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This, in case the cover didn’t give it away, isn’t a magazine about healthy eating. Nor is it a magazine about unhealthy eating – we’d like to think you’re grown-up enough to figure out what works for you. Which isn’t to say we can’t all do with a bit of help every now and again, though if you’re looking to the legions of healthy-eating bloggers, it turns out you might be looking in the wrong place. That, at least, is what cook, writer and all-round goodfood evangelist Gizzi Erskine reckons, as she launches a new book that takes a pretty damned sensible approach to eating well. “In this country we find it so much easier to latch on to cutting out food groups – cutting out carbs, wheat, dairy and gluten,” she tells us on page 32 of this issue. “But we don’t understand why we’re doing it… Health has gone mad.” The answer isn’t rocket science. Instead, it’s about properly understanding what our bodies need and eating a balanced diet, using quality ingredients, without excluding the good stuff. Turns out you can literally have your cake and eat it (in moderation, of course). That’s good news for those of us who want more from our food and drink than just fuel, though if you’re looking for a shock as well as a meal, that’s available too. On page 46, we turn our attention to beef, and the butchers, farmers and chefs going to serious lengths to extract flavours and textures that challenge what we expect from a steak. Probably best to hold the blue-cheese sauce for that one… f
FRONT COVER: Photography by Ian Dingle
GRAZING 008 OUR LOCAL HEROES 012 STREET FOOD FIGHT 016 GEAR GUIDE 022 RECIPES
FEAST 030 GIZZI ERSKINE
038 NIKKEI CUISINE 044 BEEF REVOLUTION 050 FOOD AND ART 056 MIXOLOGY
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We’re on a mission to find delicious organic fruit from British growers. If you have a tonne of fruit to sell, we’d like to hear from you. You’ll need to have these four things: organic certification great taste traceable supply chain at least 1 tonne of fruit FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: YEOVALLEY.CO.UK/FRUITQUEST
ily, e Snell fam Thanks to th is th e ad m y we’ve alread
008 THE FOODIST | 008 LOCAL HEROES | 012 STREET FOOD FIGHT 015 THE RADAR | 016 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 022 RECIPES
— PART 1 —
GRAZE “GENTRIFICATION CAN RIP THE SOUL FROM DEARLY LOVED SPACES, BUT IT CAN BRING POSITIVE CHANGE, TOO” THE FOODIST, 008
M AST E RC L ASSE S
Two new developments, in Camden and Brixton, are delicious but divisive. Mike Gibson weighs in…
1 CHILLI OUT World of Zing
HE CONCEPT OF ‘gentrification’ in food culture has plenty of detractors. There are those who think it rips the soul out of dearly loved spaces and communities that are the result of decades of real people’s hard work. On the other hand, there are many who feel that a bit of investment can open up an area, bring in an influx of money, make it safer, and generally make the experience better. Which perhaps, at the end of the day, is what matters most in a food destination. Camden Market, for example, is newly revamped, welcoming in a host of new food traders – including Honest Burgers, Yumchaa, Hola Paella, Kim’s Vietnamese Hut and the second incarnation of that cereal café – that should see a new injection of hungry visitors. Not to mention the fact it’s bringing with it an outdoor pop-up cinema, night markets, and its annual Lock Live festival. Personally, I think Camden will be better
HOT ‘N’ COLD Sweetcorn is amazing in both its hot and cold forms – this is a fact recognised the world over. But what of other foods? How does the temperature affect their taste? Do some foods only work one way? Look right and maybe you’ll find out...
off for it. Notice that the restaurants moving in aren’t high-street chains; they’re the first or second restaurants to be opened by former pop-up food vendors. They represent a chance for real people to get their food into the hands of those who may frequent the new market every week. Another new development in a different vein is POP Brixton. Cynics may call it a self-conscious hipsterisation; optimists will say the new neighbourhood, created entirely from repurposed shipping containers, is a similar chance for a reported 80 entrepreneurs – among them the teams behind Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Baba G and more street food favourites – to give their business a boost in a thriving new location. Gentrification is always a hot topic in London. But, somewhat selfishly, when it means more traders making the jump from stall to store, I’m all for it. f
CHIPS BAKED BEANS
There’s still time to eek some BBQ out of the summer, and if you’re in need of some inspiration, look no further than the World of Zing, which has teamed up with the London Barbecue School to bring you a spicy masterclass in using chillis in rubs and marinades. londonbarbecueschool.co.uk
GET BAKED Gail’s Artisan Bakery
Forget vegging out to The Great British Bake Off – if you want to up your baking game, get down to Gail’s Artisan Bakery’s Blackheath store, where from August until October, you can try your hand at the Basics of Bread Making, Festive Baking and more. Ours is a sourdough bloomer. gailsbread.co.uk
LOCAL HEROES + MORE MASTERCLASSES
Mele e Pere
If 2015 has left you with something of an idea of what vermouth actually is but a simultaneous fear of being asked about it in public, get down to Soho’s Mele e Pere, where head sommelier Ed Scothern – who happens to be an expert in such matters – will take you through the trattoria’s vaunted vermouth selection and teach you to blend your own, alongside some flagship dishes from its food menu. Already an expert? Go anyway and be smug. meleepere.co.uk
WINE DOWN WSET courses
TREND #1: AGE/TASTE
TREND #2: OYSTERS
Effect that age has on taste
The big raw seafood debate, settled
PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY LOVE OYSTERS MILK BEER
CARVE A NICHE HIX carvery classes
There’s no skill more subtly and intangibly useful and impressive than attacking a roasted joint of meat and turning it into something that looks and tastes beautiful. It’s also something Mark Hix believes is a dying art – so instead of succumbing to the fact you’ll never be a master of the carve, book yourself in to a carvery class with the man himself at Brown’s Hotel. Not only will you learn to perfect the craft – you’ll also eat like a king and walk away with an apron and cookery book for your troubles. And your homework is eating a Sunday roast – we could never be mad at that. roccofortehotels.com
FONDNESS OF TASTE
The world of food is like a confusing minefield – a minefield of chocolate bombs and exploding candy, obviously, but a minefield nonetheless. That’s where we come in. You need experts to make sense of it all, and what better way to explain something than a fancy chart?
We usually hate exams, but one on wines and spirits we think we can just about stomach. Also, we’re way ahead with our revision. The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET for short) is anchored in Bermondsey and teaches courses from beginner level up to a fully-fledged diploma in wine and spirits, with an exam and a proper, industry-recognised qualification at the end of each one. Not one for the lazy, but nothing will teach you the wine and spirits game more comprehensively in such a short space of time. And if you just want to dip a toe in, it also offers laid-back tasting evenings. wsetschool.com
BLEND A HAND
STREET FOOD FIGHT
Carbs and cheese on one side; carbs and, er, cheese on the other. You guessed it, it’s grilled cheese vs mac ’n’ cheese – which is the hotter property?
Whether it’s the grated supermarket cheddar and Mighty White combo of our childhoods (crisped up in your mum’s old-school Breville, naturally), or an altogether fancier affair incorporating sourdough and ogleshield, the grilled cheese sandwich – or cheese toastie, if you’re a traditionalist – is the ultimate street snack, and undisputedly one of London’s ‘IT’ foods of 2015.
26 Noel Street. London’s first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant throws the likes of pastrami, tuna and pulled pork into the melty mix. meltroom.com
PAIN AU LEVINE Adam Levine and Avril Lavigne compete to see who can make the best bread. Adam names his Macaroon 5 in a disastrous attempt to make a savoury/ sweet combo loaf.
Borough Market. A lengthy queue, but anyone who’s got to the front will tell you why: three kinds of cheese, five kinds of onion, all kinds of tasty. kappacasein.com
MAC AND CHEESE
You know the drill
Gone are the days when a bit of bacon was the ultimate upgrade to this popular pasta/cheese-sauce combo. It’s now served with all sorts, from pesto and pickled onions to pulled pork and peppers. And then there’s the classic breadcrumb topping that adds a whole new textural dimension.
◆◆ Anna Mae’s;
◆◆ The Mac Factory;
various. Anyone that calls a dish ‘Piggie Smalls’ (mac, cheese, pulled pork, BBQ sauce), is a winner in our books. anna-maes.com
THE W INNE R IS
Camden Lock. Inventive combos and a parmesan/ thyme crumble are worth braving the crowds for. themacfactory.co.uk
G R IL L E D C HE E SE
Super nostalgic, no cutlery required – we can’t look past this Brit staple
Because we have no idea why these don’t exist yet. Now taking money for ideas.
VERTICAL HAM SANDWICH Various sandwich makers compete in a Jenga-style contest to see who can create the tallest sandwich towers possible. Apropros of nothing, the judges are beaten finalists from Masterchefs past.
Bread. Cheese. Toasted. ’Nuff said
◆◆ Melt Room;
FOOD AND DRINK REALITY TV SHOWS WE’D LIKE TO SEE
BRIE’S A CROWD Cheesemongers vie for the title of King of cheeses at the Marché Bastille in Paris. To get ahead of the competition they are forced not only to come up with innovative brie recipes (our favourite is Sambuca Brie) but to battle it out with each other in various Gladiatorstyle contests such as the Super Cheese Roll Bowl, in which they each have to write a rock ‘n’ roll song about their favourite cheese, and ‘Neighbours’, whereby Bree Timmins from the Australian TV show judges either their cheese or their Australian accents.
K e r r y gold.
Kerrygold works with small co-operative farms where cows are free to graze on lush green grass, giving Kerrygold butter its deliciously unique taste.
SALT & HONEY
OPEN NOW DRINKING GRAZING DINING TRENDING
THE RADAR @NewOpenings on the hottest bar and restaurant openings this August and September
Until fairly recently, Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction was one of few London restaurants flying the flag for the Basque Country. Not now, though – the people who brought us Donostia are opening this pintxos bar in September. Expect Basque-style tapas as well as signature dishes of ‘old beef’ and whole grilled turbot. W1H 7BA; lurra.co.uk
The team responsible for cherished Fulham restaurant Manuka Kitchen [see page 94] have branched out into hipper pastures – Marble Arch, to be precise – but you won’t find inflated prices and small sharing plates here. This is still neighbourhood-style dining, with a friendly, warm atmosphere and fusion food that’ll have you salivating immediately upon receipt of the menu. Try the wagyu bolognese with rocket pesto. W2 2TH; saltandhoneybistro.com
Ever since Milk & Honey opened here in 2002, world-class bars from all over the world have been seeking London real estate. The latest is Dry Martini, rated as Spain’s best bar, which will open another speakeasy-style bar in Marylebone. NW1 3UP; drymartiniorg.com
B ONEYAR D
At first glance, it’s your standard Shoreditch Southern-style BBQ shack – loads of neon, exposed wood and slow-cooked meats and burgers. Look closer, though, and it’s subtler: housed in a reclaimed petrol station, Boneyard is a food- and designbased homage to the art of American road tripping, featuring nods to notorious US highways. It’s got a food market in the former forecourt, too. E1 6HU; @Boneyard_ LDN
The new opening from the team behind Bocca di Lupo is a different kind of restaurant. There’s no menu; instead, diners will take what they like from the Italian street food and small plates on offer, all of which is cooked from the produce available on the day. WC2H 8HD; @eatvico
F L ORA INDICA LATE SEPTEMBER
Photograph by Chris Terry 2014
Contemporary Indian restaurants with a British twist tend to have a pretty solid track record in London, so we’re excited about Flora Indica, a new restaurant serving modern dishes from across India, with twists inspired by the foragings of Georgian and Victorian colonial settlers. As well as beer, wine and cocktails, it’ll have a serious whisky selection and a gin and punch bar upstairs. Now that’s our kind of curry house. SW5 0DE; flora-indica.com
STAY INF O R M ED Follow @NewOpenings on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter at newopenings. london for all the latest bar, restaurant and hotel openings and news.
WEAPONS OF CHOICE Everything you’re going to need to bake up a storm in the kitchen. Or, you know, a cake PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
JACK O F AL L T RADE S KITCHENAID ARTISAN COOK PROCESSOR, ÂŁ849 Photograph by ###
This majestic beast will take on all you can throw at it, with six modes to boil, fry, stew, steam, chop, mince and more at the touch of a button. johnlewis.com
Insider knowledge straight from the source. Learn the secrets of Borough Market’s experts at Miele’s Insider Knowledge Events. They supply some of the best restaurants in the world. And now it’s your chance to learn from them. At seven unique events, you’ll spend time with one of Borough’s best as they pass on their wisdom and demonstrate their skill. Events run from May to December 2015. For full details visit miele.co.uk/events using the code EVET2 to claim your 20% discount or call 0330 160 6610.
