CRUMBS BATH & BRISTO L
KITCH EN E S TO SNAP UP SORI EGG-SE STH IS E A S T E R
A little slice of foodie heaven BU T L AL SM TY
NO.61 APRIL 2017
7 D O E SNT ER MATT COM E S
(W H EN I TCH EN S) TO K I
NO.61 APRIL 2017
OH YES, THEY CALL HIM THE LEEK
TASTIEST THING ON TWO FEET
FIND OUT MORE INSIDE!!
WORLD FA B DAIRY AND
GLUT EN-FRE E GOODIEs
R O CKI N ' RECIPEs F RO REGIOMN 'sTHBEE S COOK s T
G n i r p S s i h T
c r u m bs m ag . c o m
IT’S ALL LEEK TO ME
£3 where sold
I LLOW W & K C U D S! LU P M THE EATIN G RBOO O SHOP 3 ISTBERVI ZIT TO &
t i r e h n i t he Ea r t h
Whatdo veggiehate? sailors
FREAK OF THE LEEK IT’S NOT LIKE leeks are totally starved of the spotlight, is it? They’re one of the few British vegetables we have on the go all through the winter, so they get plenty of attention there. What’s more, there’s a whole day every year where people pin leeks to themselves or even dress up as them – they have St David, and the willing Welsh public, to thank for that exposure. Still, this old-faithful deserves the love. It’s really been there for us over the last few months, sticking around through the cold, wet and frosty weather – which is more than enough to put off most other edible greenery. No wonder the leek is such a comfort food, then. (Okay, it does help that it goes so well with cheese.) In fact, I have spent much of my adult life trying to recreate my ma’s leek and potato soup, to batch up and break out for when I’m feeling sorry for myself. It’s just not the same, though (why is that?), even when I do smother it with shameful amounts of punchy grated Cheddar. Anyway, we’ve not got long left of British leek season, so let’s celebrate it while we can – we reckon it’s more than worthy of our Hero accolade for this month. Speaking of receiving titles (tenuous link, but I’m too excited at this point to be any cleverer), we have a stonking announcement to make in this issue. I mean, I’m not going to tell you what it is – too easy – but it won’t be long before you spot it amongst these pages. We’re super chuffed and can’t wait to get stuck in, working with the area’s most prominent and exciting food businesses...
Jessica Carter, Editor email@example.com
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Table of Contents
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Wicky leeks 12 OPENINGS ETC Hot gossip, new chefs, and plenty more 22 LOCAVORE A South West producer going against the grain...
NO.61 April 2017
Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 34 New potato soup, by Steven Yates 38 Stuffed aubergine, by Darrin Hosegrove 40 Duo of fish, by Marc Russell 46 Mutton two ways, by Jamie Randall
53 SUPPER CLUB A community kitchen feast 64 MINNIE HOUSE How to get the most from your itsy bitsy, teeny weeny kitchen
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars
MAINS 81 FREE LOVE The rise of free-from fodder 94 GRILLED We talk to Joanna Blythman, ahead of her visit to Bath
10 Leek and Parmesan tart, by Riverford Organic 28 Spiced sea bass, by Catherine Phipps 60 Hazelnut and sour cream cake, by Claire Thompson
102 Shop 3 Bistro 106 The Eating Room 108 The Duck & Willow 112 Zitto & Bevi PLUS 114 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Local food entrepreneur James Courtney spills on his favourite hangouts
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
(26 MARCH) MOTHER’S DAY AFTERNOON TEA Treat ma to a traditional, Victorian-style afternoon tea in the first-class dining saloon aboard Brunel’s ss Great Britain; tickets £25 per adult, £15 per child. ✱ ssgreatbritain.org (30 MARCH) THE TEN (FOOD) COMMANDMENTS Restaurant critic Jay Rayner comes to the Redgrave Theatre for a comedy performance on culinary etiquette; tickets £17.50. ✱ redgravetheatre.com (1-30 APRIL) BRISTOL ON THE ROCKS A celebration of Bristol’s cocktail scene with events at bars all over the city; visit Foozie’s site for tickets. ✱ foozie.co.uk
c-words CLOTTED CREAM, COMEDY, COCKTAILS, CHOCOLATE AND COMMUNITY: THIS MONTH’S LINE UP OF LOCAL FOOD EVENTS HAS A BIT OF A THEME, DOES IT NOT?
(15-16 APRIL) TASTE CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL This two-day event will be held in the Bristol Harbour Hotel, and brings with it a range of chocolate-based events – plus more than 30 exhibitors; basic entry £4, tickets available online. ✱ tastechocolate.co.uk (21 APRIL) OTTOLENGHI POP-UP The team from this ace London eatery will be cooking a fundraising dinner in StoCro for the Coexist Community Kitchen; £60. ✱ hamiltonhouse.org
S T A R T E R S
L eeks THE WELSH ONCE USED TO STRAP THEM TO THEIR HEADS IN BATTLE – OR SO SOME SAY – BUT WE’VE BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH THE HOMELY LEEK…
here’s a great deal to be said for the leek, and much that can be done with it – few veggies are quite as versatile or accommodating – but to think of them as foolproof is foolish indeed. Raw, they’re only occasionally good – for even the youngest, smallest and most expensive baby leeks can be surprisingly harsh – and an undercooked leek is rarely much fun. When cooked, though, all harshness quickly disappears, leaving an aromatic flavour like the mildest, sweetest onion. And, treated right, they’ll jump through hoops for you, making the perfect base (alongside the likes of carrot, celery and onion) for stews, soups, bakes, tarts, sauces, casseroles, soufflés, pies and gratins galore. These things spend Christmas with the allium family – being close cousins to the onion, the garlic clove, the chive and the shallot – and buying them during the
winter-through-spring months is easy. Just look for roots that are fresh and white, bulbs that are firm and unblemished, and leaves that are a healthy bright green. The firm, white-and-light-green part that makes up maybe two-thirds of each leek’s length is what you’ll make most use of, as the tough, woody stalks at one end are useless – trim and bin – and the really leafy bits at the other are something of a specialist taste. (They do have their minor uses, though, working well stewed or in stocks, or perhaps as the wrap for a bouquet garni, one of those bundles of herbs you add to soups for flavour.) Prepping leeks is a doddle, too: you don’t need to do much beyond cleaning under a running tap, being sure to get into every cranny to remove the soil and sand that can lurk within. (There’s no ‘stem’ or ‘stalk’ here, by the way; what you’re looking at is just a tightly-rolled cylinder of bundled leaves.)
ow do we eat leeks? Well, a thick, warming soup is a classic – smooth and creamy leek and potato, perhaps, or some kind of vegetable broth – while two of the world’s most famous soups (the French crème vichyssoise and Scottish cock-a-leekie) are essentially leek-based. But leeks work well in all sorts of other warming, rustic fare too, from hotpots to shepherd’s pie, bakes to frittatas. Leek teams with the likes of onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms for a good veggie stock; steams easily (under 10 minutes if sliced, maybe 15 minutes if whole) to make a side dish; cooks slowly on a low heat in plenty of butter for Scottish favourite buttered leeks; and loves seafood as a plate companion: prawns, oysters, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab and whitefish all go well with it. (Also big leek fans: bacon, ham and most cheeses. Indeed, we adore a posh cheese on toast made with leeks and goat’s cheese.) As they’re full of vitamins A, K, and B6, plus manganese and the flavonoid kaempferol, leeks seem to be pretty good for you, too: though no wonder food, studies suggest an effectiveness against everything from heart disease to strokes.
Nero – who ruled in the years just after Christ – couldn’t get enough, believing them to improve the quality of his voice.) But back to Wales, where the leek has become a national emblem for reasons obscure. Some say it’s because that country’s patron saint, St David, loved them – when fasting, they were all he would apparently eat – while others reckon it’s because Welsh soldiers once wore them on their helmets, to distinguish them from their Saxon enemy, in some ancient battle. (A likely story, but there we go.) Whatever the reasons, leeks have been ‘Welsh’ for, like, forever – certainly, more than 500 years ago Shakespeare’s Henry V was referring to Welsh leekwearing as an already “ancient tradition” – making one of their classic recipes a great place to start if you’re looking to add more leek to your life. We’d suggest chicken and leek pie, or Welsh Rarebit with added leeks. Or just a nice bowl of cawl, where leeks, lamb and potatoes conspire to make one of the most warming comfort dishes known to man…
hough plentiful and trendy these days, leeks weren’t much used in mainstream British cuisine – outside of Wales, of course – for many years, only really coming back into favour in the latter half of the 20th century. (That said, in the history of the leek this is but a blip, as people worldwide have been eating them for centuries; certainly, the ancient Egyptians loved ’em, and Rome’s emperor
R E C I P E
BATH & B R I S TO L
LEEK and PaRMESaN TaRT
The secret of this little beauty lies in cooking the leeks long and slow, so they become sweetly caramelised. The rest takes no time at all, and you can exercise your imagination by adding extra toppings.
(SERVES 4- 6)
3-4 tbsp olive oil, or 50g butter 6 large leeks, washed, dried and thinly sliced bunch of thyme, tied with string 300g ready-rolled sheet of allbutter puff pastry 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian equivalent), finely grated METHOD
– Heat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Warm the oil or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on a low heat and add the leeks and thyme. – Slow-fry the leeks until they are very soft and starting to brown, a good 10-15 minutes. Cover the pan initially to help them sweat, then take off the lid halfway through so the liquid evaporates. Stir at intervals to stop them catching. Season with salt and pepper, then cool. – Meanwhile, lay out your pastry flat on a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until it has completely puffed up and is golden brown. (Remember to check that the underside of the pastry is cooked, too.) – Flatten the pastry back down by covering it evenly with the leek mixture, leaving a 5mm border around the edges. – Sprinkle with the Parmesan and any other toppings (see suggestions below), and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
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MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we supped a shellfish-flavoured Wild Beer brew (really!) at Small Bar’s launch of Bristol Craft Beer Festival, and tried the new Hyde & Co cocktail menu. Yum!
✱ This recipe was provided by the veg-tastic Riverford Organic. For more top do-ityourself dishes, visit riverford.co.uk/recipes
Experiment with extra toppings, just like a pizza: try anchovies, olives or different cheeses, such as mozzarella or goat's cheese.
For more details or to book call Bristol 01179 226699 Bath 01225 311232 KohThaiTapas
S T A R T E R S
St Pauls in Bristol has itself a new café and shop, doth it not? You’ll find Milk Teeth on Portland Square, in the premises of a former café-turnedmakeshift-office. It’s a crowdfunded venture by Josh Bowker – who’s worked at the likes of Boston Tea Party and Elemental on Gloucester Road – and will be serving casual café-style nosh made from a variety of local produce. Sarnies made with freshly delivered bread will be on offer, alongside colourful salads and Lovett Pies – and, as well as dropping in for a nice cup of (Extract) Joe and a snack, you can also pick up your groceries, as this joint stocks loads of the top products that it uses in the kitchen. Two birds, an’ all that... ✱ milkteethportlandsq.co.uk
Tickets are selling fast for Bristol’s Gin Festival, taking place 11-13 May. This travelling event, which sets up shop in several British cities throughout the year, sets out to celebrate the popular spirit, and showcase small and artisan producers. Plenty of grub will be served up alongside the tipples; there will be talks and masterclasses from gin pros; lots of distillers to chat to; and music performances will run throughout the weekend. This three-day event will be held at The Station (the former fire station in the city centre), with tickets priced just over a tenner.
The new BS5 Market has announced it’s here to stay for the next year, and will be popping up at St George Park on the first Sunday of every month throughout 2017. The market was conceived by two locals, Rachel Latham and Holly Chalmers, in a bid to showcase local producers in East Bristol. As well as stalls filled with the likes of locally-made cakes, beer and veg, you’ll find hot street food and drinks on offer, for you to enjoy out in the fresh air. This community-focused market will next be running on 2 April, between 10am and 2pm. ✱ facebook.com/BS5Market
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Openings etc Do you guys grow any of your own food? We have a vegetable patch at The Rose of Denmark; expect homegrown chillies, chard, herbs, beans, peas and whatever else the British climate will allow! And who are your favourite suppliers? We have an awesome local farm – Lye Cross – which provides the beef for our Sunday roast; it’s the best beef I’ve tasted, for sure.
Located in the Pacific Yoga centre – housed just across the river from Castle Park in Bristol – Café Matariki opened to the public in January, and will be right on a pedestrian thoroughfare when the new Finzels Reach bridge opens in April. Run by Janice Heskett, previously a cook at Kate’s Kitchen, the inclusive café aims to cater for everyone, with the everchanging menu including the likes of ‘Pacific Bowls’ (the café’s take on Buddha bowls), soups, sarnies and hot main meals. Meat comes from The Storey, with Janice favouring organic produce, although she tells us that flavour will always come first. Juices, smoothies, cakes and brownies are also on offer here, and the coffee comes from local biz Roasted Rituals. Although ethically-minded, this is a down to earth joint which welcomes all kinds of customers – from yoga-goers to office workers – and has plenty of options on hand for various dietary requirements, including plenty of cakes and sweet treats. ✱ pacificyoga.co.uk
The team behind cheese trailer The Whole Cheese has got its first permanent premises. The new venue, located in Frome, will stock craft beers and ciders, as well as wines and spirits to drink in or take away, and it’ll also feature a cheese counter, and serve an eat-in menu of cheese-inspired dishes. Look out for tastings and tap take-over evenings too, for a chance to try out a range of different produce. This deli-cum-café-cum-bar will run alongside the mobile business, which can still be hired for events. ✱ thewholecheese.co.uk
new Kid On the blOCK EY UP, PAUL BULLEN, AREN’T YOU THE NEW HEAD CHEF AT THE ROSE OF DENMARK?
So Paul, what inspired you to take up cooking professionally? Working as a kitchen porter; I loved the atmosphere in a busy kitchen. What part of your work gives you the most job satisfaction? Seeing a new, finalised dish leave the kitchen for the first time; that sense of pride is addictive. What’s the toughest job you’ve tackled so far? Hands down, it has to be Goldbrick House. That was so intense! Describe your personal style of cooking in three words. Honest, wholesome and flavourful. What can we expect of the food at The Rose now you’re at the helm? I intend to push vegetarian and vegan options, and cater for more dietary requirements. I’ve dined out with people who haven’t been able to eat a single thing off three different restaurant menus, and this is something we, as chefs, all need to address, in my opinion. Who do you work with in the kitchen? I was lucky to inherit three awesome and passionate chefs when I joined.
What makes the local food scene so great? For me, it’s the sheer variety; from street food to fine dining, Bristol has lots of small, independent business showing the big boys how it should really be done.
Fave local restaurants? I’m a massive fan of Flow in Bristol. The food is excellent, reasonably priced, and not pretentious. What kind of meals do you cook when you’re off the clock? A lot of one-pan curries, stews and casseroles. Lots of flavour, but minimal washing up! Favourite cookery book? I'm really liking Michael Caines At Home at the moment. I really enjoy all his various flavour combinations What’s your favourite flavour combo? I’m really enjoying using herbs in desserts and pastry right now. I created a rosemary treacle pudding recently, which I was super-proud of. Foodie heroes? Gary Rhodes, for sure. I’m always on the hunt in charity shops for his old cook books. Also, I’m a big fan of Rick Stein. His television show in the ’90s really got me excited about food and cooking. Finally, what’s the fondest foodie memory from your childhood? Cooking steamed bacon and onion pudding with my aunt. ✱ roseofdenmark.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
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@lucy__robin is all about the rhubarb and custard tarts
@nataliebrereton lunches @hartsbakery (we spy our mag!)
