A little slice of foodie heaven £3 where sold
I don’t like coffee. Why not? It’s just not my cup of tea!
NO. NOVEMber 2016
3 FOAPPODIS E
TO DO A DOWNLOAD ON
A GRIND FAITH WITH THIS ISSUE being born on the eve of International Coffee Day (1 October), we’ve been thinking more carefully about our daily slurp, and how it isn’t just a morning remedy for the puffy eyes and foggy brain that have somehow replaced yesterday’s well-functioning mechanisms. (So okay, it sometimes is that, but it’s way, way more besides...) First, it’s a science. From weighing your beans and grinding them to the right consistency to nailing the temperature of the water and length of the brew, there are so many components required to make your cuppa taste just right. Then there’s the blend – if you’re not gulping a single origin, your beans are a mixture from different estates, or even different countries. And let’s not forget the culture. Bath and Bristol’s café scene is bangin’ right now – and it’s thanks to all those specialist indies who are educating us on flavour, characteristics and style, at the same time as quenching our thirsts. And much of what applies to coffee goes for tea an’ all; there are tonnes of fascinating infusions and blends kicking around our shops, cafés and teahouses these days, all with unique flavours and well-being benefits. And, of course, tea and coffee both have further functions beyond just a soothing, pleasingly caffeine-heavy drink that goes with water and milk. Some tea leaves can be used as herbs, and coffee is great for all manner of recipes – including Freddy’s on page 10 – all of which means you’re going to need plenty of caffeine to get through this big beast of an issue. We’ve got a bumper news section, lots of autumnal recipes featuring warming spices and in-season ingredients, and four restaurant reviews, including two newbies. Stick the kettle on! APPLE
Jessica Carter, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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B ATH & B RIS TOL
Table of Contents
NO.55 November 2016
08 HERO INGREDIENT Quoffee, in all its guises 12 OPENINGS ETC It’s all going on this month... 18 TRIO Fancy food apps 20 HIP SHOPS Homeware ahoy! 27 ASK THE EXPERT Go pro with food photography
CHEF! Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 40 Organic Moroccan scramble, by Tom Hunt 42 Spinach and mascarpone cannelloni, by Luka Lysiak 46 Monkfish chermoula, by Kalpna Woolf 49 Beetroot röstis, by Riverford 51 THE WINE GUY Andy Clarke loves that Bellita and Corks are neighbours... ADDITIONAL RECIPES
10 Coffee liegeois, by Freddy Bird 34 Brown rice Indonesian chicken porridge, by Alex Hely-Hutchinson 65 Duck with elderberry, by Steve James 96 Rabbit pappardelle, by Gill Meller
58 SUPPER CLUB Dinner parties rock when your mate’s a pro chef... 68 THE PRICE IS RIGHT We’ve got kitchen updates for any budget 74 THE WANT LIST Pro brewing kit
81 TEA-OFF! What’s going off on the thriving tea and coffee scene? 92 GRILLED We interview foodie allrounder, Gill Meller
AFTERS New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 104 The Ivy Clifton Brasserie 106 Polpo 110 Field Kitchen 112 The Mint Room, Bath
PLUS 114 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Blogger Sal Godfrey shares her favourite local eats
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
BOY, IS THIS year’s Bristol Cocktail Week going to be a good ’un. Organised by local pro bartenders, the week-long celebration will see all manner of outlandish cocktail-based events take place 17-23 October – think a historical tour in a double decker, a mini-golf sesh, and a pop-up cinema. That’s on top of various tastings, workshops and shindigs – like the closing party at The Old Bookshop, with live music, plenty of grub and, of course, bangin’ cocktails. Deets are at the website below. But woah there, horsey; don’t cast this mag aside to log on just yet. We’re not finished. Bars all over the city have each created their own concoction for the occasion, too – available exclusively over BCW – and have been grouped into five thirst-quenching territories on an impressive event map, to help punters navigate themselves around all that fun. Cue mass clinkage. ✱ bristolcocktailweek.bar
SHaKe IT OfF crumbsmag.com
S T A R T E R S
c O ffee The world’s obsessed with the bean, and we’re no different. There are so many great places for a decent cup of java these days, you can hardly see the scraps of haystack for the giant pile of needles…
THERE ARE PLENTY of foodstuffs we write about in Crumbs that people get worked up about – barbecue is one; bread another – but nothing rivals coffee for engendering a relentless obsession that can verge, not infrequently, on snobbery. It’s quite something, and the backlash against it is considerable too – and confusing. Some snub the high street coffee chains, for their prices and murky
tax arrangements. Others, though, laugh at those uber-cool indie coffee shops where they roast their own beans, and make tiny cuppas on massive, gurgling machines. Wherever you stand, good coffee is indisputably more plentiful than it was in our parents’ day. We’re in a coffee golden age, and it’s little wonder some of us are getting a tad carried away with it all. (Us, we’re blaming the caffeine...)
Human history with this stuff is certainly extensive. There’s an ancient story – probably fiction – that sees a 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd so impressed with how excited his charges got after eating coffee plant beans, he tried them for himself. However it really happened, though, coffee drinking eventually spread through the Middle East and Northern Africa, and by 1645
have started to lean on the bean. It’s not always been a pretty picture, the rise of coffee – it’s too often spiralled around a cycle of displacement, exploitation, and coups – but its importance to emerging economies is undeniable.
there were coffee houses in Rome, too – though there was a stumbling block here, until this so-called ‘Muslim drink’ was deemed suitable for Christians, too, by a thirsty Pope Clement VIII. From there on in, there was no stopping coffee. The Dutch and British East India Companies started importing it in bulk, and by 1660 famed English diarist Samuel Pepys was visiting Jamaica Wine House in the City of London, the UK’s first coffee house. Soon coffee was worldwide: Haiti in the Caribbean was producing half the world’s beans by 1788, but this collapsed following their revolution; then Brazil came from nowhere to become the world’s largest producer, clearing massive tracts of rainforest to do so. These days it’s come full circle, and the economies of African nations from Uganda to, yes, Ethiopia
The coffee we drink comes from several species of the same shrub: coffea, a selfpollinating evergreen that grows maybe 15 feet tall, and whose cultivation is often a relentless war against the 900 species of insects that attack it. (Warbler birds have become the unlikely heroes here, as they love to chow down on the coffee borer beetle, the most pesky varmint of all.) To make the coffee beans we know takes several processes: the berries are picked, the seeds fermented and dried, and the resulting ‘green coffee’ then roasted – how this is done having a huge effect on body and flavour. And then, of course, there’s the final bit: brewing to make the drink itself. This demands these roasted beans be ground, then mixed with hot water for long enough for flavour to emerge, but not so long that it becomes bitter. Quite a faff, then – but all this arcane palaver is possibly one reason why coffee has gained such hipster traction in recent years. Tea is a doddle in comparison. Though there are countless ways to serve coffee, a handful currently dominate. There’s espresso, a strong, potent, highlyroasted brew made by forcing steam
through finely ground coffee at high pressure, then served in tiny cups. There’s cappuccino, in which frothy steamed milk is added to espresso to make a milky drink, covered in powdered chocolate – some hardcore caffeine heads snarl at the day-long drinking of it, as it’s a breakfast-only beverage in Italy. There’s the latte (mix espresso and hot milk); the Americano (an espresso thinned with hot water); the mocha (one-third espresso, one-third hot chocolate and one-third steamed milk); and so it marches on. You can cook with coffee too, of course. Desserts are the obvious thing – there’s a range of delicious coffee cakes, some of the best teaming it with walnut or chocolate – and coffee appears in cocktails (Irish coffee, most famously) too. There’s even the occasional savoury use for it, from coffee roasted vegetables to the rather delicious sounding coffee baked beans. Seems that if you’re not down with coffee you’re nobody these days, and most of our pop culture heroes – from 007 to the cast of Friends – have noted coffee addictions, an affliction that extended in real-life to everyone from TS Eliot to Johan Sebastian Bach, too. Shakespeare, sadly, never got to taste a drop – he was 50 years before its time – but somehow managed some 38 plays and 154 sonnets anyway. Who knows? If coffee had been around circa 1600, he might have been more prolific yet…
R E C I P E
Hero Ingredients You know this beardy bloke by now – it’s Freddy Bird, exec chef of Bristol’s Lido, and he’s proving that this month’s Hero Ingredient ain’t just for mugs…
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN a fan of coffeebased puddings in all guises but, for me, coffee ice cream is king. This is an intensely rich yet very refreshing dessert, and turbo charged at the same time! In this recipe, the coffee cuts through the rich creaminess, as do the crunchy bits of ice, which are wonderfully refreshing, too. For best results you’ll need an ice cream machine to make this – they’re well worth the investment.
CAFÉ LIÉGEOIS (SERVES 4, WITH LEFTOVER ICE CREAM) INGREDIENTS
500ml double cream 325ml full fat milk 125ml espresso seeds of 1 vanilla bean 200g sugar 8 egg yolks 75ml vodka (or coffee liqueur, or good quality dark rum) 100ml whipping cream 4 tbsp icing sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract crushed ice 1 large cup of chilled, sweetened black coffee large pinch of ground coffee METHOD
– In a pan, warm the cream, milk, espresso and vanilla. In a separate bowl or mixer, whisk the sugar and yolks until pale. Add the warmed mixture to the yolks and return to the pan. Slowly cook over a low heat. The mixture wants to reach 82C, or become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you’re worried it has overcooked, even the slightest bit, strain through a fine sieve. Chill it in a bowl over ice. – Stir in the vodka, liqueur or rum. Churn in an ice cream machine and freeze. – When ready to serve, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract and make sure the ice cream is nicely softened. – Layer up sundae glasses with a spoon of crushed ice then a scoop of ice cream, repeating three times. Pour over a good splash of the chilled black coffee, top with the whipped cream, and dust with ground coffee. Serve immediately. ✱ LIDO, Oakfield Place, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com
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A new street food stall has just launched in St Nicholas Market in Bristol. Eatchu specialises in gyoza – stuffed dumplings, which are a popular street food snack in Japan. They’re made the tradish way at Eatchu (fried, steamed, then fried again) using local ingredients, including Ruby & White meat. There will also be Japanese soups on offer to help banish those winter chills. ✱ eatchu.co.uk
It’s all kicking off at The Old Bookshop – we have three mega announcements. Firstly, new sister joint The Bookend is being launched in November, and will be the new home of the monthly chef residencies. Second, the flagship site has got itself a brand new permanent kitchen team (as of 4 October), headed up by Alex Bluett – previously head of food at Friska, and owner of Forage & Fire. He’ll be working with small, local suppliers to create exciting sustainable menus. And our third bit of news? Psychopomp micro-distillery is taking over the cocktail bar from 26 October, serving up a mix of classic and contemporary gin cocktails, crafted by award-winning bartenders. Cheers! ✱ theoldbookshop.co.uk
IN THE BANK
The award-winning Jetty restaurant is opening a venue in central Bristol. It’s to be part of the swanky new Bristol Harbour Hotel, which is housed in the old Lloyds bank on Corn Street. The hotel and restaurant is the latest addition to the Harbour Hotel Group’s portfolio. Bristol’s Jetty restaurant is located in the old banking hall, and you can expect it to serve the likes of bream fillet with chorizo, wild mushrooms, mussels and wild garlic; Moroccan chickpea and date salad with pomegranate and orange dressing; and pork tenderloin with black pudding and red wine sauce. ✱ bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk
OUT OF THE WOODS
A new café has launched in St Werburghs. Neck of the Woods is a joint venture between Murilo Leite (previously of Boston Tea Party) and Jess Atherton, who formerly acted as a community manager at charity Foodcyle. It’s open seven days a week, serving breakfasts and lunches made from Bristol’s great produce. Based at the St Werburghs Community Centre, the café aims to not only knock out top food, but also bring the local community together, and offer work placement and volunteering opportunities for those who wish to build their experience, skills and confidence. As well as the freshly made food, Neck of the Woods serves top-quality coffees, teas and smoothies. It will also be hosting pop-up events in the evenings, and giving local producers space to sell their goods. ✱ neckofthewoodscafe.co.uk
The Eat Drink Bristol Fashion crew, which includes Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton and organic farmer Luke Hasell, has a brand new eatery at Cargo. Chicken Shed is a restaurant and takeaway, serving freerange, slow-grown, British-reared meat, with the kitchen team applying a nose-to-tail ethos to its poultry, using every bit of each bird. Expect top-quality fried chicken to dominate the menu here, which is housed in the shipping container development at Wapping Wharf and has a terrace overlooking the harbour. All being well, the beginning of October will see it opening its doors... ✱ twitter.com/ChickenShedHQ
A new drinks biz has launched in these here parts. Espensen, which infuses spirits with fresh fruit, was founded by a Bristol local, Sam Espensen, who’s been making her own flavoured spirits for years. Now, having teamed up with entrepreneur pal Phil Gillies, she’s turned it from a hobby into a business. The current range includes both pink grapefruit and raspberry and rhubarb and custard vodkas, and raspberry and blueberry gins. Right now, the drinks are sold online and at Independent Spirit in Bath, with a donation from each sale going to a local charity. ✱ espensenspirit.com
In the diary... (1-9 October) BATH BITES FOOD & DRINK FAIR A new addition to the Great Bath Feast, this market will be at Abbey Churchyard throughout the festival, with street food and drinks a-plenty. ✱ greatbathfeast.co.uk (9 October) GREAT BATH FEAST FEST This year’s Great Bath Feast comes to a close with a day of real cider, craft beer, barbecuing and live music at The Garrick’s Head in Bath. ✱ greatbathfeast.co.uk (17-21 October) TED’S BIG BAKE OFF Hold a bake sale or coffee morning to raise funds for Bath’s Royal United Hospital; visit the campaign website for a free event pack. ✱ foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk (27 October) GOOD, GOOD FOOD WITH SARAH RAVEN This qualified doctor and cook visits St Swithin's Church, Bath to talk about her new book and explain how good certain foods really are for us. Tickets are priced from £7 and available online. ✱ toppingbooks.co.uk
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A month-long celebration of the goat meat industry is underway, don’t you know? Goatober runs through the whole of October, and sees restaurants all over the country get involved by putting an exclusive goat dish on their menus. It’s all in a bid to encourage diners to try this super-delicious, largely unsung and – until recently – mostly wasted meat, which comes from billy goats born in the dairy industry. (James Whetlor of Cabrito, pictured, supplies loads of it.) Local gaffs in on the action are Romy’s Kitchen in Thornbury, which is serving up pulled shoulder of goat with puri and glazed onions for the occasion, and River Cottage Canteen in Bristol, where head chef Charlie James has created a dish of grilled merguez spiced goat with English quinoa, rose honey, lemon dressing and yogurt. ✱ romyskitchen.co.uk; rivercottage.net
FEATHER IN THE CAP-SULE
Back in June, Nespresso opened a popup venue at The Mall. The coffee brand began launching these ‘boutiques’ in 2015, to provide customers with a place to learn about, sample and buy its Grand Cru range, as well as recycle old capsules. Well, now that pop-up is going permanent, and will be launching as such in November. ✱ nespresso.com
LAGER THAN LIFE
A new brewery has landed in Bristol – and it’s helping to fill a bit of gap in the craft brew market. Lost and Grounded, which was founded by brewer Alex Troncoso and Annie Clements, is predominantly brewing lager. Hurrah! While there is an ale on the go at the moment – and another to come – there will be three special lagers in the initial range of five, two of which are already being poured throughout the UK. Inspired by the beer scene in Belgium and Germany, Lost and Grounded’s offerings are an investigation of sorts into different brew styles, techniques and ingredients, using contemporary, natural brewing methods. We’ve been sampling a few at the Brislington brewery, and fully approve. Find their beers at Bristol’s Strawberry Thief, Small Bar and Little Victories. ✱ lostandgrounded.co.uk
Don’t forget to include #CrumbsSnaps on your Insta posts to be in with a chance of getting featured here next month!
