A Chef Reveals What’s In Their Weekly Food Shop
A Chef Reveals What’s In Their Weekly Food Shop

A Chef Reveals What’s In Their Weekly Food Shop


Londoners will know Brindisa, the Borough Market institution that took the capital's Spanish cuisine scene to the next level. In search of fresh supermarket inspiration, we asked its founder Monika Linton to share her weekly staples. From tapas snacks to Spanish cheeses, here’s what she buys on repeat.


Salsify: Not something you see on every shelf, but I like to hunt this down when it’s in season. I like to make Jeremy Lee’s recipe of baked salsify wrapped in pastry and finished with Galmesan cheese. The perfect aperitivo.

Quinces: I love poached quince. It’s also delicious in a winter compote – there’s a great recipe for this in Adrian and Michael Daniel’s vegetarian cookbook, The Gate.

Dried porcini mushrooms: If you love mushrooms, these elevate everything from pasta and risotto to nut loafs. I like to make Deborah Madison’s cheese and nut loaf from her Greens Cookbook.

Dried muscatel grapes: Otherwise known as ‘chatos’ on the vine, these are delicious paired with cheese. 

Chestnuts: Not just a festive staple, they add texture and lots of flavour to dishes. A great addition to a winter veggie soup.


Anchovies: I buy these cured and pickled, and always have multiple varieties in the fridge for tapas or sauces as they add depth and flavour.

Smoked salmon: A real treat, I buy sashimi-grade salmon from London Smoke & Cure. The team smokes the fish at its in-house smoke room in Streatham.

Cheese: Some of my favourite cheeses include Lincolnshire Poacher made from whey butter, which is delicious on toast at breakfast and with anchovies later; Vacherin Mont D’or which has a wonderful flavour; 11-month Artisan Manchego 1605 made from sheep’s milk; Musgo Lavado, which is an unusual but outstanding cheese made with washed-rind goat’s milk; and Torta de Barros from Extremadura – the perfect sharing and dipping cheese. I also have French cream cheese or goat’s curd for any last-minute cheesecake urges.

Clean bean tofu: This is an excellent variety of tofu that’s firm in texture and has more flavour than most. I pick it up fresh from Borough Market.

Burgos black pudding: This gets pan fried for anyone in my household wanting a hearty breakfast. We sell one that’s made with rice and infused with cumin. 


New-season pulses: These include pardina lentils, Galician fabas and ganxet beans. In our household, we eat legumes every day.

Jars of fried tomato sauce: It’s hard to find affordable, flavoursome tomatoes in winter, so this becomes very useful in sauces, pasta dishes and more. 

Rye bread: Maya’s Bakehouse in Tulse Hill has the most delicious selection of bread, as does The Snapery Bakery in Bermondsey – the buttermilk rye is particularly good with smoked salmon. 

Bitter orange marmalade: When the house is full, we get through a lot of this, so I make a big batch to make sure we don’t run out. It’s also useful if you want to make a quick cake. 

Catalan bouquet garnis: Fresh or dry, this is a little bundle of herbs, usually featuring thyme, parsley, bay leaf and marjoram. It’s invaluable for every braise and bean pot – I usually buy a tub of 40 at a time! 

Aged soy sauce: I buy this from Vallebona as I’m making my way through the collection. Each one is full of flavour, from the nagara tamari to the tsurubishio.


Sarriegui crisps: We stock these at Brindisa because they’re so delicious. They’re pure potato and olive oil – no other flavour needed. 

Blanched Marcona almonds: I bake these fresh in the oven for 8 minutes at 180°C. You don’t need any salt – just enjoy as they are. 

Empeltre olive paste: This is packed full of flavour. Perfect in dips and dressings or spread on crackers for tapas. 

Soft turron: This is a type of nougat that’s soft in texture and isn’t too sweet as it’s made with honey instead of sugar.

Manzanilla olives: Perelló is one of my favourite brands. I also love the gordal olives which come in a 2kg tin. 

Bombay mix: Because it’s so good. Simple, tasty and moreish.


Vanilla pods: I have a stash of these for puddings and baking. 

Fish fillets: I don’t have too many items in the freezer, but I like to have a selection of fish fillets for quick, healthy meals – halibut, haddock, seabass and so on. 

Pan de coca halves: These are a lifesaver when you can’t get to the shop. Simply pop them in the oven for a freshly baked loaf. 

Iberico meats: If I’m planning a special meal, I’ll have a selection of these in the freezer – mainly cheeks and presa cuts. 


Recondita Armonia: This is a sweet red dessert wine and a great alternative to port. It’s fruity, juicy and has beautiful acidity.

Colet Gran Cuvée Extra Brut: This is a top-end cava that’s so drinkable. If we’re going all out, though, it has to be Champagne Laurent Hostomme Blanc De Blancs

Crianza, Cillar de Silos: This is an excellent Spanish Ribera Del Duero. The perfect medium-bodied red. At the other end of the scale, I also love a fresh white such as a Terras Gauda or Godello Quinta Do Sil.

Kernel Brewery beer: My favourite from this Bermondsey brewery is the refreshing Table Beer. For anyone not drinking, I’ll stock up on Lucky Saint Alcohol-Free Lager.

Hayman's Gin: You can’t go wrong with a glug of this and a splash of Fever-Tree tonic water at almost any time of day or night.

Mother Root Ginger: Another non-alcoholic favourite that’s zingy and refreshing.

Vichy Catalan water: This is a true survival drink. On special occasions I’ll order three large cases so we’re fully stocked up.


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