CRUMBS COTSWOLDS NO. 61 December 2017
Why did the clementine go to the doctor?
GastrOnOmiC Gift Guide
A little slice of foodie heaven
Reviewed! heLen BROwninGa’s ROyal O K
ThaLi White hart
It wasn’t peeling well!
Mix It UP!
NO. 61 December 2017
deliciouss cFroomcthketreagiilon’s mightiest mixologists
Finger-g lickins recthipee
From region’scooks coolest
£3 WHERE SOLD
GOOD TIMES NEvER D SEEMED SO GOO
OH MY DARLING
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There are a few theories about how clementines became so synonymous with Christmas. One is that, when times were tough, fresh fruit was a real luxury – so finding a bright, shiny clementine in the toe of your Christmas stocking was a genuine treat. (The historic equivalent of a games console, if you will.) Another theory – rather more whimsical, and my personal favourite – goes back yet further, to before Saint Nicholas had been given his sainthood and was still a mere bishop. The story goes that he heard of a poor shopkeeper who couldn’t find suitors for his three daughters, because he had no dowry to offer. So rich Bish Nick travelled to the house and tossed three bags of gold down the chimney (or, some say, through the window) for each of the dowries, which landed in the girls’ stockings. (Handily, they just happened to be hanging by the fire to dry.) The clementines that modern children often find lurking at the end of their Christmas stockings are said to represent that very gold. Whatever the origins of the Crimbo/baby oranges connection, this fruit has another important purpose: cheering us up! Few things are as sunshine-y, and clementines can prove a much-needed tonic during the dull winter months – especially when, as temperatures drop, the temptation is to turn to comfort food and All. The. Carbs. That they’re wonderfully easy to eat is just a bonus. A sharp thumbnail is all it takes to peel away the wrapping to reveal those sweet, juicy segments. An orange can be a right faff to eat, but a clementine is a doddle: nature’s Babybel! Enjoy your Christmas clementines, and your new issue of Crumbs!
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Table of Contents NO.61 DECEMBER 2017
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MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we have been taking our research for our seasonal cocktails feature very seriously. (Well, someone’s got to test drive those recipes!)
8 HERO INGREDIENT Oh Clementine, we love you so! 16 TRIO Three top wine merchants to help select your perfect tipple
41 THE GIFT GUIDE This year’s Christmas shopping, totally sorted ADDITIONAL RECIPES
10 Cod with beetroots, walnuts and clementines, by Nick Deverell-Smith
48 PARTY FODDER Festive cocktails and canapés
22 Earl Grey and gin cured salmon, by Roger Williams
18 Octopus with smashed potatoes, olive oil and piso, by Nuno Mendes
AMAZING RECIPES FROM THE REGION’S TOP KITCHENS
24 Roast pigeon and cherry sauce, by Tom Kitchin 26 Garam masala Christmas pudding, by Vivek Singh 28 Milk chocolate and hazelnut praline Bûche de Noël, by Edd Kimber 30 Whole baked heritage squash, by Daylesford
39 Baked apples and marshmallows, by Kathryn Minchew
KITCHEN ARMOURY 35 SUPPER CLUB The Pyromaniac Chef really turns up the heat
54 GRILLED José Pizarro spills the beans
NEW & NOTABLE RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, BARS
60 Helen Browning's Royal Oak 62 Thali 64 The White Hart PLUS
66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Graham Dodridge shares his fave hang outs
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
P E TE SE AWA RD
UP IN ARMS THERE’RE ALL KINDS of new and exciting things happening at the Masons Arms at Swerford, near Chipping Norton. A new team, new chefs and new menus mean that this country pub is set to be a hot new foodie destination. Y’see, it’s been taken over by London restaurateur Anthony Griffith Harris (ex-The Canal Brasserie and the accolade-earning First Floor Restaurant and Private Dining Rooms in Notting Hill) and his partner, former actress and PR Stacey C Elder. Joining the pair is head chef Nicholas Anderson (who, many moons ago, took his first head chef job under Anthony, before going on to own and run his own award-winning restaurants) and his wife Kate – a talented sous chef with a passion for pastries, artisan breads and homemade ice cream. “Together, our aim is to bring country fine dining to the Cotswolds,” says Anthony. “The menu here will revolve around the best seasonal produce from British farmers, with occasional indulgences as well as virtuous everyday fare. We hope to create a warm, charming and informal atmosphere where we can build a strong following of regular, happy guests – and new ones, too!” masons-arms.com
S T A R T E R S
CLemeNtINes ORANGES ARE NOT, AS A WISE LADY ONCE SAID, THE ONLY FRUIT: THERE ARE OTHERS THAT ARE SMALLER, JUICIER AND EASIER TO PEEL
SLAP-BANG IN THE MIDDLE of a season of heavy, hearty crops in dark greens, dirty whites and assorted mousey browns – all those swedes and parsnips, sprouts and kale – comes a citrus splash of sunshine. We eat oranges and their various spin-offs all year around, of course, but the traditional season for most of them is around Christmas and January, where they add a welcome zing to the greengrocer’s shelves. We’re not talking bog-standard oranges this time around, however, but rather everyone’s favourite alternative, the clementine – smaller, juicier, delicious. This thing’s actually a hybrid, apparently discovered in the early years of the 20th century by one Father Clement Rodier – who the fruit’s named for – in the garden of his orphanage in Algeria. It’s said to be a cross between a tangerine and an orange and, like the tangerine, it’s little and easy to peel, and with less acid than your average orange. Crucially for the clementine’s appeal – not least as a kids’ snack – they’re generally grown seedless too. But despite such recent history, there remains some dispute over the clementine’s origins. After all, haven’t the Chinese been growing a version of the mandarin (the original ‘little orange’) that’s pretty much identical to the clementine for hundreds of years? (Yes, they have; it’s called the Canton mandarin, and many believe modern clementines come from this, and not from Father Rodier’s accidental discovery at all.) Although grown all over southern Europe, north Africa and the Middle East, and available in the UK for many years, clementines have taken their time making inroads into a number of other markets – crucially America, where they were virtually unknown until a couple of decades ago. Confused about which is which? You should be: nearly everyone is. After all, residual resentment over Pearl Harbour sees the version we call the satsuma sold as simple ‘mandarins’ in America (more on this in a mo), while in Australia it’s tangerines that are mandarins. (If you’re being technical, they’re all mandarins of one type or another.)
Across the globe, rarer variation like tangors and tangelos, mineolas and nules are near-as-dammit the same as a clementine too. Why are we talking about clementines in this issue? After all, tangerines have been around for much longer than the clementine – since at least the 1800s, with the name coming from Tangier, the Moroccan seaport, through which these things made their way to Europe. And then there’s the satsuma, a variation named for an old Japanese province that used to be as far left as you can go on a map of Japan. These, too, have been around for at least a couple of hundred years, and have the advantage of growing in far colder climates than other citrus fruits. Whichever way you cut it, the clementine is a real Johnny-come-lately. The thing is, though, the clementine may have turned up to the party late, but it’s more than made up for lost time. In fact, it now outsells the lot of them, and for a number of reasons. As seen on a modern British shelf, tangerines are small, yes, but slightly less sweet than the others – and are tough to peel. Satsumas are seedless, perhaps the sweetest, and are surely the easiest to get naked with their loose, baggy skin – but they’re also the most easily damaged in transit, which is why you often get them canned. Clementines, however, get everything right. They’re sweet and tangy, usually seedless, easy to peel – but sturdy enough to survive a bit of rough and tumble too. Perfect! Whatever your mandarin variation, clementine or not, there’s plenty you can do with them. They’re all great in salads (fruit or garden) and make good jams and marmalades. In terms of cooking, they work surprisingly well with much seafood – scallops, maybe, or flatfish – and pair brilliantly with duck, chicken and pork. And then there are the puds, from mince pies to St Clement’s cake – basically, clementines and almonds. And you know how slutty old chocolate goes with anything? Well, clementines and chocolate is as good a combination as you’ll find anywhere on the sweet trolley.
R E C I P E
PAN FRIEd FILLET OF COd WITh hERITAGE BEETROOTS, wALNUTS ANd CLEMENTINES BY NICK DEVERELL-SMITH, THE CHURCHILL ARMS SERVES 1
INGREDIENTS 180g line caught cod fillet 200g red beetroot 100g candy beetroot 100g yellow beetroot 3 clementines 50g walnuts 3tbsp olive oil salt and pepper METHOD 1 Preheat oven to 50C/125F/gas mark ¼. 2 Thinly slice 2 clementines and dry for 2-3 hours in the oven. Then remove and leave to cool. 3 Cook the beetroot until tender in salted boiling water (for roughly 1 hour). Then remove from the pan and put aside to cool. 4 Once cooled, peel and roughly dice the beetroot and leave to one side. 5 Turn up the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 6 Season the cod with salt, pepper and olive oil and place in a hot pan, skin side down. 7 Allow the skin to become nice and crisp. This should take 2-3 minutes. 8 Add the walnuts and then place the pan in the oven for 4 minutes. 9 Put 100g of red beetroot into a blender with salt, pepper and olive oil, and blend until you have a silky smooth purée. 10 While the fish is cooking, put the rest of the
beetroot into a mixing bowl and add the juice of one clementine, salt and pepper, and 3 tbsp of good quality olive oil. 11 Warm the diced beetroot mixture and the purée separately. 12 Spoon the purée onto the plate, place the fish on top then add the beetroot chunks, walnuts, clementine crisps and a drizzle of olive oil. churchillarms.co
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S T A R T E R S
Oxford (relative) newcomer Thali has just been given a Reduce Reuse Recycle gong at the Food Made Good Awards for its tiffin tin scheme. The scheme encourages people to buy a tiffin tin, fill it with delicious takeaway and then come back time after time for more delicious food – all without creating the piles of rubbish that are usually generated by a take out. It’s been running at the Bristol branches for some time, and now it’s been rolled out in Oxford, too. Full tummies, but less landfill: everyone’s a winner. thethalirestaurant.co.uk
We come bearing news of another ace foodie offering opening in Oxford’s new Westgate shopping centre – this time, Comptoir Libanais. The founder of the chain, which dishes up home-style Lebanese cooking, is Tony Kitous, who says his aim is “to create a place for everyone to eat and drink in humble and friendly surroundings”. The menu is based on the recipes and ingredients that Lebanese and Middle Eastern mothers would use at home, which sounds good to us. comptoirlibanais.com
ALL THE WINES
The Cheltenham Wine Company has expanded its empire by opening a wine bar. The Sixways has more than 60 wines, all available by the glass, with a house wine on tap that changes every month. But that’s not all. There are also more than 40 gins to choose from, plus cocktails, coffees, meat and cheese sharing boards, pastries, and cakes by Alana (winner of last year’s The Apprentice.) Basically, all the good stuff. cheltenhamwineco.co.uk
It’s double celebrations for The Old Passage in Arlingham. Not only is the restaurant celebrating its 10th anniversary, but it’s also just been named as the Best Seafood Restaurant South at the 2017 Good Food England Awards. “It’s been a fantastic month for us at The Old Passage,” says Sally, who runs the restaurant with her head chef Jon Lane and front of house manager Rosita Redwood. “Celebrating our 10-year anniversary is very special. We have changed very little in the 10 years, and remain committed to serving the freshest and best quality fish and seafood in the area. This seems to have worked, because people who love good food and quality seafood already seek us out. To win the award, as well, has just been the icing on the cake.” theoldpassage.com
If you’ve been lamenting the closure of The Chef’s Dozen (and frankly, who hasn’t?), then it’s time to dry your tears. The couple behind The Chef’s Dozen, Richard Craven and wife Solanche, have now opened their new venture – The Royal Oak in Whatcote. The menu is staying true to Richard’s passion for wild food, so think dishes such as pig’s head and black pudding lasagna with cider reduction, and hazelnut or preserved pear, hogweed and cobnut bits and bobs. There’s even a bar menu of small plates and snacks, like pickled pheasants eggs. Tables are sure to fill up fast, so make your reservation PDQ. theroyaloakwhatcote.co.uk
Looks like @bethyloo.pt is starting the day right with this baked banana and chia oatmeal
The Amberley Inn will be repping the Cotswolds at this year’s FreeFrom Eating Out Awards. The pub, near Stroud, has been shortlisted in the Pubs/Restaurants category, in recognition of the fact that their menu is almost entirely gluten-free – even dishes such as fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this award,” says owner Jane Bandey, “as it’s a great achievement for our staff, and acknowledges the hard work our kitchen team has put in to make our food worthy of such a prestigious accolade.” The winners will be announced on November 21, so keep your fingers crossed! theamberleyinn.co.uk
We’ve just one word for this pavlova with berries, banana and passionfruit at No 131 The Promenade @theluckyonion . Yum. That is all.
