L O N D O N , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E
I S S T E E I L B R R
E U BL
THE GOLD AWARD WINNING BRITISH ORANGE BLUE CHEESE AVAILABLE IN ALL MAJOR SU PER MAR KETS
I S S T E E I L B R R
THE GOLD AWARD WINNING BRITISH ORANGE BLUE CHEESE AVAILABLE IN ALL MAJO R SU PER MAR KETS
E U BL
Christmas with Caorunn
SPICE UP YO U R CHRISTMAS
Turkey Breast Joint with Plum Stuffing and a Plum Glaze Brined and wrapped in bacon for tender, succulent meat, with a plum, spiced ginger and honey stuffing, ginger butter and a tangy plum glaze to pour over during cooking. ÂŁ25
Turkey Breast Joint with Plum Stuffing and a Plum Glaze, ÂŁ25. (Typical weight 1kg). Available through Waitrose & Partners Entertaining. Order by 15 December. Selected stores. Subject to availability. Minimum online spend applies. Prices may vary in Channel Islands, Little Waitrose & Partners and concessions. Excludes motorway service stations, Welcome Break and petrol stations.
E D I T O R I A L
Mike Gibson STAFF WRITER
THE FOODISM 100
D E S I G N
THE HIDEAWAY: THE BILTMORE
RECIPES: THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE
WEAPONS OF CHOICE
Barbara Malagoli, Clare Finney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Emily Black, Annie Brooks JUNIOR DESIGNER
Matthew Franklin PRINTING
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Ellen Cook, Francesca Neal, Jake Evans, Jason Lyon, Lily Barclay, Matt Lincoln, Rhianne Cochrane DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION MANAGER
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Melissa van der Haak
MARKETING & EVENTS
MARKETING & EVENTS EXECUTIVES
Amber Ahmad, Emily Fulcher LEAD DEVELOPER
Steve Cole FINANCE
Jess Gunning, Jenny Thomas OFFICE MANAGER
Caroline Walker CEO
Tim Slee CHAIRMAN
Tom Kelly OBE © Square Up Media Limited 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office. foodism uses paper from sustainable sources.
hey say it’s better to give than to receive. In the context of Christmas, I’m agreeing with that more and more as I get older. I can just about remember the sheer, unbridled excitement of my youth as, fingers trembling, I unwrapped my presents and the giddy thrill of someone absolutely nailing the brief. But these days, despite weeks of my family hounding me for suggestions in the family WhatsApp, I’m utterly dreadful at thinking of things I actually want. Luckily, though, for the last decade or so, there’s been an incredibly easy fix: food and drink. In my late teens I discovered I really, really liked to eat and drink, so from the perspective of everyone else, buying for me became a walk in the park. After all, why spend hours agonising over whether a shirt is in keeping with my fashion sense (the sweet spot between lumberjack and librarian, if you’re asking) if the buyer knows I’ll lose my proverbial shit for a really sexy colander? It’s for that reason that I’m really excited to share this year’s gift guide (p59), which rounds up our pick of the food and drink products that need to be under your tree and in your loved ones’ stockings this year. With the shopping out the way, then, what about Christmas itself, (and the accompanying parties, drop-ins and all the other bits)? Well, we’ve thought of that: we’ve enlisted the help of some food-industry mates to help you through festive entertaining (p42), and provided you with a knockout selection of wines for Christmas Day on page 90. Wine not your thing? We’ve shown you how to match each of Christmas Day’s big-hitting moments with beer instead on page 85. So, with literally every stress that comes with the festive season solved by your favourite food magazine (you’re welcome), all that’s left is to wish you a very happy Christmas from everyone here at foodism. Eat, drink and be merry. Then eat and drink some more.
THE FOODISM GIFT GUIDE
FIVE DISHES: RICHARD CORRIGAN
ON THE TRAIL: VENICE
THE ITINERARY: VIENNA
ON THE COVER: We teamed up with Bulleit Bourbon this issue for a shot of the barley and rye used in its distilling process
ABC certified distribution: 75,180 January-June 2019
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THE GIFT AT THE TOP OF THEIR LIST Gift vouchers available now londoninthesky.com
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN DINGLE
N OW OP E N I N T H E C I T Y AT T H E R OYA L E XC H A N G E SHOP | R E S TAU R A N T | B A R C I T Y@ F O R T N U M A N D M A S O N . C O M
— PART 1 —
GRAZE “WHETHER YOU WORK IN THE INDUSTRY OR YOU JUST LIKE THE SOUND OF A KNEES-UP IN THE NAME OF FOOD DOING GOOD, KEEP IT ON YOUR RADAR” WE PREVIEW NEXT YEAR’S FOODISM 100 AWARDS, 016
014 THE FOODIST | 015 THE ESCAPIST | 016 THE FOODISM 100 | 018 THE DIGEST 020 THE HIDEAWAY: THE BILTMORE | 023 RECIPES: THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE 030 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 034 FOODISM EXPERIENCES
THE LONDON LARDER
This month: ManiLife’s peanut butter
With food waste an ever-growing problem in the UK, Lucas Oakeley waxes lyrical about leftovers
T WAS STANDING in the lucent glow of my refrigerator at 4 in the morning recently, spooning cold daal into my mouth wearing nothing but my boxer briefs, that I came to the following realisation: food really does better the day after. I admit that lightning bolt of clarity might have been brought on by a session of heavy drinking the night before. But seeing as we’re currently in the thick of the festive season (and seeing that 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the UK food industry every year), I feel that my epiphany has come at the perfect time. Nothing, after all, sorts a Boxing Day hangover like a fat sandwich constructed out of the big day’s leftovers. I’d take a crusty baguette stuffed to the gills with turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, and stuffing over a roast with all the trimmings any day of the week. Bubble and squeak? Much better than the sum of its parsnip, carrot and potato parts. Christmas cake? Vastly improved by spending a few days in the fridge till it gets just the right amount of stale.
My leftovers-are-the-best-overs hypothesis even extends outside the realm of festive food. Cold pizza, for one, holds a dear place in my heart – rich with memories of Xbox sleepovers and mornings spent eating slabs of deep-pan Pizza Hut for breakfast, resurrected Lazarus-like via the magic of the off-limits oven. And although it took until university for me to realise that day-old rice comes into its own when egg-fried, I can’t imagine my life today without its presence. It’s going to take more than my personal sense of frugality to tackle the nation’s growing food waste problem, but the fact that chefs like Adam Handling – whose restaurant Ugly Butterfly (pictured) serves an entire menu constructed from leftovers – and apps like Too Good Too Go are on a mission change the way we view leftovers is an encouraging sign. So, the next time you’re thinking about scraping that last bit of risotto into the bin, why not stop and think for a bit? Because, baby, you’ve got the makings of an arancini ball on your hands... f
What’s the product? Only the peanut butter of all peanut butters – and, yes, that’s a big claim. ManiLife Deep Roast was born from an accident in founder Stuart Macdonald’s kitchen in Raynes Park in 2015. The previous year, while volunteering in Argentina, he discovered some seriously good peanuts growing on a family farm in Cordoba and, on his return home, he imported some and tried his hand at making his own spread. First time around he burnt the peanuts but, rather than chuck them out, created something magical in the process in the form of his award-winning dark roast.
Who makes it? Stu and his team in their kitchen in North West London, and the Cordoban family who grow and harvest the peanuts where they’re grown in Argentina. They were the first people to apply the same methods artisans apply to coffee to peanuts – aka roasting the initial product – making their spread seriously unique.
What does it taste like? Heaven in a jar. No, really. Imagine the maltiness of normal PB but turned up to 11 and you’ll come close to ManiLife’s dark roast. The nuts are naturally sweeter and hi-oleic, meaning they’re higher in good fats, too. Also available in 1kg tubs – you have been warned.
Where can I get it? Available in Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and directly from mani-life.com, where £3.75 will buy you 295g.
LOCAL HEROES ROVI
EAT AND SHO P
WILD BY TART
One of the first things that strikes you when dining at Rovi isn’t just the quality of the food (although it is pretty undeniable), but the quality of everything it comes served on. That’s all part of Yottam’s master plan, you see. Because Rovi’s got a neat little alcove in it where you can purchase an array of Ottolenghi preserves and goodies as well as a spate of tableware (plates and glasses included), cookbooks and even cute hand-painted napkins. 59 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, W1A 3AE; ottolenghi.co.uk
This new Eccleston Yard-based restaurant is a real hubbub of activity; featuring a shop slap-bang at the front. It’s a real treasure trove, selling Tart’s range of homeware, wine tumblers, all-natural beauty products, plus an assortment of trinkets. And that’s before you even reach the Tart Greenhouse where cacti await. 3-4 Eccleston Yard, SW1W 9AZ; tart-london.com
LINA STORES With rows and rows of jars stuffed full of sun-dried tomatoes and wedges of Parmigiano-Reggiano, the new Lina Stores in King’s Cross is our idea of paradise. Go for a hearty meal and then do a bit of Christmas shopping in-store (or at nearby Coal Drops Yard afterwards). Lina Stores has been purveying Italian goods since 1944, and it’s not going anywhere soon. 18 Brewer Street, W1F 0SH; linastores.co.uk
Jon Darby on founding mezcal pop-up and subscription service Sin Gusano
WAS IN A hammock outside a beach hut in Mexico when I called my boss and quit my city job. I’d spent 10 years working in London’s finance industry, and in late 2016 found myself about to start a new role within the European oil and gas market. Given
Photograph by (Rovi) Issy Croker
the UK had just voted to leave the EU, I was having some serious doubts about the move. The idea for my business was still months away at this point, but I was having a really positive and energising time in Mexico. I felt that to go home as planned would have been driven by fear of not finding something else, rather than excitement for the future. So I stayed in southern Mexico for 3 months instead, and during that time became fascinated by mezcal – a product that encourages a more conscientious form of consumption, made by a culture that retains greater respect for culture and craft. I wanted to open a space that would be relaxed, inclusive, and support local culture
and art, like so many of the casual spaces I’d drunk mezcal in Oaxaca. I wanted it to have some of the most interesting mezcal in the UK. And I wanted some of the profits from the venture to help with sustainable growth of a part of the world I’d come to love. Three years on, I’m writing this from another hammock in Mexico during a sourcing trip, and Sin Gusano is about to open its third pop-up space (a tasting room/ bottle shop collaboration with Pensador Mezcal at Milk Bar in Soho for the month of December), and launch the UK’s first agave spirits subscription club, MAS. Oh yeah, and the UK is still yet to leave the EU... f singusano.com
To put the foodism 100 list together, we’ll be judging nominations for sustainable, ethical and responsible venues and businesses across the following categories. After that, a team of more than 40 judges across the hospitality and media industries will determine 2020’s category winners.
Best Bar Venues serving wine and cocktails
Best Café Venues dedicated to daytime eating, tea and coffee
Best Casual Restaurant Venues serving food, which are approachably priced
Best Fine-Dining Restaurant Restaurants that pride themselves on upmarket food and drink, and silver service
Best Food Market Farmers’ markets, street-food venues – anywhere designed to house pop-up traders
Best Pop-Up or Initiative Temporary or semi-permanent food and drink venues or initiatives – set up by individuals, groups or companies – that aim to promote ethical and sustainable eating and drinking
The Foodism 100 awards are back, and next year will be bigger than ever. Here’s the low down on 2020
Best Pub or Taproom
Best Street-Food Trader
at the awards night, which will take place at Old Spitalfields Market on 25 March 2020, featuring a roster of great food traders, popups, activations and bars. From restaurants with a sustainable approach to ingredients to cafés who are helping coffee farmers earn a fair wage, social enterprises giving people a much-needed second chance and food traders changing the way casual food impacts the environment, these awards represent the cream of the crop in London's sustainable and ethical food and drink scene. Whether you work in the industry or you just like the sound of a kneesup in the name of food doing good, keep it on your radar. We’ll see you there in March. f Find out more at fdsm.co/100
Businesses making food and drink to sell at street-food and farmers’ markets
Best Social Enterprise People-focused businesses built from the ground to achieve positive change
Positive Change Hero An individual working in any sector of sustainable and ethical food and drink who’s driving the movement forward Nominations close on 31 December. Nominate your venue or business at fdsm.co/nominate
Photograph by DB Photography
COUPLE OF YEARS ago, when team foodism began cooking up a way to reward the very venues and businesses that make London so special, we could think of nothing better than to focus on the businesses that not only serve great food and drink, but are doing good things with their businesses, too. That culminated in the foodism 100, an initiative that highlights those venues and businesses making positive change in the industry we love so much. The previous two years and the awards nights, brought together some of London's most incredible food and drink venues and businesses. This year's set to be bigger and better – we’re expecting more nominations, and more than 1,000 people through the door
Boozers in the British tradition and taprooms at London breweries
The ‘go on it’s Christmas’ Irresistible Mince Pies, that help fund causes like BTM Brass Band
Co-op Irresistible Mince Pies, £2.00 each. Participating stores. Subject to availability. Serving suggestion. Members earn 1% for local causes when they buy Co-op branded food products in Co-op food stores. Not available in independent societies including Midcounties, Central England, Southern or Chelmsford Star Co-operatives or non Co-op branded stores (such as NISA or Costcutter). Membership T&Cs apply, see coop.co.uk/membership
PARADISE 61 Rupert Street, W1D 7PW Piccadilly Circus
All the restaurant openings you need to get to from now until Christmas. Happy festive feasting...
It’s not every day you hear of a new contemporary Sri Lankan restaurant popping up in central London, which is exactly what makes Paradise a must-try. Experience the authentic food of Colombo with chef Charith Priyadarshana’s curry leaf hoppers, fermented chilli mutton rolls and richly spiced slow roasted pork cheek curry. Cocktail fan? There are jackfruit bellinis and tamarind and chilli sours, to boot. paradisesoho.com
T HE L AUNDRY 374 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PL Brixton
At this all-day restaurant and wine shop, located outside Brixton Village, you can grab a croissant and cortado in the AM and roasted pork belly and glass of bordeaux in the evening. It’s the kind of place that’s just as suitable for a hasty takeaway coffee as it is a sit-down date with someone you want to make goo-goo eyes at. Just like your mum told you, it’s time you did The Laundry. thelaundrybrixton.com
U GLY BUT T ERFLY 55 King’s Road, SW3 4ND
Crispy fried deboned chicken feet with caviar? Cheese doughnuts made from cheeseboard leftovers? Banana bread and chicken butter? All of those bizarre – and brilliant – creations can be found on the menu at Adam Handling’s latest opening Ugly Butterfly, a sustainable casual restaurant, champagne bar and sustainability hub. All of the dishes served will be made from the ingredients that are most often discarded as waste, many of which will come straight from Adam Handling Chelsea, with a particular emphasis on the oft-wasted items of bread, milk, eggs and bananas. Even the interiors have been created using up-cycled and re-utilised materials. uglybutterfly.co.uk
CIN, CIN NEWS
It’s been a turbulent year for Jamie Oliver, but the iconic chef is channelling nothing but positive energy with the opening of his brand new cookery school in Holloway. There are a whopping 30 classes on offer, including pasta making
with Gennaro Contaldo, Vietnamese street food, knife skills and free classes for the local community. jamieolivercookery school.com
A few months after renowned bartender Mr Lyan’s Southbank bar Dandelyan reopened as Lyaness, the bar has shed its first menu and ushered in a brand-new one. Downstairs at the Sea Containers London hotel, you’ll now find a drinks list with funky and inventive additions
that include a Peach Emoji Highball, Lyaness Tea-Mooth Negroni and Vegan Honey Rich Tattie Milk Punch. lyaness.com
Photograph by (Folie interior) Deret Yann; (Jamie’s) Paul Stuart; (Paradise) John Neate; (The Laundry) Nic Crilly-Hargrave; (Cin Cin) James McDonald; (Amazonico) James McDonald; (Market Value) Adrian Pope
PEC KHAM C E LLA RS 125 Queen’s Road, SE15 2ND Queens Road Peckham
If you like plates that are small and wines that err towards the natural, Peckham Cellars will be up your street. Roasted bone marrow with a handsome bronze Parker House roll is as simple, honest, and deliciously straightforward as the restaurant itself. Don’t worry if you’re not au fait with your skin-contact yet, either – the staff will guide you to the good glou-glou. peckhamcellars.co.uk
F O L IE 37 Golden Square, W1F 9LB
Craving sunnier shores and the nonchalant glamour of the Riviera? We don’t blame you, but we’ve got a slightly more affordable (and eco-friendly) solution than last minute easyJet flights. Enter stage right: Folie, a new Med-inspired restaurant from Christophe Marleix, formerly of The Dorchester. Located in Soho’s Golden Square, the menu focuses on seasonal food and champions small-scale farmers. Must-tries include the citrus and avocado sea bream crudo and hefty sharing platters of confit lamb shoulder and charcoal roast sea bass. Negroni, anyone? folie.london
AM AZ O N I CO 10 Berkeley Square, W1J 6BR Green Park
After a heady investement, Amazónico has landed in Mayfair. It’s been a celeb hotspot in Madrid for years and now, in Berkeley Square, serves Asian-Brazillian fusion fare and cocktails in a grand, rainforest-themed room designed to echo the shape of the Amazon river. amazonico restaurant.com
CHEERS TO THAT
MARKET VALUE NEWS
What do you get when you team an award-winning Spanish chef and with a world-renowned crystal glass designer? A rather beautiful sherry glass, that’s what. José Pizarro has been working closely with Moser glassmakers to
make a sherry glass for the 21st century in an attempt to modernise the Spanish tradition. Sound up your street? Fancy grabbing your own? Act fast, as they’re limited-edition. All 300 glasses were made by hand, using José’s own cupped hands as the benchmark for both volume and shape of the final product. ¡Salud! £300 for two; moser.com
Yeah, yeah, we know you’ve been to Borough Market. But have you been to the new Borough Kitchen? It’s a communal dining area on the north side of the market, built to ensure diners can sit, relax and mindfully enjoy their food. There are
more than 20 traders, and all are using at least 30% of produce from the market to continue the local theme. boroughmarket.org.uk
The Biltmore is a new Mayfair hotel that blends heritage with modernity, with the always appealing food of Jason Atherton adding a touch of class, writes Mike Gibson The food and drink
Many of London’s oldest hotels are old for a simple reason: when you set up a good hotel in prime real estate in one of the world’s best cities, you don’t give it up easily. The opening of The Biltmore, then – the first European opening of Hilton’s new LXR portfolio, and so slap-bang on Grosvenor Square you can look directly into the park from your room – has raised eyebrows. Even more so when you throw in a restaurant, The Betterment, from the all-conquering Jason Atherton. The hotel feels boutique, modern but historic, and touches like the living wall at the Terrace and some sumptuous architecture set it all off.
You might be here for Atherton’s food, but it’s well worth stopping by The Pine Bar before or after dinner. It specialises in scotch, with 97 expressions on the menu, and cocktails like the Merchant’s Spice are fun, this one served tiki-style with a teabag of blend-your-own spice mix for gentle infusion over the course of the drink. The Betterment, meanwhile, is loungey and the food is reliably delicious: onion carved into a ‘flower’ is deep-fried and served with a verdant wild garlic dip; while a fantastic veal has a ‘charcuterie’ sauce zinging with caper and wholegrain mustard amid the chop’s sausagey, gamey rendered fat.
You’re in the middle of Mayfair, so you’re not walking far for other great things to eat and drink if you’re staying more than a night. The Connaught, just around the corner, has seen a refurb at its acclaimed restaurant by Hélène Darroze and a new menu at its bar, too. If you’ve visited The Pine Bar already and you’re looking for an aperitif before dinner, head to the Connaught Bar for one of Ago Perrone’s famous martinis, served on a trolley at the table – they’ve bagged the place a spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for a reason. f
After some inspiration for how to eat and drink your way around London? Head to foodism.co.uk and take a look at our restaurant and bar reviews, features and more…
◆ Address: 44 Grosvenor
Square, W1K 2HP ◆ Rooms: 57
Rooms start at £550 per night; thebiltmoremayfair.com
◆ Venues: The Terrace,
The Betterment, The Pine Bar and The Tea Lounge ◆ Tube: Bond Street
Photograph by (room) Niall Clutton; (The Pine Bar) John Carey
What’s the draw
THE TAP THAT DOES IT ALL 100°C BOILING, CHILLED AND SPARKLING WATER With the new Quooker CUBE, you can now also dispense chilled and sparkling water from your Quooker tap. That means that a single tap gives you everything you need: 100°C boiling, hot, cold, chilled and sparkling water. Interested? visit quooker.co.uk or call 0345 833 3333.