Devon burger joint Hubbox has started work on a new Bristol venue, over on Whiteladies Road. It’s taken over the former Las Iguanas near Clifton Down station, which is to be its sixth site. Already popular in Exeter, Truro and Plymouth, the award-winning restaurant is all about the burgers and hotdogs – alongside classic beef, chicken and veggie versions, there’s also fish (the Mack Daddy is a Cornish mackerel burger, with shredded beetroot and horseradish mayo). Craft beers, shakes, and Origin coffee will be on offer to wash it all down with, too. It’s aiming to open this spring, so we won’t have to wait long to check out this newcomer to the booming burger scene. ✱ hubbox.co.uk
Following the departure of well-known Bath chef and Crumbs columnist Chris Staines, The Abbey Hotel has announced who is to take over the helm in its kitchens (which includes that of Allium). It’s Rupert Taylor and – originally from Bath, as it goes – he has the likes of Whatley Manor, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck on his CV. Along with the new chef, guests can, of course, expect a brand new menu, focusing on the best of each season’s ingredients, and likely including new takes on some of Rupert’s signature creations, such as venison rolled in hay ash, and turbot with brown bread sauce and smoked mussels. ✱ abbeyhotelbath.co.uk
@fruitandveggirl starts the day right @bakersandco
@thedailyturmeric preps for a roast chicken lunch
Motherâ€™s Day SUN DAY 2 6 TH M A RCH
THE COTTAGE INN 01179 215256 Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6XG
THE LAMB HOTEL 01934 732253 The Square, Axbridge BS26 2AP
THE OLD RESTORATION 01242 522792 55-57 High Street, Cheltenham GL50 1DX
THE MILL AT RODE 01373 831100 Rode, Frome BA11 6AG
THE SWAN INN 01934 852371 Rowberrow, Winscombe BS25 1QL
THE PELICAN INN 01275 331777 10 South Parade, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8SL
THE WOOLPACK INN 01934 521670 Shepherds Way, St Georges, Westonsuper-Mare BS22 7XE
S T A R T E R S
What: Wholefoods and supplements Where: 9-11 Lower Redland Road, Bristol BS6 6TB; 0117 973 1967 When: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-4pm
This long-established Bristol health food shop was founded by a former space engineer (we kid you not!), Mike Abrahams. However, it was his wife, Loes, who was the driving force behind this launch, after initially dismissing Mike’s carefully balanced diet of organic wholefoods and fermented produce. “She was really sceptical of my macrobiotic diet,” Mike tells us, “so she started doing it, too – just to prove to me that it wouldn’t work!” Loes was eventually sold on this lifestyle, though, when she began to notice the good effects it was having on her, and in 1980 the couple quit their jobs to launch Wild Oats. The store has since then not only evolved in itself, but has also helped develop the local food landscape. “We, of course, stock available local
products, but we also actively encourage people to start producing,” Mike says, pointing out the fresh dolmades on display at the deli counter, which are made by a customer. “We try to enable local food businesses to get off the ground, and help with funding.” Inside, you’ll find areas of the shop dedicated to things like bread and fresh food, dairy, alcohol, and snacks, as well as more specialist ranges, such as free-from foods and cultured – or fermented – produce. At the back of the shop is an advice desk, always manned by a fully trained member of staff, on hand to help customers with their in-depth knowledge of food, diets and supplements. When it comes to the each foodie offering, there’s a clear focus on produce that’s natural, organic and ethical here. Everything from sustainability and provenance to packaging and health benefits are considered when choosing stock. The team are big on restrictive diets too, and have been well-prepped for their recent proliferation among the public. “The rise of intolerances was inevitable,” says Mike. “It’s not always the actual ingredient – wheat or dairy or whatever – that’s the primary problem, as a lot of it is because of what we do to it. Things are so processed now, and have been intensively farmed for so long, that their nutritional content has changed, meaning our bodies struggle to recognise them. “Bread used to be a fermented product, and so were pickles. Slow fermentation processes make food rich in healthy bacteria, which helps you maintain a stable acid-alkaline balance, and is fundamental to a healthy digestive system.” Now, though, shortcuts have been developed to make production speedy and logistically efficient. This may mean bad news for our gut – and, in turn, our bodies as a whole, when you consider how much the state of our innards affects us. “Professionals have known for a long time that mental health can be affected by the bacterial balance in the gut,” says Mike, “and now, thanks to recent tests, it’s being accepted as true.” ✱ woats.co.uk
Ask the waitress GIORGIA COSTANZELLI WORKS AS CHEF DE RANG AT THE JETTY
How long have you been in hospitality, then, Giorgia? It’s been five years now. What’s the best thing about your current job? Creating the hotel – it has been a pleasure to be part of the journey since the very beginning. And the most challenging part? Working around the builders who’ve been finishing our beautiful Gold Bar, spa and bedrooms. Pleased to say we have all areas open now, though. What sort of customers do you get? Everyone from business people to families, and just friends having a catch up. They’re very friendly! What are the best-selling dishes at the moment? Our mixed fish grill, including clams, prawns and mussels. What we call Jetty Bites are always a hit to start off the meal, too, or enjoy with a cocktail. What makes the restaurant a special place to visit? The staff! We have great team morale, which I think makes the atmosphere a lovely place for guests to be. If you were a customer today, what would you order? The mini gastro tasting menu, with the wine flight – delicious. What do you think makes great customer service? To know how to adapt to suit each guest, and the occasion that they’ve come out for. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? Pata Negra, just down the road from us – we are in a great area here. ✱ bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
bOrn bO rn free
WE’VE BEEN ON THE HUNT FOR TASTY VEGAN EATS AND GLUTEN-FREE TREATS THIS MONTH... 1 V-PLATES Warrens Bakery Vegan Pasties, £3.25 each Having opened a bakery in Bristol last year, this longestablished Cornish biz has clearly been busy; it’s just unveiled a brand new vegan pasty range. The flakey newrecipe pastry comes with a choice of two fillings: creamy Thai, with Asian spices and plenty of vegetables and pulses, and fiery Mexican, with kidney beans, chickpeas, potato and warming chilli. Available in all branches of Warrens Bakery around the South West, including Bristol. ✱ warrensbakery.co.uk
little taste, didn’t we? Golden and crisp, it’s just perhaps a little firmer and a tad less crumbly than the standard stuff, but actually makes for a really good, lighter-feeling pie, with no compromise on flavour. There are now three gluten-free flavours: Heidi Pie (sweet potato, goat’s cheese, spinach and red onion); Moo Pie (beef steak in a glutenfree ale sauce); and the Gluten Free Ranger (chicken, ham, leek and thyme). Served at Pieminister restaurants, and available to buy from The Tobacco Factory Market in Bristol, and online. ✱ pieminister.co.uk
2 SUPER PIE Pieminister Gluten-Free Pies, £4.50 each Having heard how long the guys at Pieminister were working on their gluten-free pastry for, we had to have a
3 TOTALLY NUTS Primal Joy Granola, £3.20/125g Handmade just up the motorway in Gloucestershire, these granolas are substantial with weighty whole nuts and
seeds. Our fave is the Maple & Pecan, comprising hefty chunks of pecan, thick flakes of almond and coconut, whole seeds and raw, virgin coconut oil – all of which are organic, an’ all. Free of diary, gluten and grain, this ubernatural granola is a great allrounder, and isn’t too sweet and sickly, as is so often the case. Available online. ✱ primaljoy.co.uk 4 POT LUCK Rod and Ben’s puds, from £3.49 These little pots of joy are new from Devon-based producer Rod and Ben’s, which also makes soups, dips and meal pots. The tangy lemon posset is ace after a rich main, and if you like it super-fruity, there’s a berrytopped version – which went down a right storm with team Crumbs. And for those who
reckon pud just ain’t pud unless it’s chocolate, there’s a suitably decadent yet light choccy number. Organic and gluten-free, you can get these pots online via Abel & Cole, and in local indie delis. ✱ rodandbens.com 5 ARGY-BHAJI Guildhall Deli Carrot and coriander bhaji, £1.70 Both gluten-free and vegan, this treat doesn’t give much away with its dark golden exterior. Inside, though, is a mix of sweet carrot, aromatic coriander and well-balanced, slow-burning chilli, with a pleasingly crumbly texture. An ace side to your Ruby Murray, especially after a little dip in some homemade raita, this sizeable fella also makes a great snack on the go. Available from the Deli in the Guildhall Market, Bath. ✱ theguildhalldeli.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
emPIre STEaK OF mINd WE’LL AVOID DOING THE JOKE ABOUT STEAK BEING A RARE MEDIUM WELL DONE (UM, WHOOPS), AND INSTEAD JUST GIVE YOU A ROUND-UP OF SIX TOP LOCAL JOINTS TO GET YOUR BEEF ON...
(1) THE HERD
If you can’t decide which choice cut to have at this Bath steak joint (let’s face it, the struggle is real), then go for the sharing platter – it’s great for two, although some Bath Rugby players can polish it off on their own! This bad boy features three different cuts of beef – we’re talking 8oz of rib-eye and the same of sirloin, plus 4oz of prime fillet – with twice-cooked, skin-on chips and homemade onion rings on the side. The steaks come from award-winning Devizes butcher Walter Rose & Son, which sources its cows from a local farm. So great is the quality that they supply the best chefs around, and have so much demand in London that they deliver there daily. The Herd’s cuts all come from the same, er, herd, and it has a dedicated butcher at WR&S, who hand picks the
meat. The attention to detail continues back at the restaurant in the kitchen, and the well-trained chefs there are not unfamiliar with an awards ceremony or two, either... ✱ theherdrestaurant.co.uk
(2) THE OX
With two Bristol restaurants – the original on Corn Street and another on Whiteladies Road – The Ox is part of the local Hyde & Co group, known for its jazzy cocktail bars. Not only do these guys know how to make a mean thirst-quencher, but they can also grill a killer steak. Exec chef Todd Francis gets most of The Ox’s steak from local business Buxton Butchers. The guys there work up to three months in advance to make sure the meat is dry-aged exactly to Todd’s
of sides available to accompany them. As well as the usual suspects of chips (homemade) and onion rings (in sage batter), there are the likes of charred cauliflower with yoghurt and almond, and mushrooms, sautéed with shallots and thyme. ✱ waltersbristolroyal.co.uk
spec, resulting not only in ace quality, but also reliable consistency of the end result. There are seven different cuts on offer at The Ox at the moment: rump, rib-eye, sirloin, fillet, a 30oz T-bone, 30oz bone-in ribeye, and a USDA bavatte steak from Kansas. Not only are the steaks spot on, but the sides are pretty spesh as well: mac and cheese is a popular choice, as is leeks and greens. Over the winter there is an ace sprout side, and during the summer you’ll find gado gado salad (crisp vegetables dressed with warm, spicy peanut sauce). ✱ theoxbristol.com
You’ll find this bar and grill at the Bristol Marriot Royal on College Green. Named after Walter William Hughes, one of the people responsible for founding the original hotel in the 19th century, the restaurant focuses on good-quality meat, making it worth checking out if you’re in the market for a steak. You’ll be served a cut from Russell Hume, a butcher in Exeter, which supplies the kitchen with its Grangemoor beef; these cows have spent much of their life being left to graze happily on grass, and come from within a 50 mile radius of the restaurant. The meat is hung on the bone for a week, then dry aged for at least 28 days. Walter’s serves three cuts of it – rib-eye, rump and sirloin – and has a good handful
There’s a whopping choice of eight different cuts at Hudson Steakhouse in Bath, all of which come from Smithfield Market – the largest meat market on these here shores. Bath butcher Terry & Son carefully picks Hudson’s produce there, then brings it back to age it for a full 30 days, to make sure it’s to the satisfaction of the chefs. Expect to see flat iron (check out the great-value deal on this cut, 5pm-7pm on weekdays), rump, sirloin, rib-eye, porterhouse, and fillets in 6oz, 8oz and 10oz. The kitchen team say they have a top-secret blend of seasoning (and no, they didn’t steal it from the Colonel) which brings out that lovely earthy flavour in the beef. And to go with whichever hunk of meat you choose? The kitchen team can rustle up some pretty awesome truffle fries, and also make a naughtily creamy Dauphinoise. And a steak wouldn’t be a steak at Hudson without going all out and topping it with juicy grilled garlic tiger prawns... ✱ hudsonsteakhouse.co.uk
(5) RUDGLEIGH INN
This traditional family run inn is set just outside of Bristol in Easton in Gordeno, North Somerset. The cosy, welcoming steakhouse uses local suppliers to source steaks from all over the world – everything from Scottish Black Angus to Australian wagyu and American bison is often found in this kitchen. There are several different cuts on offer, with the most popular, again, being the porterhouse. Whichever you go for, though, each seasoned, grilled steak is served with all the trimmings; thick-cut chips, onion rings, garlic butter ’shrooms, and peas. If that’s not quite enough for you, though, we’d suggest adding the creamed spinach, on recommendation of the team. Really fancy pushing the boat out? Then push it in style with the fillet steak Rossini. This comprises a garlic crouton covered in homemade pâté and topped with a tender 28-day dryaged Scotch fillet steak, smothered with a red wine sauce. ✱ therudgleighinn.com
There’s no mistaking what the star of the show is at somewhere with this name, right? Bristol’s Chophouse is located right in the centre of the city, at Cabot Circus. It currently serves locally sourced sirloin, rib-eye and rump, but with the new a la carte menu – launching in April – will arrive fillet steak, to make the decision that bit more difficult. At the moment, it’s the rib-eye which boasts the most sales, and the kitchen puts this down to its well-developed flavour and super-tender texture. They grill this bad boy to each customer’s liking, but recommend having it rare to mediumrare, to allow it to reach its full culinary potential. To join it on the plate you have a choice sides and sauces – think peppercorn, mushroom, Stilton or béarnaise. These guys believe that to get the perfect steak, there can be no compromise on the quality of the raw ingredients, and no room for error when it comes to cooking time, either. ✱ futureinns.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
EMILY ADDICOTT SAUVAO FOUNDED BATH FARM GIRLS LAST YEAR, BECOMING THE ONLY QUINOA PRODUCER IN THE SOUTH WEST... Right, then; let’s start at the beginning. When did you first start growing quinoa, Emily, and why? My first crop was in 2013, when I ran a successful trial plot. It all came about after discovering my eldest daughter, now four, was gluten intolerant. I did some experimentation in the kitchen with different gluten-free ingredients – including imported quinoa. That got me thinking about the possibility of growing quinoa on the family farm. Then I launched Bath Farm Girls (the ‘Girls’
being me and my two daughters, Rosa and Charlotte!) in June 2016, following the harvest of our first commercial crop. Where does quinoa originate from? (We know it sure ain’t Bath...) South America – mainly Peru and Bolivia. What kind of an environment does it need to grow? It prefers free-draining soil types, which is ideal as our farm, Corston Fields Farm, stands on a light Cotswold brash.
And, may we ask, what exactly is quinoa, if it’s not wheat? It’s actually a vegetable – which means it’s very much gluten free. It’s totally safe for coeliac sufferers and those with gluten intolerances, then? Indeed it is! It is also considered a low GI carbohydrate, so it doesn’t produce the same amounts of sugar and starch as other grains. This is ideal for diabetics – and anyone wanting to reduce sugars and starchy foods in their diet.
LOCAVORE – Someone interested in locally produced food, not moved long distances to market
So, what other crops is it most closely related to? It’s actually in the same family as beets, spinach and chard. Interesting – it sure doesn’t look like any of those... Well, in the early stages of growth it doesn’t look too dissimilar to them. It also looks a bit like the weed, fat-hen, which it is actually closely related to as well. It there just one kind of quinoa, then? No; we grow the white quinoa, which is probably the most common type, but you can also get red and black. Actually, we’re growing red quinoa for the first time this year – which will be interesting!
