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Food and Drink

The 5 dishes I can’t live without: chef Zayn Haggerty

Words by Rob Chilton

“Food and memories go hand in hand”, says the chef at The Roost Rotisserie in Al Manara in Dubai.

His mother and his two grandmothers provide much of the inspiration for Haggerty’s quintet of special dishes.

1. Sunday roast

“A staple of my British heritage, the Sunday roast is an all-time classic. Forget Da Vinci and Picasso, and just think about how much time, care, love and attention goes into this culinary masterpiece. For me, the best part of the chicken is the crisp, salted skin served with duck fat roasted potatoes, parsnips, honey roasted carrots, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.”

2. Cheese and pickle roll

“My all-time favourite sandwich, made by my grandma, Nan B. Freshly baked, crusty bread rolls from the baker, butter at room temperature, extra mature cheddar cheese and sweet pickle make an ordinary sandwich a real feast.”

Chef Zayn Haggerty at The Roost in Dubai.


Chef Zayn Haggerty

3. Mackerel pate on toast

“This dish reminds me of hard times. Years ago, money was tight. During a particularly tough week, all I had in the cupboard was a jar of mackerel pate, a loaf of bread, and a cucumber. I didn’t realise it, but these ingredients were made for each other.”

4. Chocolate doughnut

“As a treat, my mum would come home with frozen doughnuts. We didn’t have a microwave so I would put them on top of the radiator to defrost. The wait was excruciating but it was so worth it to taste that warm chocolate doughnut with a wonderful white chocolate ganache oozing from the centre. It’s one of the greatest memories of my childhood.”

The Roost Rotisserie in Dubai.


Freshly cooked chickens are the star dish at The Roost

5. Fruit flan

“Some of my earliest and fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my other grandmother, Nana C. After an early morning trip to the local greengrocer, we would come home with raspberries, strawberries, peaches, kiwis, and grapes. I remember sitting in the kitchen in my Bugs Bunny apron, putting bits of fruit into a freshly baked pastry case made by my grandma.”

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