IN THE DIARY... (21-23 November) FESTIVE POP-UP SHOP AT WHATLEY MANOR With everything from stylish home decoration to interesting wine and spirits, homemade produce and gifts from Whatley’s own spa, you’ll be able to do all your Christmas shopping in the sumptuous surroundings of Whatley Manor. And, when you’re done, you can reward yourself with a meal at the newly refurbed Grey’s Brasserie. whatleymanor.com
GOING FORWARD Kindness & Co’s ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme has gained some celebrity backing. Shortly after opening last year, the Cheltenham-based health food cafè launched the initiative, which encourages customers to pay for a second meal for someone in need of it. Members of the local community have benefited, including the children at Play Gloucestershire, but customers can also opt to ‘Pay It Forward Globally’, a scheme which has so far provided a day’s education and breakfast for 2,500 street children in Addis Abbaba. Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall recently visited the cafè and ‘paid it forward’ to both the global and local schemes, before taking a few minutes to make a video in support of the whole thing. You can see it on the Kindness & Co Facebook page. kindness-and-co.com
(3 December) TOM KITCHIN SUPPER AT DAYLESFORD Celebrated chef Tom Kitchin will be visiting Daylesford to cook a special three course supper inspired by recipes from his latest book, Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game. Expect dishes including game terrine and peppered loin of roe deer. Tickets cost £95, including a welcome drink and wine; more on p24. daylesford.com
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder 3
THERE’S SOMETHING UNMISTAKABLY AUTUMNAL ABOUT THE SMELL OF WOODSMOKE, DON’TCHA THINK? GIVE YOUR LARDER A SMOKY FLAVOUR WITH THESE DELECTABLE DELIGHTS… 1 RIVERFORD SMOKED HUMMUS £2.75/180g Oak-smoked chickpeas give this rich, creamy hummus a gorgeously smoky depth of flavour, which makes for a truly satisfying spoonful. For a variation on your usual hummus snacking habits, try it with apple. (It might sound a bit strange, but trust us – it’s delish.) riverford.co.uk 2 LUDLOW NUT COMPANY SMOKED ALMONDS £2/65g These smoked nuts are made using a recipe that originated
in America more than 50 years ago. The result is a ridiculously more-ish snack that will have you reaching for ‘just one more’ over and over again. We found them particularly excellent when munched with a G&T – just FYI. Available from Cotswold Food Store in Moreton-in-Marsh and online. ludlownut.co.uk 3 COTSWOLD PUDDING CO SALTED CARAMEL WITH A HINT OF SMOKE £3.50 Salted caramel’s been a thing for, like, ages. This, though, is a really rather good variation on that,
and is hand-made using smoked sugar which adds a, well, smoky note (durr). It’s ace on desserts like bananas, brownies or ice cream, but you can also use it to pimp up museli and porridge for a breakfast time treat. cotswoldpuddingcompany.co.uk 4 DAYLESFORD ORGANIC SMOKED SALMON PÂTÉ £5.99/200g The salmon for this potful is smoked over smouldering oak then blended with smooth cream cheese and a squeeze of lemon, creating something hugely rich and rather yummy. It’s a decadent snack smeared on toast, or pop a
spoonful on a blini for a quick and easy canapé this Crimbo. daylesford.com 5 WILLIAMS CHASE SMOKED VODKA £40/70cl This oak-smoked vodka is made in small batches of less than 2,000 bottles at a time. Water is taken from the Williams Chase borehole then left in their smokehouse until it picks up a delicate smoky flavour. It’s then blended with award-winning vodka to achieve a sweet smoky finish that makes for one helluva Bloody Mary. williamschase.co.uk
christmas••party 2 courses for £19.50 3 courses for £24.50
ADD A GLASS OF PROSECCO ON ARRIVAL FOR £4 PER PERSON Starters SOUP, crusty bread CHICKEN LIVER PARFAIT, mandarin jelly, toasted brioche SMOKED SALMON, beetroot, horseradish cream, orange, watercress GAME TERRINE, apple & pear chutney, crusty bread CAMEMBERT, FIG & ONION TART, dressed leaves Mains ROAST TURKEY PARCEL, streaky bacon wrapped chipolatas, roast roots & potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprout tops, gravy BRAISED SHIN OF BEEF, celeriac mash, roasted shallots, wild mushrooms SADDLE OF VENISON, braised red cabbage, streaky bacon & potato croquette, jus* PAN-FRIED HAKE, wilted spinach, gnocchi, butternut puree, sage butter PAN-FRIED MACKEREL, chorizo-braised leeks, shallot crisps NUT ROAST, roast roots & potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprout tops, gravy Desserts CHRISTMAS PUDDING, brandy sauce CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING, crème anglaise MULLED FRUITS, cinnamon ice cream PASSION FRUIT CHEESECAKE, raspberry puree HOME MADE ICE CREAM or Sorbet FINEST ARTISAN CHEESES, grapes, biscuits* Available for tables of 8 or more, available lunch and dinner Monday-Sunday throughout December excluding Sunday lunch. We require a non-refundable deposit of £10 per head and a pre-order for each table. *Supplement of £2.50 for Venison main *Supplement of £3.00 for Cheese
01993 822068 email@example.com www.themaytime.com Asthall, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4HW
S T A R T E R S
M A I N S
heard it thROuGh the GRapevine
WHEN IT’S WINE O’CLOCK, TURN TO ONE OF THESE ACE LOCAL WINE MERCHANTS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE A TOP TIPPLE
CHELTENHAM WINE CO
The Cheltenham Wine Co came into being eight years ago, and back then it only supplied the hospitality trade. It was always the dream of Phil Penwarden and his team, however, to share the products that are usually only available to businesses with the people of Cheltenham and beyond. These days the Cheltenham Wine Co has a shop and bar in the town, which allows them to do that very thing. None of the wines they sell are available on the high street, and all are carefully selected from small and quirky producers from all over the world. The range covers all the classic old and new world countries, as well as some lesser known wine producing areas such as China, Macedonia, Slovenia and Hungary. There’s nothing the team enjoys more than sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm and encouraging customers to try something new, and they run regular tastings to do just that. And, as an extra bonus, they offer free home delivery in Cheltenham! cheltenhamwineco.co.uk
THE ROVING SOMMELIER
Robert Giorgione launched his online shop and wine merchant, The Roving Sommelier, a little less than a year ago, but he’s no newcomer to the wine trade, having been in the hospitality business for 25 years – including stints as a wine buyer and head sommelier at some of London’s top restaurants. This experience has given him a particular passion for pairing wines with food, and he is always willing and able to offer guidance on selecting the ideal match for a special meal. Robert’s visited each vineyard and craft brewery he represents and has met all the producers, so he knows everything he sells inside out, and is always happy to share his knowledge with customers; he’ll have something for any pocket or palate. And, as well as wine, there is a whole host of wine accessories, craft beers and cider, books, artisan chocolates and other epicurean treats on offer here, too. rovingsommelier.com
TOM I’ANSON WINES Tom I’Anson operates his bijou wine merchant from Colebourne, in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. You can drop in from Monday to Friday (or on Saturdays by appointment), or can you order online or over the phone from the comfort of your own home. The wines on offer have all been carefully selected and curated by Tom, and there’s a wide variety of bottles from many different grapes and regions and at a range of price points. If you’re looking for something particular that’s not on offer, however, Tom and his team will try to source it for you. Of course, it’s perfectly possible to drop in to buy just a single bottle, but if you’re looking for larger volumes for a special event then Tom I’Anson Wines can help with that, too. They also offer an intriguing wine exchange service, so if you have some fine wines languishing at home that you know you won’t ever drink, talk to the team about the possibility of exchanging them for something more to your taste. tomiansonwines.co.uk
Cotswold Grange Hotel, Cheltenham, GL52 2QH Telephone: 01242 515 119 www.cotswoldgrangehotel.com
off s 10%ristma n e r Ch wh you pping in our sho dine rant you estauapply) r câ€™s (t&
Carluccios Cheltenham | Regent Arcade, Cheltenham GL50 1JZ 01242 222026 Carluccios Gloucester | St Anns Way, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester GL1 5SH 01452 504919 www.carluccios.com/book-a-table
B O O K
T H E
M O N T H
MARK TAYLOR HAS CHRISTMAS IN MIND AS HE THUMBS THROUGH THIS MONTH’S LITERARY PICKS… OCTOPUS WITH SMASHED POTATOES, OLIVE OIL AND PISO SERVES 6-8
I like to make a double, triple or quadruple batch of the piso and store it in the fridge for a week. It works well as a marinade, too. INGREDIENTS
LISBOETA Nuno Mendes Bloomsbury, £26
1 Rinse the octopus under cold running water. Half-fill a large pan with water and add the bay leaf, onion and garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, add the octopus, and boil for 3 minutes. Carefully remove the octopus and set it aside to rest for a few minutes. 2 Bring the same water to the boil again and repeat the process two more times. In this way you can control the cooking process and check how firm the octopus flesh is becoming. At this point, the flesh should be tender with a little resistance when you insert a knife, and the skin slightly gelatinous. 3 Turn the heat down to low. Simmer the octopus, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool. If you have time, chill it overnight, which allows the flesh to become firmer. When the octopus has cooled, cut it into 3cm-4cm pieces. 4 To make the piso, mix together the coriander, garlic and lemon zest with a generous pinch of salt and pepper until you have a paste. I like to make this in a pestle
and mortar, but you can also chop everything very finely by hand. By adding salt at this early stage, the flavour will be drawn out from the garlic. Then stir in the olive oil. I like it sharp, and I add about 2 tbsp lemon juice just before serving so it doesn’t discolour. It will keep in the fridge for a few days with an extra glug of olive oil on top. 5 To make the smashed potatoes, preheat the oven to 210C/410F/gas mark 6½. Cook the potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water until just tender but not breaking up. Remove from the pan, drain well and leave until cool enough to handle. Murro means ‘punch’ in Portuguese, and we are now going to punch the potatoes. Smash each one gently with the palm of your hand. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, bay leaves and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Put them in a large baking dish (big enough to hold the octopus too) and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. 6 Drizzle the octopus with extra-virgin olive oil and put the pieces on top of the potatoes. Increase the oven temperature to 220C/425F/gas mark 7 and cook for 10 minutes, or until the octopus has lovely crispy edges. Drizzle with the piso, take it straight to the table and let your guests help themselves.
P H OTO GRA P H Y © A NDR E W M ON TGO ME RY
Known as Portugal’s ‘City of Light’ because of its beautiful buildings and cobbled streets illuminated by the reflections of the nearby waters, Lisbon is also one of the relatively undiscovered culinary centres of Europe. London-based chef Nuno Mendes was born and raised in Lisbon and this cookbook is a guide to the historic city’s bustling, modern food culture, combining dishes from restaurants, bars and homes. Mendes guides us through the streets and shoreline, from breakfast of pasteis de nata custard tarts or almond and butternut squash tarts through to lunch of grilled sardines with roasted green pepper salad. As evening approaches, thoughts turn to rich and warming dinners of marinated pork with black olives and parsley or baked celeriac with fennel and coriander broth.
For the octopus: 1 octopus (about 600g), cleaned, with head, eyes and innards removed 2 bay leaves 1 white onion, quartered 2 garlic cloves For the piso: bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped ½ garlic clove, finely crushed ½ lemon (finely grated zest plus freshly squeezed juice, to taste) 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling For the smashed potatoes: 8-12 floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or similar, skin on 4 tbsp olive oil 2 bay leaves 4 garlic cloves, smashed
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES Nigel Slater Fourth Estate, £26
Through his books and newspaper column, Nigel Slater has been a part of our culinary lives for quarter of a century, and there seems to be no dip in productivity or quality. His latest book is an extended love letter to winter and although there are 100 fabulous new recipes, it’s Slater’s beautifully evocative writing about festive rituals, feasts and fables that once again sets him apart from his contemporaries. Whether it’s describing candles, buying a Christmas tree or carol singing, Slater’s perceptive descriptions are as delicious as the dishes themselves. Not that the recipes are to be ignored, with highlights including pot-roast partridge with parsnips and smoked garlic; roast pumpkin with dukkha and pomegranate; and fig, maple syrup and Marsala ice cream. A genuine Christmas cracker.
THE SUNDAY NIGHT BOOK
MADE AT HOME
This pocket-size (and therefore ideal for Christmas stockings!) book from highly regarded chef and food writer Rosie Sykes shoehorns 52 recipes into its 128 pages – one for each Sunday of the year. Sykes wants to make Sunday nights the best evenings of the week with quick, simple but delicious, uplifting recipes that banish any back-to-school feelings. The book is packed with heart-warming recipes, most of them achievable in the time it takes to run a relaxing bath. A chapter of ‘things on toast’ include Caerphilly with leeks and mustard, and there are one-pot dishes such as spiced rice and lentils. Other recipes to bookmark include ‘Remains of the Day’ dishes using leftovers from the Sunday roast – chicken harira, perhaps, or ‘epic’ bubble and squeak.
Home for Giorgio Locatelli may now be north London but a large piece of his heart is still in Lombardy, northern Italy, where he grew up, learning to cook at his uncle’s restaurant. Made at Home is a colourful collection of the food that Locatelli loves to prepare for family and friends, whether it’s in London or Italy. Although there are some wonderful meat and fish dishes in the book, this is as much a celebration of vegetables, whether they are in vibrant salads, seasonal stews or as an accompaniment. From Tuscan tomato and bread soup, and monkfish stew with tomatoes, garlic, chilli and black olives, to simple pasta and pizza dishes and Sicilian orange and chocolate cake, these are simple Italian family recipes from one of the masters.
Giorgio Locatelli Fourth Estate, £26
Rosie Sykes Quadrille, £12.99
PADSTOW FESTIVAL COOKBOOK
Barefoot Media, £12 from Padstow Tourist Information (01841 533449)
The tenth Padstow Christmas Festival takes place 7-10 December, with a stellar lineup of chefs including Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and José Pizarro. All of whom appear in this anniversary edition of the event’s cookbook, which features 56 recipes from national and local chefs linked to the festival. Needless to say, fish dishes dominate the book, with recipes including pollock and cauliflower curry, and panfried monkfish with mussels, grain mustard and tarragon sauce. There are also seasonal meat dishes such as Mark Sargeant’s braised Angus beef with chestnuts and charred hispi cabbage, and Neil Borthwick’s roast quail with hazelnut pesto, remoulade and foie gras. Desserts like Mark Hix’s Christmas Mess and Dan Doherty’s Queen of Puddings will certainly hit the sweet spot.
A PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Come and choose your spice and let us do the rest! With a selection of different flavourings, you can go hot or extremely mild, and finish of with one of our great desserts! Now open six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday). The Loaded Grill, 37 Castle Street, Cirencester GL7 1QD Tel: 01285 641195 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Vineyard & Winery Tour in the Beautiful Cotswolds Book a tour at our Woodchester vineyard and winery and enjoy a tutored tasting with an experienced member of our team for an insight into the fascinating world of winemaking. Please visit our website for more details. You can also visit our Cellar Door in South Woodchester for a taste of our award winning wines. Our Cellar Door is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 6pm. Postcode GL5 5EY. See our website for more details.
