flavour for people who love local food
London | Issue 3 | July 2011
ÂŁ3.00 (where sold)
WIN! A luxury at stay two-night al The Roy Hotel! Crescent
Roganic Marylebone welcomes a young talent to watchÂ
Brand new recipes from a leading lady
Ham it up
The best Iberico joints in town
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Editor: Holly Aurelius-Haddock Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Nick Gregory Email: email@example.com
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contents 10 In Season Cheryl Cohen from London Farmers’ Markets brings you the best of the season’s produce 30 Ham it up The best Iberico joints in town 42 Angela Hartnett Brand new recipes from a leading lady 52 Roganic Marylebone welcomes a young talent to watch 66 Nick Harman “Spare me the passion”
Welcome to the July issue of flavour! Welcome to the July issue of flavour! The media world might be a hotbed of intrigue given the current News Corp controversy, but here at flavour HQ, our finger is so firmly on the pulse we don’t need to tap into Gordon Ramsay’s phone to bring you the very latest in food and drink news. Whilst no one would deny that Delia is a national treasure and Nigella a national heartthrob, these ladies have undoubtedly earned their reputation as cooks in the domestic domain. In recent years however, more and more women are choosing to swap the apron strings for chef’s whites, and this month we pay homage to one of the industry’s most inspiring leading ladies on PAGE 42. In the spirit of re-thinking tradition, we also ask whether fusion food deserves a second chance PAGE 16, whether there’s life after Wimbledon for strawberries PAGE 56 and perhaps most importantly, whether one summer holiday really is enough PAGE 34. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.
Happy Eating! Holly Aurelius-Haddock
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> flavour news
If you have any news or events that you would like to share with us here at flavour then email firstname.lastname@example.org
this month WINE MADE EASY After great results in Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at Claridges, Gordon’s Maze and Maze Grill have now also adopted SmartCellar’s defining iPad wine list. SmartCellar goes far beyond displaying a digital version of your regular menu/ wine list and prices; it also gives you photography and the background to each wine too. What will they think of next?
PORTUGUESE WINE TASTING
FEASTIVAL The first ever Big Feastival, held at the beginning of July on Clapham common was a huge success, with almost 23,000 guests coming through the door over the whole weekend. Many of the stalls completely sold out of produce – one stall alone serving more than 4,000 tacos, another 3,500 burgers and another 2,500 chicken tikka pies. Rumour has it Jamie Oliver splashed a bit too much super-hot chilli sauce over a breakfast he was made, resulting in a rather speedy exit but always a brave face! www.bigfeastival.co.uk
COMPETITION WINNERS Congratulations to Alan Whiskar from Dagenham who wins a Colin Sincair Whiskey Tasting Set and to Gemma Mansfield from North London who wins a three-night stay with Tregothnan Estate!
On 26 July, Harrods Wine Shop will be hosting a Portuguese wine tasting event at its store on Brompton Road. Best known for its fortified wines, Portugal has a huge range of white, red and rosé wines from historic grape varieties unseen in the rest of the world. The unknown is always a little daunting but Harrods would like to make it easy with an event focused on this unique and interesting wine making country. Over 30 different wines will be on taste, each handpicked to represent the diversity and variety of Portugal. Canapés will be served and experts will be on hand to answer any questions, and to entice you further, The Wine Shop will be offering an additional 10 per cent off all wines on taste for the night. Tickets cost £30 per person. For more information or to book tickets, please call 020 7893 8777 or email email@example.com
RIVER COTTAGE DVD
VINTAGE AT SOUTHBANK CENTRE
Celebrate summer with River Cottage Summer’s Here out to own on DVD from 1st August. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is back at the River Cottage HQ to celebrate the very best food the summer season has to offer!
Running from the 29 until the 31 of July, Vintage at Southbank Centre is hosting a celebration of nostalgic Britain – bringing a taste of British food, fashion, music, art and dance from eight decades spanning from the 1920s up until the 1980s. Food and drink feature heavily, with each decade offering up its own signature selection of era-appropriate nibbles and cocktails. For example if you’re a fan of Cosmo cocktails, you’ll find these located in ‘Style Studio’ disco within the vintage 1970s area, or alternatively you can enjoy a tin of lager and some cheesy Wotsits in the ‘Warehouse’ 1980s-themed rave. If you’re after something to soak up those cocktails you can venture up to the ‘Penthouse’ terrace and indulge in freshly cooked BBQ food.
As always, Hugh rustles up a range of impressive dishes using the finest edible delights from the garden, the hedgerow, the river and the stream. From the first crop of peas to some barbecue favourites, Hugh’s garden delicacies are washed down with lashings of homemade gorse flower wine.
ON THE COVER Our cover image this month is taken from one of the many retro tableware items that can be found at The Utterly Sexy Café. This is a highly original, full-service catering and event company, providing beautifully prepared food, creatively decorated and elegantly served from vintage and antique tableware to cater for weddings, christenings and landmark birthday parties. Charming waiting staff in 1950s aprons offer handdecorated cakes from glistening glass cake stands and tea from silver or china teapots. Must be seen to be believed!
GOLDEN WONDER Honey Dew is a 100% organic golden beer. Brewed with the finest organic honey for a wonderful bittersweet taste, this delicious drink promises to please any palate. What's more, it's the perfect accompaniment to many foods and particularly good with barbecued meats and fish. Available in the bottled ale aisle, you can get 50p off Honey Dew 500ml bottles in your local supermarket with the coupon below!
01747 870812 / 07968 868860 www.utterlysexycafe.co.uk
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PORTOBELLO MARKET Last month saw the opening of Portobello’s Premier Farmers & Fine Foods Market, an eclectic mix of farm foods with fine flair, which will appeal to food lovers far and wide. It will open Fridays to Sundays from 10.30am, providing a wide range of organic and quality food produce from across the UK and further afield, to reflect the diverse palate of today’s ‘Londoner’. There are over 30 stalls from premier suppliers including free-range meat and game from Old Hall Farm, the morning’s catch of fish from Fishmonger’s Kitchen and delicious handmade biscuits and cakes from Cinnamon Tree Bakery. Regular cooking events hosted by top-named London restaurateurs aim to get families out to learn more about where their food comes from and the best way to cook it! www.portobellofinefoods.co.uk
BACK TO THE CLASS ROOM Situated in the heart of the City of London, The Class Rooms has its home in the Old Daily Mail headquarters, a magnificent historic building that features not only a culinary academy but a spacious bar and restaurant, three private meeting rooms and three private dining rooms, all furnished with elegant Italian décor and state-of-the-art technical facilities. The Class Rooms’ Culinary Academy offers a new generation of cookery courses, ranging from accredited professional courses to a variety of short cookery courses. Catering for all abilities, from the complete novice to the more experienced cook, the Academy hosts several exciting events featuring some of the world’s most talented and celebrated foodies.
McSTAINABLE McDonald's is seeking to enhance its once heavily-criticised environmental record by switching to fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. As well as serving up officially sustainable Filet-o-Fish at 7,000 outlets, it will put the MSC logo on cartons, promoting the best-known scheme for preserving fish stocks. The MSC praised McDonald's, saying it showed it was committed to conserving the oceans, which are in peril from over-fishing. McDonald's in Europe is strong in some areas of ethical sourcing, say experts. On eggs, the company uses only freerange eggs in its breakfast muffins. Beef for its Big Mac and other burgers comes exclusively from 16,000 farms in the British Isles. The company also buys tea and coffee certified by the Rainforest Alliance, an environmental certification created by multi-national companies. McDonald's says it spends £530m a year buying British produce.
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SENSES OF THAILAND Enjoy the exotic taste of Thailand at the Selfridges Food Hall and selected restaurants from 14 July to 30 July. Legendary chef Ian Kittichai will be in Selfridges London on Thursday 14 July for a special Thai evening to kick-start the fortnight Senses of Thailand festivities. Over the fortnight Selfridges has partnered up with the Royal Thai Embassy, Thai Trade Centre and the Tourism Authority of Thailand so customers can celebrate Thai food and culture, with live expert cooking demonstrations, food tastings, modern and traditional Thai dance performances and puppet shows. HIX Restaurant and Champagne Bar will be offering four Thai specials alongside the à la carte menu, all created by Ian Kittichai for the duration of the campaign. www.selfridges.com
SAFARI SO GOOD
From the 29 to the 31 July, Foodies Festival will make its home in Battersea Park for a celebration of fine food, drink and culinary talent. Expect to see Michelin-starred and top chefs in the Chefs Theatre where they will prepare their favourite dishes live on stage. Shop for ingredients from local producers selling fresh seasonal produce and buy speciality food and drink or try hands-on food and drink masterclasses led by industry experts, with plenty of tastings. Taste signature dishes from London's leading restaurants and sip summer cocktails from top bars and relax with live entertainment. There will also be cooking with kids masterclasses for the budding young chefs. So much to do so little time!
The REAL FOOD Safari Company specialises in providing a range of gourmet tours and experiences in Kent and Sussex and is a great idea by founders Sharon Davies and Brian Rose, who wanted to find a way to share their passion for local produce and promote the counties as wonderful places to visit.
For more details, visit www.foodiesfestival.com
Their aim is to tell the complete story of real food with informative and fun experiences that take you behind the scenes to meet farmers and artisan food producers, whose commitment brings the whole story to life. The trips can be as short as a couple of hours, a complete day, or even a weekend but in every case a REAL FOOD Safari will take you to interesting places to meet great people and to eat some amazing produce… www.realfoodsafari.co.uk
D R O W ON THE
• AURELIA Mayfair goes Mediterranean this month when Aurelia opens its doors. Roka’s head chef Rosie Yeats and executive chef Nic Watt will be heading-up the kitchens so look forward to sharing platters and a bouncing atmosphere… 13-14 Cork Street, Mayfair, W1S 3NS • ASSAGGINI Expect a plethora of Italian favourites as this contemporary restaurant firesup on Haymarket. Dishes will include handmade ravioli with scampi, Tuscan sausage and wild berry panna cotta as well as the ever-popular sharing plates. 71 Haymarket, Piccadilly, SW1Y 4RW • THE BONNIE & WILD This part-time restaurant is open every Saturday night in July and will be a fusion between Bonnie Gull Ltd, purveyors of quality Scottish seafood, and the Wild Game Co, who specialise in seasonal game from the Highlands. Look forward to sizzling barbecues at their Islington venue. 74 Chapel Market, Islington, N1 9ER • THE GALLERY RESTAURANT The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair is launching a new all-day-dining restaurant inspired by the cuisine of Southern France, The French Riviera and Northern Italy. Head chef Brian Fantoni, formerly of Claridges, The Savoy and Enoteca Restaurant leads the team. The Westbury, Mayfair Hotel, Bond Street, Mayfair, W1S 2YF • POTLI RESTAURANT Potli Restaurant will open on the former site of Tandoori Nights in Ravenscourt Park. The menu is inspired by Indian market cooking and will include dishes like pani puri from Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach and gilafi sheek from Lucknow, alongside more familiar grills, kebabs and curries. The colourful dining room, decorated with Bollywood posters, will seat 60 and have a feature wall of spice bags (potlis). 319-321 King Street, Ravenscourt Park, London, W6 9NH 7
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> flavour fab foodie reads
For bookworms who love nothing more than cooking up a feast for family and friends, our monthly selection of new releases is enough to keep anyone entertained!
fab foodie reads THE GOOD COOK SIMON HOPKINSON BBC Books, £25
Simon Hopkinson loves food and he knows how to cook it. The Good Cook is the result of over 40 years’ experience and is based on Simon’s belief that a good cook loves eating as much as cooking. Simon explains how the ingredients you choose and the way you cook them will turn a good recipe into a great dish and how a cheap cut of meat cooked with care can taste as nice as a choice cut prepared by indifferent hands.
PICK OF THE MONTH!
Structured around Simon’s passion for good ingredients (anchovy and aubergine, cheese and wine, smoked and salted fish, ham, bacon and a little pig) and written with Simon’s trademark perfectionism and precision, this is a book that you will cherish for life. Turn to page 22 to find out more.
RICK STEIN’S SPAIN RICK STEIN
SPICE IT UP LEVI ROOTS
I LOVE TO BAKE TANA RAMSEY
Spain is a country that tantalises every sense with its colourful sights, evocative music, vibrant traditions and bold cookery. In Rick Stein’s Spain, published to accompany a new four-part BBC Two series, Rick Stein explores Spain’s diverse regions in his search for real Spanish food. This journey leads him to discover some of the best tapas bars and taste authentic ingredients. With over 100 location and recipe photographs, this is an essential book for food-lovers as well as a stunning culinary guide to a diverse country with so much to offer.