@theeatingroom’s aubergine chermoula proves a popular brunch
@tweeny collects some tommies from the garden
@amazepam goes a pickin’
CELEBRATE THE TASTE OF AUTUMN Head Chef Dan Moon draws inspiration from the fresh, seasonal flavours of autumn to create a sumptuous Six Course Tasting Menu of classic dishes with a modern twist
SAMPLE MENU AMUSE BOUCHE Smoked Ballotine of Var Salmon Horseradish Potato Mousseline, Apple, Fennel
STARTER Chicken Liver Parfait Rhubarb Sorbet, Sorrel, Almond Granola
RISOTTO Wild Mushroom Risotto Poached Quail’s Egg, Parmesan Crackling, Cauliflower
FISH COURSE Diver Scallop King Prawn, Tomato Water, Yuzu Caviar, Pickled Radish
MAIN Creedy Carver Duck Breast Confit Spring Roll, Plum, Sesame
DESSERT Verona Chocolate Dome Orange Mousse, Ginger Gel, Baby Basil
To reserve your table, please call 01225 358 888 or email email@example.com and quote ‘Crumbs’. The Gainsborough Restaurant, Beau Street, Bath, BA1 1SH. thegainsboroughbathspa
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In the Larder 4
sUCh A teAs
We’ve spent the last few weeks slurping our way through this little lot... 1 LAB IT UP Tea Lab Brick Lane Tea £8.50/100g You can infuse these black tea leaves in either hot water or hot milk, for two different-style bevvies. The warming chai spices of cinnamon, ginger and clove are ideal for this here chillier weather. Brew for around four minutes to get the best results. (We’ve been all over the Rise and Shine lemongrass green tea, too.) Available online. ✱ tealab.co.uk 2 ECO WARRIOR Em & Nick’s Seasonal Coffee Blend £8.95/250g Although the beans come from far-flung countries such as Nicaragua, Ethopia and Peru, this Bradford-onAvon coffee biz can trace all its ethically sourced beans back to specific farmers and harvests. And,
and French vanilla). We’ve been supping on the hazelnut number, sans milk, whose noticeable (but not overpowering) flavour takes the edge off the coffee’s natural bitterness. (There are great-quality instant versions too, if you’re that way inclined.) Available at Farleigh Road farm shop and Eades grocers in Bath, and online. ✱ wearelittles.com
to keep Mother Earth even happier, it turns the used grinds from sister company the Coffee Camper into body scrubs. The seasonal espresso blend we’ve been waking up to comes in whole bean and ground, but there are also singleorigin options for cafetiere or filter use. Available from the website. ✱ emandnicks.com 3 LITTLE PACKAGES Little’s Infused Ground Coffee £2.50/100g This South West company is run by husband and wife Will and Caroline, who took over from Will’s Finnish and American parents. They source their beans from Central America, roast and grind them, then then do something rather interesting: they infuse them with different flavours (think Irish cream,
4 LEAF IT OUT Yuyo Pure Yerba £6/250g The full name’s said yerbah ma-tey, and this drink is made from the dried leaves and stalks of a South American plant, which are used a bit like loose-leaf tea leaves to infuse water. In its native lands, it’s drunk from a bowl-like gourd through a metal straw known as a bombilla (if you want the authentic experience, Yuyo
does stock this kit too). This pick-me-up – which has a dose of antioxidants as well as caffeine – is available from Widcombe Deli as well as online. ✱ yuyo.co.uk 5 ALRIGHT, BUD? Canton Tea Co Jasmine Pearls Pyramid Teabags, £5.95/15 bags You don’t have to go loose leaf to get a great cuppa; inside these bags are Chinese green tea buds – handpicked and hand-rolled – which have been infused with jasmine blossom to give them a natural, delicate, slightly sweet taste. For the best results (which are the only ones we’re after, right?), brew in hot, not boiling, water (80C is ideal) for between one and two minutes. Available online. ✱ cantonteaco.com
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Technology has done some great things for food – here are just three examples of apps that have been developed to make our foodie lives that bit better... MEMBEROO
ORDOO How often have you been late for a train because you were waiting for ever for that decent cup of Joe to take onboard? Or maybe you’ve had to eat lunch at your desk ’cause you wasted your whole break queuing for it, or missed the beginning of a gig because everyone was getting served before you at the bar… These scenarios happened to Bath local Tom Dewhurst one too many times. It was a blessing in disguise, though – because, as a result, he invented Ordoo. This app allows you to preorder and pay for your food and drink at nearby cafés, bars and take-out joints before even setting foot outside your home or office. It works like this: you have a gander at available menus on the app, place your order, and pay. Ordoo will let you know when your order is going to be ready, so you can just rock up and collect it – sporting one heck of a smug face – with no hassle and no waiting around. Ordoo launched in Bath in the New Year, and then Bristol in May – we’ve used the nifty little app to preorder lunches, and even drinks at festivals. Time is money, people. ✱ ordoo.co.uk
We love a good loyalty card – nothing makes you feel like you’re winning at life like exchanging a fully stamped card for a freebie. Thing is, if you’re anything like us, they don’t usually last long enough to get fully stamped, due to having an accidental cycle in the washing machine or being used for that old piece of chewing gum... Memberoo, founded by indie biz supporter Emma Smith, takes loyalty cards to the next level. This app is not only washing-machine resistant, but super easy to use, and lets foodie businesses tailor their rewards and offers to specific customers. When businesses set up a Memberoo account they get sent a smart stamp, which punters tap with their phone every time they come in and buy something, to add points to their account. That’s not the only way that points are dolled out, though; people can also get them for posting about their experiences with the business on social media. And, the more points they collect, the more rewards they receive – simples. Next time you make that weekly deli visit for your Friday treat and get your old-school card stamped, then, ask them if they know about this jazzy app.
CHEF FOR ALL SEASONS If you’re looking for work – or, indeed, advertising for a job – in the food industry, then this is the badger for you. Chef For All Seasons was set up by local chef Ray Brizell, a former agency worker himself, who found the catering industry’s recruitment process rather unpalatable – what with large client fees and unfair rates for staff. Fast forward eight years, and Chef For All Seasons now handles vacancies from a variety of clients, and has even filled spots in India and all across Europe. The app is designed to be very straightforward, and totally user-friendly for chefs. As well as the vacancies page, where chefs can browse both temporary and full-time jobs, there’s a downloadable candidate pack for registration (where chefs are heavily vetted, so clients can rely on their quality), contact links for the guys at the office, and even a video blog section, where users can keep up with news and find out what’s going on in the industry. So, the next time your phone buzzes with a notification, it could be the first step to your brand new job… ✱ chefforallseasons.co.uk
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What? Homeware Where? The Loft, 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2QZ; 01225 445855 When? Mon 10am-5pm; Tues-Sat 10am-5.30pm; Sun 11am-4pm
THE MARMALADE HOUSE This interiors company has a number of strings to its bow – take note, if you’re thinking of sprucing up that kitchen… EVER SINCE STARTING up design company The Marmade House in 2011, Vanessa Sayce has not sat still, spending the ensuing years developing a biz that rolls retail, interior design, upcycling, teaching and distribution all into one. We meet her at the shop, which is filled with gorgeous reconditioned furniture – a lot of which is sourced from France, Belgium and Denmark – as well as fabrics, accessories and paints. All this stash was moved from the old shop to the new site at The Loft, where a number of businesses share space, last May. “I’ve always loved The Loft, as it has a really similar style to ours,” she tells us, “and I can’t emphasise enough how brilliant the guys are here; it’s a great partnership.” Said style, by the way, she describes as, “rustic, warehouse, French; traditional finishes with a slightly industrial feel.”
Before consolidating the retail side of her business in this venue, Vanessa had shops in both Bath and Clifton – which proved to be a bit of an annoying juggling act, truth be told. “Clifton and Bath have really different tastes, so it was difficult to keep up with each,” she says. “Clifton clients are far more into bold, sleek, industrial-style colours, while in Bath it was slightly more classic and subdued. “I think there will always be a place for that classic French style here, because of the traditional Bath stone and high ceilings. And that’s our staple look, mixed with flat painting and colour layering.” Like we mentioned, The Marmalade House is not just a shop; the team takes commissions in the form of pieces of furniture that need a spruce up (“we get a lot of sentimental pieces that the client doesn’t want to scrap, but doesn’t like the
look of either”), as well as interior design. So, they know all about current trends. “Colour-wise, greys and inky blues are really popular for kitchens at the moment, as well as mustard and raspberry. I’ve also been doing a lot of white waxing for clients lately: it lightens the wood while showing the grain.” Venessa also runs painting courses, alongside interior design and upcycling workshops, with Annie Sloan’s superpopular chalk paints at her farm-based studio, and has trained an impressive 1,200 people so for. “It’s about teaching people to be artists,” she says. “Everyone has it in them.” So what’s next? Well, there’s an online shop in the making, and even an exclusive range of linens on the way – Vanessa is currently working on the designs. If you fancy hearing more, check out Gok’s Fill your House for Free on Channel 4’s online catch up page, where The Marmalade House is featured. ✱ themarmaladehouse.co.uk
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DONâ€™T BURN IT. LEARN IT. WWW.THEDEVILLEDEGG.COM
S STTA A RRT E T RS E R S
New Kid kid on on the the Block block New Talk to us about your fondest childhood food memories. When I was little we were a host family for the local international school. Some children would bring rice and treats, and others would bring herbs and spices; I realised there was a transcendence of language and culture in cooking and eating together. But what made you take up cooking as a career? I remember saying to my family, when I was 12 or so, that I’d like to have my own restaurant, but was later told that I would never earn any money, work stupidly long hours and regret my decision. It was only after university that I pieced it together; I didn’t have to do what I was expected to do – I could do what I was truly passionate about, because I had a choice. Henceforth I moved into cooking full time, and not once have I looked back. How did you get into the industry? When I was younger I was always in hospitality jobs, and after that I worked a ski season surrounded by amazing chefs. Then I moved onto a superyacht for a summer, where I was able to source food and cook. Then I commenced my professional training. Whatʼs been your most invaluable experience so far? Working as a stagier in Copenhagen at Noma. It opened my eyes.
YOUR HARRIET AWAITS This, dear readers, is Harriet Mansell – head chef at Bristol’s new Wild Beer gaff
What attracted you to Wild Beer Co? We have a very similar outlook and ethos when it came to products and flavours. It’s an incredibly friendly, people-orientated company, with ideas on food and drink that line up with my own. What do you like best about it here? The company is incredibly concerned with quality, taste and produce; it has a real interest in new flavours. People are open and excited. They’re making a beer from wild sea herbs that I have sourced for them. It’s exciting!
Has Wild Beer Co helped you develop as a chef? Yes – I’m constantly thinking of new things, and especially beer pairings. Restaurants around the world aren’t just offering wine flights any more; they’re offering drink flights, with anything from wine, to miscellaneous fermented beverages, to beer. It’s about taste, enjoyment and being challenged – that’s what pushes you. How have you found pairing up with Hook restaurant for the menu? It’s certainly been interesting! Hook, based in London, is very forwardthinking. Its dishes are at the core of our menu, but we've built the rest around it, to complement the brand. How would you describe your personal style of cooking? Intuitive. Ever-changing. Natural. Nothing too prescribed. Do punters get to experience that? I think so – when they come to our events. That’s where I have the most opportunity to run free. What are your favourite ingredients to use at the minute? There are amazing coloured veg around, including end-of-season heritage tomatoes, squash, beetroots, purple kale, damsons... There lots of sea herbs working wonderfully too, such as arrow grass and purslane. Three-cornered leek seems to be flourishing, along with other wild garlics, such as crow garlic and wild leek seeds. Any suppliers you’d like to shout out? Total Produce – they’ve been incredible. And Chris Hope, our unbelievable forager. He’s qualified up to the nines, and has enough passion to encourage any chef. For the full version of this interview, visit crumbsmag.com ✱ wbwappingwharf.com
A fabulous European inspired modern British restaurant 01225 480042 www.raphaelrestaurant.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
Ask the Waitress Who knows the menu best? Who makes the greatest impact on your experience? Front-of-house is your friend!
So, Abigail, how long have you been in the hospitality game now? That’ll be 14 years. I’ve been at Yeo Valley for six. What was your first ever front of house gig? I started at Coombe Lodge, just down the road, when I was 15, working weddings every weekend. What do you like most about working in the industry? When I look around the Canteen and see people tucking in and having a great time, and knowing I’ve been a part of that. What’s the best thing about the Canteen, specifically? Oh, the food! There’s great variety, too; last month I worked a wedding, a festival and a busy lunch service in the Canteen – all in the space of three days! Sounds pretty full on – what would you say is the most challenging part of your job? Probably trying to fit everyone in at that turns up – we just don’t have enough tables! What kind of relationship does your front of house crew have with the kitchen team? A great one – we need it to be. Even on the trickiest of days we pull together, with a huge amount of mutual respect for each other – and still manage to share a laugh and a drink at the end of the day. So, this place is unusual in that it’s a staff canteen at heart. But it’s not just the Yeo employees who eat with you, is it? No, the customer base is so varied. Sure, the staff and their guests are our most regular customers, but we also welcome all kinds of visitors for everything from meetings to a bit of breakfast or a cup of coffee. We also
get customers of Yeo Valley who have travelled quite some distance to use their Yeokens for lunch. And what are most of them ordering right now? The burger of Holt Farm beef (that’s our own organic beef), with skinny fries and Strode Valley Organic salad, is really popular. Our ice cream sundaes are going down a storm, too. How about bestselling drinks? Our range of Orchard Pig juices are really popular, especially Totally Minted. If we were talking alcoholic, then Butcombe bitter is a good seller, as well as Mary’s Rose (that’s one of my personal favourites) from Aldwick Court Farm’s vineyard. It’s fantastic to be able to use local suppliers. What makes the restaurant a special place to visit? I can’t not mention the view (it’s awesome!), but there’s so much more than that. Like the ambience that Sarah (that’s the boss) has created with the décor, as well as the friendly welcome and fantastic food. If you were a customer, what would you order? I would make sure I booked on a Wednesday when we serve roast lunches – they’re out-of-this-world amazing. The roast potatoes are the main reason I had to join the gym… What do you think makes excellent customer service? A smile and a friendly welcome is always a great start; it puts people at ease, and allows you to create a relationship with them. Where do you like to eat on your days off? My local, The Plough Inn, Wrington. I do enjoy an Italian, too – Bardolino at Cadbury House is lovely. ✱ yeovalley.co.uk
HOW DO YEO DO? This, ladies and gents, is Abigail Maddocks, front of house manager at Yeo Valley Canteen
This could be you! Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org crumbsmag.com
Ask the Expert
What the FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER KNOWS... We quiz Bath-based Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Mark Benham about what it takes to become a pro behind the lensâ€¦ Photography by MARK BENHAM
Ask the Expert
So, Mark, we hear you’ve won the Pink Lady Food Photograher two years in a row. (Show off, much?) I’ve won two categories: in 2015 I won the Food for Celebration category, and in 2016 I won the Philip Harben category for Food in Action, and was crowned the overall winner. Check you out. What does the CV of an award-winning food photographer look like, then? I had a previous career as a designer and art director, which spanned 28 years; I often art directed and styled shoots, working mainly with studiobased photographers. I switched to photography as a career around 2010, because I needed a change and a fresh set of challenges. What was it that drew you into the world of photography, then? My first memories of photography are from the mid ’70s, when I produced a school project about dairy farming. I was working on a small farm in Wales and took along a secondhand Voigtlander camera, given to me by an aunt, to document life on a working farm. Then, in the mid ’90s, I took off to travel the world, armed with a Minolta compact – of course, film being used in those days.
