s game because of the nature of the job and the hours.”

The chef’s telly gig also inspired his new book, Weekend, taking readers from Friday nights when you want “something tasty, but you don’t want to be too fussed with it”, through to brunches, big Sunday lunches, and puddings to impress guests.

With the British chef offering his take on everything from marinated roast lamb and French onion soup to dim sum dumplings and South African bunny chow curry, it’s a wonderfully international mix.

Tebbutt believes both chefs and home cooks “don’t have to stay in one lane, as it were. You can sort of dip in from here and there and everywhere. And some of the most delicious dishes are, you know, a bowl of miso soup with some salmon dropped in, fresh ginger and stuff like that.”

Duck massaman curry


(serves 4)

For the curry paste:

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

1tsp Thai fermented shrimp paste

30g (1oz) toasted peanuts, chopped

1 banana shallot, chopped

1 thumb-sized piece root ginger, chopped

2 lemongrass sticks, outer skin removed and core chopped

2tsp tamarind paste

Pinch of ground mace

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground cinnamon

2tsp palm sugar

2tbsp fish sauce

1tsp ground coriander

1tsp ground cumin

2 whole cloves

For the duck curry:

2 duck breasts, skin removed and skin frozen for at least 40 minutes, meat chopped into 1cm (½ in) dice

2tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

3 cardamom pods

1 large potato, diced

3tbsp curry paste (from the recipe above)

1tbsp palm sugar

400ml (14fl oz) coconut milk

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

2tbsp chopped coriander

50g (1¾oz) roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Steamed jasmine rice (cook 60–70g (2¼–2½oz per person)


1. Put all the ingredients for the curry paste into a food processor and blend to a fairly smooth paste.

2. Remove the duck skin from the freezer and cut very thinly using a sharp knife. Heat a small pan over a high heat. When hot, add the duck skin and cook, stirring, until crispy. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. For the duck curry, heat a medium sauté pan over a medium heat, then add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and the spices and cook, stirring, until soft – this should take about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, curry paste and palm sugar.

4. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer it gently over a low heat until the potatoes are just tender when tested with the tip of a sharp knife, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the duck meat and continue to simmer for five to six more minutes over a low heat. Don’t let it boil or the meat will become tough. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

6. Spoon the curry into serving bowls and garnish with the chopped coriander and peanuts, then top with the crispy duck skin. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Warm halloumi with watermelon, Parma ham and herbs


(serves 2)

1 x 250g (9oz) block good-quality halloumi cheese, still in its packet

2 slices of stale crusty bread, torn into chunks

2tbsp sherry vinegar

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 thick slices of watermelon, cut into 8cm (3in) chunks

4 slices of Parma ham

½ small bunch of mint leaves

1 handful of basil leaves

1 handful of flatleaf parsley leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil then add the halloumi, still in its plastic packet. Turn down the heat and let the cheese simmer for 20 minutes to warm through and soften. Remove from the water and allow to cool before opening.

2. While the halloumi is cooling, put the bread chunks in a bowl and drizzle over the sherry vinegar and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Allow to sit and soak for 10 minutes, then toss together. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the watermelon and season with salt and pepper.

3. Arrange the watermelon chunks on a serving dish, lay the ham slices on top, then scatter over the mint, basil and parsley. Open the packet of halloumi and drain off the liquid. Tear the halloumi into chunks and add to the salad to serve.

Apricot Linzer torte


(serves 10-12)

175g (6oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

40g (1½oz) caster sugar

115g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened

2 medium free-range egg yolks, beaten

380g (13½oz) apricot jam

6tbsp raspberry jam

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

8–12 whole blanched almonds

To serve:

2tbsp icing (confectioners’) sugar (optional)

Custard or single (light) cream


1. To make the pastry, put the flour, spices and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks, mixing well with a wooden spoon to just bring the pastry dough together. Alternatively you can put the flour, spices and sugar in a food processor, then add the egg yolks and pulse to bring the pastry dough together. Wrap the dough in cling film (plastic wrap) and chill for at least one hour in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.

3. Cut off one third of the chilled pastry and set aside to make the lattice top.

4. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the larger piece of pastry to a three millimetre thickness and use it to line a 23–25 centimetre tart tin.

5. Make the lattice for the top by rolling out the reserved pastry on a floured surface to a three millimetre thickness. Cut it into 12 strips of 25 centimetres long and about one centimetre wide.

6. Use the apricot jam to fill the pastry case and lay the pastry strips over the top one by one to form a neat lattice pattern. Trim the edges.

7. Put the raspberry jam in a bowl with the lemon zest and juice, mix well, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

8. Pipe the jam into alternate squares of the lattice top. On each square of the lattice now filled with jam, place a blanched almond for decoration. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.

9. If you want to add a pretty touch for serving, dust the torte with icing sugar. Serve sliced with homemade custard or single cream.

Weekend by Matt Tebbutt, photography by Chris Terry, is published by Quadrille. Available now.