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THE RUSSET

‘z ine 002

The Russet Amhurst terrace London E8 2BT


R U S S ET A L L S ORTS It takes allsorts. Cafes, restaurants, pubs, social centres of many flavours provide spaces for allsorts to meet and mingle, relax and refuel. People vary in their character, taste, wants, abilities and requirements and as people employed in hospitality, our primary aim is to cater for this, for our community, to the best we can. At The Russet we aim to appeal as equally as we can to the diverse ages, cultures, and trends of London, all whilst still holding our own identity and integrity and furthermore staying recession proof as we eat double dip chocolate strawberries. That’s a tough job. But we did choose to take it.

One fundamental difference we have seen between our customers, and a difference that is somewhat black and white, is between those with kids, and those without. Recently out on the twittersphere we saw a little storm brewing #cantmoveforprams

Mums looking for a space for their children to play, where breastfeeding isn’t frowned upon. Young up and coming professionals looking for a space for meetings and deals or just a space to hang loose. The way we see it, as long as we’re not too self righteous, there’s no reason why both can’t take place side by side. We love the little ones, the playfulness, the inquisitiveness, they’re our future and they’re pretty entertaining. We want to see people from all walks of life talking and eating, and being inspired by each other. We’re blessed with a big enough space to be able to cater for allsorts and try our best to keep the little ones entertained and well behaved whilst also doing the same for the adults.

So what’s the answer?

We’ve finally got enough money together to insulate the backspace, just in time for Summer, the steel for structural work has been ordered and we’re designing a beautiful, big, glass arched panel through to the rear garden, a continuation of thatbeautiful curve to the front. We’re designing and building fold out tables, chairs and light boxes from recycled materials salvaged from the other building work taking place.By day we’re looking to move the play area into the back and to curate a programme of entertain-­ ment for the Mums, the Dads (don’t forget the Dads, it takes two),and the little ones. Ranging from singing and music sessions, to art classes, storytelling, dance and cinema. We’ve got some great kid’s menus together and some funky colouring sheets to match. My favourite restaurant growing up was the Home-­ stead in Cobham, I won a free meal through the quality of my artwork in the weekly colouring competi-­ tion and was hooked. To my memory, the sheet had hills and animals and was always the same, a classic, although my artistic touch always added a modern flair. Local artists are currently designing the sheets.


We’re working on a programme with local schools to get older kids in for cooking and gardening classes and provid-­ ing work experience opportunities for others. There’s going to be more plugspaces for laptops, more tables in the front and in the back, and more games for large, small, and medium people. The garden is starting to bloom. We’re introducing more gluten free, vegan and low GI options for the menus and are excited about the new potential that the bounty of Spring brings to menus. The evening tapas is hitting all the right spots and the bar is flowing. Matcha is going onto the drinks menus, we’ve argued over our favourite Coconut Water, have finished our juice menus, perfected the Bloody Mary and are sipping iced coffee like it’s out of fashion. Fortunately it’s in fashion, Summer is just round the corner and Hackney Downs is the place to be.

And what is the question? What sort are you? And what would you like to see more of at The Russet? We want to make it happen.

Descriptive answers and solutions to steve@therusset.co.uk


L O BO C O L L E C T IVE: 100 % VINYL If you haven’t already been, Lobo Collective is a vinyl-­only DJ session at The Russet every Friday from 6pm.

It’s about the music -­-­ getting producers, DJs and music lovers to dust off the vinyl that inspired them back in the day and get it spinning again. It’s about the hard to find 7”s from the 60s, the breaks that inspired hip hop, the 90s classics and anthems, the new rarities, and about celebrating those that still press and push vinyl.

The night is aimed as the social warm up to your weekend, a place where you can catch some warm analogue sound, eat, drink and socialise with friends before heading out to the clubs in Dalston and the surrounding area.

