There is no love sincerer than the love of food g e o r g e b e r n a r d s h aw [1856â€“1950]
A food and culture journal
Contents 8 – 13 The Yemeni Lamb Accident Rod Stanley talks food, music and lamb liver in Downtown Brooklyn with Granta-listed author Ned Beauman.
14 – 15 Jiro Dreams of Sushi Clare Considine shares her insights into the life of 85-yearold sushi master Jiro Ono.
8 – 13
16 – 17
18 – 23
16 – 17 The Cockle: Brief, Pleasant Mastication Tim Burrows celebrates his favourite of the aquatic molluscs.
18 – 23 The Serpent That Ate its Own Tail A fantastical and grotesque photo series depicting contemporary dishes contributing to their own unconventional demise.
24– 31 Anissa Helou: A Life in Objects The Gourmand visits Anissa Helou’s Shoreditch loft to learn more about her life through the objects she collects.
32– 33 Against Nature: Blue Cocktails Sam Bompas discusses the resurgence of the blue cocktail and its history.
34– 41 Matta-Clark’s FOOD Natasha Hoare examines the legacy of Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1970s SoHo eatery – a restaurant and a work of art in its own right.
42– 47 Pleasure as Rebellion: In the Kitchen with Lydia Lunch Nadine Monem discusses feeding with No Wave heroine and recent cookbook author Lydia Lunch.
48–49 Liquid Soul Kyle Hugall asserts that an animal’s soul lies in its bones and muses on the often overlooked and most primal of cooking elements – stock. Illustration by Jean Jullien.
50 The Bird’s Odyssey Gustav Almestål and Niklas Hansen hail the cock that crows in this surreal yet beautiful study of the bird and the egg.
6 2– 63 The Hippophagic Oath Holly Ellyatt discusses our inconsistent moral relationship with horsemeat.
64 – 69 Drink Me
6 2– 63
64 – 69
Patrick Baglee’s essay on wine labels, the traditional constraints of their design and those who are moving it forwards.
70 – 75 New Malden’s Delicious Secret Ananda Pellerin and photographer Neil Wissink visit London’s sprawling suburbia to seek out the finest Korean cuisine.
76– 79 Sipping Salepi to Extinction Dawn Starin offers an insight into salepi – a drink made from the tubers of the orchid flower.
70 – 75
80 – 85 Measures of Quality Artist Jamie Brown’s beautifully crafted installations depict the five cocktail families and their signature components.
86– 93 Garden of Earthly Delights Stylist Zoe Bedeaux and photographer Jez Tozer re-enact the surrealist Méret Oppenheim’s infamous 1959 work Cannibal Feast.
80 – 85
94– 101 Dripping Honey and Dead Rabbits: An Interview With Jennifer Rubell Janine Catalano travels to artist Jennifer Rubell’s Miami home, to talk to her about the significant role food plays in her work and life.
10 2– 109 An Illustrated Trip to London’s Historic Meat and Fish Markets Brothers Gwendel and Yann Le Bec visit London’s historic markets to document them and their inhabitants.
10 2– 109
110– 113 Chandler Burr’s Scent Dinners Laura Bradley interviews cent critic and author Chandler Burr about his Scent Dinners.
114 The Ceres Joker Ryan Chetiyawardana offers his recipe for this most fantastical of cocktails.
115 Recommended by... 110– 113
Artist John Baldessari recommends his favourite restaurants, cafés and bars.
Talking food, music and lamb liver in Downtown Brooklyn with Granta-listed author Ned Beauman
The Yemeni Lamb Accident Words: Rod Stanley Photography: Benjamin McMahon
Ned Beauman is one of Britain’s best young novelists, and it so happens that we met in the week that this accolade became official. Four days prior to our lamb-themed encounter in a no-frills Yemeni restaurant on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, Ned was included in Granta’s prestigious once-a-decade round-up of the 20 best young writers in Britain. The first list, published in 1983, included titans Martin Amis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan, while later lists added heavyweights such as Will Self, Monica Ali, Jeannette Winterson and Hanif Kureishi to the count. Along with his longlisting for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for his wildly brilliant second novel The Teleportation Accident, it would seem Ned has come a long way since the days he would pitch articles to me about dubstep MCs or superhero comics. Based in New York for the last two years, Ned has been seduced by the city’s famous food scene, from the cheap and delicious street food all the way to crazily elaborate tasting menus. So, we warmed up with a couple of cocktails at Henry Public, then went to a local Middle Eastern café to hear about his new-found love for ‘living a rapper’s lifestyle’. 8
NYC Location: Yemen CafĂŠ, 176 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York Food: flatbreads, lamb Salta, lamb Haneez, Fasolia, sautĂŠed lamb livers, and unidentified meaty broth (lamb?) Drinks: water in metal cups Photo Location: Duck Soup, Dean Street, Soho, London.