Emily uses her family farm, located in Corston, to grow her gluten-free grain. It’s sowing season now, meaning the crop will be ready to harvest in September...
And when is it sown and harvested? It’s almost time to sow now, actually, as this is done in early April. Then it’s harvested around late August or September, before being dried and sieved to 97.7 per cent purity, and packaged by hand on our farm, ready for distribution. And how much do you produce on your Corston farm? Between 33 and 40 tonnes per year. A large proportion of it is grown for The British Quinoa Company, who have contracts with several high street outlets. I keep a proportion to retail under the Bath Farm Girls label, though. So, are many other growers kicking around in these parts? We are the only growers in the West Country, and there are only a handful across in the UK, I’ll have you know. Let’s talk dollar. It’s not gone unnoticed that this stuff is dearer than other grains; why is that? Commodity grains, such as wheat, barley and oats, have become very cheap, as there is a general oversupply; if we saw a global commodity grain shortage, we would see the margin between crops like quinoa and wheat close in. It is also a much lower yielding crop compared to wheat, oats and barley, and it is a far more labour intensive to handle, post-harvest. As quinoa’s nutritional profile is so complex, though – and very different to other grains – we think it’s worth it!
Can you elaborate on the nutritional profile of which you speak? Quinoa is nutritionally dense, being a complete protein (this means it boasts all nine of the essential amino acids). It’s also a low GI carb, and is, obviously, gluten-free. It is a great source of fiber, manganese, phosphorus and folate, too. What’s more, quinoa’s nutrients even hold up to boiling, simmering and steaming. What’s the market for this grain like, then, and have you noticed a change in the past few years? It’s definitely growing, as people become more aware of it as a healthy, versatile ingredient. But it is slow; British producers like us are competing with cheap imports, which is a general problem within British farming as a whole. We can offer 100 per cent traceability though, which, of course, you just don’t get when it comes to the mass-imported stuff.
You also make flour from the quinoa – how does this compare to regular flour, in terms of taste and usage? The high protein content in quinoa flour means it tends to keep its elasticity better than some other gluten-free flours, and you retain all the additional health benefits, too. Personally, I use it like a plain wheat flour in things such as pancakes and brownies. I have heard reports that it makes a decent loaf of bread and pasta, too, but I’ve not put this to the test just yet... Well, we can hardly judge – sounds like you’re a busy lady! Is there anything else quinoa can be used to make? Virtually anything, including pizza bases, which I’m using it for tonight! ✱ bathfarmgirls.com
The Greenhouse Restaurant at Wadswick Green is a stylish and relaxed all day dining destination. Located in an elegant and modern setting, with beautiful views across the Wiltshire countryside. Meet friends and unwind after work, catch up over cocktails, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or meet the family for a Sunday roast. The perfect place for any occasion.
Take a look at what’s on offer at The Greenhouse
Available on Monday – Thursday from noon-7pm
Sunday 26th March
Celebrate with us during Mother’s Day weekend at The Greenhouse and join us for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Look out for special promotions in the Wadswick Green Spa too.
Treat Mum with one of our special Mother’s Day Spa Packages.
Enjoy a bottle of prosecco for only £14.95 Available on Friday’s between 4-7pm
For every child dining with an adult for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
BREAKFAST MENU Available 7 days a week
Available to purchase at the Wadswick Green Spa from 24th February to 26th March 2017. Visit our website for more details or call the spa on 01225 583 030
For information on all our offers and events, please check our website.
Available from 12 - 6pm on Sundays
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 PAVILION | WADSWICK GREEN | CORSHAM SN13 9RD WWW.WADSWICKGREEN.CO.UK
S T A R T E R S
The freshest, most inspirational cookbooks of the month
I LOVE INDIA Anjum Anand Quadrille, £20
Anjum Anand’s quest to bring Indian food to home kitchens on our shores continues with this personal collection of family recipes, dishes discovered on her travels, and the Londonbased cook’s own fresh and light interpretations of regional Indian creations. Sprinkled with stories and history, alongside some stunning photography by Martin Poole, these vibrant recipes include a number of vegetarian dishes, such as four seed-spiced okra with tomatoes, and Tamil-style lentil and vegetable curry. Not that meat-eaters will be disappointed – try the Mughlai-style braised lamb shanks laced with julienned root ginger, or the Gujarati chicken biryani. The desserts are no less enticing, as chilled mango, coconut and tapioca pearl pudding, and fennel and cardamom-spiced mini pancakes, demonstrate.
MAMMA Mina Holland Orion, £20
It is often said that childhood meals form the foundations of our taste buds and how we cook later in life, and Mina Holland’s new book is all about taking food back to basics, which invariably means going home and recreating the dishes we ate as children. For most of us, that means mother’s cooking, and this collection of stories about childhood food memories sees Holland interview significant food figures such as Claudia Roden, Yotam Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Anna del Conte, as well as actor Stanley Tucci and noted psychotherapist Susie Orbach. There are some fantastic recipes, too – new and old dishes that should be in the repertoire of all self-respecting home cooks, whether you are a Mamma or not.
Catherine Phipps Quadrille, £20
Having written about pressure cookers and chicken in her previous two cookbooks, Guardian writer (and regular on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme) Catherine Phipps turns her attention to all things citrus in this zesty collection of recipes. From the moment you peel open the bright, grapefruit-yellow, clothbound cover and dive inside, this book zings with sweet and sour dishes from around the world. With over 170 recipes, Phipps celebrates Middle Eastern salads, Asian broths, fragrant curries, punchy salsas, classic curds, decadent desserts and cooling sorbets, utilising every conceivable citrus fruit along the way. Must-have recipes include sprouting broccoli with blood orange hollandaise; salmon with mandarin and ginger; and rum and orange bread and butter pudding.
HEALTHY BAKING Jordan Bourke Orion, £20
As a nation we’ve gone bonkers for baking, thanks to the likes of Paul and Mary, and there still seem to be a slew of new books about bread and cakes. Ballymaloetrained Jordan Bourke worked in Michelin-star restaurants before writing award-winning books like Our Korean Kitchen, so he brings an added level of expertise to his home baking. In this book, the Irish chef looks at nourishing breads, savoury tarts and bakes, which are wholesome as well as delicious. Using ancient grains and ferments, as well as alternatives to refined sugar, Bourke also finds plenty of options to make recipes gluten- and dairyfree. Recipes to bookmark include the sourdough blueberry pancakes, and the Italian strawberry and chocolate chunk cake.
S T A R T E R S
HOME KITCHEN Nathan Outlaw Quadrille, £20
Cornish seafood chef Nathan Outlaw is becoming as prolific at writing books (this is his fourth) as he is gaining Michelin stars (he has two for his place in Rock) or opening restaurants (he now has five). Outlaw’s previous books have concentrated more on restaurant-style dishes, but his latest looks at some of the meals he cooks for his family at home. Although the recipes still require the best ingredients you can afford – especially when it comes to his beloved seafood – these are fuss-free and often easy enough for your kids to cook. From a hearty breakfast dish like devilled kidneys and bacon on toast to chicken and leek pie for after-school supper, it’s a book packed with comforting classics.
Taken from: CITRUS BY CATHERINE PHIPPS (Quadrille £20)
SPICED SEA BASS WITH CITRUS BUTTER SAUCE PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOWIE KAY
The spicing here is fragrant rather than hot and has a vaguely Middle Eastern feel to it, so you could simply serve it with rice or couscous instead of the chickpeas and greens.
¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground white pepper ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp ground turmeric METHOD
(SERVES 4) INGREDIENTS
4 sea bass fillets, skin on 350g spring greens, very finely shredded 1 tbsp olive oil 30g butter 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 lemons, zest and juice 1 large orange, juice only 100ml water 350g cooked chickpeas For the rub: 1 tsp flaky sea salt, pounded ½ tsp ground cardamom
– Blot the sea bass fillets and lie them skin-side down on kitchen paper. Combine all the rub ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the fillets. Press lightly. – Before you start frying the fish, cook the spring greens. Wash thoroughly, then put in a large lidded saucepan without shaking off too much water. Cover and heat gently until the greens have wilted down and are just al dente. – Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot, add the sea bass fillets, skin side down, and fry for a couple of minutes.
Flip over and cook for a further 30 seconds, then remove from the frying pan and keep warm. – Add the butter, garlic, lemon zest and juice and orange juice to the pan. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble until you have a glossy, syrupy sauce. Pour into a jug. – Deglaze the pan with the water. Add the chickpeas and spring greens and stir to pick up any flavour residue. Season with salt and pepper. – Serve the fish with the chickpeas and greens, and the sauce spooned over.
Lunch isn’t just a meal, it’s a little space in the middle of your day. Fill that time sharing with friends, discovering something new and relaxing for the first time since waking. Our head chef Steven Yates has drawn on 7 years of Michelin starred experience to produce a menu full of magical touches you’ll want to share, linger over and dwell upon. It’s about taking a little time, kicking back and making the most of that little break. We offer small plates to share, soup, and a simple set lunch menu to cater for all tastes and needs.
LUNCH SET MENU 2 courses 17.95 | 3 courses 22.95
STARTERS 6.50 each Split Pea Soup with a wedge of sourdough (VG/GF option available) Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with a rich toasted sunflower seed butter & pink grapefruit (VG/GF) Chioggia Beetroot Slivers with aged cashew purée, beetroot vierge & local salads (VG/GF/N)
MAINS 11.95 each Sautéed Cauliflower Heart with cauliflower puree, onion bhajis, potato, cauliflower rice, raisin & lemon (VG/GF/N) Slow Cooked Winter Squash with a pine nut risotto, gently cooked brussel sprouts, garlic & a touch of lemon zest (VG/GF) Leek and PotatoCharred leeks with melusine cheese dauphinoise, leek & garlic sauce & smoked potato
DESSERTS 5.95 each Salted Chocolate Tart with peanut butter sorbet (VG/N) White Chocolate Panna Cotta with poached beetroot, blood orange and a light beetroot icecream (GF/N) Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb with almond amaretto cream, fennel sorbet and almond
SMALL PLATES Burnt Leek With Smoked Potato Puree And Several Kinds Of Cabbage (GF) 7.95 Pine Nut Risotto With Slow Cooked Brussel Sprouts (VG/N/GF) 7.50 Calabrese Broccoli Dressed With Fresh Truffle Cauliflower Panna Cotta And Pickled Kohlrabi (N/GF) 8.95 Walnut Agnoletti In A Rich Mushroom Emulsion (N) 7.95 Roast Carrot With Seeded Spelt, Chervil Puree And Carrot And Cashew Puree (VG/N) 8.95 Blue Vinny Cheese with Pear Chutney & Digestives (GF option) 4.95 Peanut Butter Sorbet (VG/GF/N) 4.50
C HE F ! WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Bathonian Ben Franks is a wine writer, and also co-founder of Novel Wines, the UK’s most curious wine shop. And now he’s got the gig of being our resident sommelier, so will be matching our top recipes to some ace bottles. @BenFranksWine
Highlights SOUP DOGG
Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of this light, flavoursome soup Page 34
THE VEG OF GLORY
This colourful recipe will easily up your veg count Page 38
The potato might be a humble ingredient, but can transform into some very special dishes (p34)
Are you making the most of these two fish? Page 40
45 SHEEP THRILLS Andy Clarke meets a new wine supplier...
a Grape match! Babylonstoren Farm Viognier 2015 £12.50, Novel Wines “This gorgeously ripe South African Viognier has a floral nose but a rounded, creamy texture, as well as notes of pear and dried apricot, making it flavoursome and creamy enough to complement Acorn’s simple but elegant soup.”
mr POTaTO head Chef!
S US HOW TO TURN A STEVEN YATES SHOWEVERYDAY INGREDIENTS HANDFUL OF SIMPLE, ER SPESH... INTO SOMETHING RATH
Steven, who has previously worked in the kitchens of several prestigious restaurants – think the Michelin-starred likes of Sienna in Dorchester and our local Bath Priory – now heads up the kitchen at vegetarian restaurant Acorn. His food is notable for its light touch, attention to detail and satisfying depth of flavour. This recipe is adapted from one he learnt whilst working for Russell Brown at Sienna, and perfectly shows how simple, quality ingredients, treated with respect, can be transformed into something bewitching. Since this recipe is so simple, it is important to use the best ingredients you can afford – search for fantastic fresh, organic potatoes, grassy Sicilian olive oil and wild garlic picked fresh from the woods. (It’s in plentiful supply right now!)
NEW POTATO SOUP with WILD GARLIC and WHITE BEANS (SERVES 4)
2 shallots 2 garlic cloves 1 thyme sprig 1kg new potatoes 25g olive oil 1ltr water
For the garnish: glug of olive oil handful of wild garlic leaves handful of white beans METHOD
– Slice the shallots and mince the garlic, keeping them separate. – Wrap the thyme in a small piece of muslin to prevent it from losing its leaves in the soup. – Wash the potatoes, but do not peel them (nearly all the flavour and nutrition is in the skins). Slice finely. – Heat the olive oil in a medium pan and add the sliced shallots, frying gently until just softened. Now add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes – taking care not to burn it – before putting in the potatoes and stirring. – Add the water and the thyme parcel and bring to the boil, simmering gently, whilst covered, until the potatoes are soft. – For the garnish, simply heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the wild garlic, beans and a generous pinch of salt. Turn over until the garlic is just wilted. – When the soup is ready, take off the heat, remove the thyme and blend until very smooth. Season with salt and serve topped with the garnish. ✱ ACORN VEGETARIAN KITCHEN, 2 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX; 01225 446059; acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk
“An active and fresh approach from this innovative local charity, doing great things for the local community and beyond”
Farming, Family & Therapy Founded in 2009 on a farm just outside Bath, Jamie’s Farm supports 900 disadvantaged young people each year through a powerful combination of ‘Farming, Family and Therapy’. During a weeklong residential, where mobile phones and sugar are replaced with overalls, hard work and a focus on nutritious home-cooked food, this unique therapeutic and hands-on approach has a proven long-term impact on self-esteem, behaviour and engagement. To meet increasing demand for our programme, Jamie’s Farm is primed for growth and soon to be working with 1,800 children a year over four farms. Winning the Bath Life Award has been a real vote of confidence in our work from people we care about in the local community; a special recognition as we expand onto pastures new. Here are just a couple of ways you can get involved too…
How to cOOk without recipes April 8th 10am – 4pm Our chef Rob has been cooking from the heart for many years and would love to share some of his secrets for how to cook delicious food on the hoof, first by teaching you some key techniques that can be used for a range of ingredients, and second by learning about flavour combinations. Rob is passionate about our visiting young people learning more about where their food comes from, and during their week with us helps them understand the benefits a healthy and nutritional diet can have. Last year he produced the Jamie’s Farm Cookbook to encourage our young visitors beyond their time with us. Now we are inviting you to have a go too. The workshop will cover a range of international styles and is set in the beautiful, friendly atmosphere of our Hill House Farm, Box. Suitable for all levels of cookery. Cost is £70 including lunch. All proceeds to charity. Contact email@example.com to book your place – first come first serve!
Farm to Farm Bike Ride June 10th Take part in the Jamie’s Farm annual Farm to Farm Bike Ride. One of our favourite events, this stunning 61 mile route starts at Jamie’s Farm Bath, includes a pub lunch along the way and ends with a barrel of beer, BBQ feast and a comfy bed at Jamie’s Farm Hereford.
The Jamie’s Farm COOkbOOk Support Jamie’s Farm and own your own copy. Email info@jamiesfarm. org.uk to order for just £10.