These two experiences are what first got me interested in the idea of storytelling in photography. What kinds of qualifications do you have in the field? Apart from a few photographic lessons at art college as part of the curriculum, I’m self-taught. I have a good eye and teach myself the technical stuff. Tell us about your style. I’m not sure I know what my style is, but I’m interested in storytelling and documenting topics of interest; it’s all about observation and exploration. I guess my style has come from that. I try and refect the atmosphere and spirit of what I’m photographing – I’m drawn to eye-catching imagery. People are an important element in my work; both of the aforementioned Pink Lady wins had people as a key ingredient. I guess it’s all about life – food being a part of that. What kinds of images have the most impact, do you think? As far as food goes, it’s images that make the viewer want to eat what they see, and make them almost feel as if they can smell the food. As for other photography, in general terms, I think shots are most powerful when they engage me;
I went to the exhibition of World Press Photography awards held in Lisbon in 2015, and almost every shot took me in, each one telling a story with great impact, sometimes with humour. Whatʼs the most challenging thing about shooting food? In the work I do, it’s capturing moments that engage with people; my shots have to show the world of food in an interesting way. I recently photographed an eco-artisan baker at work in cramped conditions with low light levels, and I wanted to avoid using flash, so there were technical challenges to overcome. Say we’re interested in taking this up – are we going to have a pretty sizeable shopping list of gear? I don’t buy into the hype associated with modern technology; we’re constantly bombarded with new gizmos. For me, the most essential items are my camera, lenses and tripod. Keep it simple! What kind of camera do you use? I still use a Canon 5D Mk 2 DSLR which I bought in 2009, although I’ll be upgrading soon. Because I’m not studio based I need a camera which is able to cope in a multitude of conditions, and be easily portable. Any upgrade I
Mark (below) is a former art director who made the move into professional photography about six years ago, and has since bagged himself awards for his work
choose will have to tick these boxes, so I might opt for a more compact full-frame camera in the future. And what about lenses; what types are there, and what difference do they actually make? There are many lenses out there, each offering different capabilities for different situations; macro, wide angle, zoom, telephoto, tilt-shift, fisheye and prime are some of the most common to choose from. In simple terms, macro offers close-up photography, while wide angle gives (as the name suggests) a wide angle of view, often used for landscape, architecture and interior work. Zoom lenses are useful for the focal length flexibility they provide, while primes with a fixed focal length can give superior optical quality. Telephotos provide longer focal lengths, useful for capturing images where the subject is at a longer distance. Tilt-shift lenses are specialised, often used for architectural photography as they’re able to correct angles where buildings appear to be toppling over. Fisheye lenses offer a particularly wide angle of view; used for capturing expansive scenes, they exhibit pronounced curvilinear distortions. Woah. Lots to take on board there. What’s your fave lens, personally? The 24-105mm zoom is my most useful lens; it gives a pretty good wide angle of view as well as zoom function, so I find I use it for a broad range of work. Let’s talk light: how do you decide when to use reflectors or a flash, or just natural light? Ah, light: without doubt the most important aspect of photography. I
prefer to use natural light and will only resort to flash when light conditions force me to do so, or if I want fill light, especially to avoid dark shadows. I occasionally use a reflector; it’s useful to bounce light back to a subject and get more even lighting. And what comes after the shoot? What happens to your image files? I shoot raw files, which are uncompressed. They hold all the image data, so I can decide how I want to process the file and retain the image quality. I store all original files on external hard drives; that way my computer doesn’t get clogged up with storing large files, and hopefully processes quicker. And then comes the editing, we suppose; what kind of changes do you make? It really depends on the look I want, but I often adjust clarity, shadows, white balance, contrast, and noise reduction. When I’m happy I use Photoshop to make the final adjustments, which normally include curves, brightness, selective colour and sharpness. So would we need any specialist software, other than Photoshop? I work on an Apple Mac computer and organise my files using Adobe Bridge; it’s useful for going through each file and assessing which is good to process. Processing is done with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), as well as Photoshop. What are you looking to bring out in the images when you’re editing? Clarity is important, and I like my images to have atmosphere – this
Ask the Expert comes, of course, from how I shoot each image. I do like to craft the processing, though; this can include making areas lighter or darker, a digital equivalent to traditionally processing from film. I find I often shoot images with strong contrast, which I think adds depth. Talk to us about your Pink Lady award-winning image (above right); it was shot in Bath, no? Yes, it came about when I spent a day with The Thoughful Bread Company in Bath, an eco-artisan bakery run by Duncan Glendinning. At the end of a busy day photographing the bakers at work, I wanted to capture something a little different, a fun image, something a little more animated. Duncan had been rolling dough, which I asked him to throw into lots of flour. That’s how this winning shot came about. I used entirely natural light. Did you know you were onto a winner when you took it? Not really! When I got the call from Pink Lady I was more than a bit surprised. In fact, when I arrived at the awards at the Mall Galleries in London last May and saw the competition, I was a touch embarrassed that mine had won over some of the other great shots! Any tips you would give anyone interested in food photography? Do what genuinly interests you; that way
there’s more chance you’ll produce good work. I spent many years working as a designer, often art directing food shoots in studios so, for me, it’s been about working away from studios and capturing aspects of the wider world of food. Got any golden rules for when it comes to shooting food, specifially? Good lighting – whatever look you’re after – is essential. What starter kit would you recommend for a beginner who doesnʼt have megabucks to spend? Today the range of affordable kit is huge, with high-resolution cameras available for beginners. Even some of the smart phones seem to capture great images. For my type of work, smaller compact cameras with viewfinders and built-in zoom might be a great starting point. They offer so much flexibility and are easy to carry around, even slipping into a pocket. As for larger DSLR cameras, there are many to choose from, with good value kit bundle offers. How much money are we talking for a pro kit; are we going to need to sell an organ to fund it? That’s a difficult question to answer, as it depends on what kit is required, which will depend on the type of photography. If it’s studio work you’re likely to spend more, because you’ll probably be investing in lights and reflectors, as well
as cameras and lenses. If it’s outside work, then it can be less. There are some great ‘used kit’ bargains out there too. Shop around and ask for advice if you know any professional photographers. Right, we’ve got our kit and are good to go – talk to us about getting work. Whatʼs the appetite like (ahem) for food photography right now? The market is awash with food imagery, so the work is definitely out there. One of my recently commissioned food jobs came as a direct result of The Pink Lady Awards, which in itself was a by-product of a self-initiated photo shoot. I believe photographers can get the work if they are good enough and work hard enough. Being different can help. As a pro, youʼll know what the current crazes in food photography are; what should we be looking out for? Recently I’ve noticed a lot of dark, moody imagery and experimental lighting being used, often with rustic textures. Storytelling in food photography is becoming popular, too. Today it’s difficult not to follow trends, so when I see the work of a photographer who does his or her own thing, I’m more likely to show an interest. ✱ Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2017 is open for entries until 5 February 2017; pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com; markbenham.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
Kitchen Library The freshest, most inspirational cookbooks of the month
MISO TASTY: THE COOKBOOK
TOAST HASH ROAST MASH
Fast becoming a go-to ingredient for healthconscious foodies, miso is full of culinary possibilities, as this book from Bonnie Chung reveals. The fermented soybean paste, which originates from Japan, is prized for its rich, complex umami flavour, alongside health-giving properties, and it has been used by the Japanese for centuries. In Miso Tasty: The Cookbook, Chung explores the versatility of this paste, with 60 recipes for everyday cooking. The recipes are a mix of classics and new discoveries, from swirling it into a hot stock for miso soup, to mixing with olive oil and mustard for a salad dressing, and using it in a deeply flavoured marinade for barbecued steaks or in spicy fried red miso aubergine. A must for all miso fans.
A fixture on countless ‘best cookbooks of the year’ lists, Dan Doherty’s debut, Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, was a hard act to follow. The brilliantly named followup, Toast Hash Roast Mash, is certainly as good as its predecessor, with the author focussing on the dishes he cooks at home for family and friends. This is a book all about simplicity and informality in the kitchen, with dishes revolving around eggs, pancakes, toast, sweet bakes and other breakfast and brunch ideas. Accompanied by brilliant photography from Danish snapper Anders Schonnemann, stand-out dishes include ricotta, pear and honey on toast; smoked salmon, horseradish and sour cream hash; and shakshouka with mint yoghurt and toasted buckwheat. There’s even a handy chapter devoted to hangover food.
Dan Doherty Mitchell Beazley, £20
Bonnie Chung Pavilion, £14.99
SIMPLE: EFFORTLESS FOOD, BIG FLAVOURS
Hailed by Sheila Dillon as ‘Jane Grigson’s real heir’, award-winning Diana Henry is one of the most prolific food writers around, and her latest book is firmly up there with her best so far. Part of Henry’s appeal is the fact that she isn’t a chef but somebody who approaches recipes as a home cook, creating quick, simple and delicious meals for her family. There are no fancy techniques or cheffy tricks in her recipes, which often transform humble ingredients into flavourpacked dishes with a real wow factor. This is perfectly illustrated by recipes like salad of chorizo, avocado and peppers with sherry dressing; a simple red lentil and pumpkin dal; pappardelle with cavolo nero, chilli and hazelnuts; and roast apple, blackberry and whiskey trifles.
A rising star of the food scene, Alex Hely-Hutchinson runs 26 Grains, a porridge shop and café in London’s Neal’s Yard. Her love for ancient grains was inspired by a year living in Copenhagen, and there is a Scandi feel to her debut cookbook, named after her shop. Featuring 100 recipes that use a variety of grains – from oats and spelt to amaranth and buckwheat – the recipes cover energising breakfast porridges through to wholesome lunchtime salad bowls and nourishing comfort dishes for dinner. We particularly enjoyed the ginger and peach Bircher muesli pots; spelt salad with beetroot, feta, chickpea and apple; and the recipes that turn leftover porridge into pancakes or bread. An innovative book that will make you look at humble grains in an exciting and delicious new light.
Diana Henry Octopus, £25
Alex Hely-Hutchinson Square Peg, £20
S T A R T E R S FROM
26 Grains by Alex Hely-Hutchinson, published by Square Peg, £20
SICILY: RECIPES FROM AN ITALIAN ISLAND Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi Hardie Grant, £25
The meeting point between Africa and Europe, Sicily is a cultural melting pot with an exotic mix of foods married to some of the best local produce in the world. Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi explored the island for this book, meeting the street food vendors, osteria owners and home cooks in search of a true taste of Sicily. The result is a collection of sensational dishes, from antipasti of peppers stuffed with pork mince and herbs to family dishes like salmon baked with orange and thyme, and Sicilian slow-cooked pork, beef and sausage ragu. Sweet treats include almond and honey biscuits and a boozy Marsala semifreddo. With beautiful location photography as well as stunning food shots, it’s also a cookbook with a firm sense of place and history.
BROWN RICE INDONESIAN CHICKEN PORRIDGE (SERVES 4)
THIS IS A traditional savoury porridge from Indonesia, but with a texture similar to risotto. The combination of cloves, bay, galangal and chilli warms the insides and together make an incredibly unique dish. Galangal is a member of the ginger family, but is ginger’s very subtle cousin. You can find galangal in most Asian supermarkets and from many online suppliers. INGREDIENTS
For the porridge: 250g short grain brown rice, soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained 1 ½ ltr chicken stock 2 thumb-sized pieces of galangal (or use 1 piece of root ginger) 4 cloves 3 bay leaves 1 tbsp coconut oil good pinch of white pepper
To serve: 1 tbsp sesame seeds 2 tbsp unsalted peanuts olive oil, for frying 200g cooked chicken, shredded 2 spring onions, thinly sliced 1 small bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced (deseed if you prefer less heat) 2 large handfuls of spinach handful of coriander leaves, picked and roughly chopped kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or regular soy sauce METHOD
– Place all the porridge ingredients, except the coconut oil and white pepper, in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, topping up with a little water if it needs it. – While the porridge cooks, prepare the toppings. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying
pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously to stop them catching. Do the same with the peanuts, to give them a lovely crunch and depth of flavour. Be careful not to burn them. Once the peanuts have cooled, lightly crush them with a mortar and pestle. – In the same pan, warm a little olive oil and add the shredded chicken to crisp up. – When the porridge is cooked, remove the bay leaves and galangal (or ginger), stir in the coconut oil and white pepper, taste, and adjust the seasoning. – Pour into bowls and top with the spring onions, chilli, spinach, chicken, peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander and kecap manis (or soy sauce).
A cut above...
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Best Western Centurion Hotel Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Nr Bath BA3 4BD @seanhorwood RestAtCent 01761 417711
CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS 8PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT THREE COURSE MEAL & DJ Friday 02 December 2016 £32.50 Saturday 03 December 2016 £32.50 Thursday 08 December 2016 £22.50 Saturday 10 December 2016 £34.00 Thursday 15 December 2016 £25.00 Saturday 17 December 2016 £34.00 Thursday 22 December 2016 £29.50 Friday 23 December 2016 £32.50 Want a private party night on a date not listed? Please give us a call. (Min 60 people)
CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS MENU ROAST MUSHROOM SOUP WITH CHIVE CRÈME FRAÎCHE COLN VALLEY SMOKED SALMON WITH FENNEL PORK & GREEN PEPPERCORN PÂTÉ, SOUR DOUGH ROAST TURKEY WITH ALL THE FESTIVE TRIMMINGS CONFIT DUCK LEG WITH DAUPHINOISE POTATOES CORNISH HAKE WITH SALSA VERDE POLENTA CAKE WITH TOMATO FONDUE CHOCOLATE COOKIE CHEESECAKE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING WITH CLOTTED CREAM SELECTION OF 3 WEST COUNTRY CHEESES WITH CRACKERS
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ADDRESS: 61, GLOUCESTER ROAD BRISTOL BS7 8AD. TELEPHONE: 0117-9446826 OPENING HOURS: 12 NOON TO 3PM, 5.30PM TO 10PM TUES-SUN ONLINE: FACEBOOK/RAMEN YA
WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Chef! Authentic Eastern flavours all start with the right spice blend, as Kalpna Woolf knows
Highlights THE BIG O Go organic with this spicy brunch, one of Poco’s best Page 40
Get a comforting cannelloni bake on the go this autumn Page 42
Röstis are a great way to use up this season’s beetroot Page 49
This Moroccaninspired marinade is just as great with veggies or meat as it is with seabass Page 46
51 TELLING PORKIES Andy Clarke gets the recipe for his fave Bellita dish
Good egg Tom Hunt shows us how to go organic with our brunch
Tom Hunt, founder of Bristol-born tapas joint Poco, is all about the ethics when it comes to his grub. As a result, Poco sources nigh-on all of its ingredients from these here shores (including organic veg from local community farms, and sustainable, seasonal fish); monitors waste each day, to keep levels as low as possible; recycles 90 percent of its rubbish; and heads up sustainability campaigns. It’s no surprise then, that Tom is a buddy of The Soil Association – a charity promoting ethical farming and food production. The aim of these guys is to reduce the environmental damage that intensive food and farming processes are having on the planet, and champion healthier, natural grub. This recipe was given to The Soil Association by Tom, and it’s one that has come straight from the kitchen of his restaurant. “This is our favourite brunch dish at Poco,” he says. “It’s a great alternative to an English fry up, and is very filling. The merguez recipe is a winner – it’s the first stage of the method here, where you add spice to mince to make sausage meat – and works well in many different recipes; I recommend using it to make burgers served in a bun with hummus and roasted peppers.”
ORGANIC MOROCCAN SCRAMBLE (SERVES 2) INGREDIENTS
2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander pinch of cayenne 180g minced organic lamb 150g cooked cannellini beans 150ml organic passata 2 tsp harissa (or to taste) 2 slices organic sourdough 4 large organic eggs, lightly beaten drizzle of olive oil 6 sprigs coriander 1 organic spring onion, sliced diagonally chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
quickly, so keep alert. Allow the eggs to set on the bottom ever so slightly, then turn in a figure of eight just once. Allow it to set slightly again and repeat a turn. By this point the eggs should be about cooked, but hopefully still a little runny. Take them straight out of the pan and divide them piled on the toast between your two plates. Spoon half the beans onto each plate, over the eggs. Finish the plate with slices of spring onion, sprigs of coriander and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, if using. ✱ POCO, 45 Jamaica Street, Bristol BS2 8JP; 0117 923 2233; pocotapasbar.com; soilassociation.org
– To prepare the merguez, mix the cumin, ground coriander, cayenne and a pinch of salt into the mince. – In a separate bowl, mix the cannellini beans with the passata and harissa, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add extra harissa if you like it hot. – Put the beans in a pan and heat through. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan on the hob, slice the spring onion and pop the bread on to grill. When the frying pan is hot, crumble the merguez into it and leave it to colour, then flip so that it cooks on both sides. Put the toast on the plate with a drizzle of olive oil. – When everything is ready, add the beaten eggs to the frying pan. The cooking process will happen very
A Grape Match!
With wine writer Angela Mount Cleto Chiarli Pignoletto NV £12.95, Great Western Wine “Brunch calls for bubbles, but not of the serious kind. Move over Prosecco, Pignoletto is the Italian fizz to try. This one is brimming with lively, crisp green apple and lemon flavours, with streams of tiny bubbles. It has a creamy edge and is packed with freshness – a perfect foil to the spicy merguez and harissa. Gloriously soft, there’s blackberry and dark chocolate character and a velvety edge, too.”
Luka Lysiak is all about the autumnal comfort food right now
Luka is one of the chefs from Bristolborn group Café Grounded, whose cosy café-bar venues are dotted all around the city, as well as in Wiltshire. They’re great spots for hunkering down in the chillier weather, reckons Luka, who is concentrating on comfort food this season, as well as planning the café’s Christmas party menus. “As the first signs of autumn start to appear, we turn to carb-loading for comfort,” he says. “This is a bestselling dish that never fails to hit the spot. It’s a great vegetarian staple, too – our take on an Italian classic.” For this recipe, you’ll need two individual baking dishes, measuring 15cm diameter.
SPINACH and MASCARPONE STUFFED CANNELLONI with BÉCHAMEL SAUCE and PARSLEY BREADCRUMBS (SERVES 2) INGREDIENTS
For the stuffed cannelloni: 300g fresh spinach 250g mascarpone cheese 8 cannelloni tubes 100g tomato passata 1 tsp dried oregano 100g mozzarella, sliced For the béchamel sauce: 25g butter 25g plain flour 150ml whole milk pinch of grated nutmeg For the parsley breadcrumbs: 2 slices of white bread, processed into breadcrumbs 50g Parmesan cheese handful of fresh parsley To serve: handful of fresh rocket olive oil METHOD
A Grape Match!
With wine writer Angela Mount Verdicchio Classico Superiore Casal di Serra £11.95, Great Western Wine “Rich, creamy, and indulgent, this dish needs a crisp but full-flavoured white to balance it. When in Italy, go Italian: I’ve picked a ripe, full-bodied white, packed with soft, peach and baked pear-scented character, and with a hint of toasted almonds. It has enough body and creaminess to match the dish’s intense, unctuous texture, but with enough citrus bite to cut through the richness and add balance.”