Fish Pampering is Actively Encouraged Words: Clare Considine
Image courtesy Soda Pictures
For the chance to eat Jiro Ono’s sushi you will have to wait your turn on a months-long waiting list, head to a slip of a restaurant in a Tokyo underground station with no toilet, consume in silence for fifteen minutes and pay upwards of $300 for the privilege. Jiro Ono is an 87-year-old master who makes the finest sushi on the planet at his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. He already has three Michelin stars but his quest is a simple one – “All I want to do is make better sushi.”
Image Tastemaker was not a viable profession. There is an ancient warrior-like stamina required for Jiro’s processes. He makes Mr Miyagi look like a work-shy softy. Jiro’s apprentices slog it out for ten years with a mop and pan scrub before they are allowed any face time with the fish. There is then the dramatic hazing ritual of grabbing hold of a searingly hot wet towel prior to direct contact with tuna flesh. Gelb explains that there is an old Japanese saying – “There are no small paths and there are no big paths.” Under Jiro’s watchful eye his disciples learn tough life lessons in pride and perfectionism. There are no duvet days at Sukiyabashi Jiro. Jiro’s son, Yoshikazu, is Japan’s answer to Prince Charles. Fast approaching Western notions of retirement age, he waits patiently for a call up to his father’s throne. And he really has earned his chops. It was Yoshikazu who was on sushi duty on each of Michelin’s trips to therestaurant. But it is still his father who enjoys a deity-like status for the restaurant’s successes. An exapprentice of Jiro explains that Yoshikazu will have to make sushi twice as good as his father’s to even be considered his equal. But that’s fine. He will suck it up. Because that’s what you do when you work for Jiro.
David Gelb’s exquisitely shot documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, follows Jiro, his son and their apprentices on a slow and steady quest for sushi perfection. Gelb’s scenes race through time-lapse shots of long and arduous days in the kitchen before screeching to a woozy halt for soft-porn close-ups on the shimmering end results. Gelb explains that he took Jiro’s approach to cooking and applied it to his own craft – “we tried to make the film as elegantly and simply as we could, which is the way that Jiro makes his sushi.” Veer from boundless respect to all-out incredulity as you bear witness to a work ethic that belongs in another time – a time when Twitter didn’t exist and Brand
jiro dre a ms of sushi
The World According to Jiro Image courtesy Soda Pictures
An artisan has a moral and social obligation to work for the relentless pursuit of perfection through his craft. His peers have honoured Jiro with the ultimate accolade of shokunin – an ancient term that refers to a craftsman who will dedicate his life to improving peoples’ day-to-day existence through his skill. Holidays are for the weak Jiro hates holidays. When he had a heart attack, aged 70, he finally agreed to let his son do the daily trips to the market. He still serves sushi in the restaurant every day. Symmetry is perfection Eat at Jiro’s counter and he will spot whether you are left or right handed and serve your sushi accordingly. Plus, when Jiro’s youngest son opened a second restaurant in Roppongi Hills, it was built as an exact replica of the original restaurant. The only difference being that Jiro is left handed and his son is right handed, so the entire interior of the restaurant was reversed. Never underestimate the power of a grain of rice On eating Jiro’s rice, famed chef Eric Ripert exclaimed, “Never in my life have I tasted rice like that – it’s like a cloud.” It’s served at the temperature of a bare bottom – and as Jiro explains, each foodstuff has its “supreme
moment of deliciousness” (it’s a technical term). Jiro’s rice dealer supplies only to him. He is a one-customer hustler who would turn down the Grand Hyatt to remain as Jiro’s rice man. Fish pampering is actively encouraged In Jiro’s kitchen live octopuses are massaged for 45 minutes every day before being served. Granted, this is most likely an excruciating process for a dying mollusc, but reward will come in the afterlife. Jiro instructs his apprentices to caress the sushi as though they are handling a small baby chick. What a way to go. Olympians have it easy Train for the Olympics and you’ll spend four years striving night and day to reach your game-ready peak. Work with Jiro and it’ll be ten years before you’re even allowed to attempt to make the egg sushi. One apprentice describes the salty tears that tumbled from his cheeks when he finally produced Jiro-worthy egg sushi after ten years and two hundred attempts. Women like a smaller portion size They also have hands that are too warm to make good sushi, apparently. We’ll let him off on this one. He is 87 after all.