Woodchester Valley Vineyard is a family owned vineyard and winery established by the Shiner family in 2007. A boutique estate across three vineyard sites in Woodchester, Amberley and Doverow specialising in award winning white, rosĂŠ and sparkling wines from vineyards planted in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT, DIRECT FROM OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES H I G H L I G H T S
WE’VE GOT THE CURE
A BERRY MERRY BIRD
For salmon, that is. And it involves gin, happily… Page 22
Tom Kitchin plies his pigeon with cherry sauce Page 24
FOREVER AUTUMNAL Seasonal squash from Daylesford Page 30
It’s possible Tom Kitchin’s pigeon recipe might ruffle a few of this fella’s feathers...
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FESTIVE PUDS to grace your Crimbo table CRUMBSMAG.COM
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EARL GREY AND GIN CURED SALMON SERVES 6-8
CURE aNd SIMPLE ROGER WILLIAMS, HEAD CHEF AT THE MAYTIME INN, HAS BROUGHT TOGETHER THE UNLIKELY COMBINATION OF SALMON, TEA AND GIN…
Salmon is a classic to serve at this time of year, says Roger. The Maytime Inn’s Earl Grey and gin cured salmon is a new take on the dish. Our inn, which is famous for having more than 100 different gins behind the bar, serves this up as a starter, although it would be equally delicious as an hors d’oeuvre. As the salmon cures, the flavours develop and impart a delicate, citrusy and almost fragrant touch to the fish. The hint of bergamot from the Earl Grey blends with the sweet orange, while holding back the juniper berry dominance of the gin. The resulting flavours are subtle, yet delicious! themaytime.com
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CURED SALMON 3 tsps loose leaf Earl Grey, divided into two portions 64g caster sugar 64g cup coarse sea salt black pepper, for sprinkling 1 side of salmon 28ml gin juice from ½ orange FOR THE CITRUS CREAM 142g crème fraiche juice from ½ orange 1 tsp wholegrain mustard a few sprigs of dill, finely chopped sea salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste METHOD 1 Boil the kettle and pour the water over half the loose leaf tea – just enough to moisten the leaves. 2 Mix the sugar, salt, pepper and remaining tea together in a bowl and sprinkle a thin layer into the bottom of a baking dish. 3 Cut the salmon into 2 large pieces. If you don’t have a baking dish big enough, you can cut the salmon into manageable fillets. Lay one side of salmon in the dish, skin side down, and sprinkle the cure all over. Then lay the other side, skin side up, on top of the first piece of salmon and sprinkle the remaining cure all over. 4 Pour the orange juice, gin and tea over the salmon. 5 Add a layer of plastic wrap over the dish and place the chopping board or dish on top of the fish. Put some tins on top of the board to weight it down, then put the tray in the fridge. 6 Every day, turn the salmon fillets over and baste with any liquid you find in the tray. 7 The salmon will be ready after 48 hours, although could be left up to 72 hours for a slightly stronger cure. 8 Make the cream 1 hour or so before serving. In a mixing bowl, add the crème fraiche, orange juice, mustard, and dill. Mix until the flavours are combined and season to taste. 9 When ready to serve, remove the salmon from the cure, rinse gently under cold water, scrape off any tea leaves and pat dry. Slice the salmon as thin as possible and serve with rye bread.
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A GAME BIRd AHEAD OF HIS VISIT TO DAYLESFORD ORGANIC FARM, TOM KITCHIN HAS SHARED THIS WONDERFUL PIGEON RECIPE
ROAST PIGEON AND CHERRY SAUCE SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 4 oven-ready wood pigeons, with the wishbones removed 4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole 4 rosemary sprigs 4 thyme sprigs olive oil 100g butter, plus an extra knob for finishing 200ml full-bodied red wine 50ml port or kirsch 350ml game stock or chicken stock 200g cherries, stoned 300g spinach 1 clove garlic, peeled but left whole olive oil sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper Renowned chef Tom Kitchin will be coming to Daylesford organic farm on December 3 to cook a very special three course supper inspired by his latest book, Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game. “It’s a pleasure for me to make the trip to Daylesford to host this exclusive dinner,” says Tom. “Daylesford’s commitment to growing, producing and cooking only the finest, most delicious organic food really resonates with me. I share the same deep-rooted passion for working with the freshest, highest quality, seasonal produce at my own restaurant, The Kitchin in Edinburgh. “My new book is a celebration of a truly exciting collection of seasonal flavours, and I’ve relished the chance to inspire people to try, explore, understand and enjoy using new ingredients in their cooking. I’m looking forward to working with the Daylesford team to present a one-off menu showcasing some of the best dishes from Meat & Game. “This recipe is taken from there. Sometimes we chefs forget how difficult it is to make sauces at home. In our restaurants, of course, we have access to all the loveliest stocks and sauces. However, this sauce is restaurant quality but easy to make at home. It is a great one to go with the pigeon, as cherries work incredibly well with the mild, gamey flavour of the bird. If you can’t get hold of fresh cherries, though, marinated ones work just fine, too.”
METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. 2 Season the pigeons all over and in the cavities with salt and pepper, then divide the garlic, rosemary and thyme among the cavities. Truss the legs together with kitchen string. 3 Heat 2 large, well-seasoned, ovenproof sauté or frying pans over a medium-high heat, then add a good splash of olive oil. When it is hot, add the pigeons and colour all over for 3 minutes. Add the butter and, when it is foaming, baste the birds. 4 Transfer the pans to the oven and roast the pigeons for 6 minutes, which should give you pink meat. 5 Remove the pans from the oven, un-truss the birds and tip the juices from all the cavities into one of the pans, then set the birds aside to rest, covered with kitchen foil, while you finish the recipe. 6 Remove the excess fat from the pan, then return it to the heat. Add the wine and port, stirring to deglaze the pan, and boil until the liquid evaporates. Add the game stock and continue boiling to reduce it by half, then stir in the cherries. 7 Reduce the heat and simmer until the cherries are soft. Swirl in the knob of butter, then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. 8 Rinse the spinach well, then shake dry. 9 Spear the garlic clove with a fork. 10 Heat a large, well-seasoned frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add a splash of oil. When it is hot, add the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves, season with a little salt and toss with the garlic fork, until just wilted. 11 Serve the roasted pigeons with cherry sauce, and with the wilted spinach alongside. Extract taken from Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game by Tom Kitchin (Absolute Press, £26); photography © Marc Millar
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ThE PROOF IS IN ThE PUddING... VIVEK SINGH, EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE RECENTLY OPENED CINNAMON KITCHEN IN OXFORD, HAS SHARED HIS TAKE ON A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUD
GARAM MASALA CHRISTMAS PUDDING MAKES 2 PUDDINGS
INGREDIENTS 100g dried apricots, chopped (to about the same size as raisins) 100g dried figs, chopped (to about the same size as raisins) 100g dried blackcurrants 100g seedless raisins 100g sultanas 75g candied lemon and orange peel, finely chopped 50g almonds, finely chopped 50g walnuts, finely chopped 50g pecan nuts, finely chopped 50g pine nuts, finely chopped 50g brazil nuts, finely chopped 50g cashew nuts, finely chopped 1 tsp ground garam masala ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 150ml dark rum 4 tbsp brandy 1 orange, zest and juice 1 lemon, zest and juice 225g salted butter 225g muscovado sugar 3 free-range eggs 150g plain flour butter, for greasing pudding bowls METHOD 1 Place all the dry fruits, nuts and spices into a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. 2 Add the rum and brandy and mix together well with your hands. Cover and leave it overnight to soak in the flavours (we macerate the fruit and nuts for at least a month). 3 Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue mixing until all the eggs are incorporated into the mixture. 4 Fold in the flour and the soaked fruits and nuts. 5 Divide the mixture between two greased 1½ litre heatproof pudding bowls, filling almost to the rim, then smooth down the surface. 6 Cover each bowl with a large square of greaseproof paper, then cover that with a large square of aluminium foil. Tie the two sheets tightly into place under the rim with string, leaving long ends of excess string to make a handle. Loop one of the excess string lengths over the pudding basin and slide underneath the taut string holding the sheets in place on the other side. Bring up the string and firmly knot with the other piece of excess string, to form a secure handle to lift the pudding in and out of the water. 7 To cook, stand both puddings on a trivet in a large, deep, heavybased pan (or each pudding in a separate pan). Pour boiling water into the pan(s), enough to come about halfway up the sides of the bowls. 8 Cover the pan(s) with a lid or a dome of foil and boil for seven hours. Check the water level regularly, topping it up with more boiling water as necessary to keep the bowls half submerged. 9 After seven hours, remove the bowls from the pan and leave to cool. Untie and remove the foil and greaseproof sheets and replace with clean, dry sheets of both greaseproof paper and foil. 10 Store in a cool, dry place. To reheat at Christmas-time, return to a pan containing a few inches of boiling water, cover and steam for two hours, checking the water levels now and then, until completely heated through. 11 Serve with warm custard flavoured with nutmeg.
This recipe is a signature dish across all the restaurants in the Cinnamon Collection, writes Vivek. The addition of garam masala adds a hint of spice that works perfectly with all the fruit and nuts to create a spectacularly unusual festive pud. The other great thing about this recipe is that it can also be made well in advance – just store your puds away from direct light and heat until you’re ready to steam them on Christmas Day itself. cinnamon-kitchen.com
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ThE MIGhTY BÛChE IF YOU’VE BEEN INSPIRED BY THIS YEAR’S GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF, THEN THIS RECIPE FOR BÛCHE DE NOËL (AKA YULE LOG) BY EDD KIMBER (WINNER OF THE VERY FIRST SERIES, BACK IN 2010) MIGHT BE JUST THE THING TO GRACE YOUR CHRISTMAS TABLE
The Bûche de Noël is the classic French Christmas cake and, come December, patisseries go all-out creating the most elaborate, beautiful versions you have ever seen, says Edd. These high-end cakes can also be extremely expensive; I have seen them sell for as much as €120! My version might be simpler, but it is still an impressive Christmas cake – and much cheaper!
MILK CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT PRALINE BÛCHE DE NOËL SERVES 10
INGREDIENTS FOR THE HAZELNUT PRALINE PASTE (IF MAKING) 50g blanched hazelnuts 150g caster sugar pinch of flaked sea salt FOR THE CHOCOLATE SPONGE butter, for greasing 70g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 4 large eggs 100g caster sugar 30g cocoa powder FOR THE DECORATION 125g hazelnuts, roughly chopped ¼ tsp edible gold powder (optional) FOR THE PRALINE BUTTERCREAM 50g milk chocolate (30-40 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped 125g caster sugar 1 large egg 2 large egg yolk 225g unsalted butter at room temperature, diced 4 tbsp hazelnut praline paste FOR THE HAZELNUT SYRUP 40g caster sugar 2 tbsp Frangelico
METHOD 1 Begin by making the praline paste (if you are making your own and not using shop-bought). Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 Line a tray with baking parchment, put the nuts on the tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside while you cook the sugar. (Do not turn the oven off.) 3 Put the sugar in a small pan over a medium heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and is a dark amber brown. (Be careful that it doesn’t cook too far, as it can burn easily.) 4 Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel over the nuts, then leave to set. 5 Once set, break into chunks and put them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the chunks are broken down a little, then process until smooth. With a domestic processor this can take a while, and the mixture will at first look powdery, but with enough time the nuts will break down and release their oils, making a smooth paste. Add the salt and process to combine. (When making praline pastes, the food processor or blender will be on for a long time. If you are worried about the machine overheating, stop for 10 minutes before continuing.) 6 Grease a 33 x 23cm rimmed baking tray (known as a quarter sheet pan) and line with a sheet of baking parchment. 7 Grease the parchment and then dust with a little flour, tipping out any excess. 8 To make the sponge, put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and,
using an electric whisk, beat until pale and thick, so that when the beaters are lifted from the bowl the batter leaves a trail. 9 Put the flour and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix together. In three additions, sift this mixture over the egg mixture, gently folding together with a spatula until fully combined. Pour this batter into the prepared baking tray and gently level out. 10 Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch. 11 Meanwhile, put a tea towel on a work surface and cover with a piece of baking parchment. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately turn it out onto the parchment. Peel off the parchment from the base of the cake, and then carefully roll the cake tightly, with the parchment and tea towel inside. Leave to cool, wrapped inside the tea towel, for about 20 minutes. This will help the cake to unroll and re-roll later without cracking. 12 Put the hazelnuts for the decoration on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. 13 To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool slightly. 14 Meanwhile, put the sugar and 75ml water in a small pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. When the sugar has dissolved, cook until the syrup reaches 120C on an instant-read thermometer. When the syrup is around 115C, put the egg and yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until pale and thickened (this is best done using a freestanding electric mixer). Once the syrup reaches 120C, and with the mixer still Recipe from Patisserie Made running, carefully pour the Simple by Edd Kimber, syrup into the egg mixture. published by Kyle Books Continue whisking until the (£16.99); photography by egg mixture has cooled to Laura Edwards room temperature. 15 Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating until you have a silky smooth buttercream. Once all the butter has been added, add the praline paste and the melted milk chocolate, mixing to combine. 16 To make the hazelnut syrup, put the sugar and 40ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the Frangelico. 17 To assemble, unroll the sponge and remove the baking parchment, then brush liberally with the syrup. Spread three-quarters of the buttercream evenly across the sponge, then carefully roll it up tightly. Lift the roll onto a serving plate and spread the remaining buttercream in a thin layer over the outside of the cake. To make the decoration, put the chopped hazelnuts in a small bowl and mix with the gold powder, if using. Press the nuts onto the buttercream, coating the cake all over. 18 The cake is best eaten on the day it is made, but will still taste good up to two days later as long as it is kept in an airtight container. The buttercream can be made up to one week in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature and beat it until light and fluffy before use.
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SqUash YOUR hUNGER ITâ€™S ALL ABOUT GORGEOUS AUTUMNAL FLAVOURS IN THIS RECIPE FROM THE DAYLESFORD TEAM
Stripping back your cooking to allow you to enjoy the true flavours of organically grown ingredients is a real skill. This year the Daylesford team has grown more than 20 varieties of heritage pumpkins and squash in their market garden and, thanks to the rich organic soil they enjoy, each is filled with flavour and abundant with vital beta carotene, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. Like potatoes, much of their nutritional value can be found in the skin, so cooking them as they have here gives you the very best of the whole thing. Try baking a variety of squash for added colours and textures and serve on a big platter, drizzled generously with the flavourful butter. Alternatively, try baking smaller squash as a delicious starter with shards of crispy Parmesan and pancetta on top, and crusty bread on the side.