Every Friday Lobo invites a special headline guest alongside a growing collective of resident DJs and spin a vari-­ ety of records encompassing Funk, Soul, Rare Groove, Electronica, Reggae, Ska, Hip-­Hop, Disco and House. So far guests have included Jason Spinks of Kristina Records, Ollie Seaman and Myles Mears of Warm Agency, Wax’d and Make Me.

Lobo Collective is curated by Tom Durston, founder and editor-­in-­chief of electronic music magazine Inverted Audio. We caught up with him for a chat about what inspired him to setup Lobo Collective in a time where digital is surely the dominant means of consumption [next page].


“A lot of people ask me why I bother spending money on records instead of down-­ loading them from the Internet for a fraction of the cost. The thing is, is that I’ve never been into digital music. I started buying records when I was 13. The music I was listening to back then, mainly Jungle and Drum and Bass, you couldn’t buy digitally or on CD. If you wanted the very latest tracks you had to get them on vinyl.

These days it’s a similar affair, I want to spin records that the majority of people don’t know and when you buy a vinyl only release, it makes those tracks a lot more exclu-­ sive and special. Vinyl records are sculptures of sound, music has been physically engraved into a disc for you to enjoy. You pick the record up, appreciate the artwork, pull it out of the sleeve and place it on the platter and lower the needle on the groove. There’s no skipping through tracks or endlessly scrolling through your entire music catalogue on your computer. It’s a humble process and for me it is the only way to DJ.

A lot of DJ’s I know prefer to use vinyl as it’s the physicality and sonority of the medium that attracts them to buy records. Digital files can be lost, deleted and cor-­ rupted. Records are like books; you’ll always have them, even if they’re on your shelf collecting dust for the next 20 years. They’re timeless artefacts of sound that can be connected to a particular moment or even environment, even the lo-­fi pops in the vinyl groove give that track a unique character.

We’re living in an age where the mass digital consumption of music is lowering the perceived value of music. Don’t get me wrong it’s phenomenal that you can download music from anywhere in the world for 99p per track, but by doing so generations are undermining the value of producers investing their life into making music.

Lobo Collective is a celebration of the vinyl medium, an intimate environment where you can listen to a broad spectrum of music in a relaxed atmosphere that’s far re-­ moved from the confines and hustle and bustle of a dark club space. We want people to appreciate vinyl records and support the people who keep the record stores open, they are magical places full of knowledge and history that bring people together in the celebration of the greatness of music.”

“ They’re timeless ar-­ tefacts of sound that can be connected to a particular moment or even environment, even the lo-­fi pops in the vinyl groove give that track a unique character.”


Food  Fact  > What is quinoa – and how do you pronounce it anyway?

Quinoa is pronounced like “keen-­wá”. Quinoa is a seed grain that has been cultivated in the Andean region for over 7,000 years and was considered sacred by the Inca Empire. NASA researchers too sung its praises, mainly for its superior nutrient density which made the grain perfect as potential astronaut food. Quinoa is high in protein, contains a complete set of essen-­ tial amino acids and contains no gluten. The grain is very tasty and actually has a mild nutty flavour once it is cooked. Enough reason for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation to declare the year 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa” (and set up a Facebook fan page for it).

Food  Fact  >> From hot recipe to hot headlines

But as the grain grows in popularity in Western countries, a debate is erupting in the media with thundering headlines such as “Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?” (The Guardian) or “Quinoa: The Dark Side of an Andean Superfood” (Time Magazine). In a short period of time, quinoa has gone from a local staple to a global product. When a local food is suddenly transformed into a global commodity there is an inevitable, and not always positive, shift in the dynamic between those producing the food and those eating it. And there can can be environmental costs too. So the question is, if we are trying to avoid foods that are environmentally and socially destructive, can we eat this super food with a clear conscience? Like every other globally traded commodity foodstuff, quinoa is devilishly complicated. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat quinoa. It just means we shouldn’t take it for granted or eat it without thinking it through. What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts.