BREAK I T DOWN 1. SMEG TSF01 2-SLICE TOASTER, £99.95 Ultra-wide slots to fit your thickcut sourdough and classic Smeg 1950s-style design make this a true breakfast classic. johnlewis.com
3. TEFAL BL142A42 FRUIT SENSATION, £39.99
4. EAZIGLIDE 24CM FRYING PAN, £32.49
5. LE CREUSET RAINBOW EGG CUPS, £38 FOR 6
Different chopping accessories and two speed settings mean you can customise your blend – how thick you want your smoothie is up to you. amazon.co.uk
A true all-rounder when you need it, because frying eggs isn’t rocket science. No bells or whistles, just good weighting and a durable, non-stick surface. lakeland.co.uk
A set of pleasurably weighty egg cups, each with a different classic Le Creuset coloured finish. We’ll take ours in cerise, thanks. selfridges.com
2. KRUPS BEAN TO CUP EA8150, £500 For when you want a break from poring over French presses and milk foamers. All-in-one for the sake of ease. debenhams.com
2 1 3 4
BAKE I T O F F 1. TERRAILLON TRADITIONAL SCALE, £27.99 Forget needlessly complex digital scales – in our kitchen, it’s all about classic mechanical cool. lakeland.co.uk
The handles stay where they are and the body effortlessly rolls your dough – so simple and clever, we can’t believe we didn’t think of it ourselves. lakeland.co.uk
2. SWAN VINTAGE STAND MIXER, £150.90
4. LE CREUSET PROFESSIONAL MEDIUM SPATULA, £11
Simple design, great aesthetic – what more do you need from a mixer? It also comes with a dough hook, beater and whisk. amazon.co.uk
Coated in silicone that’s as smooth as your cake batter is – this spatula from Le Creuset is a baking essential. selfridges.com
2 1 3
3. LAKELAND EASY-GLIDE ROLLING PIN, £15.99
SPICY COCONUT CURRY FROM THE THAI SPOT, TWISTED OFF THE JENKEM, WATCHING IRON CHEF, THE SECRET INGREDIENT WAS LION’S NECK ACTION BRONSON, Terry (Mr Wonderful, 2015)
The amount the contents of the Ivy made for charity Child Bereavement UK at auction earlier this year as it underwent a refurb. The iconic doors went for more than £22,000 and the mirrored bar for over £31,000. We can only imagine how much those huge, stainedglass windows would have gone for... For info: sothebys.com
The amount people in the UK spend per year on alcohol. That’s a lot of pissed Brits. View the full survey on voucherbox.co.uk
XINJIANG LAMB SKEWERS
Preparation ◆◆ 30 mins
◆◆ 15 mins
TENDER WITH A SPICY KICK – AN INSTANT BARBECUE HIT
I NGREDI EN TS ◆◆ 650g boneless lamb shoulder ◆◆ 2 tbsp cumin seeds ◆◆ 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns ◆◆ 5cm piece of fresh root ginger,
peeled and very finely chopped ◆◆ 4 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped ◆◆ 3 tsp ground cumin ◆◆ Pinch of salt ◆◆ 3 tbsp chilli bean paste ◆◆ 4 spring onions
HE INSPIRATION FOR this dish, the first of three from Lizzie Mabbott’s new book Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham, comes from pretty close to home. “My favourite restaurant in London, Silk Road, makes these lamb skewers with chunks of pure lamb fat interspersed with the meat,” she says. “They become crispy and juicy once grilled over intense heat. As soon as they put the plate down on the table, hands come out of nowhere grabbing at them.” She couldn’t track an exact recipe down, but we’re sure you’ll love her take on them.
e lamb The fat on th ould sh shoulder ill gr ur yo ve ha g lin sizz
1 Chop your lamb shoulder up into cubes. 2 Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until you can smell their aroma, shaking the pan often to stop them catching. Leave to cool, then grind with a pestle and mortar, or spice or coffee grinder if you have one. Do the same with the Sichuan peppercorns. 3 Add both spices to the lamb along with the ginger, garlic, cumin and salt and mix well, then add the chilli bean paste. 4 Cut the spring onions into 2.5cm-long sections, add to the lamb and mix together. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. 5 Meanwhile, if you don’t have metal skewers, presoak some wooden ones in water for a good 30 minutes (but even so, beware of them catching fire; metal are better). 6 Take the lamb out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking so that it comes up to room temperature. Thread the lamb on the skewers, alternating with the spring onion. 7 Cook over a hot barbecue or a smoking hot griddle pan on the hob for a few minutes each side so that they are charred and cooked through. Serve with a cooling salad. f
WEAPONS OF CHOICE
Cooking al fresco
Big Green Egg, £399-£3,745 The best of a BBQ and smoker in one, the Big Green Egg draws air through the top, regulates the temperature and grills and slow-cooks at the same time. biggreenegg.co.uk
Weber Q 1400, £299 Don’t have the space for a big grill? Not to worry – this portable electric BBQ from Weber means you can plug and go, using no more electricity than a hair dryer. weberbbq.co.uk
GET THE BOOK
Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham by Lizzie Mabbott is published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 (octopusbooks.co.uk). Photography by David Munn.
BakerStone Oven Box, £99 If you want a more affordable alternative to building a giant pizza oven, look no further than the Bakerstone Oven Box. Outdoor pizza on a budget. very.co.uk
PEANUT TOFU PUFF SALAD A TAKE ON A TRADITIONAL MALAYSIAN ROJAK SALAD – FRUITY, BUT WITH PLENTY OF SALTINESS TO BALANCE THE SWEET
FOOD ON TV BELOVED CARTOON CHARACTERS WE’D LOVE TO EAT
ed tofu The deep-fri the up puffs soak licate de d ad d an sauce ss ne soft
BUGS BUNNY Roughly diced and served in a paella Valenciana SEBASTIAN FROM THE LITTLE MERMAID Boiled and served alongside steak with chunky chips
E LOVE THIS fresh and delicious summer salad, full of punchy flavours and textures.
Preparation ◆◆ 40 mins
◆◆ 10 mins
1 Juice the limes into a bowl and add the red onion. Leave for 30 minutes. 2 Using 2 Chinese spoons stacked with a tofu puff in between, squeeze the excess water out. Chop and add to a large bowl. 3 Add the pear, pineapple, cucumber, apple, mooli and beansprouts. Break up the peanuts finely using a pestle and mortar and set aside. 4 Add the hae ko shrimp paste with the sugar, peanut butter and sriracha to the mortar and give the ingredients a few bashes so they are all incorporated and sticky. 5 Add the tamarind purée and soy sauce and mix well – it’ll be quite thick. 6 Drain the red onion and give the pieces a rinse. Add to the salad, then pour the dressing in. Mix well. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top and give it another stir, then serve. f
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 2 limes ◆◆ 1 small red onion, roughly chopped ◆◆ 6 tofu puffs, soaked in just-boiled
water for 10 minutes, then drained ◆◆ 1 Asian pear, cored and chopped into bite-sized chunks; ◆◆ ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks; ◆◆ ½ cucumber, deseeded and chopped into chunks ◆◆ 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and ◆◆ chopped into bite-sized chunks ◆◆ 50g (1¾oz) mooli (daikon), peeled ◆◆ and chopped into small chunks ◆◆ Large handful of bean sprouts, blanched for 30 seconds and drained ◆◆ 100g (3½oz) unsalted peanuts, toasted ◆◆ 2 tbsp hae ko ◆◆ 2 tbsp palm sugar ◆◆ 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter ◆◆ 1 tbsp sriracha ◆◆ ½ tbsp tamarind purée ◆◆ 2 tbsp light soy sauce
BAMBI Seared and served with dauphinoise potatoes and a port and redcurrant jus. FOGHORN LEGHORN Deep-fried in buttermilk and served with skin-on fries SQUIDWARD Deep-fried in tempura batter, served with aioli. PIGLET FROM WINNIE THE POOH Slow-roasted, hand-pulled and served in brioche bun with gherkins and apple slaw NEMO Finely sliced into Gunkan-maki sushi SHAUN THE SHEEP Slow-cooked in a Jamaican-style mutton curry
, s e r i A s o n e u B y b d e r i p . s n o In d n o L n i d e t f a r c . o d a c O n o e l b a l i a Av
Preparation ◆◆ 100 mins
AKA LOH BAK GOH, WITH MOOLI, CARROTS, SOY AND CHILLI
◆◆ 20 mins
DD NAME FOR a dessert, no? That’s because it’s not a dessert, silly. This dish uses carrots and mooli (daikon), cooked like a sponge cake and then cut and fried. Don’t expect to find any Western-style turnips in the recipe, though.
in soy Smother it chilli d an e uc sa the ou g to brin t flavour
1 Coarsely grate a third of the mooli into a saucepan, before finely grating the rest. Grate the carrots into the saucepan too and add 200ml of water, the salt, sugar and pepper. 2 Simmer for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat until the vegetable matter is soft and the pan is quite dry. Heat 1 tbsp of the cooking oil in another saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots and garlic for 30 seconds, ensuring that they don’t colour. 3 Add the Chinese sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms and the dried shrimp, then the rice wine, and cover immediately. Steam like this for a couple of minutes, then remove the lid and cook, stirring, until the wine has evaporated. 4 Oil a loaf tin. Whisk the rice flour and potato starch with 500ml water in a mixing bowl. Add the spring onions, meat mixture and the cooked mooli and carrot, mixing well. 5 Add another 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil. Pour into the oiled tin and steam for 1 hour in a metal steamer, or in a larger baking tin filled with boiling water and covered in foil in an oven preheated to 150°C. 6 The cake will still have a wobbly centre. Leave to cool completely and chill. 7 To serve, heat the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil in a nonstick frying pan on a
FOOD IN BOOKS From American Psycho to The Great Gatsby, here are our favourite meals that appear in literary form. We reckon we’d love Barcadia...
“For dinner I order the shad-roe ravioli with apple compote as an appetiser and the meat loaf with chèvre and quail-stock sauce for an entrée.” PATRICK BATEMAN’S BARCADIA DINNER IN AMERICAN PSYCHO
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 500g (1lb 2oz) mooli (daikon), peeled ◆◆ 2 carrots, peeled ◆◆ 1½ tsp salt ◆◆ 1½ tbsp sugar ◆◆ 1 scant tsp ground white pepper ◆◆ 4 tbsp cooking oil, plus extra for oiling ◆◆ 5 shallots, thinly sliced ◆◆ 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped ◆◆ 2 Chinese sausages, diced ◆◆ 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in
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medium heat. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn out on to a plate. Cut slices as thick as your forefinger and fry on a medium heat for a few minutes on each side to form a golden brown crust. Serve with soy sauce and chilli oil. f
“On buffet tables, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.” GATSBY’S PARTY SPREAD IN THE GREAT GATSBY
“8.30pm: Aargh aargh, just took lid off casserole to remove carcasses. Soup is bright blue. And have not even started velouté of cherry tomatoes. And fondant potatoes should have been ready 10
just-boiled water for 30 minutes, then drained, stems discarded and diced ◆◆ 1 tbsp dried shrimps, washed, soaked in just-boiled water for 15 minutes, then drained, squeezed dry and roughly chopped ◆◆ 3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine ◆◆ 200g (7oz) rice flour (not glutinous) ◆◆ 30g (1oz) potato starch ◆◆ 6 spring onions, finely sliced
minutes ago and are rock hard.” THE NIGHTMARE DINNER IN BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY “But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh! sweet
friends, hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuits and salted pork cut into flakes.” MRS HUSSEY’S CLAM CHOWDER IN MOBY DICK
The greatest food festival ever to arrive on Guernsey's shores, nine days full of tasty treasures, events and international chefs
Plan your festival break at visitguernsey.com
030 GIZZI ERSKINE | 038 NIKKEI EATING | 044 BEEF 050 FOOD AND PHOTOGRAPHY | 056 MIXOLOGY
— PART 2 —
FEAST “DINERS HERE ARE LOOKING FOR THAT MOMENT OF MAGIC. TO BE TRANSPORTED TO ANOTHER PLACE” NIKKEI CUISINE, 038
MAIN: Meat supplied by HG Walter; hgwalter.com
EAT. SLEEP. MEAT. REPEAT Like us, Gizzi Erskine is a sucker for carbs, red meat and oozing cheese – while championing quality over quantity and hating fads – says Hannah Summers. Just don’t get her started on coconut oil…
Photography by David Harrison | Hair by Samuel Knight
HAT’S LAUGHTER YOGA?” Gizzi Erskine exclaims, reading a tweet as we chat between shots in the studio. “The world is going fucking crazy, I tell you.” Now here’s a woman who doesn’t mince her words. “Look at Instagram today and it’s pictures of what you can make with avocado and courgette,” she says. “It’s soul-destroying, but unfortunately the diet industry is such a minefield.” Erskine’s thousands of social media followers know how vocal she can be – she doesn’t pull her punches when it comes to talking about – and eating – food. “In this country we find it so much easier to latch on to cutting out food groups – cutting out carbs, wheat, dairy and gluten. But we don’t understand why we’re doing it. Health,” she says, “has gone mad.” If anyone should champion the fight against food fads, it’s Erskine. The chef, writer and former body-piercer loves her meals, and her Instagram boasts more burgers, cocktails and cats than smoothies, chia seeds and headstands. Yet she’s a picture of health: she bounds around the studio with relentless energy, her skin is glowing, and that lustrous beehive is all real. So what’s the catch?