Jamie’s Farm Meat We produce a lot of high quality meat on our farms. We want to know if there is appetite to support the charity in return for meat. If you are interested to know more or share your thoughts please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Saturday 10th June (register by May 10th) Registration: £25 Sponsorship required: £175
“Our ride for Jamie’s Farm was the best day of cycling I’ve had in a long while. Good company, good weather, great humour, and some beautiful scenery” – 2016 rider For more details please visit our website
WWw.jamiesfarm.org.uk Registered charity 1129544
@JamiesFarm @Jamies_Farm Jamie’s Farm Contact us 01225 743608 or email@example.com
EG OVE MAKES V HOW... R G E S O H IN R EE S DAR THIS MEAT-FR F O R A T S E H T
StUFF IT! Darrin is chef director of Ashburton Cookery School, having started his culinary career at none other than Gidleigh Park. He has plenty of experience in teaching as well as in cooking, and used to be a college lecturer before taking up this position 13 years ago. Ashburton, which is located just down the M5 in Devon, is a cookery school with rooms, offering everything from half-day classes to short breaks and even professional qualifications. It uses ethically sourced, local ingredients on its courses, showing pupils how to put them to work in accessible and practical recipes – just like this meat-free aubergine number...
STUFFED AUBERGINE with ROASTED VEGETABLES, HALLOUMI and PUMPKIN SEEDS (SERVES 2)
1 small-medium aubergine olive oil 100g sweet potato 100g butternut squash ½ small red onion 1 small courgette 100g halloumi 50g plain flour 1 tsp pumpkin seeds 1 tsp sunflower seeds 1 tbsp coriander, chopped 30ml sweet chilli sauce thick Greek yoghurt
– Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/ gas mark 7. – Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, then cut around the edge with a small knife and make incisions through the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with a little salt and leave for 30 minutes to extract any bitterness. – Dry the aubergines with a piece of kitchen roll and place into a hot frying pan with a little oil, flesh side down. Remove from the pan when golden brown, place onto an oven tray, and cook for 20 minutes. – Meanwhile, cut the sweet potato, squash, red onion and courgette into small pieces. Place in another baking tray and coat with a little oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until soft. – Slice the halloumi and pass each piece through the flour to coat. Then pan fry in a little oil for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool. – When the aubergine is cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the temperature down to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Scoop out ¾ of the flesh and roughly chop. – In a big bowl, mix together the roasted vegetables, about half of the roughly chopped aubergine flesh, seeds, chopped coriander and sweet chilli sauce. Toss gently to mix well. – Place the mix inside the roasted aubergine shells and top with a few slices of the pan-fried halloumi. – Roast in the oven for approx. 15 minutes, or until nice and hot. – Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with a quenelle of Greek yoghurt on the top and a sprig of coriander to garnish.
✱ ASHBURTON COOKERY SCHOOL, Old Exeter Road, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7LG; 01364 652784; ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk
a Grape match!
Montes Toscanini Reserva Sauvignon 2014 £10.50, Novel Wines “I adore this Sauv Blanc from Uruguay’s most-awarded winery. It’s a gorgeous match with hearty, healthy dishes like this; its mouthwatering tropical fruits like guava, melon and passion fruit stand up to the flavoursome ingredients.”
L a C I h eT edIBLeS Chef!
S USE OF TWO E K A M LL E S S U R MARC EA CREATURESâ€¦ S D E V O -L R E D N U
Marc, who has been cooking for 16 years, is passionate about using local and GM- and chemical-free produce. No wonder he’s ended up as head chef at Komedia, then – this venue has a fierce food ethic, and was the first South West recipient of the Soil Association’s Gold Food For Life Catering Mark. This accolade reflects the great ethical standards upheld by the kitchen team, and takes into account everything from sustainability to nutrition. Marc has been head chef at Komedia since last October, and has totally revamped its Arts Café, event, and VIP menus since then. This dish is on Komedia’s VIP menu throughout March, which is served before the Krater Comedy Club every Saturday. Diners are treated to canapés and prosecco on arrival, followed by a seasonal threecourse menu. This particular dish makes use of two underused fish: ling and whiting. If you haven’t already, perhaps it’s time you introduced them to your kitchen...
PAN-FRIED DUO of FISH (SERVES 1)
⅓ butternut squash, diced 1 lime, juice and zest 3 smoked garlic cloves 1 candied beetroot 50ml orange juice 2 cloves 2 sprigs of rosemary ⅓ small celeriac olive oil 2-3 heritage carrots, peeled 2 sprigs of thyme 75g whiting 75 ling 50g butter, plus extra for cooking in 50ml apple juice 1 lemon, juice and zest 30ml white wine vinegar METHOD
– For the purée, bring a pot of water to the boil and add the squash, along with seasoning and a small knob of butter. Cook around 3-5 minutes, or until soft. – Drain the squash and blitz with a stick blender, adding the lime juice and zest,
and smoked garlic. Sieve and season. – For the candied beetroot, peel and slice the beetroot into thick slices and blanch for around 4 minutes in orange juice with the cloves and rosemary (don’t allow it to overcook). Season. – Peel and dice the celeriac into 1cm cubes. Heat the oil in a pan, add the celeriac and cook for around 5 minutes, until softened and lightly caramelised. – Blanche the carrots with 1 sprig of thyme until al dente. – Now prepare the fish. Preheat the grill, and place a non-stick pan over a moderate heat on the hob. Score lines on the skin side of the fish, then drizzle over some oil and lightly season. Once the pan is hot enough, place the fish, skin side down, into the pan. Don’t move the fish until the skin starts to caramelise and crisp, then flip over, add a small knob of butter and season. – Place the fish under the grill, skin side up, for around 15-20 seconds, to crisp up the skin some more. – Make some thyme butter by finely chopping the thyme leaves on the remaining sprig and mixing with the butter, along with a pinch of salt. Use this to glaze the beetroot and carrots, and place them under the grill to heat up. – On a plate, place the celeriac and carrots on a bed of purée, and top with the fish. – Mix together 4 tsp of olive oil with the apple juice, a squeeze of lemon, the grated zest, and the white wine vinegar. Whisk, adjust seasoning to taste, and drizzle over the dish to serve. ✱ KOMEDIA, 22-23 Westgate Street, Bath BA1 1EP; 01225 489070; komedia.co.uk
a Grape match! Kyperounda Petritis 2015 £13.95, Novel Wines “Matching the delicacy of white fish and the sweetness of heritage carrots and squash requires finesse, and this is packed full of it. From Europe’s highest vineyards in Cyprus, this dry white wine is brimming with citrus fruits, gooseberries and candied lime that will add zing to this VIP dish.”
A cut above... Vegetarian | Vegan | Gluten Free
Tel: 01225 464631 Tel: 01225 466626 TAKEAWAY WE TAKE ORDERS FOR OUTDOOR CATERING AND PARTIES, PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS INDIAN TEMPTATION 9-10 High Street (Cheap Street) Bath BA1 5AQ
Try our new tasting menu Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.themintroom.co.uk
Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley
CLIFTON EASTON MONTPELIER SOUTHVILLE TOTTERDOWN
The Wine Guy
BaG IT UP
ANDY CLARKE EXPLORES A RANGE OF ETHICAL BAGGED WINES, AND DISCOVERS SOME RIGHT GEMS TO MATCH THE RECIPE HE’S SWIPED FROM ADELINA YARD... IT’S TWO YEARS ago now that I returned to the West from London, and what a well-timed homecoming; having developed an independent dining culture like nowhere else in the UK, the West Country is the place to eat. But with this vibrant and ever-changing scene, places, inevitably, come and go. I was gutted that I never made it to Flinty Red on Cotham Hill, but luckily Bellita sprung up in its place. Cherry Duck on Welsh Back (where, funnily enough, my husband and I first told my family that we were moving back) is also no more, having changed hands shortly after we relocated. Adelina Yard sprung up in its place, though, and very quickly generated a lot of positive noise; it didn’t take long to learn that Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry’s new restaurant was clearly quite something. This is another pair who came to Bristol from the South East, and they set up the restaurant, named after the road where they used to live, in December 2015. Their innovative thinking and twists on classics have made Adelina a must for any crumbsmag.com
self-respecting West Country foodie – or, indeed, food tourists looking to taste what Bristol is all about. It’s not hard to see why diners leave this quayside hotspot mesmirised. Jamie was head chef at one of my favourite London restaurants, Odette’s, under Bryn Williams, and Olivia worked with Angela Hartnett at Murano. Experience like this is invaluable, and has led to the couple creating a really special restaurant – one that hooked me from the off. For this month’s match, I chose the unusual starter of fermented kale, cavatelli pasta, slow-cooked egg and goat’s cheese. It’s beautifully salty, thanks not only to the goat’s cheese, but also kale’s fermentation process, with the egg calming this salty hit, and making the dish luxuriously rich. And, heck, I chose a main too: mutton cooked two ways with pumpkin seed pesto, fermented swede and a gravy reduction (yep – my mouth is watering now, too). I felt I had to match such innovative cooking with some equally interesting wines. For that, I turned to More Wine,
a Bristol-based company created by Rich Hamblin, a Vintners Cup-winning wine buyer and sommelier. Rich has concentrated on high-quality, lowintervention wine from small vineyards where sustainability, eco-friendly packaging and transport logistics are key. Rich’s philosophy is simple: “If you’re not looking to age the wine, you don’t need to import the glass bottle.” So More Wine’s vinos are available on draught in venues around the West, as well as in ‘bagnums’ – wait for it – magnums of wine in bags! And I found me an ideal bagnum for the kale, too: Du Grappin Macon Villages 2015 – a white wine from Burgundy. When you smell this Chardonnay, it’s not distinctly fruity but more mineral and, dare I say, saline – perfect with the savoury kale. And, when you taste it, there’s instant apple and a hint of stone fruit, but with a fresh and slightly buttery finish: it’s brilliant with the texture of the egg and cheese. It’s not oaky but is really confident against dishes like this, which are both fresh and rich.
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THE WINE GUY’S PICKS Du Grappin Macon Villages 2015 is available as a bagnum for £25, equivalent to £12.50 per 75cl. Les Galets Rouge, Cuvée d’Estazargues 2015 is a draught wine and is £52.50 for five litres, equivalent to £7.87 per 75cl. (If that sounds like rather too much for you, it’s also available in smaller quantities from various More Wine stockists!) For a list of stockists, or to order direct, go to morewine.eu
As for the mutton, I’m sticking with France and heading south to the Rhône. Les Galets Rouge, Cuvée d’Estazargues 2015 is available on tap, so swill out your jerry can in preperation! It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, and has a warming aroma of stewed plums with a hint of violet and a twist of black pepper – there’s also a really subtle hint of spice. This is exactly what you want when confronted with the smell of the slowcooked mutton and gravy. On the palate, dark red fruit gives way to hint of licorice, which complements the swede beautifully. It’s delicate and warming but not too heavy, so it won’t mask the pesto, either. It also has a gentle touch about it, which the pink seared meat needs. As ever, I’ve managed to pin down a recipe so you can try this match at home: Jamie has kindly given us a version of his fantastic mutton dish. It takes a bit of work, granted, but I can very much vouch for the end result...
✱ Andy Clarke is a
freelance TV producer and writer; follow him on Twitter @TVsAndyClarke; one4thetable.com.
MUTTON TWO WAYS WITH PUMPKIN SEED PESTO, SWEDE, AND GRAVY REDUCTION (SERVES 6)
1kg swede, grated 80g salt 30g sugar mutton breast (approx. 1kg) 1 kg mutton or lamb bones 2 carrots, roughly chopped 2 onions, roughly chopped 1 head of garlic, chopped 1 tbsp tomato purée 500ml white wine chicken stock mutton fat (or olive oil), for braising loin of mutton knob of butter sprig of rosemary For the pesto: 200g pumpkin seeds 200g sunflower seeds 2 garlic cloves 100ml extra virgin olive oil 100ml vegetable oil
– Prepare the fermented swede ahead of time. Mix the grated swede with the sugar and 30g of the salt, and add to a large airtight jar. Leave at room temperature for 1 week, then refrigerate until needed. – Add 50g salt to the breast and cover with water. Refridgerate for 8 hours. – For the sauce, roast the bones in a hot oven. Add them to a pan, along with the carrots, onions and garlic, and sweat with some colour. Add the tomato purée and wine, and reduce by half. Cover with chicken stock and simmer for 5 hours. Pass through a fine sieve and reduce to desired consistency. – To cook the breast, preheat the oven to 110C/230F/ gas mark ¼. Rinse and dry the meat, and add it, along with the mutton fat or olive oil, to a casserole pot. Cook for 6 hours. – When finished, allow the pot to come up to room temperature, then remove the meat and press between two trays. – For the pesto, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Roast all the seeds in the oven until brown, then leave to cool. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until it forms a rough paste texture. Season with salt and pepper. – Season the mutton loin. Heat a pan until very hot, then add the butter, rosemary, and the loin. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then leave to rest for 3-4 mintues. – To plate, take the mutton breast and crisp it up in a frying pan. Portion up the mutton loin and place next to the breast. Spoon on the fermented swede, dot some pesto around the dish and finish with a couple of spoons of sauce. We serve with roasted and puréed swede, and kale.
ANDY IS HOSTING A SPECIAL EVENT AT ADELINA YARD ON 12 APRIL, WHERE HE’LL BE MATCHING JAMIE’S SIX COURSE TASTING MENU TO WINE. FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO BOOK, CONTACT THE RESTAURANT; ADELINAYARD.COM
Times they are a changin’ at Stanton Manor! New Chef… New Menus… Jamie Barnett, our new Head Chef, is a Wiltshire lad who knows all the local farms and food producers which is reflected in his seasonal menus. His food is exquisite without being pretentious, but don’t take our word for it; come and try it for yourself! Among our great local suppliers are Martin Carwardine’s award winning coffee, skillfully blended in Langford; and Beard & Sabre’s amazing Craft Ciders from Cirencester. Traditional Sunday Lunches and Afternoon Teas continue to be very popular indeed, so reservations are essential! We’re one of those Cotswold ‘hidden gems’ that even your friends won’t tell you about because they want to keep us as their own special secret! Find us today! Only a few minutes from Junction 17 of the M4 Stanton Manor Hotel Stanton St Quintin, Near Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 6DQ 01666 837552 Reception@stantonmanor.co.uk
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HARBOURSIDE SURPRISE A delicious surprise awaits you across Bristol’s newest harbour crossing. The sinuous Finzels Reach footbridge links the city centre to the revived brewery quarter, and Café Matariki is a smart and spacious reinvention of the ancient Brewhouse’s ground floor.
atariki is what Pacific Island navigators call the stars of the Pleiades constellation, their guide for a thousand years. Margaret Brereton, born on a Polynesian island, brought the high standards of New Zealand’s independent café culture with her when she moved to Bristol six years ago. The menu is fresh every day with seasonal food that is as local and organic as they can make it – and they do make it themselves. The team, led by experienced Bristol chefs Janice and Danielle, caters for everyone’s tastes and diets – changing constantly to use the best available ingredients from the very best suppliers. The inventive menu shows that healthy and delicious really can co-exist through breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea. Superb coffee from Roasted Rituals, brewed in a Kiwi-engineered machine, complements a range of slightly sinful sweet treats for when your day needs that extra lift. The new café, open to all, fronts Margaret’s impressive Pacific Yoga studios. Cross the bridge (or follow the waterfront walkway from Bristol Bridge past Bella Vista) and enter the latest unusual addition to Bristol’s own independent café culture: a brand-new world behind the arched windows of that ancient waterside wall.