WHOLE BAKED HERITAGE SQUASH WITH GARLIC AND SAGE BUTTER SERVES 6 AS A SIDE
INGREDIENTS 3 small squash 1 tsp olive oil 25g butter 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 15g sage leaves, stalks removed and roughly chopped generous pinch of salt twist of black pepper squeeze of lemon to finish METHOD 1 Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Pierce the base of each squash with a sharp knife and place onto a baking tray. (Should you wish to remove the seeds before baking, simply cut around the stalk of the pumpkin or squash to make a lid. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Return the lid to the squash and bake in the same way, but for slightly less time.) 3 Drizzle a little olive oil over each squash and smother until the skins are evenly coated. Transfer to the oven to bake. This should take around 35-50 minutes, depending on the size of your squash – they will be ready when the skin is turning golden and the flesh has softened. 4 Meanwhile, make your butter dressing. Melt the butter in a plan over a medium heat until just beginning to turn golden brown. Add the finely sliced garlic and continue to cook until the garlic begins to curl and crisp. Add the sage and seasoning before cooking for a further minute. Set aside to cool slightly, before adding just a spritz of lemon. 5 When the squash has cooked through, transfer them to a platter. Drizzle over the garlic and sage butter and serve.
This recipe is taken from Daylesford’s seasonal e-book The Autumn Harvest. Download it for free at daylesford.com/recipes
SERVE WITH • Roast haunch of venison and baked wild plums. • Roast partridge with bacon and seasonal greens. • Baked whole apples, as a delicious accompaniment to pork.
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Choose your weapons I love a hand blender. They’re smaller and cheaper than the jug versions, and dead handy: just stick it in a pan and go. And I agree! Because there’s no jug, they save on waste and washing up too. The problem is choosing between them, since there are so many on the market, at all different price points and power levels. You might want to check out how noisy the one you’ve got your eye on is, too: nobody likes an electric hand-held item that your neighbours can hear you using through the walls, after all…
Yeah, right. I’m not a hundred percent sure I understand it myself, but somehow the shape of the various blades – like the S-shaped one for dicing tough veggies, or the plastic potato masher for creaming spuds at low speeds – work in unison with the dome to be super-efficient, or something. (Look, it just works, okay?) The motor’s a reasonably powerful 700W effort – not class-leading, but up there – with adjustable speed control and even a so-called turbo function, which we imagine to be like the turbo boost on KITT in Knight Rider. There’s a ton of accessories, too: like a whisk for beating eggs, and a 1.4 litre jug.
Indeed not! If you’re investing in a posh blender, there are probably two main ranges you’re looking at: KitchenAid and Smeg, as seen here. There seems to be a bit of a war going on between them at the moment, both keen to colonise every corner of your kitchen.
But what about the most important thing (the colours, obvs)? Of course! It comes in black or red for the bold, or a more subtle cream or pastel blue. All are designed to match the rest of the snazzy Smeg kit you’ve doubtless got, like their toasters, coffee machines, juicers and kettles.
They’re basically the same, though, aren’t they? Both make high end kit, both have a retro vibe, both have rarely met a bright colour or a pastel tone they don’t like... The question may be, which aesthetic do you prefer? This latest offering from Smeg – the Italian luxury appliance giant with the schoolboy-tickling name – is certainly handsome, in a futuristic 1950s-style. Snappily titled HFB02, it offers especially smooth, even blending, achieved through what they call a ‘Flow Blend’ system.
So is it better than KitchenAid’s? Well, KitchenAid’s version is perhaps slightly more aggressive looking, like the world’s most powerful electric toothbrush. And it comes in a red that’s all-but-identical too. But this one’s sleeker. Really, though, does it even matter? You’ve probably already decided which team you’re on…
The Smeg HFB02 hand blender costs £119.95, and is available at branches of Currys. For more, smeguk.com
WHO HATES WASHING UP? EVERYONE, OF COURSE. TIME TO INVEST IN A TOP-NOTCH HAND BLENDER, SAYS MATT BIELBY, AND START WHIPPING UP A STORM
T H I S M O N T H • ALL YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
• SMOKING HOT!
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She’s a fiRe staRter... KATHRYN MINCHEW, AKA THE PYROMANIAC CHEF, COOKS UP A SMOKIN’ DINNER
ucked away in a quiet residential street in Gloucester you’ll find Kathryn Minchew’s Gloucester Studio restaurant. I say ‘restaurant’, but it’s so unlike any other restaurant I’ve come across that it feels slightly tenuous to give it that label. I mean, yes, it serves food. And wine. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. For a start, the Gloucester Studio is in Kathryn’s garden, in a Scandinavian-style shepherd hut – or a kota hut, if you want to use the proper name for it. In fact, it’s only a small sign in Kathryn’s front yard, directing us down the side of the house and into the garden, that gives away its presence at all. Well, that and the faint smell of woodsmoke drifting towards us. The Studio only fits up to eight guests, and booking is an absolute must – try just walking up and you’ll be walking away again immediately. And that’s not because Kathryn’s rude or anything, it’s just that the Studio only operates a couple of nights a week (weekends, mainly), and the food that she serves here takes some pretty major preparation. Our party is expected, though, so we follow a trail of lights to the end of the garden where there’s a welcoming glow emanating from the kota hut. It looks like something out of a fairytale, with trees decked in sparkling lights and antlers hanging over the door. I’m half expecting to find Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel (or maybe even the Three Little Pigs) inside, but actually it’s empty apart from an already-lit barbecue-grill in the centre, surrounded by a table and bench-style seating adorned with reindeer skins. We cosy in around one side of the grill, while Kathryn takes a seat on the other and welcomes us with a flurry of sparks. “Everything I serve is cooked over fire,” she tells us. “My main concern, though, is that all the flavours are genuinely delicious, and that it’s not just done as a gimmick.” There’s no disputing the novelty factor, however, nor the element of theatre that the flames bring to the proceedings. Even the Smoked Cider Cup aperitif comes with a fiery flourish, as Kathryn smokes the concoction of bourbon and a cherry and beetroot cordial with cinnamon, before topping up with a Knight’s Malvern Oak Dry Reserve Cider. To nibble alongside the cocktail, Kathryn serves a seriously delicious canapé inspired by Turkish gozleme, created with a dough made from yoghurt and flour with turmeric and paprika and filled with lamb mince and Scrumpy and Crunchy Apple cheese. The bijou nature of the Gloucester Studio means that eating here is a menu-free scenario, so you’re entirely in Kathryn’s hands when it comes to what you’re getting (she’ll cater for any dietaries, though – of course). “I was inspired by a restaurant in Barcelona,” explains Kathryn. “We went there, and there was no choice in what you ate. It might not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed switching off and just sitting back and letting all the food and drink arrive, with everything decided for me.” Every one of Kathryn’s dishes is matched with a wine, and Kathryn has enlisted the expertise of Tom I’Anson (from the cunningly named Tom I’Anson Wines) to come up with the perfect pairings. Indeed, we’re lucky enough to have Tom with us tonight to talk us through his choices. You can, if you wish, be told the menu at the start of the evening, but we’ve opted to maintain an element of surprise, so have no idea what’s coming next.
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Mini Le Creuset pans appear before us, and we eagerly lift the lids, excited to discover what’s lurking beneath. We find a more-ish melange of hickory-smoked haddock, soft mashed potato, pancetta and blackened corn, with just a hint of lemon. The smoking is delicate – definitely there, but not so much that it overpowers any of the other flavours – and there are little bursts of sweetness from the corn to counter the saltiness. Warm and comforting, it’s a cuddle in a bowl, and the Delaire Graff Swartland Reserve Chenin Blanc that accompanies it proves a perfect partner. Kathryn disappears momentarily, then reappears with a platter of glistening pink salmon fillets, which she then places over the flames. “I cure the salmon in my homemade bathtub gin, sugar and Hawaiian black sea salt,” she tells us. And, as we wait for the fish to warm through, Kathryn tells us a little more about how the Gloucester Studio came into being. “The building was put up in 2014,” she says. “This wasn’t the original plan for how to use it, though! I was a copywriter at the time, and found that I needed somewhere to work away from the children – and to hold client meetings where there wasn’t Lego being tipped all over the place. I saw these huts at the Malvern Spring Festival and I thought they were the most amazing things. I came back and told my husband about them, and he wasn’t sure at first – but I got my way! “So my clients would come for meetings, and they loved it in here; in fact, a lot of people said that they’d like to come back just to sit and relax and have a glass of wine, and that gave me the idea to do this. I had my first diners here in 2015, and it’s now pretty much taken over my life!”
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She removes the salmon from the grill and divides it into portions, serving each with a spiral of salted cucumber. It’s simple, but the flavours are sublime – especially when combined with the Weingut Liebfrauenstift Riesling Trocken that Tom’s chosen to serve alongside. “Liebfraumilch has a bit of a bad reputation, thanks to a lot of terrible stuff that was served in the ’80s,” says Tom. “There are some excellent examples available now, though. People think that Rieslings are all very sweet, but that’s not the case at all. This is actually the original Liebfraumilch, and has a history dating back 500 years. The notes of citrus and white stone fruits, with a hint of minerality and delicate acidity, are an excellent match for the fish.” Earlier in the evening, Kathryn had squirrelled away some foil parcels around the edges of the fire, and now she retrieves them and gives one to each of us. We unwrap them expectantly and find a veritable treat inside – warm melted goats’ cheese, smeared with smoked garlic and wrapped in smoked bacon. There’s smoked bread to munch alongside, and butter made using smoked salt and fashioned into the shape of a kota hut. It’s all washed down with a La Madone Fleurie Beaujolais, and is nothing short of delicious. A sorbet comes next and, although you might think that it’s a dish that it would be impossible to get fire anywhere near, Kathryn has managed it. “I smoke lemon juice with coconut sugar, then dilute before freezing,” she says. “Sorbet courses are meant to cleanse the palette, but I like to punch you in the face with smoky sourness, lest your tastebuds doze off in the kota!” If Kathryn and her hut are all seeming quite familiar, it might be that you spotted them last year on Channel 4’s Hidden
Restaurants TV show, when Michel Roux Jnr went into raptures over her beef dish. It’s a variation on this that we get to taste next, and it’s easy to see why Michel was so enthusiastic. The meat is smoked over hickory while raw to pick up all the flavours, then cooked over the grill in the hut. The result is tender, blushing pink slices which practically melt in the mouth, and ends – served more well done – that have that intense Marmite-y flavour reminiscent of brisket burnt ends. Sharing the plate is soft fondant potato, rainbow chard leaves cooked in butter and honey and flambéed in damson vodka, and a deep, rich gravy which contains a whole bottle of wine and takes 18 hours to prepare. (Do you now see why you can’t just rock up without booking?) The flavours are wonderfully intense, and are set off beautifully by the Calmel & Joseph Terrasses du Larzac, which we sip alongside. A salad might not seem like the obvious candidate for smoking, but again Kathryn achieves the improbable by smoking a dressing of oil, vinegar, smoked salt and bourbon with a hot coal, before dousing the leaves with the mixture. As salad dressings go, it’s highly unusual – but it works, and creates one of the most interesting plates of leaves I’ve ever eaten. Then there’s a pud of Aebelskiver (little Danish pancakey, doughnutty mouthfuls, laced with cinnamon and deep fried over the open flames), served with vanilla ice cream and berries flambéed with Cointreau. It tastes of autumn and is practically the definition of ‘hygge’. Dessert devoured, Kathryn places a big cauldron-style pot over the flames, and I am ecstatic to discover that it’s filled with cheese. Instead of the traditional fondue recipe of Gouda and
wine, though, Kathryn’s created a Gloucestershire version with single Gloucester and cider – and it’s so good the only thing that stops me eating is when the last dribbles have been mopped up. The final dish of the night is marshmallows made with rose water, which we toast ourselves over the flames while sipping on caramel damson schnapps. “I like to echo similar ingredients throughout the meal,” says Kathryn. “I use cider for the cocktail, as it features in the fondue, and I use damson for both the chard and the schnapps. It’s subtle, but it brings the courses together.” Many a professional chef would balk at the prospect of cooking such varied and sophisticated meal over flames and smoke, and when you consider that Kathryn has had almost no formal training it makes what she achieves even more remarkable. “I studied for the Leith’s two-year food and wine qualification alongside my A-levels,” she tells us. “Prue’s view was always that you should not put anything on a plate that you wouldn’t eat, or that doesn’t add anything to a dish. If you do a drizzle then it has to add flavour, not just be there for colour. That’s very much influenced the way I do things – although this type of cooking didn’t really feature on the course! “I always liked fires, but it was only when I got this place that I really experimented with cooking with fire. I have travelled around South East Asia, and every time I went to a new country I did a cooking course. In that part of the world there’s a lot of single-point cooking – people’s homes are built around a single wok or a barbecue, basically one heat point – and so I realised that, actually, many of the cuisines I had studied really lend themselves to this type of cooking. “Now I organise my holidays around food, and I still do cooking courses wherever I go to get inspiration and ideas. We’re going to Morocco soon, and staying in a riad where there’s a Michelin-starred chef. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to be my best friend!” Look out for some Moroccan-influenced dishes appearing in Kathryn’s repertoire soon, then. In the meantime, the Gloucester Studio might be small, but in all other ways it’s big. Big on flavour, big on creativity, and definitely big on fun! gloucesterstudio.com
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MAKES AROUND 70 – DEPENDING ON HOW LARGE YOU CUT THEM! Marshmallows are to make simple with the right kit, and nigh on impossible if you don’t. Indeed, unless you have a sugar thermometer and a KitchenAid, it’s probably not even worth you trying… INGREDIENTS 30g powdered gelatine 1kg caster sugar 30ml orange blossom water 100g cornflour 100g icing sugar
BAKED APPLES SERVES 4
These are a great dish to make in advance, then have ready to throw on the fire later in the evening when you’re ready for something sweet. I serve them with custard cold from the fridge. You need the balance of hot apple and cold custard. INGREDIENTS 4 apples 40g dried fruit 20g flaked almonds 40g butter 1 tbsp Cointreau ½ tsp cinnamon METHOD 1 Place an apple on a chopping board and cut downwards four times with a sharp knife. Use your fingers to push out the squared column containing the core. Repeat for the other apples. 2 Mix other ingredients together and divide into four. Use to stuff the apples. 3 Wrap apples in foil and cook around a fire for half an hour, or until baked. OR Cook at 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
METHOD 1 Place caster sugar in a saucepan with 350ml water. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer until it reaches soft boil stage on a sugar thermometer. This takes about 20 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, put the gelatine with 200ml cold water in your food mixer with a whisk attachment. 3 When the sugar syrup is ready, turn on the mixer to a low speed and slowly pour in the incredibly hot syrup. As it cools it will thicken and you can gradually increase the speed. This takes about fifteen minutes. 4 When the marshmallow is cool and thick, add the orange blossom water. 5 Mix the cornflour and icing sugar and use to dust a baking dish lined with cling film (reserve the rest). Pour in the marshmallow, dust again, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 6 Dust a worktop with the flour/sugar mix and turn out the marshmallow. Dust a sharp knife and slice the marshmallow, dusting everything constantly. 7 Toast, or use to top hot chocolate. (I’m not sure how long they last in an airtight container, as I’m married and we have three kids!)
