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cookhouse Soho House Food Magazine

as american as...

autumn 2011

WORKING how to make American classics EATING fishing for supper PLAYING serious chefs with serious hobies

a taste... 4 DIGEST THIS

Soho House’s rising star chefs, kids cooking, chefs’ trips and all the news from around the Group

Autumn 2011

Welcome to the autumn 2011 issue of Cookhouse, the Soho House food magazine for chefs and people who love to eat This magazine celebrates the food philosophy of all the Soho House Group restaurants worldwide: Soho House New York, Babington House in Somerset, Soho House West Hollywood, Soho Beach House Miami, Soho House Berlin and Cecconi’s in LA, as well as all the London sites: Pizza East, Pizza East Portobello Cecconi’s, Dean Street Town House, Shoreditch House, The Electric, Cafe Boheme, BKB, High Road House in Chiswick, Hoxton Grill and Soho House. If you’re interested in joining one of our kitchens email In this issue we’re focusing on food in America and taking a look at what our chefs are cooking Stateside. We’re also finding out about what chefs get up to in their spare time, taking a fishing trip with the Babington crew, baking focaccia with Grey Goose vodka and getting all the news from the Soho House Group worldwide.

Tuck in! Editor Rebecca Seal Art etc. Dominic Salmon

ylan Murray, Caroline Boucher, thanks to Dan Flower, Kat Hartigan, D hew Armistead, Ronnie Bonetti, Jessica Hopkins, Thomas Lennard, Matt Greenlees, Paul Gerard, Shelley t t a M , Carolina Cavaliere, Jon Pollard avaliere, Dave Green, Stephen Armistead, Maurilio Molteni, Andrea C ta Tonkin, Eliot Sandiford, Lilaj Battis

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on loving New head chef of Dean Street Townhouse, Dave Green, cabernet sauvignon vinegar and not liking heights

COOKHOUSE NETWORK Meet Michelle Bernstein, a new friend for Cookhouse from Miami


ON TOUR Catch up with chef Markus Pieterse as he finishes his Cookhouse tour at SHNY and moves to West Hollywood


AMERICAN PIE What is American food and how did it evolve? We take a look at how history and migration have influenced Soho House’s menus in the USA



What do chefs get up to in their spare time? We quiz three to find out




Cookhouse teams up with Grey Goose vodka to make focaccia and matching aperitifs from their special French wheat


The Babington House team go fishing...with nothing but beer to survive on if they don’t catch supper



A delicious partridge recipe from Franklins restaurant in Dulwich

Rookie cookies Kids all over the world have been learning how to cook with Soho House Group chefs. At Soho House West Hollywood, chef Jake kitted out a gang of wannabe chefs in adult-sized chef white shirts and taught them (and their lucky parents) how to treat pizza dough and then garnish it. The resulting pizzas were a huge success. Meanwhile at Shoreditch House the treats were sweet as kids gathered round chef Michal to learn how to make cookies, and again, parents were there to benefit from the end results. (They claimed they were just there to supervise...but we’re not so sure...)

Kids get in on the cooking action at Soho House West Hollywood

And at Soho House New York the city’s kids got in on the action as they learnt to make and decorate cupcakes. Yum!


food news from around the world

Elmer pantry After the refurbishment of the Electric and opening of Pizza East Portobello in West London, it was time for the state-siders to get a bit of the love: first up Soho House New York, where there is now a whole new space for staff and members to enjoy – the Pantry Bar. The menu will change frequently but things like Scotch eggs, pork rolls, quiche, pates, daily sandwich specials and cheese plates will feature in this gorgeous, casual space.

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The New York team has also been busy throwing parties all summer – on Bastille day they celebrated France, drinking rose and pastis and roasting a lamb on the roof, all to a soundtrack of (mostly) fabulous French pop. Then at the end of August they let their hair down with a pool party on the roof. Pool volleyball and special burgers by the crew at Ruby’s Cafe

The new Pantry in NYC and Paul Gerard and team BBQ on the roof

were a perfect summer combo...

Yes, I’m gonna be a star

Rising Stars: meet autumn ’s kitchen heroes Soho House Berlin

Head chef Simone Gobbo sa ys: “Johannes Happe start ed as commis in the production kitchen on day one of Soho House Berl in, receiving deliveries and doing prep jobs for all the other sec tions. He’s very patient and fast, full of energy and he never goes home on time, only when all the jobs are done . He always puts a lot of effort into any task I give him.”

Soho House West Hollywood

Head chef Matthew Armiste ad says: “James Drye is my assistant pastry chef. Dolores, the head pa stry chef, has taken an ex tended leave of absence and James has bee n running the station wh ile she’s been away. He’s a great guy and very calm and collected.”