Café Matariki, The Brewhouse, Georges Square, Bristol BS1 6LA; Tel: 0117 321 5445; pacificyoga.co.uk (click on Café Matariki on the menu); find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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MICROPLANE’S BLADES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT AS GOOD AS YOU CAN GET, SAYS MATT BIELBY, BUT NOW THEY DISMEMBER FOODSTUFFS WITH ADDITIONAL ELEGANCE Graters are rarely the most glamorous kitchen items, are they? Most of them are cheap, blunt and generally hopeless. And, I’m guessing, this will be equally as bad – just much, much more expensive. Whoa there, grumpy! This grater’s from Microplane, the Arkansas, USA woodwork company. It first expanded into kitchen utensils when a ’90s Canadian housewife found her husband’s carpentry tools worked far better than her rubbishy kitchen graters, and the company found its focus switch virtually overnight. Microplane stuff isn’t the cheapest, but it’s almost always the sharpest – thank ‘photo-etching’ technology, which means each cutting edge is like a tiny razor. Don’t use it to exfoliate, then! Probably best not to. Even the bog-standard Microplane graters are handsome tools, but the new, high-end Master Series – with stainless steel graters, loops at the end for easy hanging, and elegant oiled walnut handles – are particularly lovely looking, while the wood element is a nice reference to Microplane’s history, too. There are five graters in the set, each coming in at £30-35: a
THIS MONTH crumbsmag.com
long, narrow Master Zester, for zesting citrus fruit and grating anything from hard cheese to garlic; and four paddle-shaped versions with fine, coarse, ribbon and extra-coarse blades. Do I really need so many? That’d be – does quick calculation – about £170 for the set! Perhaps not, but it’s easy enough to pick the ones you’ll really use. The fine one’s great for spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, and hard cheese like Parmesan; the coarse one’s really versatile, and perfect for carrots and coconut; the ribbon one creates elegant strips of everything from apple to chocolate; and the extra-coarse loves spuds, onions, and grating cold butter for pastry. I’d suggest just buying one or two to start, and seeing how you get on. Sounds grate! You’ve been pushing it for years, but congratulations: you just earned your P45.
✱ Microplane graters are available at Kitchens Cookshop, and branches of Lakeland, John Lewis and Steamer Trading; microplaneintl.com
Kelly will provide you a German kitchen that is beautiful not just to look at, but to be in. Kelly-marie Hicks, Head Designer/Manager of Homemaker Bath, has inspired many of her clients over the last ten years by running the shop completely solo. She has an amazing portfolio and has built a huge client base by word of mouth recommendations. She uses all the latest German 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Supper Club
FIve &DiNe WINE BUFFS, FOOD ENTHUSIASTS, INDUSTRY PROS AND SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES ALL PILED INTO AN UNASSUMING BRISTOL VENUE RECENTLY. THE OCCASION? CELEBRATING A NEW ONLINE PLATFORM THAT BRINGS TOGETHER FOOD AND COMMUNITY, BY WAY OF AN EPIC FIVE-COURSE DINNER BY MATT WILLIAMSON
Words by JESSICA CARTER Photos by NICCI PEET
ure, it can be argued that technology has made us less sociable; after all, it’s not uncommon to see people out together, each with their head down, their attention firmly on their phone, as opposed to on one another. But despite the occasionally bad rep t’internet has got itself, it can work to bring people together, too. And WeFiFo is one example of it being used as such. WeFiFo (which stands for We Find Food, FYI) is a site that looks to connect hosts with guests, allowing people to set up their own supper club, pop-up or even restaurant in their chosen kitchen, which is often at their home. Think Airbnb, maybe, except you get a meal instead of a night’s sleep...
Carefully focusing on building communities, it markets local events to people nearby. So, it not only allows home cooks to turn their dining room into a restaurant, serving up meals to paying customers without the commitments that come with running a venue, but it gives both locals and tourists the chance to broaden their culinary horizons, and chow down on local, authentic, homemade food in a unique setting at affordable prices. This means that WeFiFo not only attracts ardent foodies, but everyone from hard-up students and stay-at-home parents to retirees and single yopros, too. In other words, there are few that this culinary platform wouldn’t appeal to. And that was proved to us when we attended
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Bristol’s first WeFiFo event – a fivecourse wine dinner at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft. Hosted by Matt Williamson (formerly of Flinty Red) and Vine Trail (a Bristolbased importer of small-domaine, artisanal French wine), it saw all kinds of guests, with a broad spectrum of ages and backgrounds, sit shoulder to shoulder around large communal tables. A welcome glass of Bugey Montagnieu NV Brut was handed to guests as they arrived. A sparking number with soft, fine bubbles, it comes from just outside Lyon, and is most often seen there in little local bars, as barely any of it gets a chance to be
exported before it’s drunk. Cue mingling (there were some familiar faces among the crowd; we caught up with drinks buff Kate Hawkings, food writer Xanthe Clay, wine guru Fiona Beckett, and our very own Mark Taylor), and admiring of the bright and buzzy Stokes Croft outside, which seemed worlds away from us in this calm, softly-lit space. Vine Trail founder Nick Brookes was in attendance, and told us all what we could expect of the evening, before the first dishes emerged from the kitchen. “The food for this dinner was put together very much to try and suit the wines,” chef Matt tells us. “I gave
8 Claverton Buildings, Widcombe Bath BA2 4LD www.kitchensofbath.co.uk Tel: 01225 436545
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Nick and Cath of Vine Trail a choice of dishes to suit each wine, and we whittled them down from there. As ever with wine dinners, for me the important thing is to try and stay as true to the region of the wine as possible.” This method led to the cured trout tartare starter being served alongside the Chignin 2013, a biodynamic white made by Gilles Berlioz. The soft, pink flesh was muddled with cool pickled cucumber, shards of crisp apple, and samphire. There were three in the kitchen this evening: Matt, Matt’s wife Claire Thompson, cook and author of The 5
O’Clock Apron, and Josh Albiston, who used to work for the couple at Flinty Red. It was Matt who chose this specific venue for the evening. Hamilton House – which is home to a bar and restaurant, The Canteen, on the ground floor – is a multi-purpose for-hire space, comprising offices, function rooms and even a huge kitchen, where the team of three worked their magic all evening. The second course saw scallop, baked in the shell and served with brown butter, served alongside a glass of a dry Anjou 2014 ‘Les Varennes’, made from 1.5 hectres’ worth of organic
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HAZELNUT AND SOUR CREAM CAKE (SERVES 8-10)
120g light brown sugar 120g plain flour ½ tsp cinnamon powder 65g cold butter, diced 120ml sour cream, plus extra to serve ½ tsp baking powder 1 egg 120g hazelnuts, skinned and chopped METHOD
Chenin grapes, while the next looked like impossibly tender, slow-cooked wild boar with chestnut polenta (washed down beautifully with the first and last red of the evening, Vinsobres 2012 ‘Emile’). A plate of French cheeses then led us into dessert: plum, rhubarb and hazelnut cake. “This was based on a recipe by Claire,” says Matt, “but with the addition of chopped dark plums (about four) and pink rhubarb on top (about three sticks), and I replaced the brown sugar with white.” It’s at this point that we have some good news for you, dear reader; we’ve
secured Claire’s recipe for you, so you can make this awesome cake at home. And if you do, perhaps enjoy it with a glass of Jurancon 2014 (a small-batch sweet wine made from super-late harvested grapes), just like we did. ✱ Check out wefifo.com for upcoming supper clubs near you, or to advertise your own; for more information on Hamilton House venue hire, visit hamiltonhouse.org; you can find out more about Vine Trail and its wines from vinetrail.co.uk
– Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4, and line a 25cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. – Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon together and rub in the butter until you have a sandy texture (best done in a food processor). Spread half of this mix into the cake tin and press down slightly, forming an even base. – Whisk together the sour cream, baking powder and egg. Add the remaining half of the flour mix to the sour cream, then pour it all over the base of the tart and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. – Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with extra sour cream or creme fraiche.
HAVING A PARTY? This section of Crumbs is all about foodie celebrations with style. Could you do it better than these guys, 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
“Wonderfully fresh flavours... inherently satisfying dishes; staff are cool and calm and the atmosphere terrific.” MICHELIN GUIDE 2016
COMPLIMENTARY SPRITZ for you and your guests when dining To redeem, simply quote ‘crumbs’ on arrival Polpo Bristol 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH 0117 973 3100 www.polpo.co.uk
At Giuseppe’s, we take pride in cooking delicious traditional Italian dishes to serve to all our guests. In this family run business, our friendly staff are keen to help you enjoy your dining experience. Located in the heart of Bristol, Giuseppe’s cosy restaurant is perfect for either a business lunch or for a evening meal with family and friends. Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant has become one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the centre of Bristol. It has successfully provided customers with excellent Italian food at reasonable prices in a very elegant setting, for the past 24 years. Located on the edge of St Nicholas Market, a beautiful and historic area of the city, Giuseppe’s maintains a tradition of excellence. Using fresh ingredients, our Italian chefs create authentic dishes that not only meet but surpass expectations.
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, 59 Baldwin Street, Bristol BS1 1QZ
0117 926 4869
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spring sips There’s a new range of cordials in town, and their exotic flavour combinations are sure to make them winning sips on sunny days...
nleash the distinctive and characterful flavours of Frobishers Cordials on your tastebuds. Offering a unique blend of fruit and botanicals, they feature only the very best ingredients from around the globe. Inspired by adventure, these drinks come in five, well-travelled flavours, including Lemon & Mint, Pomegranate & Rose, Sloe & Raspberry, Coconut & Kaffir Lime and Peach & Lychee. Delicious served over ice with still or sparkling water, they’re also great to get creative with, and mix up to make a range of show-stopping cocktails.
Lemon & Mint Classic Mojito
A classic Mojito recipe, made simple. Full of zing and freshness, and so, so satisfying. Made with Frobishers Lemon & Mint Cordial. Use a high tumbler or kilner glass. Ingredients:
25ml Frobishers Lemon & Mint Cordial 25ml white rum soda water ice (crushed or cubed) fresh mint leaves – Select your glass and add the Lemon & Mint Cordial and white rum. Top with chilled soda water and ice. – Decorate with a few sprigs of mint on the top or muddle the mint down further into the glass if you like that fresh flavour. – Enjoy! Find Frobishers Cordials, priced at £3.25 per bottle, at Waitrose stores and online, farm shops and delis, and Ocado. For more inspiration and to find a cocktail or mocktail recipe to suit any occasion visit frobisherscordials.com
IT’S A SMALL WORLD, AFTER ALL NOT MANY OF US URBAN DWELLERS ARE BLESSED WITH THE GIFT OF SPACE WHEN IT COMES TO OUR CITY GAFFS – ESPECIALLY IN THE KITCHEN. SO, WE’VE ASKED SOME LOCAL PROS FOR THEIR TOP TIPS ON MAKING OUR SMALL KITCHENS MIGHTY... 64
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mall kitchens. They have good points and bad points. On the bright side, they’re quick to clean, and really get you into good washingup habits – because there’s physically nowhere to stack dishes. Bad points? Clutter. Stress. Lack of worktop space. Everyone getting away with not helping you cook, because there’s no room for them in the kitchen anyway. And we’re not talking about some of those ‘small kitchens’ that you’ll find on Pinterest and the like (just the seven square metres there, hey?), but really, actually, legit small ones. With everything so concentrated in such a limited space, we need to think about not just how the kitchen will look and feel, but also how it will function, practically. Graham Craig of Hobsons Choice in Bath makes a good point about practical worktop layouts. “Look to locate the hob and sink as far apart as possible, within the confines of the small space, to maximise the working area in between – this is a space typically used for preparation or plating up.” Fair one. And said extra workspace might even limit the number of tea towels that get set on fire on the hob (just us?). But if you’re still short on workspace? Invest in a secret sink, says Rob Cash of Bristol’s Kutchenhaus, whose covered sink solution not only features a glass cover to create more work surface, but also a tap that can be retracted, so the whole thing can be neatly tucked away when not in use.
This clever hide-away sink has a retractable tap, so adds more workspace to your kitchen counters – you’d never even know it’s there
With work surfaces optimised, it’s time to tackle the rest of the space. After all, it would be nice to fit more than one person (and perhaps the odd extra limb) into the room with you occasionally. “L-shaped kitchens create an easy and efficient workspace,” Rob also suggests. “They allow appliances and cabinets to be fitted along two walls, but still leave an open space.” And space is exactly what you need when you’re having that last minute thepotatoes-are-done-but-the-chicken’s-stillraw flap. Or, you know, want to fit in a little dining table. Either/or. Storage is a huge issue, an’ all. Shelves are great as a substitute for cupboards if you want to give the impresson of open space, even if unsightly bags of lentils aren’t really focus pieces to have on display. Kim Patterson of Rossiters has an idea here, though.
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“Baskets on shelves create a homely feel,” she says, “and hold bulkier items out of sight, creating the illusion of space.” And those cabinets that you do have? Make them as sleek as you can: “Handless cabinet options and integrated appliances will offer a streamlined look,” says Lee Tiffin, kitchen buying controller at Leekes. They can be further pimped up, though, points out Sustainable Kitchens’ head designer, Charlie Flemons. He says: “If storage is a necessity, consider adding LED lights below wall cabinets to inject some light into the space.” Hidden lighting is an awesome trick that interior designers use to add a light, airy feel to confined spaces – and it’s a spot-on hack for the smaller kitchen. Speaking of which, if light and airy is what you’re going for, you’ll likely be choosing one of the many shades of white
that are confusingly kicking around on the shelves of DIY stores. White doesn’t have to mean boring, though, reckons Graham. “If you are trying to decide on a colour scheme for a smaller kitchen, try to think neutrals,” he says. “White is an obvious choice, but there is always the option to add colour or texture to smaller areas with an accent scheme, bringing a splash of uniqueness into your kitchen.” If you’re lucky enough for your kitchen to back onto some outside space, consider your garden a secret weapon, reckons John Law, director at Woodhouse & Law. “Bringing in colour from outside is a perfect way to blur the lines between inside and out,” he says, “and helps create that all-important feeling of space; similarly, cohesive design between the two spaces offers a seamless transition. We love the idea of your outside space becoming an
Appliance banks like this one above are perfect for fitting lots of appliances into a smaller space...
extension to your kitchen for cooking, especially if your interior space is limited. We spotted stunning barbecues, islands and butchers’ blocks from a company called OFYR at this year’s Maison & Objet fair in Paris, and their unique all-weather fire bowls, which emit a cosy circle of warmth, much like a campfire, will have you clamouring to get outside to cook – whatever the weather.” alnokitchens.co.uk hobsonschoice.uk.com kutchenhaus.co.uk leekes.co.uk rossitersofbath.com sustainablekitchens.co.uk woodhouseandlaw.co.uk
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SHOP TO IT
Get these nifty little pieces added to your must-have list, stat…
iMOVE LIFT SHELF
Building upwards is a good option in small kitchens – and it also gives a room a sense of height, creating the feeling of more space. Thing is, those high cupboards are tricky to get to, no? Phil Harflett at Bristol’s Alno showroom doesn’t think so – not with this new wall unit. It has descending shelves and an integrated pull handle, allowing you to pull down the top shelves and retrieve your desired item, without wearing out those ballet toes.
Now you see it, now you don’t. This ace table, suggested by Rob at Kuchenhaus, slides right away when you’re done, taking up approximately zero working space. The days of balancing your dinner on your knees are over, friends.
OSBORNE AND LITTLE’S CURIO WALLPAPER
Of course, there’s no room for clutter in a teeny kitchen, but if you’re worried about it feeling too blank or stark, then warm it up with a wall hanging like this – “it will add warmth without making a space feel busy,” says Kim from Rossiters. “And this particular pattern is ideal, with its intricate kitchen theme and muted colourway.”