Fresh, local produce cooked with style, imagination and flair... Our meat is supplied by Jesse Smith butchers and we pride ourselves on our fresh fish and seafood, delivered daily from Cornwall.
The Stableyard, Black Jack St Cirencester GL7 2AA 01285 641497 | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NICE LIST
WE’RE MAKING A LIST, WE’RE CHECKING IT TWICE… WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOME INSPO ON WHAT TO BUY THE FOODIE IN YOUR LIFE, OR PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR OWN CRIMBO WISH LIST, WE’VE DONE THE HARD WORK FOR YOU… FOR THE GIN LOVER 1 GIN & TONIC INFUSIONS SET Know someone in need of some ginspiration? With this set they can liven up a classic G&T, or even make their very own infusions. £17.50; souschef.co.uk 2 FUDGE KITCHEN GIN SLIDER SELECTION Handmade fudge which has been botanical and boozeinfused to create three palate popping flavours – bitter orange and cubeb gin, juniper and kaffir lime dry gin and sloe gin. What’s not to like? £8 from Lakeland and Waitrose; fudgekitchen.co.uk 3 GREAT CHASE BRAND BOX TRIO GIFT SET Cunningly concealed within a beautiful replica book you’ll find three miniatures of Chase Distillery’s signature range – Chase Vodka, Williams Elegant Gin and Chase Marmalade Vodka. £16.50 from Chase Distillery; williamschase.co.uk
FOR THE GADGET GEEK 4 SAGE FROM HESTON SMOKING GUN Anyone who likes there to be a touch of theatre to their creations needs this! Use the gun to add flavour and aroma and, of course, a touch of drama. £65.95; souschef.co.uk 5 WEBER IGRILL There’s no excuse for anything but a perfectly grilled bit o’meat ever again with this bit of kit. The thermometer connects to an app on your smartphone, monitoring the food as it cooks. Clever, no? From £59.99 from Fosseway Garden Centre, Moreton-in-Marsh; weber.com 6 SUPERFAST THERMAPEN 4 A Thermapen is one of those gadgets that, once you own one, you’ll
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2 wonder how you ever lived without it. It’ll measure the temperature of everything from jam to salmon to steaks (and even cakes) so you’ll never over- or under-cook anything again. £64.80; thermapen.co.uk
FOR THE TEA TIMER 7 TEAPIGS TIN OF SPICED WINTER RED TEA This delightfully Christmassy concoction consists of refreshing caffeine-free red rooibos tea and warm orange, cloves and cinnamon for a comforting mulled-like flavour. (Add a dash of brandy to your cup to really warm the cockles!) £4.49; teapigs.co.uk 8 T-TIMEPIECE TEA INFUSER BY TUDELFT - TITUS WYBENGA FOR ALESSI There’s always time for tea with this pocketwatch-inspired tea infuser by stylish homeware brand, Alessi. £25 from John Lewis in Oxford or Swindon; alessi.com/en 9 T2 PINEAPPLE TEAPOT Now we’ve come across this beaut, we’re not quite sure how we’ve lived for so long without a golden pineapple teapot in our lives, and we must acquire one, post haste. £54, from T2 in Cheltenham; t2tea.com
FOR THE HOST WITH THE MOST 10 EMMA BRIDGEWATER HOLLY WREATH MINCE PIE PLATE Christmas on a plate. Literally. £22.95 from Cotswold Trading in Broadway; emmabridgewater.co.uk 11 HOBART NUTCRACKER Nothing says festive like a classic nutcracker, and there’s no nutcracker finer than this example from Robert Welch. Cracking nuts has never been so easy. £36 from Robert Welch in Chipping Campden; robertwelch.com 12 ARTESA TWO-TIER SLATE SERVING STAND A beautiful way to show off your greatest culinary creations. £34.99 from Lakeland in Cheltenham; lakeland.co.uk 13 THYME APRON To ensure that your clobber is kept clean in the kitchen. £50 from Thyme in Southrop; thyme.co.uk
FOR THE CHEESE FIEND 14 PER I FORMAGGI A beautiful wooden cheese board and serving spoon with a fabulous fig jam made in small batches by the Zanuttigh family. £14.95 from Carluccio’s in Cheltenham or Oxford; carluccios.com 15 PAXTON & WHITFIELD CHEESE KNIVES Any cheese enthusiast will be delighted with this collection of cheese knives. There are eight different coloured handles to choose from, so you can mix and match or pick just one.
16 M A I N S
£21 from Paxton & Whitfield in Stratford-upon-Avon; paxtonandwhitfield.com 16 RIVERFORD CHEESE BOX Give the gift of cheese this Yuletide with the help of Riverford. Choose from a small box, a large box, or even a whole Stilton, and get it delivered straight to the lucky recipient’s door. From £19.95; riverford.co.uk
FOR THE COFFEE ADDICT
17 OXO GOOD GRIPS COLD BREW It'll make you the smoothest of brews to enjoy hot or cold. £45 from John Lewis in Bristol or Swindon; oxouk.com 18 LA CAFETIERE 6-CUP STAINLESS STEEL COPPER STOVETOP You just can’t beat a freshly ground coffee, and this snazzy copper grinder – designed in France and sold by Cheltenham based biz Farrar & Tanner – will do the business nicely. You can even get it engraved for that personal touch. £50; farrar-tanner.co.uk 19 WACACO MINIPRESSO They’ll be able to get a caffeine fix wherever they are with the world’s most portable and compact espresso machine! And it doesn’t even need batteries or electricity. (It’s witchcraft, we tell you.) £49.95 from Steamer Trading in Cirencester; steamer.co.uk 20 ERSKINE ROSE ESPRESSO SET Take your coffee in colour with this simply stunning set of espresso cups and saucers. £95; erskinerose.com
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25 SUGAR REBEL CANE SUGAR COCKTAIL STIRRERS Pop a sugar-coated cocktail pick into any home-made cocktail for a hit of instant wow factor – they’re the ideal way to sweeten a whiskey sour, recommended for mojitos and any variety of Champagne cocktail… (And, it has to be said, slowly stirring your cocktail with one of these longstemmed picks makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a glamorous 1930s speakeasy bar.) £4.99 for 6 from Lakeland in Cheltenham; lakeland.co.uk
FOR THE BOOKWORM 26 HAYNES FLAVOURED SPIRITS ENTHUSIASTS’ MANUAL This manual by Oxford-based author Tim Hampson provides techniques and recipes for adding interesting, and sometimes surprising, flavours to a whole range of sprits. £22.99; haynes.co.uk 27 PATISSERIE MADE SIMPLE BY EDD KIMBER Buy this book, read it, practice the recipes, win Bake Off. Simples. £16.99, published by Kyle Books; kylebooks.com 28 HERBS: DELICIOUS RECIPES AND GROWING TIPS TO TRANSFORM YOUR FOOD BY JUDITH HANN You won’t be able to ‘herb’ your enthusiasm (sorry, not sorry) for this book by ex-Tomorrow’s World presenter Judith Hann. £25; amazon.co.uk
FOR THE MIXOLOGY MARVEL
FOR THE WINE AFICIANADO
21 BRAMBLE COCKTAIL CASE All the kit and ingredients you need to make a super-tasty cocktail, handily packaged up in a stylish case. Ideal for those occasions that require a cocktail on the go! £189; giftsinternational.net 22 COTSWOLDS DISTILLERY SPIRIT MEASURE Mixologists will be able to measure to perfection, thanks to this handy spirit measure! £3.95 for a 25ml measure (or £6.95 for a 50ml measure) from Cotswolds Distillery in Shipston-on-Stour; cotswoldsdistillery.com 23 POPABALL BUBBLES FOR GIN AND VODKA Stocking filler alert! These bubble tea-style balls come in plenty of juicy flavours, from strawberry to passionfruit, and can be added to spirits, cocktails and Prosecco for bursts of fruitiness. £3.79 from Cotswold Trading in Broadway; cotswoldtrading.com 24 CUT GLASS COCKTAIL SHAKER Smart enough to leave 007 shaken and stirred! £14.99 from Steamer Trading in Cirencester; steamer.co.uk
29 WINE CONNOISSEURS GIFT SET Nine wine accessories, all in a stylish wooden box. What more could a wine lover need? £25.99; andrewjamesworldwide.com 30 CULINARY CONCEPTS LEATHER-HANDLED WINE COOLER Keep your wine and Champers cool (and save trips to the fridge) by keeping this stylish ice bucket close at hand. You can even emboss the handles to create a gift with a special sentiment. £100; farrar-tanner.co.uk 31 CORAVIN MODEL 2 ELITE This fantastic gadget allows you to enjoy wine by the glass – without removing a single cork! The Coravin unit pierces the cork with a fine needle allowing the extraction of as little, or as much, wine as you would like, injecting gas to fill the void. When removed, the cork simply seals itself back up. The ideal thing when you’re pairing wine to dishes where a full bottle may not be what’s needed. £278.95 from Steamer Trading in Cirencester; steamer.co.uk
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33 32 JADIS WINE RACK These statement wine racks are made from iron and given a distressed finish for a classy antique-look and a one-ofa-kind feel – ideal for storing those special bottles you’re still waiting for the right excuse to open. £156, from Oka in Broadway; oka.com
FOR THE CHOCAHOLIC 33 ELEMENTS FOR LIFE RAW CHOCOLATE MAKING KIT Chocolate lovers will love the chance to make their own treats with this fancy kit containing top-quality raw cacao, natural fruit sweetener, reuseable moulds and a recipe book. £21; yumbles.com 34 THE GROWN-UP CHOCOLATE COMPANY FESTIVE FLAVOURS CHOCOLATE BARS Choose from Magnificent Mince Pie, Spice Ginger Biscuit or Festive Fig & Port. (And if you ended up keeping them for yourself, instead of giving them away, we wouldn’t judge.) The festive flavours are only available online, but you can pick up the rest of the range at your local BP garage. £2.95; thegrownupchocolatecompany.co.uk 35 DAYLESFORD WHITE CHOCOLATE SNOWMAN So cute, and yet so tasty… £18 from Daylesford farm shop; daylesford.com 36 CHOCOCO CHRISTMAS CASCADE The chocoholic in your life will love you forever when you present them with this stack of choc boxes containing a grand total of 50 delish morsels. (Or you could untie them and keep a box for yourself – just saying.) £42.50; chococo.co.uk
FOR THE HEAT SEEKER 37 LAKELAND CURRY CLUB Fans of Indian food can cook up a storm with all the spices needed for three yummy curries, delivered right to their door. £28 for a three month subscription; lakeland.co.uk 38 SNAFFLING PIG MEAT & HEAT GIFT PACK Foodies who can handle some heat with their meat will enjoy The Snaffling Pig Co.’s gift jar, containing the Pig of Doom flavour crackling, paired with a bottle of Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Chilli) sauce. £19.99 from Debenhams in Cheltenham; snafflingpig.co.uk
FOR MINI COOKS 39 MIFFY BAKING TIN Everything a future Bake Off winner needs to get in training early. £25, miffyshop.co.uk 40 DAYLESFORD HEALTHY BAKING FOR CHILDREN With cookie cutters, a rolling pin, apron and gingerbread
mix, any small recipient of this gorgeous gift box will be cooking up a storm in no time. £25 from Daylesford farm shop; daylesford.com
FOR THE HOME CHEF 41 RADFORD BRIGHT TWO-PIECE CARVING SET With a glorious mirrored finish and presented in a gorgeous wooden box, this stylish pair of carving tools will ensure there’s no excuse for not carving that turkey flawlessly this Christmas. £95 from Robert Welch in Chipping Campden; robertwelch.com 42 SABATIER TAPAS CAST-IRON PAN AND BASE Channel memories of Spanish hols and cook up a tapas feast. Made from cast iron, it’s a gift that will last a lifetime – and the base can be personalised for that, well, personal touch. £15; farrar-tanner.co.uk 43 BELAZU HAMPER Award-winning ingredient company Belazu, which supplies top chefs all around the country, has put together a hamper of its most lust-worthy ingredients for home cooks, from top-notch balsamic vinegar to rose harissa. (Think about it: you may well get a meal out of whoever you buy it for...) £52; belazu.com 44 THE CLASSIC SAVERNAKE KNIFE Savernake knives are all made by hand close to the Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, and you can choose the finish of the blade and the handle. We heart The Classic for its multi-tasking capabilities, not to mention the fact that it’s one of the most beautiful knives we’ve ever seen. £280; savernakeknives.co.uk
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FOR YOUR POOCHIE PAL 45 FORTHGLADE TURKEY CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR DOGS This treat is made with turkey, cranberries and parsnips – so there’s no need for the dog to miss out on Crimbo lunch! £1.35 from Knockley Dog Foods in Lydney; forthglade.com 46 PONT & PIERCE DOG TREATS These delicious little morsels from Cotswolds-based Pont & Pierce contain no animal proteins whatsoever. Instead, they’re made entirely from veggies. (They taste so good, though, that your pooch will have no idea!) £3/100g; pontandpierce.co.uk 47 TWEED PLUSH STAG PET TOY This appealing little chap might keep your canine chum out of trouble – for a short while, at least! £7.99 from Dobbies in Cirencester.