STICK TO THE CLASSICS The Quality Chop House cookbook is full of iconic recipes and stories from a true living relic that’s celebrating 150 years in the London food scene
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDRE MONTOGOMERY
AVING FIRST OPENED up as a working man’s café in the 1800s, The Quality Chop House has been an integral part of London’s dining scene ever since it came roaring into existence. Although it subsisted as a popular celebrity haunt back in the 1990s, the food often coming second to the frivolity, QCH has transitioned comfortably over the last seven years into a father figurelike role as one of London’s finest restaurants. The people you’ve got to thank for that – and this cookbook – are current owners Will Lander and Dan Morgenthau, along with head
chef Shaun Searley. Together, they’ve made The Quality Chop House into the acclaimed restaurant it is today. From pastrami-cured salmon to confit potatoes and mince on toast, this new cookbook is full of earnest British recipes that’ll make themselves as at home in your kitchen as they have been on the pass at the restaurant itself. The selection we’ve chosen for this, our Christmas issue, is ideal for jazzing up a festive feast, but – perhaps even more importantly – it’s also a fitting and enduring celebration of one of London’s true culinary icons. Here’s to the next 150 years... f
F O O DISM RE CIPE S, SP ONSOR E D BY QU OOK E R
Photograph by ###
With the innovative new CUBE reservoir, the Quooker tap provides filtered sparkling and chilled water alongside cold, hot and 100˚C boiling – all from one tap. The CUBE is ideal for a glass of pure water or to make delicious lemonades and cocktails. It’s easy to operate and saves time, energy and water. It’s also environmentally
friendly, as the CUBE makes plastic water bottles a thing of the past. The CUBE is a small, silent unit, which is placed conveniently next to the Quooker tank within the kitchen cupboard. The CUBE system is compatible with all Quooker taps and tanks produced after October 2017. Visit quooker.co.uk or call 0345 833 3333
The Quality Chop House’s
PASTRAMICURED SALMON A New York-inspired dish that still screams Christmas, this knockout pastramicured salmon is going to be the starter that nobody can stop talking about Method
Preparation ◆ 3-4 days
◆ 30 mins
Serves ◆ 12
I N GREDI EN TS The cured salmon ◆ 800g salt
◆ 150g flat-leaf parsley ◆ 800g sugar
◆ 1 side (about 2kg) skin-on salmon
fillet, pin-boned and trimmed of excess fat ◆ 25g black treacle ◆ 200g sweet chestnut smoking chips ◆ Firelighters
The pastrami seasoning ◆ 100g coriander seeds
◆ 200g black peppercorns
To serve ◆ ½ bunch of breakfast radishes ◆ 200g crème fraîche
◆ Handful of watercress ◆ Parsley oil ◆ Salt and freshly ground black pepper,
HIS WAS INSPIRED by the legendary Russ & Daughters in New York,” say the restaurant. “We were already making pastrami from silverside, a cut from the hindquarters of the cow that we break down in the butchery. So, this was the obvious next step. The mineral tang of the cured salmon works brilliantly with the smoky black pepper crust. You’ll need to cure the salmon a couple of days in advance but it will keep in the fridge for up to three days, and makes the perfect festive starter for a crowd.”
1 Start by curing the salmon. In a food processor, blend the salt and parsley together, then mix thoroughly with the sugar to make the cure. Pick a dish that fits the salmon (and also fits in your fridge!). Put a large handful of the salt cure in the bottom of the dish, lay the salmon on top, then cover with the remaining cure. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning the salmon after 24 hours. 2 To make the pastrami seasoning, preheat the oven to 170°C. Mix the coriander seeds and peppercorns together and toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Allow to cool, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse consistency. (You can prepare this up to a week ahead and store in an airtight container.) 3 When the salmon is cured, remove from the salt mix and wash away any excess. Pat dry and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle the black treacle over the salmon and massage into the flesh, then cover with the pastrami seasoning. 4 To smoke the salmon, line a roasting tray with a couple of layers of foil. Place a pile of smoking chips and a couple of firelighters into the centre. Light the firelighters, leave to smoulder for a few minutes and then carefully transfer to the bottom shelf of the oven, quickly shutting the door. Leave for a couple of minutes, then put the tray of salmon on the shelf above. This will get very smoky, so turn that extraction fan up to the max. Smoke for around 30 minutes. (If you have a kettle barbecue with a lid, do use that instead). Remove, rest and then chill for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days. 5 Just before serving, thinly slice the radishes using a mandoline. Remove the skin from the salmon and slice into 4mm pieces, or whatever thickness you prefer. Place 3 slices on each plate, dot around the crème fraîche, then arrange the sliced radishes and watercress on the plate. Drizzle with parsley oil and a final twist of black pepper. f
The Quality Chop House’s
These super-indulgent carby cuboids cooked in duck fat are the stuff of London restaurant legend and make even the crispiest, fluffiest roast potatoes seem inferior
This preparat ion, referred to as pommes pavées in Fr ance, is all the rage in London
I N G REDI ENTS ◆◆ 1kg Maris Piper potatoes ◆◆ 125g duck fat ◆◆ 1 tbsp salt
◆◆ Oil, for deep frying ◆◆ Maldon sea salt, to taste
The mustard dressing ◆◆ Juice of ½ lemon
◆◆ ½ tsp cider vinegar
◆◆ 375ml vegetable oil
◆◆ 24 hrs
◆◆ 4 minutes
UR CONFIT POTATOES have become rather legendary,” say the QCH team, and anyone on Instagram can attest to that. “They’re the only dish we haven’t once taken off the menu since their happy conception in spring 2013. We’d just opened the restaurant and needed to find something to serve with the chops. Shaun was adamant that QCH didn’t need chips but we obviously needed something indulgent. We started making layered potatoes and after much trial and error and refrying leftovers, landed on these crispy golden nuggets.”
1 Preheat the oven to 120°C and line a standard 1.7l terrine mould with baking parchment. 2 Peel and wash the potatoes, then use a mandoline to slice them as thinly as possible.
In a large bowl, toss the slices thoroughly with the duck fat and salt. 3 Layer the potatoes in the mould, one slice at a time, until you’ve built up multiple tiers. Once you’ve used up all the potato, cover the top with baking parchment and cook for about 3 hours until the potatoes are completely tender. Place a small baking tray or plate on top of the baking parchment covering the potatoes, along with a few heavy weights (we find tins work well) and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight to compress. 4 The next day, remove from the tray and cut the potato into 3x3cm pieces. 5 Heat enough oil for deep-fat frying to 190°C, either in a deep fryer or a heavy-based saucepan. Fry the pieces for about 4 minutes until croissant-gold. 6 Sprinkle over some Maldon salt, drizzle with mustard dressing and eat immediately. f
The Quality Chop House’s
PAN-FRIED QUAIL Chickpeas and chermoula add a North African twist to a British staple in this hearty and fragrant main
◆◆ 40 mins
◆◆ 20 mins
THE TAP THAT DOES IT ALL 100°C BOILING, CHILLED AND SPARKLING WATER
HE QUALITY CHOP House didn’t get its great reputation for nothing, and its ingredients are a huge part of that. “The quail we use are beautiful. Ethically farmed by the Savorys at Highfield Farm in Norfolk, they have great depth of flavour, excellent fat coverage and, when spatchcocked, cook in mere minutes. Nick tries to use as many of the products available on the shop shelves as possible, so that he can point them out to guests looking to recreate a dish themselves.”
1 First prepare the chickpeas. Peel and roughly chop the onion, and peel and finely chop the garlic. Cook the onion gently in the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes until aromatic. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then add the chickpeas and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes until the chickpeas are heated through. 2 To make the chermoula, pick the leaves from the coriander and the parsley. Peel the garlic. 3 Lightly toast the cumin seeds over a medium heat for a minute or so, until they start to release their fragrance. Blitz the cumin seeds in a high-speed blender, then add all the remaining ingredients except the chilli and blitz until the herbs are finely chopped and before it turns into a purée.
fried to The quail is r crisp make it supe to the st ra nt in co neath be chickpeas
Deseed and finely chop the chilli, then add to the chermoula. 4 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the quail all over and pan-fry over a medium heat, skin side down, until nicely coloured. Transfer to the oven and cook for 6 minutes, then set aside to rest. 5 Meanwhile, fold half the chermoula into the chickpeas (keep the rest for another time – it holds up beautifully in the fridge and actually improves with age). Squeeze in the lemon juice and check the seasoning. Pour any roasting juices from the quail into the chickpeas and serve. f
INGRE DIE NTS ◆◆ 1 onion
◆◆ 2 garlic cloves
◆◆ 500g cooked chickpeas ◆◆ 250ml chicken stock
◆◆ 100ml extra virgin olive oil
◆◆ 4 XL Norfolk quail, spatchcocked
(ask your butcher to do this for you) ◆◆ Juice of 1 lemon
The hermoula ◆◆ 1 bunch coriander ◆◆ ½ bunch parsley ◆◆ 2 garlic cloves
◆◆ 1 tsp cumin seeds
◆◆ 125ml extra virgin olive oil ◆◆ 1 red chilli
THE TAP THAT DOES IT ALL 100°C BOILING, CHILLED AND SPARKLING WATER
With the new Quooker CUBE, you can now also dispense chilled and sparkling water from our Quooker tap. That means that a single tap gives you everything you need: 100°C boiling, hot, cold, chilled and sparkling water.
Interested? Visit quooker.co.uk or call 0345 833 3333. Photograph by ###
THE TAP THAT DOES IT ALL 100°C BOILING, CHILLED AND SPARKLING WATER With the new Quooker CUBE, you can now also dispense chilled and sparkling water from your Quooker tap. That means that a single tap gives you everything you need: 100°C boiling, hot, cold, chilled and sparkling water. Interested? visit quooker.co.uk or call 0345 833 3333.
I N GREDI EN TS ◆◆ 400g crème fraîche ◆◆ 30g stem ginger ◆◆ 1 tbsp of syrup
◆◆ 500ml whipping cream
◆◆ 10 free-range organic egg yolks ◆◆ 200g bell heather honey ◆◆ 1 blind-baked tart case
The Quality Chop House’s
BELL HONEY CUSTARD TART
The sweetness of this custard tart is offset by the warming and refreshing presence of ginger crème fraîche – an excellent way to end any decadent meal
Preparation ◆◆ 30 mins
◆◆ 45 mins
Serves ◆◆ 12
E WORK WITH Steve at The London Honey Co, and it’s always a pleasure. His depth of knowledge is immense, as is his passion for bees,” say the team. “Try experimenting with different kinds of honey for this tart. We’ve used bell heather, which has a beautiful floral flavour.”
1 To make the ginger crème fraîche, finely grate the stem ginger into the crème fraîche along with a spoonful of the syrup. Combine, then ideally transfer into a muslin cloth bag and hang in the fridge overnight. Leave a small bowl underneath the bag to catch the excess liquid. 2 Transfer to an airtight container until you are ready to use.
3 Warm the cream in a large saucepan over a low heat until it reaches 50°C. Whisk the egg yolks and honey together in a large bowl until combined, then pour over the hot cream, whisking continuously; it should start to thicken slightly. Pass the custard through a fine sieve and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Skim off the layer of foam that will form on top. 4 Preheat the oven to 110°C. Half-fill the blind-baked tart case with the cooled custard, then carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. You are looking for a slight wobble in the centre of the custard. Leave the tart to rest for a couple of hours before you cut into it. 5 To serve, slice the tart into wedges and serve with a generous spoonful of ginger crème fraîche. f
WEAPONS OF CHOICE Ease the work load with a punchy processor, a handy veg masher and a hot chocolate maker PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
IT’S M AG IC, YOU K NOW MAGIMIX COOK EXPERT, £1,195 This beautiful new all-in-one processor from Magimix will handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. There’s a host of extra accessories (some not pictured), too. magimix.co.uk
Photograph by ###
M ASH DIET MASHA, £39.99 The clue’s in the name with this one – take the elbow grease out of mashing and puréeing with this handy tool. Your Christmas carrot and swede has never been easier. mymasha.co.uk
VE LVET DISSOLVE R HOTEL CHOCOLAT VELVETISER, Â£99.99 An appliance designed for high-quality hot chocolate? Count us in. The Velvetiser is a collaboration between Dualit and Hotel Chocolate, perfect for warm, silky drinks. hotelchocolat.com
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? Photograph by (Lyaness) Harriet Claire; (Palatino) Adam Lawrence
Introducing Foodism Experiences, a range of exclusive offers and gifting opportunities from some of the best bars, restaurants and venues in London
HEAD OF THE Christmas gifting season, we’ve been working on something a little bit special for you, our readers. We’re delighted to launch foodism Experiences, a curated list of special, bookable offers and gift experiences live on foodism.co.uk that showcase our favourite bars, restaurants and venues around London, exclusively created for foodism readers and not available anywhere else. If you want to be in the know London dining, you’re going to want to get your peepers on some of our excellent offers.
From dining 100ft in the sky to one-off menus, brewery tours, fermentation classes and even a 1980s-inspired afternoon tea, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at a range of different price points. Experiences you can buy include unlimited pasta and an Aperol Spritz at Stevie Parle’s Palatino; a tour and tasting at Fourpure Brewery, with a free T-shirt; a three-course lunch at Rohit Ghai’s Kutir, with a complimentary cocktail; and that’s just a few of them. Here’s how it works: you buy a foodism Experience through us on the website. Then,
once you’ve received your confirmation code, you call up the venue or go to their website and organise when you want to cash in that exclusive offer. Then... you turn up on time. Yep, it’s that easy. A foodism Experience will make the perfect alternative Christmas gift this year for the person in your life that’s always insatiably hungry (even if it’s you). So what the hell are you waiting for? The best of London’s food and drink is waiting for you to discover. → For more information and to book an Experience, go to foodism.co.uk/experiences
£25 PER PERSON £25 PER PERSON
UNL IM IT E D PASTA AND AN APE R OL SPR ITZ AT PAL AT IN O
A PI ZZ A AN D LIMO NCE LLO PA RTY AT RAD I O ALI CE PIZZE RIA INCLUDES: a masterclass in the art of making your own pizza, with a free welcome drink and glass of a limoncello, plus a sourdough starter kit to carry on the fun in your own home
INCLUDES: unlimited plates of pasta at Stevie Parle’s excellent Roman-inspired restaurant, plus an Aperol Spritz
A THRE E-C OURSE ME A L F OR T WO AT LO ND ON IN T HE SKY, WITH PR OSE C C O AND COC KTAIL S INCLUDES: a bottle of prosecco on arrival, three-course dinner with wine and two after-dinner cocktails £299 PER PACKAGE
£27 PER PERSON
A TH REE-C OURSE L U N C H AT ROHIT G HAI’S KUT I R, WITH A COMP LI MENTA RY COC KTAI L INCLUDES: three courses (starter, main and dessert) and a bellini cocktail
£79 PER PACKAGE
A B E SPOK E W INE A N D SM AL L-PL AT E PAIRI N G F OR T WO AT HU M BL E G RAPE INCLUDES: a glass of bubbly on arrival and then three wines paired with small plates
B OT TOM L E SS PR OSE C C O AND A SHAR ING M E NU AT SE A C ONTAINE RS R E STAURANT
FANCY T EA AT LYANESS INCLUDES: an afternoon tea menu at Mr Lyan’s iconic Southbank bar, with champagne and complimentary cocktail thrown in for good measure
INCLUDES: three sharing plates and 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco
£54 PER PERSON
£49 PER PERSON
£50 PER PERSON
Photograph by (Radio Alice) India Pearey; (Palatino) Adam Lawrence; (London in the Sky) Phil Trout; (Humble Grape) Phil Trout; (Beer cruise) james kellow; (Lyaness) Harriet Claire; (Darwine & Wallace) Jessica Closs; (Fourpure) Graham Mcateer
A B E E R AND C HE E SE TAST ING ON B OAR D THE L ONDON C RAF T B E E R C RUISE INCLUDES: a bespoke craft beer tasting with an expert-trained sommelier and a complimentary cheese board
£40 PER PERSON
A TOUR AN D TASTING AT FOURP URE B REW ERY, WITH A F REE T-SHI RT INCLUDES: a tasting flight of five beers, tour of Fourpure’s brewhouse and taproom and a free T-shirt
£24 PER PERSON
A B RU NC H SHAR ING F E AST AT DARW IN & WAL L A CE, K ICKE D OF F W IT H PR OSE C C O INCLUDES: a selection of Aussie brunch plates with a glass of prosecco or homemade lemonade, plus Storm leaf tea or Caravan coffee
Photograph by (Bill’s exterior) Nic Crilly-Hargrave
NO DOLLAR BILL’S
You heard. Fancy a year’s supply of Bill’s local, seasonal and sustainably sourced food at any of the restaurant group’s branches across the UK? We thought you might
VER BEEN TO a Bill’s restaurant? The group started out from humble beginnings as the brainchild of founder Bill Collison. In 2001, he opened a small greengrocers dedicated to serving seasonal, local produce in Lewes, East Sussex. After some initial success, an untimely flood provided an opportunity to open a second café next to the first, and just like that, one of the UK’s most popular independent restaurants was born. Now Bill’s has 79 branches across the UK and is loved for its home-away-from home-style cooking; innovative veggie
BILL’S IS LOVED FOR ITS HOMEAWAY-FROMHOME-STYLE COOKING 38
and vegan dishes that are way ahead of the trend; and daily changing, vegetable-packed specials. Feast like royalty in any Bill’s restaurant content in the knowledge that all the produce is sourced from local and ethical suppliers and focuses on making the most of seasonal ingredients, too. As Bill’s founder Bill Collison says, “Good food in a welcoming environment has always been at the core of Bill’s.” To celebrate the makeover of their Victoria branch, the team at Bill’s are offering one lucky foodism reader the chance to fill their boots for a whole year with sustainable and seasonal dishes like their much-loved veggie platter, towering with crispy cauliflower, halloumi, housemade chutney, spiced tortillas, olives and an avocado, tzatziki and red pepper dip, or their wholesome beetroot, goats cheese and rosemary honey oil risotto. Yep, you read that right: 12 whole months of Bill’s treats. Count us in. ● For more information, go to bills-website.co.uk
WIN A YEAR OF BILL’S FOOD
One lucky reader is in with the chance of winning a £40 voucher each month for 12 whole months. It'll work quite simply: you’ll be emailed a code each month that will take £40 off your bill in any restaurant that month. Fancy being in with a chance of WIN winning? All you've got to do is go to fdsm.co/bills and enter your details
— PART 2 —
FEAST “MUCH IS MADE OF THE ‘PUDDING TUMMY’. PERHAPS WE NEED A TERM FOR THAT PLACE IN A SHATTERED HEART THAT CAN STILL BE NOURISHED AND FILLED” CLARE FINNEY ON FOOD AND BREAK-UPS, 052
042 FESTIVE ENTERTAINING | 052 BREAK-UP FOOD 059 THE FOODISM GIFT GUIDE | 066 FIVE DISHES: RICHARD CORRIGAN
GOOD TIDINGS WE BRING
Ready for Christmas? No? Fear not â€“ weâ€™ve rounded up industry experts to help you nail your festive entertaining, plus great hampers, the perfect cheeseboard and some festive nostalgia from the foodism team, too
Lydia Winter, travel editor, on discovering a British Christmas in her twenties
When everyone starts talking about their favourite Christmas traditions I get a bit sad, because I don’t really feel like I have any. Before we get the violins out, I’ll explain: my dad was a pilot and Christmas was an easy time to get on flights, plus my entire family loathes the cold (ironic, given our name) so off we’d jet to Florida or South Africa, where my Christmas dinner would be gnocchi in an overpriced Italian, the only restaurant open on Christmas Day. I’m definitely not complaining, but it means that I don’t really have ‘traditions’, just slightly strange Christmas customs. On Christmas Eve, when we open our presents, my dad digs out an expensive bottle of champagne so old it’s gone off – sometimes two – before we settle for one from Lidl. My mum makes weird canapés (things like slices of ham smeared with cream cheese, rolled up into a cigar shape and then sliced, like a savoury jam roly poly. It’s not very good). And then we go to the pub. Christmas Day properly begins in the boozer, where my mum says “The goose is in the oven!” so many times it’s genuinely become a local festive greeting. We go home to eat said goose, miss the Queen’s speech and everyone falls asleep, waking up to graze on leftovers. Well, they would, except I’ve usually eaten them all. I’ve got a lot of years of gnocchi to make up for, y’know...