Babington House

Head chef Ronnie Bonetti says: “Jessica Marshall ha s been with us just under two years. She is great at everything sh e does, and a good friend to have on th e team. She does all the sec tions beautifully, with real ca re. It’s nice to have a girl on the team as well!”

Soho House New York

Head chef Paul Gerard says : “Zach Cooper is terrific. He’s junior sous chef and born ‘n’ bred in Brooklyn this kid is bound to be a bona fide bad-ass. He buzzes around the kitchen like a worker bee, and has the skills to be a topof-the-line chef!”

High Road House

Head chef Devon Boyce says : “Slawomir Lachowski is a Soho House rising sta r! He started here at High Road house in Septem ber 2007 and has been a strong part of the brasser ie team since then. He is currently junior sous and has grown massively in the last few years. He knows the meaning of “cracking on” and is alwa ys positive no matter what. He stays calm under pressure and always delivers food of high qual ity. He has a great future ahead of him. I’m lu cky to have him here.”

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We’ve had more Cookhouse events than ever taking place around the sites – it’s not just kids who get to learn new skills. In Shoreditch head chef Maurilio Molteni has been showcasing his topnotch pasta-making skills with linguine, ravioli and lasagne on the menu, while Michal (thanks to Grey Goose) has been teaching members how to make his delicious summer bites. In New York, head chef Paul Gerard showed a crowd of hungry guests how to make Cajun jambalaya (he lived in New Orleans for years and knows the best techniques). His next class is all about tacos. Chef and health coach Seema Shah also popped by the House to show chefs and members how to make amazing raw salads and dressings – perfect food for New York’s sizzling summer. In Miami, chef Sergio Sigala has risked the wrath of his entire family and has given away his grandmother’s secret gnocchi recipe. In LA Andrea Cavaliere showed members how to make perfect cicchetti (tiny taster bits of Italian classic dishes) and over in Berlin, Simone Gobbo gave German locals his tasty take on the same. Above and left: chefs and members get cooking

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Down on the farm

Chefs from Cecconi’s in LA spent a sunny day at Somis Farm in California. Somis Farm is part of Underwood Family Farms, who are committed to rearing animals and growing fresh produce sustainably. The chefs got to learn more about farming techniques – and even managed to get a ride on a tractor.

Cecconi’s chefs at Somis Farm


Led by executive chef Andrea Cavaliere, the LA team is heading to the Toronto Film Festival to host a pop-up version of Soho House. If you’re lucky enough to be there, look forward to salt cod croquettes, lobster and mascarpone ravioli, Kobe beef sliders and artichoke and burrata crostinis, all served as bites. Then for dinner there will be goodies like salt-baked wild salmon or prime tagliata steak and ricotta cheesecake for pud. We’re booking our flights out now...

Specially designed dishes for the Toronto Film Festival

stay regular

Part of the Soho House philosophy is making its members feel as if they’re in a home away from home, whatever venue around the world they might find themselves in. So, while local inspiration and produce is still really important, there are certain things on the menu you’ll find that are just the same in London, LA or Berlin – the House Regulars. These classic dishes have just been redeveloped and refined. Look out for the best macaroni cheese, perfect burgers, Soho-style fish and chips, chicken paillard, club sandwich and steak, wherever you are.

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what i know Dave Green, 37, Head Chef, Dean Street Townhouse

I was always a keen cook when I was a kid. I used to help both my mother and grandmother with baking, but I didn’t actually consider it as a career until I worked in a few pubs and realised I liked the kitchen side of it. I still love to bake now, even though I don’t get a lot of time to do it! When I worked for Chris Galvin at Mezzo he taught me a lot about classical French techniques, which was massively important, but (and I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché) my favourite cuisine to cook is modern British. It’s a bit of everything from Europe thrown in but with an English twist and English ingredients, which is exactly what we do at Dean Street. When I’m putting a menu together I tend to start with a list of seasonal ingredients and work from there. It’s a great time now because we’re at the start of the game season, which is definitely my favourite. Each piece of game is very different; grouse doesn’t taste like anything else at all and is one of those things that if you get right is going to be absolutely amazing.

As long as you’ve got working stoves, you can adapt to most things in the kitchen but one ingredient that is my ultimate must have is Cabernet Sauvignon red vinegar. Using that instead of normal vinegar will make your dishes taste amazing. That’s my best chef secret I think. I probably shouldn’t have given it away…

“Grouse doesn’t taste like anything else at all and is one of those things that if you get right is going to be absolutely amazing.”

One of the biggest satisfactions that comes with my job is running a good kitchen: making sure the chefs working in it are happy is just as important as making good food. It used to be just about cooking the food but it’s all about the whole package now, which is better. Managing the numbers and the stock you learn very quickly: managing the people is the hard thing. You really do have to treat everybody differently. Understanding a particular person’s personality and how they react and then adapting your management to that is one of the harder lessons I’ve learned.