Retouching: Joe Currie at The Forge • Les at Capital Seafoods for the octopus and scallops • Phillip Britten at Soltice for the finger limes and berries Dai Francis at Severn and Wye Smokery for the smoked eel • Darren at Billfields for the eyeballs, feet and tongues Damian at Damian Allsop chocolates for the plates • Tony at Tayshaws for the wild mushrooms.
The Serpent That Ate its Own Tail
Photography: Catherine Losing Food styling: Iain Graham • Art Direction: Anna Lomax
Left: Scallop ceviche, octopus carpaccio â€˘ Above: Tongue and smoked tail, pickled girolles
Chicory, eel and bacon, mustard dressing For Iain Graham's Smoked Eel Salad recipe; turn to p.116
Frito delicatezza misto: a collection of deep fried delicacies
Words: Anissa Helou Photography: Benjamin McMahon
Anissa Helou: A Life in Objects
Anissa Helou is a celebrated food author, broadcaster, journalist and collector. Born in Beuirut and educated there at a French convent school, she moved to London at the age of 21 to study interior design at Inchbald School of Design. She started her career in art history and antiques at Sotheby’s becoming an avid collector of beautiful objects, antiques and surprisingly, fishing tackle and fishing-related paraphernalia. In 1999, Anissa bravely parted with her precious collection at Christie’s auction house, using the funds to acquire an exquisite loft in Shoreditch – putting her antique career on hold to concentrate solely on food writing. After the sale of her collection, Anissa kept only a minimal measure of items that hold great personal value to her. The Gourmand visited Anissa at her home to learn more about her life through these special and personal of artefacts. 24
a nissa helou: a l ife in ob jects
f r e nch c a st iron t e a pot
i ta l i a n c e r a m i c k n i f e
[c o n t e m p o r a r y ]
[c o n t e m p o r a r y ]
I purchased this teapot in the MusĂŠe des Arts DĂŠcoratifs, Paris and sadly know very little about the designer or producer. At the time I was seeking to build a collection of culinary objects to complement my assembly of antiques, but since selling my collection overall, I must have cured myself of my acquisitive nature and I have therefore never pursued this project other than purchasing objects of particular beauty, but also of purpose. This teapot is a totally contemporary take on the traditional Japanese cast iron versions and it holds great aesthetical as well as practical value.
The blade is a rare steel-coloured ceramic and was made in Japan. The knife itself was manufactured by Lorenzi, a beautiful accessories shop in Milan. I fell in love with the knife as soon as I saw it, took a deep breath when the salesman told me the price and bought two, one for me and another for a dear friend who has sadly since passed away. She loved food and cooking but her cook stole her knife, (at least I am convinced she did), and when I went back to buy her another one, they didnâ€™t have any as I had bought the last two.
a nissa helou: a l ife in ob jects
b u l g a r i a n b r e a d s ta m p s
[c o n t e m p o r a r y ]
They are hand-carved by a master carver in Bulgaria and are quite precious. A young Bulgarian friend who is working on a community bread project in Bulgaria told me about him when I showed her my Greek bread stamps that I had bought in the central market in Athens. I loved the idea of having some beautiful ones carved by a master, and so I asked her to buy me some. They are used to stamp holy breads and the pattern is Greek lettering and refers to Jesus and the holy cross.
y e me ni a l a ba st e r he a d
[14t h c e n t u r y ]
I have always loved antiquities and when I got my loft, I imagined a few pieces of antiquities in it, such as a huge Assyrian relief, a few Roman sculptures and one or two pieces of jewellery. However, the first piece I bought was not like any of those I had imagined. I purchased it from an antique dealer friend and it is a 14th century Yemeni head carved in alabaster. I spent a fortune having a stand made for it and it has been sitting in my drawing room ever since. It has remained the sole piece of antiquity I ever bought. All the others I wanted were way out of my budget and I actually like having nothing on the walls of my space and hardly any ornaments filling it. 02
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THE GOURMAND ISSUE 0 2 28
Published on Sep 3, 2013