The fabulicious Levi Roots is back with a fourth cookery book to bring some Caribbean sunshine and spice to your kitchen. In Spice It Up! Levi has plundered his spice cupboard and shares his favourite recipes to show how to transform the most simple of dishes into tasty triumphs bursting with flavour. The Caribbean is famous for its spices, with its vibrant chilies, pungent peppercorns and fragrant nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. Everything in Spice it Up! is easy to prepare, easy to cook and sure to add a bit of spice to your life. Nuff said…
I Love to Bake is Tana Ramsay’s ultimate guide to family baking and is packed with over 100 recipes of sweet and savoury oven-cooked recipes for all the family, from pies to biscuits to cakes. There are ideas for every occasion; from baked treats for school lunch boxes, fun ideas for children’s parties, through to indulgent desserts for Christmas Day. Tana has built a reputation around her trusted recipes that are always accessible, affordable and can easily be tailored for every taste and diet. I Love to Bake is the perfect companion for both the novice baker and those more experienced.
BBC Books, £25
Mitchell Beazley, £18.99
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> flavour in season
>Peas & Lemon Verbena Peas equal summer and we chose a pea pod for the London Farmers’ Market’s emblem as the embodiment of seasonality and freshness, and there truly isn’t anything as good as freshly-picked pods of peas. Wild Country Organics grow lemon verbena. It’s a beautiful fragrant herb, as much at home in savoury dishes as sweet. I use it to flavour white wine vinegar, in custard (for an ice-cream), as the perfect iced tea or to garnish a jug of Pimms. I love using peas raw in salads such as this one. The green in this recipe is the green of the sweet summer vegetables. Make the most of the seasons and use whatever you can find at your local farmers’ market.
GREEN SPELT SALAD WITH RAW PEAS, BROAD BEANS, GRIDDLED COURGETTES AND LEMON VERBENA Serves 4-6 Wash the spelt and cook in plenty of boiling water until soft, then rinse well in cold water and drain. Meanwhile pod the broad beans and blanch in boiling water for one or two minutes. Drain and leave to cool. Cut the courgettes into long thin ribbons, and toss in a little olive oil with salt and pepper, and griddle for about 30 secs each side until just cooked through. Dice the cucumber and use a mandolin to cut the fennel into paper thin shards. Or cut by hand into thin slices. Toss in lemon juice. Slip the broad beans out of their pods. This won’t take as long as you think.
Put the spelt into a bowl and add the cut vegetables. Pod the peas and add to the salad. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a screw top jar, taste and adjust seasoning. Add enough to the salad to coat. Variations - add fresh herbs of your choice - mint, basil, chives and parsley all work well. Add chunks of salty fresh cheese - buffalo, goat’s cheese, feta or avocado. This makes a great main meal salad or an accompaniment for cold meats and poached chicken or fish. Wild Country Organics www.wildco.co.uk
At their best Every month our seasonal selections come from Cheryl Cohen, director of London Farmer’s Markets which runs 18 weekly markets throughout the city. She is on the board of London Food, works closely with the Farmers' Markets Retail association and with London Food Links.
>Cherries Cherries arrive at market towards the end of June and the beginning of July. The months before are a fraught time for farmers, hoping that weather conditions are perfect for their fleeting and fragile crop. We have beautiful varieties in the UK. At Perry Court Farm and Fiveways Fruit Farm stalls at our farmers’ markets you can taste your favourite varieties before you buy. Sadly, most UK cherry orchards have been grubbed up, so do buy English cherries and show your support for this beautiful fruit. Michael Dallaway, of Dallaway’s Cherries rents out his cherry trees allowing you to come to the farm and pick your fruit. He can also be found at our markets, selling a range of cherries including Premiere, Summit and Sunburst. Cherries are a versatile fruit, pairing beautifully with both sweet and savoury. This is a whimsy of a recipe, slightly fiddly to make but pretty to look at and great with picnics or to bring out with a flourish at the end of dinner. Obviously you can up the quantities I’ve given. 10
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>Samphire Marsh samphire grows on muddy, sandy flats, often around estuaries and tidal creeks and as you can imagine from the location it has a delicious salty taste. Rock samphire is harder to acquire and a risky product to harvest as it tends to grow high up on cliffs. Because it’s a succulent, samphire has a satisfying crunch, raw or cooked. You’ll find it at farmers’ markets fish stalls from now until September, but earlier is better before the flowers have time to form and it grows fibrous. Most of our fishermen bring it to market including David and Sylvia Jennings and Simon Long, from the Norfolk coast. It’s common to pickle it, and in Norfolk it’s traditionally eaten with vinegar. The sea saltiness of samphire works well with eggs. Serve with a salad; sorrel works well with other salad leaves to add a sharp tang that takes on the sea salt of the samphire. The sea saltiness of samphire works very well with eggs. I’ve used sea vegetables in tortillas & Japanese style omlettes – this is one step along. Serve with a salad; sorrel works well with other salad leaves to add a sharp tang that takes on the sea salt of the samphire.
For more information contact: www.lfm.org.uk www.twitter.com/londonfarmers
now CHOCOLATE CHERRY STONES You will also need a cherry stoner, and either a piping bag, culinary syringe or a square of greaseproof paper to create a cone. Put the kettle on to boil and break up the chocolate into a bowl. Stalk side up, stone the cherries so that the hole is at the bottom and the stalk still attached. Discard the stone, but keep the little cap from the base of the cherry and set aside. Put the cherries in the freezer to chill whilst you put the bowl of chocolate over a pan of simmering water and leave to melt. Take off the heat when totally liquid and leave to cool down. If using, make your greaseproof paper into a cone piping bag – fold over the nozzle end so that the chocolate cannot escape until you’re ready for it. Put the cherries stalk side down on a plate, snug together so that they su pport each other. Unfold or cut your nozzle end and use to fill each cherry roughly ¾ full and leave to harden. Replace the little caps before fully set. Put in fridge until ready to serve. They will keep for one day, but I doubt they’ll last that long.
SAMPHIRE AND NEW POTATO TORTILLA Serves 3-4 Wash and scrub the new potatoes, cut in half, put into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, simmer until just cooked, then drain. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Over a medium heat melt the butter with the olive oil in a large non-stick or seasoned frying pan. Add the onion slices and cook slowly allowing them to caramelise, don’t let them burn. Trim the samphire of its stems and wash well. Blanch for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Test a piece, depending on the size and age it may need another minute or two. Drain when cooked. Slice the potatoes thickly and add to the onions in the frying pan. Add more butter if necessary. Allow them to crisp up. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add seasoning (go easy with the salt) and mix gently with a fork. Add with the samphire to the pan, shake it all together and distribute evenly. Leave to cook over a gentle heat until almost set. Put under a hot grill for a minute to firm up and serve warm or cold.
www.perrycourt.com www.rentacherrytree.co.uk 11
Goats like to live in sociable groups and The Grazing Goat is no exception. Part of the Cubitt House group, which includes The Thomas Cubitt, The Orange and The Pantechnicon it’s a relatively new member of the herd, although a very ancient animal. But then this is an old area of London. New Quebec Street in Portman Village is only a souvenir’s throw away from the bustle of Oxford Street and yet it has kept the cosy feel of the small village it once was. In fact the Goat’s name comes from the fact that the area was originally farmland where goats grazed to produce milk for the first Lady Portman. The Cubitt House Group have made a speciality of finding such old, often rather neglected, properties and bringing them brightly back to life as pubs and boutique hotels through sympathetic restoration and real design feel. At the Goat the feel is ‘country house’ although which country is debatable. America’s New Hampshire or Vermont is what first springs to mind, as the building has a clean, crisp freshness that makes you think of blue skies, deep forests and healthy living. And wood is everywhere at the Goat - on the floor, on the walls and on the ceiling in the form of massive beams. So much wood that a pleasant oaky aroma fills the air as you climb the small staircase to reception from the bar below. Down there people are tucking into cocktails and good-looking food and the windows are thrown open to the street of Georgian houses and boutique shops. The first floor restaurant is all wooden tables of various shapes and sizes, which gives a nicely informal air. A bit too informal as, because the restaurant reception is also the hotel reception, you have to stand about getting in everyone’s way while waiting for someone to become free to check you in. After that though it’s a few more stairs up into the hotel area. 12
The bedroom and bathroom are picture perfect; the bathroom is all wood and slate and the suite is beautifully art-directed with nice touches such as replica table lights, old-style wall fans and caged lamps suspended from cords. It’s a room that feels more like one in the house you can see opposite and that’s a good thing. You can imagine that you too are wealthy enough to have a house in central London and a soft-top Aston Martin parked outside. Scallops with pea purée and pea shoots is a classic gastropub style starter, the scallops caramelised outside, tenderly cooked inside and a generous portion. Why pea purée works so well with scallops is a mystery but it certainly does. Chilli salt squid with lime could have done with more spikes of chilli but was a decent take on another very popular dish in town these days. It was Sunday so one of us had to have a roast, in this case 28 day dry aged Castle of Mey beef rump. The rump was served whole, so it was really more like eating a steak and I think beef should always be served sliced on Sundays. Better was pan fried cod, leeks, baby artichokes, lemon butter sauce with the cod crispy-skinned, the artichokes tender and the lemon butter sauce well worth mopping up with some bread, had there been any bread offered. The white chocolate tart, raspberry compote and honeycomb ice cream was good, but the blueberry and apple pie and vanilla ice cream could have had a few more blueberries. It was good to stroll outside after and know bed was just a street or two away. The bed was big and comfortable so we woke refreshed for a bright English breakfast in the street level bar, watching the world go by through the open French windows. Hotels in London can be mean, depressing affairs even when you pay through the nose. Far better to get your head down and graze at the Goat and properly enjoy a capital night out. ■
> flavour the grazing goat
A word from the owner… “Along with Cubitt House’s co-owner Stefan Turnbull, we bought our first pub in Belgravia. It was incidental really - we liked the building, but it was an undervalued, run-down boozer on Elizabeth Street. The street was extremely quiet when we acquired it but we brought footfall to street; shops starting to appear and the urban evolution continued. As a result, we were invited by the Grovesnor Estate to other areas of London including Pimlico Road and Motcomb Street amongst others. With the help of our team of chefs and floor managers, our sole aim is to tailor our offering to the local community. Our pubs are homely, timeless, with no gimmicks. We feel hopeful that they’ll look as good in 10 years’ time. As founding members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, it’s important to us that we get it right first time round. We love the business because it brings us into contact with interesting people which is what life is all about – getting involved with local charities, annual street parties and just about anything else where we can pitch in means we can always keep one ear to the ground about what’s good for us.”
Barry Hirst, Cubitt House owner. The Grazing Goat 6 New Quebec Street London SW1H 7RQ 0207 724 7243 www.thegrazinggoat.co.uk
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. . . e n i v e p a r G
A food writer and wine consultant, Zeren Wilson will leave no stone unturned in his quest to find the hidden gems of London’s food scene and bring it to you on a plate. Check out Zeren’s restaurant review site for a taste of what he has to offer: www.bittenandwritten.com
Rock Lobsta Inspired by the Maine lobster roll, Rock Lobsta was in town for three days only, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the British seaside. Popping up next to hip fashion boutique Luna and Curious in Shoreditch, the Hackney Lobsta Roll was filled with UK lobster meat, Shoreditch Splitter a mix of crab and lobster. English freshwater crayfish was also in the mix. Next up for the team is Disco Bistro in September, an adhoc dining concept involving art, music and food, springing up in temporary locations around London.
Gorgeous Grapes Pyramide Riesling Spätlese trocken 2009, Rudolf Trossen, Mosel, Germany
VOC Punch House Barrel-aged cocktails? What magical witchery is this? Evoking the era of the Dutch East India Company and 17th-Century drinking, the VOC Punch House age some of their offerings in wax-sealed bottles and oak casks for added richness and depth. We checked out the pioneering cocktails in King’s Cross and were captivated. Highlight was a haunting Bergamot Grog made with barrel-aged Pampero rum, galangal, lime and fresh tobacco leaf. Church candlesticks, shadowy corners, mysterious concoctions from barrels - illicit rendezvous territory.
German Riesling is back. A hundred years ago the wines were valued above top Bordeaux, with poor wines damaging their reputation over the years. Now there is a swagger to the wines, driven by the ‘new wave’ of young winemakers who are making thrilling dry wines. Rudi Trossen is a hardcore eco-warrior, complete with Scholl footwear. The Winery in Maida Vale is the premier source in the UK for German Riesling, everything imported direct from the growers. From a tiny and very steep, pyramid-shaped vineyard, this is the essence of Riesling, a tightrope balance between electrifying acid ity and luscious, thrilling citrus and stone fruit. www.thewineryuk.com
www.bittenandwritten.com Follow Zeren on Twitter: @bittenwritten 15
Having sampled their irresistible combination of Middle Eastern and modern British flavours, this month flavour pays a visit to Zayti to find out their recipe for success...