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Outside the kitchen, the only thing I don’t like is heights. My younger brother is a fireman who loves heights and constantly challenges me to do extreme things like abseil off Table Mountain and so, of course, I’ve always got to do it. I’m always glad I’ve done it afterwards but the couple of hours beforehand aren’t usually much fun!

“That’s my best chef secret I think. I probably shouldn’t have given it away…”

Dave Green


to find out more about how you could become part of the Soho House Group team contact

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friends of cookhouse

Michelle Bernstein The Cookhouse Network now includes Michelle Bernstein, a multi-award winning chef from Miami who has two restaurants – Michy’s and SAR Martinez. She guest-cheffed at Soho Beach House Miami this summer and we are lucky enough to have her top tips and trade secrets.

Cookhouse runs a programme for chefs who’d like to work abroad. Every year a few of the best chefs from the group get the chance to move between UK sites to American ones. Meet Markus Pieterse, sous chef, who has just completed his first stint in America at Soho House New York and is about to move to Soho House West Hollywood.

WHAT MADE YOU START COOKING IN THE FIRST PLACE? My love of eating and wanting to be with my mom in the kitchen. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENT TO COOK WITH? Sea urchin. WHAT THREE QUALITIES DOES A CHEF NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL? Humility, discipline and tenacity.

Michelle Bernstein at Soho Beach House

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL A YOUNG CHEF JUST STARTING OUT? Keep your head down, focus, don’t talk, just listen and take notes. And only work where you would eat. WHAT WAS THE GREATEST COOKERY ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN AND BY WHOM? “Cook with abandon”, said Jean Louis Palladin. [Palladin was a great chef who helped bring French food to American kitchens.]

“Only work where you would eat”

DO YOU HAVE ANY FOODIE GUILTY PLEASURES? Of course! I LOVE CHIPS of every kind. I try and stay away from them, especially the kind that make your fingers orange!

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Cookhouse circuit on tour

“I have been here in New York for almost seven months now. I started at the beginning of March and I’ve enjoyed my time. It has been a challenge to work in a big operation that has so many aspects to it, but the challenge is what makes it fun.

Markus Pieterse

“I’m up for new challenges, and seeing different styles of doing things”

Now, I’m very much looking forward to LA. I’m up for new challenges and seeing different ways of doing things. Just to be here is great. I’ve learnt a lot, from new dishes and cooking styles, to things people take as common knowledge here such as the measuring system (it’s difficult going from metric to US cups and ounces). I have also seen a lot of different management styles and out of that have learnt how to better manage and how not to manage people and situations. I met my girlfriend in the first few months of working here and have made several very good friends that I hope to stay in touch with.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT? My spoon. It doesn’t even have a brand and it’s really old.

One of the most memorable events was being offered the chance to work at the James Beard House with chef Andrea and the team. It was a great honour to get an opportunity to work in a place where some of the biggest names in the industry have worked.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT? That’s impossible to answer. It depends on the day and my mood. I love Raku and Bartolotta, both in Las Vegas, Le Bernardin in NYC, Nobu in Miami, Hy Vong in Miami...There are sooo many places – this list could be 500 deep.

Plus, we have done a few really interesting things like the July BBQ Sundays where there would be a six-foot BBQ on the roof with a theme from a different country each week. We have also done whole lamb, spitroasted on the roof.

HOW DO YOU RELAX? I don’t relax much but my husband and I love to travel and hike and swim and hang out with our puppies.

I think the Cookhouse circuit is a great opportunity for chefs to learn different styles of cooking, work with different produce and experience a new country at the same time. It has enriched my food knowledge vastly. I hope to continue learning more every step of the way.”

WHAT’S YOUR TOP TRICK OF THE TRADE? Mascarpone makes risotto even creamier, a touch of lemon brings out the flavour in everything and dashi broth is awesome for poaching vegetables.

Find out more about Michelle Bernstein here:


to find out more about how you could become part of the Soho House Group team contact

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for amber waves of grain

USA!USA! This issue we’re taking a look at American food: what it is, and how Soho House’s chefs in America manage to take often humble foods to new heights...but without making things too complicated