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BUILD YOUR DREAM TEAM Looking for a chef? – Chefshare are here to help.
eyond the dishes that are gently placed down on tables before them, the general public at large is blissfully unaware of the operational nature of a restaurant. But, like any other business, a restaurant relies on keeping their team of staff motivated and performing. But there is growing concern of a skills shortage in the industry when it comes to finding enough skilled staff to supply demand. Jack Munns is one half of the management team of Chefshare (along with Phillip Heydon) and used to be a head chef himself. With firsthand experience of the difficulty of finding the right talent, Jack says that he found that most of the agencies around “were more concerned on getting a sale than placing the right chef into the right job”. As a result of this approach, Jack and Phil set up Chefshare more than 2 years ago and since then it has grown from strength to strength in providing the right staff for the right role. The key to its success, they say, is in their industry knowledge, allowing them to make better suited placements, and use the “advantage of working first hand with relief chefs” to make sure placements are suited and successful.
Jack says, “The benefits of using chefshare are simple – we take the hassle and 'waste of time' out of recruiting your staff. Being chefs ourselves we have a professional understanding of the trade and this allows us to fit the right chef to the right job. We pre-interview all of our chefs before sending them to our clients for a final interview, to ensure the candidates are right for the position. As a result of this our full time recruitment success rate is extremely high. “Recruiting for a chef yourself can get very expensive, with no guarantee of finding what you are looking for. However, by instructing Chefshare to do the recruitment for you, you only make a one off payment on the acceptance of a chef. We also offer relief chefs on a very competitive hourly rate to fill in until you find what you are looking for.” Jack and Phil still put on their whites and help out from time to time, which gives them the opportunity to work first-hand with their relief chefs and allowing them to monitor their ability and place them accordingly. Chefshare For more information on services, please visit chefshare.co.uk or call 01803 659529
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IN NEED OF FRIENDS
Stroud Valleys Project is a local charity seeking new friends.
verybody needs friends and the Stroud Valleys Project is no different! We are a small charity, based in the Stroud District. We work with people from all walks of life and we work on small pockets of land, making them good for people and good for wildlife. One of our projects is our allotment where we grow food. Our volunteers dig the allotment and sow the seeds, tend the veg and harvest it. The volunteers who work on our allotment then get a share of the veg grown and if we have a surplus we give it to the Marah Trust who feed the homeless. Of course, it's all grown organically, without using fertilisers or pesticides. We compost all our waste (including coffee and tea bags from our office) and use it as fertiliser. At our volunteer barbecue this year we used much of the produce we had grown. We made halloumi kebabs with our own courgettes, cherry tomatoes and apple and a vegetable side dish with carrots, onions and chard. All our volunteers loved it! We pride ourselves on developing habitat for local wildlife and another of our projects is looking after ponds with
great crested newts. The UK holds the biggest part of the European population of great crested newts. If we don’t look after this important species, whose habitat is increasingly fragmented, who will? We create wildflower meadows which have had amazing results in terms of encouraging all sorts of insect life. This has helped to increase the bird population too. Our volunteers are people who are free during the day on weekdays. They may be retired or professional people between jobs. Sometimes businesses and rotary clubs volunteer with us and sometimes other agencies refer people to us if they are on the road to recovery following addiction or if they have mental health issues. We all ‘muck in’ together. We offer people a place to go, a place to ‘be’, and something brilliant and very useful to do. And of course our volunteers become good friends. If you like the sound of what we do and would like to support a truly local charity that's good with people and good for the local environment, please join as a ‘Friend’ on the ‘SUPPORT US’ page of our website.
Stroud Valleys Project f @stroudvalleysproject a@SVPcharity 01453 753358 email@example.com stroudvalleysproject.org Registered charity No 900107 Photography © Deborah Roberts
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TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS & PEOPLE THAT MATTER
The best things come in bite-size packages!
O V E R
T H E
P A G E
MIXING AND MUNCHING
Cocktails and canapés to fuel your festive frolics Page 48
NO WAY JOSÉ
Hear what José Pizarro has to say for himself before his visit to Cheltenham Page 54 INCLUDING
CREATIVE COCKTAIL RECIPES
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THE ONE WITH ALL THE BERRY FLAVOURS
A VERY MERRY BERRY
By Ollie Morris, Cotswolds Distillery; cotswoldsdistillery.com INGREDIENTS
25ml Cotswolds Distillery Hedgerow Gin 15ml fresh cranberry juice Champagne (to top) METHOD
1 Pour measures of Hedgerow Gin and cranberry juice into a Champagne flute. 2 Top up with Champagne, gently stir and serve. 3 Embellish with fresh blackberries.
– THE ONE WHERE YOU’RE
THE DESIGNATED DRIVER
SLOE HOT TODDY
By Frobishers; frobisherscordials.com INGREDIENTS
25ml Frobishers Sloe & Raspberry Cordial 200ml hot water METHOD
1 Pour Sloe & Raspberry Cordial into a glass and top with hot water (we recommend a dilution guide of 1:8) 2 Decorate with raspberries for that extra touch. (To make a ‘hard’ version, add a slug of gin!)
– THE ONE WITH THE POTATO VODKA THE CHASE VARIATION
By Chase Distillery; chasedistillery.co.uk INGREDIENTS
50ml Chase Original Potato Vodka 20ml cloudy apple juice 15ml honey 1cm cube of ginger root 12.5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 20ml egg white METHOD
1 Add ginger root to bottom of a shaker and muddle. Add all the other ingredients and shake without ice. 2 Add ice and shake again. 3 Double strain into a chilled martini/coupe glass and garnish with an apple fan and fresh lemon peel.
WHEN CHRISTMAS TIME COMES AROUND, YOU’RE ALMOST DUTY BOUND TO GET A FEW FRIENDS TOGETHER FOR FESTIVE FRIVOLITY. AND THERE’S NOWT BETTER THAN ACE COCKTAILS AND CANAPÉS TO KEEP EVERYONE SMILING…
THE ONE WHERE YOU MAKE YOUR OWN CINNAMON SLOE GIN
CINNAMON SLOE GIN NEGRONI
By The Rectory; therectoryhotel.com INGREDIENTS
20ml cinnamon sloe gin 5ml Portbello Road gin 25ml Campari 25ml Punt E Mes (or other sweet vermouth) METHOD
1 To make the cinnamon sloe gin, add a couple of sticks of cinnamon to a bottle of sloe gin and leave to infuse for around a week. It’s best to check the flavour regularly after around four days, so you can decide when it is best. When you are happy, strain it through a sieve before using. 2 Stir all the ingredients with ice in a chilled mixing glass. 3 Once the drink has cooled down and diluted a little, pour over fresh ice in a chilled ‘rocks’ glass and garnish with a slice of orange peel.
– THE ONE WITH THE BUBBLES QUINCE FIZZ
By Thyme; thyme.co.uk INGREDIENTS
35ml marmalade vodka 15ml lemon juice 1 tsp honey 1 tsp quince jelly (we recommend you try Newton & Pott quince jelly, if you’re not making your own) splash of boiling water sparkling wine/Prosecco (to top) METHOD
1 Pour vodka, lemon juice, honey and jelly into the shaker glass. Add a splash of boiling water and stir briefly. 2 Top with ice and shake hard. 3 Strain into a Champagne glass and top with sparkling wine/Prosecco.
THE ONE FOR WHEN YOU NEED HAIR OF THE DOG
WILD RABBIT BLOODY MARY By The Wild Rabbit; thewildrabbit.co.uk INGREDIENTS
50ml Daylesford Artisan Vodka 25ml Alvear Fino sherry 225ml tomato juice 25ml fresh lemon juice 1 tsp crushed black pepper 1 tsp celery salt 4-5 dashes hot Tabasco 2-3 dashes mild jalapeño Tabasco 5-6 dashes Worcestershire sauce generous grating of horseradish To garnish: wholegrain mustard lemon wedge crushed black pepper grated horseradish METHOD
1 Gently shake all of the ingredients together with ice and strain into a deep chalice. 2 Garnish with a piece of celery filled with
wholegrain mustard and a wedge of lemon, and sprinkle black pepper and grated horseradish over the top.
– THE ONE WHICH COUNTS AS ONE OF YOUR FIVE-A-DAY (PROBABLY)
By Riverford; riverford.co.uk MAKES 12
3 tennis ball-sized beetroot, boiled or roasted till soft, and then skinned 5cm fresh horseradish 300ml vodka shot of sherry 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp celery salt Tabasco sauce juice of 1 orange balsamic vinegar 3 ribs celery METHOD
1 The first step is to get a loose beetroot purée, not too thick and not too watery. You want to be able to drink it, not have to attack it with a spoon. 2 Put the beetroot in a food processor or blender and run until smooth. Add cold water until you get the texture of thick tomato juice, but don't forget that the vodka will thin it down further. Now grate in the horseradish, add the vodka, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and a shake of Tabasco. 3 The next step is to season it with a dash of orange juice and balsamic vinegar until you feel happy with the acidity levels. A pinch more salt may be needed to bring everything alive. 4 Pop in the fridge overnight, give it another stir, a taste, and pass through a fine sieve into a jug. Serve in shot glasses with a small celery stick stirrer in each – or in a high-ball glass to accompany a bacon sandwich for some ‘hair of the dog’ the next morning!
– THE ONE TO DRINK AFTER A WINTERY WALK
By Peter Simpson, Old Stocks Inn; oldstocksinn.com INGREDIENTS
25ml maple syrup 50ml Cotswold 1616 barrel-aged gin 10ml Lillet Rouge sprig of rosemary METHOD
1 Place all the ingredients into a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and seal. 2 Leave to steep in a warm place for at least two hours, or preferable overnight. 3 Leave to cool, remove the rosemary sprig and decant into a hip flask or serve over ice.
THE ONE WITH THE CREAM FLOAT
RED ROCKS COCKTAIL
By The Lucky Onion; theluckyonion.com INGREDIENTS
40ml vodka 20ml amaretto
60ml cranberry juice 20ml almond syrup 20ml double cream METHOD
1 Put the vodka, amaretto and cranberry juice into a shaker, then add ice until the shaker is full. Shake the ingredients together and strain into a glass of fresh ice. 2 To make the float, mix the double cream with the amaretto and shake. 3 Pour the float onto the top of the drink. (Make sure it is poured onto an ice cube, though, as otherwise it will not float!)
– THE ONE WITH THE CHERRIES
MORELLO CHERRY SOUR By Nisal Sanchi, The Lygon Arms; lygonarmshotel.co.uk INGREDIENTS
25ml cherry purée 30ml Cognac 20ml ratafia 10ml spiced berry syrup 20ml lemon juice 50ml cranberry juice METHOD
1 Put all ingredients into a shaker and shake for 15 seconds. 2 Strain the mixture over a glass of crushed ice. 3 Garnish with cherry and a sprig of mint.
– THE ONE THAT’S A BIT BOHEMIAN THE BOE-HEMIAN By the Cricklade Club; thecrickladeclub.co.uk INGREDIENTS
40ml Boe violet gin 10ml elderflower cordial 5ml sugar syrup soda water (to top) violet flower (to garnish) blueberry (to garnish) METHOD
1 Mix together all the ingredients, except the soda water.
2 Pour into a glass ¾ full of ice, then top with soda water and garnish with a violet flower and blueberry.
THE ONE WITH THE SAFFRON
RAMSBURY SAFFRON FIZZ
By Jonas Lodge, The Bell at Ramsbury; thebellatramsbury.com
For the spray bay perfume: small amount of neutral grain spirit a few bay leaves For the drink: 25ml East London Liquor Co gin 25ml fruit-infused Campari 25ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino 1 x spray bay perfume blackberry and slice orange, to garnish
1 To make the infused Campari, pour a bottle into a large freezer bag and add 300g of seasonal fruit. (For example, strawberries in summer, cranberries in winter.) Squeeze out as much of the air as possible from the bag, seal, and leave to infuse for five days. Then strain. 2 To make the bay perfume, add bay leaves to a small amount of high strength neutral grain spirit, and once again put in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out and leave to infuse for around three days. Once ready, strain, and add to a perfume bottle. 3 Add the infused Campari, gin and Cocchi Torino to a mixing glass and stir with ice. 4 Strain the mixture over fresh ice in a small glass and add a spray of bay perfume.
For the stock syrup: 100ml water 100g castor sugar 2 cinnamon quills For the drink: 3 slices of lemon 3 slices of orange 80ml Ramsbury vodka pinch of Cheshire saffron 20ml peach schnapps 10ml Drambuie 30ml cinnamon stock syrup soda water (to top) METHOD
1 Make your stock syrup. Add the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and allow to steep for at least one hour, but preferably overnight. 2 To make the cocktail, put ice cubes, saffron, orange and lemon slices into a Boston Shaker. 3 Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the soda water, and mix/shake well, then strain into a Champagne flute and top up with soda. 4 Garnish with orange zest, cherries and a piece of cinnamon quill.
– THE ONE THAT INVOLVES
THE FANCY AROMA SPRAY
By Leon Smith, Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms; hanburysmasonarms.co.uk INGREDIENTS
For the fruit-infused Campari: 1 bottle of Campari 300g seasonal fruit
– THE ONE WITH PEARS AUTUMN PEAR MOSCOW MULE
By Holly Pinchbeck, The Inn at Welland; theinnatweeland.co.uk INGREDIENTS
50ml autumn pear juice 50ml Grey Goose pear vodka dash of ginger syrup dash of fresh lime juice honey (to taste) dash of ginger beer sliced cucumber (to garnish) fresh ginger (to garnish) METHOD
1 Shake together the juice, vodka, syrup, lime juice and honey. 2 Pour into a julep cup filled with crushed ice. 3 Top up with ginger beer and garnish with fresh ginger and cucumber slices.