– Heat oven to 200C/400F fan/gas mark 6. – For the filling, put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it (you may need to do this in batches). When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water, roughly chop, and mix in a large bowl with the mascarpone. Season well with salt and pepper. – For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and stir in the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Put back on a low heat and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Stir in the nutmeg and set aside. – Finely chop the parsley, grate the Parmesan, and mix with the breadcrumbs. – Divide the passata between the two dishes and sprinkle over the oregano. – Using a piping bag or plastic food bag with the corner snipped off, squeeze the mascarpone filling into the cannelloni tubes. Lay the tubes, side by side, on top of the tomato sauce and spoon over the béchamel sauce. Top with mozzarella and breadcrumbs, and bake for 30-35 mins until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 mins. – Serve with the rocket leaves, drizzled with a little olive oil. ✱ CAFÉ GROUNDED; cafegrounded.co.uk
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Go Eas marina t with this Mo hero, K de by Bristol-broccan-style alpna W a oolf… sed food
Plenty of fish I am always keen to experiment with store cupboard spices to create new and exciting flavours and bring more taste and goodness to my dishes, writes cook, author and founder of Bristol’s 91 Ways, Kalpna Woolf. This marinade is probably one of the most versatile and delicious you can make. The ingredients can vary, but normally, roasted cumin and coriander seeds are mixed with saffron, ginger, garlic, paprika and fresh parsley and coriander. Chermoula is a powerful combination of taste and spice equilibrium that originates from North Africa, and the mix definitely evokes the smells and tastes of that region and Moroccan souks and medinas. This can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for a few days.
VERSATILE MONKFISH CHERMOULA (SERVES 4) INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp coriander seeds ½ tsp ground paprika 1 tsp chilli flakes or cayenne pepper (optional) ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped 5-6 saffron threads, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 3-4 minutes juice of 1 lemon (reserving 1 tbsp of this to serve) 2 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp salt large handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped small handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped 300g monkfish fillets, cut into 10-15cm chunks
in a food processor and blend into a medium-thick paste. – Place the fish on a foil-lined baking tray and spoon over the chermoula paste, spreading it over all sides of each piece of fish. Cover with foil and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. – Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium. – Remove the foil cover from the fish and place the baking tray under the grill for about 8 minutes. When the fish is cooked, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over and serve. ✱ Recipe from Spice Yourself Slim by Kalpna Woolf (Pavillion £16.99); photography by Clare Winfield
– To make the chermoula marinade, heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and gently dry-fry for 3-4 minutes until roasted and the aroma is released (be careful that the seeds don’t burn). Allow to cool, then grind in a food processor or pestle and mortar into a powder. – Place the powder and all the remaining ingredients (except the fish), including the water from the saffron,
Chef 's tips Although this recipe is for fish, you can use this marinade for chicken and lamb dishes (if marinating meat, leave the marinade for longer, and even overnight, infuse). For a delicious vegetarian option, marinate a selection of vegetables and roast with the chermoula
Christmas Day £75 per person
Celebration Menu 2 or 3 course, £22 or £29 per person
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY
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Feel the beet
Vicki and Alan Mowat have been delivering a lot of beetroot in their Riverford veg boxes of late, and reckon this is a great way to use it… Riverford was born in Devon, back in the ’80s, when it began delivering organic veg to local homes. Now it delivers a variety of fruit, vegetable, meat and recipe boxes throughout the country. Vicki and Alan Mowat take care of Riverford’s deliveries in Bath and the surrounding area. Now that beetroot is back in season, it’s in plentiful supply and at its best. You’ll find it easy to get hold of from local growers and suppliers (if you’re not already getting it in a veg box delivery, that is!). This means that these little röstis can be easily added to your seasonal menu for autumn. They’re great for breakfast, brunch or lunch. If you have any leftover cooked beetroot you can use that, but you’ll find that when it’s raw it lends the röstis a nice bit of bite.
small bunch tarragon, roughly chopped small bunch parsley, roughly chopped 1 tbsp plain flour (or rice flour to make it gluten free) sunflower oil, for frying METHOD
BEETROOT, POTATO and HORSERADISH RÖSTIS (SERVES 4) INGREDIENTS
2 large potatoes 1 large beetroot, peeled 1 small red onion 5cm piece of horseradish, peeled (or 1 tsp grated horseradish from a jar) 1 large garlic clove small bunch dill, roughly chopped
– Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. – Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the potatoes in the hot water for 15 minutes, so that they are half cooked. – Once cool, drain and peel the potatoes, then coarsely grate them, along with the beetroot and onion, into a large bowl. Finely grate the horseradish into the same bowl. Bash the garlic into a fine paste using a pestle and mortar, or crush in a garlic crusher, then add it to the bowl with the herbs. Season with
salt and pepper, sprinkle over the flour and mix well. – Shape the veg mix into four burgersized patties. They should hold together well, but add a bit more flour if not. – Heat a good slug of oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the röstis until golden brown on each side (don’t be tempted to flip them more than once, or move them much). Transfer to a baking tray and finish cooking in the oven for 15 minutes, until crisp and cooked through. Serving ideas – Top with smoked salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche and a handful of chopped green herbs. – Use the same mix to make mini patties and serve as fancy hash browns with a full English breakfast. – Top with wilted spinach or chard and a poached egg. ✱ riverford.co.uk/recipes
The A W
AT THE GREENHOUSE IT’S
Join us at The Greenhouse Restaurant this Christmas and enjoy the festive party season in a relaxed and stylish setting, the perfect destination to share in the celebrations with your family, friends and colleagues too. We’ll be offering a 2 or 3 course festive fayre (£20pp for 2 courses or £24pp for 3 courses) available for lunch and dinner from 28 November – 24 December. We’ll also be open on Christmas Day for a gourmet dining experience and again on Boxing Day for classic brunch and gastro pub lunch dishes. For more information visit www.thegreenhousewg.co.uk FESTIVE OPENING HOURS CHRISTMAS EVE open for lunch and dinner, normal opening hours CHRISTMAS DAY open 11am - 5pm BOXING DAY open 11am - 6pm 27 TO 30 DECEMBER normal opening hours NEW YEAR’S EVE normal opening hours - ‘til late NEW YEAR’S DAY 11am - 6pm
Booking during the festive period is essential
WADSWICK GREEN WELCOMES YOU TO THEIR
R CRAFT FAIR
FREE AND ENTRY PARK ING TO T CRAF HE T FAIR
FRIDAY 11 NOV 12PM – 8PM & SATURDAY 12 NOV 10AM – 3PM
Join us for the ultimate marquee shopping experience – quality locally handmade products and a chance to win some fabulous prizes from our charity raffle in support of Dorothy House Hospice Care. Get the girls together for a spot of ‘late night’ Friday shopping and visit the Wadswick Green Spa to make your evening extra special by enjoying a twilight pamper session for just £35pp. Booking is essential – 01225 583030. Invite all of the family on Saturday to our luxury marquee for tasty treats and more. Or enjoy a spot of lunch, delicious warm drinks and food served by The Greenhouse Restaurant.
FARM SHOP & DELI
ES VEG BOX R TO ORDE
F I SH M O NG E R S & B U TC H E R S
FLORISTS RECLAMATION BARN
T GIF S HOP
DID YOU KNOW THAT WE ALSO HAVE A
RESTAU RANT AT WHITE ROW?
The Greenhouse Restaurant is open Mon-Sat from 9am-11pm and Sun 10am-8pm (last orders at 6pm).
You can reserve a table at any time by calling us on 01225 585880 or book online at www.thegreenhousewg.co.uk THE GREENHOUSE RESTAURANT THE PAVILLION | WADSWICK GREEN | CORSHAM SN13 9RD
JUST 20 MINUTES FROM BATH
A N D Y
C L A R K E
The Wine Guy
Dunleavy Rosé is made literally just down the road, while the Vouvray has come from slightly further afield. Both make a top match for this monthʼs recipe
Andy is all about the ladies this month…
n moving back West, one of the things I was keen to do was to get my bearings in relation to eating out. I was blessed with a lot of great locals when I lived in London, so, for me, it was important that I quickly established where’s good in Bristol. Even before moving back here I always wanted to try the critically acclaimed Flinty Red, but unfortunately I didn’t get to it before it closed. But when a good friend of mine suggested trying this new place called Bellita that had risen up in its place, I couldn’t refuse. Attempting to get my head around the Bristol scene, I learnt that the owners are also the team behind the fabulous Bell’s Diner, which opened in 2013, and that when the opportunity came up to be part of the newly re-invigorated Whiteladies fringe too, they had to take it. “The time felt right to spread our wings a bit and take on a new venture,”
co-owner Kate Hawkings told me. She used to work with the other Bellita owner, Connie, on Whiteladies 25 years ago (when they were but kids – obvs). “It’s lovely being back in this part of town, as it’s becoming a real hub of great eating, and we’re really pleased to be part of it.” I instantly fell in love with the menu when I first visited: simple, non-fussy little plates with a big serving of originality. The jamon Iberico croquetas are the best in town, and the gem salad with Caesar dressing is something else. The courgette, feta and mint fritters were also an amazing discovery. One of the many things that I love about Bellita – besides the food and friendly, casual atmosphere – is it’s wine list. As we sat there looking over the possibilities, Kate came over to help us choose from the magnificent selection. On this quite unique wine list she has
selected interesting varieties, which are all made by female winemakers. Featuring vinos from all over the world, this list is a real showcase of fab, foodfriendly sips. A great all-rounder on Kate’s list is made in the heart of the Wrington Vale in Somerset, and boasts a Bristolian postcode. It’s Dunleavy Rosé 2015, which is also available to buy in independent wine merchants and directly from the vineyard itself. Hurrah! It’s made by Ingrid Bates and Stephen Dunleavy from vines planted in 2008, and the 2015 vintage is their finest to date. Vibrant cherry flavours and a dusting of sherbet accompany tangy wild strawberries in the glass. Although great with all those small plates (this pink is not just for summer), its ultimate match has to be chef Joe Harvey’s pork ragu with fennel and ricotta gnocchi. You’ll have to get pretty lucky to try this dish at Bellita – it only occasionally pops up on the chalkboards. Luckily, though, I managed to convince Joe to share his recipe so you can make it at home any time. Phew. I’ll be honest, I thought this would be a red wine kind of dish, but it turns out that it loves this rosé – and a good old white, for that matter, particularly Chenin Blanc. I’m a fan of South African Chenin, but guilty of ignoring the much-maligned Vouvray from France’s Loire Valley, which is made from the same grape. The perfect choice for this ragu is Vouray Silex Vigneau Chevreau 2015, which is available from Corks of Cotham and Corks of North Street. (FYI, a new
( recipe )
branch of Corks will be opening soon in a shipping container! Corks at Cargo will be appearing on the Wapping Wharf development on Bristol’s Harbourside in the next few weeks.) Now, it’s easy to associate Vouvray with the cheaper, slightly sweeter examples that floated around in years gone by, but put any preconceptions on hold. This particular biodynamic wine is made using older vines from various vineyards. Aged for two months in oak and then in stainless steel, it’s far from oaky but has an incredible texture that works so well with the pork ragu. Its apple-sweet tang is great with the fennel and the lift at the end from the wine’s subtle acidity really picks up on the ricotta gnocchi. At this point I have to give a huge shout out to head chef Joe Harvey, who created this stunning dish. Coming from Italian stock, his skill in food and wine comes as second nature. He also has a few successful Bristol restaurants on his CV – think Riverstation, Papadeli and Manna, as well as a stint at Bell’s, of course. Joe’s grandfather was even the head chef at the first Berni Inn, at the Llandogger Trow on King Street. So food is truly in the family’s blood! Berni Inns aside, thank goodness he’s got Bellita in his grips. His passion and ingenious palate gives me yet another reason to be so very pleased to call Bristol my home. The team have created a proper little culinary oasis on Cotham Hill, and have put as much effort into their niche wine list as their crazy-good food. Dunleavy Rosé, £11.50 direct from Ingrid, mention Crumbs for a 10-percent discount on a case of 12; dunleavyvineyards.co.uk; Vouray Silex Vigneau Chevreau 2015, £14.99 from Corks of Cotham and Corks of North Street; corksofbristol.com
Serve your ragu with dehydrated tommies and fried sage like Joe does, if youʼre feeling fancy
PORK and FENNEL SEED RAGU with RICOTTA GNOCCHI and PARMESAN (SERVES 6)
For the ragu: glug of olive oil 500g pork belly, diced 100g pancetta 1 onion, finely chopped 1 stick of celery, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves 1 tsp rosemary, chopped 1 tsp thyme, chopped 1 tsp of whole fennel seeds 1 star anise pinch of chilli flakes 200ml white wine 400g chopped tomatoes 200ml pork stock 1 bay leaf For the gnocchi: 250g ricotta 2 egg yolks 40g grated Parmesan pinch of nutmeg 100g ‘00’ flour semolina, for dusting
✱ Andy Clarke is a freelance
TV producer and writer; follow him on Twitter @TVsAndyClarke; one4thetable.com
– First, make the ragu. Heat a large casserole pan over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and diced pork belly and cook until the pork is caramelised and coloured all over (depending on the size of your pan, you may have to do this in smaller batches so that your meat doesn’t stew). Once this is achieved, remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside. – Drain any excess fat from the casserole and add the pancetta to the pan (we use our house-cured fennel pancetta, but any shop-bought pancetta will do). Cook the pancetta until it is crispy and all the fat has been rendered. – Next, reduce the heat of the casserole and add the onions, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, thyme, fennel seed, star anise and chilli flakes. Stir and fry for 5-10 minutes until softened and ever so slightly caramelised. – Return the pork belly to the casserole and combine. Pour in the white wine and boil for 1 minute. – Next, add the chopped tomatoes, pork stock, bay leaf and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Once the ragu has started to boil, cover with a lid and cook slowly on a low heat for 3 hours. – Now make the gnocchi. Strain the ricotta in a sieve or through a cloth, and place it in a bowl with the egg yolks, Parmesan and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and combine, gradually adding the flour. – Dust a surface with the semolina and roll the gnocchi dough out into sausages – aim for the diameter of your thumb. Cut the gnocchi into bite-sized pieces and set aside. – Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi. They are cooked when they rise to the surface. – Add the gnocchi straight into the pork ragu, and serve (we recommend running a whisk through the ragu first to break up the pork belly, but if you prefer bigger chunks of meat then just serve as it is). We garnish ours with dehydrated cherry tomatoes, crispy fried sage and grated Parmesan. ✱ bellita.co.uk
Something new at
NEW MENU by resident chef ALEX BLUETT
65 North Street Bedminster Bristol BS3 1ES
PSYCHOPOMP at The Old Bookshop
Christmas menus now available
Bar • Kitchen Dining OPEN MONDAY TO SUNDAY
LUNCH 12noon to 2pm DINNER 6pm to 9pm
The perfect party idea Served Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3pm - 5pm • Bookings only
SUNDAY LUNCH Served from 12noon to 4pm Options include family style, while roast chicken for £40
BED AND BREAKFAST SUITES
Breakfast, morning coffee & cake Every day from 9.30am-11.30am
NEW YEAR’S EVE
PRIX FIXE LUNCH MENU £12.95 for two courses Monday to Saturday.
TO BOOK CALL
Now open. Rooms from £100 per night.
“A French Affair” A gourmand dinner followed by a disco.