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“Classic American food is easy to perceive as predictable. The world over knows the burger, mac ‘n’ cheese and the almighty fried chicken” International politics gave America its food over the last two centuries. As wars and economics forced or encouraged people from all over the world to seek their fortunes in the USA, they brought their favourite dishes with them. Hamburgers travelled railroad with Germans while pasta came with Italians. Chinese noodles and workers brought their knowledge of spices, rice and ved with Japanese Mexicans introduced burritos and tortillas. Sushi arri East Asian food immigrants just after the Second World War and South . took off as refugees fled the Vietnam war in the 1970s produce. The The new foods then evolved to suit local tastes and Japan; Tex-Mex is California sushi roll was invented a long way from cheese with New York less spicy than food south of the border and mac ‘n’ Today, many of the cheddar isn’t the medieval formaggio dish it once was. the result of this dishes on Soho House’s menus in the US and Europe are mixing of culinary cultures. ican food, but Because of all this mingling, it’s hard to define Amer ally American. there are ways in which food is served that are typic ins: “American food Andrea Cavaliere, executive chef US kitchens, expla se of the Irish and is thought of as being served in huge portions becau ally, before they Italians,” he says. “Because they were starving, liter with their clothes arrived, once they had success they began to show off, and the amount of food they could afford.” C O O K H O U S E 1 4

for amber waves of grain as Italian are On the flip side, lots of dishes that are thought of “People think of actually as close to being American as food can be: actually they were Caesar salad or chicken parmigiana as Italian – but serves traditional created by immigrants right here,” says Andrea (who , for example, Italian dishes in Cecconi’s LA and Miami). Caesar salad Caesar Cardini, was probably invented in the 1920s, by an Italian chef, a is a hybrid of working in San Diego and Tijuana. Chicken parmigian or New York in the dishes from all over Italy invented in New Jersey taste of the USA, 1930s. (By the way, if you’re in the UK and craving a strip steak, pulled head to Hoxton Grill in London for their New York pork or barbecue ribs.) the extravagant A more recent development in American food has been most classic US dressing up of comfort food – which is, after all, what Gerard, head chef food is. Some chefs find this frustrating, like Paul best ingredients to at Soho House New York, who simply wants to find the mom’s meatloaf made cook good, straightforward food. “The resurgence of all so over-thought. with a chef’s twist has become trite,” he says. “It’s particular with – no My mac ‘n’ cheese, for instance, I don’t do anything each ingredient for beer, no truffles, no bacon. A lot of work goes into e. In the same way, me. I just use really good pasta and really good chees salt and pepper. my burger is very simple: chuck chop and brisket mix, them spec out a And then I grill it. I went to a local bakery and had it’s not about me, really good roll. It won’t heighten me as a chef – but it’s about the people eating my food.”

oaf made l t a e m ’s m o m ce of me trite” o c “The resurgen e b s a h t s i tw with a chef’s

ts, perhaps because Italian food has been one of the most successful impor . “There are Italian 17.8 million Americans reckon they have Italian blood in Italy,” says dialects spoken in Brooklyn that are no longer used and 1940s in New Andrea. “Italians had a huge influence in the 1930s even notice that York.” He finds it funny that sometimes people don’t t in LA that says it what they’re eating is Italian. “There’s a restauran balls or pasta.” serves American classics, but the dishes are all meat

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for amber waves of grain wood, Australian sous Meanwhile in the kitchens of Soho House West Holly US food means to chef Maxim Roberts has also been thinking about what him, as a fairly new arrival: e. The world over “Classic American food is easy to perceive as predictabl chicken. Look a knows the burger, mac ‘n’ cheese and the almighty fried rised. Nearly every little closer, though, and you may be pleasantly surp ted by a group state and city has its own claim to a classic dish, inven by all that live within its population. These dishes end up being loved a deep dish (pizza) there – like the po’ boy (sandwich) from New Orleans, a. pie from Chicago or a breakfast burrito in Californi ican foods found “Los Angeles is an interesting mix, with classic Amer of Mexico abundantly throughout the city and the major influence fresh and healthy appearing at every turn. There’s also a focus here on now see as just food which as a newcomer I found surprising, but I e are farmers’ another facet of this strange and wonderful city. Ther ingly fresh local markets nearly every day that are always full of amaz op new dishes. In ingredients. These have been great for us as we devel have found their the last few months lots of clean-flavoured, raw items brilliant, modernway onto our menu.” (See over the page for two of Max’s American, California-inspired recipes.) here in 50 years?” So things just keep on changing. “What will it be like we reckon. asks Andrea. Still an exciting place to be cooking,

“Lots of dishes

PAUL GERARD’S SHNY BURGER Paul uses his insider’s knowledge of New York’s best ingredients for his cooking 50% prime chuck 50% prime brisket Grind on a 1/8 die (mince) Look at and feel the meat. Note: You want an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. Any more fat will cause flare ups on the grill. If the meat looks and feels like it needs more fat - it shouldn’t with prime meat that is nicely marbled- you can add fat. Form 8 oz (225g) patties. Loose. Go easy. You’re not making play doh pizzas; you only need it tight enough to stay formed. Season with salt and pepper. Cook to desired temperature. Top with sharp NY cheddar...melt. Serve on a soft roll, with seasoned, ripe tomato, red onion, half-sour pickle (gherkin) and fries. And that’s that.