Ally Head, staff writer, on her family’s obsession with gingerbread houses
Photograph by ###
Nothing screams Christmas more in my household than, well, a family screaming match over which gum drops, candy canes and humbugs to stick on our gingerbread house. It follows a formulaic structure: we spend the days beforehand obsessing over the decoration, have a full-blown argument mid-build about whose artistic vision is best, and then finish ecstatically happy and best friends again, argument forgotten as we revel in the festive cheer our masterpiece brings. It’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember, marking Christmas time quite physically, much to my mum’s delight, with trails of icing sugar; the warming, comforting smell of sticky gingerbread; and those tiny little silver balls that nearly crack your teeth scattered all over the floor (an essential detail for trimming the roof, of course). If you’re a member of the Head family, gingerbread houses are serious business. Whether the ever-wobbly gingerbread construction, shall we call it, as house would be far too generous a term, stands tall this year doesn’t matter; as Miley Cyrus said, it’s about the climb, and the cathartic process of coming together and building this saccharine-sweet structure as the six of us, as Mariah blasts through the Sonos. For us, that’s Christmas, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
Tom Griffiths of nose-totail food business Flank on the importance of sourcing great-quality meat I always cook duck at Christmas – it’s the daddy of the birds. I tend to buy a couple and use the crowns on Christmas Day, served slightly pink, and whip the legs off and keep them for Boxing Day. The most important thing is to check traceability – you want to know it’s completely factory-farm-free. My advice is to hit your local farm shop, or go online because most decent places can deliver. Swaledale in Yorkshire supply our meat, as well as places like Quality Chop House and St. John. They can also post to you. When it comes to choosing the most ethical meal, it’s all to do with supply and demand. The huge amount of turkeys we consume has led to high-intensity farming. I wouldn’t touch those turkeys lobbed into a freezer in your supermarket for a fiver. If your budget isn’t huge, use cheaper cuts from the butcher. It might take a little more work but the results are incredible and you won’t break the bank. I’d suggest not using cheap supermarket meat, and still going to your local butcher or buying cheaper cuts and eating plant based more often. Save your money, have a more balanced diet, and treat yourself to some incredible meat now and then. Tom’s new project Goodbirds is now dishing up chicken and chips at Market Halls West End. flanklondon.com
Lucas Oakeley, editorial assistant, on festive contraband pork
SERVE AN ACE Signe Johansen, author of Spirited, on upping your Christmas party drinks Anyone can make great cocktails at home this festive season. And much like a cook keeps a reasonably wellstocked kitchen cupboard, preparing your booze cabinet or shelf in advance means those parties – impromptu or long planned – will be a doddle to host. I love scotch, but I appreciate not everyone shares the same devotion to the amber spirit. As a rule keep at least one clear spirit like gin, tequila or vodka along with one darker spirit like brandy, rum or whisky on standby so you have the option to make two distinctively different drinks for your guests. Next think about adding a layer of complexity. The easiest way to do this is to buy a bottle of Campari bitter along with classic Angostura bitters. Now you’ve expanded your repertoire of drinks you can start to play. Throwing a party is the ideal excuse to purchase gems such as Sacred English Amber Vermouth, made in North London, and the irresistible King’s Ginger. Meanwhile an aquamarine bottle of Italicus, the bergamot liqueur from Italy,
isn’t essential per se, but it makes a stylish addition to any festive gathering. My own failsafe cocktail for parties is an oolong tea, whisky and spice punch, a tipple that ticks all the boxes of sweet, sour, smoky and bitter – and with its deep coral colour is a cheering sight any time of the year. Otherwise a sherry cobbler makes a refreshing change from wine or gin and tonic. If you must mull something, consider introducing a little Scandinavian flair by adding cherry juice and cherry Heering, a luscious cherry brandy which adds depth to gløgg. If you’re tempted to switch up your mulled wine, try my triple-cherry version. As a considerate host, always make
Photograph by (Nicholson) Nassima Rothacker
There are two fairly important things you should know about me for this story to make sense: 1) I was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, and 2) I really, really like cured meat. Like, a lot. Which is probably why, when returning back home to visit my family in Sharjah for Christmas last year, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to sneak a 5kg leg of beautiful jamón into my suitcase. It was a fairly big deal considering that, according to the Foreign Office, the “importation of narcotics, pork products and pornography into the UAE is illegal.” While I certainly wasn’t hoarding drugs or porn, going through customs with a contraband leg of pork nestled amongst my jeans and shirts still made me feel like a bigtime drugs smuggler; a regular Ham Solo of the Emirates. I’ll never forget the intense physical panic that ran through my body as I witnessed a trotter languidly make its way along the baggage scanner and prayed to high heaven I wasn’t arrested over a bit (read: a lot) of pata negra. Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale and my family and I enjoyed carving off ream after ream of that ham throughout the festive period. Was it a good idea? No, reader, it was not. But was it the best Christmas present I’ve ever given? You’re damn right.
RICE IS RIGHT
Tom Powell, beer editor, on Christmas kedgeree
A lot of things change through the years, but on Christmas Day in my house you can be sure of one thing: at some point in the morning the pungent, mouthwatering aroma of curry powder sizzling in butter will sneak its way into the living room where I’m sitting and get my stomach going. Some years it’ll be the thing that finally causes my brother to stir and slope downstairs, too. It’s because kedgeree is a family institution on Christmas morning, and for as long as I can remember that delicious pile of rice, hardboiled egg, smoked haddock and curry powder has been served in its glorious, rich yellow ochre on a medium-sized, blue-rimmed Denby plate that only gets used for mealtimes as ceremonial as Christmas, a birthday or a Sunday roast now I no longer live at home. I smelled it when I was six, sitting on my sleep-deprived dad’s lap in a cold attic bedroom after a 5am session on Nasser Hussain’s International Cricket Captain; I smelled it at 16, in a different house this time, while listening to the reverb-soaked sax of Jan Garbarek’s Officium in my parents’ lounge (another Christmas morning tradition). I’ll smell it later this month, as well – now aged 26 – and my girlfriend will experience it for the first time this year. Like I said: life changes, but for me, Christmas traditions absolutely don’t.
sure you’ve put some thought into the non-alcoholic alternatives. Finally, while there is nothing wrong with a glass of chilled elderflower pressé, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to fermented kombuchas, unusual iced teas, tonics and zero proof spirits such as Seedlip, Aecorn and Everleaf. Think like a cook and apply the same principles of balancing sweet, sour, smoky and bitter flavours to your booze-free offerings and your sober guests will thank you. Follow Signe on Instagram at @SigneSJohansen. Spirited: How to Create Easy, Fun Drinks at Home by Signe Johansen is available now from Bluebird
THE VEG OF GLORY Tredwells’ Chantelle Nicholson on making vegetables the star For me, vegetables and gravy are the best bit about Christmas. The perfect roast potato is simple deliciousness; in fact, a festive meal is generally around 75% vegetables; sprouts, parsnips and potatoes, so it pays to make sure they’re done right. Then there are carrots, and we all know a great cauliflower cheese can’t be beaten. The best thing is that you can prepare all of these in advance; steam the spuds a couple of days before, then lightly steam your sprouts and parsnips ready for roasting. Some of my favourite overlooked vegetables are Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, sprouts, cavolo nero, parsnips and cauliflower. If you approach all of these with the same thought process as you would when cooking meat, the results can be just as tasty. A bit of butter or oil, and a good amount of heat and the natural sugars caramelise and create something truly delicious. If you don’t eat meat, there are heaps of vegetables you can make as opulent as a meat dish. Whole roasted and stuffed kabocha squash, with yellow split peas, coriander, pomegranate molasses, yoghurt (coconut or Greek) and coriander, is one that can wow a table. Whole roasted celeriac layered with a spiced chestnut purée is also a winner. My cookbook, Planted, contains a lot of winter including one of my favourites: roasted Jerusalem artichokes with caramelised purée, lentils, prune and zhoug. And if you haven’t tried deep-fried brussels sprouts, you’re missing out. Planted by Chantelle Nicholson is published by Kyle Books (£25); tredwells.com
PARTY ON Chef and writer Melissa Hemsley on nailing a festive spread
The foodism team’s perfect cheeseboard Peter’s Yard Original Crispbread Sure, cheese and crackers is an iconic Christmas combination, but we’ve lost count of the times that we’ve placed a sturdy piece of stilton on a cracker in mouths and and been a little… disappointed in the lack of textural contrast at play. A good wedge of cheese needs something crisp and crunchy to play off its creamy mouthfeel and these crispbreads from Peter’s Yard do just that. High in fibre and made from a mix of whole, rye, and wholewheat flour – they’re a cheese’s best friend. 140g, £2.95; petersyard.com
Tiptree Hot Gooseberry Chutney If you’ve ever wanted to spoon the actual taste of Christmas into your mouth, then, boy, have we got the cheeseboard essential for you. This Tiptree Hot Gooseberry Chutney – a spicy yet subtle chutney that also sort of counts as one of your five-a-day thanks to the addition of redcurrants – is superb with cheese and also surprisingly good with oily fish. You know, just in case you felt like going a bit rogue with some anchovies on this year’s fromage spread… 230g, £2.29; tiptree.com
Butlers Mrs. Butler’s Cheddar Mrs. Butler’s is a classic Lancashire cheese that’s more than worthy of its place on your dining table. Matured for 3-5 months to give it a mild and
creamy taste on the tongue, each generous slice of Mrs. Butler’s that you serve to yourself – and occasionally parse out to others – has just the right amount of acidity and an endearingly balanced depth of flavour in it to keep you coming back until the whole wedge is gone. £2.50, 200g; butlerscheeses.co.uk
Organic Cave-Aged Gruyère Not only is Switzerland a haven for wealthy tax avoiders, but it’s also an ideal destination for cheese. This organic Gruyère, created in la Gruyère region of Switzerland, is made from raw milk and matured in natural caves for five months. A semi-hard cheese with a nutty flavour, Gruyère goes great with everything but plays especially nicely alongside bolder, brasher cheeses by providing a quiet and creamy contrast. £5.50, 200g; abelandcole.co.uk
Neal’s Yard Dairy Innes Log Developed over the course of several years, this Innes Log is made near Tamworth, Staffordshire and is a collaboration between cheesemaker Joe Bennett and the Neal’s Yard Dairy maturation team that you’re going to be wanting every single Christmas from here on in. It’s lactic cheese with flavours of young hazelnut, bright acidity and grass that make it excellent on crackers and smeared with a cheeky bit of chutney. In fact, the only thing more satisfying than slicing off a fudgy slab from a Innes Log is trammelling it inside your mouth. £11.25, 180g; nealsyarddairy.co.uk
Photograph (Hemsley) by David Parry; (Peter’s
Yard) Mowie Kay; (A&C) Gary Congress;
As a relatively stressy person, my main suggestion is to take away all the complications when hosting – go shopping, pick one amazing supplier and build your meal from there. I like to get a side of salmon or trout – or you can buy a pre-sliced one for ease – put it out on a tray, get some big fat capers, slice up some red onions (you can pickle them if you want with some coriander seeds and vinegar and let them get bright pink). It becomes a centrepiece and it looks impressive when you’ve done nothing apart from shopping. When it comes to hosting, with everyone arriving at different times, a great idea is to have a gorgeous picking board, grazing board, sharing board, smorgasbord, whatever you want to call it, and put it out onto the table thoughtfully, keeping your vegetarian and your meat bits separate. Something I love to do is a sticky nut selection, where you toss them in a baking tray with rosemary, bay leaves, maple syrup, a bit of cayenne, a bit of paprika, chilli flakes, a tiny bit of oil or butter, put them into the oven and let them roast. Just bring batches of that out when you think more people are arriving, and it will be absolutely amazing. You can do the same thing with chickpeas, with harissa or salt and vinegar. You just put bowls of that out, and a picking board with olives and so on. If you’re in charge of the food, trying to be in charge of drinks as well can be brutal, so set up a drink station, make it far enough away from the food that you’re not cluttering your space, and again, make a little board: put out some citrus, a couple of good knives. I always think delegation is key in a party – if you give people the tools to make their own drinks, they’ll make their own drinks, which saves you half your night. Maybe add some rosemary or mint, some thyme or some sage. Put out little trays of salt, pepper, sugar and chilli flakes, and it becomes something to do, especially when people don’t really know each other – it’s a nice little ice breaker. Finally, I always think that if you buy all these ingredients and the food doesn’t get eaten, every single thing can get shoved into the fridge: you can turn leftover cheese into a really delicious brussels sprout bake or massive cauliflower cheese the next day; the salmon you blitz into pâté or scramble with some eggs. There’ll definitely be leftovers for you, and you can make it into your brunch the next morning when the last thing you want to do is go out because you’ve hosted everyone the night before. Melissa Hemsley is working with American Express on its ‘Shop Small’ campaign, to encourage people who want to have a more eco-friendly Christmas this year to visit their local independent businesses
preservatives OR additives
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Mike Gibson, editor, on the famous Christmas Eve Curry
Photography (hampers) by David Harrison
I’m not particularly religious, and neither are my family, but in the southeastern satellite town where we grew up (10% gorgeous little Tudor high street; 90% slightly rubbish suburban sprawl – you know the score), the church has the lucky quality of being located literally right next to my family’s favourite Indian restaurant. I was too young at the time to remember the first occasion we decided on our way out of the Christmas Eve carol service that a curry would be an absolutely stonking way to round off the day, but I do know that it became a tradition immediately thereafter. There have been many iterations of it since: the sullen teenage years when I skipped the ‘church’ part of it altogether; the time the ‘cigarette’ my brother and I shared beforehand made itself known more strongly than we’d anticipated, leading to us trying our hardest not to make eye contact with my mum or any other churchgoers or diners (it’s a small town); the time during the brief period where the ‘Christmas Eve night out’ was a thing that I duly turned up in Wetherspoon’s to meet 15 or so mates too full to speak, let alone dance; and the rather more civil version of the late 2010s, where the carol service is actually something we enjoy again (even taking into account the ear-splitting volume of my dad’s bellowing singing voice, which tends to reach its peak during ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’). The quality of the curry has ebbed and flowed in the three or so decades of this Gibson Christmas tradition along with the change of ownership (we’ve even looked elsewhere on the odd occasion), but regardless, between 6 and 9pm on Christmas Eve, there’s absolutely nowhere I’d rather take refuge from the cold than a beautiful old church and a small-town curry house. Yes, Dad, even despite the singing.
HAMPER TIME Our pick of 2019’s best and brightest Christmas hampers Harvey Nichols Boxing Day Hamper It’s Boxing Day, your mouth is dry, you’re hungover, and you’re in need of something to make you forget about the abhorrent political views your uncle spewed the night before. Well, my disgruntled friend, Harvey Nichols have got the hamper to save your family’s December 26th. Give the gift of Boxing Day bliss with this hamper that includes everything you’d ever want – or need – to lift your spirits throughout the day. Christmas pudding with brandy butter for breakfast? Check. Cheeky Damson gin and tonic as a midday pick-me-up? Check. Scandi-spiced biscuits to keep the late afternoon headache at bay? Check. A New World wine to ensure you get a pleasant night’s sleep before the looming spectre of 2020 completely ruins your mood? Check. Great Christmas hamper? Check. £150; harveynichols.com
Honey & Co Food from the Middle East Hamper Roast turkey and all the trimmings is fine and dandy and there’s objectively nothing wrong with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange but we refuse to sit here and say that there’s not a cold and miserable day over the winter break where we wouldn’t rather be eating the vibrant flavours of the Middle East instead. This hamper from hummus dons Honey & Co. is stocked with just about everything you need to make your Christmas dinner actually, well, exciting. It includes: a signed copy of Honey & Co: Food from the Middle East, giant couscous, Lebanese tahini, pomegranate paste, orange blossom water, rose water, ground mahleb, baharat spice mix, and 500ml of Iliada olive oil. It’s down to you what you do with all of that, but whack down a spiced turkey on the Christmas dinner table and you certainly won’t hear any complaints from us. £75; shop.honeyandco.co.uk
The Goodness Project Vegan Hamper
Brindisa Christmas Hamper
Nothing says Christmas like excellent charcuterie. This Christmas hamper from
Paxton & Whitfield Piccadilly Hamper Paxton & Whitfield has created an enticing range of cheesy gift hampers this year. Bursting with exceptional artisan cheese, the finest foods and stylish accessories, P&W has created a range of hampers in a variety of price points, making them suitable for any budget. As Paxton & Whitfield’s best-selling hamper, The Piccadilly contains a selection of house range cheeses, accompanied by a sumptuous collection of preserves, biscuits and sweet treats – all of which come in a traditional wooden hamper box, ideal for gifting. Sweet dreams are made of cheese. And so are great hampers. f £100; paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk
Photography (hampers) by David HArrison
Having yourself a plant-based Christmas this year? Worried it’s not going to be the same as the meat and dairy heavy dinners of your childhood? Don’t stress, baby. This stylish wicker hamper from the folks at The Goodness Project is full of top quality favourites that’ll make you forget that it’s completely vegan. Featuring an award-winning organic, vegan Chianti red wine from Tuscany alongside a selection of organic sweet and savoury delights including chocolate truffles, tea, biscuits, jam and a load more delicious products, you really won’t have to do without this Christmas just because you’re trying to reduce your animal intake. Order this hamper and happily thumb your nose at anyone who says vegans don’t get to enjoy chocolate and wine. £75; thegoodnessproject.co.uk
Borough Market legends Brindisa is pretty much ideal for feasting your way through the entire month of December right on into the new year. What’s in that handsome hamper, you ask? Expect mad amounts of manchego, plenty of acorn-fed ham (we’re talking amon, salchichon, lomo, and chorizo here), tinned bonito fillets, Gordal olives and almonds complemented by delicious Spanish sweets and a bottle of bomb brut cava. If opening up a wicker basket filled with chocolate covered figs and truffle flavoured crisps doesn’t get you excited, then we don’t want to know you. £150; brindisa.com
SAVOUR THE MOMENT WITH EXCEPTIONAL CHEDDAR
At Davidstow we believe that the best things in life are never rushed. Time in = pleasure out. Thatâ€™s why our master cheese makers and graders take time over our cheddar, slowly maturing it over many months to deliver a sumptuously rich, savoury flavour & flinty texture, worthy of any festive occasion.
HUNGER PAINS Break-ups can trigger an entirely new relationship: the way we interact with food. Clare Finney looks at the different roles that eating can play in the wake of heartbreak Illustrations by Bรกrbara Malagoli
Photograph by ###
WAS 23 YEARS old when I experienced my first knee-buckling heartbreak: not so old for it to be logistically complicated; just old enough to have discovered negronis. That I’d broken his heart, twice previously, proved scant consolation as I tearfully boxed up the tagine I had prepared for us to eat that night, then looked menacingly towards the bin. “Don’t even think about it. That’s a waste of good food. And my Tupperware,” my mother’s voice chided in my head – and then again in person, when she came over to pick me off the floor the following morning. She insisted we eat it that night, huddled together on the sofa whilst she mothered me through each miserable mouthful. “Funny, isn’t it?” she mused, as I chewed. “Tagine is one of those things that just always taste better the next day.” I’m not sure my mum meant that to sound as profound as it now does. In all honestly, I think she was just making a benign point about braised food. Nonetheless, her words
sprung to mind when I came to write this article, and for the first time in years I started to question their truth. Not about braised food of course – that’s a given – nor the idea of heartbreak healing with time, but whether the meals you enjoyed, or intended to, with a former partner are ever as enjoyable again after you’ve split – let alone better. How can they be, when in the inimitable words of writer M.F.K. Fisher, “sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly”? When so many of your most memorable moments as a couple – birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and even simple date nights – are steeped and shaped by the preparation and joyful consumption of meals? Needless to say, while there have been many meals (and no few men) in the eight years since that night, I’ve never again made a tagine. I’ve never even ordered one. I’m not triggered by it (it’s just tagine, after all, I can eat it without crying into the couscous) but if I can avoid the memory imbued into
its hearty, aromatic depths, I will. According to accredited psychologist and writer Amanda Hills, though, this is no surprise. “The Hippocampus area in the brain affects the associations we have with tastes. The same area is linked to memory, as well as our sense of smell. It’s why when we do want to be reminded of someone we smell their aftershave or perfume.” And it’s why, by the same token, I give stews containing soaked apricots a wide berth. It’s also why London is a minefield of sensory cues, its bars and restaurants pockmarked with scars visible only to those who have loved and lost within their environs. For my own part, I have only recently returned to The Pig & Butcher, while the lovely Mayflower in Rotherhithe remains dead to me. “I can’t remember its name, but if you took me to Richmond I could point it out to you,” my friend Ben says of the café in which he ended things with his first serious boyfriend a week before Christmas – a surprisingly good time to do so, he notes,
it being the season for friends and family. Equally vivid is a visit to the McDonald’s near Bank station 12 hours later, when, having been passed from friend to concerned friend like a parcel, his appetite finally came back to him. “I hadn’t been to McDonald’s in ten years until that night,” he recalls. “But my friend and I had walked and talked for hours, and I was in such a state of turmoil. I felt shaky and emotional, but I also felt lighter. I needed greasy sustenance.” Two cheeseburgers and a large fries did the trick. Again, this response to a break-up is unsurprising to Hills, who reminds me of the line that springs to the mind of every Bridget Jones fan when we think of food and heartbreak: “‘Am enjoying a relationship with two men simultaneously. The first called Ben, the other, Jerry.’ Bridget turns to chocolate, wine and ice cream, and the likely reason for that is insulin, which stimulates tryptophan in the blood steam – and that is the precursor to serotonin, the hormone that boosts your mood and also induces pain relief.”