GIZZI ON… Exercise “When I do have time I run. It’s the best thing I can do for clearing my head. The thing I tend to stick on when I can is a 15-minute kettlebell video. It’s the most efficient exercise I’ve done after running.”
Lazy cooking “It depends how tired I am. Chargrilled cauliflower with some curried houmous and a curry oil, with crispy shallots and a chilli dressing – that’s the sort of thing I cook if I don’t have much time. Otherwise, pasta. I’m a massive sucker for pasta.”
Negativity on social media “As a whole I’m really lucky. Every now and then someone will say I’m too posh or something really boring.”
IF YOU WANT TO EAT NORMAL WHITE PASTA, JUST DO IT. BUT LOOK FOR QUALITY WHEAT “I’ve tried every diet under the sun and wanted to be more considerate about what I was putting in my body, and not give any food bad press. I wanted to look at ways I could still eat what I wanted.” Cue a new cookbook, Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite, which contains pages crammed with, dare I say it, carbs, fat and meat. If you’re horrified, don’t be. Her latest book (she’s produced three before) isn’t about overindulgence, nor is it about rapidly dropping pounds by detoxing on pond water. Erskine worked with a nutritionist on her previous projects, relishing the chance to be taught the intricacies of what our bodies need and how they work. This helped the 35-year-old chef to create balanced recipes involving all food groups; recipes that will ultimately help us make conscious decisions about the ingredients we use to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, without sacrificing dishes we love. “If you want to eat normal fucking white pasta, just do it!” she says. “But look for the best quality durum wheat. Spend a tiny bit more and eat a tiny bit less.” And it’s not just pasta that we can keep eating. The book took eight months longer to write than planned, because Erskine was so set on getting the content and ingredients spot-on. Divided into sections according to food textures (squidgy, crunchy, etc), it offers recipes to suit every craving, from oozy mozzarella cheese (yes, cheese – and it’s fried), to fresh bhel puri salad. The pages feature recipes that sit → alongside dynamic, fresh pictures –
Photograph by ###
RIGHT: Damascus 20cm Japanese chef’s knife, £74.99; lakeland.co.uk
LEFT: 24cm copper tri-ply frying pan, ÂŁ65.99; lakeland.co.uk
SHE READ CHEF’S BIBLE LAROUSSE BEFORE BED AND SLEPT WITH IT UNDER HER PILLOW, HOPING TO ABSORB THE RECIPES → thanks to food fiend and photographer the Gaztronome. There are piles of lamb, houmous and pita bread, mounds of bolognese (using white wine), and one of her favourites – chicken kievs – doused in breadcrumbs and exploding with butter. “BUTTER!” she shouts at me, her face beaming. “Good-quality, grass-fed butter is a proven superfood now. I’m very pleased about this.” Erskine’s enthusiasm for superfoods and attitude towards eating is not to be mistaken for yet another of the clean-eating fanatics saturating today’s media. She’s openly wary about the influence that some health-food bloggers have on women and younger, impressionable teens who are too keen to #eatclean. “We’re going to have a nation of young people who’ve been brought up eating like this. What’s it going to be like sitting around the dinner table in a few years’ time? “I’m frustrated by the health writers that are coming out at the moment, without a cooking background or without a background as a dietitian or nutritionist. Their philosophies are based on their own illnesses, and it’s tagged ‘clean eating’. It’s so over-thetop, and it’s taken the love out of food. It’s taken the love out of cooking.” Instead of cutting out food groups, Erskine’s focus is on using quality ingredients – across every food group – and, as long as it’s fresh and from a good source, it
shouldn’t be neglected. “People are giving up meat because they understand veganism is actually better for you, but why? Meat is actually really good for you – we’re carnivores. It’s about not overeating it, and eating good-quality meat.” She recommends spending as much on animal products as we can afford – buying from butchers or small producers that raise animals ethically, which in turn makes us more conscious of our health and the environment. Erskine does admit that focusing on the quality of produce calls for more money to be spent on food, but she’s adamant it’s the way to go – and eating better-quality protein less often is the answer. Other healthy essentials include a well-stocked cupboard of aromatics (garlic, ginger, chilli), pulses and grains and – crucially – a variety of different oils: extravirgin for dressings, rapeseed for cooking (“it’s sustainable and British”), and coconut oil, but only for curries and sweet food. “One of my biggest pet hates is cooking everything in fucking coconut oil,” she laughs. That’s not her only problem with healthy food trends: “Raw puddings annoy me – like calling something a raw brownie. It’s not a fucking brownie, so let’s not call it one.” There’s no banning of sugar here, thankfully, although she doesn’t go crazy with it (moderation, remember). I make her tea that comes with milk and sugar (“just a quarter”) and she happily tucks into millionaire shortbreads, and more, as we take a break between shoots. Meanwhile, the new cookbook has dessert recipes rigorously tested to be flavoursome but nutritious. And they’re not raw. It’s this – excuse me nabbing the book’s name – healthy appetite for food that’s led to Gizzi’s heavy involvement in London’s street-food scene. One of her latest ventures is London Union, a project she’s working on with Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey, and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of natural fast-food chain Leon. With backing from the likes of Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi, the Union is a company looking into a permanent, large food market in London (hopefully as early as next year), with up to 15 local markets following over the coming years. “We’re looking at European markets and seeing how you can have a really great glass of wine but can buy and eat really great produce at the same time,” she says. “We want to make produce more accessible and more tactile than at a farmer’s market.” As much as she loves cooking with topdrawer goods (this is a girl who read chef’s bible Larousse Gastronomique before bed
and slept with it under her pillow, hoping to absorb the recipes inside), Erskine’s passion lies heavily in eating on the street. She thanks her half-Scottish, half-Polish “rad” mum for getting her into different cuisines, and it was travelling to Thailand and eating in the markets there at a young age that sparked her curiosity for ingredients. Today, she’s an expert on London’s street food scene, and she loves the long-term success it creates: “People are coming out and making businesses within street food now – they don’t even need to think about restaurants. It offers longevity.” It offers accessibility, too. Erskine took the hardcore route of training – she came top of her class at Leith’s and has worked → in numerous kitchens while doubling
GIZZI ON… Food and her family “My mum is a fantastic cook – quite bohemian. We lived all over the world growing up, and she used to feed us loads of different types of cuisine. I was always applauded for trying everything. I just used to love my food, and I always got loads of praise for trying it. My mum got me into cooking, first of all.”
Eating in Italy “I went to Naples on a trip that was about quite literally finding the best pizza in Naples. I ate so much pizza and drank so much red wine. It was so good.”
Her new book “I wanted to look at it from a nourishing attitude. It meant there were no holds barred, and I really feel like the chapters are divided into sections of mood: something crisp and lighter or oozy and soothing. I think as a collection of recipes it’s my strongest yet. I took six months off last year to write the book in Spain. I was running to the markets, then cooking and writing three or four recipes a day.” Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite by Gizzi Erskine is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25 (octopusbooks.co.uk)
I DON’T SEE MYSELF AS DIFFERENT TO A GUY. I’VE BEEN BRED WITH A SENSE OF BEING ABLE TO ACHIEVE WHAT I LIKE
→ as a body-piercer in her spare time – but recognises that street food offers new opportunities for the naturally skilled. “Talent is talent, so if you’re super-talented you can go through the unconventional route of not having trained professionally.” And there’s plenty of talent out there – Le Bun, a French-American street stall, is one of her favourite traders, along with Smokestak (American BBQ) and Bleecker St, owned and run by Zan Kaufman, who quit her job as a lawyer in New York City to set up a nowcrazy-successful burger van in London. “Zan does the best burgers I’ve ever had – ever,” Erskine says. “She’s fucking great.” I suggest to Erskine that Kaufman is one
of many prominent women in London’s street food scene – a place where there seems to be a more even split between men and women compared with the capital’s restaurants. “Yes, you’re absolutely right.” she says. “I’ve never thought about that before.” But it’s something she feels shouldn’t be an issue: “I’ve never really seen myself as different from a guy. If I rise to it now it’s making it more of an issue than I was ever brought up with. I feel like I’ve succeeded because I’ve been bred with a sense of being able to achieve whatever the hell I like. I’ve just always thought I could do the same as a guy, so in terms of career and general life achievements, I don’t see us as any different.” It’s this kind of strong-minded attitude that’s helped get Erskine to where she is, and there’s plenty we can learn from her mentality, while – hallelujah – eating toast, with butter. “The cool thing is we’re now taking responsibility for what we eat. But it doesn’t have to be faddy the whole time.” So juice your kale within to an inch of its life, but use it to supplement, and never substitute, your meal. Source your meat from a good butcher, up your intake of high-quality proteins and don’t be scared of fat (but hold that coconut oil). It’s refreshing advice that’s simple and sustainable. As for that bread? “The problem with wheat is we’ve manufactured it to the point of being shit. Go for one with a good wheat and natural yeast. I’m like ‘Whatever, have it – it’s no big deal.’” Amen to that. f
MAIN COLLISION COURSE 38
Born of the Japanese diaspora to South America, Nikkei cuisine is bold, vibrant and lip-puckeringly tasty. Amy Grier investigates the allure of the original fusion food, with its takeover of the London food scene at a tipping point
Photograph by ###
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BEEFING IT OUT: Wagyu gyoza from Sushisamba
CHANGE IMAGES - THIS IS SUSHI SAMBA AGAIN
IRST, A LANGUAGE lesson: it’s pronounced ‘nik-ay’. Next, a history one: ‘Nikkei’ literally means a Japanese person born outside Japan, yet it has come to encapsulate not just the people, but the food that Japanese emigrants and their children cooked – first in Peru, then Brazil and Argentina – in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th. There it stayed, populating the restaurants of Lima and São Paulo with tiraditos (a Nikkei
take on Peru’s ceviches, where the fish is sliced like sashimi instead of cubed), until now. Well, a bit before now to be precise. The last three years has brought a new wave of Nikkei-inspired restaurants, not just to London, but to the world stage. There’s Pakta, Albert Adria’s place in Barcelona, Maido in Lima – 44th best restaurant in the world according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards this year – and La Mar at Miami’s Mandarin Oriental. But it’s London that has really embraced and evolved Nikkei’s many charms. When it comes to Nikkei in the capital, fusion is no longer a dirty word.
In the beginning It started with two restaurants that ostensibly have as much in common as burgers and braised short-rib; Ceviche in Soho and Sushisamba atop the Heron Tower in Liverpool Street, which both opened in 2012. Despite their differences, they share a strand of Nikkei DNA. For Martin Morales, founder of pioneering Peruvian eatery Ceviche and its subsequent spin-offs Andina and Ceviche Old Street,
IT APPEALS TO LONDONERS’ SENSE OF ADVENTURE. DINERS HERE ARE LOOKING FOR THAT MOMENT OF MAGIC, TO BE TRANSPORTED
LUIZ HARA’S TRIPLECOOKED PORK BELLY WITH A SPICY SAUCE
Place the pork belly halves, crushed garlic, ginger slices, bay leaf and salt in a large pan and fill with water, covering the pork belly by 2cm. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes, skimming any scum off the surface as it cooks. Near the end of the cooking time, preheat the oven to 130ºC. Remove the pork belly from its cooking liquor, place it on a rack over a deep tray and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Once cool, wrap the pork in plenty of cling film and refrigerate it until you are ready for the final cooking step and serving. The pork can be prepared up to this point three days ahead. When you are ready for the final cooking stage, make the nanban-style dipping sauce by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing well to dissolve the sugar. Take the pork out of the fridge and unwrap. For a wondrously crispy crackling, blow-torch the skin. When cool enough to handle, cut the pork belly into 2.5cm cubes. Heat the sunflower oil until very hot, around 170ºC. Deep-fry the pork belly cubes in batches for 3 minutes until golden brown (do not fry for much longer or the meat will dry out and become tough), placing them on a plate lined with kitchen paper while you cook the rest. Serve the crispy pork belly cubes with a sprinkle of finely chopped coriander, lime wedges and the spicy dipping sauce. Nikkei Cuisine - Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara, published by Jacqui Small, out 22 October, £25.