SOHO HOUSE MACARONI CHEESE serves 8 1l / 2.2 pints milk 70g / 2 ½ oz plain flour 70 g / 2 ½ oz butter 650 g / 1 ½ lb grated cheddar 1 tbsp English mustard 200g / 7 oz parmesan salt and pepper 1kg dried macaroni, Prepare the béchamel. Once cooled add the cooked macaroni. Place in pot and cover with more cheddar and parmesan. Grill until golden. Should be very moist, cheesy and NOT dry!

that are thought C O O K H O U S E 1 6


of as Italian are actually as close to being American as food can be”

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for amber waves of grain MAX ROBERTS’ CALIFORNIAN KALE SALAD serves 4

2 bunches of Tuscan kale (black cabbage) 1 bunch of Easter egg radishes (watermelon radishes which are not as peppery and beautifully colourful are also great) 100g / 3 ½ oz of ricotta salata (salted ricotta) cheese 2 tbs pangrattato (fried breadcrumbs) lemon juice good quality extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper. First the breadcrumbs: break up the bread and place in a warm place to dry for 1/2 an hour or so, then pulse in a blender roughly. Heat some cooking oil in a pan (not too hot) and just before adding the crumbs, place a garlic clove and a few sprigs of rosemary in the oil. Then fry the bread until crispy and golden brown. Strain out the breadcrumbs and soak up excess oil on paper (kitchen) towel. After removing the stalks wash the kale and drain well, then finely chop. Thinly slice the radishes on a mandolin if you have one, or with a knife if you don’t. Grate half the ricotta (keep the other half to shave over at the end). Mix these three in a bowl with salt, pepper, lemon juice (you may need to be quite generous) and olive oil. Finish with the shaved ricotta and pangrattato.


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1kg / 2 lbs mixed large beets (red, gold, candy stripe) 500g / 1 lb mixed heirloom carrots 200g / 7 oz cherry tomatoes 2 bunches cilantro (coriander) 100g / 3 ½ oz toasted pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds also work and are a nice addition) sherry vinegar extra virgin olive oil optional – a little grapefruit juice adds zing salt and pepper. Start by washing the beets and carrots. Then roast them separately in a medium oven, dressed in some olive oil and with a few garlic cloves and hard herbs (rosemary or thyme) for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until tender but soft. Pick the cilantro leaves and place to one side. Wash the stems and chop. Halve the tomatoes and season. Cut the beets and carrots into big chunky wedges. Mix with the tomato and cilantro stalks. Dress with sherry vinegar, oil and grapefruit juice if you’re using it. Finish with the toasted seeds and cilantro leaves.

“In the last few months lots of cleanaw flavoured, r items have found their way onto our menu.”



Chef Andrea Cavaliere, an Italian working in Los Angeles, has fallen for this all-American Creole dish

This rice and beans recipe is by Donald Link, who is the James Beard award-winning chef-owner of the Link Restaurant Group in New Orleans, which includes Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher,

No dish represents American-Creole cuisine like red beans and rice, and it may be the best testament America has to multiculturalism. The ingredients are from all over: after the abolition of slavery, new plantation workers came from China and India and they brought the long grain rice which is now standard for most bean and rice dishes.

Calcasieu and Cochon Lafayette.

words by Carolina Cavaliere

Although in Cuba and Central America black beans rule, in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and New Orleans red kidneys are the favourite (they’re native to Peru).

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The French gave mirepoix, a combination of onion, carrots and celery, and the Spanish gave sofrito – tomato, garlic and onion. Combined with pepper, they became what’s now called the trinity: one onion, two green peppers and three stalks of celery. You also need two dry herbs (originally from Europe), bay and thyme, as well as cayenne pepper (originally from Jamaica) and pickled pork (from the days before refrigeration). Some people add chopped parsley, green onions or even sausage. Traditionally, it was made on Mondays, wash day, with the leftover meats from Sunday’s meal simmering as clothes were scrubbed. Now, although it’s often a Monday special in New Orleans restaurants, it’s also a staple for the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.

”America is a melting pot and red beans and rice maybe be the finest testament America has to multicultarism.”

1lb / 450g dried red beans 1 gallon / 3.5 litres water 1 ham bone 6 bay leaves 8 oz / 225g sausage, chopped ½ inch / 1.5 cm square 8 oz / 225g smoked ham, chopped ½ inch/ 1.5 cm square 1 medium onion, small diced 1 small tomato, small diced 2 jalapeno, finely chopped 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbs wholegrain mustard ¼ cup / 60 ml red wine vinegar 2 tsp dried thyme 1 scant tbs salt ½ tbs pepper Soak beans overnight; drain. Combine beans, water, ham bone and bay leaves, boil and then bring to a simmer. In a separate pan, brown the sausage and ham for 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion and brown for 5 minutes more. Add tomato, jalapeno, garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage and ham mixture to red beans. Simmer slowly, uncovered, for 2 ½ hours. Approximately 10 minutes before beans are done, use a wooden spoon or spatula to cream the beans along the inside of the pot. If beans are too tight, add a bit more water and cook until beans are soft. Serve over rice. Optional: For added heat, mix in a teaspoon of cayenne or other dried pepper.

