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Flavour Profile: Matthew Korecki, owner of Bundits of Leith, Edinburgh

The owner of this bao restaurant answers our food questions

What’s your favourite ingredient?

This one is surprisingly simple. My favourite ingredient by a mile is paprika. I find it adds that little special something flavour-wise. Honestly, there isn't a dish that I have cooked in the last few years where I haven't considered adding paprika. Luckily I don't bake.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Yes, mackerel in a spicy tomato sauce. There’s nothing wrong with that, I know, but guilt comes when you find yourself finishing the fourth tin. I'm also not indifferent to sweets, which I always buy for my kids, of course.

Tell us about your first food memory

My first food memory is not a good one. It’s of eating a cold pasta dish with creamy cherry sauce. Barf! I hated it. I used to genuinely cry when I found out that it was being served for lunch at school. Being able to choose what you eat is definitely an underrated perk of adulthood.

What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?

My favorite Scottish place is The Piper’s Rest in Edinburgh. They serve amazing food and there’s great atmosphere. The Cullen skink served in a bread bowl is outstanding. Fhior is incredible and there’s Restaurant Martin Wishart for a very special occasion, whenever I receive a gift voucher from my foodie head chef.

What would be your last supper?

It would have to be Polish bigos. It’s a hunter’s stew made with sauerkraut, meat and smoked sausage. Yummy! It's not quite a Michelin dish, but it most definitely is a comfort staple.

Starter or pudding? 

Starter, definitely starter. Pudding is a mixed bag experience. Usually I find myself too full by the time I have it and I’m not enjoying it as much as I should.

Do you have any food hates?

Only one, as I'm not a picky eater and will try anything. However, tinned sweetcorn has no place in my house. I tried to like it, but it's mission impossible. I gave up.

What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner party and who would you invite?

We’d have French onion soup followed by a main course of beef Wellington, then a chocolate orange fondant. I would invite my family and the people I love.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

Spain, Spain, Spain. I love the food there. Everywhere I go is delicious. My wife is from Madrid, so I'm very fortunate to dine out there quite a lot and I always leave inspired and full of ideas. I find the food there quite unapologetic, and usually incredible in its simplicity. Maybe that's where my paprika obsession comes from?

Bundits of Leith (48-52 Constitution Street, Edinburgh) has teamed up with Scottish-Canadian comedian and writer Heather Jordan Ross to launch their first Do-Gooders Comedy Night on November 6 at 7.30pm. Tickets for the event are £8, with all proceeds going to AUGB (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain Edinburgh), see

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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