Big Issue Vendor

Big Issue chef Ian Duff’s latest recipes are the cream of the crop

The former chef has been sharing lots of his favourite recipes on his Twitter account while off his Bath pitch. This week he whips up a clever carbonara

Big Issue vendor Ian Duff’s delicious, easy-to-make recipes have been helping you stay sated all through lockdown.

The feedback to us here at The Big Issue and on his Twitter account has shown that his creations are becoming family favourites. A few satisfied customers have even suggested a recipe book should be in the offing. “It’s nice to hear the comments,” he admits. And if you follows him on Twitter, he’s happy to offer easy-to-make recipe suggestions if there’s something you want to rustle up.

After providing us with the key to sweet treats last time, it’s back to more hearty fare this week, with a couple of lunch and dinner suggestions.

And there’s yet more handy tips for the kitchen too – this week he can help you avoid injury and he also shows how to utilise rice more effectively.

Carbonara with bacon, mushrooms and tarragon


• 250g spaghetti

• 4 rashers of streaky bacon

• 250g chestnut mushrooms

• 1 clove garlic

• 1tbsp olive oil

• 1 glass white wine

• 1 chicken stock cube

• 100ml double cream

• 100g parmesan cheese

• 6 sprigs of tarragon

• 2 egg yolks


Cook spaghetti in boiling salt water for around 12 minutes.

Slice your bacon into lardons and slice your mushrooms and crush your garlic.

Bring a large frying pan up to a medium to high heat and crisp up your bacon.

Remove bacon and add mushrooms and garlic into the same frying pan.

Add a little olive oil and sauté for a couple of minutes then turn heat to high.

Add the wine and crumble in the stock cube and reduce by half.

Turn heat down to medium, add cream and parmesan and half the chopped tarragon cook for 4-5 minutes until thickened.

Drain your spaghetti and add to your frying pan mix together or toss. Now serve in large bowls.

Sprinkle with the crispy bacon, add the egg yolk in the centre and sprinkle with the remaining tarragon.

Serve to eat. Break the egg yolk and mix in, as this gives a richer taste to the dish.

(Please note I have not used any salt because the parmesan and bacon act as the seasoning)



• 2 cucumbers chopped with skin on

• Half a pint of sour cream

• Half a pint of plain yogurt

• 450ml chicken stock

• A handful of fresh mint chopped

• Salt

• Whipped cream

• Paprika for sprinkle


In a blender puree the chopped cucumber with the sour cream and yogurt.

Add the stock, chopped mint and salt to your taste, stir well to mix.

Chill in your fridge.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of paprika.

Ian’s quick kitchen tips

• This is a must – make sure you sharpen your knives every time you use them. Most cuts happen because of a dull blade

• When you cook rice for a dinner make double and you can keep the rest in the fridge for salads or stir fries. Always eat within 24 hours though and heat until steaming right through.

• Make sure before you fry meat that it is dry by patting down with kitchen paper

• Store your salad greens in a resealable plastic bag with a sheet of kitchen paper – this absorbs the moisture and keeps your greens crisper for longer

Ian Duff is a Big Issue vendor in Bath