> flavour zayti
Zayti, a family business through and through, is the brainchild of Hedeel Mahdi-King and is taking London food festivals, events and parties by storm. A fusion of Middle Eastern and modern British flavours, Zayti’s recipes and dishes are innovative, current and most importantly phenomenally delicious. “Having introduced Middle Eastern Food to the Northern Irish market, we wanted to do something just as original in London and so Zayti was born. We knew we had an amazing product as my mother (Shatha) had seen huge success in Belfast with her own deli and restaurants before retiring, but she is back in the kitchen now developing new ideas. We pitched to the industry and consumers and we were completely blown away and humbled by the feedback – you cannot bluff these people. Our heritage as British Arabs – my family is Iraqi – has brought together East and West in the kitchen. My mum is a perfectionist and she has to have everything absolutely right before we look to take it to the customer. But the whole family spends time fantasising about different ways to combine and delicately balance authentic Eastern with modern British or European flavours to create contemporary arabesque cuisine. I am involved in something I really believe in. Our mission is to bring deliciously fresh and different food to those who want something more exciting, adventurously exotic and yet that bit familiar. And this is done with an emphasis on natural flavours free from any additives, free-range meat, reduced packaging etc. There are bigger, broader and more important ethical issues to consider and along with my passion for food I want to get these across to the customers. I would not sell a product I did not 100 per cent believe in. This is a now or never industry. We can’t stand still in what we are doing and what we are giving our customers, so we are always looking to build. The food market is beginning to peak and is so competitive right now, but our standard is to keep our product in the right hands and so to keep its quality. Our business may take longer to build up because of that, but it is not sustainable and nor will it grow as I want it to by cutting corners. We know we are staying in business, no matter how small or big, and thankfully we are yet to receive a single bit of negative feedback. Come and try our food, you will love it too!” Zayti’s food is crafted from the best raw ingredients they can source and is handmade daily, so it’s always super fresh and bursting with flavour. We fell head over heels for their pistachio and rosewater mascarpone cheesecake, Babylon pasties (think Cornish, but not) and their Turkish delight brownie – given the chance you’re sure to as well. Their stalls can be found at Southbank’s Real Food Market as well as pop up stalls all over London, but try them out for private parties for a more personal and interactive experience. Hedeel and her family will give you some tastes and flavours you will simply want more of! T: 0207 377 9223 W: www.zayti.co.uk
E: firstname.lastname@example.org 17
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The TomaTo STall Having had an established nursery on The Isle of Wight for more than 30 years, The Tomato Stall began to bring its produce directly to the customer in 2001, which coincided with the renaissance of Borough Market. Director Jeff MacDonald has seen it all since the market reopened its doors: “This is the place to be and the perfect environment to showcase the best of our products. Although we cover farmers’ markets all over London, Borough Market takes centre stage as it offers the best of British, but also incorporates excellent continental producers.” The Tomato Stall offers fresh, perfectly ripe tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and flavours, both organic and conventional, while also producing its own pure tomato juice, relish, chutney, award-winning ketchup and a chilli sauce.
“The Isle of Wight gives us 20 per cent more sunshine than the rest of the UK so is ideal for growing the best possible tomatoes,” Jeff says, “and we like to think that if there has been a new variety tested then we would have researched it here on the island.” The tomato has gained in popularity over the past few years, with customers wanting the freshest, tastiest and, most importantly, homegrown varieties available to them. Vine tomatoes have seen this resurgence more so than other varieties and the extra craft required to produce them is not lost on Jeff. “To strike the right balance between colour and taste takes a lot of experience and work, but we have got it spot on and are very proud of the products we deliver.” For all of The Tomato Stall’s products and for more information, visit: www.thetomatostall.co.uk
Wild Beef Time and again I am surprised, delighted and awed by the dedication to quality and sheer hard work that the producers in the Market show every day of the year in growing, rearing and producing the exceptional ingredients and products we have come to regard as the backbone of Borough Market’s success. These family-run businesses dare to be different, despite challenging times, remaining true to the demanding standards and ideals that inspired them in the first place. The fire and grit required to keep moving forward is evident in them all, regardless of whether they have been trading for one year or ten. The commitment they show to the Market and their customers has won them respect and a well-deserved loyal following – we are extremely proud of them all. Glenis Reagon Borough Market Managing Director 18
A founder trader of Borough Market, Richard Vines joined some illustrious names in London to showcase his rare-breed beef from Hillhead Farm in Chagford, Devon. Owners Richard and Elizabeth Vines use traditional methods to rear a small herd of crossbred Welsh Blacks and South and North Devons on fertile, uncultivated grasslands in the West of England, and these fine old breeds of cattle are the essence of great food from Wild Beef. The meat sold on the stall is hung for a minimum of three weeks to provide succulence and depth of flavour and in support it also offers eggs, granola, bacon, chicken, sausages and rapeseed oil. Richard is deeply passionate about what he does, having set out on his own with just one cow and now rearing a held of more than 120. “The whole thing started off on a
shoe string,” he says, “I grew up on a farm and after leaving the army and working in London for a few years I knew I wanted to get back to the outdoors. “It’s hard work out on the moors but when you see your product at market it’s a rewarding feeling. And Borough Market is a great place to showcase our meat. It’s a wonderful brand, in a great situation and served well by transport. It’s London’s larder and serves a valuable purpose to the local community, traders, shoppers and tourists alike.” “My cattle have six miles one way and four miles the other to graze and this most natural lifestyle on the purest grasslands delivers the highest quality meat. Soil, cattle and time are our only ingredients and although the name Wild Beef frightens some people, I can assure you they are as good as gold!” www.wildbeef.co.uk
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> flavour borough market
mrS King’S PorK PieS Elizabeth King started her small family bakery in Nottingham in 1853 and, such was the popularity of her mouth-watering pies, she established a standard of excellence that has been preserved and passed down through generations of piemakers. Now you will find direct descendant Luke Hartland on a stall at Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, always happy to offer a word on the history of Mrs King’s Pork Pies. “I took over from my dad, Ian, two years ago and I love it down here,” Luke says. “It really is a community and so getting up at 3am on a Thursday to make the trip has never been a problem for me. “My dad started off down here when the market opened and grew to know most of the traders and plenty of customers too. He would be on firstname terms with a whole host of them and when I took over I would always get
asked about him. I have hopefully grown into his role and now share the passion he did about this market. “Us traders will share a pint and bring the new traders into the fold as well. They are important to the market as they offer something new and different that keeps the place living and evolving.” With the original, famous Melton Mowbray Pork Pie still at the heart of the range, Mrs King’s pies today encompass many more delightful and tempting options - from glorious Game Pie to satisfying Steak and Kidney, Turkey with an added zing of Cranberry and Orange, Lamb with taste-bud tingling Mint Gravy. with numerous award-winners among them. Discover the range for yourself and the passion behind the pies at: www.mrskingsporkpies.co.uk
Ted'S Veg Ted and his wife have been operating a fruit and vegetable stall at Borough Market for ten years now and, although times have changed and the nature of markets as an entity have developed into a different beast, have not yet missed a Saturday trading. “Markets are in your blood,” says Ted. “We started coming down to London from Boston, Lincolnshire, and operating in 18 markets all told, the biggest being Borough, so we know what we are doing and what people want. It’s a passion that never dies. “We grow an ever-changing range of seasonal vegetables and salad from our farm near Boston in Lincolnshire, as well as a selection of fresh fruit and veg sourced from other high-quality suppliers. “London is the place to be and we get from field to stall in as little as 12 hours. Everything we take down is
Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL
sold. Times have changed but people are more and more interested in fresh, British produce and that is what we deliver.” With 130 acres of farmland dedicated to fruit and vegetables, Ted’s Veg will have between 30 to 40 items on the stall at any one time, and considering 13 varieties of cauliflower are grown throughout the year you can bet you are getting the freshest and most seasonal produce the UK has to offer. For more information about Ted’s Veg or to make a wholesale enquiry, email: email@example.com
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> flavour sambrooks
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> flavour sambrooks
With the optimism for a new idea that always seems to follow a drink-fuelled ‘Road to Damascus’ revelation, the three friends decided to open a new craft brewery in the heart of London Some time in August 2008, three university mates were relaxing at Olympia in Earl’s Court at the Campaign for Real Ale™ Great British Beer Festival™. It was a great event, much ale was consumed, but there was a problem. The Champion Beer of Britain that year was Alton’s Pride from the Triple FFF Brewery in Hampshire, the best ‘Mild’ was from Cumbria, the Best ‘Best Bitter’ was from Cornwall, Best ‘Strong Beer’: Derbyshire; Best ‘Golden Ale’: South Wales. All excellent brews, but not one from London... And it wasn’t just the prize-winners, even the list of beers generally available at the festival showed precious few brews from the capital. Certainly Fuller, Smith & Turner of Chiswick were represented, a large regional brewery and pub chain just on the A4. But that was more or less it. So, with the optimism for a new idea that always seems to follow a drink-fuelled ‘Road to Damascus’ revelation, the three friends decided to open a new craft brewery in the heart of London. To be fair, there were other breweries in existence in the city then as now, such as Meantime, Zero Degrees and Twickenham, but there was no doubt that London was grossly under represented as a brewing centre. After an aborted first attempt at brewing, Duncan Sambrook signed up for a course in Brewing Fundamentals and, when that didn’t put him off, he knew this was a venture he had to pursue. Ask him now though and he will probably concede that the catalyst that pushed the venture from dream to reality was the introduction of David Welsh, late of the Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire. David had the experience to foresee and mitigate the early risks, and with his guidance, the brewery was founded and test brews were created. Fast forward to 2011, and Duncan is now running a 20-barrel plant in Battersea, with the brewing overseen by Kiwi Head Brewer Ugo van Deventer. Over 60 local pubs now count themselves as semi-permanent stockists of the beers, either in draught or bottles; plus the beers may well turn up as guests elsewhere.
So, the first beer to be produced was Wandle (ABV: 3.8%) a session best bitter named after the River Wandle, which runs from Croydon down past the brewery and into the Thames. The colour is somewhere between pale brown and gold. Waft it under your nose and you get a sense of fresh, natural, herby good health. The taste starts off quite sweet, with a sort of lemonypeach tinge, but then the bitterness comes through to give it a come-back-formore finish. A little stronger is Junction Ale (4.5%), the name needs little explanation as we are close to Clapham here... OK, I’m no good at colours, but I’d say this was a sort of ‘russet’ reddish brown. It’s quite different from Wandle in that there is none of the citrus, and actually the taste has more substance and more than a hint of toffee. It almost tastes creamy, too. It’s quite rich, and for me is ideal for cooler days. Sambrook’s now brew an occasional range of seasonal beers, with the Powerhouse Porter and a Royal Wedding Celebration Special having gone down particularly well. But the brew for the summer, launched on June 20th, is Pale Ale. Much lighter in colour, but at 4.2% still a substantial summer pint. It has a lightness of feel that makes it tempting to quaff on a hot day in the city. I only came across it a couple of days after its release on a visit to CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year, The Harp in Covent Garden, and it is a very welcome addition to the Sambrook’s beer list. For details of pubs in your part of London stocking Sambrook’s ales, they have a monthly list on their web site. The beers are also available in bottles from the brewery shop in Yelverton Road, Battersea.
Sambrook’s Brewery Units 1 & 2 Yelverton Road Battersea SW11 3QG 0207 228 0598 www.sambrooksbrewery.co.uk 21
> flavour simon hopkinson
GOOD COOK As his six-part BBC1 series hits our screens this month, Simon Hopkinson, complete with his trademark perfectionism and precision, shares some recipes every good cook will surely want in their repertoire...
> flavour simon hopkinson
DÉLICES D’ARGENTEUIL Serves 4 Ingredients 16 asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled 8 very thin slices Parma ham
For the pancake batter: 100g flour 2 eggs Large pinch of salt 250ml milk 50g butter, melted, plus extra for cooking the pancakes For the hollandaise sauce: 3 egg yolks 250g unsalted butter, melted A little salt and freshly ground pepper Juice of ½ a lemon
“These utterly delicious pancakes hark back to my initial apprenticeship during the school holidays in a French restaurant called La Normandie...”