Nikkei is “a pillar of our cuisine, something I grew up eating in Lima. It’s part of my story.” So much so that he has named one of his most famous dishes – a tiradito of raw salmon garnished with tomatoes, spring onions, rice noodles and a ‘tiger’s milk’ curing liquid bursting with lime, orange juice, ginger, soy and mirin – ‘Sakura Maru’ after the first ship to bring Japanese emigrants to Peru in 1899. Morales thinks Nikkei’s profile is rising because it fits with the current verve for communal eating and sharing plates, but also because of its abundance of healthy raw options; whether it’s zingy salads or the many maki, tiradito and ceviches. More than that, he says it appeals to Londoners sense of adventure. “Diners here are looking for a moment of magic, for transportation to another place. Nikkei offers that.” For Claudio Cardoso, executive chef at Sushisamba, where hordes of glitzed-up diners are wowed daily at altitude by the fusion of Brazilian and Japanese fare, it’s the perfectly balanced flavour profiles of Nikkei dishes that turn the key of success for restaurants. “It’s a cuisine that suits every palate. Not too salty like Chinese or too rich like French. It has something for everyone – salt, lime, chilli, sweetness. It’s just right.” Next came Chotto Matte, the breakaway restaurant success of 2013 from Kurt Zdesar, the man behind Nobu London, Hakkasan → and founder of Ping Pong, who took
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sushisamba’s bold interior; foie gras and salmon ceviche from Sushisamba; pork belly with a lime garnish from Luiz Hara’s ‘Nikkei Cuisine’; the bustling interior of Chotto Matte; batida from Sushisamba
Serves 6 ◆◆ 1kg pork belly piece, cut in half ◆◆ 6 garlic cloves, crushed ◆◆ 2.5cm piece of root ginger,
unpeeled, washed and finely sliced ◆◆ 1 bay leaf, roughly crushed to
release flavour ◆◆ 2 tsp salt ◆◆ sunflower oil, for deep-frying ◆◆ 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander,
to garnish ◆◆ 6 lime wedges, to garnish
For the spicy nanban-style dipping sauce: Photograph by ###
◆◆ 50ml soy sauce ◆◆ 50ml rice vinegar ◆◆ ½ tsp sugar ◆◆ 1 garlic clove, crushed ◆◆ 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and
Here and Now
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Beef fillet with daikon and lemon at Mommi; the simple, chic interiors of Mommi, with its marble tops and open plan kitchen; oyster platter on ice from Amaru
→ this Goldilocks formula and, along with executive chef Jordan Sclare (Nobu, Buddha Bar and Aqua), ran with it. Sclare and head chef Michael Paul call themselves ‘The Nikkei Boys’, and even have their own YouTube vlog where they post kitchen capers and clips of celebrities cooking with them. They’re the hashtag generation’s answer to Nikkei, fast becoming a brand in their own right.
Photograph by ###
NIKKEI FOOD HAS A NEW SPIRIT. IT JUST HAS TO BE BRIGHT, POWERFUL AND CREATE A PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH
Sclare is the first UK chef to wade in and make Nikkei a destination cuisine (as in, ‘Shall we go for Italian tonight? ‘Nah, I fancy Nikkei.’). They’re the faces of new cooking, and their food is so good no one cares if they are neither Japanese nor South American. “The Nikkei food in London right now has a new spirit. It’s the next generation of eating,” Sclare tells me. “It doesn’t have to be fine dining, it just has to be bright and powerful. It has to create a party in your mouth.” Another man on board the culinary carnival is Luiz Hara, brought up by a Nikkei family in São Paulo, he now runs the London Foodie blog and has been hosting Nikkei supper clubs for two years. His cookbook, Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way (Jacqui Small, £25) is the first Nikkei cookbook published outside Japan or South America and is out this October. “When I first started doing supper clubs they were purely Japanese, but I started cooking Nikkei when I realised London was hungry for something new. Diners here are incredibly curious, always on the lookout for something different,” explains Hara. Nikkei, like the Venetian tapas and small plates trend that’s still in play years after the Polpo effect of 2009, is not just another food fad. “It’s the next big thing in food because it has the unique benefit of being both authentic and exotic,” says Luiz.
After the initial flurry of openings between 2012-14 (which also included UNI near Victoria and Lima in Fitzrovia), Nikkei has had a few years to brew in the London food scene. But 2015 has seen a further evolution in what Paul Sowden, head chef at Nikkei’s latest home Mommi in Clapham, calls “gastronomic natural selection at its finest.” The two biggest Nikkei openings this year, takeaway and fast-casual dining hotspot Amaru in St Katharine Docks and café-cum-local restaurant-cum-post-gymhangout Mommi, have put a more casual spin on Nikkei, taking it away from the soul cooking or glam-rock outposts of its initial incarnations and putting it firmly in the hands – and mouths – of the mainstream. This, coupled with Luiz Hara’s forthcoming book means that tiraditos and sukiyaki (a Japanese hot pot) will soon start appearing on dinner party menus across the land. “It’s a food type so perfectly on point it’s almost a cliché – fresh, raw, healthy without the worthiness of a health food,” says Sowden. “We don’t even use the word Nikkei on our menu, but it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue. People are using it on Trip Advisor.” Ultimately, Nikkei is flying because it’s the perfect cuisine for now. It’s healthy and communal, exotic yet with enough recognisable components to be accessible. Crucially, for Londoners and chefs alike, it’s also not completely defined yet. There is no end place you can visit that typifies Nikkei, no prescribed set of rules. Next year, the world will watch as Rio passes the Olympic torch onto Tokyo, hosts of the 2020 games, and a spotlight will fall on two nations already linked by a mesh of culinary cross-cultural references. By then, London will be awash with Nikkei pop-ups, cafes, tasting menus and cocktail lists. Hell, the Nikkei Boys could have kicked Boris Johnson out of City Hall. When it comes to Nikkei, anything is possible. f
TOP SIRLOIN STEAK BONELESS
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For extreme beef flavour, it’s all about age. Jon Hawkins finds out why dry-ageing and older cows have become catnip for adventurous eaters
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BONELESS SHORT RIBS
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OU HAVE TO be a certain type of person to look at a piece of uncooked, long-aged beef and see any kind of beauty. The type of person who knows that, hidden behind the darkened flesh, yellowing fat and creeping mould, lies something that has the potential to be truly spectacular. Or, if you’re of a totally different mind, something that’s gone beyond the point of being plain old beef and drifted into an altogether different place – and not necessarily a place you or your palate want to go. Either way, there’s a lot of old beef about; meat aged for several months (as opposed to weeks, if that) is a familiar fixture in butchers, on restaurant menus and on the Instagram feed of carnivorous foodies with a sort of looming, go-on-I-dare-you-to-cook-me presence. And it’s not just long-aged beef; it’s long-lived beef, too. If you haven’t heard about – let alone tasted – the steak from a 12-year-old Galician ex-dairy cow at hotterthan-the-sun Kitty Fisher’s in Shepherd Market, which planet have you been on, and why weren’t you checking your Twitter feed? Those who can’t get enough of this kind of meat will tell you one taste will change → your life; that ageing – specifically dry-
LONG-AGED BEEF IS A FIXTURE IN BUTCHERS & KITCHENS 45
MEATOPIA The meat-lovers’ festival of choice returns this September, with a packed line-up of some of the best meatwrangling chefs on the planet, along with live music and plenty of booze. Unlike most food festivals, Meatopia’s chefs are set an unusual challenge, explains James George – Richard H Turner’s partner at Turner & George and one of those running the festival. “The caveat with 99% of the chefs is that they can’t cook something that’s on their menu,” he says. That means you can taste dishes from big names in cooking that’ll you’ll never get anywhere else, all cooked using live fire. Look out for interesting meat, too – including hallowed Spanish beef from older cattle, plenty of goat and even reindeer-heart sashimi. Those appearing include Neil Rankin of Smokehouse, José Gordón of La Bodega El Capricho, Heddon Street Kitchen’s Maria Tampakis, the team from Hawksmoor and a roster of top chefs from all over the world. This year’s Meatopia takes place on 19 and 20 September at Tobacco Dock, with general day admission from £31.80. For more info, go to meatopia.co.uk
→ ageing – beef for long periods of time extracts flavours from the meat that you never knew existed, notes of strong cheese, nuts and what you’ll often hear referred to as ‘funkiness’. They’ll say similar things about the flavour and texture of beef from older cattle. Others will tell you it’s social-media fodder or marketing bluff that’s more a bigger-is-better arms-race than a genuine pursuit for bettertasting meat. However you look at it, when it comes to beef, age matters. But why? Age ain’t nothing but a number “All meat needs to be aged to some extent,” explains Richard H Turner, a man who – as executive chef of Hawksmoor, one half of butcher Turner & George and part of the team responsible for bringing US food festival Meatopia to London – is one of London’s most influential evangelists for good beef. “You can’t eat meat that’s freshly killed unless you’ve got teeth like a tiger’s,” he says. Once a cow has been slaughtered, decomposition begins and enzymes, microbes and other chemical processes start to act on the tissue, making it tender enough to eat and altering the flavour. Much of the beef we eat in the UK is ‘wet-aged’; packaged in vacuum-sealed bags for a few days or more with no contact with the air, only blood. In dry-ageing – until a few decades ago the dominant form – the meat is hung in a cold room for an extended period of time, which changes the flavour and texture dramatically. How long, exactly, depends on a complicated combination of factors, including the individual animal it the meat came from (the breed, what it was fed, how old it was), the precise piece of meat you’re ageing, and personal preference. The former two are all about the quality of the beef and the skill of the butcher, while the latter is up for serious debate among steak-lovers. “There’s a trend for long-hanging of meat all over the world right now,” says Turner, “but I don’t really believe in it. I think meat probably shows best at about five weeks – which is still quite a long time – so between five and six weeks is ideal. If it’s really good meat, and it’s reared ethically and properly on grass, it doesn’t need the ageing – the sweetness and funkiness cover up sins.” Gavin Lucas, who as Burgerac is one of London’s best-known burger bloggers, agrees. “The thing about beef and age is that it’s a complex balancing act: different parts of a carcass will age at different rates and the exterior will take on age more than
BY 100 DAYS THE MUSCLE HAD BROKEN DOWN SO MUCH IT WAS MORE LIKE PATE
Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness; Getty images Simon Wheeler Ltd
the interior. A lovingly aged steak can be delicious – but I personally want to taste beefiness more than I want to taste aged fat.” So what changes once you get past the 35-day mark? Nathan Mills, of south-east London’s the Butchery, conducted a test with a group of chefs, food bloggers and friends – blind-tasting beef dry-aged for different times in search of the sweet spot. “Everyone really enjoyed the 28-day aged beef, but we were all looking for more beefiness and tenderness,” he says. “Once we got to 100 days, we found that the muscle structure of the meat had broken down so much it was almost like a pâté.” The winner was the 55-day-aged steak: “The meat’s tasty, the fat’s tasty and it’s really tender.” As Mills points out, though, all animals aren’t created equal, and the results of dryageing can vary from cow to cow, but the potential to stretch the ageing process to deliver what he calls “that beef wow factor” is clear, even if it isn’t for everyone. “Some people don’t agree with beef that’s been aged for, say, 65 days, because they don’t like either the texture or the flavour – and that’s just one of those things. If we can give people as much information as possible and say ‘this is what it’s going to eat like’, they can make an informed decision.” But for those who do like to push the boundaries there are plenty of options, and one London chef currently using very longaged beef (and one of Mills’s customers, as it happens) is Michael Hazelwood of Soho restaurant Antidote. Hazelwood has put a 90-day sirloin on the menu – caramelised in the pan, then roasted on a rack in the oven for a few minutes. He’s even served 90-dayaged tenderloin as a tartare, dressed in its own rendered fat: “It went down well. A few people said it was a bit strong, but no one said they didn’t like it.”