Photograph by ###
She’s not recommending the Bridget Jones diet: turkey is a fine source of tryptophan, for anyone looking to plug a fresh hole in their heart with a Pret Christmas sandwich this month, as are potatoes. “The problem with refined sugars is that you experience a crash afterwards – which is the reason why these foods can become addictive.” As for the wine, gin and other blessed bringers of amnesia, release and relaxation: “There is no good that comes of it,” Hills says firmly. But then again, we know this. We’ve all (haven’t we?) sent that text at 3am having spoiled the party with our unstoppable sobbing. But here’s your monthly reminder that alcohol, in fact, “suppresses the central nervous system, it’s a depressant, it distorts our judgment and reduces our ability to think rationally and it can also be addictive,” according to Hills, who makes a small, seasonal allowance for champagne, which offers a “natural uplift.” Cheers to that. Still, while scientific evidence points overwhelmingly to the contrary, it’s not impossible that some good be born of break-up binges. When Australian chef Aaron Turner discovered his wife and business partner at their critically acclaimed restaurant Loam was having an affair with another member of staff, he closed the restaurant, moved to his mate’s couch in Nashville, Tennessee and spent the best part of two years drinking “pints of beer for $2 and eating BBQ chicken wings for less than 20 cents each until I passed out,” he writes in his recent cookbook, “then waking up and doing it all again.” Upon his return to Oz, he turned his hot chicken addiction into an ‘open fire’ restaurant, Igni, and last month released the cookbook of the same name. “I think when you get out of a relationship where someone really fucks you over like that, you do feel you’ve lost part of yourself,” says Claudia, who discovered her fiancé was sleeping with prostitutes just weeks before their wedding. After spending a couple of months in the hands of her friends and family, “getting drunk and eating everything,” she launched Claudia’s Cake Company, an idea she’d flirted with previously but never had the confidence to carry out. “I was so scared about failing. But when you’ve got nothing left, you take the leap,” she shrugs. For her, baking was both a means of asserting her independence, and “a way of reconciling and reaching out to people.
SHARING FOOD SHOULD NOT BE INDULGED IN LIGHTLY Maybe it’s the big Jewish mum in me, but I just love to feed people,” she laughs, “and my ex was so weird and prescriptive with eating.” Now that she’s engaged again, to her school sweetheart (a plot twist even sweeter than her cakes, which are excellent) she isn’t tiptoeing around the table anymore. “I’ve embraced this part of my identity. Food is simply the ultimate happiness.” Of course, not all break-up binges are so productive: little came of the family-sized trifle my friend Lauren polished off in a single sitting, for example, nor the plantain chips with hunks of Galaxy, procured for her by her housemate in accordance with their unwritten code that “any time anyone got screwed over, they got snacks. When another boyfriend broke up with me to go travelling, a different housemate brought me home a Peyton & Byrne cupcake which – this being 2007 – was premium currency of affection.” Another friend, Lizzie, tells me of a deal with her best friend wherein they take each other out for a fancy meal after a break-up – further substantiating my theory that the best remedy for a broken heart is thoughtful food cooked or bought for you by a family member or close friend. Which brings me to break-up number two, and the meal my brother made after picking me up from my flat like a knight in a white Fiat. It’s a measure of just how intuitive we can be around food that, though he was barely 19 and had little heartbreak experience to speak of at the time, he knew just what to cook. A swift half at the pub was followed by a steaming bowl of our mum’s cheesy pasta: zinging with peas, juicy with sweetcorn, heady with wholegrain mustard and steeped in our childhood. Much is made of the ‘pudding tummy’, the mysterious empty space where a treadle sponge can still fit →
WHY LET A RELATIONSHIP RUIN A GOOD RECIPE?
→ even when you’re so full you’ve had to unbutton your trousers; perhaps we need a term for that special place in a shattered heart that can still be nourished and filled. But not everyone has hungry heartbreaks. The reason some of us rush to our loved ones is not just to comfort and treat them, but because they’re incapable of eating properly. This could be a physical reaction – “If you’re angry, or shocked, by the ending of your relationship that physiological response will have an effect on your eating,” says psychologist Hills – or the simple logistical consequence of leaving a partner who took responsibility for meals. In the weeks following his split from his partner, Matt ate nothing but jarred artichoke hearts and vegan scotch eggs. “By the time we broke up, I was so emotionally exhausted I couldn’t make a decision about food – because even on that granular level that involved some sort of emotion, and it was too much for me to deal with,” he recalls.
Meanwhile, at the ‘physically can’t’ end of the spectrum is Catherine, a non-executive director of a charity who has had three husbands, and describes each break-up as “a good stone’s worth of weight-loss in the bag. I am someone who can’t really eat when going through emotional angst,” she explains, “and I seem to prefer getting men to chuck me than chucking them, which isn’t helpful.” One incident in particular stands out: “I was in my early twenties, and I was living with a man I loved dearly. He went on a business trip, and he actually got married while he was away. The first thing I knew of it was when I opened a letter congratulating him on his new marriage – and my legs literally buckled. I didn’t eat anything for nearly two weeks. My body just couldn’t. “Then one day, at five in the morning, my dad came in with a bowl of banana, custard, a chocolate flake and some carnation milk,
and said ‘You have to start eating again. You have to live, Catherine.’ I ate every mouthful – though my stomach was heaving – and when I’d finished he just looked at me like the farmer looks at Babe in the film when he says ‘Well done, Pig,’” she remembers. “It was one of the most intimate moments of my life.” Though “a bit of a drama queen” in the immediate aftermath, Catherine is quite the pragmatist when it comes to past relationships and their associated recipes. In fact, she’s compiling a book of them, which she’s two thirds of the way through. “The first time I ventured into internet dating, I met a very nice chap called Jeff, who would rub a lamb leg with garlic then stick the cloves inside before roasting it. Even now when I do a leg of lamb, I do this and think of him,” she says fondly. Another man, Tony, was “very controlling. A lovely lady in her seventies who lived locally warned me off him – but I still make his chicken wings in Caribbean sauce. Why let a relationship bugger up a good recipe?” In fact, the only food Catherine finds “connects with a true sense of loss” is Weetabix and hot milk. “Our mum would make that for us when we were sick and off school, and she died when I was 18,” she continues – a tragedy with which no break-up can surely ever compete. As for a watertight solution to the food and break-ups conundrum, I wish I had one. Specifically, I wish the answer was pasta, cheese and chenin blanc – yet while comfort food always helps, it is no cure without the company of family and friends. Fischer is right: food and love are inextricable, as she wrote in her seminal book The Art of Eating: “So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it.” As for me, I don’t know if tagine will ever taste quite the same, but I still maintain it is better to have eaten together, and lost, than never to have eaten at all. f
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A E GIV LE BIT... LITT
greatest e h t e r a k nd at or drin the tastiest arou e n a c u e of at yo sents th ur guide to som e r p s a o Christm t. Here’s c a F . ll a gifts of N P
ARRISO DAVID H Y B Y H P A H O TO G R
E DON’T KNOW about you, but here at foodism, we find Christmas shopping almost as fun as the day itself. And when it comes to what’s in the stocking or what’s under the tree, we always find that if it’s edible, drinkable or if it can be used to make things that are edible or drinkable, that’s a pretty good place to start. With that in mind, we’ve selected some of our favourite gifting items for food and drink lovers – great stocking fillers, sexy kitchenware, cool food lifestyle gifts, the year’s best cookbooks and gifts that do some good, too. We hope you’ll find some inspiration for your Christmas shopping.
FOOD LIFESTYLE AND MERCH 1 A tote bag from wine bar and magazine Noble Rot that’s become an essential for any Londoner into their food and wine. £12, noblerot.com 2 This Herb Planter set from The Botanist Gin lets you grow a living garnish for your G&T. How’s that for a gift that keeps on giving? £58; thebotanist.com 3 This Sunday Rise Apron from pyjama brand Desmond & Dempsey is a collab with GAIL’s. £35, desmondanddempsey.com 4 The Salt & Honey for Hands treatment from Petersham Nurseries is made with honey from Bermondsey Street Bees. £22.50; petershamnurseries.com 5 Wear your allegiance with pride with this Yard Sale Pizza 5th Birthday T-shirt, designed by Patrick Schmidt. £17.50; yardsalepizza.com
ETHICAL GIFTS 1 These coasters from coffee lifestyle brand Joy Resolve are made from recycled coffee grounds, turning waste into something way cooler. £43; joyresolve.com 2 The Ocean Bottle benefits an initiative that supports the cleaning of the oceans – for every one bought, 1,000 plastic bottles are collected. £40; theoceanbottle.com 3 This hand-painted Bee
Free mug from the Arthouse Unlimited collective supports artists living with epilepsy and learning difficulties. £12.50, arthouseunlimited.org 4 For a great Secret Santa or stocking filler, look no further than these loose-leaf teas from Teatulia, a café, venue and social enterprise that supports more than 3,500 farmers in Bangladesh. £14.95, teatuliabar.com
K I T C H E N WA R E 1 London-turned Barcelona knifemaker Florentine makes beautiful handmade steel kitchen knives, perfect for serious home cooks. They’re customisable, too, so you can create yours from scratch to order. £295, honeyandco.co.uk; or create your own at ﬂorentinekitchenknives.com 2 If it’s cheese knives you’re after, this set of two from London’s oldest cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield is pretty hard to beat. £36; paxtonandwhitﬁeld.co.uk 3 Crisp, modern and approachable, Falcon Enamelware’s tableware is always a good shout for keen dinner-party hosts. From £5; falconenamelware.com 4 This granite pestle and mortar from Honey & Co is pure quality for people who love spice. £20; honeyandco.co.uk
COOKBOOKS 1 Judy Joo's Korean Soul Food: expect banchan, dumplings, street food classics, and more. £22; White Lion Publishing 2 Black Axe Mangal by Lee Tiernan: cook badass Turkish-inspired recipes from a Canonbury Road icon. £24.95; Phaidon 3 East by Meera Sodha: this vegetarian and vegan cookbook is full of dishes that span a huge range of cultures. £20; Fig Tree 4 Taverna by Georgina Hayden: Greek-Cypriot food is the centre of attention in this perfect present for ambitious home cooks. £25; Square Peg 5 American Sfoglino by Evan Funke and Katie Parla: this cookbook from the chef behind LA’s Felix Trattoria is a brilliantly user-friendly guide to all things pasta. £25; Chronicle Books
STOCKING FILLERS 1 For a fun-sized bottle of booze that’ll slip right in a stocking, this Sipsmith Christmas Tree Gin is a brilliant little sipper that sings of festive cheer. £17.50; fortnumandmason.com 2 Winter warmer? Try this now-iconic chilli oil from the ramen masters at Tonkotsu – spicy, a little sweet and totally delicious. £5.95; eat-the-bits.giftpro.co.uk 3 If the words 'Chocolate
Caviar' aren’t enough to convince you of the virtues of this great little stocking filler, it’s from Fortnum & Mason, a must-visit for Christmas shopping. £10.95; fortnumandmason.com 4 Tony’s Chocolonely’s chocolate bars have enjoyed a stratospheric rise, proving that ethically sound chocolate can be sweet, milky and easy to eat. £3.98 per bar; tonyschocolonely.com
3 Photograph by ###
MY CAREER IN DISHES: RICHARD CORRIGAN 67
I’VE DONE FARM-TOTABLE AND SUSTAINABILITY ALL MY LIFE With two bona fide London classics already under his belt, Richard Corrigan is expanding his portfolio with new restaurant Daffodil Mulligan. He reflects on the five dishes that have brought him to this point – and the ones he’s just introducing – with Mike Gibson Photography by David Harrison
T’S LIKE THE world has caught up with me,” says Richard Corrigan, with a wry smile. He’s talking about the farm-to-table trend in 2010s London – chefs looking to the farm to dictate their menu, practising responsible farming methods and cultivating kitchen gardens. “Everyone talks about farm-to-table and seasonality and I’m like ‘What? I’ve done that all my life.’” At nowhere is this more evident than at Corrigan’s, the Mayfair restaurant he took over and rebranded in 2008, with a focus on game and wild food. But Corrigan’s career has been nothing if not eclectic. Following a sous chef job at Marco Pierre White’s Oak Room in Piccadilly under Jean-Michel Lorain, he found himself working at Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill nearby in the mid-1990s. After gaining a Michelin star at Lindsay House in Chelsea, he returned to Bentley’s in 2005, this time as owner, though always with an eye on preserving its 100-plus years of history. “Bentley’s is an English tavern and I’m its custodian,” he says. “And I never want people to say ‘There was an Irish guy running it 30
years ago and he destroyed it.’” Now, after almost 20 years of owning his two London restaurants – as well as the country house Virginia Park Lodge in Cavan, Ireland, which he made a silent vow to buy in the middle of his wedding night there – he’s just opened his third, Daffodil Mulligan. And if you didn’t think his career was eclectic before, consider an Irish restaurateur forged in Piccadilly and Mayfair opening a folk and jazz bar in East London named after an Irish punk band’s rendition of a 1930s folk song and… well, you’ll catch my drift. As for the food, though it differs from Bentley’s and Corrigan’s, the farm-to-table ethos is just as much in effect – evidenced by the way he talks about the pumpkins that have recently arrived from the “just unbelievable” team who manage his operations’ gardens in Ireland. “I’d like to think that the food will evolve into something really tasty,” he says, “where people will go and have something really nice to eat for well under 30 quid. The menu is there for pocketbooks small and large.” Slàinte, indeed.
Photograph by ###
We’d often have a plate of oysters in the west of Ireland, with some bread. I loved the flavour, I loved the taste, it’s something that’s very special to me, and I think Bentley’s represents the native oyster more than any other restaurant in London. When I bought Bentley’s, I opened up all the old historical contracts from 26 years ago, and those
farms now supply us directly. And in my book, we have the best oysters in London, and there’s no question about it. We don’t fridge them, they’re not stored in some warehouse in London. Bentley’s was the most famous place in the 1970s to have oysters. Bentley’s supplied London with oysters, and I really wanted Bentley’s to have that kind of reputation again. And after 14 years I’m very proud and I think we have done that. When you think oysters,you think ‘Bentley’s counter’.
When I went to look at Bentley’s before I purchased the restaurant, it had a seafood counter in the bar full of frozen shellfish. And I swore to myself at that counter that if I ever managed to get hold of this place, I was going to put a fucking obscene seafood cocktail back on the menu. It’s a homage to what Bentley’s should be, and we’ve done it, and
it is obscene and it’s fucking amazing. If you want to celebrate life, go and share a seafood cocktail between two people. It’ll cost you 11 quid each. So what – it’s amazing. Fiona Hannon, our head chef at the oyster bar who has been with me for 17, 18 years, is amazing. Mike Lynch, our executive chef, he’s amazing. And between them, the bakery downstairs, the bread, English butter from Lincolnshire Poacher – Bentley’s is a class act, and I’m very proud to be the custodian.
Photograph by ###
This has been with me since Lindsay House. There are a lot more game pies around London, but the one at Corrigan’s is one of our stalwarts. It’s mallard, it’s grouse, it’s partridge, it’s pheasant – it’s whatever we feel is great. And we keep it simple: we serve it with a smoked beetroot purée, we’ve served it with cabbage, with pickled pumpkin in season, and
when that’s gone we do something else. And I think it goes brilliantly. I mean, really, seafood cocktail and a game pie? I could easily float off into tomorrow world. I was brought up on game: we were always shooting ducks and pheasants for the farm table. When you eat something wild, there’s something prehistoric in your tastebuds that kicks in, and you get different emotions that kick off into your brain. All food doesn’t do that. Some food just fills you full of joy for a moment.
LANGOUSTINE WITH PUMPKIN SOUP
About four weeks ago the pumpkins started coming in from Ireland. I was looking at them going, ‘How the hell are we going to use up all these pumpkins?’ And then one day one of the boys was making a stock from some shellfish, and I went ‘Hey, stop this, let’s have a chat.’ So we crushed all the bones of the shellfish
really fine, we put in some roasted tomatoes, some thyme, a little bit of brandy and then some milk and we brought it up slowly, just to the heat, for 35, 40 minutes and then let it rest for four hours. We put it through a sieve, and we ended up with this milk of langoustine. And then we took out the pumpkin, which I’d put into the wood burning oven the night before, pulped it, blitzed it, added the nage of the langoustines to it and that’s what we had. No miracle, just common sense – a commonsense approach to amazing ingredients.
SUGAR-CURED RIBS WITH KIMCHI
Photograph by ###
At Daffodil Mulligan, we don’t have to prettify anything. It’s about pure, in-your-face flavour. I was travelling around Northern Ireland a few weeks ago and I came across a guy called Peter Hannan. He has salt-aged, sugar-cured ribs of beef and pork, and I had to go visit him. He brought out these ribs he was testing and I
went ‘They’re mine. Send them to me straight away.’ And I just think it’s a fantastic product. We make kimchi in Bentley’s – we have lots of root vegetables coming from Ireland, and we’ve been making it for ten years. Fiona travels around the world, she tastes things in Colombia, Korea, Japan, and she always looks after the kimchi, so we used her recipe. I probably love ham more than anything else, and Colman’s mustard was invented for Irish ham. I haven’t come across anything finer. f daffodilmulligan.com; corrigancollection.com
NICE AND SIMPLE
Despite their long-standing heritage, Liberté yoghurts are still made using traditional Greek methods, which means they're deliciously rich and creamy – and fat free
E KNOW YOU. We know how busy you are: working, going to the gym, entertaining friends and family. And we know how important it is for you to eat well. That’s why it’s so important to cook with brands you know combine great quality with great flavour – like Canadian yoghurt company Liberté. At Liberté, they craft recipes with quality ingredients, fine fruits and spoonfuls of passion, to bring you a liberating taste experience. Founded in Montreal in 1936 by the
Kaporovsky family, Liberté has focused on simplicity and quality since its very beginning. It even supplied the troops in the Second World War, and participated in the World’s Fair in 1967. Since then, Liberté has strived to maintain the very highest levels of quality in its naturally thick strained yoghurt, which now comes in a range of delicious flavours including strawberry, cherry, honey, mango and blueberry. Made through traditional Greek methods, the yoghurt is thoroughly
strained to give it an incredibly rich and creamy texture – even though it’s completely fat-free. That quality and diversity is also why Liberté’s yoghurts are such great ingredients to cook with, in sweet or savoury dishes. But don’t just take our word for it: for more inspiration on how to incorporate Liberté’s yoghurts in your own home, take a look at this butter chicken recipe from Montreal-based chef and food stylist Heidi Bronstein. ● For more information go to liberte.co.uk
Serves: 4-6 Cook time: 45 mins Prep time: 25 mins
INGREDIENTS The marinade
◆ 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 In a large bowl, mix all the marinate ingredients with the chicken cubes and massage well. Transfer to a hermetically sealed bag and let sit in the refrigerator from 1 hour to overnight. 2 Once marinated for desired time, place meat on pre-soaked skewers and heat the grill or barbecue on medium-high. 3 Cook chicken from 5-7 minutes per side until cooked through. Let it sit till sauce is ready. 4 In a large pot or saucepan, on medium heat, heat the butter and add the onions. Add the garlic and ginger as well as the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon. Sweat for 3-4 minutes. 5 Add garlic, ginger purée, tomato paste and spices and stir until well blended. 6 Add yoghurt and cream and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the fenugreek and fresh coriander. 7 Adjust the seasoning with salt and add the grilled chicken pieces removed from skewers. 8 Serve with plenty of naan bread or any flat bread of your choice.
◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆
(cut into 1 ½” cubes) 450ml fat free Liberté 2 tbsp chick pea flour 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp salt 8 large skewers soaked in water
The sauce ◆ 2 tbsp butter
◆ 1 medium onion, thinly sliced ◆ 2 cloves garlic, minced ◆ 1 tbsp ginger paste
◆ 2 tbsp tomato paste ◆ 2 cloves
◆ 2 cardamom pods Photograph by (main and bottom) Nick Rees
◆ 3cm piece of cinnamon ◆ 2 tsp ground cumin
◆ 2 tsp ground turmeric
◆ 2 -3 tsp ground chili powder (Kashmiri
powder for more heat)
◆ 2 tsp ground coriander ◆ 115ml fat free Liberté ◆ ½ tsp salt (to taste)
◆ 225ml single cream
◆ 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crumbled ◆ 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
— PART 3 —
QUENCH “YOUR FIRST THOUGHT IS PROBABLY A PERFECTLY SEARED STEAK SERVED DESPERATE DAN-STYLE IN SERIOUSLY SALUBRIOUS SURROUNDS” TOM POWELL VISITS HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS, 078
078 MIXOLOGY: HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS 085 HOP CULTURE | 090 BOTTLE SERVICE
DEEP SECRETS Situated in a former strip club, Hawksmoorâ€™s subterranean Spitalfields bar is the restaurantâ€™s playful, beguiling sibling, with a recently refreshed range of cocktails to match its charm, writes Tom Powell QUENCH
TR6 SIDECAR A salted, honeyed take on the sidecar that’s inspired (in name) by the Triumph motorcycle Steve McQueen rode in Christmas classic The Great Escape.
ING R E DIE NTS
• 40ml bee pollen and apricot-infused Laubade VSOP armagnac • 10ml Jacopo grappa • 20ml lemon juice • 15ml salted honey water Shake all ingredients and strain into a fennel pollen sugar-rimmed martini glass.
Photograph by (TR6 Sidecar) Piotr Kowalczyk, (Hawksmoor) TobybyKeane Photograph ###
HINK HAWKSMOOR AND your first thought is probably a perfectly seared, steak served Desperate Dan-style in seriously salubrious surrounds, not a basement bar just off Shoreditch High Street that was once home to an illegal strip club. Reader, you’re getting it all wrong: esteemed steakhouse Hawksmoor’s Spitalfields bar is a decade old this year, and subterranean dive it most certainly is not, even if its salacious past is hinted at through dim lighting, glossy brick tiling and vaulted cubbyholes ready made for hushed, intimate conversations. Ten years after its turn from grubby basement to upscale restaurant bar, this is still the kind of place you’d go for a quick frisson, but thankfully that’s mainly down to the drinks: back in July, the bar bagged Best International Restaurant Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail awards, and instead of resting on its laurels, the team made the call to vamp up its menu, reworking its already long list of twisted classics with a series of punchy, sometimes out-there 2019 hot takes. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Fuller-Fat Old Fashioned – a rich coagulation of bay leaf and brown butter-infused Woodford Reserve bourbon that upgrades the bar’s already infamous Full Fat offering. Or the beautifully balanced Apple Martini, made with apple and pear eaux de vies, Lillet Blanc and a touch of green apple acid. Add to that a neat roster of house serves like the French House Fizz, a sumptuous blend of gin, freeze-dried strawberry and tarragon-steeped cream soda, and you’re onto a winner. And then there’s the grub: this is the place to come for the best bits about Hawksmoor without the sit-down glamour. There are crab sandwiches, umami-laden bone marrowtopped oysters, short-rib nuggets with kimchi ketchup and decadent dripping-cooked spuds with vinegar mayonnaise. Yeah, maybe this place is still a little bit naughty after all... 157B Commercial St, E1 6BJ; hawksmoor.com Shoreditch High Street
WANT ALL THE SPIRIT, NONE OF THE ALCOHOL THIS CHRISTMAS? — Get £5 off a bottle of STRYYK NOT RUM, NOT GIN or NOT VODKA use code: XMA5 at checkout on stryyk.com
APPLE MARTINI Inspired by a bar scene from US sitcom Scrubs, this serve is an appletini without any of the fluorescent-green schnapps about it.
ING R E DIE NTS
• 25ml apple eau de vie • 10ml pear eau de vie • 15ml Briottet Manzana Verde • 15ml Lillet Blanc • 5ml malic acid eau de vie solution Stir all ingredients over cubed ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a mini apple.
by ### PhotographPhotograph by Piotr Kowalczyk
CARE/OF FIZZ Gin from a tiny Swedish island stars in this fluffy, fizzy tribute to Malmöbased bar Care/Of
I NGREDI EN TS
• 35ml Spirit of Hven gin • 15ml Spirit of Hven Summer Spirit • 20ml lemon juice • 10ml cream • 20ml egg white • 10ml grapefruit sherbet • 5ml Sweetdram Escubac • 20ml London Essence rhubarb and cardamom soda Add all ingredients (except soda) into a blender with four ice cubes and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a small wine glass and add the soda. Sprinkle with freeze-dried raspberry.
by ### PhotographPhotograph by Piotr Kowalczyk
w e n a r e v o c s Di t i r i p s d e r d n i k
Luxury English gin made in Surrey with 24 botanicals. Full bodied with delicate florals, fresh citrus and velvety local honey. Smooth, refined, refreshingly individual.
Visit our website and grab a copy of Just Add Beer and a case of Offshore Pilsner for only Â£29.99 sharpsbrewery.co.uk/shop
H O P C ULTUR E BY
foodism B E E R
C L UB
Whether you’re a complete beer geek or an enthusiastic amateur, the foodism Beer Club is a community we want you to be part of. It’s free to join, and consists of a monthly newsletter full of recommendations, exclusive offers and competitions, plus invitations to London-based tasting events, parties and more. Like beer? Join the club at foodismbeerclub.co.uk
The brewery When it first opened back in 2011, London Fields Brewery (LFB) was the first beer producer to start up in the London borough of Hackney in more than a century. A lot’s changed since then, and loads has for LFB, too: most notably its shiny new brewery and gigantic taproom (also home to BBQ joint Prairie Fire) a mere stone’s throw from the iconic East London park it’s named for.
LONDON FIELDS BREWERY 365-366 Warburton Road, E8 3RR London Fields
THE LONDON BEER MAP Your guide to London’s best breweries and taprooms. This month, it’s the newly relaunched London Fields Brewery in Hackney
If you’ve ever seen LFB’s core range in cans, you’ll probably know about it: East London icons like pearly kings and queens set against slightly trippy, kaleidoscope 1960s backgrounds. The beers inside, meanwhile, are a trip in themselves: there’s unfiltered pilsner Broadway Boss, well-balanced pale Hackney Hopster and white IPA 3 Weiss Monkeys. Head to the taproom and you’ll be able to sample their seasonals, too. Our recommendation? Give the sours a go, because head brewer Talfryn Provis-Evans’s brand-new kit is fitted with a purpose-built souring tank to be able make the very best.
What else? If you head to LFB’s all-new taproom, you’ll probably notice the gigantic, 12m-long ‘Love Not War’ mural that stretches all the way down one of the interior walls. Painted by local artist Luke McLean, it’s a nod to the London riots that happened on nearby streets in Hackney during the brewery’s founding months in the summer of 2011. Since then, ‘Love Not War’ has become the brewery’s mantra, and it regularly donates cash and man hours to charities, social enterprises and local issues, from litter picking on Regent’s Canal to charities like Amnesty and Mind. f londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk
STYLE IT OUT 1 F I V E P OI NTS O L D GREG’S BARLEY W I NE
SIR E N M AIDE N Wokingham, UK
Hackney, London, UK
This blended, barrel-aged barley wine was Siren’s first ever brew. 11%. sirencraftbrew.com
A rare brew that’s made on NYE each year. 12.4%. fivepointsbrewing.co.uk
3 M AG I C ROC K ST RON G MAN Huddersfield, UK A bold brew that comes in two barrelaged variants: rye cask or bourbon barrel. 11.5%. magicrockbrewing.com
Barley Wine ˈbɑːli waɪn
When Jack Frost rolls in with the winter chills, the hardiest of beer drinkers turn to barley wine. Just like it sounds, this superstrong (often between 10% and 14%) beer was originally made as an alternative to wine and sherry in the 1800s. Its success on the market was pretty limited, though, so it chugged along in the background until the Americans picked up the style in the 1980s, experimenting with barrel-aging, fruit additions and other recipe hacks. Expect a big, boozy malt-bomb packed with notes of fruit and nuts, best sampled by the snifter.
4 M IK K E L L E R B IG WORST E R Copenhagen, Denmark A super-complex, American-style barley wine that’s fermented with champagne yeast. 15%. mikkeller.dk
A TEAM EFFORT
THE PINNACLE OF BREWING
THIS ONE’S FOR HARRY
Six UK breweries have teamed up to make a range of beers highlighting the impact of diversity in brewing. Three craft classics have collaborated with three social enterprises, including 2019 foodism 100 Best Pub or Taproom category winners Ignition Brewery, and South London stalwarts Gipsy Hill Brewing Company. Available at Seven Dials Market
Leeds brewery Northern Monk has launched the UK’s most expensive beer, retailing at £1,000 per 330ml bottle. The world isn’t going mad – it was brewed at the top of Ben Nevis, and all proceeds will go to the For the North Foundation, a scheme that offers grants to projects that support communities in the north of England. northernmonk.com/for-the-north
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Little Faith in Deptford to brew a charity beer in support of Harry & CP and Tree of Hope. ‘Harry’ is a 5.9% New England IPA, and 50p from every pint sold will go directly to a fundraiser that’ll give a four-year-old boy a chance of having life-changing treatment for quadroplegic cerebral palsy. Join us at the launch. fdsm.co/harry
Your guide to the world of beer styles, classic and modern. This month: barley wine
THE ARTIST After a little over five years in the game, London Beer Factory has a completely new look. Designed by Glasgowbased design agency Thirst Craft, each can is an abstract, digitally drawn representation of the beer in the can â€“ in this case a blood orange and cranberry sour.
Photograph by David Harrison
A quick-fire look at the artists and designers behind some of Londonâ€™s most iconic beer labels. This month: London Beer Factory
THE BREWER Founded by brothers Ed and Sim Cotton back in 2013, London Beer Factory is based on the same industrial estate as Gipsy Hill Brewing Company in South London. While the bulk of the brewing is done there, its taproom and barrel store sits a couple of arches along from Anspach & Hobday and Hawkes Cider on Druid Street in Bermondsey. Head there for core classics like Hazey Daze IPA and Sour Solstice, or tuck into limited-run specials across cask, keg and from the barrels. The brewery has its own mobile coolship for making spontaneously fermented sour beers, as well, so keep an eye out for those, too. thelondonbeerfactory.com
CHRISTMAS IN BEER
1. B R E AK FAST
From beer-based bucks fizz to after-dinner ales, let us guide you through the brews you should be stocking up on to pair with the many meals of Christmas Day
2. T HE C HAMPAGNE MOMEN T Here’s a little secret for you: great quality sharing bottles of beer come in at about the same price as entry-level supermarket champagne, and blended sours like lambic do a great job at mimicking the momentousness of bubbly with their acidity, depth of flavour and satisfyingly poppable corks. If you have time, scour bottle shops for Cantillon, or just grab a bottle of Boon gueuze in Waitrose. Alternatively (much like in the world of sparkling wine) there are English versions on the market that are fast closing the gap, too. Our recommendation? Grab yourself a bottle of Burning Sky Cuvée.
4. C HR IST M AS PUDDING When it comes to Christmas pudding, you’re going to want to pair that rich, decadent, fruity booziness with something equally bold. Stouts and porters are the name of the game here – particularly ones with coffee, chocolate or spice notes that’ll help dig out the peel, brandy and dried fruit in the pudding itself. Fullers’ Imperial Stout is a great one for this, with notes of cherry, chocolate and Turkish delight. Then again, if you’re still too full for actual dessert, you could just have your dessert in a bottle. There are tons of breweries making adjunct-laden stouts that are full of puddingy flavours, but there are few quite as popular as Siren’s Caribbean Chocolate Cake series. Grab it if you see it this side of the big day.
Whether you wake up to a full English, a plateful of kedgeree, a stack of pancakes or an unfussy bowl of porridge on Christmas morning, one thing’s for sure: breakfast is buck’s fizz time, and we’ll be drinking a beery twist on one this year. Grab a champagne flute and half fill it with Wild Beer Co’s Ninkasi saison (available by the 750ml bottle at Waitrose), then top up with fresh OJ like you would a mimosa. The beer is aged on apple juice and fermented with champagne yeast, so it’s got plenty of spritziness and a nice dry finish that makes it stand up well in place of champagne. At 9%, it’s less strong than bubbly, too, which is great if you’ve got a ton of lunch prep to do.
3. T HE M AIN EVE NT The million dollar question doesn’t necessarily need a million dollar answer, and plenty of easy to get, affordable beers will pair perfectly with Christmas dinner. Dry stout like Guinness or the White Hag’s Black Pig are great with oysters, while seafood starters like prawn cocktail or smoked salmon are great paired with a Belgian wit like Hoegaarden. It’ll cut through the oiliness and has complementary notes of coriander and peel, as well. Stay Belgian for the turkey: mainstays like Orval and Saison Dupont will do a great job of scrubbing your palate clean with their dryness while complementing gravy, meat and herby stuffing with their earthiness and spice. For something a little bit simpler, an amber ale like Bath Gem has more than enough dryness to cut the fat while also possessing a fruity bitterness that’ll be a tasty counterpoint to all that roasted meat and gravy.
Come cheeseboard o’clock, most people turn to port or sherry as a side note to fatty brie or nutty goat’s cheese, particularly if fig or date chutneys are on the table, too. In the beer world, you want to be subbing in a bière de garde, vintage ale or barley wine (see p88 for suggestions) for those nutty, dried-fruit notes. A big, bitter West Coast IPA will stand up to the stingy tang of mature hard cheeses like cheddar, too. Meanwhile, if your palate’s completely knackered (and at this point, we don’t blame you), make sure you’ve got a couple of cans of a lager like Donzoko Northern Helles or Braybrooke Keller Lager hanging around. They’ll go really well with some ham or leftover turkey in a sandwich.
Photograph by David Harrison
5. CHE E SE AND C OL D C UTS
JOIN OUR BEER CLUB In 2020, subscribers will receive a Brewery Fresh 5 litre mini cask of each of our five very special Limited Release brews... Not only this, but we’ll also send out a mixed case of 12 Sharp’s Brewery beers and our cook book ‘Just Add Beer’ in time for Christmas.
USE ‘BEER25’ FOR 25% OFF
SCOTCH IN THE USA Scotch and American whisk(e)y differs in style and production, but these days US distilleries are embracing things like single malts (unblended whiskies made from malted barley) and cask ageing, like these cracking bottles below. 1 FEW SINGLE MALT WHISKY, Chicago, IL, USA. FEW has branched out into a single malt, made with smoked and unsmoked malted barley. 46.5%, 70cl; £54.75, thewhiskyexchange.com 2 WESTWARD AMERICAN SINGLE MALT WHISKEY, Portland, OR, USA. A single-estate whiskey that’s as cool as you’d expect from an Oregon distiller. 45%. 75cl; £69.99 westwardwhiskey.com 3 BALCONES ‘1’ TEXAS SINGLE MALT, Waco, TX, USA. A modern classic from a pearl of the US whiskey scene. 53%, 70cl; £72.95, thewhiskyexchange.com 4 WOODFORD RESERVE MALT WHISKEY, Versailles, KY, USA. The modern-day bourbon distiller’s first single malt is rich, with loads of depth and an affordable price point. Winner. 45.2%, 70cl; £35 woodfordreserve.com 5 WESTLAND AMERICAN OAK, Seattle, WA, A creamy single malt finished in ex-bourbon and new American oak barrels. 46%, 70cl; £66.75, thewhiskyexchange.com 6 WHISTLEPIG OLD WORLD CASK FINISH RYE, Shoreham, VT. A straight rye whiskey whose spicy notes are complemented by Scotch-style finishing in madeira, sauternes and port casks. £175, thewhiskyexchange.com
3 4 5
Weâ€™ve rounded up US whiskies, Scottish gins and essential Christmas Day wines to fuel your festivities QUENCH
Photograph by ###
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
CHRISTMAS CLASSICS Sometimes the festive season is about sticking to the tried and tested. Here are three wines and a whisky that’ll set off Christmas Day beautifully. 1 AU BON CLIMAT CHARDONNAY 2016, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. A buttery chardonnay is perfect for prawn cocktail or Christmas dinner. This one’s made in the Burgundian style and full of flavour. 13.5%, 75cl; £26.50 2 RUINART, ‘R’ DE RUINART, BRUT, Reims, Champagne, France. An iconic champagne at a great price point – dry, rich and sumptuous – pop it anytime after 11am. 12%, 75cl; £50 3 GLENFARCLAS 15 YEARS OLD, Speyside, Scotland. A beautiful, bold and refined scotch that’ll make a brilliant digestif (and very possibly the precursor to an afternoon nap). 46%, 70cl; £59.95 4 DOMAINE LOUIS CLAUDE DESVIGNES LA VOÛTE SAINT-VINCENT 2017, Morgon, Beaujolais, France. A beautiful, fruity and fresh red, perfect with turkey and pigs in blankets, from a single lieu-dit in the Morgon cru of Beaujolais. 13%, 75cl; £15.95 All available at bbr.com 1 2 3 4
SCOTTISH GINS With a host of native botanicals opening up loads of flavour combinations, the wilds of whisky country are fertile grounds for gin, too. Here are a few we think you’ll love. 1 EIGHT LANDS GIN, Speyside, Scotland. A peppery London Drystyle organic gin from Glenrinnes Distillery. 46%, 70cl; £38.95; masterofmalt.com 2 ISLE OF RAASAY HEBRIDEAN GIN, Raasay, Scotland. A gin made on the rugged island of Raasay by R&B Distillers. 46%, 70cl; £35, raasaydistillery.com 3 CAORUNN HIGHLAND STRENGTH GIN, Speyside, Scotland. A not-far-off-Navy-strength gin infused with rowan berries, bog myrtle and other local botanicals. 56%, 70cl; £39.25 thewhiskyexchange.com 4 THE BOTANIST GIN, Islay, Scotland. A crisp, refreshing Scottish gin made from botanicals sourced within a mile of the progressive Hebridean distillers’ HQ, which also makes Bruichladdich whisky. 46%, 70cl; £40, waitrosecellar.com
GIVE THE GIFT OF THE WORLD’S FINEST BOURBON BEAUTIFULLY COMPLEX, PERFECTLY BALANCED C R A F T E D C A R E F U L LY. D R I N K R E S P O N S I B LY. WOODFORD RESERVE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK.©2019 BROWN-FORMAN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ART FORM: [from left] A No.3 Gin martini; a scientific photographer’s microscopic photograph of the crystallised elements of No.3 Gin
DOWN TO AN ART As the only gin to have been voted as the World’s Best Gin four times, No.3 Gin is a great-tasting, great-looking London Dry gin that comes with a pedigree to admire
S THE STAPLE of any great drinks trolley, gin is a spirit that’s amassed a loyal and fervent following. Ever since the days of William Hogarth’s belovedly debauched Gin Lane, London’s been a city obsessed with that alcoholic spirit. Whether your drink of choice is a standard G&T or a
Hotel, Rules and the Ottolenghi group. Not exactly bad company, eh? Blessed with a refreshing balance of juniper, citrus and spice, No.3 is a perfect choice for a refreshing gin and tonic or clean, crisp martini. To meet those exacting standards, No.3 is distilled in a unique 100-year-old, brickencased copper pot still in Holland – the home of gin. The name and iconic key of the brand remain front and centre on the bottle, proudly reflective of Berry Bros. & Rudd, the brand owner’s home at No.3 St James’s Street. And as for what’s inside that gorgeous exterior? Expect a bright, crisp and fresh bouquet with an uplifting welcome of juniper on the nose. Those same notes of juniper are at the fore of No.3’s flavour, supported by floral, summery notes and spicy, warm flavours of cardamom and an almost earthy dryness on the finish. ● Find out more at no3gin.com
Photograph by (Martini) Andrew R Currie
ITS NEW BOTTLE DESIGN WILL ENCHANCE NO.3 GIN’S REPUTATION AS A BEACON OF QUALITY
punchy negroni, we’d say it’s fairly safe to assume that you’ve had your fair share of the stuff over the years. Not all gins, however, are made equal. Recently voted the World’s Best Gin for a fourth time, and the first gin to win the prestigious ‘Supreme Champion Spirit’ award following a blind taste test at the International Spirits Challenge, No.3 London Dry Gin is one of the best gins around town. As if all of those accolades weren’t enough, No.3 Gin has released a distinctive new bottle design and creative campaign to further enhance its credentials as a beacon of quality in the increasingly cluttered and confusing world of gin. If you needed a sign of its quality, here’s a quick hit list of some of the London spots where you can find No.3 behind the bar: The Artesian, The Goring Hotel, Hotel Café Royal, The Ned, Quo Vadis, Mint Gun Club, Dukes, The Ritz, The Savoy, Ace
MIXING IT UP A LITTLE Looking to shake up your go-to drinks order at the bar? J&B Rare is a modern, versatile blended Scotch whisky that's perfectly suited for a range of delicious cocktails
HAT DO YOU get when a lovestruck Italian and a canny Englishman decide to make a spirit? J&B Rare Whisky, that’s what. Combining the big, bold flavours of single malts with lighter grain whiskies, J&B Rare is a, well, rare blend created by wine and spiris merchants, Justerini & Brooks. Otherwise known as the “Wine Merchants’ whisky” – for reasons that’ll become evident once you’ve quaffed the stuff – J&B Rare was created by whisky maverick, Eddie Tatham. To this day, J&B Rare remains one of the most distinctive whisky brands in the world. If you haven’t sampled its subtle smokiness yet, you really should. It’s medium-bodied with good balance and although the finish is quite short, you can expect notes of oak, cedarwood and a veritable kitchen cupboard of spice to keep you coming back for more. Not only is it a versatile spirit, but it’s got an unexpected flavour that even the most ardent of whisky skeptics will find themselves falling head over heels for. Crafted from 42 different malt and grain
J&B RARE HAS A LIGHT FLAVOUR PROFILE READY TO BE ENJOYED NEAT, ON THE ROCKS OR IN A COCKTAIL 98
whiskies, (36 malt and 6 grain whiskies), with ‘heart malts’ from Knockando, Auchroisk, Strathmill and Glen Spey, its fresh and vibrant finish separates it from denser, more peat-heavy whiskies in the market. With Speyside at its heart, J&B Rare has a light flavour profile ready to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as the perfect canvas for whisky cocktails. Yes, your days of waltzing up to the bar and going all deer-in-the-headlights at the sheer array of spirits available for your cocktail order are finally over. It’s time you swapped out your tried and tested comfort blanket of a negroni for a boulevardier made with J&B Rare. Make your go-to bar order from now on a whisky sour, old fashioned, or Bobby Burns made with the super-drinkable spirit. Lord knows that’ll give you more kudos among London’s top bartenders at the likes of The Dorchester and The Beaumont than a blasé G&T. Failing that, J&B Rare is also suitable for a simple whisky and tonic. That medley was the most popular serve at the Waitrose Drinks Festival in 2019 – containing a mixture of J&B Rare and Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic garnished with fresh ginger. Never one to rest on its laurels, J&B Rare even hosted an exclusive hard selzter and highball masterclass (featuring the Rosemary Water highball) with Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison at London’s first whisky bar, and smallest hotel, Black Rock on 26 November. Just like the J&B Rare itself, that class was a welcoming twist on cocktail traditions that went down a treat. ● Find out how good whisky can be with J&B Rare Blended Scotch Whisky, available at Waitrose for £22.50. Follow @JBRareWhisky on social.