67 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1AQ • firstname.lastname@example.org
Armoury CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
SOME LIKE IT SHOT
This clever machine responds to a smartphone app, says Matt Bielby, delivering a perfect coffee that’ll be waiting for you as you walk in the door You’re making me uncomfortable with your sleek coffee maker thing. You’ve come over all charming and George Clooney. Trust me, this rapidly greying hair is just about the only thing me and Gorgeous George have in common. Well, that and a love of good coffee – coffee as made by Nespresso’s new Prodigio machine, in fact. The twist is that this clever thing can be run through an app on your smartphone, placing orders for new capsules or brewing a coffee for you while you’re on the bus home, so it’s ready when you get in. This is how Skynet started out, isn’t it? (Nespresso machines are made by Cyberdyne Systems, right?) Try Nestlé. Nestlé! But they’re nearly as worldconsuming, aren’t they? I’m sure I read that they’re the largest food company on the planet. Yep! And they make all sorts, from chocolate to baby food, though in the last few decades coffee has become massive with them too. Y’see, in the mid-’70s a guy working at this gigantic Swiss outfit came up with the Nespresso system – it would make real coffee supereasy, thanks to the neat way it used pre-apportioned foil capsules of ground coffee beans, sometimes with added flavourings. Initially,
THIS MONTH crumbsmag.com
however, it flopped, but Nestlé stuck with, and it eventually took off a decade later, notably with the rise of the ‘Nespresso Club’, which offers discounts, special offers and the like. Loads of people make Nespresso compatible machines (Miele, Siemens, DeLonghi), and you’ve been able to buy ones with the Nespresso brand name on them since 2000 too. I don’t get the appeal myself… Oh, I do! The reason millions of people have signed on is that Nespresso takes all the effort and uncertainty out of brewing ‘real coffee’. Sure, each cup costs considerably more than coffee made using a cafetiere would – but, in this time-poor era, it’s a price plenty are willing to pay. Nespresso accounts for something like 30 percent of the European coffee market, some say – and its growth doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. It certainly won’t if it takes over the world, Skynet style. Then you’d perhaps better get on its good side now, eh? ✱ The Prodigio costs £159; a posher version, with an integrated milk frother, is £199. Available at Nespresso Bristol at Cribbs Causeway, Kitchens in Bristol or Bath, and many other retailers; nespresso.com
Working from home
Brew it yourself
The Supper Club
AS YEO LIKE IT We join Steve James and his pals for dinner at home in Yeovil to celebrate the launch of his brand new private chef business Words by JESSICA CARTER Photos by TORY MCTERNAN
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( the supper club )
Steve serves citruscured salmon with crème fraiche and fennel on melba toast as canapés, alongside pear Bellinis, made with Prosecco and pear purée
epending on how you look at it, Steve’s mates are either really jammy, or a bit unfortunate. Y’see, if the dinner party he had for them recently – which we happily got to crash – is anything to go by, then they know when they’re invited ’round for dinner that they’re going to be in for a stonking feed. But, then there’s the small matter of the returning of the favour... There’s going to be some pressure, there. Steve is a Somerset-based private chef; having trained and worked at the cookery school of former Leiths head tutuor, TV chef and author Lesley Waters, he set up his own food business. It’s no surprise, then, that he has some proper A-game in the kitchen. This evening, dinner is at Roxanne and Paul’s digs – a gorgeous townhouse in Yeovil (Steve has been in the West Country his whole life, moving to Yeovil form Weymouth five years ago). Having had to completely gut the building when they moved in, the pair have made the front room – previously a bedroom – into a cosy living area. It was a pretty
hefty project, they tell us over the pear Bellinis we were handed on arrival. “It was a multi-occupancy rented house before we moved in,” Paul explains. “It had been so badly bodged.” Roxanne adds: “There was damp everywhere. Nothing had been stripped for years, it was just layered up; I had to chisel away four layers of tiles by hand!” A spacious dinning area adjoins the lounge, sporting painted white brick and hues of lemon yellow – a rustic but modern family area. The dining table – a polished glass top supported by a raw wood frame – has a natural look, echoing the seasonal theme of the food, and is laid out with slate placemats and a mixture of small plants. The kitchen is very light and contemporary, with plenty of room for Steve and colleague Bobby to prep the proceeding five courses – and matching cocktails. It’s a good job there’s plenty of space in there too, ’cause we’re loitering around annoying Steve with questions and conversation for quite a while... “I’d say my food’s a modern take on traditional, British seasonal dishes,” he tells us while slicing his fillet
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This pork belly was the bomb; talk about compliments to the chef...
of cured salmon for the canapés. “The menus I’ve created for my business are in that style, but change to make the most of the different ingredients available each season. “I’ve been cooking ever since I was little – my auntie actually found an old photo recently of me and her cooking for a dinner party. I could only have been about five!” Steve places a slice of salmon on each tiny slice of melba toast, and tops with crème fraiche and feathery fennel leaves. These join the goat’s cheese and red pepper canapés, which he carries through to the lounge for his guests. (Way to get us out of the kitchen, Steve.) As well as Paul and Roxanne, Steve is also cooking for mates Simon, Abbey and Lisa – although Rupert the chocolate brown spaniel does come tentatively enquiring as to whether he’s involved in tonight’s culinary activities too. (Soz, Rupert. You probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway. Honest...) Having made short work of the perfectly bite-sized canapés, we each grab a seat at the dining table, and are brought a warming, autumnal cocktail from Bobby – clementine juice with
vodka, cinnamon and star anise. (Steve used to work in a cocktail bar so knows his stuff when it comes to washing his food down, and often matches his courses to clever concoctions.) Right on cue, the cats descend from upstairs to eye up our starters through the banisters. That’s a well-honed sense of smell they have there. Supersoft slices of duck – the flesh a precise pale pink – are muddled with pickled blackberries and shavings of beetroot, on top of a swirl of subtly spiced elderberry sauce and spots of coriander oil. The tangy berries and elderberry sauce give the dish the right amount of punch, hitting those autumnal notes while not overpowering the more delicate flavours. Bobby comes to collect our empty plates and serve the next cocktails. Having the format this way means that, while the atmosphere is still very much chilled-out dinner party with pals as opposed to anything more formal, the courses flow really nicely and there’s none of the usual spanners thrown in the cookery works by vino- or chat-induced distractions. (That’s not only the norm at our dinner parties, is it?) A really, really good strip of braised and pressed
( the supper club )
DUCK BREAST with SPICED ELDERBERRY SAUCE, BEETROOT, PICKLED BLACKBERRIES and CORIANDER OIL (SERVES 4)
1 candy stripe beetroot 2 duck breasts glug of rapeseed oil, plus extra for dressing rocket leaves bunch of coriander, leaves only For the blackberries: 10 coriander seeds 15 pink peppercorns 1 star anise 200ml red currant vinegar (or red wine vinegar) 150g blackberries For the elderberry sauce: 450g elderberries 2 cloves pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated 2 tbsp cider vinegar For the coriander oil: 20g coriander 100ml rapeseed oil
pork belly appears in front of us next – the fat meltingly tender and topped with a thin layer of brittle crispness. It comes with cannellini bean purée, pomme Anna, thyme and honey carrots, Brussels sprout leaves and a cider sauce, which added a delicious sweetness (and slight booziness) to the rich meat. The honey and thyme carrots, meanwhile, had us all talking, and diving straight into the bowl of extras that, if I were Steve, I would have kept quiet about. With the cats still sitting quietly hopeful on the stairs, we tuck into our salted caramel chocolate fondant, with malt ice cream, salted popcorn and chocolate sauce – served with a White Russian. And just as we think we’re at capacity, pistachio nougat arrives with the coffee and proves us wrong. Clapping the powered sugar from our hands, we peek and see how our host is doing in the kitchen. Pretty good, as it turns out – too calm, surely, to have just knocked out all those impressive dishes to a full table of hungry mates? Someone get this guy a drink... ✱ stevejamesltd.com
– To start, prepare the pickled blackberries. Put all the ingredients into a pan, apart from the blackberries, and bring to the boil. Once boiled, pour the liquid over the blackberries in a sterilized jar. Leave to pickle for at least one hour. – Meanwhile, boil the beetroot for one hour. When cool, peel. – Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. – Next, prepare the elderberry sauce. Add the elderberries to a pan with enough water to cover. Add the cloves, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper and boil until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tbsp. Place the mix in a blender, add the cider vinegar and blitz. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, and add extra seasoning if needed. – To cook the duck breast, score the skin and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a pan with a little rapeseed oil and add the duck breasts to the pan. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the fat has been rendered and the skin is crisp. Turn the duck breast over and place in the preheated oven for three minutes. Remove the duck breast from the oven and cover lightly with foil; the residual heat will finish cooking the duck breast whilst it rests. Leave to go cold. – While the duck is resting, make the coriander oil. Place the herbs and rapeseed oil in a blender and blend till smooth. Sieve through a piece of muslin (or a j-cloth works just as well). Don’t force it through: just leave it to drip and you will be left with a green oil. – Put a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper in a bowl then add a good handful of rocket. Toss to dress the leaves. – To serve, start by slicing the duck breast thinly. Swirl some of the elderberry sauce on each plate then arrange the duck on top, twisting it to add interest. Cut the beetroot in half from root to top and then place the flat side down on the board and slice through the middle of again into quarters. Slice the beetroot quarters thinly, and arrange these nested into the duck breast. Stud the mixture with the pickled blackberries. Place the dressed leaves over the top and add a few coriander leaves. Finish the dish by drizzling the coriander oil around the plate and give an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper to finish.
HAVING A PARTY? This section of Crumbs is all about foodie celebrations with style. Could you do it better than Steve, or any of our other recent Supper Club hosts? If so, send venue pics and 50 words on why you’re the host with the most to: email@example.com
We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting. Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
Christmas menu out now PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION
Our three course festive menu £25
Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk
The Green, Biddestone, Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7DG Tel: 01249 714377
Kelly will provide you a German kitchen that is beautiful not just to look at, but to be in. Kelly-marie Hicks, head designer at Homemaker Bath, has inspired so many clients over the last ten years, most of which have come from word of mouth recommendations. She uses all the latest appliances, storage solutions and materials to suit you giving your kitchen a personal touch. Kelly also has a team who can do everything from building works to straight forward installations. Take the first step towards your dream kitchen, contact Kelly today.
8 Pulteney Terrace, Bath BA2 4HJ t 01225 481 881 e email@example.com
A designer and art director, Matt has been creating cookbooks for top chefs and food writers for 17 years, and has teamed up with some of the countryâ€™s best food photographers during that time. He lives in Bradford-on-Avon with his wife, two children, three cats and one dog. They have all had to suffer for his camera-phone art. Follow him on Instagram @matt_inwood, or check out his website, mattinwood.com
THE KNIVES From Robert Welch
SENSIBLE SALLY Signature Knife Starter Set £60 A limited edition set from Robert Welch’s award-winning Signature range, this one includes a vegetable knife and a cook’s knife. It might be the budget option, but these bits of stainless steel kit have been developed with kitchen pros to make them a dream to use, and have supersharp Japanese-style blades. FANCY NANCY Signature Compact Knife Block Set £170 This set (pictured top left p68) includes four knives from the Signature range (bread knife, cook’s knife, kitchen knife
and paring knife), and a pair of kitchen scissors. The solid oak block they come in will save you precious space and keep those badass blades protected. FLASHY FIONA Signature Knife Block Set with Sharpener £280 Six knives from that Signature range are included in this set, pictured below. Compared to the mid-range option, there’s an additional carving knife, serrated utility knife and an integrated ceramic wheel sharpener (fancy!) to keep those blades on-point (ahem). There’s also a magnetic strip in in each slot, which pulls the blade away from the block to avoid damage. robertwelch.com
HOT IN HERE Kitchen looking a bit tired? These local interior heroes can all hook you up with some hot cooking area updates – whether you’re on a budget, feeling a bit fancy, or doing a right splash with that cash….
Knives are a sound investment, especially these high-end ones from Robert Welch
Top: a traditional rustic oak worktop; bottom: a jazzy Dekton surface
THE WORKTOPS From Bath Bespoke
ECONOMICAL Oak £2,800* Bath Bespoke’s oak work surfaces (pictured top) are handmade by the team, who have seen the rustic finish, in particular, become really popular. BIT JAZZY Quartz-based stone £3,300* These kind of tough, resilient worktops (pictured top right on p68) use natural quartz to make them stand the test of time – as well as the test of spills, burns, and sneaky chopping on the worktop (no, we never do that either…). Silestone and Arenastone are two examples. DA BOMB Dekton £4,900* This is stuff (above) is the superhero of work surfaces. Proper high-tech processes are used to make this special material, which is resistant to pretty much everything – think scratches to fire, freezing to UV. It’s proper nails. bathbespoke.co.uk
*Prices are approx for a medium-sized kitchen, and include fitting but not VAT
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THE FITTINGS From Homemaker
SAVE Swan-neck Tap £99 Taps not at the top of the list of things you thought you needed for your kitchen? You’d be surprised how much of a difference updating these fittings can make. Bin off those old, stiff, water-marked ones, and replace them with this elegant but afforable number. Shiny…
The swan-neck tap above is an easy and affordable update for your kitchen sink, while the Quooker number below not only looks great but can pour boiling water, too
SPLURGE KWC Designer Swiss Tap £300 With its sleek, minamalist Scandi style, this tap (pictured on p68) has a proper designer look, and will help tidy up that sad sink area. You never know, it might even help encourage someone else to do the washing up for once... STUFF IT Quooker Hot Tap £1,300 Kettle, schmettle; this tap can pour out 100C water on demand. It’s no wonder that these are all the rage at the moment – think how many more cuppas you can fit into the day when you eliminate the time it takes to boil the water… myhomemaker.co.uk
TECHNO, TECHNO, TECHNO, TECHNO
And if you’ve got all the above covered, here are some new, state of the art additions your kitchen will love you for – all available from Hobsons Choice… Gaggenau Steam Combination Ovens from £2,800 Gaggenau Steam ovens (pictured on p68) allow food to maintain its moisture and nutrients during the cooking process. Now the producer has developed the technology to add sous-vide functionality, making it easier than ever to cook in this French method. Gaggenau 400 Series Vacuum Drawer £2,400 And to make sous-vide cookery even easier, there’s this jazzy drawer. Seal your meat, fish or veggies in a bag, whack it in here, press a few
buttons and it’ll suck all the air out. It’s not just for sous-verde cooking, though; it’s top-dollar for marinating and preserving food, too. Gaggenau Vario Series 400 Wine Cabinet from £5,350 This wine storage device (pictured opposite) will make sure your carefully chosen wine is done justice. It’s got super-accurate temperature control, and separate climate zones, meaning you can keep different varieties at their optimum temp. Swish, hey? hobsonschoice.uk.com
If you’re well into your tech, then this gear surely has a place in your kicthen
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Enough of squeezing around that slightly too small table whenever visiters drop by; invest in a large statement table instead
THE DINING TABLES
From Graham and Green
BARGAIN Hanging Soda Bottle Pendant £53.50 This aptly themed lamp will be a great fit in the kitchen; made of glass and aluminium, it’s quirkily styled on a vintage soda stream bottle. (Psst, and it’s down from £89 quid!)
BE REASONABLE Natural Oak Ohio Table £995 This sleek wooden dining table (above right) has a definite Nordic look about it – which is, like, so hot right now. Although particularly on-trend at the moment, it’s also pretty timeless, so this investment piece is never going to go out of style.
MID RANGE White Pendant With Rope £99 We love the style of this lamp (pictured on p68). The coated aluminum shade is suspended by an industrial-look metal hook and knotted rope, which gives it a cool, urban feel.
TREAT YO’SELF Provence Extending Table from £1,460 This bad boy (pictured on p68) is made from French oak, no less, and comes in a choice of sizes so you can make sure all the fam can fit around it. There are also different wood finishes, and you can choose whether you’d like it with a distressed or sleek look. MAKE IT RAIN Extending English Oak Table from £3,195 Handmade in Suffolk using English oak, this fine example of craftsmanship (pictured top left) can be made to order. It has two 18-inch extensions, which make it into a large oval for when you have a full house to feed. Grab the emergency chairs… rossitersofbath.com
SHOW OFF Mearle Copper Pendant £245 Copper is a big thing right now, and when it comes in a design as elegant as this, it’s no surprise. This large polished pendant combines polished metal with softer wood, for a balanced look and real designer feel. grahamandgreen.co.uk This bottle pendant is on sale at Graham and Green right now; snap it up while you can (we know you love a bargain)
TH E WA NT LI S T Brew like a pro, with these tea-time treats
1 PANTONE COFFEE MAKER, £29.95 You can get nine whole cups o’ Joe out of this beast. Find it at Bristol’s Howkapow. ✱ howkapow.com
2 HANNAH TURNER OWL COASTERS, £18.99 These super-cute coasters are so much better than water rings on your coffee table. Available online, direct from this Bristol designer. ✱ hannahturner.co.uk
3 BRISTOL BLUE FLORAL BREAKFAST CUP AND SAUCER, £18 We love the contrast between Bristol’s uber-cool scrawl and the classic floral design on this fine bone china set. It’s made and sold at Stokes Croft China. ✱ prscshop.co.uk 4 TEA TINS, £24 Keep loose leaves fresh in these stylish antique-inspired tins, modelled on an original Indian one that the Comins crew found in a vintage shop. Buy yours from the Bath teashop, or its website. ✱ cominstea.com
5 LINHAI TEAPOT, £37.95 This Marsala Red (2015’s Colour of the Year, we’ll we have you know) cast iron teapot has a removable filter for brewing loose leaf teas. Available online from Somerset-based tea specialist, Cup of Tea. ✱ cupoftea.co.uk
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Kitchen design studio in Bath, call for viewing appointments emersonliving creates stunning kitchens for you to cook, eat and live in. Everything we make is bespoke meaning you get exactly what you want to suit you and the way you live. Visit our website and download our free kitchen design guide or call us for a speculative chat about your kitchen dreams...
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We’re committed to supporting indigenous communities – such as the Peruvian tribe pictured – who grow coffee organically in pristine cloud forest. We’ve walked the mountains, met the tribe, cupped the coffee and bought their entire crop based on quality and taste. This amazing coffee is exclusive to easy josé. Available from November.
S P E C I A L I T Y C O F F E E | B A R I S TA T R A I N I N G | E S P R E S S O M A C H I N E R Y
Based at Hartley Farm, Winsley, Nr Bath BA15 2JB (by appointment only please) 01225 863109 firstname.lastname@example.org @easyjosecoffee easyjosecoffee.co.uk
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More than just another coffee company... Beans and Machines Ltd are your local supplier of the highest quality freshly roasted coffee and commercial coffee making equipment. From a traditional Italian espresso machine to a push button bean to cup, we will have a machine to suit your needs. If you are a new ‘start up’ or looking to make a change, contact Rob or Jane to discuss your requirements or to arrange a visit to our showroom for a demonstration and taste our superb coffee. Beans and Machines Ltd, Unit 32 Old Mills Industrial Estate, Paulton, Bristol BS39 7SU Tel: 01761 418882 • Mobile: 07531 819839 • Email: email@example.com
45 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2LS
Mains HOT INDUSTRY TOPICS, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AMAZING INNOVATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Highlights HOW DO YOU BREW? The latest developments on the thriving local tea and coffee scene Page 81
We hunt down the uber-biz Gill Meller for a chat, following the release of his debut solo cookbook Page 92
What’s the ‘in’ coffee of the moment? Check out what our local experts reckon
CITIES WORTH OF CAFFEINE To keep you going to the last page...