These are a great use of space; Sustainable Kitchens’ Charlie Flemons suggests placing one above your sink or range cooker to hold your pots and pans or utensils. Having them hanging on display will also give that oh-sotrendy industrial feel. Spice racks can also be hung on the inside of cupboard doors.
John Law – from Woodhouse & Law – has a great idea when it comes to splashbacks: why not use mirrored ones? That way they’ll reflect the light around the room and made it feel bigger. Don’t stop at hob splashbacks, though – use them to back all your shelves, too!
T H E WA N T LI S T WE’LL REFRAIN FROM EGGS-HAUSTING ALL THOSE OVERUSED EASTER PUNS, AND JUST CRACK ON WITH THIS MONTH’S SEASONAL PICKS...
1 BIRD EGG CUP £14.99 Whether you fill it with the yolky or the chocolate kind, this fella is a must for the Easter brekkie table, right? Available online from local designer, Hannah Turner Ceramics. ✱ hannahturner.co.uk 2 EMMA BRIDGEWATER HEN ON NEST £54.95 This will make a great hiding place for that egg hunt – and continue to earn its place in the kitchen all year round. Find it at Rossiters of Bath. ✱ rossitersofbath.com 3 EGG COZIES £5.50 for two If this isn’t the cutest thing you’ve seen all day, then we’re mighty jealous of what you’ve been up to. Sold online by Frome-based Cox & Cox. ✱ coxandcox.co.uk 4 CHICKEN CLOCK £45 Sure, it has that whole farmhouse-chic thing going on, but – wait for it – the tail wags, too. Now you’re sold. Available online from Dorset-based biz, The Labrador Company. ✱ thelabradorcompany.co.uk 5 BOREAL FOREST JUICE GLASS £12 You’ll need to be washing down all that chocolate with something, and this here is our vessel of choice. Get it at Anthropologie in Bath. ✱ anthropologie.com
Bar • Kitchen Dining
MOTHER’S DAY LUNCH
Sunday 26th March 2017 2 Courses £22.50 • 3 Courses £28.00 Children 10 and under £10, 2 courses
Loaves & Fishes Saturday 1st April 10am • £35 per person
Come and join us for an amazing Mother’s Day lunch in our cosy country pub on the edge of Bradford-on-Avon. Get your and family together and relax on the luxury sofas by the fire in our comfy bar. Children and dogs welcome.
All ladies will receive a super gift, with our love.
TO BOOK CALL
Dine & Demo morning with classic fish dish Bouillabaisse and baking hot cross buns. This is a hands on demo and a practical session, starting with coffee and meet the chefs, demo and cooking session. Followed by a light lunch and a glass of wine. Bring an apron.
67 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1AQ • firstname.lastname@example.org • thegeorgebradfordonavon.co.uk
MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL Treat Mum and the family to a delicious 3 course carvery lunch including a glass of Prosecco and gift on arrival. Sunday 26th March 2017 £29.95 per person
For more information or to make a booking please call 01179255 100 or visit our Walter’s Bar & Grill website www.waltersbristolroyal.co.uk
Children up to 5yrs eat free, 6-12 yrs £14.95 per child. Complimentary parking included. Bookings from 12:30pm – 14:00pm
Four-course Punjabi tasting menu available March-April
10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 | email@example.com | www.nutmegbristol.com
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BRADLEYâ€™S JUICE COMPANY Box Bush Farm, Somerset BS24 6UA Tel: 01934 822356 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram www.bradleysjuice.co.uk
The Macdonald hotels’ signature Collection Treat your mum to a delicious 3 Course Lunch on Mother's Day in the beautiful Georgian 2 Rosette Vellore Restaurant for £28.95 per person including a gift for all the Mums
Or maybe you are looking for a family gathering on Easter Sunday, join us for Easter Sunday Lunch and enjoy 3 courses for £28.95 per person in our stunning Vellore Restaurant and an Easter Egg hunt in the garden for all the children!
Are you looking for a relaxing afternoon with friends or family? Then why not join us for Afternoon Tea in the beautiful Georgian Vellore Restaurant every Sunday (with the exception of Mothers Day and Easter Sunday) which includes a glass of Champagne on arrival – £35.00 per person. If you would like any further information or would like to make a booking please contact the Special Events Team on 01225 476892 or email email@example.com
Behind its grandly imposing Victorian frontage at the top of Blackboy Hill, The Kings Arms offers a wonderfully diverse experience. With its café bar, dining rooms and lounges spread over several levels, there is room for everyone – even a Party Hall for those special occasions. The emphasis on the menu is home-made. Using genuinely sourced ingredients from local producers – including the family farm – it ranges from great pub classics to tasty tapas. Weekly specials use the best of what is seasonal and the burgers are legendary, with the chutneys and smoked cheeses all prepared in the Kings Arms kitchen.
The 2.4.1 weekday burger deal and a mouthwatering range of deli sandwiches makes this as much a lunch destination as an evening. Or just pop in for coffee and cake. The Sunday roasts are extremely popular, so booking is advisable, and the affordable wine list has something to suit every palette. Carefully made cocktails are available for the more adventurous – try the ‘Giddy Henry’, the House cocktail served in a tea-cup! Sit out on our sun-trap terrace – perfect for sunnier days.
The Kings Arms, 168 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2XZ Telephone: 0117 973 5922 Email: info:kingsarmsbristol.com
MAINS TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Avoiding allergens in food doesn’t mean avoiding fun
FREE TIME How are local restaurants adapting to all our free-from demands? Page 81
We chat to Joanna Blythman about how complex our relationship with food really is Page 94
PER CENT gluten-free kitchens...
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FREE LITTLE PIGGIES ARE YOU A HIGHLY SENSITIVE TYPE? NO, NOT EMOTIONALLY – WE’RE TALKING ABOUT YOUR STOMACH. AS FOOD ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES START TO AFFECT MORE PEOPLE THAN EVER BEFORE, WE LOOK INTO THE ISSUE, AND SEE HOW CHEFS ARE RESPONDING TO OUR CHANGING REQUIREMENTS…
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n 2015, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (catchy name, no?) revealed that, over the course of the previous decade, cases of food allergies had doubled, and consequential hospitalisations increased by seven times. Of course, it’s not just full-blown allergies that are changing our food habits, but the much more widespread intolerances. Last year, YouGov found that one in six people consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance – although just over three quarters of these haven’t been officially diagnosed. In fact, many people who don’t eat a certain food – gluten, dairy or whatever – have neither an intolerance nor an allergy. “People are conscious of the effect of certain foods, and we notice this has become more of a life choice than an intolerance issue,” Janice Heskett, of the new Café Matariki in Bristol, says. Siena Barnes of Thali Café agrees: “In terms of making healthier lifestyle choices, there is certainly a growing awareness of dairy, gluten and ingredients used in processed foods, and the negative effects these items may have on both emotional wellbeing and physical health.”
A lot of Asian cuisine caters naturally for those on restrictive diets...
GLUTEN? Gluten is, basically, a protein. It gives food texture – it’s what makes bread light and fluffy inside. It appears in far more foods than it did historically, being added to all sorts – from choc to spice blends. AN ALLERGY? An immune issue which, worst case scenario, could affect major organs to induce lifethreatening anaphylaxis. AN INTOLERANCE? A negative response in the body to certain foods, which may take the form of anything from a headache to a dodgy stomach.
Veganism is another diet that has been getting more air – and menu – time in recent years. And this has little to do with any kind of intolerance; rather, it’s about heath and, perhaps even more so, ethics. Rachel Demuth of vegetarian cookery school Demuths has seen a definite increase in people leaning towards plantbased eating for this very reason. “Going vegan will have more impact on the environment than giving up your car,” Rachel says, as livestock and their byproducts account for more than half of annual worldwide greenhouse gases. Animals release methane, which is worse than CO2.” Whether the growth in these diets is caused by consumer awareness, lifestyle or a rising number of allergies, free-from food is certainly in more demand than it’s ever been before – and this has not gone unnoticed by local food
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The Lion Cliftonwood
We are a small and quirky family run pub in deepest darkest Cliftonwood Bristol. Our menu is mainly gluten free and offers something for everyone, including vegan and vegetarian options. 19 Church Ln, Bristol BS8 4TX Phone: 07867 796961 www.thelioncliftonwood.co.uk
Situated in Bath’s famous indoor market
Multi Award winning Vegetarian Restaurant Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
We now stock a wide range of vegan, vegetarian and meat based products as well as delicious cakes and Bath Buns. Ideal for lunches, picnics or any time snacks. Come and order you picnic and collect it when you need it. We can even cater for small business lunches. Our range includes: Vegan, lamb or chicken samosas, veggie or meat pasties, bhajis, vegan or pork sausage rolls and veggie or pork scotch eggs. We also and stock a range of speciality scotch eggs, pork pies and vegetarian quiches. Why not add a Lovely juice drink to your picnic.
Open Mon - Sat, 9.30 - 17.00
8 Guildhall Market, Bath BA2 4AW • Tel: 01225 427195 email: email@example.com twitter: @GuildhallDeli
TRY THE NEW DISHES ON OUR EVENING MENU Quote ‛Crumbs March’ when you book and we will send you a voucher for 10% OFF of your total bill. 1 PIERREPONT STREET, BATH BA1 1LB | TO BOOK CALL 01225 420084
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Local cooks and producers are working very hard to make sure customers with restricted diets don’t have to compromise at all on the quality of their grub...
businesses, who are seeing the market change dramatically. “We’ve noticed that customer demand for free-from pies – particularly meatfree or gluten-free recipes – is increasing all the time, particularly so in the last couple of years,” says Romany Simon of Pieminister, which has spent a long time working on gluten-free pastry, and is now turning its attention to vegan versions. Shanea Russell of Bristol’s Sweetcheeks Bakery has seen a similar trend. “When it comes to special dietary requirements, gluten-free bakes are what I seem to have the most requests for,” she says. “I have family that have gluten intolerances, so am always very aware,
when baking for them, to be sure to use the appropriate flour or substitute, and ensure there’s no cross-contamination in my kitchen.” Indeed, even the tiniest speck of wheat flour could be enough put a coeliac sufferer out of action for a while. Claire Warren and Madeleine Joanes, founders of Bristolian cookery school Little Kitchen, also cite gluten-free as the most popular dietary topic – but not solely amongst those with allergies. “We have definitely seen an increase in interest for gluten-free workshops,” they say. “People are taking more interest in what they eat than ever before, with TV shows and social media helping to shape this. People are also interested in the health benefits, bringing us back to the theme of people simply choosing to leave out certain food groups, regardless of their intolerances.” It’s the same story at Clifton’s The Mall Deli, as Kate Holland-Smith confirms: “We have lots of customers asking about gluten-free or dairy-free options. When talking to them, there seems to only be a small minority who have an actual allergy – most seem to be either intolerant or avoiding it for lifestyle reasons.” Regardless of whether they could be faced with full-blown anaphylaxis,
a painful bloat, headaches or a compromised eating plan, punters are taking the stuff they load their forks with very seriously. Which means restaurants need to step up and follow suit, really. So how are they faring? YouGov found that a third of allergy sufferers aren’t confident that restaurants fully understand food allergies, so it’s unsurprising that over a quarter are too cautious to stray from their old faithful gaffs, and a fifth reckon they don’t get to eat out as much as they’d like. It’s this sense of caution that places like The Strawberry Thief are aiming to eradicate. This Bristol bar is enabling sufferers to fully relax and not worry about any specific requirements, by serving plenty of vegan and gluten-free drinks, and keeping a totally gluten-free kitchen, having teamed up with The Chocolate Bear Kitchen, a catering biz focusing on culinary inclusivity. “Why should anyone be made to feel like they can’t eat out because a certain food grouping isn’t good for them or, even worse, could lead to a fatal reaction?” asks the bar’s owner, Mike Harris. The focus here isn’t to find alternatives to foods that would usually contain gluten or animal products, but instead work with the many ingredients that are naturally free of allergens. “We don’t do vegan or gluten-free versions of dishes,” Mike says. “We do dishes that work and happen to be
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gluten free – most are also vegan. We think this is the future of food and drink.” Indeed, drinks aren’t often the focus when it comes to dietary needs – but gluten-avoiding beer lovers will no doubt tell you how this is a rather frustrating oversight. Malcolm Shipp, managing director of The Kennet & Avon Brewery, caught onto this, and says that changing the ingredients of his beers has altered his business significantly. “Since making our own bottled beers gluten-free, and stocking the largest range in the world from other brewers, we’ve won over a sizable chunk of new customers. Working like this does add a little more time to the brewing, and takes up tank space for a couple more days. Then we have to send off for testing which gives results in 72 hours – at a cost.” But it’s worth it for the results: “There’s no difference in taste at all using our methods – the mouthfeel, flavour and body are identical.” So, some industry pros are working hard to make sure that free-from offerings are of the same quality as anything else they’re selling, rather than a substandard, token gesture. “It’s all too common for meat- and dairy-free dishes to be an afterthought on a menu,” says Adam Townsley, group exec
chef for Bistrot Pierre. “But we want all our diners to feel as though their dish has been just as lovingly created as any other. It’s great that our industry is now listening to customers that have limitations. It was very different five years ago.” And that doesn’t always have to be a huge challenge; there are plenty of foods out there that don’t contain common allergens – and some cuisines perhaps make better use of them than others. To the cooks at Nepalese street food café Phat Yaks in Bath, for example, freefrom cooking comes naturally. “Nepalese food is naturally low in dairy products and wheat,” says the owner, Sarah Gurung. “We don’t really face too many challenges, we just use the best product for the job – for example, our pakoras are dairy- and wheat-free, as we use chickpea or buckwheat flour. We also choose not to use any egg in our batter, as we prefer a crispier texture.” Staying with Subcontinental scran, Thali Café’s food production pro, Pepe Blanco, says there’s a similar scenario in his kitchens, too: “We experiment with alternative ingredients, like chickpea flour, rice flour, coconut milk, and such. Fortunately, Indian culinary culture gives many different options to satisfy a really wide range of specific diets.”
As allergies and intolerances increase in number, the guys behind our local food outlets are learning better and better ways to cater for more specific requirements
LITTLE KITCHEN Cookery School
Little Kitchen is Bristol’s specialist, relaxed and affordable cookery school. Workshops and courses from Thai Street Food to Magical Macaroons, as well as catering for Hen Parties, Children’s Parties, Work Socials and School Groups.
www.little-kitchen.co.uk 07783 334881 153 Wick Road, Bristol BS4 4HH
Wedding, Celebration & Birthday cakes Gluten free & regular options available www.thewheatfreekitchen.co.uk Tel: 07795 142 724
Freshly made street food, takeaway & cafe with a Nepalese twist.