Tuc!k in

WANT TO COOK WITH US? to find out more about how you could become part of the Soho House Group teams around the world contact

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playing hard

out of the kitchen

Our chefs work hard but we didn’t realise how hard they played too! Here we meet three chefs who are just as serious about what they do with their spare time as about what they do at the stove

Leon Markham-Lee Leon Markham-Lee is a sous chef on the pastry section at Dean Street Townhouse in London. In his spare time he’s a Thai boxer “The mentality you need for boxing is the same one you need

Seth Wheeler is a banquet cook at Soho House New York. He is also a cyclist and loves adventure sports “I’m an adrenaline junkie. I’m a big cyclist but I also like motocross, hang-gliding and climbing. I haven’t skydived yet – I’m trying to convince my wife. I’ve got three kids though so I don’t think she’ll agree! My six-year-old daughter comes climbing and she’s getting pretty good on her bike. I don’t have the patience to sit still and play with toys so it’s a great feeling to do things together. I didn’t have that growing up in New York in the 1980s and 1990s. My three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter are really active too. We all go hiking and kayaking.

“I ride 100 miles a week, at least. I try and beat my personal goals”

for the kitchen. You get out what you put in with both – and if you give 110% then things really start happening. Both are a bit intimidating too – they either grab you and pull you in, or scare you off.

I ride 100 miles a week, at least. And I ride from Penn Station to Montauk Point, which is 140 miles and takes around nine hours, at least two or three times every summer. Next summer I plan to do the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s 454 miles and the goal is to do it in three days, but it will most likely take four.

I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 13 and I started Thai boxing in 2003. I’ve been doing it competitively since 2007. It means I’ve had to give up the outside-of-work chef lifestyle and focus on my training. It doesn’t make a difference that I was born without one hand – it’s natural to me. I wouldn’t know what to do if someone stuck a hand on me now. I go to the gym three times a week, but before a competition I train six days a week which can mean going for a run at 1am after a double shift! Because, like all chefs, I’m on my feet and on the go for hours at a time I think my stamina and cardio are probably better than some of the people at the gym who sit at work all day. Before a fight I drop 4-5 kg and basically become a vegan for a few weeks – no meat, sugar or fat – which can be hard when we have tastings!

If I was rich I’d compete. I try and beat my personal goals though. I always want to be better. That’s something I apply to my cooking, my family and my life.”

Leon Markham-Lee in action

The job fits perfectly with boxing. Having done martial arts when I was a kid I understood the hierarchy of the kitchen when I started cooking, and that if you want something you have to work for it – whether that’s the next belt or a better job. Now I teach kids and it’s really satisfying. I can see the benefits of it in myself.”

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Seth Wheeler

“Having done martial arts when I was a kid I understood the hierarchy of the kitchen when I started cooking”

Brian McGowan Brian McGowan is a sous chef at Pizza East in Shoreditch. He’s also an animator The style of animation I do depends on the project. I do projects which require hyper-realism, working with live action footage, and I do work which is very stylised. It varies a lot. When you put together a showreel, although the actual animation might be CGI, you put in everything – the concept drawings and sketches, test animation and models, right down to the finished product. So it involves lots of different skills. Animation is what my degree is in and I came to London to study it more. But I’ve worked as a chef since I was 15 and Pizza East has been very good to me, so I’m happy to be where I am. Things are good. Animation will always be there for me and London is the place to be if you want to get into it.


“Animation will always be there for me and London is the place to be if you want to get into it”

to find out more about how you could become part of the Soho House Group team contact

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focaccia you!

flour power


As part of Cookhouse’s on-going partnership with Grey Goose vodka, we explore the relationship between wheat, bread and booze, and discover some great cocktails along the way. So, who knew that vodka and bread are close relations? It’s all about ratios, explained Grey Goose vodka’s brand ambassador Joe McCanta, who hooked up with Pizza East’s head chef, Jon Pollard, and junior sous, Nicholas Fitzgerald, to make focaccia to pair with aperitifs. “If you alter the ratio of water, yeast and flour, you can either start the bread-making process, or the vodka-making process,” said Joe. He’d brought along some of the special flour used to make Grey Goose vodka – soft winter wheat harvested sustainably and grown by a co-operative. It comes from the Picardie region in France and is classified as a superior breadmaking wheat, the same as for French breads and pastries. Today, though, it was getting the Italian treatment. “We’re using the finest French wheat to make a beautiful East London-style Italian bread,” said Jon. Looking over the flours, Jon and Nicholas were sure that they could make some great breads with it. Grey Goose is unusual because the wheat is milled at the distillery and isn’t a by-product of another industry, so the flour looked particularly good. Jon and Nicholas got to work: “We’re starting with a poolish, a starter that’s about six hours old,” said Jon. “I always use fresh yeast, with equal quantities of both flour and water.” They then added salt (“You need a lot because it will expand by five times the size of the dough,” said Nicholas), Sicilian olives and anchovies (“Rip, don’t chop them, otherwise you lose all the oil on the board,” said Jon), garlic and single-pressed, single-estate, extra-virgin olive oil. Later, they also dished up loaves made with either their home-made pecorino cheese, rosemary or tomatoes.