ThIS IS HOW We BreW Mains
When it comes to coffee and tea, more and more of us are looking for new and interesting experiences, whether it’s through a cuppa, a latte, or something more exotic, as Mark Taylor discovers crumbsmag.com
hether you are sipping one of the 165 million cups of tea brewed each day in the UK, or drinking one of our 70 million cups of coffee, the choice and quality of your preferred hot drink has never been bigger or better. Spend any amount of time talking to café owners, baristas,coffee roasters and tea blenders in the South West and it becomes immediately apparent that business is booming, but also that consumers increasingly know their stuff – and are willing to experiment.
“OUR CUSTOMERS LOVE learning about new tea types, and the stories behind different teas and ingredients,” says Krisi Smith, co-founder of Bluebird Tea Co, which opened its first Bristol ‘tea mixology store’ on Park Street during the summer, and sells over 70 loose leaf tea blends. “As tea mixologists, we are really passionate about creating new tastes and flavours with tea. It is one of the fastest growing areas of the tea market in the UK, and people are starting to realise just how versatile tea is and how tasty it can be.” For Rob and Michelle Comins, meanwhile, who run the Comins Tea House on Bath’s Monmouth Street, it’s a very different type of tea that is exciting both them and their customers. “We are seeing growing interest in single estate loose leaf teas and the culture surrounding un-blended teas,” says Rob. “Matcha (powdered Japanese green tea) continues to grow in popularity, but we are also seeing more interest in our range of oolong teas. “What people enjoy about them is the journey they take you on, through multiple infusions of the same leaf, and the subtle changes with each infusion. Rather than a quick fix, these teas offer a prolonged experience to be savoured over a longer period of time.”
Tea lovers are totally spoilt for choice in Bath and Bristol, with a variety of specialist blends as well as single estate brews available
At the vintage-styled Cox & Baloney tea room and bar in Bristol, tea blends such as the chocolate and coconutflavoured Sir Bountiful, and Ethel’s strawberries and cream tea, are proving so popular that owners Amy Cox and Joney McNamara are about to launch their own range of blends, with many customers looking for teas with healthgiving properties. Amy says: “We already have a lot of our healthy and wellbeing teas available, but on top of that we will also be introducing our mum and baby blends, and teas for children. Having been there ourselves with four children aged under five, we have used tea to help with all sorts of mum and baby issues, as well just as a healthy drink alternative to give them. “Our healthy and wellbeing blends are definitely growing in popularity, and people are realising that fruits and herbs can be used in so many different ways to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.” Simon and Christine Collins run Radstock-based online tea retailer Cup of Tea, which sources some of the finest loose leaf teas from estates in China, India, Sri Lanka and the rest of the world. Cup of Tea stocks more than 200 different teas and infusions, as well as tea pots and tea caddies, and it runs tastings three or four times a year, which is a
great way for people to explore different teas, and become more familiar with alternative styles and flavours. Simon says: “People can enjoy an afternoon of trying around 15 different teas from a variety of growing areas and terroirs. We finish up with some cake and sandwiches matched to the participants’ favourite tea of the day. These events are very popular, and sell out months in advance.” Bristol-based Canton Tea has just launched a new premium seasonal range of limited edition teas, which customers are snapping up online. Canton’s head of tea, Ali Evans, explains: “These are special, rare or even wild teas that we only buy in limited quantities. Highlights include Nepali Himalayan Black (a black tea from Nepal which tastes like chocolate, grapes and muscovado sugar) and the Wild Mountain Dragon Well, a Chinese green tea which is only harvested on one day a year from an abandoned tea field three hours walk up a mountain. “Our customers love that we have personal links with our suppliers, and are able to share those stories with them. “We don’t just want to sell tea,” Ali says. “We are also really keen to educate people about what it actually is, and how it is made.”
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Henny & Joe’s has approached tea in a unique way, in that it specialises in a syrup form of spicy Indian-style chai tea. Caffeine-free and made without artificial colourings, additives and preservatives, the chai syrup is used to make chai tea or latte, but is also used in cooking and for cocktails. “It’s a very interesting and exciting industry to be in right now,” says Ashley Bailey, director of the Bath company. “Trends have shown that black teas such as English breakfast and Earl Grey are on the decline, and that in the last five years they have deteriorated by as much as 10 percent. In contrast to that, green tea is very much on the rise and has seen a very impressive growth of 83 percent in just two years. But chai is where his real interest lies, he explains: “I love both the flavours and the history surrounding chai; its ancient royal roots and the fact that it’s been drunk for thousands of years – well before tea as we know it. “Chai is such a beautiful and delicate drink but it had, unfortunately, become rather Westernised since its popularisation on our shores. The chai powder used in most places was essentially made from artificial ingredients and the lengthy preparation slowed the speed of service, resulting in longer queues and wait times. “I wanted to be able to make it quicker, whilst still respecting the origins and flavours of chai. After 18 months of research and experimenting, I had the Henny & Joe’s product we sell today. I was able to produce something that was
quicker, tastier, and caffeine and allergen free. It seemed to tick all the boxes.” These same kinds of wellbeing benefits are one of the main reasons customers at Bedminster tearoom Margot May are ordering non-black teas with their sugar-free cakes and scones. Co-owner Jenny Smith, who runs it with Kate McKervey-Smith, says: “Two of our best-selling non-black teas are Little Buddha and Revitalising Rosehip & Berries, both of which are high in antioxidants and offer numerous health benefits. People want to live a healthier lifestyle and that seems to be driving the trend in more exotic blends of tea. One of our summer guest drinks was a snow buds peach and apricot white tea – it went down very well with our customers.” It’s a similar story at Park Street tearoom The Tea Birds, where owners Anna Ritchie and Jodie Johnson serve a range of traditional loose leaf brews, as well as more unusual drinks. Anna says: “Most people stick to what they know, but we have noticed people are starting to become a bit more adventurous and typically come back so that they can try a different tea from the menu each time. “Our Golden Dragon flowering tea is becoming increasingly popular. Customers enjoy watching it open into a beautiful flower in a glass teapot before drinking it – it’s a conversation piece and makes them remember their experience.” Rosie Marteau and Charles Grummitt are the co-founders of Bath-based Yuyo, which is a range of organic infusions inspired by South American drinking
herb yerba mate. Neither tea nor coffee, yerba mate is brewed from the leaves of a tree native to Argentina and Brazil, and is regarded as the world’s third (and least known) caffeinated drink. With a peppery, dry and lightly smoked flavour, yerba mate offers natural stimulation and health benefits thanks to its unique combination of caffeine, theobromine (the feel-good compound you find in cacao) and antioxidants. “Our products definitely fit into the wider wellbeing trend,” says Rosie. “But it has never been our primary aim to sell solely on health benefits – we care about provenance, flavour and creating new hot drink experiences. People do occasionally ask about the antioxidant content, metabolism-boosting and appetite-suppressing qualities of yerba mate, but it isn’t the main reason they go on to become customers – taste and quality always win out, with health benefits a helpful bonus. “There are still some massive misconceptions, with people not realising that both green and black tea are the product of one plant, camellia sinensis, and that all other infusions are just that, infusions.” Whether it’s black, white or green, there is a real buzz around tea at the moment, according to Julie CroftsMitchell of independent, loose leaf tea company Tea Lab. This company’s focus is on not only offering a great tea experience, but also helping customers with a ‘no-nonsense approach’, relating to the health benefits of loose leaf teas. “A cultural shift in tea drinking is underway,” says Julie. “People love variety and new experiences, and customers are discovering and enjoying the new flavours and tea blends along with the quality experiences that loose leaf can offer. A renewed popularity in afternoon tea is further encouraging this trend for quality, and tea-infused flavours used as botanicals are becoming popular in recipes and cocktails. “Embracing the flavours of other cultures is always exciting, and the use of ingredients like lemongrass and edible flowers to enhance tea visually and health-wise is an exciting area. “There is a crossover trend for ingredients that are not traditionally expected to be used creatively in teas, which is helping tea to begin to equal its always-in-fashion neighbour, coffee, in the trend stakes…”
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SPEAKING OF WHICH, when it comes to the local coffee scene, Andrew Tucker is widely regarded by his peers as King Bean Head. Originally at Boston Tea Party, where he was the café chain’s first head of coffee, he now holds the same post (along with business development) at Avonmouth-based Clifton Coffee Roasters – one of the most successful and prominent roasters here in the South West. “Outside of London, Bristol and Manchester are probably the two most developed coffee markets in the UK right now,” says Andrew. “A few shops have definitely affected the coffee landscape here for the better, and
changed people’s perception of what good coffee should be about. “The work that Mat North (owner of Full Court Press in Bristol’s Broad Street) is doing to promote the UK Barista Championships – with the South West regional heats held in Bristol – has also had a positive impact on the scene here. But there is still plenty of room for people to push the market, challenge perception and do things differently. We are still a small city by population, however, so there’s an element of competition that is healthier than ever.” As somebody on the frontline of Bristol and Bath’s ever-improving scene, Andrew is as well placed as anybody to identify coffee trends in the region.
Our experts reckon customers are more willing than ever to cough up extra cash for a really good quality cuppa
“From the consumers’ perspective I guess everyone’s still talking about cold brew, but we’re still yet to see any real activity or movement behind this as, for the most part, this country is cold, and few people on the high street really understand it. “One of the great things about Bristol specifically is the collaborative nature of many of the food and drink businesses that operate within it. For example, we’ve made coffee beers with Moor Brewery, Wild Beer and Arbor – as well as coffee-based liquor with local gin makers Psychopomp Distillery. There’s an energy among most of us to work together rather than against each other. “One of the things we’re all excited to see develop in the future is the introduction of good coffee to the pod and capsule concept. I know Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (of Colonna and Small’s in Bath) has made some amazing progress with that process, and I don’t think it will be long before we see a fairly seismic shift in the quality of what people are drinking at home through their capsule machines. “People are happy to spend more on coffee provided they can taste or understand the relation to quality – as they have been doing, for the most part, in the wine industry for decades. “We’re not yet quite at the point where people will happily fork out five pounds for a naturally processed Kenyan espresso all day long (despite that actually being exceptionally good value for what it is), but people are willing to try, and they are beginning to
New Zealand inspired, Italian trained, Bristol roasted Creating great coffees, for wholesale or home, with our lovely vintage Probat roaster.
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understand the pricing mechanism. At Clifton Coffee we sell more coffee now at over £20 per kilo than ever before.” Saskia Falconer agrees. She runs the independent coffee roasters Little & Long from a small roastery in Kingswood. Trained in Italy, New Zealand-born Saskia’s hand-roasted coffees appear in a number of cafés and restaurants in the area, and she says customers are becoming more and more interested in where their coffee comes from, and the stories behind it. “They are looking less for certifications, and are more interested in the provenance and people behind the beans,” she says. “It is fantastic that people are interested and willing to pay for a traceable product to ensure the money flows through the chain to the farmers, without whom we couldn’t be making such great coffee. “People are also starting, much more, to have different coffees for different times of the day and moods. It is exciting to have conversations with people around what they are going to use the coffee for, and when they are going to drink it. They want something different for Sunday morning, with the papers, to the ‘get you going for work’ coffee. People are interested in the different flavour profiles and using them to their best advantage – both with brew methods and thinking about the use and timing of their drinking.” Indeed, it’s not just about the ‘what’, but also the ‘how’: over at Roasted Rituals in Hengrove, which also owns Tradewind Espresso on Whiteladies Road, roaster and barista Courtney Taylor-Jackson says an increasing number of people are choosing different methods to make coffee at home.
Things are hotting up in the cold brew market, we’re told...
Origin’s Joshua Tarlo tries out various different brews in Central America
“I think people are always interested in trying new ways to brew. Aeropress is showing a big presence in domestic scenarios lately; also, we’ve definitely noticed the cold brew scene coming on strong in the last 12 months or so. That said, I doubt that the classic espresso intensity will ever take a back seat! “Coffee trends are always changing. We’ve noticed a move towards cleanertasting coffee, with balance and sweetness at the top of the list. Crazy, funky flavours are still in demand, but I think, as people’s palates evolve, you’ll see a steady move away from these kinds of characteristics.” Apart from “a main USP of having pink bags” (you don’t see coffee packaged like this every day) Eddie Twitchett at the Round Hill Roastery near Bath says it’s his simple, transparent approach that sets his business apart, and beats off competition from huge national coffee roasters.
“We are fully independent, and all coffees are currently from single farms or single co-operatives. Provenance or traceability is the main part of what we do; this is partly because it’s what the consumer demands, but also for our own knowledge. Our retail customers enjoy great variety, as we offer different lots, farms and processes. This month, for example, I am so happy to be receiving the second harvest of Mitaca from Colombia, and I was lucky enough to visit some of the farms we buy from.” Launched in 1970 and still family run, Wogan Coffee is a veritable veteran of the local scene, and has seen this interest in provenance rise in recent years. “Bristol and Bath is outstanding for artisan coffee at the moment,” says Claire Wogan. “We have been roasting speciality grade coffee for over 45 years, and have seen not the actual coffee change, but the quest for knowledge and discovery has definitely increased, which has led to more cafés profiling these stories and top restaurants putting extra effort into coffee as the final course. “One of our best sellers currently is our Direct Trade offering, La Bastilla from Nicaragua. We have been buying directly from this estate for over five years, and it’s always outstanding.” Jose Melim, co-founder of Easy Jose Coffee, is currently waiting for his first shipment of coffee from an indigenous Peruvian tribe to land at his roastery near Bath – it’s another example of how roasters are forging links with growers. “I was lucky enough to spend some time with this tribal community
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earlier this year and, having tasted the quality of the coffee being produced, we decided to commit to buying the tribe’s entire coffee harvest. “This is so exciting for Easy Jose and our clients, as the coffee is extremely high quality. The production is organic from a pristine wilderness environment, and we get to commit to supporting the tribe as they trial new processing methods in the pursuit of attaining everhigher-quality coffee. “Hopefully this is the start of a very precious long term relationship, as we were the first Westerners to meet the tribe. We just feel so very privileged to be in this position.” Launched in 2007 as a mobile coffee cart, Extract Coffee Roasters in St Werburghs now supplies countless cafés and restaurants across the UK. This autumn sees Extract launch its new Strongman Espresso in support of the Movember Foundation. Lee Bolam says this year it’s a single origin from Honduras with sweet vanilla, macadamia and biscuit notes. “Our vision is to provide world-class coffee that will be a part of your daily life, and coffee that is accessible. From the morning ritual, to catching up with a friend, if we can make these moments in our day great, and if we succeed in passing this greatness on to others, we can be proud to call it what we do. “We love Bristol and its connection to fantastic coffee. It’s a community of inspiring foodies, all of whom are supportive, innovative and loyal. With this strong community, speciality coffee continues to grow because the city loves to drink it. It’s great to be where people care about provenance, ethics and where average coffee sinks to the bottom fast.”
Dan Fellows from Origin was crowned 2016 UK Barista Champion
For Somerset roasters Miles Tea & Coffee, which has been a family business since 1888, it’s a ‘dazzling’ new range of packaging for its coffee that’s exciting the team in Porlock. Sam Burton says: “One of the major changes with the new coffee is a large investment in printing specialised packets for each of Miles’ best-selling ground coffees.” Miles also offers a range of speciality roasts with a variety of flavours and strengths to suit all their coffee drinkers. The latest coffee to launch is the Rich and Reviving blend (formally known as After Dinner) in time for the autumn. “The pack has a striking firework design reflecting the burst of the fresh coffee inside. The blend is a roast of Central American Arabica beans, roasted a little longer to develop a really deep, rich flavour.” Meanwhile, long-established Cornwall roasters Origin is making its presence known in Bristol and Bath cafés more than ever these days. As well as being served at Society Café in Bath, it will also be launching its own espresso bar in Bristol this month. “As a South West roaster, Bristol and Bath are definitely important areas for us,” says Grace Leith. “In late October we’ll be running our own espresso bar in Finisterre, the cold water surfing brand which opens its new store on Park Street. This is a really exciting new collaboration for us. “The key thing is that quality is increasing in every aspect of coffee – things that were once the domain of the commercial/commodity sector are being premiumised and re-worked for the
speciality market. For example, whereas cold coffee was once simply coffee over ice, we’re now seeing incredible direct trade cold brew – and coffee capsules are now being offered by speciality roasters.” One such roaster who has interest in that whole capsule affair that we touched on earlier is Will Little of Devon-based Roastworks. He says his range of Nespresso-compatible coffee pods are a great way for millions of consumers to interact and enjoy speciality coffee. “Up until recently we had absolutely no interest in Nespresso pods. We saw them as a poor-quality substitute for a proper espresso. The fact of the matter is, though, that there are millions of Nespresso machines in the UK, and even more worldwide. Sales of Nespresso and Nespresso-compatible pods are increasing by around 80 percent year on year. It’s the single largest growth area in consumer coffee. “In an ideal world, everyone would buy speciality-grade whole beans, own a grinder, and prepare fresh coffee at home. In reality, my utopian dream will never come true, but that’s okay. I admit that even I don’t have the time and commitment to make fresh coffee at home every day. This is where technologies such as Nespresso can really come in handy, providing it’s possible to increase the quality. “We started to experiment and we learned that by using speciality grade beans roasted correctly and ground using an EK43 (a fancy, and very precise grinder) we could radically improve the results. In fact, as we continued to tinker, the results were becoming more
Carla Swift, Spicer & Cole “Speciality tea and coffee has entered our homes, so when we visit coffee shops we now expect even more. As a result, more and more speciality tea and coffee houses are opening and thriving, which has raised the bar. We source our house coffee from Extract Coffee in Bristol but we also run a guest coffee programme, so work with other local roasters too.” Adam White, Tincan Coffee Co “In today’s market people expect – and deserve – to have information about their coffee available to them. There is increased awareness and interest in different brewing methods nowadays too, with so many great home brewing methods being used. People are more savvy and aware of their preferences, which leads to more informed, braver drink choices in cafés and coffee shops.” Katie Taylor, Grounded “There has been an increased interest in cold brew coffee in recent months, whereas with tea, we’ve seen a rise in demand for Japanese green tea.”