M A I N S
MATT AUSTIN INGREDIENTS
THE ONE WHERE YOU MAKE LITTLE PANCAKES
CHRISTMAS CHESTNUT BLINIS By Thyme; thyme.co.uk
450g strong flour 300ml milk 60g Demerara sugar 80g yeast 2 pinches salt 100g chorizo, finely diced
MAKES AROUND 30
1 Make a bread dough by putting the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixer, and attach the dough hook. 2 While mixing, slowly add the milk until you form a dough, then add the chorizo and work the dough for 10 minutes. 3 Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove overnight in the fridge. 4 Remove from the fridge and roll into small balls of 8g each. 5 Deep fry at 180C until golden, turning as needed. 6 Top with tomato chutney or harissa to serve.
120g plain flour 50g chestnut flour ½ tsp salt 10g fresh yeast 150ml milk 175ml buttermilk 2 eggs, separated 1 tbsp butter METHOD
1 Sift the flours into a bowl, add the salt and yeast; mix together, making a well in the centre. 2 Heat the milk until just warm, then whisk in the egg yolks. 3 Pour this mixture into the flour and mix to combine, before mixing in the buttermilk to form a batter. Cover, place in a warm spot and allow the batter to prove for an hour. It will double in volume. 4 Beat the egg whites until stiff, and then fold them through the batter. 5 Heat a small amount of the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. 6 Spoon the batter into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until bubbles form on the surface of the mixture, flip, and cook the blini for a further minute on the other side. Remove to a cooling rack and then continue with the remaining batter. 7 Serve with your choice of topping. (We love vodka cured salmon and celeriac remoulade.)
THE ONE WITH A BIT OF SAUSAGE
By Andrew Scott, Restaurant 56; restaurant56.co.uk MAKES 80(!)
– THE ONE THAT’S A SAVOURY CHEESECAKE
GOATS’ CHEESE CHEESECAKE WITH RED ONION JAM By Foodworks Cookery School; foodworkscookeryschool.co.uk
For the red onion jam: 400g red onion, finely sliced 50ml balsamic vinegar 2 cloves 2 juniper berries 4g salt 1 garlic clove, minced 350g redcurrant jelly 3 sprigs of thyme a little oil For the cheesecake base: 120g puff pastry 20g sesame seeds 20g poppy seeds
M A I N S
120g unsalted butter salt For the goats’ cheesecake filling: 250g Cerney Ash goats’ cheese 100g cream cheese 150ml double cream 1 gelatine leaf METHOD
1 To begin, make the red onion jam. Heat a little oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic with the salt until they have released their juices and are soft. 2 Wrap the cloves, juniper berries and thyme leaves in a muslin cloth, then add to the pan with the balsamic vinegar and redcurrant jelly. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 3 Remove the muslin cloth wrap from the pan and chill the contents of the pan in the fridge, until needed. (It should resemble a jam.) 4 Preheat the oven to 175C/340F/gas mark 4. 5 To make the base, roll out the puff pasty to a thickness of 0.5cm and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool then flake the puff pastry and blend with the seeds and salt in a bowl. Use the butter to bind the pastry together again. 6 Line a baking tray with parchment paper and roll the pastry out to a thickness of 0.5cm. Place in the tray, pressing firmly into place until even and flat. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 7 To make the topping, beat the cheeses together until smooth. Place the cream in a small pan, bring to the boil and set aside. 8 Soak the gelatine in cold water for 4 minutes, squeeze out any excess water and whisk through the warm cream to dissolve. Whisk this with the cheese until well-combined and smooth. 9 Pour the cheese mixture over the pre-set base and allow to set until firm, for 2-3 hours. 10 Using a 2.5 cm pastry cutter, portion the cheesecakes into rounds, squares or shapes of your choice. Top each individual cheesecake with the red onion jam, add 2 pieces of micro cress and serve
– THE ONE WITH THE BLUE CHEESE
BITE-SIZED BLUE CHEESE AND CRANBERRY FRITTATA
By Daylesford Organic; daylesford.com MAKES 12
40g butter ½ small onion, finely chopped 2 eggs + 2 yolks 125g mascarpone 50ml double cream 50g blue cheese, crumbled (we recommend Daylesford Bledington Blue) a little chopped parsley 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 Deep fry wontons at 180C until golden, then drain well and season. 2 Mix together the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and Dijon mustard. 3 Sear the outside of the fillet tail, then cut away 1mm all over and discard. 4 Using a clean board and knife, then chop trimmed fillet into 3mm dice. 5 Next, chop all remaining ingredients (except for tobiko) as fine as possible. 6 Mix together in bowl season and taste. 7 To serve, top crisp pastry with tartare mix and sprinkle with wasabi tobiko.
1 Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 3. 2 Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onion. Sweat gently over a low heat until soft and translucent. Tip out into a bowl and allow to cool. 3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, mascarpone and cream, until well mixed. Stir in the cooled onion, crumbled blue cheese and parsley. 4 Line a small tin with baking paper and lightly brush with melted butter. Pour in the egg mixture and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is just set in the middle. 5 Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool before slicing into bite-size pieces. 6 Top with cranberry sauce and serve.
THE ONE WHERE WE GOT BEEF
FRIED WONTON PASTRY, TARTARE OF HEREFORD BEEF AND WASABI TOMIKO By Alan Gleeson, No 131; theluckyonion.com SERVES 10
200g 60 day dry aged Hereford cross fillet tail (we recommend buying yours from Walter Rose & Sons) 20g shallot, finely chopped 10g Dijon mustard splash Tabasco sauce splash Worcestershire sauce 15g tomato sauce 5g parsley, finely chopped 5g capers, finely chopped 5g cornichons, finely chopped 10g wasabi tobiko 10 piece of wonton pastry, cut into triangles Maldon salt cracked black pepper
– THE ONE WITH MEATS AND CHEESE BOUGHT AT CHRISTMAS MARKETS
CHRISTMAS MARKET CANAPÉS
By Kathryn Minchew, The Pyromaniac Chef; pyromaniacchef.com MAKES 40
100g plain flour 1 tsp salt zest and juice of a large orange 3 tbsp oil 200-250g soft cheese 1 tbsp honey cured meat (I use two cabanossi sausages) METHOD
1 Slice your cheese to expose the soft centre and place on a board with the rind facing down. Brush the honey over the cheese and set aside while you make your crackers. 2 Place the flour and salt in a bowl with the orange zest and stir. Using a metal spoon, mix in the juice and oil then knead by hand. It will appear dry and crumbly for a minute or so, but will then come together to form a smooth dough. 3 Lightly dust a work surface with flour, roll out the dough to ½cm thick and cut out circles. 4 Bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool. At this stage the crackers will store happily for 3-4 days in an airtight container. 5 Cut your cheese into small pieces and place on top of the crackers with a small amount of cured meat. Place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
We invite you to Cotswold House Hotel and Spa to
SHARE IN THE WARMTH AND SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
Cotswold House has had a make-over, and now has a fine dining restaurant as well as an informal Bistro. This December we are open for festive dining and winter afternoon teas throughout the month. We are also open to non-residents for our Black Tie New Year’s Eve Dinner in the Montrose Suite with music. For full details about what’s on at Cotswold House Hotel and Spa this Christmas please visit our website www.cotswoldhouse.com and download a Christmas Brochure. The Square, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AN | Tel: 01386 840330 | www.cotswoldhouse.com
NORTH COTSWOLD CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR, 2017 (RUNNER UP) Character Pub with stone walls and flagstone floors Casual Dining – Excellent food served all day Passionate about well kept ales Famous Inn located on the Fosse Way (A429) Celebrate with family and friends this Christmas
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01285 720721 Fossebridge | Cheltenham | GL54 3JS firstname.lastname@example.org
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JOsé PizarrO JESSICA CARTER CATCHES UP WITH THIS INTERNATIONALLY CELEBRATED CHEF, TO TALK ABOUT BUYING OLIVE OIL FROM A PHARMACY, HOW NO TWO NEIGHBOURHOODS WILL AGREE ON A RECIPE, AND HOW BREXIT IS SHAPING HIS MENUS...
bout a year and a half ago, Spanish chef José’s awardwinning book Basque was published, packed with recipes from this specific region of Spain. Next, he set his sights on Catalonia, and spent weeks travelling the area extensively to deepen his knowledge of its history, climate and ingredients, as well as – and perhaps most importantly for this friendly Spaniard – really get to meet the people. This volume hadn’t actually been released at the time we met up with him, but José’s already talking about the next one, telling me he’s decided on the region it’ll focus on. It seems this chef isn’t one to take a break willingly. “It’s better to be busy than quiet, otherwise I’m in trouble!” he says. “Work? I love it.” Indeed, running four London restaurants he’s back in the kitchen at the first opportunity – when he’s not writing or touring, that is. “It’s what I love. Being with my chefs, my family. We spend so much time together, we are family. And the team behind me, they’re amazing.” Writing the new book, though – Catalonia: Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond – took José out of his beloved restaurants to spend time in this autonomous region of Spain, travelling, researching and cooking with locals. “I was there for quite a few weeks, so I cannot complain. This is research; eating and drinking is research!” he jokes, making it clear that he can barely believe his luck that he’s able to do all this in the name of ‘work’. “It’s not just about authentic recipes,” he explains. “It’s about the cuisine, the style of cooking. The recipes are very simple but really great, and they reflect the style of the area. “In Catalonia there are many influences from Italy, from the peninsula, from the rest of Spain, and one thing I love about the cuisine of Catalonia is how they mix a lot seafood and fish with meat: sea and mountain, together. And that really works, I just love it. For many, many years I’ve been cooking meatballs with cuttlefish, or chicken with langoustines. That is, I think, very important in Catalonian cooking. I love it. I love it!” Both of those recipes of course appear in the book, alongside more examples of ‘sea and mountain’, like razor clams with jamón and cava vinaigrette, and arroz negro with cuttlefish and butifarra sausage. It wasn’t all just flouncing around, eating and having a jolly ol’ time though, José says. “Often, you go to one place, another place, another place; you shoot something and have to leave. It’s amazing, but it’s quite sad at the
G R I L L E D
same time – as you can’t stay and enjoy it. It’s a lot of travelling, but it was a lovely, lovely, lovely time. I love people, and meeting the people is important. “For me, it’s all about the people. I was travelling all over Catalonia meeting new people who were giving me recipes, and I got to cook with them in the kitchen, which is something very, very special. “It means you get the stories behind the recipes. There are so many histories I learnt that I think I need to write another book about the histories! People are really fascinated about this; they take it very seriously. “That’s the point; the history of the food, the love people put into the food, the ingredients of the area...” Of course, the food you’ll find across the Med varies hugely from region to region – even just from village to village – depending on the climate, what ingredients are available, and what the people need. “Always, I say, Spain is 17 countries in one. In the north of Spain they have to eat stews and warm things – you know, it’s cold – but if you go to the south it’s sunny and lighter. So it’s all related to the climate, and the climate makes the people. It’s as simple as that. “And the regions make the food. Catalonia, they have money there, so of course it’s going to be different from somewhere where it’s more working, more land, where people need to work very hard to get their food.” José came to the UK 18 years ago, and was faced with a very different culinary landscape to that which we have today. In less than two decades, he’s witnessed a complete turn-around
when it comes to people’s knowledge and experience of Spanish food. “Definitely things have changed a lot. People now recognise Spanish food. Now you can see a Basque restaurant, a Catalan restaurant – this is amazing. If you asked me 18 years ago whether we would now be in the position that we are, I would say, ‘It’s possible, but I’m really not sure’.” “When I came, the customer was not ready for this cuisine, they didn’t know about the ingredients. Spain’s not just about paella, Rioja, things like that – they are just the basics. There is a lot more behind it, and people – my customers – now do understand that. And I think the UK is ready for even more. “We’re so lucky with people wanting to try more things, new ingredients, new cooking techniques, new cuisines – and Spain is bringing them now to this country.” Safe to say, this hasn’t always been the case, though... “Fifteen years ago I went to do a cooking demo in Manchester. I was cooking with olive oil, and many people looked at me like I was crazy – because they thought olive oil is just to clean your ears with! And we are not talking 50 years ago, we are talking about 15,
G R I L L E D
16 years ago. Customers didn’t even want to try the food, because it was made with olive oil! When I tell that to people in Spain they don’t believe it, but, before, the pharmacy was the only place you could by it here.” IT’S NOT JUST OLIVE OIL that’s – thankfully – been assimilated into our British store cupboards, though; you can’t go into a deli, farm shop or supermarket without noticing all the Spanish ingredients that now line the shelves. “We are lucky that we can get any ingredient that we want; we have everything possible. I can order food now from Spain before 12 here in the UK, and I have it tomorrow at nine o’clock in the morning.” How about 18 years ago, though; wasn’t it difficult to try and create proper Spanish food without such easy availability? “It was more challenging; you certainly had to accommodate the availability around you in your menu. But I use a lot from here now, because I believe in the community: you have to support your community and your country, as your community supports you. “But still I need to be using more, even more, produce from Britain. Because, you know, the pricing’s crazy at the moment – its crazy. The pound and the euro are almost the same. It’s challenging. It’s changing now to create your menu. In fact, I think it’s more challenging now than it was six or seven years ago.” But it’s still far from difficult to recreate those authentic Mediterranean flavours in these less exotic climes; José’s most important Spanish store cupboard staples are all pretty simple to get your mitts on, it turns out. “Always I’d say olive oil, and
paprika, of course,” he says. “Then you have the saffron. That, for me, is the base of everything: good olive oil, good paprika… They use it to flavour and to preserve, you know – think of chorizo. Oh, and the sherry vinegars, they’re important too...” And if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Catalonia in the not-to-distant future? Don’t miss out on some of their best ingredients: “The gambas, the prawns, are stunning. And the anchovies, they are so, so beautiful, so meaty.” But the thing that, for José, really makes Catalan food so distinctive and appealing? Can you guess? “For me, meeting the people is what’s most important. If you hadn’t guessed, I just love people.” José Pizarro will be hosting a Spanish-style supper at No 38 The Park in Cheltenham on November 23; theluckyonion.com; josepizarro.com
The Noel Arms is one of the oldest Cotswold inns, steeped in history, it is the perfect spot for a break in the Cotswolds and weekend escapes to the country.