ABOVE: Aged beef, like these pieces of fore-rib, takes on a flavour and appearance that’s wildly different from its mass-produced counterpart. Getting it right, however, is a skillful balancing act
Time waits for no cow
OLDER EATS 1 Earlier this year Dallas Chop House, a steak restaurant in Texas, US, served a piece of beef aged for 459 days. And no, you didn’t read that wrong. Some of the meat was even served raw as a carpaccio. 2 Soho steakhouse MASH (which stands for Modern American Steak House, despite the place being Danish in origin), serves steaks dry-aged for more than 90 days (though not exclusively). Meat is sourced from across the globe, including Denmark, Australia, USA, Uruguay, Japan and the UK. 3 Look out for the launch of Basqueinspired restaurant Lurra next month. Located over the road from sister restaurant Donostia, Lurra’s menu will feature Basque vaca vieja and Galician rubia gallega from older cows, under the supervision of executive chef Damian Surowiec.
Whatever end-point you’re after – whether you’re looking for fresh, unfettered beefiness or complex, funky flavours – what’s clear is that you’re only going to get there with a pretty special animal, and sometimes that means it’s old. But how old is ‘old’? Most commercial cattle are slaughtered by 18 months old, and measures left in place after the BSE crisis in the 1990s mean there are complications (and costs) associated with slaughtering cattle more than 30 months old. That, and the fact that keeping a cow for ten years instead of two requires care, money, space and patience on the part of the farmer. “We generally only slaughter older cattle [between three and six years],” says Jon Wilkins of the Butcher’s at pub and restaurant the Pointer in Brill, Buckinghamshire. Unusually, the Pointer has its own herd of English longhorn cattle and in-house butchery. “We believe the older animals have a more rounded marbling and in turn impart a better flavour. You can’t hide behind a steak so it has to have the best flavour possible.” →
IT’S THE BEST BEEF I’VE HAD, WITH A FLAVOUR ALMOST LIKE PARMESAN → The Pointer’s longhorns are grass-fed, so “they need the time to mature naturally”, and the the owners remain committed to this, rather than unnatural, energy-rich feeds like corn. “Part of the reason for selecting longhorn was their timid and relaxed nature,” Wilkins says. “Grass-feeding allows us to keep that theme through their entire life – not stressing the animals, which has a greater impact on the finished beef.” As the Butchery’s Nathan Mills says, however, feed and lifestyle (not to mention breed) have a big impact on the ease of ageing the meat. A ten-year-old ex-dairy cow,
raised on a heavily supplemented grass diet, will typically have a very different fat content compared with a cow fed exclusively on grass. The latter’s is, he explains, “like the kind of fat you find in Iberico pork, which melts on your tongue. You find that in grass-fed, aged, old beef – it starts to melt very quickly and ageing that is a lot harder than ageing meat from a dairy cow of the same age.” Those who love eating meat from older cattle, however, will tell you the farmer’s hard work and the careful balancing act performed by the butcher is worth every bit of effort and money, though you might not necessarily expect the results to end up in a bun. “I just wanted to source the best beef I could find for my burger, with the deepest flavour,” says Adam Rawson, head chef of Peruvianinspired Marylebone restaurant Pachamama. His menu includes a burger made with beef from Galician cows aged anything up to 17 years, though currently he’s using beef from eight-year-old Basque ex-dairy cows. The older beef, he tells me, “unfortunately doesn’t shine through as much in mince,” so he’s adding it to the menu on its own. “It’s the best beef I’ve ever had, with an aged, almost parmesan-like flavour.” Flavours with that degree of intensity won’t be for everyone, but if you’re a carnivore looking for something truly different – and, let’s face it, an experience
that plays well in a food scene where social media matters – the extreme ends of the age spectrum offer some serious clout. When I sit down with Hawksmoor’s Turner, he’s freshly returned from a research trip to Northern Spain, where he ate meat from both older cattle (they call it buey, or ox) and beef aged for as long as eight months. In the hands of José Gordón of La Bodega El Capricho, near León – “a master and a fanatic,” says Turner – it was “delicious”, though he admits he’s not sure whether this kind of meat even qualifies as steak at all. “It’s from the same animal and it’s fantastic, but it’s so far removed from what we’re used to that a lot of people wouldn’t recognise it.” Either way, you can expect to see more of it appearing on menus and butchers’ blocks in London. Whether you think that’s a good thing is – as with anything we eat and drink – a matter of taste. But if it’s one you’ve acquired, there’s never been a better time to be a steak-loving Londoner. f
OLD BEEF, NEW SCHOOL The pan con chicharrón at Marylebone restaurant Pachamama takes the humble burger to pretty extreme heights, not least because the patty uses Spanish beef from cattle as old as 17 years. Chef Adam Rawson sources the beef from a fellow London-based chef, who specialises in food from northern Spain and imports Basque and Galician beef. It’s dry-aged for around 28 days before it reaches these shores, then aged for even longer in the UK, according to Rawson’s needs. The chef has lined up a suitably heavyweight set of accompaniments to sit alongside (or rather above and below) the patty, including aji rocoto ketchup, aji amarillo mustard, tiger’s milk slaw, coriander, smoked cheddar and pork belly chicharron. Not for the faint-hearted (or weak-arteried). For more info: pachamamalondon.com
PICTURE PERFECT We meet two artists whose striking still-life portraiture defies expectation
THE ART: This beautiful, evocative piece of work is entitled ‘Roughage’, and is painted with oils on panel (a flat pane of wood). For more information on the artist, go to werteric.com THE ARTIST: A native of Portland, Oregon, Eric Wert received a BA in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997 and has been painting professionally ever since. He’s known for his larger-than-life (but nonetheless pretty realistic) still life paintings and drawings, most of which is based around plant life and food. It’s his textural play that we love most about his work – these cabbages and lettuces manage to look both hyperrealistic and wildly ethereal at the same time. “I want to create an image that one can be lost within,” he says. “To me, still-life painting is about looking intensely. It’s about intimately exploring a subject.”
Photograph by ###
THE ART : ‘The Salt of Life’ captures an unashamedly genuine vision of kitchen spices. It’s nothing if not bold, with primary colours and contrasting textures at work. For more information on the artist, go to plusonegallery.com THE ARTIST: Just a selection of Waitrose spices, right? Wrong. This is the work of Madrilenian artist Antonio Castello – and it’s not a photograph;
it’s an oil painting. Yes, really. Castello takes the realism seen in Wert’s work and gives it an alternative spin, creating photorealistic compositions with trappings of contemporary life within them (like the Waitrose logos in this shot). By incorporating truly breathtaking levels of detail – like capturing light in glass and on fruit – his work becomes almost more real than a photo.
Photograph by ###
THE ART: Wert’s eye for snaking textures continues in ‘Capsicum’, a composition full of colour so rich it looks like it could bleed out of the panel. The eponymous vegetables are almost sweating with intensity.
RIGHT: ‘Pineapples’ boldly depicts exactly that; painted with oil on linen, Castello’s inescapable textured fruit loom so large on the canvas, they become a spectacular rolling landscape. Serve on cocktail stick with rubbery cheese.
THE ART: ‘Grapes III’, delicately painted with oil on linen, is an example of Castello’s incredible realism, as well as his tendency to paint fruit at peak ripeness “stopped in all its fragility”, and to stretch the boundaries of the still-life genre.
Photograph by ###
THE CREAM OF THE CROP Want to mix like the pros? We’ve got serves from the London representatives in the World’s 50 Best Bars initiative, as well as the winning cocktail from 2015’s World Class bartending competition
This cocktail sums up the Nightjar’s mixology ethos: a drink that’s not overcomplicated in its creation, with just a hint of something no one else would think to include. In this case, it’s a reasonably straightforward gin cocktail with a couple of liqueurs – and a bit of style in the form of a raspberry beer top. Delicious.
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 30ml Bombay Sapphire gin ◆◆ 60ml raspberry beer ◆◆ Splash Chartreuse ◆◆ Splash Maraschino ◆◆ 2 dashes orange bitters ◆◆ lemon wedge to drop in ◆◆ dash grenadine
Roll and serve cobbler-style in a wine glass with crushed ice and fruit. For more info: barnightjar.com
Photographs by (this page) Addie Chinn; (top right) Bernard Zieja; (bottom right) Severns Jones
POSITION ON 50 BEST 2014: 3 BARTENDER: Marian Beke COCKTAIL: Glee Cup
POSITION ON 50 BEST 2014: 1 BARTENDER: Alex Kratena COCKTAIL: Death of the Hipster Here it is: the best bar in the world (according to 50 Best, anyway) – and if you’ve tried Alex Kratena’s drinks, we doubt you’d disagree. This one isn’t alcoholic (that’s right, some mixed drinks aren’t), but it’s a take on the classic espresso and tonic.
I NGREDI EN TS ◆◆ 50ml Workshop coffee ◆◆ 170ml Fever-Tree elderflower tonic ◆◆ 1 dash liquid oak smoke ◆◆ 1 dash jasmine flavour drops (MSK) ◆◆ 1 spritz bergamot oil
Place ice in a Pyrex glass, add tonic, oak smoke and jasmine, then add the coffee and stir. Perfume with orange zest, then discard and spritz with the bergamot oil. For more info: artesian-bar.co.uk
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 60ml Ketel One Vodka ◆◆ 10ml simple syrup, made by
Photograph by ###
BARTENDER: Ali Reynolds AWARD: World Class Bartender of the Year 2015 COCKTAIL: Anti-Fig Matic
muddling ants and fig leaves with the sugar before adding water ◆◆ 5ml Crème de Cacao Blanc ◆◆ pinch citric acid
Like Noma’s insect-based creations? Then try this – it’s made with homemade ant and fig-leaf syrup. If your home bar isn’t as well-stocked as Hawksmoor’s, a dash of lemon can take the place of citric acid, and maybe leave the ants to the pros…
Combine the ingredients, stir over ice, serve in a martini glass and garnish with an ant-tenna (a mini £10 note). For more info: worldclasscocktails.com
THE CONNAUGHT BAR POSITION ON 50 BEST 2014: 11 BARTENDER: Agostino Perrone COCKTAIL: The Connaught Martini A martini may be simple in its makeup, but it’s an incredibly difficult cocktail to nail, and one that most seasoned cocktail drinkers hold to incredibly high standards. Luckily, we’ve got the man behind the world’s 11th-best bar – the eponymous Mayfair hotel’s flagship – to make sure you do it right.
I N G REDIENTS ◆◆ 75ml gin or vodka ◆◆ 15ml blend of dry vermouth ◆◆ 5 dashes bitters of your choice
(cardamom, lavender, liquorice, grapefruit, vanilla, ginger or coriander seeds) In a mixing glass, stir the vermouth and spirit over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, coated with the bitter of your choice. Garnish with lemon zest or olive. For more info: the-connaught.co.uk
Photographs (main) by Steve Lancefield; (bottom) Bernard Zieja
AMERICAN BAR POSITION ON 50 BEST 2014: 8 BARTENDER: Erik Lorincz COCKTAIL: Hanky Panky A cocktail that proves a drink doesn’t have to be complicated, Erik Lorincz’s version of the Hanky Panky combines gin, Italian vermouth and the signature liquorice notes of Fernet.
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 45ml Bombay Sapphire gin ◆◆ 45ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino ◆◆ 10ml Fernet-Branca
Stir in a mixing glass and strain into a signature coupette glass. Garnish with orange peel. For more info: fairmont.com
HIGH-QUALITY SUSHI HANDMADE IN LONDON
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TWO CLUBS IN THE HEART OF THE CITY, FINE DINING RESTAURANT, ROOF TOP TERRACES, CINEMA, EVENTS
E I GH T M EMB ER S CLU B WEDDINGS, 10 MEETING ROOMS, LARGE EVENT SPACE, MEMBERS LOUNGE, 3 PRIVATE DINING ROOMS
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062 BOURBON IN KENTUCKY | 068 BITTER AND TWISTED | 084 WIN DRINKS 090 THE SELECTOR | 098 DECONSRUCT
— PART 3 —
EXCESS “IT’S PEAK RELAXATION - THE PATTER OF RAIN ON LEAVES, A LITTLE CREEK RUNS, YOU GET THAT WHISKEY SMELL” BOURBON IN KENTUCKY, 062
LIQUID GOLD DRINK With bourbon booming on both sides of the pond, Mike Gibson visits Woodford Reserve’s distillery in Kentucky to see exactly why this spirit is in such high demand. Turns out it’s age, attention to detail, and a hell of a lot of love
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HEN YOU PICTURE the places that define American capitalism, what do you think of? Stoic, looming Wall Street skyscrapers? The low-lying urban sprawl of Hollywood? My money’s on the fact that you don’t think of the white picket fences and rolling valleys of rural Kentucky – bourbon country. And yet, when it comes to building and strengthening its economy, at least historically speaking, the US owes arguably as much to whiskey as its banking and film
industries put together. American whiskey has been used as a currency; it’s got the country through civil and international wars; it’s been drunk by everyone from blue-collar working men to presidents. The story goes that the term ‘brand name’ came from the whiskey industry, when the spirit became drinkable enough to market based on the distillery it came from, and the name was literally branded onto the barrels of the first few truly profitable gallons of the liquid. But there is a curious dichotomy around bourbon, which has been the US’s favoured → whiskey since its inception in the 1800s.