Method 1 To make the pancake batter, whisk the flour, eggs, salt and half the milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the butter and enough of the remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. To make the pancakes, use a 20cm, preferably non-stick frying pan (or a favourite pancake pan if you have a nicely ‘seasoned’ one) and in it melt a small amount of butter. Allow it to become hot and sizzling, then pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. This first pancake is usually a bit of a mess, so chuck it out and start afresh. Now, without greasing the pan again, make 8 thin pancakes and put to one side. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4, and a grill to hot. Boil the asparagus in well-salted water for about 5 minutes or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Once done, lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain on a tea-towel. 3 To assemble the délices, take a pancake, lay upon it a slice of ham, then arrange 3 asparagus spears on top. Roll up and place in a lightly buttered baking dish. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 minutes, or until crisping at the edges. 4 To make absolutely sure that they are heated through, pierce one with a thin skewer, leave for 5 seconds and lightly press against your bottom lip. If only warm, give them a few more minutes. 5 Remove the délices to a warmed serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat. Serve at once. 23
> flavour simon hopkinson
MARINATED BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB WITH ASIAN GREEN SAUCE Lamb cooked in this way is terrifically tasty – whether marinated or not. The skin of the meat sizzles and blisters almost to a blackened crust, in the most agreeable fashion. I have cooked this on an open fire in Greece, where the charcoal gives an incomparable flavour to the meat, but a ribbed stove-top grill offers excellent results, too. Do make sure that you allow the lamb to rest once cooked, as this will ensure an even pink. Serves 6–8 Ingredients 1 leg of lamb, butterflied, to give a rough boned weight of about 2–2.3kg Salt Oil
For the marinade: 150ml light soy sauce 50ml sesame oil 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed ½ onion, peeled and chopped Big knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced Juice of 1 orange Juice of 1 lemon 1 tbsp muscovado sugar 1 dsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp paprika For the sauce: 90g coriander leaves 40g mint leaves 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sugar 1 heaped tsp sea salt 75ml lime juice 7–10 green chillies 200g Greek yoghurt Method 1 Liquidise all the ingredients for the marinade until as smooth as possible (pass through a sieve to be on the safe side, if you like). Lay the lamb in a large 24
“The skin of the meat sizzles and blisters almost to a blackened crust, in the most agreeable fashion...”
lidded pot or plastic box, and pour over the marinade. Massage the mixture into the meat, turning it over and over, until well coated. Cover with the lid (or clingfilm or kitchen foil) and put into the fridge for 24 – and up to 48 – hours, turning occasionally. Lift out the meat from the marinade, shake off excess liquid and drain well in a colander, say, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Season well with salt and smear oil over the entire surface; hands are best here. 2 Heat a large, stove-top ribbed grill to medium-hot or, even better, a charcoalfired barbecue; this will give the most perfect and authentic results. Otherwise, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6, and put the lamb on a wire rack fitted inside a roasting dish. If using the
grill or barbecue method (the cook should keep the grill/coals at moderate to high temperature), lay the meat down and leave to quietly crust over the heat for about 20 minutes. Turn over and repeat (this is timed for nicely pink meat). If you choose to take the oven route, the turnings and timings remain about the same, but check that the lamb does not brown too much. Remove to a large serving platter and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes – and up to half an hour – while kept warm, loosely covered with foil if necessary. Note: it is intentional that the surface will have become slightly blackened in parts, but the resultant pink inside contrasts winningly with the carbonised exterior. 3 Meanwhile, place all the green sauce ingredients in a small food processor and
> flavour simon hopkinson
GAZPACHO make a smooth, slack purée. Pour out into a bowl and set aside until the lamb is ready. 4 Transfer the lamb to a board and neatly carve into 0.5cm slices. Return them to the platter, collect any resultant juices and spoon over the meat. Serve with the green sauce and a plain green salad of, say, crisp Cos leaves simply dressed with lemon and olive oil. 5 To make the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tiny splash of water in a stainlesssteel pan over a very low heat, until thick and smooth. Now, off the heat, continue to whisk while pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.
Hot Spanish sunshine. Chilled glass of fino. Lunch. 2.30pm. Post swim. T-shirt and damp shorts. Espadrilles. Panama hat. Unfed cat at sandy feet. Beachside table. More hot Spanish sunshine. Cold soup. Gazpacho. Serves 6 Ingredients 75ml sherry vinegar 300ml water 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped 500g very ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped 150ml passata 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 1 onion, chopped 1 scant tsp Tabasco Small handful of mint leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper 400g crushed ice 200ml extra virgin olive oil
To serve: Tiny croutons, made from a few slices of white bread, cubed, and then fried in olive oil until crisp Method 1 Purée all the soup ingredients together until smooth, apart from about a third of the olive oil. Pass through an ordinary, round sieve (not too fine) while pressing down well on the vegetables to extract as much flavour as possible. Whisk in the rest of the olive oil and pour into chilled soup bowls; although the soup is already chilled due to the crushed ice, drop an extra ice cube into each serving. Hand round croutons at table.
Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook is published by Ebury, RRP £25 25
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> flavour rekorderlig
As the cider market continues to blossom, we at flavour think Rekorderlig is a great addition to the party and here’s why...
ekorderlig Cider was first created in 1999 using the purest spring water in Vimmerby, Sweden, where it is still brewed today. From its humble roots, Rekorderlig has retained its character to become a much-loved, fourth generation family-brewed cider. It is available in five permanent flavours; traditionally refreshing apple, distinctively crisp pear, dry and juicy wild berries, zesty strawberry-lime and the newest addition, the fruity apple-blackcurrant, Rekorderlig’s take on ‘cider and black’. During the winter months, there is also a limited edition Rekorderlig Winter Cider. Available from October, this apple cider infused with cinnamon and vanilla combines the best flavours of the season. Serve it over ice or hot with a slice of orange for the perfect winter warmer. The apple cider is a semi-sweet cider that uses only the finest apples to produce a truly delicious drink bursting with
freshness. The pear cider is so crisp and ultra refreshing that it is perfect for lazy summer days – pour onto ice for a totally magical experience. The strawberry and lime cider is a truly wondrous tipple that, when combined with ice and a few mint leaves, explodes into a taste sensation bursting with life. The wild berries cider is just that; it has the nose of fresh, juicy, wild country berries with the subtle undertones of pear to produce a slightly drier finish on the palate. But what a finish it is! While maintaining its proud Swedish heritage, Rekorderlig Cider has a sublime uniqueness and delivers whatever the occasion, reaching out to those who yearn for something refreshingly different. In a busy and thriving market, Sweden’s latest import is sure to catch fire and bring cider to the table with gusto and aplomb ¬– or an apple or a pear! www.rekorderlig.com
STRAWBERRY AND LIME THE PERFECT SERVE
From its humble roots, Rekorderlig has retained its character to become a much-loved, fourth generation family-brewed cider
• Rekorderlig strawberry and lime • Handful fresh mint leaves • 1 lime, cut into wedges Part fill a glass with ice, add three to five fresh mint leaves and pour over Rekorderlig strawberry and lime. Squeeze one wedge of lime over the cider and drop the lime into the glass.
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10 questions with…
Gregg Wallace This month we talk with co-host of Masterchef, a programme that’s grown into one of the UK’s biggest hotbeds of undiscovered cooking talent... What made last year's Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner stand out from the competition? She was the best cook. People are surprised that it's nearly always men who win amateur Masterchef then they're equally surprised that it's women who do well in Celebrity Masterchef – it's always the best cook who wins and has nothing to do with their gender really. What are some of the best (and worst) dishes you've sampled on the show? The best one was probably also the most simple - Stephen Wallis' Poire belle Hélène which is such a beautiful dish. One of the sillier ones I saw was a lady saying she was going to make a sweet potato soufflé by slicing King Edwards potatoes and sprinkling sugar on top! If you could only work on Masterchef, would it be amateur, the professionals or celebrity? Definitely the amateur one – I just love to see members of the public fulfilling their dreams, Of the amateurs, who has most impressed you over the years? John [Torode] and I say how the standard keeps on getting higher and it does. I think Dhruv Baker is such an exceptional talent, 28
but then Mat Follas before him was very, very creative too. We've had them cooking on stage on Masterchef LIVE and the stuff they come up is just stunning. Are your co-hosts John Torode and Michel Roux Junior very different to work with? Yes – because they come from very different backgrounds. Michel was brought up in a very disciplined French family and John Torode was brought up in big egalitarian dining rooms in Australia. My taste falls smack bang in the middle – I use and enjoy both their restaurants depending on the experience I am after. How did you come to work with John? We were approached separately to be on the show, without the production team realising that we'd known one another for over 20 years. I never knew when I met him all those years ago – when I was running around as a greengrocer trying to find him coriander with the root on – that we'd end up in such a rewarding partnership and as such good friends.
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As each series develops and the gap closes between contestants, how does that affect the judging criteria? I think in the earlier rounds you’re looking for potential, and as you get towards the final, you’re looking for the finished article – there comes a point where potential has to stop and delivery has to begin. Are you looking for contestants who can forge a career beyond the series? We need them to have the skill set, the touch and the palate that a head chef might have, without necessarily the ability to run a brigade. We’re basically looking for someone who can taste finished dishes in their head with a bunch of raw ingredients in front of them. You supposedly have a weakness for all things sweet – is this true? All kids have a sweet tooth and I never lost my absolute delight in something sweet and sticky!
I never knew when I met him [John Torode] all those years ago – when I was running around as a greengrocer trying to find him coriander with the root on – that we’d end up in such a rewarding partnership... Wallace & Co. 146 Upper Richmond Road Putney London SW15 2SW T: 020 8780 0052 W: www.wallaceandco.com
EVE’S PUDDING Worth sinning for: light fluffy golden apple hidden under a sweet sponge topping. Lucky old Eve is all I can say. Serves 4 Ingredients 500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 50g soft light brown sugar 125g butter, plus extra for greasing 125g caster sugar 2 eggs 125g self-raising flour, sifted 1 tablespoon hot water Custard or cream to serve
Method 1 Grease a 1.2 litre shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange the apples in the dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar. 2 Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with the second egg. Fold in the remaining flour, then the hot water. 3 Spread the mixture evenly over the apples and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Serve with cream or custard.
> flavour power of 3
THE POWER OF High on the hog, Nick Harman checks out the three best places to jamon it up in London.
> flavour the power of 3
Iberica Food and Culture
(Pictured left-hand page)
Jose Pizarro is the name that other Spanish chefs drop when talking about the best in the business. At long last, and not a moment too soon, Jose finally has his name over a restaurant door at the eponymous Jose’s in historic Bermondsey High Street. It’s a small place, the chefs are all crushed up in one corner, but the dishes flow out non-stop to a noisy, happy crowd standing at the counters and sampling the day’s specials. It could be his hake fritters, already legendary for their moist, tender fish and crispy batter. The razor clams, when available, are cutting-edge gorgeous and of course there are daily dishes to drive foodies crazy with lust. Hams hang from the ceiling ready to be called to the bar. “Refrigeration is bad for them,” says Jose looking up at his hams with paternal pride. “They don’t need it and see how the fat glistens!” A good ibérico ham has fat in abundance; it melts on the tongue sending shivers of ecstasy down your throat. Good ham is worth seeking out. “I have been to see our producer in Spain,” adds Jose. “The way the pigs live is vital. They are free to roam around searching for the acorns that give ibérico ham its unique flavour. That walking about develops their muscles and improves the meat. And of course they are happy and have a good life.” You can taste that good life in the slices he passes me to try. Maldonado ham comes from pigs that roam the woodlands of south-western Spain, with the cuts cured and aged for nearly three years in natural drying houses and cellars 500 metres up in the San Pedro mountain range. The pigs eat almost nothing but acorns and so the flavour is sweetly nutty with a uniquely light saltiness afterward. If you live or work in Bermondsey, and even if you don’t, Jose’s place is one to seek out for great ham, a range of dry sherries and of course great tapas too. 104 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UB www.josepizarro.com
Iberica restaurant is not your standard Spanish place. No attempt to mimic a classic old tapas bar here, instead the vibe is cool, airy and modern. The double height ceilings of this old garage on Great Portland Street grab the London sun and sling it inside where it glistens on four legs of jamon ready to be sliced and served. One is serrano, which is less expensive than ibérico as it comes from the Landrace breed of white pig who are quite different to the Jamón ibérico pigs in quality. Still delicious, the serrano is a lighter rose pink, more delicate in structure and with far less fat. At iberica they have a passion for the pig and you can order a tasting plate of ibérico jamons and take a taste trip through Spain’s jamon variety, or alternatively taste the different ‘expressions’ as the age and the price of the hams mount. No one would ever argue that Jamon Ibérico de Bellota is cheap but as Marcos Fernandez the owner/director of Iberica explains, the mark up for him is very small. When these little piggies go to market, they command a very high price. “A Spanish restaurant without the best hams is unthinkable though.” he says carving small slices for us to try. “See how this toenail on this leg is rounded?” he says. “That means the pig has lived its life roaming freely, the nail has naturally worn as the animal forages about eating freerange acorns. Not all jamons have this tell-tale sign of quality.” Sherry is Marcos’s recommendation to drink with his range of hams. “It cuts the fat and refreshes the palate,” he says. “But of course a good red wine is equally wonderful.” Sitting in Iberica savouring the aromas and sampling the ham is the perfect way to while away an hour or two in the afternoon. Iberica’s croquettas, made as croquettas should always be with the scraps from the ibérico, are the best in town so don’t leave without eating at least three. 195 Great Portland Street London W1W 5P3 www.ibericalondon.co.uk
Sam and Eddie Hart own Barrafina and Fino, the latter probably the first, decent Spanish restaurant in London and created at a time when paella and chips, served by cockneys with mock Spanish accents, seemed to dominate. Barrafina is their tapas bar and it doesn’t take reservations. This was something of a novelty at the time but the brothers, who are both chefs, were subconsciously tapping into an emerging trend. Now queuing to spend your money is all the rage. For Eddie Hart jamon is crucial to the bar, he too believes that while the profit on ham is miniscule and barely worth it, there’s no way it will ever go off the menu. And whilst he could use the cheaper hams, there are a range of levels within the denomination ibérico from so-so to simply super, he sticks to the best from suppliers he has carefully selected. Barrafina offer Jamon de Jabugo, from producer ‘5 Jotas’. A 50g portion with jamon is served freshly sliced so translucently thin that you can almost see through it. “It’s so bad when people hack away at it either through ignorance or bad knife skills,” says Eddie. “Jamon is rather like chocolate, it melts almost exactly at body temperature and to do it well it has to be thinly cut. The sensation of the meat melting and releasing its unique flavour in the mouth is what jamon is all about.” “This jamon comes from Andalucía and we went to see the animals, which are of course entirely acorn fed. It’s not the most expensive, like a Gran Reserva, but we don’t find those hams are really worth the extra money.” He knows his jamon and the brothers’ Barrafina is a magnet for foodies. The bustle and noise is as good as it gets, a real feel of Spain. And if you can’t get a seat straightway, you can always get a sherry while waiting to pig out on the jamon. 54 Frith Street, London W1D 4SL www.barrafina.co.uk 31
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The simple pleasures in life:
food, family and friends When Luigi Moretti sold his first bottle of beer back in the summer of 1860, he could not have imagined the legacy he was starting...