Q u i n o a rö s t i

with melted goats’ cheese, raw beetroot & elderberry reduction

Ingredients 1 grated beetroot 1 grated carrot 1 parsnip 1 cup of quinoa Thick slice of goats’ cheese

1. Cook the quinoa by putting 1 cup of quinoa in a pan with the double amount of water for about 20 min. Grate the raw beetroots.

2. When the quinoa is cooked, mix two tablespoons of butter with the still-­warm quinoa along with salt and black pepper to taste. Then add the raw beetroots and mix with the quinoa. Knead it through your fingers a few times, and it will clump together. Make multiple smaller patties by sepa-­ rate the mixture into appropriate balls (double the size of a slice of goats’ cheese).

3. Put a slice of goats’ cheese on top and place in the oven (220) until the rösti is crisp and the goats’ cheese is melted. For around 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Serve with a few green leaves and the elderberry reduction (elderberry, sugar, water reduced down through simmering. For every 3 parts of elderberry put 1 part sugar and 1 part water).


F OOD F OR T H O U G H T People love talking about food. How it tastes. Where it is from. Is it good for me? Is it seasonal? How much does it cost?

Food for Thought is a new monthly event exploring all things food related. We want to kick start conversations about food by showcasing amazing projects and people that work with food and providing an open forum for questions and discussion.

For instance Dr Lucy Gulliam from New Dawn Traders, who told us about sail-­ ing to Barbados in search of organic fair trade spices and rum. She is helping to revive slow cargo and inspire change through adventure under sail.

Made In Hackney also gave a great talk on creating a positive food culture. They help groups re-­imagine what you can do with food on a tight budget, how to cre-­ ate cosmetics good enough to eat and how to recreate food in a way you’ve never even considered.

Our second Food For Thought focused on local food, local growers and produc-­ ers. Urban growing has made a full revival with now 8% of London area produc-­ ing fruit and veg. There are lots of great projects making this happen such as Get Growing. Alex, one of their community growers explained why local food is important to build a communities’ resilience.

Urban growing is taking on new forms every day; Seattle has just announced plans for a 7-­acre public food forest. London can learn from this. How amazing would it be to turn Hype Park into the biggest public food forest in Europe; why not start with Hackney Downs? Can you imagine walking into Hackney Downs and picking your weeks worth of organic fruit?

Come down join the conversation, fill your mind and your bellies with new thought provoking sensations. Help us kick start new conversations. The next Food For Thought will be on foraging.


Food For Thought was started by Steve Wilson, founder of The People’s Kitchen, co-­ founder of Dalston Cola and Chef and General Manager here at The Russet, and Nicky Spear, People’s Kitchen committee member and long standing volunteer in all things food waste related and community assistant at Project Dirt, the green social network. It takes place the third Wednesday of every month to explore a new topic or inspiration.

Join this month’s #FoodChallenge @FFTRusset – buy one new local fruit or vegetable every week.


C A R D B OARD C A BA RE T Cardboard and cabaret an unusual combination? Not according to performer Margherita Franceschi. Being part of the theatre and cabaret underground scene she now organises Cardboard Cabaret at The Russet and explains how you can create enchanted worlds through simple things.

What can we expect from the second Cardboard Cabaret? Great fun! Cardboard nights are intimate, cosy and quaint. On the first of May students from the London International School of Performing Art (LISPA) will join us on stage, as will a singer with a ukulele and The People Pile -­-­ a community of creative movement enthusiasts. Expect powerful physical theatre acts, a very unusual clown solo, a dance with card-­ board and more…

Where does your inspiration come from? I love theatre and cabaret, but we often associate the word cabaret with glamour, burlesque and glitter, whereas for me cabaret is more about being together and having fun. It is about sharing that feeling of being in a secret situation togeth-­ er in which you do not have to stick to the usual rules of society. That sensation that we are together here, tonight! I visited The Russet many times last year; it is one of my favourite venues in London. I like the atmosphere, the people, the food… So I asked Steve if he was up for doing a theatrical night. The Russet offers an opportunity for brilliant performers to show their work in a warm and inviting environment.