→ It’s in many ways the classic frontier spirit – an unfussy, easy-drinking style of whiskey (that’s whiskey with an ‘e’, because it’s American) distilled largely from corn, malted barley and rye. It’s traditionally, but not exclusively, created in Kentucky, and characterised by a sweetness from its high
THAT’S THE SPIRIT If you want to read more about whiskey’s unique heritage and culture, as well as the part the drink has played in shaping American economics and politics during the 19th and early 20th century, look no further than Reid Mitenbuler’s Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey. The book provides a clear, concise and often witty picture of the spirit’s incomparable story. Published by Viking (US)
corn content (a minimum of 51%, according to the traditional recipe or ‘mash bill’). It’s made with natural limestone-fed water, aged in new, charred, American oak barrels and sipped slowly and unassumingly. But in the 21st century its reputation at the high end of the market is booming, just as it was at the low end in the 19th, as more distillers create and curate fantastic examples of the spirit and sell them at appropriately lofty prices. This is what the industry denominates ‘super-premium’ bourbon. One such exponent of the more recent whiskey revolution is Woodford Reserve. You’d almost certainly recognise Woodford whiskey from the dominant, balls-out (and, according to the brand’s master distiller Chris Morris, particularly expensive) bottle. Ever since I first tasted it I’ve loved the idea of its distillery in old Woodford County – the heart of bourbon country – which looks so beautiful in pictures it’s almost too good to be true. But is it? That’s the main question that comes to mind when I get the chance to go and pay it a visit in person – first at the official launch of its brand new rye whiskey in New York, and then ‘in person’ at the distillery itself. It’s the chance to see where the whiskey
HOW TO MAKE A WHISKEY BARREL Charred oak barrels are not only a vessel for whiskey while it ages – they’re as much of an ingredient as the grains and the limestone-fed water. They give the liquid a lot of its flavour, especially the sweet vanilla and butterscotch notes, and all of its signature golden colour. With a little help from the Brown-Forman Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky – the oldest cooperage still making barrels today – we’ve got the inside track on how to make one. 1 First, the rough wooden ‘staves’ – carefully measured planks of timber to you or I – are cut from the tree’s trunk and left to season in the open air. The seasoning of the wood prepares the oak to contribute to the character of the whiskey. 2 The staves are ready for the barrel raiser. Barrels are raised, not built: no glue, no nails, nothing that might taint the whiskey – they’re measured so they will fit together inside a metal ring and be watertight. The cooper (the name given to a barrel-maker) fits the staves together by hand using different widths and assembles the skeleton-like puzzle pieces,
AS THE BARREL PASSES THROUGH THE FIRE, THE NATURAL SUGARS IN THE WOOD CARAMELISE, PROVIDING EVEN MORE FLAVOUR
HIGH SPIRITS: Woodford’s scenic (and lofty) barrel house, where the ageing spirit sits in wait for between six and eight years, being turned intermittently
lives, and where it’s born; the fast-paced, ever-evolving mixology scene of Manhattan and the sleepy, bucolic setting where it starts its journey. Bourbon, and Woodford Reserve in particular, thrives in the bars of London, New York and New Orleans. But it’s created in Versailles, in Woodford County, Kentucky, a place that’s breathtaking in its rural beauty; in its undeniable Americana-ness. Put simply, it’s exactly the kind of place you would hope to find a whiskey distillery: its buildings painting a landscape in golden wood and →
WOODFORD COUNTY IN KENTUCKY IS BREATHTAKING IN ITS BEAUTY 33 staves per barrel. A seasoned cooper can raise 250 barrels in a single day. 3 Now it’s time for toasting. The cooper gets the fire stoked and lets open flames pass through the raised staves in what will soon be the inside of the barrel. This heat releases many of the flavours locked inside the wood. These include the final product’s distinctive vanilla accent.
4 The barrel is then ready for the roar of the char tunnel’s flame. As it passes through the fire, more of the wood’s natural sugars caramelise, providing the whiskey with an even greater depth of flavour. 5 Finally, a craftsman prepares the barrel for the metal heads to be attached and tightened. The hoops are put on the bunghole through which the whiskey will be poured. It’s drilled
and, under a cooper’s watchful eye, the barrel is tested for leaks and faults. 6 At last, the barrel is ready to receive its whiskey. It goes in clear with a hint of flavour – a product known as ‘white dog’ or ‘new make’, and occasionally sold unaged – and will emerge years later, matured, with a rich, amber colour and a warm, robust taste. For more info: brownformancooperages.com
Photograph by ###
LEFT: Owsley Brown bought the Brown-Forman Cooperage, a former furniture factory, after the Second World War. In addition to Woodford Reserve, it hand-crafts barrels for Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester and other Brown-Forman brands. The scale and complexity of its barrel-making operation has to be seen to be believed
FROM TOP: While some whiskey brands economise by contracting out their recipes to be made in other distilleries, Woodford keeps it in-house; the finished product, sat on a barrel
→ red bricks, and seasoning the surroundings with the unmistakable smell of bourbon drifting through the air. While some distilleries look more industrial than agrarian, the setting here is no coincidence. Woodford as a brand is very up-front about its relative youth (having been set up by Brown-Forman as a superpremium, small-batch bourbon in 1996), but the distillery itself has been there since 1812. “We weren’t making Woodford there at the time,” says the bourbon’s brand ambassador Tom Vernon. “But Elijah Pepper and Oscar Pepper were making whiskey there with Dr James Crow.” Those are three luminaries of the bourbon’s boom time – though the distillery’s buildings look new, make no mistake: this is hallowed ground. “It was kept going through prohibition, and the guy who owned it before BrownForman was a farmer, so he just wanted the land. He kept the distillery in the middle of it
For more information: woodfordreserve.com
Photograph by ###
IT’S PEAK RELAXATION. THE PATTER OF RAIN, A LITTLE CREEK BURBLING BY, THE SMELL OF WHISKEY
just because he thought it looked so pretty. So we were very lucky that the distillery was still there, and it’s still the original site from 1812 – nothing’s changed; we haven’t added anything to it.” Reid Mitenbuler, self-professed whiskey geek and author of the excellent Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey, is effusive in his praise for the site upon which Woodford is made. “For me, if someone’s doing a tour, it’s probably the prettiest distillery out there,” he tells me. “It’s in the middle of horse country, all the bluegrass – just to get there you’ve got to go on that winding path. One time I went there was even a light spring rain,” he says, painting a picture for me that makes me long to come back again soon. “It’s peak relaxation – the patter of rain on these really green leaves, a little creek burbling by, old stone – you get that whiskey smell. It’s a total experience.” Bourbon and its birthplace are indelibly linked, and you can find traces of one running throughout the other. Even Kentucky’s state motto is ‘unbridled spirit’ – a veiled reflection of its pride in its marquee product. It also seems to me a state that’s perfectly suited to an aged product. You’ll rarely find bourbon aged for decades like scotch – Kentucky’s hot summers and cold winters mean the spirit ages much more quickly – but it’s still a liquid that doesn’t rush itself. A walk through the barrel house gently presses that point home. Barrels are laid on tall shelves, being turned intermittently, for six to eight years, and the dustiness, the beautiful aroma, and the quiet, contemplative, restful feel of the place – even more so than the sun-kissed distillery itself, with its leafy gardens and babbling brooks – makes time feel like it’s standing still. I’m
filled with something approaching childlike excitement when I’m allowed to taste some whiskey straight from the barrel – something few who tour the distillery get to do. Meandering through this otherworldly rural setting feels a world away from sites you might attribute to the bourbon boom we’re seeing now; from the racks of high-end bars, where it’s turned from sipping whiskey into something altogether more experimental. I love cocktail culture – bars such as Nightjar, where the spirit is mixed in everything from the classic Old Fashioned to off-the-wall house signatures like the Horse’s Neck, with cream soda and wasabi – but this is something else. The chance to experience, first hand, the place where the spirit is born – a place whose unforgettable stamp is all over the spirit itself – makes the soul sing. Kentucky may be a curious case – a juxtaposition of Northern and Southern mentalities; a state whose capital city comprises one of the world’s largest logistics companies, but whose rural areas are designed for wasting blissful, dilatory days; whose history is intimately linked to the inception of capitalism, through the creation of a spirit aged for years and sipped slow. Here, though, in Versailles, Woodford County, KY, with the smell of wood and whiskey in the air, the other side of the state – the serious side – feels a whole world away. f
l a c z e M Tequila &
5 1 0 2 FEST uce
photo: anna br
s g n i t s a T l a c z e Te quila & M C lasses Maste r d o o F n a c i x e The b est M ent m n i a t r e t n E e v Li
g in h c t a w le a h w win a d n a s t e k ic t r u Buy yo s t r ip to Los Cab o liverpool 8th - 9th august
www.tequilafest.co.uk design: www.lacalaca.co.uk
london 19th - 20th september
BITTER & TWISTED Old- and new-school cocktail bitters, Californian wines and craft lagers get the road test
Three classic cocktail bitters and their contemporary counterparts: ANGOSTURA: Peppery bitters, with notes of ginger and cinnamon, used in myriad cocktails from the Old Fashioned to the Manhattan. 1 Angostura Bitters, 44.7%, 20cl. £12.50; 31dover.com 2 The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters, 39% 20cl. £14.17; thedrinkshop. com PEYCHAUD’S: Similar to Angostura, but lighter, sweeter and more floral. A key component in the Sazerac cocktail. 3 Peychaud’s Bitters, 35%, 14.8cl. £8.35; 31dover.com 4 The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters, 39%, 20cl. £14.29; thedrinkshop. com BOKER’S: Proper oldtime bitters, with a pronounced cardamon character, lovingly recreated in the modern day by Adam Elmegirab. Great in vermouth and campari-based cocktails. 5 Boker’s Bitters, 31.5%, 10cl. £10.35; thewhiskyexchange. com 6 Bob’s Bitters Cardamon, 30%, 10cl. £13.55; thewhiskyexchange. com
Photography by David Harrison
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Californian sun + boundless creativity = a few of our favourite wines on the planet… 1 Easton 2012 Zinfandel, Amador County, CA. 14.5%, 75cl, £18; bottleapostle.com 2 Uvaggio 2011 Primitivo, Lodi, CA. 13.5%, 75cl, £14.95; bbr.com 3 Wild Ridge 2011 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA. 14%, 75cl. £38.90; hedonism.co.uk 4 Cambria 2012 Tepusquet Viognier, Santa Maria Valley, CA. 15%, 75cl. £17.95; etonvintners.com
1 2 3
Three lagers and a blonde; made for hot days and chilled nights: 1 Orbit Nico Köln-Style Lager, 4.8%, 330ml. £2.75; orbitbeers.com 2 Hammerton Islington Steam Lager, 4.7%, 330ml. £2.60; bottleapostle.com 3 By the Horns, Wimbledon Blonde, 3.9%, 330ml. £2.60; oddbins.com 4 CRATE Lager, 4.8%, 330ml. £2.80; eebria.com
THE DIGEST Keeping you up-to-date with the latest news from the world of food and drink. Here’s a tip: don’t look down...
LONDON IN THE SKY
Yep – London in the Sky is here again. For those at the back, that means some of the capital’s top chefs cooking for up to 22 guests in a kitchen hoisted 80ft above Wapping, each creating a menu representing the best their restaurant has to offer. Guests are strapped in to aeroplane-style seats around the kitchen, the whole thing is raised up in the air, and the meal begins. For the scared: wine helps. Trust us. The Culinary talent includes Duck & Waffle’s Dan Doherty, with his twisted take on British food; Kurobuta’s Scott Hallsworth and his rock ‘n’ roll East Asian cooking; Ceviche’s Martin Morales and his Peruvian flavours, and many more London kitchen luminaries. London in the Sky will run from 17-30 September, with four flights available: a four-course breakfast; a three-course lunch with two paired wines; a fourcourse dinner with a glass of bubbly and two paired wines; and a Taittinger champagne flight with canapés.
Come and get high with us...