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70 ml/2½ oz Grey Goose vodka 15 ml/½ oz olive juice 5 ml/¼ oz Byrrh 3 ml/1 barspoon Cynar 3 ml/1 barspoon white balsamic vinegar

“We’re using the finest French wheat to make a beautiful East London-style Italian bread,”

Cocktail of the Month Grey Goose L’Ete 35 ml/1¼ oz Grey Goose vodka 6 seedless white grapes 20 ml/¾ oz white grapefruit juice 15 ml/½ oz white grape juice 5 ml/¼ oz Chartreuse 10 ml/1/3 oz agave syrup 5 sprigs mint Muddle, shake and strain over ice in highball. Garnish with white grapes on a cocktail stick with sprig of mint.

While the doughs proved and baked, Joe devised a special cocktail to go with them. “I’m using Byrrh, a grand quinquina, which is a bitter French aperitif. It’s made from the same tree bark that quinine is derived from. I’m adding Cynar, an artichoke amaro, to get a vegetative bitterness and mixing them with Grey Goose vodka to make a spin on a dirty martini.” The resulting drink was garnished with yellow tomatoes that the Pizza East team had harvested from their farmland in North London, plus Sicilian olives and basil. It cut brilliantly through the saltiness of the warm and light focaccia when it emerged from the pizza ovens.

Stir, strain and top with lemon peel (discard). Garnish with olive, tomato and basil on a cocktail stick (pick).

Grey Goose vodka’s Joe McCanta, Pizza East head chef Jon Pollard and junior sous chef Nicholas Fitzgerald


gone fishin’ Last month saw the Babington team head to the south coast for a day of fishing and night of camping. General manager Matt Greenlees reports back

“I’d also snuck in a bottle of wasabi. I was hoping for sashimi for lunch.” at Weymouth port. Weymouth? With its beach, Punch and Judy and dodgy fish and chips?! That was not the vision...

Being an avid fan of Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing (OK, I saw it once on TV), I thought the Babington team could re-create the programme with one or two extra challenges thrown in. One: we only take beer. Two: we all spend the night camping at Eweleaze farm. We eat what we catch or trade beer with other boats if, God forbid, we don’t catch anything. Simple! C O O K H O U S E 2 6

I’d been catching up on fishing TV programmes so as not to look like an idiot. I had visions of something like TV chef Keith Floyd on tour: glass in hand, witty repartee, floppy sun hat, grilling mackerel over an open fire. So I was slightly alarmed when I call Paul (a Babington member, local fisherman and our guide) and he tells me to meet him

We met at Babington at 5.30am for a bacon butty and the pre-trip check list. Hat, sunnies, tent, sleeping bag, beer. I was a little apprehensive as my wing man, head chef Ronnie Bonetti, was stuck in London working. Being from North Queensland, fishing and camping come naturally to Big Ron. As a more refined Brisbane boy, I would have to make it up as I went along. We arrived to see the port full of working boats. No Punch and Judy, just fisherman loading boats with bait and rods. Paul met us and helped unload the precious cargo – beer! (I’d also snuck in a bottle of wasabi. I was hoping for sashimi for lunch.) Paul took us through the boat safety instructions (“If I jump in, you follow”) and told us that we were fishing for mackerel, bass, bream

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“Excited: I was going to eat well. Angry: I had not caught it” The Babington team set sail

and turbot. I raised the subject of sustainable fishing, with which Paul agrees; he’s a pole-and-line man. We made for Portland Head. When we started fishing there the mood on the boat changed from calm to frantic in a matter of seconds, as Kelly dropped a line overboard and immediately caught four mackerel. Girlish squeals followed as she had no idea how to get them off the line. Within minutes the boat was full of mackerel. Paul and David (deck hand for the day) raced around, unhooking fish and untangling lines. We had caught enough mackerel for dinner and to make bait for turbot.

We were all tired after eight hours fishing but the mood turned when we pulled into Eweleaze. We pitched camp on a hill overlooking the sea. It was a perfect end to the day. I broke the rules and bought some provisions for dinner. Frank got the fire going and Karina took charge of fish mise-en-place. Phil gutted, James and Kelly filleted, and Gav washed. The menu? Mackerel and tomato bruschetta, black bream, whole barbecued brill, grilled red peppers and courgettes, and barbecued rum bananas. Amazing.