What does cardboard mean to you as a material? I personally really like cardboard. It is an everyday material we all know, have touched, used... Cardboard triggers memories too. I have been collecting my old toys and diaries in cardboard boxes and every now and then, when I open those boxes I find myself jumping in the far away past. Performance-­wise, I like the idea of using a simple (and recycled) material to make something beautiful and powerful. Some years ago a friend and I created a clown skit; a love story between a bin bag and a card-­ board box. It is universal, simple and funny, exactly what I like when I go to the theatre.

Cardboard Cabaret takes place every first Wednesday of the month. The next one is on the 1st of May. Ticket £5 Meal (from 5pm to 8pm) + Cabaret £12 Cabaret starts 8.30pm (Sharp!)

“we often associate the word cabaret with glamour, burlesque and glitter, whereas for me cabaret is more about being together and having fun.”


Did  you  know.. ? Every tonne of recycled cardboard saves 17 trees, 2 cubic yards of landfill capacity and 4100 Kw hours of electricity!


B o r n i n London tow n Lyrics by Theo Bard

Well I’ve seen a million cars go by on thousands of our streets I’ve missed a million people’s eyes, they look down at my feet Sang with millionaires and beggars, sang in every season’s weathers So I know the season’s fashions, and their fashion is to change

I’ve seen 14 bedroom houses, I’ve seen babes share beds with spouses I’ve seen opium and cocaine taken long before midday And inside the concrete walls bed the bankers, bards and whores Living worlds apart, with inches in between

I was born in London Town Made my mark on the concrete, my name on the ground And I know these old streets like the back of my hand But I’ve never been here before

Well in these streets I’ve learnt and grown, but these streets are not my own For who could lay a claim to the organs of a beast? And all these people I have known, still living life alone, My feet pounding out that steady path to peace

I was born...

If the time comes to be free, if I can’t find the space to breathe I’ll let the city slip behind me into grey Give up the places that I love, for some sunny sky above But wherever my feet take me I can’t leave...

I was born in London Town Made my mark on the concrete, my name on the ground And I walk these old streets with no one by my side Still looking for the man I am inside.


UNDERGROUND FOLK NIGHT WOODBURN E R Woodburner began in the darkest depths of Hackney, at The George. It was an old, closed down, run down pub which was rented out as cheap housing. A small group of students moved in, and around them grew a community of musicians and likeminded souls.

At the first ever party there, two Theo’s made acquaintance: Theo Bard, singer-­songwriter and folk musician, and Theo Brown, then anthropology student at SOAS, and a man extremely good with people and tools.

Time went by and Brown renovated the pub space downstairs, transforming it into a beautiful space of bare wood. It seemed like the perfect place to host acoustic music, harking back to older days when music was live, drinks were cheap and local people came to convene at the nearest pub to hand.

A deal was done. Bard would programme folk music each week, if Brown would build the wood-­ burning stove of Bard’s dreams for the musicians to sing beside. Brown came through with a huge beast of a stove, and thus, Woodburner was born.

In those heady days, pints were just £2 from a keg, served by pub residents (‘Georgians’), and other ‘volunteers’. The bar broke even or lost money, as there were so many people helping (themselves!). Entry was £3, which went to the musicians, as it still does today!

It was a very special, intimate, underground affair; invites went out via word of mouth and text message, and it had the air of a speakeasy or members club.

At the end of 2010, The George was tragically redeveloped into flats, and Woodburner had to relocate. Since then, we have run weekly event ‘seasons’ at Dalston Boys Club, Servant Jazz Quar-­ ters, Hackney Downs Studios, and Stoke Newington International Airport, before moving to our


“It is the dawn of the new generation and The Patchwork Paper are here to bring you the future in creativity.�


A NU G GE T OF A RT ACT IVISM Last month a bunch of ridiculously talented poets, musicians and visual artists took over our back space in the name of free ex-­ pression. Hosted by art and activism ‘zine The Patchwork Paper, the funds raised will go towards the printing costs of their next issue. Sophie Robins and Holly Strauss explain the importance of Art Activism.