Tom Harrison, Café Lucca “Flat whites and soya milk are very popular at the moment, but I believe that a great Americano can’t be beaten for flavour and taste. When done correctly, it is a beautiful thing.”
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CALLED TO THE BAR What the baristas and café owners are saying…
Solmar Cataldi, Este Kitchen “Customers increasingly want to know there the coffee is from and that it has been fairly traded. At the moment, people are enjoying single origin coffee and old favourites like lattes and Americanos, as well as our cortado. As far as tea goes, there has been a lot of interest in loose leaf.”
Maria Davage, Blue Pig “Our main supplier is Clifton Coffee, but for our filter coffee, we tend to use other roasters from around the world so our customers can experience a variety. We’ve used beans from both Russia and Japan; I bought the latter back during my travels there.”
Lily Grist, At The Well “It was a big decision for us to forsake the espresso machine culture when we first opened in 2012, and we spent the first couple of years debating whether we had made the right choice. We stuck to our guns and I think it has really paid off. We serve all of our Extract coffees in cafetieres, each accompanied by a little egg timer to make sure you plunge your coffee in time for the perfect brew.”
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Chris Chubb, Little Victories and Small Street Espresso “Although it's been around for a few years now, cold brew coffee is getting more and more popular. Soon enough you will see it on the shelves at the supermarket. I think we'll be seeing bottled Cascara becoming more mainstream by next summer, too.”
James Hunter, Hunter & Sons “It “It’s very interesting watching our regular customers’ knowledge base increase the more they visit. You see someone after a long black or Americano become captivated by our filters. They slowly build up a portfolio of flavour and the variables that impact it, like how a Brazilian natural differs from an Ethiopian natural coffee.” Costas Kkolos, The Avenue “We have a broad range of customers and so have a varied customer profile; whilst a small percentage of our customers are ‘coffee purists’, the majority of our coffee drinkers are strong advocates of our coffee, the quality of the beans and the taste. In terms of hot drinks, the coffee-to-tea ratio is about 80/20.”
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and more staggering. The shots we were pulling were tasting sweet, the acidity was good, the finish balanced, and most importantly we were able to taste the unique characters in coffees. We realised that this could be a game changer – a genuinely decent brew method that allows the consumer to taste the coffee’s unique characteristics, imparted by growing region, varietal and processing. After all, that’s what we’ve been striving for since we began.” Of course, as we’ve already mentioned, the actual beans themselves are only part of the process of making a great cup... Launched in 2002, Coffee Arabica offers coffee workshops and coffee consultancy; Daisy Rollo travels to coffee plantations every year in order to develop a knowledge of the product, its farming, harvesting and exporting. The biz also runs a coffee school in Bristol, offering professional barista training. Daisy says: “In order to deliver quality with consistency, whether you are making coffee at home or in a speciality café, it is important to understand the science behind the perfect cup. “Coffee is a raw natural product which will be extracted following methods and recipes which will variate depending on its origin, roast and blend recipe. Training is key to succeed in any business, and an understanding of the product – and how to work with it – will allow you to both troubleshoot and constantly strive for perfection. “We have seen an increase of people attending our brewing and sensory courses at Coffea Arabica School for two reasons. Firstly, people are now aware of the quality in single origin coffees and want to know more about brewing it. Secondly, not everyone as access to an espresso machine at home, so for as little as £100 it is possible to buy great equipment such as Chemex, Aeropress and hand grinders, giving you the opportunity to deliver great coffee yourself, in your own kitchen. “The growth of the speciality coffee market in Bristol and Bath is great: in the space of seven years we have seen some of the UK’s best coffee shops open here. Bristol and Bath are now on the map as being two of the best places after London to sample great coffees delivered by professional baristas, using local speciality coffee roasters. We can be really proud of this.”
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G RILLE D THE CRUMBS INTERVIEW
As this chef, author, cookery teacher, food stylist [inhale] and TV figure prepares to make the journey up the M5 to our neck of the woods, we chat to him about his brand new book
GILL MELLER Words by JESSICA CARTER
a s a mainstay of River Cottage (he’s been working with Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall since 2003), Gill’s had a hand in the publication of a pretty decent number of books; think the last eight major River Cottage volumes, as well as River Cottage A-Z and Pigs & Pork in the handbook series. Now, though, he’s gone lone wolf and penned the first recipe book of his very own: Gather. “I thought it would be a lovely idea to build a cookbook around a collection of food-producing landscapes,” he tells us. “Visually, I knew it would be exciting, and I felt I could connect with these places and the ingredients we get from them. It’s good to remember the connection we have with our landscapes, and how important they are to us.” Thus, the book is made up of chapters such as Garden, Harbour, Woodland and Moor, each focusing on the unique bounty that can be gathered from its own environment. In this way, the book feels primitive, the dishes refreshingly pared down. And this is exactly the way Gill likes his cookery. “Lots of the recipes are very simple – I like paring things back. Some of the simplest combinations are often the best, and I hope this comes across in Gather. Some of my favourite recipes in the book are no more than considered assemblies, consisting of just three or four different things that complement each other in the best ways. “My food is fairly simple, and it’s fresh. I also believe it’s generous and honest – I always want it to feel honest. I don’t like hiding behind the unnecessary.” So, despite all the knowledge and skill this chef has built up over his long career – he started cooking when he was 18 – you can put all thoughts of fancy techniques and faffery out of your head. These elegant but assertively no-nonsense recipes are rooted in nature and its seasons, and have no interest in the complicated or high maintenance. After all, that’s how Gill cooks himself.
“I’m inspired by the ingredients I use, and influenced by the people who produce them,” he says. “Seasonality defines how I cook; it gives my food reason. I find it helps to be reactive too, so when I cook I like to think on the spot, and quite often I will come up with new combinations I hadn’t thought of before. I find creating something without any preconceived ideas very rewarding and satisfying, and with seasonal cooking sometimes you have to be like that. “It’s important to me to source good ingredients, produced, farmed, picked or caught by people who really care about what they do and the environment around them. “I think, as a society, we should try and eat a healthier, more sustainable diet. We consume far too much processed meat, wheat and sugar, and it really is having a massive impact.” Responsibly chosen and unprocessed ingredients, along with an emphasis on plant-based foods is the way forward, reckons Gill. But that definitely doesn’t mean the book is a meat-free zone. There are recipes using all kinds of meats, from rabbit to partridge, wild boar to squirrel, as well as the usual butcher and fishmonger staples. What matters most to this conscientious chef is our understanding of that food – the responsible choices will then follow. This is precisely why it’s 12 years and counting that he’s been a part of River Cottage’s endeavours – they share the same ethos. “River Cottage is an educational business,” he says. “We teach people about food. I believe the more we know about food and the ingredients we cook, the more informed our decisions will be about what we eat – which will ultimately be good for our health and wellbeing.” And this collaboration that’s proved so successful and valuable for both River Cottage and it’s followers came about by total chance, would you believe... “I first met Hugh in 2003 at a party; he was sat next to me on a hay bale in a yurt. I introduced myself, and we talked about food and cooking. Several weeks later he called me and asked if I would be interested in helping him out with a few things. That was the beginning.” As a fellow West Country resident, Gill is particularly enthusiastic about the landscapes we have in this fine patch of the country, and the ingredients they proffer – an excitement that’s clearly evident in his writing in Gather.
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This slow-cooked bacon and cuttlefish casserole, and raw tomato salad, display the variety of ingredients and seasons covered in Gill’s book
The South West is a particularly lucky area, because of the wide range of produce in its natural larder, he thinks. “The food producing landscapes are diverse and varied here. Agriculture is important in the South West; crops and livestock are central to the economy, so big areas of the landscape are given over to this. There are lots of fruit and vegetables grown in the area, too – the weather and soil must be partly to thank for this. “The coast stretches the length of the South West, and there are wonderful beaches and healthy fisheries. We have some of the finest seafood I know. We also have swathes of moorland and woodland – these managed habitats are full of promise. “What’s more, there’s a whole host of wild foods to be found in all of these places. I find that particularly exciting.” So what about right now? What local wild foods should we be getting all hyped up about for this autumn and winter? “I love damsons; I make jam, ice cream and tarts with them. I love leeks, pumpkins and mushrooms, too – in fact, I could use all three of these in a big barley salad and be very content. “Last year I made lots of warming split pea dal. I’d quite often serve it with poached eggs, fresh chilli, yoghurt, coriander and spring onions.” In Gather, Gill has put all such inspiration on paper, meaning that we can cook in time with the seasons, getting the most out of what’s readily and ethically available, not to mention at its best-tasting. And, as home cooks, that makes our job a heck of a lot easier, no? Gill reckons so. “Cooking isn’t the most important thing about being a chef: understanding food is. The cooking is simply the last thing we do before we eat it.” ✱ Catch Gill at River Cottage Canteen in Bristol for his one-off supper club on 4 October (more info at rivercottage.net), or at Topping & Company Booksellers in Bath on 3 November (tickets available at toppingbooks.co.uk)
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THIS IS A very simple recipe for one of the most enjoyable pasta sauces I’ve ever eaten. Cook the rabbit slowly with smoked bacon, vegetables and herbs until it’s tender enough to come away from the bone with ease. Flake the meat, then return it to the sauce. It’s as rustic as you like, and perfect for a cold winter’s night. INGREDIENTS
400g type ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting good pinch of fine sea salt 4 eggs 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 6 thick rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons 2 celery sticks, trimmed and very finely diced 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 2 bay leaves 6 sprigs thyme 1 sprig rosemary 1 wild rabbit, jointed 500ml chicken or vegetable stock METHOD
– First make the pasta. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs. Use a fork to whisk the eggs and slowly start to incorporate the flour, a little at a time. When you have a soft dough, tip it out, along with any loose flour, onto a clean surface. Work the dough, stretching and folding it across your work surface for 8-10 minutes, until it is smooth and silky. Wrap in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. – Divide the dough in half and work each into a flattish rectangle in your hands. You can roll out the pasta using a large rolling pin (it’s hard work, but you’ll get there – go as thin as you can), but it’s easier using a pasta machine. Take one rectangle and pass it through the machine on its thickest setting a couple of times. Fold the dough into three, as if folding a letter and, still on the thickest setting, pass it through twice more (this gives the dough structure). Now, run the dough half through all the settings on the machine, from its thickest to its thinnest. Dust both sides of the pasta lightly with flour each time you roll. When you’ve got down to the thinnest setting, cut the pasta into long ribbons to make the pappardelle. I hang the lengths over the back of a chair while I roll and cut the remaining dough, as before. The pasta will dry quite quickly so if you don’t intend to cook it straight away, layer it up between sheets of cling film and keep it covered in the fridge. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the other dough half. – Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium casserole over a medium heat. When
Rabbit with pappardelle (SERVES 4)
it’s hot, add the lardons and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon has given up a little fat. Add the celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and rosemary sprigs. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to colour. – Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. When hot, add the rabbit pieces and season them all over with salt and pepper. Fry the rabbit for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until lovely and golden all over. Transfer the rabbit and any pan juices to the casserole of softening vegetables. Pour over the stock and bring up to a very gentle simmer. Place a lid on the casserole, leaving it just ajar, then cook on a low heat for 1-2 hours, or until the meat is completely tender and comes easily away from the bone. If the pan looks a little dry during cooking, add a splash more stock or water. – When the rabbit is ready, remove the casserole from the heat and use a pair of tongs to transfer the rabbit pieces to a large plate. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pick it off the bone in shards and shreds and add it back to the pan.
Stir everything well, and return the pan to the heat. Bring the sauce back up to a simmer and continue simmering until it has reached a consistency you’re happy with (I usually leave it bubbling away for about 15-20 minutes). When it’s ready, season to taste with salt and pepper. – Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water for 3-6 minutes, until cooked to your liking. Drain, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Place equal amounts of pasta on each of four plates, then spoon over generous amounts of the rabbit sauce. Serve straight away.
✱ Gather by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25); photography by Andrew Montgomery
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This month we’ve been to the new Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf (and scoffed a platter of top seafood); visited new board game bar Chance and Counters; popped over to the Sunday Project market; and chowed down at Abergavenny Food Fest…
There are endless ideas in our culinary Christmas gift guide
So, you think you’re not a dessert person? Think again!
MasterChef’s Larkin Cen on his Bristol venture
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Kitchenware stores to hit up this autumn
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Friday, 28 October
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Afters NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
Highlights NOT THE NORM
We visit Russell Norman’s new Bristol branch of Polpo Page 106
We, like, totally heart the decor in the ulta-cool Field Kitchen
PLAYING THE FIELD
Feasting at Glove Factory’s Field Kitchen restaurant Page 110
Is Bath’s Mint Room still one of our coolest curry houses? Page 112
dishes scoffed at Clifton’s new Ivy Brasserie...
( S W I S H N E W R E S TA U R A N T S )
THE IVY CLIFTON BRASSERIE Is this fancy new joint really worth all the hype, or is it just basking in glory borrowed from its swanky namesake? Jessica Carter finds out…
e’ve all got a bit of rebel in us, right? If people tell you enough times you should do something, you’ll do the exact opposite. I’ll admit to having this attitude about the new Ivy Brasserie in Clifton. With its lovely location – and, y’know, associations with the actual Ivy (although in this it’s not unique, as there are already other Brasseries dotted around London, and more to come outside of it) – it was a foregone conclusion that, for a lot of people, a meal here was something to be excited about. Yet I was… Well, let’s not say sceptical, but instead go for intrigued. I took my open mind along for dinner. The setting is gorgeous; The Ivy has done a sterling job with its new home, a former bank in Clifton. There’s plenty of original character, thanks to handsome wood panelling, tiled floors, detailed cornicing, and arched, floor-to-ceiling windows. And that’s not to mention the mirrors, chandeliers, paintings, huge flower arrangements and leather seating that elevate the elegant space to nothing short of decadent. The conservatory at the back is flooded by light during the day, the bright, airy space making a top setting for morning coffee or breakfast, I imagine. In the evening, meanwhile, the entire dining area is dimly lit, moody and romantic. (Steady.)