Want to win a Taittinger flight for two? We’ve got the perfect prize for two up for grabs – one lucky winner and a guest will enjoy a Taittinger flight, which includes two glasses of champagne and a selection of canapés prepared by the chef of the day. To enter, go to foodism.co.uk/ competition/london-in-the-sky
Get a little extra...
WIN WIN WIN
We think foodism readers deserve a little more, naturally. So good news if you’re planning on going up – the first 50 readers to book tickets will enjoy an extra drink in the bar before their flight completely free – just add (Foodism) after your name at the checkout. For more info, prices, timings, or to book, go to eventsinthesky.co.uk
The cult immersive supper club has really outdone itself this time: it’s back in a new guise, and this time it’s pretty eyebrow-raising even by Gingerline standards. A follow-up to its Secret Island venture, the Chambers of Flavour invites guests to enter a ‘parallel reality vortex’ and dine in different dimensions (we’re not sure how literal that part is), each of which will entail a different and mild-altering food and drink pairing. As usual, the location’s hush-hush. For info: chambersofflavour.co.uk
If French gin brand G’Vine weren’t unconventional enough (by virtue of being French and making gin), it’s pushed the boat out further with a bartending competition with a difference: entrants were asked to create a video about their mixological inspiration, and the winning 11 were taken on a gastronomic getaway to France. The panel included Alex Kratena, head bartender at Artesian, who knows a thing or two about both cocktails and being inspirational. For info: gvineperspectives.com
EAST LONDON LIQUOR COMPANY
SELFRIDGES MEET THE MAKERS
The department store’s buyers have selected some of the British Isles’ most exciting, undiscovered artisan producers and chefs to be showcased this summer. There’ll be cooking demonstrations, tastings and a chance to, er, meet the makers. You’ll also be able to sample dinners created by top chefs and made using sustainable produce from National Trust farms. Brands include Eat Chic peanut butter cups, Mighty Bee coconut water and Newton & Pott jams and chutneys. Approach with caution. Maybe wear loose clothing. With stretch-band waist… For info: selfridges.com
Get the candles at the ready, it’s East London Liquor Company’s first birthday. To celebrate, they’re offering the somewhat unusual opportunity to own one of 25 of the very first casks of whisky to be produced in London since the Lea Valley Distillery closed over 100 years ago. Keep on rollin’, baby. For info: eastlondonliquor company.com
INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE
Price isn’t everything, you know, and that aphorism has shown itself to be true once again in the International Wine Challenge. Five out of six of the brands awarded as Great Value Champions went to supermarket ownbrand wines from Tesco, Aldi, Marks & Spencer and ASDA. Just goes to show you don’t always have to fork out when thirsty. internationalwinechallenge.com
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R O O M TO B E D I F F E R E N T R O O M RTO O OBME TO DIFB F EERDEINF T FERENT
A TASTE OF TROPICAL ISLAND LIFE Trinidad & Tobago offer an unbeatable tropical doubleact, where food, parties and beaches abound
HATEVER YOU'RE LOOKING for in a Caribbean holiday, you'll find it in Trinidad & Tobago – the twin-island nation where spectacular natural beauty goes hand in hand with a relaxed but funloving atmosphere and friendly people. Trinidad is a place where you'll never go hungry. This is an island where liming – that's hanging out and socialising at night – is standard behaviour, and where cuisine comes with an East Indian influence, and is made up of a variety of ingredients including pumpkin and lentils. Street food includes doubles – that's spicy, curried chickpeas generously
CHICKEN CURRY WRAPPED IN ROTI IS AN ISLAND FAVOURITE – TRY IT ON THE STREETS OR AT SOME OF TRINIDAD'S BEACHSIDE RESTAURANTS 80
NEED TO KNOW Several major airlines fly direct to the islands, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Caribbean Airlines. britishairways.com; virgin-atlantic.com; caribbean-airlines.com To find out more about visiting the islands of Trinidad & Tobago – including what's on, where to stay and how to get there – head to gotrinidadandtobago.com.
spread between two pancakes – and chicken curry wrapped in roti is another favourite; try it on the streets or at some of the beachside restaurants, which sit alongside peaceful waves. Tobago, the smaller of the two, is an island where the rolling green landscape is dotted with chocolate estates. Here the cuisine is more creole – fish broth, plantain, pigeon peas, okra, spicy oxtail and the island classic, crab and dumplings. Those with a sweet tooth should head to the beach, where hawkers sell home-made goods including fudge and coconut cakes. Your only worry on these peaceful Caribbean islands is deciding what to eat next… ●
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: White-sand beaches await on the small islands of Trinidad and Tobago; local cuisine includes curry and dumplings; the islands hold a number of food festivals; fresh seafood on the beach; the lush landscapes of the north coast of Trinidad
Photograph by ###
INTO THE BLUE The tiny Caribbean island of Tobago has nature, adventure and luxury in abundance, and we're offering a dream trip for two. Read on to find out how you can win…
ITH PRISTINE AND deserted beaches dotted along idyllic coastlines, glowing coral reefs, and a profusion of exotic wildlife, Tobago is and one of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean. We've teamed up with British Airways and Blue Waters Inn to offer one lucky couple a five-night trip to the island, including accommodation at the stunning Blue Waters Inn, two dives for two people and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways.
The winners will experience Tobago's spectacular mountain scenery, an abundance of lush tropical vegetation and wildlife, and its warm and welcoming people. It's a haven for the active, too, with hiking, diving, zip lining, stand up paddle boarding and golf all available. After all that you'll need somewhere to relax, and the boutique Blue Waters Inn is the perfect location. Overlooking Batteaux Bay on the north-east coast, the Inn has 38 luxurious rooms and bungalows, vibrant cuisine and a beachfront location. For a chance to see it for yourself, see the opposite page… ●
TOBAGO IS A HAVEN FOR ACTIVE TRAVELLERS, WITH HIKING, ZIP-LINING, WATERSPORTS AND GOLF
ISLAND LIFE: Tobago's Blue Waters Inn is the ideal base for a Tobago trip. You won't be short of things to do, whether in the resort or soaking up the rest of the island â€“ it's a place to relax, recharge and unwind
HOW TO ENTER
To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic WIN trip for two to the island of Tobago, including five nights at Blue Waters Inn and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways, all you need to do is answer one easy question. To enter the competition, and for full terms and conditions, go to foodism.co.uk/competition/tobago
Photograph by ###
British Airways flies to Tobago twice a week and offers seven nights at the Blue Waters Inn from ÂŁ839 per person, for travel in May and June. Includes return World Traveller flights from London Gatwick and accommodation with breakfast. ba.com/tobago or call 0844 493 0120
A YEAR OF DRINKING London has top bars around every crook and corner, and you can get to know a dozen of them very well, with a free bar tab every month for a year up for grabs. Cheers to that...
T’S PRETTY MUCH a bonafide fact that free drinks taste better, so we’ve joined forces with DesignMyNight – London’s leading nightlife discovery and booking site – to offer you a free bar tab, once a month, for the next 12 months, at some of London’s best drinking destinations. Or, to put it differently, £2,000 worth of free alcohol over the course of the next year. We know, we know – it’s a good one. It’s also an excuse to explore some bars you’ve always meant to try, but never got round to. Here’s where you will get to flash the cash (or not, as the case may be).
1. London Cocktail Club A basement bar near Oxford Street offering speakeasy-style charm, laid-
back atmosphere and – as the name implies – a pretty serious cocktail list.
2. Patch There’s a restaurant, wine bar, cocktail bar and modern club inside this stylish venue near St Paul’s, making it the kind of place that doesn’t really require you ever having to leave. Brilliant.
3. Trapeze The clue’s in the name: this east-London hangout is decorated with ex-circus memorabilia. There’s a nightclub downstairs if you wish to channel your inner ring master on the dance floor...
4. Smollenskys Strand Being situated on The Strand instantly
means Smollenskys has loads going for it, but once inside you’ll see it’s more than a fancy address – a chic bar and stylish dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows make it a must-see.
5. Adventure Bar Now a bit of a Covent Garden institution Adventure Bar has its winning formula well and truly nailed: daily happy hours, cocktails and party music all night long.
6. Salvador & Amanda Do you like drinks, tapas and fiestas? We won’t wait for an answer on that one, because if it’s not ‘yes’, we won’t believe you anyway. Salvador & Amanda has all three in abundance, and is known to serve a mean jug of sangria.
7. Dirty Martini Clapham/Islington
You don’t HAVE to have a martini at this trendy bar, but you’d be a fool not to try one, with 16 varieties on offer at their two new sites in Islington and Clapham
There’s nightly entertainment at this 1920s-style bar. Cocktail choices are vast, and include tipples inspired by retro sweets, and sharing brews served in tea pots (we probably wouldn't share).
8. Brewhouse & Kitchen With an on-site microbrewery, this Islington newcomer is an essential destination for beer aficionados. There’s also a food menu with suggested ale pairings if the pints make you peckish.
9. Drink Shop & Do Previously a Victorian Turkish bath house, the once steamy rooms at this Caledonian Road bar have been turned into a hot new venue serving everything from afternoon tea to cocktails.
11. The Four Thieves This Battersea bar has all bases covered – there’s a microbrewery, Victorian-style music hall crammed with arcade games, jazz on a Sunday, and over 70 gins to choose from. We’ll drink to that.
HOW TO ENTER
Your coming year could be about to be rather wavy WIN – and very fun – indeed. We've teamed up with DesignMyNight to be in with a chance of winning a bar tab every month for a year. To enter the competition, and for full terms and conditions, head to foodism.co.uk/competition/bartabs
12. Upstairs at the Ten Bells Ten Bells, the serene new cocktail lounge, is above the pub of the same name in Spitalfields. Well, serene until you’ve had more than two, that is. ●
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE We know you love foodism, but it can be easy to miss your copy (100,000* copies only go so far). Visit foodism.co.uk/magazine/ to see where you can pick up your free copy every month. And if you work in the food and drink industry, we can send your venue a bundle each month. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org Either way, you donâ€™t have to worry any more about getting to the Tube station one-hundred-thousand-and-first.
* Actually, itâ€™s 108,950 copies
STAYING CLASSY London's top mixologists are embracing rosé cocktails this season. Mix some up yourself with bartenders' bubbles of choice from French winemaker Luc Belaire
AKE IT FROM us: pink fizz is having a bit of a moment on the London mixology scene. At The London Edition hotel bar, they serve it with Havana Club rum, elderflower and absinthe; at Mayfair's Hush Brasserie it's mixed with gin; and at Coq d'Argent it comes as a shot alongside a 1920s champagne glass filled with syrupysweet passion fruit and coconut tequila. The bars' bubbles of choice? Premium Luc Belaire Rosé, produced by expert fifth and sixth-generation winemakers in Burgundy using a blend of chardonnay grapes and aged for six months in steel tanks for a light, dry and delicate peachy taste. As well as gin and tequila, it pairs well with sushi, scallops, and white fish and meat. For purists, there's also a Luc Belaire Brut Gold cuvée. The signature black bottles, with silk-screened labels, are also stocked in Dubai's At.mosphere in the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and Four Seasons in Boston, Atlanta and Hawaii – but we're just as happy quaffing it on our own turf. ●
MAKE THIS: Porn Star Martini No2, £11.75 A sweet tropical concoction of Coconut Tequila, Koko Kanu coconut rum and passion fruit. Served with a vibrant pink shot of Luc Belaire Rosé. From: Coq d’Argent
Recipe: 30ml Coconut Tequila 15ml Koko Kanu coconut rum 30ml passion fruit syrup Passion fruit cup Mix tequila, rum and syrup, then top with passion fruit cup and serve with Luc Belaire Rosé in a shot glass.
MAKE THIS: Victoria’s Secret, £13.50 Maraschino Liqueur, gin, lemon juice and Luc Belaire Rosé, layered, with a maraschino cherry at the bottom of the glass. Beautifully pink in colour, the mild nutty flavour of Victoria’s Secret is refreshed with the light sweetness of Luc Belaire Rosé. From: Hush Brasserie Photograph by Damian Griffiths
Recipe: Victoria’s Secret 10ml Maraschino Liqueur 10ml Bulldog Gin 5ml lemon juice Layer the ingredients in a champagne flute, then drop in a maraschino cherry.
REACH SKY HIGHS Dining down below is so passe. Sit among the Gods in Kensington's award-winning Babylon and enjoy the fresh seasonal menu. Trust us, you'll never want to leave...