Festive dining menu
Cosy log fire
Food at The Noel Arms is traditional and prepared from only the best local produce. The menu has many much-loved English dishes and the occasional international influence.
Daily cakes at our coffee shop
Beautiful location | 28 comfortable en suite rooms | Fantastic atmosphere of a traditional Cotswold inn | Coffee shop open all day High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AT | Tel 01386 840317 | email@example.com For more information or to book your meal or stay with us please visit: www.noelarmshotel.com
A F T E RS
NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
H I G H L I G H T S
THIS LITTLE PIGGY...
Pigging out at Helen Browning’s Royal Oak Page 60
Indian street food flavours at Thali Page 62
HART OF THE MATTER
Chowing down on pub grub at The White Hart Page 64
I N C L U D I N G
FARM TO FORK See pigs, eat pigs...
(PUBS WITH PROVENANCE)
HELEN BROWNING’S ROYAL OAK EMMA DANCE EMBRACES THE FARM TO FORK ETHOS AT HELEN BROWNING’S ROYAL OAK
here’s a saying that ignorance is bliss. Maybe it’s true in some instances, but it’s not a school of thought that I can subscribe to when it comes to food. In fact, I feel completely the opposite. I get a strange satisfaction from ordering pork when I’ve just been watching pigs frolicking in mud, or chowing down on a steak after admiring a magnificent herd grazing in the field. Some people (my mother-in-law, in particular) find my attitude slightly perverse. “How can you eat that when you’ve just been looking at
them outside? They’re so cute!” they wail. But the fact that I have seen first hand that the animals have led happy lives, and been well-cared for, is exactly why I can take such pleasure in the eating. And, by contrast, I find it hard to fathom how they would rather eat a piece of supermarket-branded chicken that’s been kept in God-knowswhat conditions. I guess we’re back to the ignorance is bliss thing again. At Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, it’s all about the provenance. Not that pigs are paraded around for you to pick the one you’d like to munch on that evening, or
A F T E R S
a n dr e w ca llag h an
anything. Obviously. But the pub is actually located right on the organic farm that Helen works; there’s a chalkboard to tell you how many piglets have been born that week; and if, like me, you want to see exactly where your dinner is coming from, there are regular farm tours, too. The menu is full of ingredients from the farm, and from neighbouring producers. And because what they offer is pretty much completely governed by seasonality and local availability, it changes on an almost daily basis. Having visited the latest litters of piglets earlier that afternoon I was keen to try the pork, so dived straight in with a starter of Porco Alentejana – a stew made from pork fillet and clams. The little morsels of pork were wonderfully succulent, the clams bringing a sweet and salty taste of the sea, and there was a rich, smoky undertone from paprika too. Across the table, I envied a colourful mezze starter full of tasty little
things like a sweet and earthy beetroot dip, salty tapenade, sharp pickles and a creamy Mozzarella made from milk produced on the farm. The portion of spare ribs that arrived for my main was enormous. The meat practically fell off the bones, moist from the melting fat and with just a hint of a crunchy crust adding texture. It was all smothered in a tangy barbecue sauce that cut through the richness but didn’t completely overpower the flavour of the meat. My husband has a mistrust of pork (too many experiences of badly cooked roasts), but I persuade him to try the pig cheek ragu with penne and Parmesan. After tasting the juicy, well seasoned meat he was forced to admit that he may have been wrong about dismissing a whole genre of meat quite so readily. I just adored my pudding of sweet arancini. The little balls were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, creamy and comforting and oh, so more-ish with a sharp, juicy plum compote to balance the sweetness. Husband’s vanilla pannacotta with poached rhubarb and granola was another triumph: not too sweet and not too sharp, with the crunch of granola adding an extra texture dimension. They say you can taste the love in cooking. At Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, I think you can taste the happiness. All bliss. No ignorance. Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Cues Lane, Bishopstone SN6 8PP; helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk
A F T E R S
THALI EMMA DANCE GETS HER TEETH INTO THE MENU AT THIS NEW OXFORD CURRY HOUSE (WITH A DIFFERENCE)
es, Thali is an Indian restaurant, but let’s be very clear about this: it is not your run-of-the-mill curry house. In fact, there’s probably very little that the menu here has in common with your local Indian takeaway. Thali’s offering is all based on street food, which makes perfect sense when you consider that that’s how the whole company started – in muddy festival fields. Now, though, it’s got a bunch of permanent sites – five in Bristol and the one we’re at, the newly opened sixth venue in Oxford. While we peruse the menu we munch on some poppadoms and chutneys (some things never change!), which are much needed, as the delicious aromas emanating from the kitchen are making us very hungry indeed. The feasting starts in earnest, however, with a couple of starters – pea kachoris with pickled onions and chicken and coriander samosas. Within the slightly flaky atta pastry of the kachori we discover sweet peas, delicately flavoured with cinnamon, black pepper and ginger. They might look simple, but the clever balance of flavours, with the warmth of the spices judged just right (so as to not overpower the sweetness of the peas) demonstrates a really sensitive touch. The samosas, meanwhile, are bulging – the crisp
pastry barely containing the delicious spicy chicken that has been crammed inside. A few of these on their own would make a pretty ace lunch, but we’re not stopping here. From the ‘Thali’ section of the menu we select Goan fish (pollack cooked with tomatoes and sour kokum fruit) which comes with a plethora of sides – dal, vegetable subji, yoghurt, salad and rice. The fish is cooked perfectly, its soft, succulent morsels smothered in a sauce which somehow simultaneously manages to be both rich and fresh. The sides are more than an afterthought too, and it feels as if as much care has been given to them as the main event. I’m especially enamoured with the dal, which is comforting and more-ish. On the advice of our very helpful waitress, we’ve also ordered the Sticky Mango Paneer roadside grill. When it arrives it looks stunning, the vivid colours almost leaping off the plate, and it tastes as good as it looks. The sweet, slightly spicy mango coating is the perfect plate fellow for the creamy cheese, and – wrapped in a chapatti with a drizzle of tangy coriander chutney and some crunchy salad – it’s a heavenly medley of flavours and textures. We conclude with a sweet, sticky gulab jamun (a warm doughnut steeped in cardamom syup), the prettiest pistachio kulfi I’ve ever seen, and cups of chai.
They’re pretty petite as puds go (they do only cost £2.50, though!), but are actually judged just right. Quite literally, they hit the sweet spot. Although Thali is a new arrival in Oxford, it’s using a tried and tested formula – and it’s easy to see why this small, local chain has proven so popular in Bristol. The décor is quirky and fun, the service friendly and relaxed, and the food is inventive and, most importantly, delicious. And if that wasn’t enough, Thali is one of the first Indian restaurants in the UK to win the highest possible rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Yep, it might be street food, but they’ve got this restaurant thing nailed. Thali, 71 George Street, Oxford OX1 2BQ; thethalirestaurant.co.uk
THE WHITE HART EMMA DANCE FINDS FOOD TO MAKE YOU SMILE AT THIS TOWN CENTRE PUB
A F T E R S
’d had a few arguments with my satnav en route to the White Hart at Winchcombe. On several occasions I’d rejected the advice of the faceless voice coming from the dashboard, sticking firm to my belief that, even in the Cotswolds, there’s always a better way to reach your destination than a single track road that’s more grass than asphalt. The voice disagreed and suggested, quite vociferously, that I “make a U-turn.” When I refused and started to shout at him, he went silent. I considered the argument won. This, of course, has nothing to do with the White Hart. (For a start, anyone with any kind of a sense of direction could probably find their way there without the need for a navigational device. Sadly, this is a quality which evades me). It does, though, have to do with the fact that, by the time I did actually make it to the pub, I was somewhat agitated from all the arguing – and not in a particularly relaxed frame of mind. Fortunately, though, the White Hart is the kind of place where it’s just about impossible to hang on to a bad mood. It’s warm and welcoming and relaxed and entirely unpretentious – exactly what a pub should be, and exactly what I needed. The menu is charmingly straightforward and full of what can best be described as comfort food. My smoked mackerel pâté was full of the glorious flavour of fish, and just enough smoke. It’s smooth as you like – smoother than many similar dishes I’ve encountered – and there’s something about it that’s faintly reminiscent of fish paste (in a good way) which brings back a wave of nostalgia. Slivers of radish and a smattering of watercress add a welcome freshness and pepperiness which stop the dish from being too one-dimensional. My main of pork loin, mustard mash cavolo nero and cider sauce was big and brash. The pork is a hulking brute of a chop, but the meat itself was well-cooked and still moist and there was a shard of fantastically crunchy crackling, too. The mash does, indeed, deliver on the promised mustard flavour, and there’s no missing the cider in the sauce which brings a welcome acidity to cut through the richness of the meat. It’s full of bold, smackyou-round-the-mouth flavours, but they all
work together to create what’s actually a very coherent dish. After such a sizeable plateful I needed something a little lighter for my pud, so I plumped for vanilla panna cotta and roasted peach. It comes served in a glass, so I couldn’t test for that all-important wobble, but as I delved in it soon became apparent that the texture is spot-on. The panna cotta isn’t too sweet, either; that comes from the gloriously juicy peach. There’s also the bonus of a sphere of zingy raspberry sorbet, which, although not billed on the menu, might actually have been my favourite part of the dish. These are simple, hearty dishes and the cooking is spot-on. It’s good to find a chef who isn’t afraid of using strong flavours, or cooking food to make you happy. And hey, that’s the most important thing. Especially if you’re having a bit of a bad day. The White Hart Inn, High Street, Winchcombe GL54 5LJ; whitehartwinchcombe.co.uk
L I T T L E
B L A C K
B O O K
GRAhAM dOdRIdGE GRAHAM IS THE FOUNDER OF CHELTENHAM-BASED BAM MILK DRINKS. WHEN HE’S NOT CREATING MILKY MARVELS, HERE’S WHERE YOU’LL FIND HIM HANGING OUT… Breakfast? I love a quick trip to collect croissants from the Bakery on the Water in Bourton-on-the-Water – usually taking one of my vintage motorcycles. The smell of fresh bread as you stand in the queue watching the next batch being kneaded is something quite special. Best brew? I like to make a quick stop to collect a flat white from Chris Shadforth at The Scandinavian Coffee Pod on my way into work. They source seasonal coffee beans from the world’s finest farms, and the baristas always have a welcoming smile. Favourite grocery shop? On a local cycle circuit, Sherborne Village Shop is a great rest stop for a fish finger sandwich, coffee, and a few last minute provisions. Best wine merchant ? Charlie and his crew at Haynes Hanson & Clark in Stow offer carefully selected wines supported by sound advice. Some wonderful tasting evenings have led to an empty wallet on many occasions! Sunday lunch? It’s hard to beat an idyllic Cotswolds pub like The King’s Head in Bledington, with its glorious setting on a picturesque village green and the warm hospitality of Archie and Nicola Orr-Ewing.
It’s great for Sunday lunch, and the regular venue for our post-shooting lunches. Quick pint? You can’t beat a cheeky Brewdog Punk IPA after work at The Bottle of Sauce – the coolest hipster pub in Cheltenham! Time spent with my very creative colleagues, and rubbing shoulders with other similar types, actually makes me feel quite ‘on-trend’! Hidden gem? It’s got to be The Feathered Nest. It’s an old malthouse tucked away in the small Cotswold village of Nether Westcote, with views across the Evenlode Valley, serving modern British, locally sourced food prepared by head chef Kuba Winkowski. And it’s got a great cellar, to boot – what else could you want? One to watch? Eckington Manor’s Mark Stinchcombe won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015, and these guys seem to do no wrong. It’s a great place to spend a cheeky weekend, or just go for dinner slightly off the beaten track. I’ve cycled past many times over the years, but only recently have I ventured in. Comfort food? I only live four miles away from Daylesford’s organic farm, so I am practically obliged to visit on a regular
basis for impromptu coffee meetings and delicious lunches… Oh, and to pick up a pouch of their organic chicken and vegetable broth! With the family? Once a year we head to Watergate Bay, and always have one dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen as a real treat, following a day of surfing. It demands best behaviour all round! Child friendly? We love a spring-time picnic along the Windrush Way as reward for our efforts to arrive riverside by mountain bike. A fridge raid will no doubt throw up some very local Simon Weaver cheese to go with crusty cob rolls. Best curry? There’s always a friendly welcome at The Spice Room in Moretonin-Marsh, and the quality of service and presentation of the food is on another level. It’s sizzling tandoori chicken for me every time, while inevitably helping my daughter finish her meal! Something sweet? My daughter’s spiced apple pudding, or crumble with whipped double cream and cinnamon, every time! Of course, the ingredients will be selected from our weekly organic Riverford delivery.
QUICK! ADD THIS LITTLE LOT TO YOUR CONTACTS BOOK… Bakery on the Water, 1 Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BY; bakeryonthewater.co.uk • The Scandinavian Coffee Pod, The Studios, Royal Well Place, Cheltenham GL50 3DN; thescandinaviancoffeepod.com • Sherborne Village Shop, Sherborne, Nr. Northleach GL54 3DH; sherbornevillageshop.com • Haynes Hanson & Clark, Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AA; hhandc.co.uk • The King’s Head Inn, The Green, Bledington OX7 6XQ; thekingsheadinn.net • The Bottle of Sauce, Ambrose Street, Cheltenham GL50 3LH; thebottleofsauce.com • The Feathered Nest Inn, Nether Westcote OX7 6SD; thefeatherednestinn.co.uk • Eckington Manor, Hammock Road, Eckington WR10 3BJ; eckingtonmanor.co.uk • Daylesford Farmshop & Café, Daylesford near Kingham GL56 0YG; daylesford.com • Fifteen Cornwall, On The Beach, Watergate Bay, Cornwall TR8 4AA; fifteencornwall.co.uk • Simon Weaver Cotswold Organic Dairy, Kirkham Farm, Upper Slaughter GL54 2JS; simonweaver.net • The Spice Room, 3 Oxford Street, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0LA; spicerooms.co.uk • Riverford; riverford.co.uk