A RICH HISTORY
Photograph by ###
To enjoy a cocktail made with J&B Rare is to take part in an age-old tradition. Few whisky brands have a history as gripping and original as J&B Rare. The early years saw J&B Rare become a society whisky, enjoyed by individuals, influencers and icons. J&B was placed in the hands of some of the most popular people of the time, from Cary Grant to Truman Capote and all five members of The Rat Pack.
— PART 4 —
EXCESS “WAVES OF IMMIGRATION FROM MOZAMBIQUE TO PORTUGAL IN THE 1970S HELPED THE PIRI PIRI CHICKEN CRAZE SWELL” LUCAS OAKELEY TAKES A DEEP DIVE INTO PIRI PIRI IN THE ALGARVE, 104
104 FARO, PORTUGAL | 110 ON THE TRAIL: VENICE 112 THE ITINERARY: VIENNA | 119 THE SELECTOR | 130 DECONSTRUCT
Piri piri chicken has become a staple in the UK thanks to its addictive mix of char and spice, but under that crunchy skin is a story thatâ€™s just as engaging. Lucas Oakeley joins the team behind Casa do Frango in the Algarve to explore its origins
Photograph by Haydon Photograph Perrior by ###
BAYING MYRIAD OF hen parties and stag dos greets me as I alight at Faro airport and wipe a film of sweat from my brow. Jacqui’s bride tribe and Tony’s top staggers rule the roost in the departures queue – uniformed warriors preparing to drink themselves into a stupor under the searing sun. Luckily for my liver, though, I’m not here for a piss-up. I’m visiting Portugal’s southern Algarve region for one thing, and one thing only: piri piri chicken. Known as frango assado in Portugal, piri piri chicken is an Algarvian culinary specialty that involves the brutal candor of spatchcocking a chicken, throwing it on a hot grill, and brushing its tawny flesh with piri piri sauce. Variations of that sauce, as spicy as it is eye-catching in colour, have been kicking around since the 15th century after Portuguese colonists first stumbled upon the chilli pepper while voyaging overseas. Grinding up the piquant pepper and mixing it with a melange of European ingredients (garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, bay leaves, lemon juice), those conquistadors created a basic version of the sauce that we still douse our chickens in today. Whether it’s scrawled on menus as piri piri, peri peri or pili pili chicken – all variants of the name for the bird’s eye chilli – that peppery dish has almost become as ubiquitous in the UK as fish and chips or pie and mash. One of the latest restaurants in London to experience both commercial and critical success at getting down and dirty with barbecued hunks of chicken breast, thigh and leg is Casa do Frango. “My father always said to me, ‘If you’re going to open a restaurant, make sure it serves chicken,’” says Casa co-founder and Portuguese native Marco Mendes – a man whose intimate knowledge of the Algarve is helping to direct my odyssey in the area. Heeding his father’s advice, Mendes opened up Casa do Frango (literally “house of chicken”) with his business partner Jake Kasumov in 2018, intent on bringing an authentic taste of Algarvian cuisine to London Bridge. Like its name suggests, the concept at Casa is simple – almost painfully so – but it works. Casa serves a menu where the entire mains section is comprised of one item (“half-chicken brushed with piri-piri”) alongside a dozen small plates and sides. It’s a straightforward approach to cooking that Mendes has no qualms admitting he cribbed from the grilled chicken restaurants dotted across the Algarve. The very same restaurants that Mendes and his family would frequent on an quasi-religious basis in his youth, →
→ and the same restaurants we’re hitting up on this whirlwind tour. Following a quick adjustment to the climate that involves putting on as much sun cream and taking off as many layers of clothing as is socially acceptable, we begin our fowl adventure. Our first poultry pit-stop of the weekend is O Teodósio – an imposing restaurant located in the sleepy parish of Guia. Guia is generally considered to be the place to get piri piri chicken in Portugal. So much so that you’ll regularly hear the dish referred to throughout the country as “Frango da Guia”. As one of the most popular purveyors in the area of that barbecued bird, O Teodósio proudly calls itself “Rei Dos Frangos” (“The King of Chickens”): a statement you’ll find emblazoned on every plate at the premises. Step inside and it’s not hard to see why that hubris exists. The industrial-sized chicken shop, complete with two floors of devastating efficiency where every plastic seat is packed with punters young and old, runs like a well chilli-oiled machine. Everything from the paper tablecloths draped over the tables to the flat-screen TVs broadcasting live soccer are designed to ensure that not a single free kick is missed and not a second is wasted mopping down piri piri-soaked linen. All I can do is marvel at the slickness of the operation as our order is punched in by the waiter on a walkie talkie-like device. He tells me that O Teodósio first opened up in 1982 and, looking at the blasé look in his eyes as endless plates of chicken and chips hurricane around his head, I’m not convinced it’s
experienced a slow day of service since. Spare seats are sparse at this frangoria, as manager Renato Brazão explains. “We have 700 chairs,” he says, “and each day we serve around 2,500 customers”. The secret to O Teodósio’s success is its simplicity: a butchered chicken is placed on the grill, salt is added, and the heat of the charcoal is left to work its magic. It’s a heat so intense I fear that my contact lenses might fuse to my eyeballs on entering the kitchen. Those haunted by viral videos of anaemic chickens pumped fat with saline fluid will be pleased to know that the spatchcocked hens at O Teodósio’s are a healthy yellow; lean and taut as a troupe of gymnasts. O Teodósio has made frango assado the exact same way here since the very first day of service and, interestingly enough, piri piri sauce doesn’t factor in the cooking process. That sauce is instead siphoned into a small metal container on your table to let you heat up your frango to your own personal spice level. I lather it on liberally before mailing it around the table via the central lazy susan, letting the punchy chilli oil seep into every crack and crag of the chicken’s blistered skin. Blessed with a “very big” fridge, Brazão estimates that O Teodósio sells “almost 2,000 chickens a day”. To put that into perspective, Casa do Frango sells about 2,000 a week. With a whole frango setting you back as little as €14 at O Teodósio, it
becomes evident to me that piri piri chicken isn’t just an affordable and delicious dinner in the Algarve: it’s an intrinsic part of the culture. “Frango piri piri got really popular here around the late 1970s and early 1980s,” says Mendes, gesticulating passionately over a glass of Super Bock, “it’s a concept influenced by Mozambique and southern Africa, but Portuguese families come here in huge groups just to eat the chicken.” Your local churrasqueira is where your family comes on the reg to get their fill of flamegrilled frango and taking your business to another restaurant is viewed about as fondly as switching your sporting loyalties from Benfica to Sporting Lisbon. In the Algarve, where you choose between O Ribeirinho, Ramires or O Teodósio (the “big three” according to Mendes) doesn’t just indicate where you like to eat, it says a lot about who you are as a person. There’s a beauty in the endless quest for perfection that wills a restaurant to devote itself to perfecting a single dish. Much like the soba shops in Tokyo that won’t even consider serving customers until they’re content they’ve created the ideal broth, Ramires and O Teodósio have got grilling poultry down to a fine art. But, as good as it may be, chicken is far from the only foodstuff I sample in the Algarve. We tend to start most days in Faro by making a visit to a nearby pastry shop, filling ourselves with enough pastéis de nata and travesseiros (a warm and slightly savoury hot pocket of pastry that oozes with a sweet, molten egg custard) to keep us going till lunch. Not only suitable for bleary-eyed breakfasts but bleary-eyed nights as well, a number of these bakeries sell contraband natas out of their back doors in the early hours of the morning. While they aren’t technically allowed to sell food at this time due to licensing restrictions, a blind eye is often turned to the practice, much to the delight of the hordes of hungry clubbers tottering back home. That Portuguese passion for pastries is something Casa do Frango hopes to replicate in its new Shoreditch site; a two-storey premises set to open in December complete with an openplan bakery shilling those fresh custard tarts. Sugar fix acquired, we soon find ourselves in the neighbouring city of Albufeira, careening down a dusty road to Quinta do Piri-Piri – a chilli farm that we’re told holds the key to uncovering the secrets of
GRILLED TO BITS: [from left] Spatchcocked grilled chicken; a selection of chillies used in piri piri sauce; Romeu Santos and his chilli peppers
piri piri sauce. While it’s home to more than 30 greenhouse species and roughly 10,000 square metres of chilli, Quinta do Piri-Piri is also a home in the literal sense of the word. Quinta do Piri-Piri’s owner Romeu Santos runs a guttering company during the winter months but has been growing chilli peppers out of his villa every summer for the last ten years, having successfully turned his garden into a farm and his hobby of growing heatseeking pepper missiles into a profitable venture. Despite the ever-increasing popularity of the potent sauces Santon sells to local traders and restaurants, his farm remains a family-run operation. “Only two people work here,” he laughs, “though sometimes my mother helps out, too!” We walk through row upon row of traffic light-coloured chillies, taking care not to caress any of the bright bulbs for fear of contaminating our fingers and soldering our eyes shut. Guiding us past gentle jalapeños (a mere 8,000 on the Scoville scale) and rib-tickling habaneros (around 300,000 units) imported from Mexico, Santos directs us to the spicy stars of his farm: the Carolina Reapers. “We call them nuclear chillis,” he says with the tender affection of a sadomasochist as he cradles a two-inch sun-yellow pepper in his palm. A hybrid of a habanero and a scorpion pepper, the Carolina Reaper clocks in at around 2.2 million on the Scoville scale. Which is – in layman’s terms – absolutely fucking nuts. Placing even the tiniest shred of that pepper in your mouth, which I do via a cocktail stick, feels like putting out a cigarette on your tongue; a lingering and fierce heat that works its way down your throat and into your gullet. The more affable malagueta is the chilli favoured for piri piri sauce, though both
Photographs by Haydon Perrior
PIRI PIRI CHICKEN IS, IN MANY WAYS, EDIBLE EVIDENCE OF MIGRATION
of these peppers thrive in the dry climate of the Algarve. Balmy winds that come in from North Africa sugar dust the region in a layer of sand sourced straight from the Sahara desert and, speaking to Mendes and Santos about the chilli pepper’s complicated ancestry, it’s hard to ignore the role that the continent of Africa, and the spectre of colonialism, has played in the creation of piri piri sauce. It was, after all, the Spanish and Portuguese colonies who were first responsible for disseminating chillies and other foodstuff from Mexico and Central America around the globe in the 15th and 16th century. “There was nowhere else in the world that had those little chilli peppers before Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean in 1492,” Professor Rebecca Earle, a food historian at the University of Warwick, tells me over the phone. “They didn’t even have them in India.” Then-exotic chilli peppers exploded in popularity as a result of how easy they were to grow and became widely used by colonists as a surrogate for black pepper in their cooking. “Chillis were democratising because they allowed anybody who got ahold of some seeds to plant them in a pot and grow them,” explains Earle – an ease of access epitomised by Romeu Santos’s makeshift piri piri farm. That widespread transfer of various goods, ideas, and technologies by colonists, missionaries and traders is referred to by historians like Earle as the ‘Columbian exchange’. “You could argue that Columbian chilli peppers are about the only good consequence of colonialism,” says Earle. Piri piri chicken is, in many ways, edible
evidence of the long history of migration. Having brought chillies over from the Americas, Portuguese settlers in Africa found that the peppers flourished in their new home and quickly became a culinary mainstay in countries like Mozambique and Cape Verde. However, despite crossing innumerable seas and borders to get from the Americas to Africa, it’s only in relatively recent history that the piri piri chicken we know and love has cemented its status in Portuguese diets. “In terms of chicken and chips, I think that’s a fairly recent combination,” says Earle. “The industrial developments of the late 19th and 20th century transformed the way in which restaurants could serve food and the speed at which things could be produced.” Waves of immigration from Mozambique to Portugal in the 1970s helped the frango craze swell and grow as migrants brought their love of the piri piri chilli back with them to Portugal. The movement was also accelerated by the tourism boom the country received from the British Isles during that same time period. “If anything has made this chicken culture grow it would be the English,” says Mendes. “After all, what do English people love more than chicken and chips?” The final chicken shop we visit, the one that Mendes frequented most often during his childhood, is a testament to that British passion for poussin. Plonked on the Estrada da Fonte Santa opposite an identical outlet of the very same chain, Marufos – affectionately referred to as “the chicken shack” – is one of the most popular frangorias in the Algarve. The first thing that strikes you upon entering Marufos is the wall of heat →
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→ radiating from the restaurant’s massive open grill; a charcoal-fuelled behemoth capable of cooking 144 chickens at the same time. The large-scale rotisserie system has an almost hypnotic effect and means each carcass receives an even burn and matching blackened pockmarks of flavour. As our ragtag group of chefs, photographers and journalists waltz up to the counter – looking about as out of place as Jeremy Clarkson at an Extinction Rebellion protest – it becomes evident that the man in front of us is quite the opposite of out of place. He has been here before. A lot. His chequered shirt, cross body bag and wraparound sunglasses are the attire of a seasoned frango assado veteran. All he has to do is hold up three of his linguiçalike digits to the man behind the counter to signpost that he’s here for a good time and a long time. An Irish brogue clamours from the table next to us as we take our seats and there’s definitely something to be said for how Brits abroad have helped turn piri piri into a worldwide craze. Lots of red-faced Englishmen in polo shirts (myself included) drink their lager and don’t even attempt to speak the native language, preferring instead to fumble their way through the menu crammed with as much advertising (B&M Eletrodomésticos! Expressglass! MM Cars!) as possible. Despite the influx of foreigners, it’s the locals that keep these restaurants running and it’s still a predominantly Portuguese crowd at Marufos tonight. “I think the whole thing must have as much to do with the kind of social spaces that these restaurants create than they do with the particular food they’re serving,” posits Professor Earle on the global chicken shop phenomena. As I watch a baby getting spoon fed its first taste of piri piri chicken from across the room, I can’t help but agree. We drink vinho verde, the green wine Portugal is famous for, and its lightly acerbic edge bounces off the charred chicken and punchy piri piri like a DVD screensaver. Unlike O Teodósio, Marufos’ chefs coat the chicken in a dry piri piri rub before grilling it. You can tell. However, just like O Teodósio, Marufos proves that keeping things simple can yield some extraordinary results. Serving plump chicken cooked over
HOT PLATES: [above] Casa Do Frango’s piri piri chicken; [left] the London Bridge restaurant, which is soon to be joined by a second site in Shoreditch
wood and charcoal as well as other riffs on Portuguese classics like octopus rice, bacalhau and chickpea fritters, Casa do Frango’s head chef Lucien Green is keen to replicate the vibe of chicken shacks like Marufos in London. “We’ve taken the concept of Marufos – of that skinny chicken done on a single grill – and adapted it,” he says as we go halves on a frango in that very chicken shack. Not content with just replicating the dishes, Casa do Frango is also attempting to improve on the Portuguese originals, primarily through a more rigid sourcing of produce. “The charcoal’s actually better in the UK,” explains Green, “the free-roaming chickens? They’re also better.” Casa uses three-to-four month old chooks that weigh-in at less than a kilo – a bird that’s a damn sight smaller than you’ll get from most industrial farms. The mass-production models in play at Marufos and O Teodósio that see thousands of definitely-not-freerange poultry slaughtered on a daily basis are certainly a pitfall of piri piri’s popularity. Piri piri chicken has become a very global dish but, amid that growth, it’s also become a highly industrial one, too. That industrialisation is something the team at Casa have attempted to tackle head on. It’s why the restaurant eschews the use of factory-farmed poultry and sources its chicken direct from Crazy Dan’s House of
Meat in Basildon. Creating a successful restaurant is, after all, about creating a social space that makes sense in its environment. An exact replica of Marufos or O Teodósio simply wouldn’t work in London for a plethora of reasons – a fact I lament on my way out of Portugal, before I’m reminded that I don’t need a carbon copy to get my laughing gear around great chicken: London’s got its own thriving chicken-shop culture. Our city is stacked with your classic Morley’s and Chicken Cottage as well shinier and more polished newcomers like Chick’n Sours and Bird, and those infused with a more Portuguese flavour, like Casa do Frango. A few days after my return from Faro, I’m sitting at a table at Casa do Frango’s London Bridge premises, filament bulbs above my head threatening to start a Newton’s cradle. Why? Because I felt it would, in Proustian terms, “help the memory” of the trip “reveal itself” and make a tidy bookend to this piece. And – y’know – I was hungry. The woman on the table next to me thumbs through her Instagram stories with the precision of a pneumatic piston; a man on the other side of the restaurant has a conversation so loud and obnoxious that the whole room can’t help but eavesdrop; a couple behind me play a game of footsie that sporadically judders the bench I’m sat on. Yet, despite all of our differences, we’re all here for the exact same thing: delicious chicken. And that’s my kind of hen party. f casadofrango.co.uk
CATCH OF THE DAY: [this pic] Venice’s iconic waterways; [right] Russell Norman browses fresh fish from the lagoon at Rialto Market
ON THE TRAIL
As Polpo celebrates its tenth birthday, founder Russell Norman travels to Venice, and its famous Rialto Market, where he uncovers the secrets of the city’s lagoon
HE RIALTO FISH Market in Venice gets going a little later than you might expect. If you’re familiar with Billingsgate in London, for example, which opens at 4am, Venetian fishmongers may seem casually nonchalant as they unpack their wares, cigarette balanced on their bottom lip and the air thick with conversation in the twang of the local dialect. Rialto wakes up around 7am and most stallholders are ready by 8am. Even so, it’s
still best to get there as early as you can, while the fish are so spankingly fresh that you might still see the odd tail flip or mouth twitch. I love getting there before the crowds to watch the stalls being covered with crushed ice and the sleek lagoon-caught sea bass, shimmering sardines and monster john dory being laid out in elegant rows. It’s also the best time to see the local superstar chefs – Francesco Pinto from All’Arco or Bruno Gavagnin from Alle Testiere – inspecting the
catch and deciding what goes on the day’s menu. These perfectionists don’t just order five kilos of this, or ten fillets of that, they actually identify and choose the specific fish that they want for the restaurant as if they were selecting jewels or flowers. In addition to the generic varieties of fish you’d see in any Mediterranean fish market, the stalls at Rialto also feature some special delights from the lagoon. The terrifying local eel known as bisato, small monkfish the size