With a distinct feeling of nostalgia, award-winning chef Giancarlo Caldesi often recalls his first memories of Birra Moretti in his home country: "As a young man I remember it being sold in big baskets along with Orangina and traditional lemonade - it was always considered a real treat. During harvest time we would stop our work at lunchtime and drink it on bales of hay while we ate together." Today, Italian culture is still founded on the simple pleasures of good food and good conversation spent in the company of family and friends. And for those looking to experience a real taste of Italy, opening a bottle of Moretti is the perfect place to start. This summer Birra Moretti opens its doors and welcomes you to Casa Moretti, a series of exciting events celebrating life's simple pleasures - great beer, great food and great conversation. To start with, in July the authentic Italian beer brand launches a series of â€˜pop-upâ€™ gourmet pizza masterclasses in the capital.
Join Giancarlo Caldesi to make your very own gourmet pizzas. Choosing between a classic Margherita, Diavolo (spicy Italian sausage, mozzarella and tomato) and Marinara (anchovies, capers, black olives, mozzarella and tomato) â€“ who said there was no such a thing as a free lunch? Not only that, but each guest will be treated to a Birra Moretti beer, alongside recipes to recreate an authentic dinner for friends and loved ones. If you don't have much time to stop don't worry, you'll still be able to sample delicious slices of pizza, dough balls and other Italian treats as you pass by. You'll even be given recipe cards to recreate the Moretti experience at home.
il dolce far niente Italians live by this phrase, which means â€œthe sweetness of doing nothing.â€? Goodness, blessings and simple pleasures are in every moment, we just need to pause long enough to notice. Never is this more evident than when we sit around a table, sharing good food and great conversation with friends and family. In Italy lunch is the most important meal of the day, which is exactly why in August, Casa Moretti is celebrating this way of life and giving you the chance to host a long lunch in venues across London. To find out more and how you can take part in a long lunch, which involves preparing and cooking a feast for up to nine of your chosen friends under the guidance of Italian Chef Giancarlo Caldesi, simply visit the Moretti Facebook page.
For more info, visit Birra Moretti at facebook.com/morettiuk
when and where Pop-up pizza sessions will take place between 11am-4pm at the following locations: Wed 27 July - Exchange Square Thurs 28 July - Soho Square Friday 29 July - Canary Wharf To find out more about this and other exciting events planned this summer, join the Birra Moretti Facebook page at www.facebook.com/morettiuk
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Feeling a little dazzled by the city's bright lights? then retreat to the country and gaze at the star-filled skies just like nature intended...
Old Swan & Minster Mill Combine the charm of the bygone years, a good measure of modern convenience and a romantic setting and youâ€™re some way to understanding the Old Swan experience...
he de Savary family have been hoteliersfor more than 30 years and have created some of the worldâ€™s best loved destinations, including Skibo Castle in Scotland and Bovey Castle on Dartmoor. Their recently launched Cary Arms in Devon has received rave reviews and awards, not least for its gastro-pub dining and stunning revamp. They are now adding the newly restored Old Swan & Minster Mill to their portfolio. At the heart of the bucolic village of Old Minster, between Witney and Burford and set in 65 acres of gardens and wildflower meadows, the property lies on the River Windrush in the Cotswolds.
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"The inn is a myriad of cosy dining rooms and snugs... instantly making you feel at home" Built 600 years ago, the inn is a myriad of cosy dining rooms and snugs. Log fires burn in huge fireplaces, dazzling fresh flowers are arranged throughout and the smell of beeswax and polish pervades the rooms, instantly making you feel welcome and at home. The 16 charming guest bedrooms in the Old Swan are all different; beautifully appointed with elegant, traditional furnishings and classic de Savary touches throughout. Alternatively, guests can opt for the more contemporary rooms at the adjoining Minster Mill. The younger sister is only 200 years old and the rooms here
are smaller, cute and crisply fresh with great views over the magical gardens or river. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the staff welcoming and enthusiastic. Dining is excellent and includes simply cooked gastro-pub dishes made from the very best local produce, as well as the trademark de Savary â€˜adult nursery dishesâ€™. In the gardens, guests can enjoy flyfishing, tennis, petanque, badminton and croquet and an amble around the awardwinning gardens and water meadows should not be
missed. A spa treatment room has been added offering guests world-class treatments from Parisian brand, Yon-Ka. Old Swan & Minster Mill School Hill, Minster Lovell WitneyOxfordshire OX29 0RN 01993 774441 www.oldswanandminstermill.com
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Bishopstrow House B
ishopstrow House is without doubt one of the finest luxury hotels in Dorset and Wiltshire, and is a temple to relaxation where guests receive the warmest of welcomes and the ultimate in hospitality. Whether you choose to retreat from stress and pressure in the Halcyon Spa or take time to reflect in the calm, contemporary surroundings, the ambience of Bishopstrow House makes you feel as though you have arrived in a truly magical place. The bedrooms are as characterful as the public rooms and all are beautifully furnished. Each of the 32 rooms has their own distinct personality - from the luxurious country house opulence of the Oval Room to the understated elegance of the Longleat Room. Award-winning Head Chef Frank Bailey has the reigns of the Mulberry experience, an all-day foodie extravaganza set in three restaurants. Using the finest, freshest ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible, the result sees genuinely imaginative dishes that delight and inspire on the 2 AA Rosette Ă la carte menu. Aside from the main restaurant there is also a conservatory with a casual and informal approach to dining or the Mulberry Terrace, where the menu has a variety of dishes from healthy salads and snacks to indulgent cakes and cocktails. All areas overlook the wonderful Bishopstrow gardens. The cool design of the classical and contemporary Halcyon Spa, complete with thermal and treatment rooms, fill you with an air of peace and tranquillity. Take in some tennis on the indoor or outdoor courts
or a workout in the gym before finishing off your pampering in the highly rated hair salon. You may feel a little over-cooked now so there can be nothing better than to sit by the outdoor heated swimming pool and enjoy a cocktail or glass of Champagne over a lazy West Country sunset. Bishopstrow House is the ideal getaway and, combined with the spa, it is the perfect romantic retreat or place to visit with the whole family. Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and The City of Bath are also a stoneâ€™s throw away. There is something for everyone, and everyone should leave Bishopstrow with a few less wrinkles and a few more smiles. Bishopstrow House Hotel and Spa Warminster Wiltshire BA12 9HH 01985 212312 www.bishopstrow.co.uk
EXCLUSIVE READER OFFER Stay for two consecutive nights on either room and breakfast or room, dinner and breakfast and receive 15 per cent off the daily best available rate. Offer includes a complimentary ancient Arabic cleansing ritual in the Halcyon Spa for two. Additionally, you receive 15 per cent off all pre-booked treatments in the spa. Offer available until 31st August. Reservations must be booked by 8th August. Please quote flavour when booking.
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art Marina Hotel & Spa – the waterside retreat that will draw you back time and time again…
Dart Marina Hotel & Spa, situated within a few steps of the magical River Dart, is a rare find. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Dartmouth, Devon, a more stunning location is hard to imagine and one glance at the River meandering by is enough to make you breathe a little easier. It’s the kind of place which draws people back time and again and not just because of its mesmerising location, but because of the warmth of the team who work there, the stylish yet relaxing atmosphere throughout the Hotel & Spa and the superb local produce, which can be found on every menu. This combination is what makes Dart Marina a place where people take an hour over a great cup of coffee and the papers and it’s what makes people come back to enjoy another ‘dose’ of total relaxation. But for many guests it is simply a wonderful place to rejuvenate; king-size beds with crisp linens and plump pillows, fluffy bathrobes and soft towels, a chair positioned perfectly to watch the yachts sail by or a massage treatment to leave the skin glowing. Dart Marina’s elegant fine dining River Restaurant, which holds two AA Rosettes, has exemplary standards of cuisine, wines and service. Wildfire Bar & Bistro buzzes with soft jazz, cocktails and Champagne, and the best kind of Devon seafood grill. For a friendly, traditional pub atmosphere,
The Floating Bridge has a menu that reflects everything that is good about honest pub food - Devon crab sandwiches, beer battered cod and homemade chips, local ale and, of course, desserts served with rich Devon clotted cream. Head chef Tom Woods delights in using local and seasonal ingredients sourced from Devon waters, pastures and producers, and he works with each season. The health spa is a haven for total relaxation - experienced and welcoming therapists offer luxurious, holistic treatments, which leave the skin glowing and aid a blissful night’s sleep. The worldrenowned House of Elemis treatments are used alongside a new range of organic hand, nail and foot treatments from Pinks Boutique. There’s an exercise suite, a pool, a steam room and drench showers to reinvigorate and refresh. Time spent at Dart Marina might mean a boat trip along the River Dart to a vineyard for lunch, sitting on the beautifully clean beach at Blackpool Sands, a long walk through ancient woodland, a morning browsing the local galleries, a river cruise or a fishing trip, or a visit to a local garden, and then back for a Devon tea and warm, freshly-made scones by the riverside.
Dart Marina Hotel & Spa Sandquay Road Dartmouth, Devon TQ6 9PH 01803 832580 www.dartmarina.com
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the deer park T
he Deer Park has recently reopened following a major refurbishment. Situated in 80 acres of unspoilt Devon countryside, this 18th Century country house hotel is ideally located to explore Devon’s dramatic coastline and the heather clad rolling hills of Dartmoor National Park. The Deer Park is an unpretentious family focused hotel which has the warmth of a truly English country house. From the moment you arrive up the mile long drive, you’ll find that everything, from your bedroom and the service to the exquisite food and relaxing atmosphere is created to make you feel right at home. The hotel has 16 en-suite bedrooms which have all been individually styled to capture the essence of country living. The principle rooms in particular boast stunning countryside views out towards the River Otter.
The restaurant has built an enviable reputation for both its quality and atmosphere, offering a range of dishes to delight all senses. Stroll around the grounds through wooded walkways, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool or cosy up in the lounge with your favourite book. The hotel’s private five mile fishery on the River Otter also provides the perfect place for a spot of fly fishing, so you really can do as much or as little as you please during your stay. The Deer Park Country House Hotel, Buckerell Village, Weston, Honiton, Devon, EX14 3PG 01404 41266 firstname.lastname@example.org www.deerparkcountryhotel.co.uk
The perfect escape!
or over 50 years, locals and visitors alike have beaten a trail to Trebetherick's St Moritz Hotel and this summer will see yet another reason for people to wind their way up the picturesque lanes to this renowned spot. The whole reason the hotel is called the St Moritz is that the original owner had a major passion for food and, back in the day, the Swiss resort was the epicentre of the European gastronomy scene. He therefore sent all his chefs there to train and named his Cornish hotel the St Moritz so this commitment was crystal clear.
Half a century on, the hotel is a very different place following a stunning £15million rebuild by brothers Hugh and Steve Ridgway. Their influence has seen the inclusion of 16 stunning super-suites, a range of
gargantuan apartments, the celebritys’ favourite Cowshed spa and a gleaming outdoor swimming pool. However, the commitment to the very best of food remains steadfast. Head Chef James O'Connor takes up the story, "Here at the St Moritz Hotel food has always been a key passion and I’m honoured to take up this tradition and drive the acclaimed St Moritz Restaurant. Excitingly however, and just in time for the summer holidays, we’re opening a new poolside restaurant, ‘Sea Side’ at the St. Moritz, with breathtaking views across the Camel Estuary and out to Steppa Point. "The location instantly relaxes you and the new restaurant's menu and surroundings will reflect this vibe all the
way. I'm planning a fresh new menu with a range of relaxed dishes that are lighter in style and healthier, cooked with less butter and cream. There will be lots of fish, antipasti and dishes to share –all perfect for a summer’s day with a large glass of chilled wine!” Sea Side at the St Moritz will be open between 12 midday and 6pm every day of the week.