What is The Patchwork Paper all about?

The Patchwork Paper is a patchwork quilt of truly original poetry, prose and visual culture for everyone to get involved with. The magazine was built out of a desire to create a platform for art and literature, publishing free opinion, fiction and encourag-­ ing political (and personal) expression through art; so we have created this nugget of Art Activism.

What is Art Activism?

Art Activism, in the context of The Patchwork Paper, is any kind of creative expression that merges the political, the personal and the artistic. The Patchwork Paper is a platform for free expression and has an inherently political form, because the act of writing without censorship and within the margins of freedom of speech is a political act, one that works against the ideologies of mainstream media. Whether the published piece is a photograph, a poem or an article it will combine artistic talent – writ-­ ing, drawing, composition – with political or personal opinions and feelings.

Why is art important?

Art is important because without art there would be no individuality. Art is important because it is the product of creative thinking, and without creative thinking there would be no originality. Art is important because it allows us to see the world, and ourselves, differently. Art is important because without art the artist would be dead.

What does it take to become an ‘art activist’?

In a nutshell, the arts activist uses their art as a vehicle for political change and so to become an arts activist the artist must communicate their own political ideologies through their art. When creating art with the intention of instigating some level of political change the artist performs a political act. The arts activist does not create art for art’s sake, the arts activist creates art to have an impact on politics, and to make a mark on society that may encourage others to instigate social change. To put it sim-­ ply, think about a political issue that makes you angry, express that anger through art and do so with the intention of encourag-­ ing political, and social, change.


J A M S A N DW I CH

is the fruitiest live music

night in London, taking place every last Wednesday of the month, bringing you live music with an eclectic line up of emerging artists, ac-足 companied by live art from the magical Novemto Komo. The next Jam Sandwich is on the 24th of May. Stay tuned!

Are you a musician or artist who would like to take part in the next Jam Sandwich? Please get in touch with lou@creativenetworkpartners.com


C I NE-R EAL

is a non-­for-­profit film club taking place every last Thurs-­

day of the month with the aim of bringing together film makers, actors, writers, direc-­ tors, producers, photographers, cinefiles etc, to enjoy classic films as film and share a passion for the moving image. The films shown are all 16mm prints. They are also all ex-­ amples of how technical or financial limitations actually led to the development of a new style, such as the use of jump cuts in French New Wave, due to lack of film stock. Crea-­ tion from limitation! So far Ciné-­Real has shown On The Waterfront, Dial M For Murder, and King Kong. The next Ciné-­Real will take place the 25th of May.

For more info please contact: info@cine-­real.com

YOU R WEEK IN CH ALK

To stay up to date with the

latest upcoming events, please check the blackboard in the back of the café or go to our website (www.therusset.org.co), like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for daily updates.


C RE DI TS Editor-­in-­chief

Annabel Troost

Cover

Sara Gelfgren

Type Design

Cezanne Noordhoek

Contributors Russet Allsort

Steve Wilson

Lobo Collective

Tom Durston

Quinoa Recipe

David Castro

Food For Thought

Nicky Spears

Cardboard Cabaret

Margherita Franceschi

Woodburner

Theo Bard

Art Activism

Sophie Robins Holly Strauss

Jam Sandwich

Lou Wellby

Cine-­Real

Liam Saint-­Pierre

The Russet ‘zine is a quarterly ‘zine featuring a selection of our events, recipes we like, artists we love, ideas we believe in and other things you really shouldn’t miss -­-­ revealing the bustling world of Hackney Downs Studios (and beyond).

Are you a photographer or illustrator and would you like to con-­ tribute to the next ‘zine? Or do you want to see your project/event/ amazing idea featured? Please send an email to: annabel@crea-­ tivenetworkpartners.com


Russet 'zine 002