SOME CHEFS CHOOSE THE SPECIFIC FISH THEY WANT AS IF SELECTING JEWELS of a child’s hand called code di rospo (‘toad tails’) and the celebrated soft-shell crabs, moeche, that appear for only a few weeks every spring and autumn. Occasionally you will see a price label with the name of the fish and the word nostrane. This means ‘local’ or ‘ours’ and I always fancy there is a significant sense of pride attached to that word. But I am here with a very specific purpose: to pick up the main ingredient for one of the hero dishes of regional Italian cooking, spaghetti alle vongole. The recipe isn’t Venetian, but it has been embraced by the city and its inhabitants as if it were a true daughter of Venice’s culinary heritage. The dish offers a thrilling flavour of the sea, a briny celebration of clams. There are many different clams on display, and while all delicious, not all fit for purpose. There are the delightful cape lunghe, or razor clams, perfect with garlic and parsley. I also love the tiny, delicate telline, no bigger than a fingernail but packed with flavour. However, I need what Venetians call vongole veraci – ‘true clams’ – known in other parts of Europe as palourde. These plump, juicy bivalves are just perfect when combined with olive oil, white wine, garlic and parsley. I buy a kilogram, helpfully contained in a tightly bound net and head back to my small rented apartment just off Campo Santa Margherita in the Dorsoduro district. As I leave Rialto Market I see one of the stall holders is selling mixed scraps of fish for only a few euros per kilo. It’s easy to miss this sort of thing because as tourists and food fans, we tend to look at the beautiful displays and trophy fish. But the cheap scraps are an important point of difference, and quite often it is what the locals will choose when the family meal budget is a little tight. Francesco Agopyan, the owner of
the legendary Venetian restaurant Antiche Carampane in the city’s old red-light district, told me that his uncle taught him an ancient recipe from the fishing village of Chioggia on the southern edge of the lagoon. He would poach the scraps over a low heat and then remove all the cartilage and bone. The fishy sauce is then flavoured with mild spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, pink pepper, and more. (These ingredients occur with surprising frequency in Venetian cuisine – a reminder that Venice was, for many centuries, the gateway between the East and the West and a principal port along the Spice Route.) Francesco now features this dish on the menu of his restaurant using the original exotic name: spaghetti cassopipa. Back in my flat, I’m about to tackle a dish no less traditional or authentic, but a lot better known. Like all regional recipes, spaghetti alle vongole varies depending on where in the country you eat it. Most experts agree its origins are in Campania but it has a strong presence in Genoa and Venice, too. The addition of tomatoes in the south troubles me a little and I have grown to love the Venetian bianco version so much that tomatoes or chilli seem like aberrations. After scrubbing and rinsing the clams thoroughly, I tend to leave them in cold water
for a few hours to allow any small grains of sand to filter out as each little fellow opens its shell ever so slightly to have a peak at what’s going on outside. When I’m ready to cook, the process is usually pretty fast and frenetic. You have to move quickly to make sure this dish is at its absolute best when it gets to the table. The live clams need to hit the hot oil hard and keep moving as the wine evaporates, the shells open and the other ingredients mix together to create the sauce. It’s a subtle, delicious liquor that coats the strands of cooked spaghetti as you combine the pasta with the clams, a jamboree of olive oil, wine, pasta cooking water and garlic, but also including the tiny amounts of sea water that each clam releases as it opens. The aroma when cooking spaghetti alle vongole is quite intoxicating, but I am always equally thrilled by the clouds of boozy steam, the hiss of the hot pan, and the clattering of the clams. When the pan makes it out of the kitchen and the bounty is divided, there usually follows a reverent quiet as the eating begins, the sated silence broken only by the crunch of bread, the slurp of wine and, yes, the clattering of those clam shells again, although now they’re satisfyingly empty… f polpo.com
THE ITINERARY Austria’s beautiful capital Vienna is famous for culture, coffee houses and cake. Need even more reasons to go? Here’s Lydia Winter’s guide to its best bits…
LIGHT ON THE TILES: [clockwise from here] St Stephen’s Cathedral and its colourful mosaic roof; Seven North’s stylish dining room; head to Elektro Göenner for cocktails and live music; Israeli-inspired food at Seven North
Photographs by (cathedral) Boris SV/Getty; (Seven North interior) Steve Heurd; (Seven North food) Daniëlle Reizevoort; (Elektro) Bene_Fotoselektion
ET’S ALL TAKE a moment of appreciation for the croissant, shall we? Flaky, buttery and delicious, it’s probably the undisputed queen of pastries. If you’re wondering why I’m wanging on about a French classic in a guide to the Austrian capital, that’s because the croissant doesn’t originate from our neighbours across the Channel, but was actually born after the Ottomans tried to invade Vienna in the 17th century. A symbol of the Austrian victory, the pastries are in the shape of the crescent moon that appeared on the Ottoman flag, so that the Viennese could symbolically eat their would-be oppressors for breakfast every morning. Now that’s the kind of celebration I can get on board with. And there are plenty more pastries where the croissant came from. In fact, delicate Viennese pastries – also known as viennoiseries – are world-famous, as are many more of the city’s sweet treats. Vienna is famous for its coffee-house culture, and alongside lengthy coffee menus you’ll find display cases groaning with apfelstrudel; kaiserschmarrn, the shredded, sugar-dusted pancakes; and sachertorte – chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam in the middle. But if all that sugar doesn’t get your head in a spin, there’s plenty here for you, too. Most famous of all is the wiener schnitzel, a tender veal escalope bashed thin and shallow friend until its breadcrumb coating is light and crisp, served with lemon slices and a warm potato salad. Accompanied by a glass of riesling from one of the city’s vineyards, it’s a classic Viennese meal that you’ll find on menus around the city. Here’s where you should eat, drink and stay in Vienna.
If you’re going to eat a schnitzel, do it right – scoffing a wild boar escalope in a pumpkin-seed crumb at modern Austrian restaurant Ulrich’s fits the bill perfectly. The site was once a traditional Austrian gasthaus (guesthouse) but it’s been revamped with elegant, modern interiors and counter dining that fits in with its location in Vienna’s trendy Neubau district. Small plates aren’t really a thing here, but Ulrich’s is making them one, with dishes of okra and courgettes; chicken wings marinated in yoghurt and lime; and river trout cooked in riesling and served with spring onion and lavender pesto. Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz 1; ulrichwien.at
Seven North OK, so this one isn’t Austrian at all – this vibey, stylish restaurant in the Max Brown
hotel actually specialises in Israeli cooking. But Seven North makes the list because it’s very, very good, and the atmosphere on a Friday or Saturday night is noisy, lively and convivial. Hunks of roasted cauliflower give as good as they get; the delicious ‘cabbage cake’ does indeed look like a slice of cake and is sweet yet savoury and drizzled with sour cream; and the paper bag of blanched green beans simply drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with garlic is so much more than the sum of its parts. Meat and fish dishes, too, are huge in size and flavour. Basically, Seven North is absolutely excellent. Schottenfeldgasse 74; sevennorthrestaurant.com
Salonplafond In a city famed for its art, it makes sense that you’ll find a great restaurant in a gallery – and given that Salonplafond is in the Museum of Applied Arts, you know that it’s going to be cool. Here, food is as good looking as the space itself, with traditional Viennese dishes that leverage seasonal, local produce. Start
with a foamed parsnip soup drizzled with truffle oil – your reward for slurping your way through is a single plump and juicy scallop; sample pike perch, another Viennese classic; or go for an absolutely enormous, absolutely delicious schnitzel, served with cranberry sauce. Obviously. Stubenring 5; salonplafond.wien
What was once a humble electrician’s shop has now become a cooler-than-cool bar, music and art venue on Mariahilfer Strasse. We’d usually avoid spending too much time hanging out on this street – think high street chains rather than cool concept stores – but this bar is worth a visit in itself. Elektro Goenner hosts film nights and art events, a monthly vinyl club where you can meet local DJs and buy records, and has a particularly good techno night, as well as a terrace to head to during the summer when the city gets hot.
Mariahilfer Strasse 101; elektrogoenner.at →
VIENNA’S COFFEE HOUSE CULTURE IS SO RENOWNED IT’S UNESCORECOGNISED → Miranda With pink walls and a turquoise granite bar, Miranda is most definitely one for the ’Gram. But it’s far from style over substance: drinks here are well thought out and change seasonally. At the time of writing, we were fans of the Pumpkin Patch Sour, with bourbon, almond, lemon, egg white and pumpkin seed oil; and the Caught in the Rain, with riesling vermouth, pineapple rum, coconut and pistachio. What’s more, this tropical hideaway is ideally placed for bar hopping around the Esterhazygasse neighbourhood, where you’ll also find several great restaurants like Finkh. Esterházygasse 12; mirandabar.com
Café Espresso Walk past Espresso at any time of day and it’s likely to be busy, but it’s nighttime when we think this place comes alive, with people sat outside drinking until the early hours. This café-bar is a proper living legend in Vienna, and was an advocate for retro style way before it was cool. Think red leather benches, neon lighting and mismatched lamps. And most importantly, excellent sandwiches right up until 1am. We’ll take a prosciutto, peperonata and parmesan toastie, thanks.
Naschmarkt is the oldest food market in Austria, and has always been the place to find produce from the further reaches of the country and its empire. Today, stroll along the market for a quick snack before heading into the Secession gallery, home to Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze. Stall owners proffer all sorts of snacks
Café Sperl Vienna’s coffee house culture is so renowned that it’s even earned a place on Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. As you can imagine, old-school coffee houses abound on the city’s pretty streets, but our favourite is Café Sperl. It’s the kind of place you can imagine at the turn of the century, with lowhanging lamps and the great and the good discussing arts and politics over strong coffee. Order yourself a melange – half foam and half coffee, not too dissimilar to a cappuccino – and settle in for some pumpkin seed-topped scrambled eggs, or black bread thickly spread with butter and topped with chives. Gumpendorfer Strasse 11; cafesperl.at
Visit Stammersdorf Vienna is the only city in the world with its own notable wine-growing industry, and the place to experience it is at a heurige, or wine tavern, connected to a winery. The word ‘heurige’ means from this year, and is a reference to the young wines. Traditionally heuriges would only sell their own wines
and you would bring your food; these days, many offer fine-dining-standard food. For an afternoon of delightful eating and drinking, visit Stammersdorf, a former village in the city’s north, where Stammersdorfer Strasse is lined with excellent heurigen. The cellars aren’t always open – it depends on the season and the wine-growing calendar – so make sure you check before your visit.
Max Brown 7th District
You know a hotel’s doing something right when you immediately start taking photos of the rooms for future interior design inspo. At Max Brown’s Vienna outpost, every nook and cranny has been carefully curated: muted greens, yellow and pinks give it a retro Seventies feel, as does the turntable you’ll find in every room. The hotel is packed with absolutely fantastic art, and also has a cinema downstairs, with monthly film events – a nod to the Neubau district’s history of having independent cinemas on almost every corner. And speaking of the location, it couldn’t be more ideal. Neubau is trendy – think independent stores and cool restaurants and cafés – and you’re also in the perfect place to explore the Museumsquartier, and the Naturhistorisches and the Kunsthistorisches Museums. f Schottenfeldgasse 74; maxbrownhotels.com
Photograph by (Cafe Sperl) Peter Rigaud
Burggasse 57; espresso-wien.at
– roasted nuts, morsels of cured meat and cheese – while you nibble your way along the stalls. Go on a Saturday, and you’ll find a flea market at one end, primed for picking up some quirky souvenirs.
CHEERS TO THAT!
New Year’s Eve is approaching, and for a venue that combines great food, drinks and dancing until the early hours, look no further than the iconic Sea Containers London
HE AGE-OLD CONUNDRUM: New Year’s Eve. Well, more specifically, how exactly to ring it in. Go out or stay in? Dinner out or a full-blown party? Where are you going to stay? And who’s going to arrange it all? If these questions have been weighing on your mind, we’ve got good news for you: Sea Containers London can answer every one. With a host of celebrations across its restaurant and bars and a bed for the night that’s just an elevator away, all that remains is to arrive, eat, drink, sleep and reflect on the perfect stay. At Sea Containers Restaurant, you can enjoy a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée on arrival and a four-course dinner with views across the twinkling Thames to St Paul’s and the City, for just £95 per person. The vibrant rooftop bar, 12th Knot, is going all pink, and in keeping with the theme there’s a Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé champagne reception followed by an open bar all
evening, live music and DJ, and even bacon sandwiches later on to soak it all up. Then there’s the award-winning Lyaness, Sea Containers London’s peerless cocktail bar from foodism favourite Mr Lyan, which will be ringing in the new year with world-class cocktails and thumping beats. And as for where you’re staying? Well, this urban hotel’s got you covered: whether you’re sipping and dancing at 12th Knot, eating and imbibing at the restaurant or Lyaness, or going elsewhere, there are great rates on its gorgeous rooms and suites, with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé in the room and a buffet breakfast the next morning. And finally, with bottomless champagne brunch available on New Year’s Day for £59 per person, the fun doesn’t stay in 2019... ● For more information, to book any of Sea Containers London’s New Year’s Eve experiences, go to seacontainerslondon.com
WIN WIN BRUNCH FOR TWO
What better way to celebrate the new year than with a bottomless Laurent-Perrier brunch for two at Sea Containers Restaurant? We’re offering just that to one lucky winner, to redeem anytime in January. Consider your new-year blues obliterated. Must be booked in advance. Subject to availability. For full T&Cs and to enter, go to fdsm.co/sea-containers
COMING OF AGE
Grana Padano is a delicious, complex cheese that’s just as good on its own as it is in the kitchen. Get the best out of it with this great festive recipe from Francesco Mazzei
of Origin) status in 1996, but this marker means Grana Padano is recognised and protected by the Italian State and European Union, which guarantees quality, authenticity and traceability wherever you see the official Grana Padano logo, no matter where in the region it comes from or who makes it. Grana Padano is a hit with professional chefs and home cooks alike for its complexity, its nutritional value,
GRANA PADANO’S PDO STATUS GUARANTEES QUALITY AND AUTHENTICITY
Photograph by (Grand Padano) Claudia Castaldi
OME PEOPLE SAY age is just a number. But those people obviously haven’t come to know the world’s best-selling PDO cheese, Grana Padano. For one thing, the history of cheesemaking in the Po Valley (the region in Italy where Grana Padano comes from, otherwise known as Pianura Padana) goes back more than 1,000 years. Despite that history, the cheese only receive PDO (Protected Designation
its versatility and, in simple terms, its delicious flavour. That’s why it’s got support from the likes of Radici and Sartoria head chef Francesco Mazzei, whose festive recipe, made with turkey, pumpkin and Grana Padano, you can see to the right. Age is important, too, because it’s what separates Grana Padano from many other Italian cheeses, but also its variants from each other. Keep reading for a breakdown of each of the expressions on the market. Just a number? We don’t think so...
Grana Padano PDO 9-16 months The youngest Grana Padano on the market has a light, almost bouncy texture, a mild and fresh flavour, and less of the granularity of texture you’ll find with more aged variants. It’s perfect to snack on, to grate over meat and vegetables, to shave on to salads, and to pair with fresh, crisp white wines.
Grana Padano PDO 16 Months + More age means more complexity and more of the grainy texture that so many people love about this cheese. 16 Months + is more tangy than fresh, and it’s exquisite when grated into hot food while cooking, giving dishes like soufflés, risottos, pastas and soups more complexity and deliciously savoury, umami notes. On its own or when used in food, 16 Months+ pairs beautifully with lively, fresh red wines.
Grana Padano PDO ‘Riserva’ As you’d expect, the older brother of the 9-16 and 16+ Grana Padano – aged for 20 months or more – is an unashamedly complex and rich cheese. Riserva will serve you well grated into warm dishes, but its complexity means that it’s a beautiful cheeseboard cheese, standing up to other rich, strong cheeses and matching perfectly with dessert wines as well as fullbodied, tannic reds. For more information, go to granapadano.it, follow Grana Padano on Facebook at @GranaPadanoUK, Twitter at @GranaPadano_UK, Instagram at @granapadano, or search #GranaPadano on social media
TRY IT YOURSELF Francesco Mazzei's turkey and pumpkin dumplings with Grana Padano watercress dip For the dumplings ◆◆ 100g white bread such as ciabatta, with
the crust removed and torn into pieces
◆◆ 100ml milk
◆◆ 500g turkey mince
◆◆ 300g butternut squash, peeled and
◆◆ 100g sultanas, soaked overnight then
◆◆ 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
◆◆ 130g Grana Padano 9-16 months,
◆◆ 5g red onion or spring onion tops,
◆◆ Sea salt and freshly ground black
◆◆ 4 tbsp olive oil
◆◆ Fried sage leaves, to garnish
For the watercress dip ◆◆ 150g watercress
◆◆ 20g Grana Padano Riserva 24 months,
◆◆ 1 tbsp pine kernels ◆◆ 2 tsp salt
◆◆ 100ml extra virgin olive oil
Method 1 Mix the bread pieces with the milk and let this soak for a few minutes until the bread has absorbed all of the liquid. 2 In a large bowl, combine the turkey mince, grated butternut squash, eggs, Grana Padano, chopped spring onion and soaked bread. Season well with salt and pepper and mix until well blended. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up, then form into small 3cm round patties. 3 Prepare the watercress dip. Pick the watercress leaves, discarding the larger tougher stems. Blanch half of the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, drain, run under cold water and squeeze dry. Place in a tall measuring cup with the rest of the watercress, Grana Padano, pine kernels, salt and pepper and about 50ml of olive oil. 4 Using a hand-held mixer, start blending, slowly adding the rest of the oil, until you get a creamy paste. Set this aside. 5 Heat two large frying pans, pour 2 tbsp of oil in each and gently fry the dumplings for about 5 minutes on each side until well golden and slightly crusted. 6 Serve warm with the watercress dip, garnished with fried sage leaves.
We wish you a Merry Swiss-mas. And a delicious moment of calm in all of the chaos.
Wish you well. Find us in the confectionery aisle of selected Sainsburyâ€™s, Waitrose, Holland & Barret and WHSmith travel stores and online at ocado.
THE SELECTOR Winter is here, which mean it’s time to test the city’s best Christmas menus and deck the halls at its many festive pop-ups. Feeling like a Grinch? Take yourself out for an aperitivo and a steak instead...