St Moritz Hotel Trebetherick Wadebridge Cornwall. PL27 6SD. 01208 862 242 www. stmoritzhotel.co.uk
Dedicated to your comfort, indulgence & enjoyment...
> flavour angela hartnett
Mouth-watering recipes from the UK’s top female chef...
angela hartnett Angela Hartnett MBE needs little introduction. She is one of the brightest talents to have emerged on the UK food scene and one of the most high-profile women in the industry. She has emerged as one of Britain’s busiest and most successful chefs and in addition to serving exquisite cuisine in her restaurants, Angela has made her name by appearing on several television programmes and she has published a string of sumptuous cookbooks. During her childhood, Angela’s Italian grandmother and mother instilled in her an appreciation and love of good food, and after completing a degree in Modern History at Cambridge Polytechnic she began on her road to stardom and food accolades. In 2004 Angela gained her first Michelin star and also won a legion of new fans appearing alongside her mentor Gordon Ramsay in ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen. She competed for Wales in the Great British Menu competition for BBC Two in 2006. Just a year later, she was awarded an MBE for services to the industry. She now owns Murano, the Mayfair restaurant she ran under Gordon Ramsay and most recently took over Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room in East London. This month, we’re delighted to feature recipes from her latest book The Taste of Home and hope that you’ll find them as inspiring as we find Angela… 42
> flavour angela hartnett
Pea soup You can use frozen peas for this beautiful soup, so it is really quick and simple to make. Serves 4 1 litre vegetable stock 500g frozen peas 6 mint leaves 200ml crème fraîche Drizzle of olive oil, for serving Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Pour the vegetable stock into a pan and bring to the boil – you can use water if you don’t have any veg stock. 2 Add the frozen peas and mint leaves, bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, reserving the stock. 3 Blitz the peas in a food processor or blender with half the stock. Pour the purée back into the pan and add enough of the remaining stock to make a smooth soup. Season to taste. 4 Add the crème fraîche and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
Braised Swiss chard with Fontina and mushrooms Serves 4 500g Swiss chard Juice of ½ lemon 1 tbsp olive oil 250g wild mushrooms 1 garlic clove, chopped 25g butter 25g flour 300ml milk, warmed 150g Fontina cheese, freshly grated 30g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 30g breadcrumbs Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Remove the leaves from the chard and trim the stalks. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the lemon juice, then blanch the stalks until tender. Drain
and set aside. 2 Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Add the garlic, then the chard stalks and finally the leaves and stir everything well. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/ Gas mark 4. 3 Melt the butter in a small pan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then add the Fontina and allow to melt. 4 Mix the sauce with the chard and mushrooms and pour into a buttered ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs. 5 Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top.
Vanilla cheesecake with blueberries Serves 8 150g digestive biscuits 100g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing 350g cream cheese 70g icing sugar 2 tsp lemon juice Grated zest of 1 lemon ½ tsp vanilla extract 300ml double cream 200g blueberries 2 tbsp caster sugar 1 Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Put the digestive biscuits into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling
pin. Mix them with the melted butter, then press the mixture into the tin in an even layer. 2 Mix the cream cheese in a bowl with the icing sugar, lemon juice and zest, and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream and then fold it into the cream cheese mix. 3 Spoon the filling onto the biscuit base and smooth the top with a spatula. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. 4 Meanwhile, put the blueberries in a pan with the caster sugar and cook them gently. Leave to cool. 5 When the cheesecake is ready, remove it from the tin, spoon the blueberries over the top and serve. 43
Capote y toros
Iberico cheeks. For Zeren Wilson this month, the sordid thrill of seeing those two words saw a casual read of the menu turn into a frantic grabbing of the last two stools.
This new sherry and tapas bar from old hand Abel Lusa of Cambio de Tercio, personifies the flourish of the matador’s cape (capote), and the dazzling colours of the flamenco dancer, the space a garish blend of pink, red and yellow. Influence of the bull (toros) is all around this tiny venue, and on the art hung on the bright walls. A clattery atmosphere jangles the nerves, but adds a welcome note of bonhomie and Andalucian style.
Silken Iberico cheeks steeped in Oloroso sherry, nestling on indecently textured potato, invigorated by a backnote of peppery olive oil, is a show-stopper. Even more joyful at £6.50 for two glorious nuggets.
The quality and execution of the dishes belies the lowly “sherry and tapas bar” moniker. This is serious quality food of real panache and confidence, a nod to the other venues which are part of the group. The experience of an established restaurant group is gold dust in this frenzied atmosphere of relentless London openings - and it shows.
Top grade “Cinco Jotas”, the über tier of Iberico ham, is expertly carved, and a groaning plate of selected cuts of Iberico with lomo, chorizo, and ham is stupid value at £12.
Carpaccio of marinated codfish is served at perfect room temperature, studded with zesty orange pieces and black olives, and is pretty and lovingly presented. Classy stuff.
Galician octopus is a refined, plated version of the familiar Pulpo a la Gallega, traditionally served on a wooden board,
but all the other elements are here, smoked paprika, potato, punctuated with shards of sea salt. Anchovies marinated in Palo Cortado vinaigrette are a palateenlivening perfect appetiser, making salivatory instincts kick into overdrive. Pass me that Manzanilla. Only a dish of roasted cod in a chorizo crust fails to hit the heights, not enough of the fun sparks of chorizo in the mix. The wicked glint in the eye of the Jamón hanging above had a more compelling siren call. Then there is the sherry list. Sherry is now firmly back in the groove on the London dining scene - this list trumps them all. Wine is relegated to the back of the list and plays second fiddle, the sherries covering all bases with a commendable
> flavour capote y toros
Palo Cortado offering. Wines are infuriatingly presented, amongst slapdash label images, confusing presentation, and is painful to navigate. No matter, sherry is the star here. We hoover up a couple of bottles of zingy, bone-shakingly dry La Goya Manzanilla at ÂŁ13 for a half-bottle, and are happy simply with this. The night we visit there are chinks in service, the result of inexperience and mild panic - we forgive all for the sweet smiles and genuine enthusiasm. On the air-kissing, Prada-wearing, Maseratidriving, stretch of Old Brompton Road, this is a welcome blast of Spain from the shores of Jerez. The memory of those silken Iberico cheeks remains....
Capote y Toros 157 Old Brompton Road London SW5 0LJ 0207 373 0567 www.cambiodetercio.co.uk
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gINSPIRATION! > flavour loves
Winners of three gold stars at last year’s Great Taste Awards, Six O'clock Gin and Six O'clock Tonic are the new champions of the Bramley and Gage range. The blueprint for Six O'clock Gin and Six O'clock Tonic is balance, poise and precision, values upheld by Michael Kain, who has created both a clean and smooth London gin and a natural bittersweet tonic. When combined, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
Six O’clock Tonic is an all-natural Indian tonic water made with real sugar and contains no saccharin or artificial preservatives. The bitterness comes from natural quinine extract and this melds with acidity from lemon and lime extracts. Quench your thirst this summer with the ultimate British aperitif – creating your very own moment of “ginspiration” before dinner. www.sixoclockgin.co.uk
For the gin, Michael carefully balances juniper with six other botanicals to chime together as sweetly as any timepiece. Orange peel adds citrus in delightful harmony with floral elderflower, resulting in a clean, smooth and richly flavoured gin.
> flavour hubbub
pick of the crop Hubbub, an Ocado-style service, brings together the quality and service of the best independent shops with the convenience offered by the supermarkets. For founder Marisa Leaf, the goal is to make it easy for more people to shop locally and, in so doing, ensure that the small businesses that are the lifeblood of communities thrive. Customers order online from their local greengrocer, fishmonger, butcher, baker etc and Hubbub delivers everything in one go, in a one-hour time slot at the customer’s convenience. Hubbub visits the shops and collects the orders face-to-face so everything is freshly prepared (and they get to have a gossip with the shopkeepers!). Prices are the same as in the shops and customers receive their order all in one delivery. Hubbub handpicks the shops it works with for their exceptional quality of produce and service. These shops include some of London’s best independent food businesses: Ottolenghi, La Fromagerie, Frank Godfrey Family Butcher, Saponara Italian Delicatessen, Earth Natural Foods, Fin and Flounder, Hansen & Lydersen, Paul A Young Fine Chocolates and Ginger Pig. They currently deliver to most of Highbury, Islington, Finsbury Park, Stoke Newington, Tufnell Park and Kentish Town, with plans for London expansion imminent and a countrywide presence on the horizon. “Many people prefer to buy from their local independents but are too busy to get to them. By taking orders online and delivering, Hubbub makes it possible for more of us to shop locally,” says Marisa.
By taking orders online and delivering, Hubbub makes it possible for more of us to shop locally
Hubbub customers get the best quality seasonal food delivered at a time of their convenience with the added feelgood factor of supporting their local independent shops. Plus you’ll never have to grapple with an over-enthusiastic traffic warden or stand in a supermarket queue again! What could be better? Visit www.hubbub.co.uk and use postcode N5 1QJ to access the site if your own postcode is outside Hubbub’s current delivery areas. ■ 47
> flavour high road brasserie
high road brasserie On the quest for seasonal food, this month Ren Behan visits the High Road Brasserie on Chiswick High Road for a relaxed summer’s evening supper. The High Road Brasserie is a bustling French-style bistro on Chiswick High Road, sitting below the High Road House Hotel and Members’ Club, all part of The Soho House Group. The Brasserie offers both indoor and outdoor seating all year round and is open daily from 7am on weekdays and 8am at the weekend. The Brasserie is very popular with the local residents of Chiswick, offering a family-orientated, suburban atmosphere particularly during the day and at weekends. A full Breakfast Menu is offered as well as a Set Lunch Menu (two courses £12.50/ three courses £15.50), making it a popular hub for mums with kids during the week. Saturday Brunch is also a busy time, offering breakfast such as Eggs, Any Style On Toast (£5.00) or French Toast with Rhubarb and Cream (£6.50). I am also told by the chef that the Sunday Roast (£17.00) with a choice of chicken or rib of beef, served with roasted new potatoes, cauliflower cheese and summer greens, is also popular with families. A menu for ‘Little People’ is available for £6.00 with a choice of ice-cream or fruit for pudding.
High Road House & Brasserie 162-170 Chiswick High Road London W4 1PR Tel: 0208 742 7474 www.brasserie.highroadhouse.co.uk
We popped into the High Road Brasserie for a mid-week evening supper and although there were one or two children dining with their parents, there was a good mix of groups, couples and post-work catch-ups; I am told this is the ‘media’ end of town. The lively atmosphere inside could be seen spilling
out into a large area with tables on the pavement, giving the brasserie its classic French bistro/café feel. The décor is modern and neat, with a large bar directly in front of the entrance, an open kitchen to one side with tables in front and cosier corners with leather bench-lined walls in a section to the right. Most striking is the Victorian tiled floor throughout the brasserie, offering a patchwork of colours, patterns and interesting designs which enhances the friendly and laid-back atmosphere of the house and staff. On our visit there were many aspects of the menu which were seasonallyinspired, with classic choices such as English Asparagus with Poached Egg and Hollandaise for starters (£7.50) or a light Broad Bean and Pecorino Soup (£5.50). The small plates are ideal for sharing; the Spiced Aubergine and Flatbread, Deep Fried Camembert with Onion Chutney or Sausage Rolls and Ketchup (all at £5.00/3 for £14) would also soak up an evening beer very nicely. Stand-out seasonal mains and desserts included Lamb Rump, Spring Carrots and Salsa Verde (£15.50) and Strawberry Shortbread (£6.00) - both perfect for a summer’s evening. All-in-all, the menu at the High Road Brasserie would offer something suitable for most palates at any time of the day, with its relaxed atmosphere making it a popular and friendly local hub. ■
Ren Behan also writes a seasonally inspired family-friendly food blog at www.renbehan.com - Follow her on Twitter @RenBehan 48
> flavour chef profile
chef profile Name: Devon Boyce Originally from: Cape Town, South Africa Head chefs at: High Road Brasserie, Chiswick
I’ve worked as a chef for nine years now, starting my career in South Africa where I worked in some top hotels in Cape Town. Then I got a call from London to come over and I began working for the Soho House Group. Back home I cooked mainly fusion and Thai food so British cooking was a bit of a change for me and I had to learn pretty quickly. That’s what is so great about being a chef - you can keep changing and keep trying something different.
