London-born chef and author, David Everitt-Matthias has been head chef and co-owner of two Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage with wife Helen, since 1987. During his extensive career, David gained invaluable experience under renowned Chef Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, where he developed his French-style technique. He moved to become Head Chef of Grand Café, as well as at Steamers Fish Restaurant and Fingals Restaurant Putney, only to open his restaurant ten years later.

Over the years Le Champignon Sauvage has received a plethora of accolades: 2014 Good Food Guide Chef of the Year, 2013 Observer Food Monthly ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award, 2007 Catey Chef of the Year, 2006 BMW Square Meal Restaurant of the Year, as well as retaining two Michelin stars since 2000.

Known for his creative use of local ingredients, many of which he and Helen forage themselves, Chef Everitt-Matthias’ chestnut soup recipe is sure to keep the cold at bay as well as offering a sophisticated taste of nature this Christmas.

Chestnut Soup

Serves 6


50g duck fat

120g onions, chopped

l00g white of leek, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

30g smoked bacon, chopped

1/2 sprig of thyme

1/2 bay leaf

500g peeled chestnuts

15ml sherry vinegar

15ml Cognac

1.25 litres chicken stock (pages 23–24)

250ml milk

100g unsalted butter, diced


Melt the duck fat in a thick-bottomed saucepan and heat till good and hot. Add all the vegetables and the smoked bacon and cook, covered, until the vegetables are translucent. Add the herbs and chestnuts and cook for 3 minutes, then pour in the vinegar and cook, stirring, until evaporated. Repeat with the Cognac and then add the stock and milk. Bring to the boil and cook for 45 minutes on a slow simmer.

Purée the soup in a blender and pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Reheat gently, whisk in the butter a little at a time and season to taste.