Paul called a fellow boat to check if there were any sea bass about. It wasn’t looking good. It was only 10am and that boat had given up for the day. They gave us their sand eels (for bait) and wished us luck. On the hunt, we hit the Portland race (a body of choppy water which sea bass love)...and entered a scene from The Perfect Storm. James Jesty (senior sous chef) turned green and spent the rest of the trip indisposed below deck. No bass for the barbecue. C O O K H O U S E 2 8

We decided to hunt for flat fish which prefer calmer water. I was both excited and angry when Kelly landed a fine-looking brill. Excited: I was going to eat well. Angry: I had not caught it. One decent fish was in the esky, so Paul took us to black bream territory. New hooks, new bait: two bream and three sharks later, we turned for home.

The fishing team included: Matt Greenlees, Kelly Wardingham, Darren Keays, Nick ThorntonJames, Neil Smith, James Jesty, Karina Moche, Gavin Davis and Phil Licciardo


to find out more about how you could become part of the Soho House Group team contact

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member’s recipe


East Dulwich, south Franklins is a neighbourhood restaurant in phy of using local London, which shares the Soho House philoso come from Kent, they produce wherever possible – most vegetables m British waters. use rare breed meats and their fish is fro wner Tim Sheehan. This autumnal recipe is by head chef and co-o


2 red-leg partridge, plucked and cleaned 10-15 sweet chestnuts 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon 1 small squash (butternut, acorn, carnival, fairytale pumpkin or autumn cup)

olive oil ground nutmeg crushed chilli butter

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Dice and fry the rest of the bacon in smallish pieces and set aside. Peel the chestnuts and roughly crumble them into the bacon with a couple of chopped sage leaves. When the birds come out


london calling (ow,ow,


Another sign, as if more proof was needed, of London’s amazing food culture is the growth of the London Restaurant Festival. Now in it’s third year, the festival will involve more than 600 restaurants – last year it saw 30,000 people served from special, great-value Festival menus, all over the city. The Gourmet Odyssey is a huge attraction – eat your threecourse meal in three different restaurants and travel between them in a vintage Routemaster bus! There will also be a fabulous pop-up restaurant in a pod at the London Eye – have supper hovering over London – plus a food quiz, food markets, a tapas tour and special film screenings. However, the two biggest events are the iVoucher London Restaurant Festival Awards on 17th October in Old Spitalfields Market and the Big Debate, held at Kings Place, Kings Cross on 11th October.

Roast the chestnuts first, so they’ll be cool for peeling. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F and give them 20-25 minutes on a tray. While they’re cooling, peel, quarter, deseed and dice the squash into 1.5cm/½ inch cubes. Toss the squash in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and chilli. Turn up the oven to 220°C/425°F. Take a couple of cubes of butter and two sage leaves and stuff them inside the partridge. Wrap the feet together with some tinfoil to prevent scorching. Lightly oil and season the birds and seal them all over in an ovenproof frying pan. Halve two of the bacon rashers and drape two pieces over each of the birds’ bellies. Transfer to the oven. Put the squash in at the same time in one layer on a tray. Cook for 35-40 minutes. (The birds should be eaten pink or they’ll be tough.) Turn them over onto their breasts halfway and remove the rashers for later.

dear diary...

At the glittering awards, judges will include renowned British food critics and food writers Tracey MacLeod, Marina O’Loughlin, Christine Hayes, Giles Coren, Tom Parker Bowles, Joe Warwick and LRF co-founders Fay Maschler and Simon Davis. They’ll be deciding some unusual categories – expect food awards for Bravery, Discovery, Warmth and Welcome, Passion and Fun!

let them rest for five to ten minutes somewhere warm. Mix the squash with the bacon and chestnuts. Serve this in a generous mound on a plate with the bird perched on top, the bacon rashers perched on the bird and a rich cider or wine gravy on the side.


The Big Debate will be chaired by Soho House Group CEO Nick Jones’ wife, the brilliant broadcaster Kirsty Young, and promises to be a humdinger of a night. The motion “There is No Such Thing as Ethnic Food” will be knocked about by Sunday Times restaurant critic A.A Gill, writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades, cook Clarissa Dickson Wright and writer, broadcaster and foodie Hardeep Singh.

Phew! What a fortnight it’s going to be! For tickets to the Big Debate Please call the box office: 020 7520 1490 Tickets include a glass of wine from Wines from Rioja and canapes. For more information on London Restaurant Festival go to:

Cook House Issue 6  

In this issue we're focusing on food in America and taking a look at what our chefs are cooking Stateside. We're also finding out about what...

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