‘He Can Spot Anything Cheap.’ How Top Chefs Spoil Their Dogs

June 23, 2018, 4:03 PM UTC
Dog Is Licking Lips
Faba-Photograhpy Getty Images

Chefs want us to enjoy their food and are picky about what they serve. An intimate knowledge of ingredients, produce and provenance means they’re more likely to scrutinize what they feed their pup.

So what do they prepare for their four-legged diners? We asked them.

Andrew J. Scott | Sudbury House, Faringdon, England

Dave, seven, is a cross between a rough-coated Terrier and a Shih Tzu. He has a discriminating palate. “We try to do special stuff for him,” says chef Scott. “For his birthday, we did a trio of fish: salmon, cod and tuna, baked in the oven in tinfoil parcels. He prefers fish to meat, especially oily fish. We also made him a birthday cake with special doggy ingredients. He also enjoys turkey mince with a little cheese sprinkled on top, or scrambled egg and rice when he is poorly. He is so fussy, he can spot anything cheap.”

Monica Galetti | Mere, London

Monica Galetti, best known as a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals, owns two dogs: Fynn, a three-year-old brindle Boxer; and Cole, a French Bulldog pup. Both enjoy a sweet treat.

“I freeze them bananas and they love it,” she says. “Sometimes I poach chicken breast to give them a change from dog food. They can smell it and sit there waiting for it. If I am making myself a hard-boiled egg, the boys have one each. They also love apples if I am having some for breakfast.”

Mark Birchall | Moor Hall, Ormskirk, England

Chef Birchall owns a 20-month-old chocolate Labrador called Reggie who enjoys an unusual treat.

“I feed Reggie regular dog food for most meals, but he gets a deer antler to chew on as a special treat,” Birchall says. “It relieves the boredom and the antlers are a great source of calcium and phosphorus. He likes roast chicken or roast beef, too. He loves it. He will eat anything we eat: potatoes, roast carrots, braised cabbage, broccoli.”

Richard Turner | Hawksmoor, London

Richard Turner’s four-year-old is a Pitbull crossed with a Rottweiler who goes by the name of Buster. He’s pretty easy-going but he does have a favorite treat.

“He really likes kefir fermented milk,” says chef and butcher Turner. “I make it for him. You take kefir grains, cover with milk and leave at room temperature for a couple of days. He likes it just as it is, but he is the least fussy dog in the world. We also give him fancy dog food called John Burns. We were advised to get it by a police dog handler. He also likes bone marrow, because I am a butcher.”

Paul Ainsworth | Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow, England

Chef Ainsworth has one rule for the diet of his four-year-old Border Terrier, Flossie: She doesn’t get conventional dog food.

“We changed her diet about two years ago and usually give her lots of raw meat and vegetables,” he says. “As a treat, her absolute favorite is non-spicy chorizo cut up really small with scrambled eggs. She loves it. She’ll also eat what we are eating: Chicken, rabbit, duck. She’s not massive on lamb so we stay away from red meat. Also, loads of broccoli, carrots mixed really finely. She also likes Sea Jerky dried fish skins, the smellier the better.”

Angela Hartnett | Murano, London

Otis, Angela Hartnett’s three-year-old Beagle, has an eating disorder: He compulsively hides his food.

“If we give him a bone or some other treat, he’ll either hide it around the house or bury it in a hole in the garden,” she says. “Dogs are like humans. They are what they eat. Otis was behaving badly and we took him to a trainer who said that feeding him dried food was like giving him crack cocaine. So we switched to Luna & Me, which are frozen patties of raw meat. But he doesn’t always behave, still. I served a steamed treacle pudding the other day, which he sniffed, knocked it off the table and consumed in a minute, the whole lot.”

Henry Harris | The Coach, London

Percy, a six-month-old Cocker Spaniel, has a sophisticated palate.

“He is rather partial to roast chicken or lovely pink-and-white fish sticks,” chef Harris says. “In the main, we buy a kibble that we moisten with warm water or occasionally a light stock. He definitely prefers stock. He is fine with chicken or beef or fish. He’s also partial to buttered asparagus. We were eating it the other day and he jumped up and yanked it off someone’s plate. He won’t be getting that again soon.”

Eric Chavot | Bob Bob Ricard, London

The French chef’s Cocker Spaniel Solo gets poached chicken every day, with no seasoning or sauce. “He absolutely loves it,” Chavot says. “Being the dog of a chef, it is very difficult for him because we cook wonderful things for us, and he knows. You can see his little nose analyzing everything. And he doesn’t want to be on the ground. He wants to be up on a chair, seeing everything that you do.”

Daniel Clifford | Midsummer House, Cambridge, England

The two-Michelin star British chef knows all about feeding dogs. “In France, it was my job to cook for a chef’s Labrador,” Clifford says. “He’d eat a fillet of beef that had to be sauteed. It was glazed in veal stock and you had to add potatoes and carrots.” Clifford’s own Bulldogs, Clifford and Winstone, enjoy nothing more than a Sunday roast but he won’t let them have cauliflower or broccoli because they aggravate their flatulence. They are also partial to a bowl of boiled rice, roasted marrow bones and anything from the restaurant.

Albert Roux | ex-Le Gavroche, London

Canelou, a four-year-old-Labrador, loves beef Wellington. At least, I hope she does. When I invited her owner, chef Albert Roux, to Bob Bob Ricard restaurant for lunch recently, he took a large part of our £89 ($120) dish home for her. “Every time I have a lunch like today’s, I always leave a little bit for her,” he says. “When I go back, I say, ‘What have I got for you, darling?’ I love my dog. I call her my mistress, because when my wife is away, she jumps onto the bed, puts her head on the pillow and sleeps all night.”

Theo Randall | Theo Randall, London

The British chef’s Labrador twins, Maude and Evie, aged five, will eat anything, from chili to raw garlic. “Whenever I am cooking, they lie on the floor for any scrap,” Randall says. But their regular diet is Basil’s Dog Food, a raw mash up of meat, vegetables and ground bones, all from British farms.