ET HIGH UP on the seventh floor of The Roof Gardens, offering amazing views of London’s skyline, Babylon is a cut above the rest. The awardwinning food at Babylon is best described as contemporary British and the menus change regularly to ensure only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used. Table d’hote lunch menus are available for two and three courses (Monday to Saturday), along with a delicious Sunday roast and a fresh seafood menu available until October. Babylon comes alive on Tuesday nights with the sound of live
jazz; no need to bring your dancing shoes, just sit back and enjoy a delicious menu against a backdrop of great music and incredible views. On Friday and Saturday evenings, guests can continue their night at The Roof Gardens’ private members’ club on the sixth floor. Babylon at The Roof Gardens is a sky-high venue, and the memory of mouth-watering cuisine, exceptional service and spectacular views will stay with you long after you've left. ● For more information, visit: roofgardens.virgin.com
BABYLON WILL WINE AND DINE YOU IN ELEGANT SURROUNDINGS, THEN ROLL OUT THE JAZZ VIBES. WELCOME YOUR NEW FAVOURITE CITY HANG-OUT 89
In a place that spoils you for choice when it comes to eating and drinking, deciding where to dine in London can often prove tricky. That’s where we come in - the Foodism team present some of the city’s hottest options 90
1 1 L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 13-15 West Street, WC2H 9NE
We love an open kitchen, especially when the restaurant that houses it – in this case, a classic, wallet-busting paradise tucked away in Soho – has two Michelin stars and a penchant for theatrical service. Dining at the eponymous French chef’s London outpost, you realise why sitting at the bar right in front of the kitchen for a tasting menu in a restaurant of this calibre is, by a distance, the best seat in the house. 020 7010 8600; joelrobuchon.co.uk
BAR DINING 2
BEST OF THE REST 2 The Palomar
34 Rupert Street, W1D 6DN
12A Newburgh Street, W1F 7RR
The buzz surrounding the Palomar shows no signs of abating, and once you’ve been, you’ll understand exactly why that is. Its dishes – which are inspired by the food of modern-day Jerusalem – are so good, you’ll want to reach into the kitchen and grab them all for yourself, which is actually achievable from the much-celebrated bar where you’ll be sitting to eat. Although if you do, you’ll probably be thrown out.
With food prepared under the guidance of Mikael Jonsson, the gourmet offering at this Soho wine bar is just as strong as the alcoholic one. Take a seat at the counter and nibble on mushroom croquettes, crispy pig head and pickled baby artichokes.
020 7439 8777; thepalomar.co.uk
020 7287 8488;
3 Wright Brothers Spitalfields Old Spitalfields Market, 8A Lamb Street, E1 6EA
You can watch the chefs preparing fruits de mer and seafood so fresh it’s pretty much still moving from the mezzanine marble bar at Wright Brothers Spitalfields. This is the fourth restaurant from the minichain, and follows its winning formula of outstanding produce, simply prepared. Try to get there for the oyster happy hour which takes place at the bar from 3-9pm. 020 7377 8706; thewrightbrothers.co.uk
5 Counter Arch 50 South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP
5 If your usual Vauxhall experience is waiting for a connection, there’s a new reason to stick around: Counter, a brasserie under the railway arches where you can take a stool at the bar and graze on classic New York cuisine. Worth missing your train for. 020 3693 9600; counterrestaurants.com
BEST OF THE REST 2 Olympic Studios
4 Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar
117-123 Church Rd, SW13 9HL
West Wing, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
Olympic Studios, which combines a small, luxurious cinema with a small, luxurious restaurant, fits in perfectly in Barnes. Which is to say it’s really bloody nice. Both the cinema and restaurant could function on their own – it’s just a massive bonus that getting from one to the other takes all of 30 seconds.
Not only is the food at Pennethorne’s more than a match for its opulent setting, but its cocktails are a literal match, too, being created to pair with the films in Somerset House’s cinema programme this summer.
020 8912 5161; olympiccinema.co.uk
3 Rooftop Film Club Various locations
The Rooftop Film Club is one of many initiatives that have totally transformed London’s rooftops. With new and classic films, a rotating street-food line-up and stunning views, it’s a far cry from sitting in a big, dark room surrounded by popcorn kernels.
020 3751 0570; pennethornescafe.co.uk
5 Backyard Cinema Camden Lock Place, Camden Market, NW1 8AB
One of the many offerings of the newly renovated Camden Market is pretty much how it sounds – an open-air cinema kitted out with deckchairs and beanbags, and food and drink from Honest Burgers, Craft Cocktail Co and Brooklyn Brewery. 020 3773 9075; backyardcinema.co.uk
020 7635 6655; rooftopfilmclub.com
Photograph by Helen Cathcart; Paul Winch-Furness; James McDonald 2015; Life After Print Ltd
FOOD AND FILM
3 1 Picturehouse Central 20-24 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7DH
Soho is central London’s 4 land of the cinema. But no longer do you have to choose between garish, neon-drenched multiplexes on Leicester Square and tiny boutique cinemas showing 5 exclusively cult releases (as good as they are). Picturehouse Central, the cinema-lovers’ chain of choice’s new flagship, includes a massive upstairs restaurant which serves an eclectic menu of unfussy but nonetheless great food, from slow-cooked beef chilli to a middle-Eastern-inspired flatbread pizza. And where better to spend two hours directly after you’ve overindulged than in front of (essentially) an enormous TV in the dark where no one can look at you? Exactly. 0871 902 5755; picturehouses.com
BEST OF THE REST 2 Cafe Fleur 198 St Ann’s Hill, SW18 2RT
All vegetarian burger-lovers know that a sloppy mushroom slapped between some bread is not a burger. Thankfully Lucy Piper, the owner of Cafe Fleur, knows this, too. Cue a meat- and veggie-friendly menu that includes a falafel patty seasoned with Caribbean spices, with houmous, roasted veg, spinach and sweet potato fries, all for £9.95. No brainer, right? 020 8874 1930; cafefleurwandsworth.com
3 Mildred’s 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN
This Soho favourite has been strutting the
veggie scene since 1988, and it’s still chock-full of vegetable fiends. There’s a range of burgers (tofu, halloumi, lentil), burritos and spicy Sri Lankan curries, while the salad bar would have Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite LA hangout hanging its head in shame. If you can’t get a table, there’s a handy takeaway menu, too. 0207 494 1634; mildreds.co.uk
pickled cucumber, while the evening menu is just as inventive (both contain meat, FYI). The bar’s an equally good reason to visit – swig your bellini (sweet potato, of course) up on the roof terrace. 020 7324 4466; grainstore.com
5 The Waiting Room 42 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ
4 Grain Store Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, N1C 4AB
Vegetable dishes are given at starring role at this restaurant from Bruno Loubet in King’s Cross. The Cuban vegetable empanada on the weekend brunch menu comes with rum-
The only bad thing about Greggs is their lack of veggie sausage rolls. All’s OK, though – the Waiting Room does the best veggie version in London, along with other vegan treats, a book swap and flat whites. @waitingroomSE8
ON THE VEG OF GLORY
1 Ottolenghi 50 Artillery Lane, E1 7LJ
City workers rejoice! The ‘grab and go’ fridge at Ottlenghi’s latest opening in Spitalfields is crammed full of good, lunch- hour salads, with sizeable, fresh sandwiches coming in at £4.75 each. Those eating in will enjoy a 70-seater space, with a counter and a kitchen menu that goes way beyond your average potato salad (think roasted new potatoes with caper tapenade and samphire). Afterwards there are metres of cakes to choose from, with massive jugs of custard on the side. 020 7247 1999; ottolenghi.co.uk
1 Manuka Kitchen 510 Fulham Road, SW6 5NJ
Somewhat contradictorily, Manuka Kitchen is a neighbourhood restaurant that’s worth travelling for, and it’s popular enough that the team behind it have just branched out to a second, equally local-feeling restaurant project in Marble Arch. Dishes at Manuka are small and numerous, and it’s cool enough to conceal a gin bar, 510 Below, underneath – but the patrons are the type who are known by name. The food is modern European with a few modern twists thrown in, and the wine is genuinely interesting, with a heavy Antipodean influence. 020 7736 7588; manukakitchen.com
THE LOCALS’ FAVES
BEST OF THE REST 2 Le Coq 292-294 St Paul’s Road, N1 2LH
Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness C
Ana and Sanja Morris came up with the idea of a neighbourhood rotisserie restaurant during a night out in Brooklyn, and it’s fair to say it set the tone for the Islington restaurant they run today. It’s a tiny menu – bold starters, chicken and sides, and dessert. Simple. 020 7359 5055; le-coq.co.uk
3 Cornish Tiger 1 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HG
We’re not sure where the “tiger” comes
from; but the “Cornish” refers to the location from which almost all of the produce at this restaurant (just) on Battersea Rise is sourced. The best thing? A killer set menu: £9.95 for two courses and £11.95 for three. 020 7223 7719; cornishtiger.com
4 The Pembury Tavern 90 Amhurst Road, E8 1JH
At first glance, a popular but unassuming pub with pool, billiards and board games. But look closer at the pizzas flying out of the kitchen – made with stretchy dough and toppings that
are clearly well thought-through – and you’ll see this is not your everyday pub food. There’s also a rotating line-up of great guest beers. 020 8986 8597; individualpubs.co.uk
5 Toasted 36-38 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HJ
Toasted, in leafy East Dulwich, is upmarket neighbourhood-style eating and drinking at its best – choose from more than 200 wines via bottle or tank, and match them to seasonal, European-inspired small plates. 020 8693 9021; toastdulwich.co.uk
Photograph by ###
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BEST OF THE REST 2 Vagabond 25 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RW
It’s 2015, and wine is changing and becoming more accessible all the time. Case in point: Vagabond – an ingenious café-cum-wine shop that on any given day has 100 different wines in enomatic machines. Load up a card, taste, and drink in for a set price, or take the bottle away for £10 less. A great way of getting to know new, exciting wines on a budget. 020 3302 4044; vagabondwines.co.uk
3 Unwined 16A Tooting Market, 21-23 Tooting High Street, SW17 0SN
Laura and Kiki of wine education service A Grape Night In have always been keen to improve your wine knowledge, so it makes sense they’d carry on the theme in their new wine bar Unwined. There’s a tasting table, an always-eclectic wine selection, and more than
2 50 bottles available to drink in and take away. 020 3286 4631; agrapenightin.co.uk
4 We Brought Beer 28 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ
Gone are the days of opening the beer fridge in an off-license and staring blankly. Here, the staff will talk you through recommendations based on your tastes, as well as presenting staff picks and even guiding you through homebrewing. That’s our kind of bottle shop.
020 8673 9324; webroughtbeer.co.uk
1 Voltaire Road, SW4 6DQ
New Clapham wine bar Cellar.SW4 is an extension of the founder’s successful shop in Clapham North, which specialises in Antipodean and biodynamic wines. 020 3609 1331; cellar-sw4.co.uk
TASTING ROOMS 1 Brahms & Liszt 10 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LP
Luckily for cocktail enthusiasts all over the capital, small-batch distilling, along with London’s world-class bar scene, means the spirits business is soaring – and arguably bigger than it’s ever been. Capitalising on this is new off-license and tasting room Brahms & Liszt, set up by small-batch specialist Melanie Symonds in a former craft tequila distillery, which sells off-the-wall bottles of spirits and bitters the scale and diversity of which you’ll find hardly anywhere else. And, in a victory for the love of the product over financial nitpicking, trying before you buy is not only tolerated, but actively encouraged. If only all offies worked the same way, we think we’d probably be a lot happier. Although probably also a lot more drunk. Which is fine, too. 07946 461 616; brahmsandlisztlondon.uk
Photograph by Chris Coulson
SLIPPERY CIRCUMSTANCES: Early photographs of 19th-century Neapolitans show that they ate spaghetti manually, raising strands with their right hands, tilting back the head and lowering each one in. Well that’s one way to do it...
A WHEATY TOPIC: The average Italian eats more than 51 pounds of pasta in a year. That’s over 3.6 stone. About as heavy as a six to eight-year-old human child...
Photograph by ###
You don’t need a pretty penne to scoff mouthfuls of it, and it’s only made with wheat and water or eggs. Pasta is truly king of dinner. And you’d be very fu-silli to ever think otherwise
HOUSE OF CARBS: Pasta cooked al dente – which literally means ‘on the tooth’ – takes longer to digest. That keeps you fuller for longer and blood sugar levels more stable. Pasta and diets work, see?
Shake wel and d rink f l the bo rom ttle
Whichever way you look at it, Nosh is a proper, proper breakfast in a bottle, fully-loaded with delicious chunks of fruit, quinoa & wholesome oats. No junk, no added sugar.
Foodism Magazine, Issue 5, London food and drink