High Road House & Brasserie 162-170 Chiswick High Road London W4 1PR Tel: 0208 742 7474 www.brasserie.highroadhouse.co.uk
At the High Road Brasserie we create the menu by cramming in as much seasonal food as possible and by using produce when it’s at its best. We are very aware of sustainability and try as far as possible to source British produce so we don’t have to wait for it to come from abroad. I’m looking forward to using crab over the summer or you might see some sea bass fillets with a chunky olive tapenade on the menu. We’ve served lots of British asparagus this season and we’re looking forward to including some courgette flowers soon too. The dining experience at the Brasserie is very laid back and focuses quite a lot on comfort food. We have an open kitchen and we’re quite a lovely bunch which people can hopefully see from where they are sitting. It’s not very formal
and we try to keep the food nice and simple. Our summer cooking is really fresh and light. I’m continually inspired by other chefs and there’s always something new going on at the brasserie. We actually have two kitchens in the building, as we have the members’ club too, and once a month a chef comes in to join us and show us some new tricks. Recently, Anthony Demetre visited, who is such a good chef. You can see that he loves being in the kitchen. It was also great to see Tom Aitkens, who came in a little while ago. One cook book I’m reading at the moment is Anthony Demetre’s new book called Today’s Special - A New Take on Bistro Food. It’s kind of similar to what we are doing at the moment. In London I enjoy eating at Nobu or Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. I loved the food in Cape Town but there’s a restaurant at the moment in Spain that I’d love to go to called Mugaritz. It was awarded third place in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants recently and it would be really inspiring to go there. As a chef I don’t think you can limit yourself to one type of food and it’s always good to try different things. ■ 51
On the Bethnal Green Road you will find an unusual restaurant where the food and drink are both the most important items on the menu.
mason & taylor
> flavour mason & taylor
Neither restaurant, nor pub, nor wine bar – this is actually a ‘beer bar’ that happens to serve great food...
Mason & Taylor is a restaurant, or more accurately, a craft beer and real ale bar that happens to serve great food. Those familiar with this part of the city will remember the Green And Red Mexican restaurant that was previously on this site. Opened in December 2010 after an extensive refurbishment, Mason & Taylor has a delightfully modern and airy feel to it. Shiny wooden floors tapering towards the entrance, a series of pillars which – for all I know – are probably structurally essential but nonetheless add a certain endearing faux-grandeur to the place, which is only accentuated by the woodentopped marble bar. The metallic railings that skirt the staircase down to the basement seem slightly at odds with the rest of the decor, but there is a strong sense that defying expectations is pretty much the point. Neither restaurant, nor pub, nor wine bar – this is actually a ‘beer bar’, a phrase that may seem pleonastic but which accurately reflects the importance of the choice of unusual and carefully selected ales, lagers, ciders and speciality beers on offer. Open in the evenings during the week, and all day at weekends, the blackboards list the beers available, all of which are taken from a quarterly beer menu, available to download from the website. The current menu runs until the end of June. There are up to 12 draft beers on at any one time, as well as up to 40 bottled and speciality beers, of which about 15 get swapped every three months. All the beers have tasting notes in the manner to which we have become all too accustomed when drinking wine but, given that there is arguably a wider variety of styles and flavours of beer than of wine, there is ample justification and the Mason & Taylor list manages for the most part to avoid pseudish pretensions.
The ‘house ale’ is an eminently quaffable session bitter called Hophead from the Dark Star Brewery down Brighton way. At a mere 3.8%, it’s light and refreshing with more than a hint of citrus in the aftertaste. Indeed I have seen beer drinkers at festivals keep a half of this by them as they trawl through stronger brews, because Dark Star Hophead helps to clear their palate better than the passion fruit sorbet that is always never available at beer festivals... Given that many of the beers here are priced very much to reflect their connoisseur status, Hophead is a very reasonable session ale. Equally pale, but at the other end of the ABV scale is Chimay White, rare on draught in the UK and, at 8%, to be treated with respect. It doesn’t taste all that scary, although the aroma of bananas suggests something quite substantial. In terms of flavour, there’s a combination of lemons and honey that just sails the right side of reminiscent of a cold remedy. For something a little darker, served in a Harry Potter-style goblet, try Belgium’s Westmalle Dubbel. The malt just leaps out and grabs you by the taste buds and unleashes a huge array of flavours... Is that caramel? Blackberry? Damson? Apple? Yes, and lots more besides. An absolute classic. Another popular choice is Brooklyn Lager – unsurprisingly brewed in New York. This is not a lager like we are used to in the UK. Much, much darker than the homogenised stuff we usually get, and brewed in the traditional Viennese style, this has a more substantial ‘nose’, and a drier flavour. Caramel is clearly in evidence, battling with the malt for supremacy, before both give up and call it a satisfying draw. There are also a regular American stout and choice of ciders, but these change so quickly that you’re better off asking a member of staff to talk you through them when you visit.
In addition to the draught beers, there is a bewildering array of bottled beers to sample. From the current batch, Mason & Taylor’s own recommendations speak for themselves...
Schneider’s Weisse Aventinus is not a traditional ‘white beer’ as the name suggests, but is a ‘cracking, rich ruby doublebock’. At 8.2% it is another beer to be savoured rather than quaffed. A couple of bottles from Bristol’s Beer Factory take centre stage too. No 7, a fully rounded and tasty best bitter; and Southville Hop, an impossibly exotic pale ale that seems to feature any fruit you care to name – there is definitely pineapple, guava and grapefruit and you can’t help feeling more summery as you take each sip. The food is designed as relatively light dishes to accompany the beer. Much is made of the traceable provenance and seasonality of the ingredients – sourced locally wherever possible. Expect potted crab with capers and toast; or boar & apple sausages; or nettle, goat cheese and tomato tart. Each dish is around £5 and the staff will be happy to recommend the best beer to accompany your food, or vice versa. ■
Mason and Taylor 51-55 Bethnal Green Road London E1 6LA 0207 749 9670 53
Roganic On the Bethnal Green Road you will find an unusual restaurant where the food and drink are both the most important items on the menu.
> flavour roganic
I’ve had to sacrifice my family because of incompetence. I listened to many people close to me who told me to cut my ties with this guy and I decided to look for a new project - which ended up being Roganic
The espresso shot is downed in an instant, and Ben Spalding, the 24-year-old Head Chef at Roganic in Marylebone, recounts getting his fingers burnt with a restaurant which very nearly opened with him at the helm. Three days before his restaurant was due to open in Folkestone, he was seeing everything unravel before him. He was told bluntly by his business partner that the money simply wasn’t there to open for business. A tangled web of failed loan applications brought the vision to a shuddering halt. “Even worse it was two days before my first wages from him, he had included it in the loan! I couldn’t believe it.” Stunned by the news, the reality of the situation revealed itself. “He had applied for several loans from various money sources with a complete business plan over several months, had been getting knocked back by them and decided not to tell me. He pretended everything was fine. I hit the roof.” With a family and young child to support, life took on a darker hue as he realised he would have to look towards London for work. “I had created a restaurant in Folkestone that had everything, forty covers, right on the sea, making our own salt and butter, I poured six months of my life, heart and soul into it...” Having been in the kitchen at L’Autre Pied in Marylebone, and at Rhodes W1, Ben was swiftly involved in a damage limitation exercise. “After I cooled down I contacted various contacts in London who we then met with to find funding. It was too short notice, it was clear it wasn’t going to happen - I was gutted. The effects were devastating, to the point now where I live in London five-days-a-week to work because of our flat contract commitments. I’ve had to sacrifice my family because of
incompetence. I listened to many people close to me who told me to cut my ties with this guy and I decided to look for a new project - which ended up being Roganic.” His time spent working with Simon at L’Enclume in Cartmel has been ideal preparation for the working partnership they now have. “Ultimately it’s Simon’s business but my kitchen. He expects me to run it properly and consistently. Simon is giving me an incredible amount of trust, responsibility and respect. We write the menus together, I must keep his ethos and style but I have free will to create, which I thrive on.” Forty dishes have been created for the opening, which will come on the Roganic menu over the following months coming back next year, refined and stronger. One of his favourites will be the seawater cured Kentish mackerel, sea beet, onions and honey. At 24-years-old there is clearly precocious talent here, with a period at Per Se in New York under Thomas Keller to his name, and time spent in Melbourne. “Thomas Keller is an incredible chef, Per Se is without doubt the best place and best meal I have ever eaten anywhere. Utterly inspirational.” Now he’s back in London, I ask him if he feels both New York and Melbourne are still leading the culinary dance in many ways. “Yes I would, just about. I lived and worked there in 2006 so times have changed and London is now very close behind with underground movements like The Loft Project and The Young Turks. Then you have places like Polpo and Terroirs providing accessible and affordable dining.” There is a palpable energy emanating from him as he speaks, a crackle of excitement - he’s almost feverish. An amateur DJ, he answers in an instant when asked how he lets off steam. “Clubbing at Fabric for some hedonism!” ■
Roganic 19 Blandford Street London W1U 3DH 0207 486 0380 www.roganic.co.uk 55
Recipes courtesy of www.sweetevestrawberry.co.uk
> flavour summer fruits
Summer fruits A good strawberry is like a burst of summer sun – whether you’re picking your own straight from the field, eating strawberry pavlova for afternoon tea or tossing them into a pitcher of Pimms, strawberries are the true taste of sunshine. Sweet Eve is the result of a 25-year breeding program developed by master berry breeder Peter Vinson. It is an everbearer variety, meaning each plant produces fruit again and again from June to October. Everbearers are not as dependent on daylight as other varieties, making them ideally suited to the UK climate. Because Sweet Eve has been bred in UK it is more suited to the UK climate than other varieties that have been bred overseas.
Eating strawberries dates back to Henry VIII’s royal court, and we Brits have always been fond of the sweet, aromatic fruit which signals the start of the summer. With such a historic and long established connection with strawberries, it’s hardly surprising that so many of us have fallen into the trap of using the same staple recipes to showcase our English strawberries. Try something different from our selection of simple serving suggestions to truly make the most of this sensational summer fruit...
> flavour summer fruits
SWEET EVE STRAWBERRIES DIPPED IN MELTED CHOCOLATE AND TOASTED PISTACHIO NUTS Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients 500g ripe Sweet Eve strawberries 100g icing sugar for sifting 250g dark 70% cacao solid chocolate 100g raw shelled pistachio nuts 200ml whipping cream 50g caster sugar Method 1 Hull the strawberries with a metal spoon. Place them in a bowl and sift the icing sugar over them. Mix well, and set the bowl aside, cling filmed. 2 Break the chocolate into small squares in a heatproof bowl, and place the bowl over simmering, hot water that is in a saucepan over a low heat. The steam from the hot water will rise, and gently melt the chocolate. The water must not boil so hard so that it directly bubbles up to touch the bottom of the bowl containing the chocolate. When the chocolate is all melted, take the saucepan and bowl off the heat, and set aside to cool gently. 3 Using a dry, non-stick frying pan, toast the pistachio nuts very carefully. When they are golden brown, and their aroma is filling the air, remove from the heat. When the nuts have cooled, chop them into small pieces. S 4 Whip the cream till it forms soft peaks with caster sugar. Spoon the cream into a serving bowl. Prick the bottom end of a strawberry with a cocktail stick, dip the strawberry into the melted chocolate, and then roll it into the chopped, toasted pistacchio nuts. Lay each finished strawberry on a serving platter, with the cocktail stick, so that the chocolate can reset. 5 Serve the strawberries with the whipped cream, for dipping into.
Strawberries, melted chocolate and toasted pistachio nuts form a flavour combination made in heaven.
> flavour summer fruits
SWEET EVE STRAWBERRY OVEN-BAKED RISOTTO WITH BUTTERMILK Risotto doesn’t have to be laborious – you can make it in the oven. In this recipe, rich buttermilk is used as a more acidic foil to cut through the sweetness of the strawberries. If you can’t find buttermilk, just add a generous squeeze of lemon juice to the same quantity of fresh milk. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes Ingredients 250g of Sweet Eve strawberries 1 litre of buttermilk (or plain milk with the juice of 1 lemon mixed in) 100g soft brown unrefined cane sugar
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon 200g of Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice 1 cinnamon stick 250ml fresh cream, for serving Unsalted butter for the roasting tin Method 1 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Butter a small roasting tin, or small apple crumble Pyrex dish. 2 Hull the strawberries and cut them into small pieces. Place them in a small bowl and set aside. 3 Combine the buttermilk, the sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. 4 Scatter the risotto rice and strawberry pieces evenly across the buttered roasting
tray. Break the cinnamon stick in two pieces and place them, set apart, in the tin. Pour the milky liquid evenly throughout the roasting tin. 5 Bake the risotto in the pre-heated oven for around 30 minutes, or until the rice grains are very soft, and the top of the risotto is crisp and browned. You may need to cover the top of the rice pudding with aluminium foil to stop it from darkening too much. 6 When ready, remove the roasting tin from the oven and set the rice pudding aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly, before serving with double cream.