We went on a Wednesday evening and it was packed out, although not uncomfortably so. There was a genuine buzz among diners, who were all suited and booted for dinner. While this is meant to be an informal all-day kind of joint, where you can (technically) rock up in your jeans/shorts/velour tracksuit as you wish, it’s nice to have the excuse to get dressed up, especially in Bris – the capital of casual. There are front of house staff a-plenty, so you get all the attention you need. They’re pros too, striking the balance between attentive and leaving-you-to-it, and communicating well as a team. We nibbled on truffle arancini (£5.50) to begin; the crisp, golden jackets containing plump grains of risotto rice in a smooth and gently flavoured sauce. Starters proper were steak tartare (£9.25) and tuna Carpaccio (£8.95). The steak was finely chopped, by hand, and punctuated with tangy cornichon. A thick topping of fresh parsley had a bigger part to play than just a garnish, and a bright egg yolk sat in the middle, oozing thick velvetiness onto the meat. With a little drizzle of Lea & Perrins to boost the seasoning, all was good. The tuna went down a treat, too. Melt-in-your-mouth in texture, the thin, soft slices of yellowfin were light and fresh, while spiced avo and a zigzag of lime crème fraiche gave zing. Next, was the shepherd’s pie (£13.50). Well, we had to, right? It’s a signature dish from the actual Ivy, after all. And, yeah, it was really, really good. A handsome-specimen, its topping
(smooth, buttery mash, rich with Cheddar) hid a mound of tender lamb in a rich sauce. An excellent, boozy red wine jus was poured at the table, and our side of peas and sugar snaps (£3.25) provided bursts of sweet relief. The sea trout (£15.95) was one of two specials for that evening, and came with pleasingly crisp, brittle skin. Soft and fleshy, it was best in the middle where it was cooked the least. It sat on a bed of samphire in a pool of shrimp velouté, which added moisture, and seasoning in its saltiness. A side of green beans with toasted almonds (£3.75) was nice and earthy against the seafood flavours. Dessert presented itself as a chocolate bomb (£8.50), whose golden chocolate shell collapsed into itself once the warm, salted caramel sauce was poured over, creating a pudding with rich notes and a variety of textures. There was also a tangy lemon meringue Alaska (£7.25) with tiny, delicate leaves of fresh basil. The meal was pretty faultless. Okay, so as just a branch of a rather large tree, the Brasserie might lack local influence in the food and drink, and it is a wee bit pricey – you have to order sides seperately for a lot of the meals, which come in elegantly petite portions. But taking the standard of food and service we had into account, as well as the setting and the sense of occasion it created, we reckon it’s worth it. ✱ THE IVY CLIFTON BRASSERIE, 42-44 Caledonia Place, Bristol BS8 4DN; 01172 034 555; theivycliftonbrasserie.com
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( BRILLIANT BRISTOL NEWCOMERS )
Jessica Carter sees how the Italian small plates from this Soho-born gaff are going down out West... 1 06
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here’s a whole heap of ways you could describe Polpo: an Italian; a small-plate restaurant; a wine bar; an allday diner; a Venetian-style bacaro; a – gasp – chain. And, while all of these descriptions are correct, none of them quite do the job on their own. Inspired by the casual, rustic hangouts of Venice, Polpo began life on Soho’s Beak Street seven years ago, in – get this – the former digs of a Venetian painter (coincidence?). There are now eight venues and plans for more (including whispers of potential extra helpings on this very patch – but you didn’t hear it from us). All the restaurants share the same menu, but each has its own head chef and kitchen team, who make everything from scratch, onsite. Located in a former Greek eatery on Whiteladies Road, near Ruby & White butchers, the new Bristol Polpo definitely looks the part (think a thoughtful balance of elegant and shabby, with salvaged underground tiles, dark red leather benches, wooden floors, and handkerchief lampshades), and feels right at home in Bristol’s oh-so-smasual dining scene. Liquid refreshments comprise a varied but sensible number of Italian wines, as well as three varieties of Prosecco, cocktails (including Spritz, obvs) and a token beer (no prizes for guessing it’s Birra Moretti). Polpo’s ownlabel wine is really decent – although you are looking at seven quid for a glass, which is perhaps a bit more than the norm for a house vino in these parts. Food-wise, first along were deep fried olives (£3), filled with anchovy, garlic and Parmesan. Totally moreish in their tangy saltiness and crisp outer layer, they aced their good-first-impression mission. Other snacks, or ‘cicheti’ if you’re going to be all Venetian about it, include Arancini, baby octopuses, and coppa and peperonata crostini – all at a fiver or under. The main dishes are organised into pizzette, bread, meatballs, fish, meat and veg – the pricier end of the small-plate spectrum reaching £10. We tried a pizzette (‘mini pizza’ in regular speak) topped with white anchovies and mozzarella (£7). The anchovies were delicate in flavour, so avoided
overpowering the subtly smokey cheese. From the bread section came heritage tomato bruschetta (£8). It proved far greater than the simple sum of its parts – like Italian food so often does – meaning the quality of the ingredients really showed. The colourful tomatoes had subtle differences in flavour and texture, while the griddled, oiled bread was wonderfully thick and chewy. Meatballs came in the form of three lean lamb and pistachio spheres (£7), all smothered with a simple, fresh-tasting tomato sauce. The texture was bang-on; moist but not greasy, they held together well without being too dense. Chickpea, spinach and ricotta is the veggie option in this section of the menu, and you can have any meatballs with spaghetti for £9 if you’re a confident carb-loader. Loitering in the fish section are the likes of octopus carpaccio with fennel and chilli (£8), braised scallops with pancetta and peas (£9), and chilli and garlic prawns (£7). We tried the latter. While the flavour was there, the texture was a little sombre and rubbery, really – having spent too long over the heat on this particular occasion, I’d imagine. The fried gnocchi (£6), conversely, was blinding. The small, silky lumps of potato were light and well-seasoned, while the rainbow chard pesto was punchy with garlic, layered with flavour and complemented by mild pecorino. Lastly, a tangle of fresh, homemade parpadelle ribbons came coated in a rabbit and pancetta ragu (£9). The meat
was soft and tender, and the pasta gave just the right amount of chew. For dessert, the tiramisu pot (£5) was fresh and light – an example of the Italian staple done particularly well. The affogato (£4) went down just as well, the coffee adding a moreish bitterness to the delicately sweet scoop of ice cream. The service was friendly and casual but still profesh, lending itself to the cool, buzzy atmosphere. This place feels right at home in Bristol, despite the slightly steeper-thanusual prices (it’s advised that you order two or three dishes per person, which could easily add up). That said, the chefs are hardly stingy on portions, and the quality of ingredients is up there. In keeping with its cool and casual character, it’s walk-ins only here – no reservations. I definitely think, though, you’ll find it worth your while swinging by to check it out for yourself. ✱ POLPO, 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH; 0117 973 3100; polpo.co.uk
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“The food has a really authentic edge”
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( HIDDEN GEMS )
THE FIELD KITCHEN Mark Taylor heads to Glove Factory Studios to check out the creative hub’s food offering
or more than 150 years, this striking building in Holt was home to J & T Beaven, a tannery that made chamois leather and gloves, including the soft leather gloves worn by Spitfire fighter pilots. By the 1920s, more than 150 local people worked at Beaven’s, after which there was a gradual dip in production as leather gloves slowly went out of fashion. Fast forward to 2016, and there is a similar number of people working at the Glove Factory – but there are no glove makers or tanners. These days, it’s a vibrant hub of small independent businesses and creatives, from top-
drawer architects and video production companies to textile designers and a gardener with royal credentials. It’s all thanks to the vision of sculptor and property developer Nick Kirkham and former Bath Spa University design graduate Alix Paver. Having both run successful operations in London before relocating to Wiltshire, they were looking for a change of lifestyle and to create a vibrant cultural hub for similar small businesses who didn’t want to work in faceless and dreary office blocks. Set in 32 acres of lush Wiltshire countryside – including two lakes, one of which is being used for wild swimming – there are now 40 studios and businesses
working here. Between the studios, there is a courtyard with galvanised zinc troughs and planters used to grow produce – apples, rhubarb, courgettes, soft fruits – for the Field Kitchen, the light and airy café and restaurant, managed by Ed May and Katie Watson and frequented by people working at the Glove Factory as well as members of the public, seven days a week. With its polished concrete floor, carefully sourced furniture (vintage leather sofas, Ercol chairs and so on), retro factory lamps and open-plan kitchen, it has an industrial, utilitarian look with long, communal tables and bicycles hanging from the white corrugated metal ceiling. On the counter, there are bowls of the day’s salads – on this visit, they included roasted beetroot and apple; pea, mint, feta and lemon; and spiced red cabbage and lentil – and heavy wooden boards groaning with homemade cakes and slices, including chocolate peanut squares, lemon drizzle and flapjacks. As well as a canteen for those working at the Glove Factory and a destination for locals from the village, the Field Kitchen is popular with cyclists and walkers, as well as visitors to nearby National Trust properties. The menu is broken down into breakfasts (served from 8am-11am), smaller plates (from 11am) and ‘big plates’ served from midday until 3pm. There is also a short pizza menu with three options, priced from £9.50. The kitchen is run by chefs John Hornsey (who used to work for Tom
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Kerridge at the two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers) and Alex Collins, who previously worked at The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna. Not that the food here is fancy-pants Michelin-star cooking. It’s simple, rustic and sensibly priced, with no dish over £11.50 (apart from the £16.50 sharing board), and most meals giving change out of a tenner. There is also plenty of local produce on the menu, from fruit supplied by one villager’s garden (her plums had just been made into chutney) to the meat in the pork pie (supplied by Cameron Norton, the Devizes-based Pig Farmer of the Year) and the Box Steam Brewery beers, brewed in the village.
Apart from the pork pie and homemade sausage rolls, it’s all pretty healthy stuff, too. There’s salmon with heritage carrots, lentils, watercress and salsa verde (£11.50); smashed avocado, toasted ciabatta, poached eggs and confit tomatoes (£9); and artichoke and mushroom pizza (£10). My superfood salad (£9.50) was a mountain of wellbeing and nutrition, a teetering heap of crunchy tenderstem broccoli, chopped asparagus, peas, pea shoots, shredded raw kale, assorted seeds and quinoa, which had soaked up the zesty ginger and lime dressing. I followed it with a far less healthy slab of Bakewell tart (£3.50) that boasted
the crispest, butteriest pastry and a moist, almondy filling. You really don’t expect to find something like the Glove Factory squirrelled away down a leafy lane in a tranquil Wiltshire village like Holt. As workspaces go, this creative hub is as far removed from anonymous office blocks as you can get and, for those not lucky enough to work there, the food is well worth the detour.
✱ THE FIELD KITCHEN Glove Factory Studios, Brook Lane, Holt, Wiltshire, BA14 6RL; 01225 784081; thefieldkitchen.com
( INTRIGUING INDIANS )
THE MINT ROOM, BATH An old faithful on the Bath dining scene, if a little unobvious in terms of location, this place certainly ain’t your average Indian, says Jessica Carter
o, in the spirit of not beating around the bush, we went to Bath’s Mint Room and had a really, really good meal. There are two Mint Rooms – Bath, the original, and a Bristol branch that opened more recently – but each is pretty independent from the other.
The building on Lower Bristol Road doesn’t scream elegant, contemporary grub; driving down the main drag you’re unlikely – if you didn’t already know what’s inside – to even spot it, yet alone be compelled to pull over (tricky in itself on that stretch). That’s why it’s vital you realise how on-point the food is.
If you’re going a la carte, then expect the likes of tempura prawn and panfried scallop in a coconut, cumin and fenugreek sauce (£9.95), or marinated lamb neck fillet, roasted and smoked on charcoal and served with clarified butter and cloves (£7.95), to kick off. Sure, if you wanted to you could have a more familiar main – think jalfrezi, dhansak, makhani (all £11.95) et al – but the lesser-spotted likes of pot-roasted masala lamb shank (£17.95), palak kofta – spinach and onion dumpling in a tomato and cashew nut sauce (£11.95), or smoked Tawa duck (£15.95) will do their best to tempt you away from your usual order. The guys here have been working with a wine expert lately too, so expect some great matches for certain plates. The Mint Room specialises in regional dishes from all over the subcontinent, and brings it all together by way of a vast tasting menu (£55, or £70 with wine flight). This is pretty fluid – some dishes had even changed since the menu was
printed – but makes the most of what the chef thinks are his best ingredients at the time. Street food comes first, with dishes inspired by the snacks served up in busy Indian cities at markets. From the flavours to the way they’re presented, they’re unfamiliar in many respects. First came pan puri – a flute of tamarind water had a pastry puffball balanced on top, which itself was stuffed with a spicy filling of potato, chickpea and pomegranate seed. Not what was expected, but all the better for it. The bhel puri was Mint Room’s take on Bombay mix, with puffed rice and toasted peanuts. Crisp, crunchy and chewy in equal measure, it balanced earthy nuttiness with the sweet and sour notes of pomegranate seeds and tamarind water – both prominent ingredient in these Dehli street foods. A muddle of onion bhaji pieces, chickpeas and potatoes made up the moreish aloo papadi chat, which was dressed with cool yoghurt and tamarind.
Roadside café-inspired dishes included a particularly memorable marinated lamb and salmon number. The meats had been slow-cooked in the clay oven and were served with thoughtful sauces of creamy, almost sweet, mustard, and mint and beetroot. Crisp shards of apple were an imaginative addition, cutting through the delicate textures and creamy flavour, while the tender flesh carried a balanced mixture of warming spices. Southern India is to thank for a number of main courses, like the Keralan sea bass moilee. It turned up the heat with a fresh fillet, gleaming white inside, sat in a coconut milk sauce, humming with spice, courtesy of mustard seeds and chilli. The lamb biryani – native to the city of Hyderabad, we were told – was delicious. Succulent chunks of Somerset lamb hid among the mound of fragrant rice, which was concealed by a pastry lid and served with cooling riata. Yet another fave.
Chunks of local chicken, juicy and, again, pearly white, were smothered in a tomato sauce, where spices added depth as opposed to heat, to form the classic butter chicken. And so it continued, through endess (and endlessly intriguing) regional dishes, prepared with heaps of care and precision, and served with garlic and chilli naan that had a crisp, puffy crust and a good chew. A refreshing assembly of smoky roast pineapple with coconut ice cream, avo purée and kulfi ended the meal. Bath’s Mint Room is really impressive. The staff are knowledgeable about their authentic food and the stories behind it, and great work has been done putting together the complementary wines. Every dish felt light and tasted fresh: the chef clearly takes a lot of pride in his food, and so he should. ✱ MINT ROOM, Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB; 01225 446 656; themintroom.co.uk/bath
Little black book Sal Godfrey runs Twitter community Bath Indie Chat, so she’s well-versed on local independent food outfits… BEST BREW? Comins Tea House
ONE TO WATCH? Castle Farm Café. It’s perched on one of the hills overlooking the city, so has one of the best views in Bath. The food is hyper-local, with fruit and vegetables from the garden just outside the door, and loads of brilliant local suppliers on the meat-free menu.
SUNDAY LUNCH? For me, Cowshed has the best roast lunch in Bath. Not only are the meats fabulous, but the sides are exquisite too, especially the roast potatoes – a crucial component.
COMFORT FOOD? Rustico Bistro Italiano. When I want a really, really good bowl of pasta, I pop round the corner to this cosy little restaurant on Margaret’s Buildings. The menu is short (which I always love), authentic and full of great flavours.
exemplifies everything I want from a cup of tea; from wonderful flavour to tranquility and comfort. A cup of Silver Needle here, complete with its own little tea ceremony, is my favourite way to de-stress.
BREAKFAST? Boston Tea Party is an
Now add this little lot to your contacts book Comins Teahouse, Bath BA1 2AN; cominstea.com Cowshed, Bath BA1 5LS; cowshedrestaurants.com Boston Tea Party, Bath and Bristol; bostonteaparty.co.uk Hunter & Sons, Bath BA1 1BZ; hunter-sons.co.uk Confessional, Bath BA1 1BZ; confessionalbar.co.uk The Whole Bagel, Bath BA1 1RG; thewholebagel.co.uk The Marlborough Tavern, Bath BA1 2LY; marlborough-tavern.com Chapter One, Bath BA1 6PL; chapteronebath.co.uk Castle Farm Café, Bath BA2 7BU; castlefarmcafe.co.uk Rustico Bistro Italiano, Bath BA1 2LP; rusticobistroitaliano.co.uk Real Italian Pizza Co., Bath BA1 1NG; realitalianpizza.co.uk Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms, Bath BA1 2QP; beasvintagetearooms.com Novel Wines; novelwines.co.uk The Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS; royalcrescent.co.uk
independent that has managed to grow without compromising its values. Breakfast and brunch here are swoonworthy, from the brown rice porridge to the sourdough eggy bread.
QUICK PINT? Hunter & Sons. I used to think I didn’t like beer much, until these chaps introduced me to the everchanging selection of indie beers they have on tap. They really know their stuff, and the atmosphere is great. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? The Confessional
is a stylish clubhouse with an edge. The in-house creations are excellent.
WITH THE FAMILY? Real Italian Pizza
Co. When I think of family meals, I think of Italian. This restaurant spreads over several floors, but despite its size is always buzzing, and their delicious pizzas are the perfect thing to share in a big group.
SOMETHING SWEET? Bea’s Vintage
Tea Rooms. This is one of my favourite spots for afternoon tea in Bath; the cake selection is fabulous. I also have to mention their savoury afternoon tea menu too, which is excellent.
FAVOURITE WINE MERCHANT? ON THE GO? The Whole Bagel. Forget
sad supermarket sandwiches; when I want a quick lunch, I always hit up this place for a smoked salmon number. Gorgeous fresh ingredients, great value for money and speedy service.
ALFRESCO? The Marlborough Tavern. I think it has Bath’s best beer garden – a beautiful walled courtyard overhung with greenery, at the quiet end of town. HIDDEN GEM? Chapter One. It’s completely independent and very popular with the locals but, as it’s on London Road, not enough central Bathonians know it’s there.
Novel Wines. I’m really excited about what this brand new Bath-based online wine merchant has to offer. They sell a huge selection from all over the world. TOP SERVICE? The Royal Crescent – nowhere in Bath gives better service. Okay, it’s not somewhere you’d go every week, but when you do want to treat yourself, the friendly, knowledgeable staff here will wait on you hand and foot.