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Open Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm
for Crumbs readers until 31st March 2017, just quote ‘phatcrumbs’ when you order
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And it’s not just Indian-style joints that benefit from that country’s naturally free-from dishes; all kinds of restaurants are able use it for inspiration, including burger joint MEATliquor, whose StoCro branch has plenty of vegan options. Co-founder Yianni Papoutsis says: “For ingredients I look towards cuisines and cultures which specialise in that particular diet and take it from there: the vegan Burgaloo, for example, is inspired by Indian food.” However, with more than 100 different food groups that can cause reactions – think milk, nuts, eggs, wheat, seafood, soy, to name but some of the most common – the world of food sensitivities is a bit of a culinary minefield. Hence, a new set of rules relating to allergens was recently introduced… Sarah Greenwell, of Best of British Deli in Bath, says: “The health and safety laws that were brought in make it a lot easier for everyone: at our deli, all allergens are listed in bold type on the back of products, and for everything that we make fresh on site we record the allergens that are present. This makes the information easily accessible for all.” While these laws may have made things more straightforward on the one hand, on the other, it may have complicated the situation – although it’s hard to tell. “Since the legislation of allergen awareness in December 2014, I’ve noticed diets have become far more common,” says Kate Ploughman of Kate’s Kitchen. “Since establishments have had to – by law – write this information on their menus, it has almost made the consumer fussier. That said, we are living in a world
Even meat palaces, such as MEATliquor, are going big on vegan options – and the uptake is apparently huge
where we are getting more allergies due to things like lifestyle and pollution. “And I don’t see it as a challenge – when designing menus it actually makes it more interesting, as you have to think of suitable dishes to incorporate.” However nasty we might think the foods we’re sensitive to are, they still have nutritional relevance. So, if you’re cutting lots out, you’ll be wanting to make sure you’re not missing out on any important vitamins or minerals, right? Phil Pearce, of Bath’s vegetarian Green Rocket Café, reckons protein can be easily supplemented. “It’s found in many, many foods,” he says, “and it’s definitely good to eat lots of nuts, seeds and pulses, as
well as plenty of vegetables – especially green, leafy veg. A good rule of thumb is to try and eat meals with plenty of colour – simple, but effective.” “B12 and vitamin D come from animal products,” Rachel Demuth tells us, “so they do need to be supplemented. Vitamin D is often added to margarine, and B12 is added to nutritional yeast. Vegans can get enough calcium from beans, vegetables, nuts – and even Bath or Bristol tap water!” Whether you see the free-from movement as a trend in the statistical or the fashionable sense, there’s no denying that it is one – and it’s making the culinary landscape look more friendly for many. “In some ways, the fact it’s termed a ‘trend’ has probably helped raise people’s general awareness concerning diet and diagnosis,” says Gemma Mortimer of The Wheat Free Kitchen, “which, in turn, has forced restaurants to offer full and alternative menu options. It also means people are becoming more sympathetic to individuals who follow such diets.” “The good thing about the growing interest in free-from foods means that those who really have chronic reactions and allergies can at last have more options open to them,” agrees Fiona Vincent of The Lion in Cliftonwood. “The trend means that more money and resources will be spent on making even more foods available to those who really need them.” A good few of our local gaffs seem to be reassuringly savvy about allergies and sensitivities, then, and are creating sympathetic menus. The dining scene is now a more inclusive landscape, and we can only raise a glass to that.
biddestone arms Fine Cuisine & Country Pub
Freshly made sandwiches to order, homemade cakes, soups and quiches. Catering available for business lunches, parties, picnics and more
Tel: 01225 448055
GLUTEN FREE sandwiches & cakes available
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A DELI & CAFÉ IN THE HEART OF CLIFTON VILLAGE Freshly made delights throughout the day from our deli kitchen Local, independent suppliers Lots of gluten-free and other free-from options available Mother’s Day & Easter ranges
14 The Mall, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4DR @TheMallDeli TheMallDeli 0117 9734440
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Award winning traditional English pub food Finest cask ales • Superb classic wines • Mouthwatering menu Biddestone Arms, The Green, Biddestone, Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7DG Tel: 01249 714377
Just outside Bristol is the city’s little-known gem: Backwell House, a thrillingly luxurious nineteenth century country house complete with nooks, crannies and curiosities galore. NOW SERVING LUNCH, AFTERNOON TEA AND DINNER
For enquiries, please call us on 0117 325 1110
Backwell House, Farleigh Road, Backwell BS48 3QA email@example.com www.backwellhouse.co.uk
Our weekly changing lunch, dinner and tapas menu is superbly put together using the finest local ingredients.
WEDNESDAY NIGHTS – A tasty trip to the jewel of the Empire with “Curry and a Drink” offer
THURSDAYS – Our famous Burger Night A tasty homemade burger and a pint for £10! SUNDAYS – Award-winning roasts from 12-6pm and after 6pm marinated ribs and a pint for £10.
6 DOWRY PLACE | HOTWELLS | BRISTOL | BS8 4QL PHONE: 01173 290 352 WWW.ROSEOFDENMARK.CO.UK
t: 0117 952 1391 w: www.innonthegreenbristol.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org Inn On The Green, 2 Filton Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0PA
Chef v Chef The 12th running of the annual ChefvChef competition was a great success, with professionals and students striving to win the top prizes. Judges had a tough task to separate the contestants in the professional category. Judges were Gary Jones, Exec Chef at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons; Stuart McLeod from Zuidam UK Ltd and Jonathan Newberry, of the Valley Smokehouse.
Professional Chef Winners 2017 Gold medalist Daniel Vosper from the King William, Bath, squeezed Simon Mealing from the Garrick’s Head, Bath, into second place, whilst Fraser Jones from the Centurion Hotel, Radstock took the bronze award.
Competitors were required to compile a 2-course menu consisting of a main course featuring corn fed chicken and a dessert incorporating Bramley apples, taking local seasonal produce into account.
2nd – £50 cash prize from Catering Services International plus dinner for two at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, bottle of champagne and certificate.
For the first time, the competition included a category for teams of College students. Each team designed, prepared and served a 2-course lunch to 4 invited guests in the restaurant.
1st – £250 cash prize from Catering Services International, chefVchef trophy, certificate, champagne and an estage at the renowned Great Fosters, Egham.
3rd – £25 cash prize from Catering Services International plus bottle of champagne and certificate. Gold medallist – Professional category – Daniel Vosper, who works at The King William, Bath
Student Winners 2017 The top prize in the Bath College Team Challenge went to Lucas Fellender, Maria Parker-Cook and Joshua Yoell, who were awarded a £75 cash prize from main sponsor Catering Services International, certificate, plus dinner for 3 at a city centre restaurant. The silver award was taken by Soraya Adams, Emma Pinfield and William Ferris whilst Molly McKechnie, Maddie Walker and Sophie Jones won bronze.
Other Categories for College students included KITCHEN SKILLS • Level 1 - Knife skills • Level 2 - Cut and prepare a 1 .25 kg Chicken for Chicken Saute Chasseur. One portion of the dish to be presented for judging. 90 minutes each heat. (2 heats) RESTAURANT SKILLS • Level 1 - Napkin folding • Level 2 - Table laying • Level 3 - Individual - Wine pouring
The annual competition is organised by a not for profit partnership between Catering Services International, the main sponsor and the UK’s leading specialist in catering and hospitality recruitment, Bath College, which hosts the event, The Initiative in B&NES, Woods Restaurant and backed by many sponsors from the industry.
G RILLE D THE CRUMBS INTERVIEW
JESSICA CARTER GRABS A CHAT WITH THIS AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST AHEAD OF HER VISIT TO BATH, TO DISCUSS THE LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WE SEEM TO BE FORMING WITH FOOD…
MAY 2017 WILL see a brand new flagship festival launch in Bath, celebrating literature, music and a variety of other arts. The Bath Festival has been created off the back of the city’s rich history in art-focused festivals, but aims to merge interests together, to create a modern event that’s relevant to contemporary visitors. The programme involves live music, film, theatre and talks by creatives from a whole spectrum of different artistic disciplines. One such event comes in the form of The Big Bath Food Debate, which is seeing investigative food journalist and author Joanna Blythman sit on a panel to discuss the modern confusion surrounding food, and how it is shaping our feelings towards mealtimes. “There are two strands to food,” Joanna tells us. “One where it makes you feel good, and the other’s probably going to make you feel bad; worried and anxious. It’s a question is how we balance this – it’s important to have awareness of ethics and food production, but equally that this doesn’t kill off our pleasure in it.” This is a relatively new dilemma, which hasn’t really existed in other generations. “Eating used to be simple, didn’t it? You got food and you ate it, and didn’t think too much about it. And people tended to buy food that they’d been eating all their lives – food that their parents and grandparents ate. Food wasn’t really a stressful thing in and of itself. Up until the Second World War, most of the food we ate was organic in all but name; we were
growing the crop varieties and rearing the animals that we’d always had. The only problem that older generations had was getting enough of it, and being able to afford it.” Those uncertain times of war, when food shortages were a very real problem, coupled with the advancement of travel and technology, naturally led the industry to look for ways to improve productivity and security, says Joanna. “From around the ’50s onwards, there was a real step change in agriculture. Our ways of keeping animals became much more intense; we saw the emergence of factory farming, of selecting certain breeds based on how big they could get, or how much milk they could produce… These were the goals of post-war agriculture: it was about quantity. And the same thing happened with crops and horticulture – fruit and veg and cereals – and then came pesticides. People realised they could get far more productivity if they just sprayed everything in sight.” Of course, all these post-war goals that had been designed to protect producers and consumers in times of crisis were now being met – but it took a few decades and a significant trigger, Joanna suggests, to really get people thinking about the cost that these achievements came at. “In the late 1980s, when in Britain we had BSE, or ‘mad cow disease’ – which people died because of – I think the state of affairs fundamentally shocked the British public: there were questions about what was really going on in food production, and whether we could trust
it. And a critique started to emerge of the style of farming and production that had been going on since World War II.” By this point, though, we’d already lost some sense of connection to our food – especially with the emergence of the supermarket, and a vast import trade. “I think we all started having – largely because of supermarkets – a much more globalised diet. We were importing food from all around the world, and the further away food comes from, the less you know about it. Then we sometimes get these insights into what’s actually going on – and it’s quite disturbing. We find out things about, for instance, child labour and the palm oil industry – palm oil being an ingredient in the vast majority of processed foods.” It’s not just questionable ethics that might get us down; our quality of health has also changed. “We now have an obesity epidemic too, and type two diabetes is rife, so there’s a feeling that something’s gone wrong with our diets. This leads to feelings of food being complicated. “So, maybe at one level we simply wish we never knew any of it, and just want to do what our grans did, but I don’t think that’s really an option any longer, not least because of the pressing ethical and environmental and health issues.” These health problems aren’t solely confined to illnesses, though. Allergies and intolerances rep another kind of medical issue that’s gaining momentum. And Joanna notes how it can be viewed in very different ways.
✱ The Big Bath Food Debate, which will also feature Xanthe Clay and Philip Lymbery, is taking place on 26 May at 10am at The Assembly Rooms. Tickets start at £8; thebathfestival.org.uk
“One is that you’ve got a whole lot of neurotic people who have been persuaded they have all these allergies and dietary issues, and it’s all just a scam to make them spend more money on different foods. At least, that’s one theory – and perhaps part of the reason there’s been such an attack on clean eating. “I don’t agree with it, though. What I think has happened is that a lot of the things that people eat regularly now are just too highly processed, and contain too many additives. The way they’re made is problematic – for example, the use of enzymes in industrial bread baking – so some foods are actually qualitatively different from the versions that my granny and her granny were eating. The means of making it, the types of gluten that’s in the flour, and the digestibility of the gluten in these fast-processed industrial breads are quite, quite different, and it doesn’t surprise me at all if the nation has a gut reaction to it. “There are things in processed food that people are eating a lot of, and these things haven’t been studied adequately yet, although they’re now really prevalent in the human diet.” Think it all sounds very doom and gloom? Not on your nelly. Consider also the positive power of food; how it nourishes us and puts great big smiles on our chops when we eat something delicious. It’s about balance; making choices that keep our bodies, economy and consciences peppy. We just happen to be the first generation that it’s not come entirely naturally to...
CHEZ DOMINIQUE Modern French Dining in Bath
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AF T E RS NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
Highlights GOOD NEIGHBOURS We finally make it to Shop 3 Bistro Page 102
South Bristol’s winning streak continues with The Eating Room Page 106
The Duck & Willow’s given Downend locals more to smile about Page 108
Zitto & Bevi, a Stokes Croft gaff that’s not afraid to carb load... Page 112
Shop 3 Bistro’s cocktail menu is packed with homemade syrups and locally distilled spirits...
LAYERS of pasta in one slice of lasange. Legit.
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SHOP 3 BISTRO THIS RUSTIC RESTAURANT WAS ALWAYS DESTINED FOR BRISTOL, RECKONS JESSICA CARTER
athryn Curtis and Stephen Gilchrist may be newcomers to Bristol, but theyâ€™re far from novices when it comes to running their own restaurant. The pair arrived on our patch after six years at the helm of their own gaff in New Zealand, where Stephen is originally from (Kathryn hails from Devon). Having decided to make the move to the UK, the pair bagged this former Indian restaurant right on Regent Street in Clifton (a couple of doors down from the Thali CafĂŠ, and almost opposite The Clifton) at the end of November last year. They opened its doors less than a month later, with a totally transformed dining room. Since then, this still-new eatery
– which blurs the lines between a swish fine dining and casual bistro scenario – has generated plenty of buzz. Not least because it opened so inconspicuously, and the city’s penchant for Prohibition-style bars tells us that it loves a good secret (although is awful at keeping them, much to said bars’ advantage). In Shop 3’s case, this low-key opening wasn’t a clever marketing strategy – just a by-product of two people having their hands full with turning a venue around in three weeks, I’d imagine. Anyway, as exciting as happening upon a surprise new restaurant is, gossip will very quickly dry up if the hype isn’t worth it – something I’ve not seen happen with this little spot. The concept of Shop 3 Bistro sits very comfortably in Bristol: wild, local ingredients in carefully conceived dishes with an elegant edge – minus any fuss or pretention. Therefore, the menu changes on the regular (obvs), and tells us what’s going on in our local farms and hedgerows that season. You’ll find Kathryn front of house – she has an infectious excitement for the food she serves, which really lights up the experience – while Stephen heads up the kitchen, and has the job of following through on their customers’ rightly growing sense of anticipation. And he gets the job done. A starter of creamy, yoghurty Shepton Mallet goat’s curd, a pleasingly savoury wild leek ash, and a gently zingy Japanese pesto (made with spring onion) at £6.50 had a great balance of flavour and texture, the leek ash offseting the silky curd with necessary crunch. Also, the cod brandade (£6.30), smooth but with its integral texture intact, buddied up well with horseradish and wild fungi. There was a graceful mention of
truffle on the plate too, and crisp lichen added to the interest. Slices of Dartmoor venison (£16.95) were soft, plump and fleshy pink in colour, and were joined by crunchy shredded hispi cabbage, and chunks of mulled beetroot, which did a great job of showing off the claret vegetable’s earthy and sweet virtues. A Panko-coated chicken oyster was a happy addition – especially as they rarely make it to the table (being, as I was taught, the cook’s treat). Blackberries and a hedgerow jus completed this dish’s English countryside feel. There was also free-range duck (£16), with pillows of fried kumara (a type of sweet potato) gnocchi, sprouting broc, delicate chunks of pale rhubarb, a scattering of savoury crumble and homemade mustard. Again, the meat was perfectly timed – think plump and juicy
with a soft, relaxed texture, and pastelpink interior. Everything on our dishes made sense. Stephen is clearly out to excite and intrigue his diners, but there is nothing try-hard or superfluous about his food. Both taste and texture have been well considered, and all ingredients are made the most of – take the way that those chicken oysters were used, and the ‘everything crumble’ on the duck. A Drambuie cheesecake (£6) and chocolate fondant (£6.90) also made use of any remaining capacity in our stomachs. The former came as soft, creamy quenelles of filling, with Jerusalem artichoke crisps, quince, honeycombe and some fresh coriander, while the latter was indulgent without being too heavy, and featured a purée of the lesser-spotted parsley root. The savoury elements on both these dishes gave them a real edge, and controlled their sweetness. The craft brews, really decent wine list (we loved the house red), and novel cocktail collection sit perfectly alongside the food menu, following its local lead. Beers and ciders are from nearby, as are many of the ingredients in the cocktails, including homemade syrups (try the Hedgerow Sour: a mix of Kathryn’s rosehip and crab apple syrup, 6 O’Clock Gin, egg white and lemon juice). Comparable in some ways to the likes of Birch and Wilsons, Shop 3 Bistro has certainly made itself at home in this city very quickly. In fact, it almost feels like it’s always been here, especially with things already running so smoothly. ✱ SHOP 3 BISTRO, 3 Regent Street, Bristol BS8 4HW; 0117 382 2235; facebook.com/Shop3Bistro
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THE EATING ROOM
IT’S HIGHLY LIKELY THAT JESSICA CARTER’S FIRST VISIT TO THIS COOL CAFÉ-RESTAURANT WILL BE FAR FROM HER LAST…
hile it might have been open for less than 18 months, The Eating Room has already seen some major developments. Started by Sian Titchener, it was originally a coffee shop within a vintage store, but – long story short – the store moved on and Sian took over the entire premises. With a windowed front and white walls, the restaurant is all clean and bright inside, but the pops of colour and Ercolstyle furniture (sourced from the nearby Rhubarb Jumble on North Street) create a cool, retro vibe. It’s undeniably homely, too, with its vintage dressers, vases of flowers and living room-style touches. A space that you can proper chill out and make yourself at home in. The offering has also naturally evolved; Sian originally had good coffee and quality snacks in mind when she launched this – her first – food venture. And those basics are still in place: the coffee comes from local speciality coffee roaster Roasted Rituals, and the bread is made by Baked, just down the road. Last summer, though, Thea Wakeling took the helm in the kitchen, and the extended menu now hints of her experience cooking in both London and Rome, in its light, modern ideas and homemade, Mediterranean feel. It wasn’t long after Thea climed aboard that The Eating Room launched its evening services, which run Thursday
to Saturday. These evenings bring with them ever-changing menus of good-value small plates: think aubergine chermoula crostini (£5), rosemary and garlic potato al forno (£3), chicken liver bruschetta with sage (£5), and chorizo with butterbeans, garlic and thyme (£7). It’s currently BYO, too – with a £3 corkage fee per person – although Sian is hoping to be able to get some really decent sips on the go soon, to sell alongside the food. Daytime sees some of these same great dishes appropriated, on a slightly condensed list. For instance, that chorizo and butterbean number transforms into brunch, thanks to wilted spinach and softboiled egg (£7.50). Other brunch options look like porridge with blueberries, maple syrup and granola topping (£4.50), and smoked mackerel with horseradish, egg and sourdough (£6.50). All those are available alongside the collection of lunches – which is what we chose from. Sharing three plates between two, we didn’t make it to the cheese toastie, which came with kimchi or ale mustard (£6), but did get to try everything else. A plate of torn hunks of mozzarella, shredded fennel and little segments of juicy blood orange (£4) was a great surprise – it had a gorgeous lightness of touch, and amounted to far more than the sum of its parts. The milky cheese was given a delicate sweetness and zing thanks to the orange, while the crisp fennel backed up the savoury flavours.