T’S COLD. VERY cold. Which means we’re grumpy. Very grumpy. And one of the few ways we’re capable of cheering ourselves up during these dour months is with good food and drink. We’re talking proper feasts here, Santa baby: plate after plate of hearty dishes that fill us with a feeling of physical and emotional satiation. To make the most of your hibernation period this winter, we’d recommend you spend it eating and drinking your favourite things. Festive get-togethers
planned? Go out and enjoy a festive menu at one of London’s top restaurants. In the mood for a perfect steak? See who’s the made our cut of top sirloin slingers. Fancy listening to ‘Last Christmas’ on repeat while you get down and dirty with a fondue? There are plenty of winter pop-ups in the city to choose from. Feel the need to forget about the fact it’s no longer summer? We’ve rounded up the aperitivo bars suitable for whatever weather. Happy Christmas, one and all. Now go eat. f
THE SELECTOR, SPONSORED BY OXLEY GIN Created using a patented cold-distillation still, Oxley is a super-premum, innovative, vibrant and smooth-tasting gin. The expert team behind the spirit dedicated eight long years and 38 recipes to perfecting the process of making Oxley gin in a vacuum still below freezing point – and the results are absolutely worth it. This unique, finely
honed process enables the distillers to use fresh-frozen citrus peels, harnessing the true flavour of 14 botanicals that you can taste in each and every sip. And how does that happen? Distilling without heat results in a flavour bursting with more fresh fruit, vibrant citrus, herbal and floral flavours than traditional distillation methods.
BEST OF THE REST 2 Jimmy’s Winter Lodge
4 Miracle at Henrietta
Until 5 January
Until 23 December
Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX
14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QG
2 Leicester Square
This festive season chef Jimmy Garcia, best known for his adventurous pop-up ventures, is serving fondue, wild boar hot dogs and hot apple mojitos in his very own alpine lodge. Grab a mulled wine pre-theatre or enjoy some prime-location festive cheer without schlepping through the streets of central London. Fancy something a little more snug? There are igloos available to hire, fully equipped with fairy lights and blankets.
Exciting news, bar fans. The Henrietta is bringing the much-loved Miracle pop-up bar phenomenon all the way from the US to London for a second year. It’s a Christmasthemed pop-up with a difference, famous across the States for its genius mixes and whacky festive combos. Expect Christmas concoctions designed by Experimental Cocktail Club alumni Nico de Soto, and festive cheer galore.
3 Skate at Somerset House
5 The Prince
Until 12 January
14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT
Somerset House scrubs up pretty well all year round, but there’s extra magic to be found come Christmas. Not only does it have one of the biggest trees in London at 40ft high, it also has treats aplenty thanks to its collaboration with Fortnum & Mason. Shop for presents in the gift-packed Christmas arcade, enjoy black cherry bellinis at the Fortnum’s pop-up lodge and warm your hands post-skate with a whipped cream-topped hot choc. Mmm.
In a world of cosy winter terraces, The Prince – a rambling woodland garden that extends across the rooftops of four buildings on the same street in Earl’s Court – just about takes the prize. This winter, the mammoth, fourrestaurant, three-bar covered terrace is going to be fully heated, absolutely packed full of cosy blankets, and will be decked out with plenty of party platters heaped with food from Wildcard catering. Turn up, sing a few carols and chow down – ’tis the season, after all.
The Strand, WC2R 1LA
FESTIVE FEELS We know it’s getting cold, but these festive winter pop-ups and terraces should warm your cockles
1 Winterland Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY
In Fulham on yonder, where snowflakes do fall, lies magical Winterland, all shiny and tall. That’s kind of the vibe team Winterland are going for, anyway, and among the hundreds of winter pop-ups vying for your attention, the total commitment to transporting you out of town, mentally at least, is impressive. Hell, there’s even a hot tub. Prepare to cosy up by open fires and order a hot toddy from the Moose Bar as you await homemade pizza. winterlandlondon.com
1 Augustus Harris 33 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JT
DRINK AND DINE
Augustus Harris is a wine bar and coffee shop inspired by the bàcari of Venice. It’s open from midday, serving a wide selection of cicchetti, crostini and spritzes, with an allItalian wine list. Reading the menu here is a bit like reading your favourite bedtime story. Anchovy and butter soldiers, dates stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in pancetta, and a salumi board heaving under the weight of prosciutto, sopressata, and finocchiona make up the brunt of the edible offering. augustusharris.com
Snacking while you drink is something we’re very on board with – do it at these aperitivo hotspots
Photograph by (Jimmy’s Winter Lodge) Jamie Lau, (Somerset House) alexisimages.com, (The Prince) Pascophotography
BEST OF THE REST 2 Ombra 1 Vyner Street, E2 9DG
4 Maremma Cambridge Heath
Like an English abroad who comes back from holiday in Venice with a suitcase full of camp collar shirts and a taste for grappa, British produce is given an Italian attitude at Hackney’s Ombra. It’s a laidback venue with a menu where E5 sourdough bread and River Teign oysters mingle cordially alongside baccalà mantecato and ’nduja and gorgonzola arancini. Nab a Venetian G&T and settle in for the long haul. ombrabar.restaurant
Mele e Pere boasts a back bar full-to-bursting with bottles of bittersweet, herbaceous vermouth, with varieties from niche Italian producers. Complemented by a stellar set of gins and other amari, you’re likely to be served one of the best negronis of your life at Mele e Pere. All that booze can’t be served without some serious food, though, so make sure you head here when you’re hungry and sample small bites like deep-fried lamb meatballs and calamari. meleepere.co.uk
36 Brixton Water Lane, SW2 1PE
Wines, salumi, cheeses and olive oil are the specialties at Maremma – a neighbourhood spot that’s as ample for a full-on dinner date as well as a spot to while away the postwork hours. Spritzes, negroni, bitters, and martinis all populate the drinks list while spuntini come in the form of springy focaccia, nocellara olives, anchovy crostini and salumi sourced straight from the Maremma region of Italy. Bang those together and you’ve got the makings of a lovely little evening. maremmarestaurant.com
3 Mele e Pere Brewer Street, W1F 9TF
5 Lino 90 Bartholomew Close, EC1A 7EB
Ordering just the right amount of drinks and snacks is an exact science that can sometimes go horribly wrong. Lino takes a lot of that complicated maths out of the equation by offering a £22 sharing plate designed for you and a mate to sift through over a few dark and dangerous drinks. That sharing plate includes hummus, free-range crispy fried chicken, flatbreads, sauerkraut croquettes and cod brandade – all made from scratch.
We dedicated 8 years and 38 recipes to perfect the process of making Oxley gin in a vacuum still, below freezing point.
Our unique process enables us to use fresh-frozen citrus peels, and to harness the true flavour of our 14 botanicals, which you can taste in each and every sip.
Distilling without heat results in a flavour boasting more fresh fruit, vibrant citrus, herbal and floral flavours than in a traditional distillation process.
Work Christmas dinner? Mates want a knees-up? These great festive menus won’t disappoint 1 Dishoom Until 24 December; various locations
For a first-class Christmas feast, you should get yourself down to Dishoom. Any Dishoom in the city will do, just make sure to wear your elastane jeans for the occasion because you’re going to eat large, my friend. Mammoth thaals of food will be placed on the table so that you and the other guests can feast to your hearts’ content. The non-veg side of the menu includes a whole turkey leg prepared in traditional raan-style, cooked low and slow over an entire day until it’s the most fall-apart fowl you’ve ever consumed. dishoom.com
Created using a Patented Cold Distillation Still, Oxley is an innovative, vibrant and smooth tasting gin.
BEST OF THE REST 2 The Palomar
4 La Goccia
Until 31 December 34 Rupert Street, W1D 6DN
Until 5 January Piccadilly Circus
Photograph by (La Goccia) Chloe Hardwick, (Romulo Cafe) Marte Lundby Rekaa
If you’re up for sharing this Christmas, The Palomar is a must. The rip-and-dip section of kubaneh bread, m’sabacha, beet labneh and larger plates of glazed octopus, sea bass and josperised aubergine are up-front on acid and spice – satisfying all the flavours you’d ever want from a sit-down meal. It’s not exactly shy of innovation, either. Turkish coffee is used to dress up the pork belly and crisps play a part in the Jerusalem chicken dish. thepalomar.co.uk
1 Floral Court, WC2E 9FB
La Goccia is getting into the spirit of things this year with a festive set menu. Starting with a selection of seasonal cicchetti, the menu will also include dishes like risotto with wild mushrooms, truffle and 36-month aged Parm and a choice of either hake, Haye Farm chicken or Haye Farm shoulder of lamb as a main. Along with some pretty nifty sides, this menu looks set to be a real people pleaser. petershamnurseries.com
5 Romulo Café
Until 31 December
Until 21 December
343 Kensington High St, W8 6NW
A vegetarian festive menu is what they’ve got going on at Bubala. Dishes are predominantly Middle Eastern but still make nods towards traditional fare. Beetroot carpaccio comes dressed in horseradish aioli with candied walnuts, bergamot and cumin; roscoff onions are given turnip syrup and whipped feta for company; and labneh is enlivened with clementine salsa and togarashi. Even the sprouts come in a Thai dressing. Bang.
It’s tempting to stick to a roast with all the familiar trimmings around Christmas but it’d be rude not to give Filipino cooking a whirl this winter at Romulo Café. Executive chef Jeremy Villanueva’s unique take on tradition will include hearty main courses like pork belly rolled and stuffed with herbs and spices; roasted chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins and chorizo; and more atypical dishes such as blue swimmer crab with kabocha pumpkin, coconut cream, ginger and chilli.
65 Commercial Street, E1 6BD
Photograph by ###
1 Coal Rooms 11A Station Way, SE15 4RX
Come to Coal Rooms if you’re up for sharing. The only steaks the Peckham restaurant do are 40 day-aged Hereford sirloins on the bone or 40 day-aged Hereford T-bones. While that’s not exactly all the choice in the world, those two sharing dishes are more than enough for even the most avid beef eaters out there. Both come served with a portion of Coal Rooms’ iconic Peckham Fatboy potatoes, making for the most intense rendition of meat and potatoes we’ve ever seen, and a dish that is not recommended eating more than once a week. Seriously. We’re warning you.
HAVE A COW, MAN From the affordable to the exuberant, here are some steak restaurants that are sure to leave you mooing
BEST OF THE REST 3
9 Seymour Place, W1H 5BA
Close your eyes and picture a steakhouse. Chances are high that the restaurant you’ve just imagined – leather booths, dim lighting, bafflingly heavy cutlery – looks a lot like a Goodman. Not only that but each Goodman also dry-ages it meat on-site in a temperature controlled, dehumidified environment so that every cut is prime for your consumption.
Lurra takes its influence from the traditional charcoal and wood grills you can find dotted around the Basque Country. It’s that rustic method of grilling – and its use of Galician exdairy cows – that gives the steak at Lurra an umami-rich grunt you can taste as you turn each tender slice of beef over in your mouth.
5 Brat 4 Redchurch Street, E1 6JL
Shoreditch High Street
Photograph by (Goodman) Serge Illin
The key to Hawksmoor’s success is down to the sheer quality of its end-product. Sourcing beef from grass-fed native cattle, Hawksmoor supports traditional British farming methods and work with small farms to ensure that the whole process of griddling a perfect medium rare fillet is as ethical as it gets. There’s even a New York branch set to open soon.
Yes, you can actually go to Brat and order something apart from the turbot. We know that the turbot is very, very good. But, contrary to popular belief, there’s more to Brat than the brat, my friend. The beef sirloin and beef rib? Simply stellar. Done up with not much more than a lick of oil and a generous seasoning of salt, both of those cuts are given a lovely wood-fired treatment.
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The Gift List ~ B ETTER B EERS ~
Proper Job Cornish IPA- 5.5% abv
Anspach & Hobday – The Porter
Proper Job is one of St Austell Brewery’s most celebrated beers - a big, bold and powerfully hopped IPA that explodes with citrus, pineapple and grapefruit notes. Brewed with Cornish spring water, American hops and the finest quality malt, this strong golden ale is the perfect tipple for Christmas.
Anspach & Hobday’s flagship beer. A blend of highly roasted and kilned malts, producing balanced flavours of rich coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of dark fruit. This award-winning Porter represents the true beer style of London. Available at Marks & Spencer for £2.49
Crisp. Refreshing. Planet-Saving. Food production is the biggest contributor to climate change, but one third of all food is wasted. Toast brew planet-saving beer with surplus fresh bread. All profits go to charities fixing the food system. toastale.com £1.99 at Ocado.
Vocation – Love & Hate
London Fields Brewery – 3 Weiss Monkeys
Amundsen – Lorita
Available in Tesco stores nationwide RRP £1.70
Love & Hate is our juicily crushable, unapologetically murky, New-England IPA. An authentic Vermont yeast strain and a big dose of oats work together with our triple dry-hopping process to create beautiful aromas and a silky mouthful. Unconventional. Uncompromising. We love it. vocationbrewery.com £3.00 at Tesco
As featured on Saturday Kitchen, this fusion between IPA and German-style hefeweizen showcases a wheat beer yeast which throws banana on the nose, then balances it with aromatic US hops for a citrusy, fruit salad-esque finish. londonﬁeldsbrewery.co.uk £1.80 at Ocado
Light pilsner malt, abundant notes of juicy passionfruit and a hit of bold tropical fruit from Mosaic, Citra & Enigma hops, makes for a refreshing, well-balanced and delightfully crushable pale ale from Oslo-based brewery Amundsen. amundsenbrewery.com £2.59 at M&S
THE GIFT LIST P RO M OT I O N A L CONT ENT
~ PER F EC T PR ES ENTS ~
Le Hamper This festive hamper packed with French delicacies will be the best gift they'll receive this year! It includes hand-picked items sourced directly from France such as foie gras and matching fig chutney, caramelized apples tatin style shortbread or chestnut cream, all arranged into a classic wicker hamper. Make it an unforgettable gift this year. lehamper.com
Make a Good Dinner Great with Beronia
Beronia was founded to create wines that make good food even better. Award winning wines from Rioja and Rueda that make even the simplest of dishes taste extraordinary. beroniatxoko.co.uk BeroniaTxoko
Pinot Grigio has won admirers the world over, and now it has bubbles! These delicious sparkling Pinot Grigio, available in both white and rosé, are light, fresh and bursting with fruity flavours and suitably packaged for the perfect Christmas gift. Sainsbury's £8.50
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
From freshly brewed chai in Kings Cross to home brewing kits, Amala Chai is at the front of the UK chai revolution. Enjoy a truly traditional masala chai experience this winter.
Bundaberg Ginger Beer is craft-brewed for up to 3 days in the small Australian town that shares its name, Bundaberg. Enjoyed on its own, or as a mixer, this delicious Ginger Beer is a great addition to your festive drinks selection. bundaberg.com BundabergGingerBeerUK bundabergdrinks
Four Roses Distillery received World's Best Bourbon in the 2019 World Whiskies Awards. If you’ve ever wanted proof that mingling Bourbons is an art unto itself, you’ll find it in this perfectly balanced, small batch Bourbon. Four original Bourbon recipes have been selected by our Master Distiller at the peak of maturation.
Available at waitrosecellar.com
FOR THE PERFECT FESTIVE CELEBRATION, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THESE VIBRANT LONDON VENUES AND EVENTS
THEO RANDALL AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL
CHRISTMAS AT CAXTON GRILL
Visit Theo Randall at the InterContinental this festive season and indulge in a delicious Italian feast on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, both inclusive of a glass of Champagne or a Negroni. Gift experiences such as Pasta masterclasses with Theo are also available! theo.randall TheoRandall theorandall.com (0)20 7318 8747
From 27th November, celebrate Christmas in Westminster with our festive menus from £35pp. Large get-together or something smaller, we have the perfect menus for you. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve menus also available. caxton_grill caxtongrill caxtongrill.co.uk/christmas
Swingers - the crazy golf club, takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into an incredible social experience at their two central London venues. Whether you’re throwing your annual Christmas bash, celebrating with friends or looking to raise a glass to the party season, Swingers is the perfect location. SwingersLDN SwingersLDN.com
Hidden under the streets of Mayfair, Black Roe is now home to an opulent private dining room, The Rambutan Room. Accommodating up to 20 guests and specialising in modern Asian cuisine, our expert team have curated a truly decadent range of seasonal menus for the festive period. Get in touch for a tailored party proposal. @blackroe blackroe.com
ADAM HANDLING CHELSEA
TUN YARD STUDIOS
Celebrate Christmas in quintessentially British fashion at Adam Handling Chelsea at Belmond Cadogan Hotel with a line-up of festive feasts – from a Christmas Day banquet to a bountiful Boxing Day Brunch, Festive Afternoon Tea and New Year’s Eve adamhandlingchelsea extravaganza. adamhandlingchelsea.co.uk
EATWITH X THE CIRCUS BAR
Located in Clapham, Tun Yard Studios provides a blank canvas and flexible space for studio work and events – from fitness classes to pop-ups. Thanks to its kitchen diningroom, the studio is also great for a private supper club. We are offering Foodism readers a special 50% off all bookings through December in time for Christmas shoots. Please quote ‘FOODISMxTUNYARD’ in your enquiry email to: email@example.com
LONDON IN THE SKY
Come and enjoy The Circus Bar with your friends and save 10% by buying your ticket before. Your ticket includes; 1 main & 1 side PLUS 2 beers or wine for £25! @eatwithlondon Book your ticket at eatwith.com
Looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? Book onto our 22-seat Sky Table suspended 100ft in the air, where you’ll enjoy fantastic dining, accompanied by truly unique views of London. Book now at londoninthesky.co.uk to treat your loved ones to an experience they’ll never forget, AND when you enter LITS-FOODISM25X at checkout, you will receive 25% off bookings before Christmas.
You can dine for £45 pp in the Refuge Restaurant which is a homage to when Jimmy used to go touring in Courchevel and at the end of the Season, would head to the Refuge hut after the last lifts to enjoy an evening under the stars. It's the best spot in town to get together with friends this winter and share the greatest fondue. It can be booked for private parties too of up to 30. @jimmyspopup jimmyspopup.com
Join us for a Christmas like no other at our West India Quay Pizzeria. The pizza playground can host your party of up to 100. Play a spot of Mario Kart or a game of giant fussball. Plan your bespoke alternative party with games, music, festive drinks and pizzas, and of course our legendary mince pie calzone. Stuff stuffing for Christmas, eat pizza. Email Events@pizzapilgrims.co.uk @pizzapilgrims
A PROPER BREAK
We've teamed up with Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery – brewers of Proper Job IPA – to give you the chance to win the ultimate foodie break in Padstow, plus great beer
Photograph by [harbour] James Ram/Chetwode Ram Associates
E LIKE A good beer here at foodism. But we like one even more when it's paired with a plate of great food. So naturally we were pretty excited when St Austell Brewery teamed up with Cornish chef
EACH BEER PAIRING MAKES THE MOST OF CORNWALL'S ABUNDANT LARDER
Jack Stein to put together a killer list of beer-paired recipes for you to try at home. Yep, that's two Cornish legends coming together to make the most of the county's abundant natural larder, and spice up what's cooking in your kitchen this winter. From a classic Sunday roast and trimmings paired with Proper Job Cornish IPA to pulled jackfruit buns served with much loved pale ale Tribute, there's plenty to get your teeth into. To celebrate the partnership, we're giving one lucky reader the chance to win the ultimate foodie break to Padstow, Cornwall, including a one-day cookery course hosted by Jack Stein and two nights B&B at the Old Custom House in town. And as if that's not already enough,you'll also be the lucky
recipient of two cases of St Austell Brewery's award-winning Proper Job. That's 24 tasty bottles of big, powerfully hopped IPA to pair with your dinner when you get home. Our shout? Give Proper Job's crisp, refreshing finish and notes of citrus and pineapple a run out alongside Jack Stein's lemon tart at your next dinner party. The bitter citrus of the beer will do a, er, proper job of bringing out the zestiness of the tart. Sounds good right? Well you're in luck, because all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this beautifully beery prize is enter the competition at fdsm.co/proper-break. Good luck. ● Check out Jack Stein's beer pairing recipes at staustellbrewery.co.uk/jacksteinrecipes or follow on social media at @st_austell_brewery
1 2 3 BEARING FRUIT: These bright red berries have some serious history, with records suggesting they were used in recipes by Native Americans as far back as the 1500s. They’re still mega popular, with more than 110,000 tonnes produced every year in the United States.
BERRY GOOD: Cranberries are considered a superfood thanks to their antioxidant content. They’re a particularly good source of Vitamin C and dietary fibre, too.
MERRY BERRY: Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without a dollop of ruby-hued cranberry sauce. Make your own this year by boiling up fresh cranberries with sugar and orange juice or water.
Photograph by ### Photograph by Shutterstock/HT-Pix
Incredibly festive to look at, absolutely delicious to eat and a stellar provider of vitamins and nutrients – rosy-red cranberries are a real winter winner