> flavour summer fruits
SWEET EVE STRAWBERRY RIPPLE MASCARPONE CHEESE PARFAIT
Mascarpone cream cheese from the north of Italy is the perfect ingredient to accompany strawberries
A parfait or semifreddo is just a frozen pudding. It is a very simple way of making a very delicious type of ice-cream but without too much stirring, leaving the cook ample time to focus on other preparations. Mascarpone cream cheese from the north of Italy is the perfect ingredient to accompany strawberries. The crunchy Amaretti biscuits and Amaretto liqueur in the recipe add a delicious bitter almond flavour to cut through the creaminess of the pudding. All ingredients can be found in a good supermarket or delicatessen. Serves 6 Preparation time: 15 minutes Freezing time: 12 hours (or overnight) Ingredients 100g soft Amaretti biscuits Splash of Amaretto liqueur 400. Sweet Eve strawberries 4 fresh free-range eggs, separated 100g caster sugar 250g Mascarpone cream cheese Method 1 Carefully line the base and the sides of a 1 litre plastic lunch box, or plastic Tupperware container with cling film that overlaps down the side. Set aside. 2 Crush the soft Amaretti biscuits all over the base of the lunch box, and drizzle some Amaretto liqueur over them. 3 Hull the strawberries and crush them in a bowl, using a fork. Spoon half of the crushed strawberries all over the Amaretti-covered base of the lunch box. 4 Using an electric whisk, beat the egg yolks with the sugar, till light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites till they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk and sugar mix, carefully retaining the air inside the mix. 5 In a roomy bowl, whip the Mascarpone cream cheese until it is softened, then fold the egg mix into the Mascarpone cheese, a little at a time, until it is fully blended. 6 Spoon half the Mascarpone mix over the crushed strawberries in the lunch box, and level the top with a spatula. Spoon the remaining half of the crushed strawberries on top of the Mascarpone
Strawberries, melted chocolate and toasted pistachio nuts form a flavour combination
cream, and then spoon the remaining half of the Mascarpone cream on top, as the final layer. Take a metal skewer, and very gently insert it into the mix, turning it around to create a â€œrippleâ€? effect of red and white. 7 Bang the Tupperware box gently on the work surface, to evenly distribute the mix. Then cover the parfait mix with the overlapping cling film.
8 Freeze the parfait overnight. Just before serving place the open Tupperware box on the table, and place an upturned serving plate on top of it. Now turn the Tupperware box upside down, gently, so that the frozen parfait and the cling film slide down on the serving plate. Remove the cling film, and slice the parfait into individual portions. Serve.
> flavour best burritos
best burritos As Mexican menu boards continue to crop up on every street corner, this month Ben Brill takes a look at the burrito craze sweeping London… Before we knew about Mexican food, people used to have to go to restaurants with names like ‘Banditos’ and ‘Tequila’, where they had cactuses on the tables and a Gypsy Kings CD on repeat in the background. Everybody would eat chilli con carne and nachos with cheddar cheese that was hard like leather and fajitas made out of Old El Paso Mexican spice kits like your mum used to get at Tesco’s in the Nineties. Everything tasted of salt. “If this is what Mexican cooking tastes like, then count me out,” everybody said to themselves, reaching for a glass of water and trying to burp. They don’t have Tesco’s in Mexico, so Old El Paso spice kits are probably quite hard to come by there. Instead, they slow cook meat for hours in coriander, cumin and smoked chillies, and black beans, lime rice and big dollops of guacamole (80p extra). If you put all these ingredients in a wrap with sour cream and salsa, and fold it up so that it’s slightly too big to fit in your mouth, you get to call it a burrito. It’s delicious. These days everybody in London loves burritos – they’re the new thing. All the people who work in media go to the Daddy Donkey van on Leather Lane every Friday for a lunchtime treat. My sister’s boyfriend sometimes walks all the way from King’s Cross just to look at the van. People stand there and order ‘chicken Daddy Ds’ and ‘naked fajitas’ as though they’re saying something entirely normal, like ‘skinny latte’, or ‘Big Mac’. 60
> flavour best burritos
they’re thinking: “must you food critics intellectualise everything? This is just simple, tasty fast food – don’t analyse it, get stuck in.” We never notice, though – coming up with apposite adjectives is involving work.
It’s got so popular that they’ve started employing someone to stand by the door and tell people that the queue isn’t as long as it looks The queue sometimes stretches back for miles, right past the old couple who sell nuts and Bombay mix and back to the stall that sells out-of-date biscuits and cheese. Nobody really minds waiting though – the queue always moves quickly, and when the sun’s shining, and the man on the fruit stall down the way is mumbling “strawberries a pound – let’s clean these strawberries up,” to no-one in particular and the kids from the art school are walking round looking serious, Leather Lane’s one of the best places you can be in London. The burritos are great as well – authentic Mexican street food, bursting with fresh, vibrant flavours, and a real spicy kick.
It seems like there’s a new burrito place opening every week at the moment – there’s three Benito’s Hats, two Mas Burritos, and three Chilangos (the ones at Bluewater and Meadowhall don’t count). Soon there won’t be room for new branches of Eat. We have rows at work about which is our favourite. Allan’s is Burrito Brothers on Clerkenwell Road. I think he’s a fool, but I’d never tell him. Nicole likes the Chilango on Chancery Lane best. She’s been there twice a week since it opened, even though it’s got so popular that they’ve started employing someone to stand by the door and tell people that the queue isn’t as long as it looks. The queue is as long as it looks, but the burritos are spot on. I got one the other day. “This is great,” I said, as a grain of rice fell into my keyboard. “Authentic Mexican street food, bursting with fresh, vibrant fla....” I trailed off. Everybody in the office was looking at me funny. I must have had sour cream on my chin again. ■
www.daddydonkey.co.uk www.chilango.co.uk www.masburritos.co.uk www.benitos-hat.com
Even food critics like me like Daddy Donkey. “This is great,” we say, looking a bit flustered, with sour cream running down our chins. “It’s authentic Mexican street food, bursting with fresh, vibrant flavours, and a real spicy kick.” If we were paying attention, we’d probably notice people looking at us funny, like 61
> flavour mitch tonks
Mitch Tonks, who owns two restaurants in Devon and one in Bristol, has written four fish cookery books and launched the first ever Iphone app dedicated to seafood. When he’s not making an appearance on Saturday Kitchen, Mitch loves writing about his greatest passion. His most recent book Fish covers buying, cooking and eating the best seafood, as well as how it’s caught. He is working on his fifth book due for publication in Spring 2012. www.mitchtonks.co.uk
With sustainable fishing top on the agenda, each month new flavour columnist and seafood specialist Mitch Tonks cooks up a storm with his seasonal fish of choice...
for a ‘cripple’, it will be cheaper and taste the same as one with two claws!
This is prime time for native lobsters – not to be missed. If you’re thinking of celebrations, summer parties, a treat of a meal from the ocean there are a few things that might come to mind – oysters, large turbot, wild prawns, Dover sole, diver-caught scallops, maybe caviar – but often lobster features in that list. Lobsters are pretty much always an expensive choice (avoid them at Christmas, prices are ridiculous and often they won’t be native anyway but Canadian). If you don’t mind a claw missing ask your fishmonger
Lobster is all about sweetness and texture so it is important not to overcook it as it will become tough and you will lose half of its experience. The claw, tail and brown meat all have different characteristics, the brown meat being rich and creamy, the tail meat firm and juicy and the claw is more smooth and sweet. The best way to enjoy lobster in my mind is to halve it, lay it flesh down on the barbecue for a couple of minutes then turn over and cover with garlic butter and continue on the barbecue for another couple of minutes only. You get the delicious sweetness and the taste of the sea from the lobster this way, so simple but really showcases why lobster is so sought after.
> flavour mitch tonks
LOBSTER CALDERETTA You will need â€“ serves 2 1 lobster weighing about 750g 1 red pepper 1 green Pepper 3 cloves garlic 4 tomatoes, finely chopped Pinch saffron 1 Jar fish soup 1 small dried birdseye chilli Handful finely chopped parsley Glass white wine Splash of brandy Olive oil
garlic. Remove the claws from the lobster and crack. Then split it in half and scrape out any dark meat inside and reserve. Chop into chunks. In a large pan add the olive oil and fry the chopped peppers and garlic gently for 5 minutes, add the lobster and cook for another 5 minutes, add the brandy and boil off the alcohol then add the wine and do the same, add the saffron, chilli and tomatoes and then add a cup of fish soup and 3 cups of water, add half the parsley, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes.
Method First blanch the lobster in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and then cool. In a food processor finely chop the peppers and
Now add the reserved brown meat from the lobster and with the lid off cook for a further 10 minutes, sprinkle over the remaining parsley and serve.
Recipe taken from FISH by Mitch Tonks published by Pavilion. Recipe photo by Ed Ovenden, whole lobster photo by Chris Terry. ÂŠ Mitch Tonks Fishmonger, food writer, restaurateur www.rockfishgrill.co.uk www.mitchtonks.co.uk www.twitter.com/rockfishgrill 63
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drops by flavour
Redundancy came at the right time for journalists Simon and Katie Osborne. It enabled them to follow a foodie pipedream and, after a well-devised business plan, a bank loan, several courses and many sleepless nights later they opened up Poisson, a fishmonger’s in Northfields, Ealing. A year-and-a-half up stream and Poisson is going swimmingly. While Katie looks after the paperwork and accounts, Simon sources the fish and runs the shop Tuesday through Saturday. “It has been hard work,” he says, “the sense of security you get from a monthly wage slip has gone, but so far my mid-life crisis career swap still provides a roof over our heads - I’ve never doubted the decision.” Simon makes a daily 4.45am pilgrimage to Billingsgate Market, from where he picks out the finest and freshest produce, before returning to Northfields for a 9am opening. “Billingsgate is an exciting place. You are tired when you get there but wide-awake when you leave. The atmosphere is great and the choice of fish is remarkable. “I buy small amounts of the best I can day boat, line-caught if possible - with the intention of selling out in a day rather than having a surplus hanging around overnight or for a couple of days. More often than not I will take home what is not sold. It’s a rarity that anything with four legs is eaten in my house, the kids love fish and it really is the ultimate fast food!” Simon is back doing what he likes best; being part of a community, being creative and interacting with the public. “I can set my watch by some of the regular customers and we are seeing new ones popping in all the time. It has been tough at times and I wouldn’t recommend taking something like this on unless you’re prepared to do all the groundwork and research, but this has given me a new lease of life and I love being a part of it.”
Poisson Ltd Unit 3 Devonshire House, 201-211 Northfields Avenue, London W13 9QU 0208 567 4507 www.poisson-ltd.co.uk 65
> flavour spare me the passion
spare me the passion This month Nick Harman asks why it’s not enough to simply like doing something, to be keen on doing it or even to be in love with doing it...
Any CV that doesn’t contain the words ‘I am passionate about…’ is destined for the HR bin, whilst job adverts are apparently obliged to contain the criteria ‘must be passionate about…’ even when the job offered is stacking shelves or double entry bookkeeping. The impression given is that there are masses of people running around wild-eyed, rending their garments and crying aloud to the heavens at all times of day and night. Your own life seems rather dull compared to theirs, filled as they are with all this incredible passion. Unfortunately experience tells us that people in the throes of passion are not always going to be good at what they are doing. Passion leads people into hasty and bad decisions, like marriage or other people’s bedrooms, makes them ignore common sense and in extreme cases commit violence. In fact in the United States civil courts, a crime of passion is referred to as "temporary insanity" and crime passionel was until quite recently a valid defence in France when accused of murder. Chefs are not immune to this fashionable rubbish. I have lost count of the number of chefs who have told me, when interviewed, that they are ‘passionate about sourcing locally’, or ‘passionate about organic produce.’ These are all laudable sentiments, of course, but am I really expected to believe that chef goes postal when his tomatoes come from another county or his beef doesn’t have an organic sticker on it?
And of course in the online world it’s obligatory to say you are passionate about food if you want to be admitted to the gang. It goes hand in hand with taking pictures of every dish you’re served using a Canon Blogmatic Mk II and then Tweeting, instead of eating the food and talking normally to the people at the table with you.
Am I really expected to believe that chef goes postal when his tomatoes come from another county or his beef doesn’t have an organic sticker on it? Well sorry. I like my food as much as anyone else but I reserve my passion for relationships, which is surely where it belongs. The only passion I want near my table is the fruit. I am quite passionate about this, as you perhaps can tell.
Nick Harman is editor of www.foodepedia. co.uk and was shortlisted last year for The Guild of Food Writer’s Restaurant Reviewer of the Year.
teapigsâ€™ teas are available at Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Wholefoods and Planet Organic. You can also buy online at www.teapigs.co.uk
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For people who love local food, in London