There was also a hearty bowl of roasted beetroot, puy lentils and caramelised shallots (£7). It certainly looked the part with its hues of deep purple, and the flavours followed through, thanks to the earthy, juicy beets, sweet shallot and bitter radicchio leaves. Dollops of cooling, cleansing goat’s curd evened out those contrasting tastes. The lamb albondigas (£8) saw balls of lean lamb mince snuggle in a chunky, fresh-tasting tomato sauce, aromatic with a Moroccan-style blend of herbs and spices. It came with slices of flatbread, which were employed to mop up all that extra sauce. Although that lot had more than filled a hole, we had no kind of inclination to make a move. Plus, we’d not even tried the cake yet. That day’s was a dense, moist orange and almond number (£2.50), which came in a generous hunk and finally saw us defeated. Forks renounced, we slowly prepared ourselves to leave, working out exactly how far away this unsung spot was from our houses. Turns out, not far at all – which we were even happier about when Sian revealed that there’s a garden out the back, which she’s hoping to ready for the summer… ✱ THE EATING ROOM, 156-158 Wells Road, Bristol BS4 2AG; 07397 790433; theeatingroom.co.uk
THE DUCK & WILLOW
THIS VENTURE FROM THE TEAM BEHIND HORFIELD’S GLOUCESTER OLD SPOT WILL KEEP LOCALS FED AND WATERED IN STYLE, SAYS CHARLIE LYON
ownend. There’s plenty of good stuff to say about this northeastern suburb of Bristol: houses with roomy gardens, a cool community vibe, great proximity to the Ring Road. But you probably won’t have heard too much about it in the pages of Crumbs – because up ’til now it’s perhaps been somewhat lacking in notable grub hubs. The more ‘foodie’ of folk would congregate at Mezze at the Green Dragon, where the tapas-style dishes definitely fill a hole, but they aren’t going to blow you away. Or maybe I’m just prejudiced – my last trip there was with a Spanish girl who had an insatiable lust for liver, and ordered bowls and bowls of the pungent cubes for the table. They came dressed with nothing save thick coatings of dried oregano – a challenge to get down your neck when you’ve got a thirst on. But anyway, times they are a-changin’. With so many children of the ’80s and ’90s leaving the city proper – with bairns of their own in tow, or just in need of more space – has come the demand for decent hangouts that’ll dish up a good beer and quality feed at a reasonable price. And now Amy Devenish has answered their calls with the opening of The Duck & Willow.
Co-owner Amy knows a thing or two about running pubs – in 2014 she transformed The Kellaway Arms into The Gloucester Old Spot, now lauded as one of the finest family-friendly gastro pubs in the city. And now she’s teamed up again with head chef Tom Brownell to do the same to… what did it used to be called? (Any ideas? Didn’t think so.) No matter; what’s important is that the old Beaufort Hunt – we looked it up – is now rocking a whole new guise, with cool, comfy interiors and a menu filled with pub classics done well. Like The Old Spot, it’s on a main vein of the city, making it an easy one to find. When it comes to the new name, Amy explains: “As the famous Downend Cricket Club is just over the road, it seemed fitting to give a nod in their direction, with cricket bats being made from willow. Plus, I wanted another animal name to keep up the theme we have at The Old Spot, so the name The Duck & Willow was created.” Inside, it’s a great space – wooden and warm, with bar and restaurant areas that are open, so wherever you sit you’ll be among the hubbub. Quirks like retro radio collections, antler wall mounts and arrays of clocks keep things ‘Bristol’. Servers are quick to recommend a guest beer, Bitter and Twisted ale, while we peruse the menu.
The Gloucester Old Spot is loved for its good-value, sizeable breakfasts, top-notch burgers and classic pub dishes. and this place looks like it’ll offer the same, with sandwiches, salads and burgers all present, and almost all coming in at under a tenner. Pub classics, like gammon egg and chips and ‘guest sausage’ and mash, are just a pound or two more. The small plates are good, our favourite being the croquettes (£4.50): fluffy and moreish, with chunks of black pudding studded through, there’s a subtle sweetness of apple and a hint of gingery spice that gives them an edge over others you’ll find in the city. The roast cauliflower (£3.95) has good bite and comes in a mini sea of puy lentils, too; it’s salty and savoury and nicely filling. The confit duck leg main (£13.95) comes with a creamy wedge of gratin Dauphinoise. The jus is sweet and spiced, and the fricassee of pea, mint and baby gem elevates the gratifying dinner to a place just north of decent pub grub. Across the table there’s not much left of the rolled lamb belly that’s been braised in Rioja. It’s refreshing to see lamb done differently in a pub, and the accompanying lentils and greens keep it light. The meat is a good mixture of textures (a crisp outer layer and soft, melting fat), while just a smattering of jus keeps the focus where it should be. Pleasing puds include a chocolate brownie (£5.75) that’s rich with dark and
white chocolate, plus hunks of hazelnut, served up with clotted cream ice cream and chocolate sauce. A quick Whatsapp message to my Downend friends the next day, telling them about the place, provokes a flurry of instant responses: “Oh, the kids love it in there.” “It’s always rammed.” “They do the best Sunday roasts.” Well. We wanted to try and help spread the word, but it seems like it’s spreading just fine already. ✱ THE DUCK & WILLOW, 64 Downend Road, Bristol BS16 5UE; 0117 956 6843; theduckandwillowbristol.co.uk
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ZITTO & BEVI
THE RULES AT THIS OSTERIA ARE RATHER SIMPLE, FINDS JESSICA CARTER, AND THEY HEAVILY INVOLVE THE BAR MENU... 112
his restaurant opened just off Stokes Croft last summer, taking over the former premises of The Runcible Spoon on Nine Tree Hill. Literally translating to ‘shut up and drink’, its name reflects the concepts of the old-school Italian osterias on which it is based. In these kinds of joint, traditionally, the drink is the focus, and the food kept pleasingly straightforward. This being the case, it’s good form to start with an ‘aperitivi’ of a Negroni or a Spritz (the latter available in three versions). There are also Italian brews on the go by Manabrea and Peroni, as well as some local crafty numbers from Electric Bear and Wiper and True. There’s an unpretentious handful of wines by the glass and carafe, and an extended selection available by the bottle, too. Inside, the space is humble and rustic. On the ground floor you’ll find the bar, with bench seating along the windowed frontage and a few more tables dotted about the snug room. Around the back of the bar is a wooden staircase, leading down to more seating – the steps charmingly worn down and wonky, having been very well trodden. The basement dining space has much the same character, with the low, beamed ceilings and fuss-free decor. This is a proper cosy hideout, ideal for hunkering down in on a chilly evening with a bottle of good red. The setting isn’t the only thing that makes Zitto & Bevi so darn comforting, though… The grub here is straight-up, good value, and homemade. There are no fancy frills or attempts to reinvent the wheel, just honest, authentic and affordable food.
There are a handful of starters, including bruschetta (£5), for which you can choose three different versions – think caponata, ’nduja, fontina cheese, or tomato – and a classic tomato and mozzarella salad (£4). We were sold on the crostino toscano (£5) – homemade Florence-style pâté smeared on a crisp slice of bread (not to be compared to the aforementioned bruschetta, the menu warns, unless you’re prepared for a lengthily discussion with Ago in the kitchen…). The earthy, crumbly-textured chicken liver pâté came in a generous layer atop the bread, simply served and garnished with a parsley leaf. Bosh. Job done. We liked. The roasted polenta (£5, again), comes with a topping of choice – ours being the sausage ragu. Chunky chips of polenta were smothered in the rich, tomato sauce, thick with texture and meat. Plate was quickly cleared. Main courses comprise three versions of lasange – classic beef, vegetable, and salmon (all £9) – as well as the likes of baked rice cake with tomato sauce (£9), which I’ve happily snaffled in the past, and caponata (£6). There was also an extra dish on the wood-framed specials
blackboard – pizzoccheri (£10) – which was recommended. Chilled out Matteo (who’ll you’ll know by his dungarees, impressive beard and cheery nature) always has suggestions up his sleeve, which he’ll offer as he pulls up a chair, parks himself down and takes your order. The pizzoccheri was described as a traditional mountain pasta dish – it called for a bit of further research on my part, as I’ve not had it before, but it turns out it’s a classic meal from a mountainous area of Northern Italy. Hence, I would assume, its low-maintenance ingredients – buckwheat pasta, cabbage, potato, sage and cheese – and hearty character. This carb-loaded bowl was everything you’d want it to be. Rich with butter and punchy with garlic, it was almost cake-like, the short ribbons of pasta and soft hunks of potato all bound together in warm cheese. A big carby hug. In a bid to test the staples, too, we ordered the classic lasagne. Two wedges of Parmesan-topped tomatoey comfort contained layer upon layer of pasta (I counted 12 in one part), alternating with Bolognaise ragu. There was nothing showy about it, but that’s the whole point. If you’re looking for something fancy then maybe keep looking, but if you want proper, honest, homemade Italian grub, give this rustic, kooky little joint a go. Make sure you clear your evening plans, though; so laid back is it here that nothing is swift or rushed along, so get a bottle of vino in, make yourself comfortable, and take your time about dinner. ✱ ZITTO & BEVI, 3 Nine Tree Hill, Bristol BS1 3SB; 0117 329 7645; facebook.com/ZittoandBevi
AS FOUNDER OF RESTAURANT REWARD APP LUX, BATH-BASED JAMES COURTNEY SURE KNOWS HIS WAY AROUND THE CITY’S FOOD HOTSPOTS… BEST BREKKIE? Cafe Lucca. Sitting in the comfy armchairs by the windows and feeling the warm sun stream in as I get stuck into my avo and bacon is exactly how I like to wake up. TOP BREW? I practically live in The Forum – their cappuccinos are what keep me going. I settle in for the day with my coffee and laptop and watch the windows steam up.
Now add this little lot to your contacts book Cafe Lucca, Bath BA1 2QZ; cafelucca.co.uk The Forum, Bath BA1 1UG; bathforum.co.uk Hare & Hounds, Bath BA1 5TJ; hareandhoundsbath.com Sub 13, Bath BA1 2EE; sub13.net Hudson, Bath BA1 5BU; hudsonsteakhouse.co.uk Ponte Vecchio, Bath BA2 6PW; pontevecchiobath.com The Dark Horse, Bath BA1 2AB; darkhorsebar.co.uk Piattino, Bath BA1 2EE; piattinobath.com No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath BA2 4BS; no15greatpulteney.co.uk The Clifton Sausage, Bath BA1 5LS; cliftonsausage.co.uk Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Bath BA1 1NX; acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk The Mint Room, Bath BA2 3EB; themintroom.co.uk Chez Dominique, Bath BA2 4BQ; chezdominique.co.uk The Real Italian Ice Cream Company, Bath BA1 1NG; facebook. com/therealitalianicecreamcompany Raphael’s, Bath BA1 1RN; raphaelrestaurant.co.uk
SUNDAY LUNCH? You just can’t beat the roast at the Hare & Hounds. I’m just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit more, so I can sit out on their deck, contentedly full, and doze away my Sunday with one of the best views in Bath as my backdrop. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? After a good day
in the office, it’s off to spend the rest of the evening in the vaults of Sub 13.
POSH NOSH? It has to be Hudson.
Give me their fillet steak, perfectly pink, with a side of truffle Parmesan fries and leave me to it. Bliss.
ALFRESCO FEASTING? Ponte Vecchio, nestled right down by the weir. Sitting on the veranda in the sun, you could easily pretend you’re somewhere in the south of Italy. And the food is sublime, too. HIDDEN GEM? The Dark Horse is, without a doubt, the best-kept secret in Bath. Opulent yet relaxed, it has so much charisma. Go. Now. ONE TO WATCH? For me, the newly
opened Piattino on George Street is really exciting. Beautiful feasting boards and arguably the best tiramisu in Bath is accompanied by live music
and top notch Italian hospitality that makes you feel right at home! WITH FRIENDS? You’ll find us at Bar 15 at No.15 Great Pulteney; it’s both engaging and fun. COMFORT FOOD? If you want something that will make your soul happy, The Clifton Sausage does English comfort food to perfection. Finish off a hearty meal with a sticky toffee pudding – it is the best I have ever tasted! WITH THE FAMILY? My mother loves
vegetarian food, so Acorn is always our destination of choice. Even as a meateater, this place gets me excited!
BEST CURRY? The Mint Room is a refreshing take on Indian cuisine and stands out for me, leaving other curry houses far behind. They really care about their dishes – and it shows. BEST ATMOSPHERE? I love sitting in the rustic, candlelit Chez Dominique, with a glass of a great red in my hand. There’s also a gorgeous private room nestled out the back, which is ideal for group get-togethers. SOMETHING SWEET? The Real Italian
Ice Cream Company is the place to go. I’m not going to lie, I’ll have the Nutella waffles with both gelato and whipped cream – and I’m not sorry one bit.
PRE-THEATRE FEED? Raphael’s.
Perfectly presented dishes with paired wines, and only a stumble away from the Theatre Royal itself.