WOL F A QUARTERLY FOOD JOURNAL | ISSUE 1 | GROWING
NOMA | NORDIC FOOD LAB | MOMOFUKU TEST KITCHEN FERGUS HENDERSON | YOUNG TURKS | MAGNUS NILSSON SIMON ROGAN | NUNO MENDES | SUE WEBSTER | PATTERNITY
contents thyme and plaice
When restaurants think they’re stand-up comedians
How a childhood bowl of squid ink sparked a lifelong love affair with food, by Rose Blake
life of pie The beauty of a pie is the mystery that lurks beneath the crust, the fondling that’s happening under the duvet, says Fergus Henderson
more taste, less speed A lesson in overcoming fussy eating by Rebecca Nicholson
eating in the dark
When your job takes you into the darkest recesses of human behaviour, meals are all about cauterising the soul with spice, says Mark Townsend
you know you’re a grown up when...
Food habits as a litmus test of adulthood, by Morwenna Ferrier
it’s all going off Why chefs have become obsessed with fermentation, featuring Noma, Nordic Food Lab, the Momofuku test kitchen and Sandor Ellix Katz
recipes Dishes for the colder months, making the most of what’s around, featuring Magnus Nilsson, Young Turks, Simon Rogan, Nuno Mendes and Sue Webster (artists cook too, you know)
spice of life Is african food finally about to have its moment?
rules for eating at home A manifesto, of sorts by Eva Wiseman
how to butcher a chicken Do you really know how to treat your bird properly?
natural symmetry Patternity will make you see your grocery basket with different eyes
a quiet shame Nothing teaches you about shame quite like your school lunchbox, says Nell Frizzell
peter and rona As an actor, one’s life is very much feast or famine, but famine does not mean one must go hungry. WOLF introduces two flamboyant new voices in food
thyme and plaice If you cut open our DNA helixes here at WOLF you’d find more laboured puns than genetic material. So imagine our delight when we found the Pu Pu Hot Pot book, full of such inspired restaurant names as Thai Tanic, Wanker’s Corner, Big Wong, The Codfather, Phat Phuc, and so on. Here are some favourites.
Always wash your hands after you eat
Fish are food, not friends
A great gastro pub
Eat here and you’ll never grow up!
Previously ‘The Gill Next Door’
Pu Pu Hot Pot: The World’s Best Restaurant Names by Ben Brusey is published by Penguin, Viking. All images copyright Ben Brusey.
A chance eating
more taste, less speed A lesson in overcoming fussy eating by Rebecca Nicholson
grew up in a small town in the north, where we ate liver and bacon, chops and mash, boiled bacon and cabbage, the kind of thing now found in expensive restaurants with ironic chintz. Then 1990 happened and the exotic dish ‘pasta’ arrived, changing everything by way of spag bol and tuna sweetcorn bake, which got us through to at least 2002, when houmous made a splashy appearance. By that point, I had already left home and was making my own way in the kitchen, but what my fixed rota of childhood teas had done was limit my idea of what I liked to the following:
There was a lot to work on. Salads were particularly tricky. But where to start? With science, of course. I read some science, somewhere, that insisted it would take five tastes of something to trick my tongue into thinking it was nice. I wanted to reverse the synapse function that made me think I was being force-fed a Lush bath bomb whenever I ate coriander, so that instead I could experience this elusive freshness as it was supposed to offer. I put the work in, with coriander, and it paid off. I bought bags of herby salad and I ate it without looking, knowing that at some point I’d get the hit. This was easier than a straight-up assault, because there was no predicting when the next wave would come. After a few weeks, something happened. As if I’d finally turned the right key in the lock, I got it. There was a triumphant moment with a Boots Thai chicken sandwich. I heard celestial choirs. I knew I’d never go back. Though I’m yet to receive my Nobel nod, I’ve applied this scientific process to many foods since, with a strong success rate. With some smug satisfaction, I slowly discovered that tomatoes weren’t the sloppy slices of sour responsible for making my bread damp, but a freshener for the stodge, and that if you made them hot they were even better. This, combined with a near-simultaneous chilli epiphany, led to a later-in-life revelation about Bloody Marys, which in turn made me willing to munch on a celery stick. The process is kaleidoscopic. Each breakthrough leads to another. But there are exceptions to every rule, and some taste sensations are insurmountable. I have only managed to eat mustard once, in an unfortunate incident involving an undissolved pile of powder in a deceptively safe-looking cheese sauce. The smell of it makes me retch, so I can’t get close enough to even begin the five-tries process. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, defies the numbers – out of sheer lunchtime frustration, I’ve tried to like it countless times, forcing in another tragic bite of a pre-made baguette as I squirm at the oily, vinegary egg juice it’s slathered in. Condiments are my kryptonite. I’m doomed to plain sandwiches forever. Doomed, that is, unless somebody else takes up my humanitarian mission to cure the fussy eater and stumbles upon the god particle of testy tastebuds. When that day comes, I’ll gorge myself on pickles. I’ll bathe in dijonnaise. I’ll blow the salad bowl apart with more than just lettuce and tomato. With true experimentation comes hope, and with hope, the ability to eat a full burger without removing the extra bits. I wish my fellow noble explorers well.
cheese toasties plain ham sandwiches spaghetti bolognaise without mushrooms tuna pasta bake, with crisps on top fishfingers chips with gravy I made friends with some middle class people when I moved – a sort of outreach programme: don’t thank me, just knowing I’d made a difference was a reward in itself – and they informed me that I was a fussy eater. I denied it, astounded, but as I tried to explain to my housemate that I didn’t really like eggs, or potatoes that weren’t chips, and saw his brow crumple in confusion, it dawned on me that he may have a point. At 18, I decided I should probably start being a bit more adventurous. Much later this would be called ‘developing a palette’, but at the time, MasterChef was still presented by Lloyd Grossman and a bit shit. So began a slow, painful battle to start liking most things. At the time I definitely knew I didn’t like the following: eggs potatoes that weren’t chips mustard mayonnaise salad cream condiments that weren’t ketchup tomatoes cucumber herbs celery red meat chilli fish stew anything to do with vinegar
Illustration by Sonya Dissin
you know you’re a grown up when... A litmus test of adulthood by Morwenna Ferrier
You eat dinner in the kitchen. Primarily because, as a homeowner, you’re continually Knocking Through. But also because, since Knocking Through, you no longer have a dining room.
You eat breakfast. People who don’t are people who tend to eat lunch by 11am, and are therefore children on coach trips.
You have eaten both the nose and the tail.
Your favourite thing about living in the city is… …the proliferation of urban bees.
You once bought the lasagne sandwich from Tesco. IT WAS A FUCKING DARE FUCK OFF.
You unwrap packaging at the supermarket to make a point about packaging. Twat.
You know that Berocca is not a food supplement.
You think the phrase ‘every rainbow’ refers to nutritional labelling.
You base your holidays on the food. There is a very real reason that Croatia never quite took off.
You think that £6 is a perfectly reasonable amount of money to spend on bread.
Your kitchen drawer is full of tools. Tweezers for plating, Microplanes for grating, blowtorches for when you’re reading Simon Hopkinson and Linsdey Bareham’s The Prawn Cocktail Years. When using, you do that cool noise Tim Allen makes at the end of the Home Improvement theme tune.
You keep meals in the deep freeze. Ergo, you own a ‘deep freeze’. You’re familiar with the concept of bhan mi.
Salad isn’t ‘salad’… It’s ‘leaves’.
You were secretly pleased when you learned of Eva Rausing’s death. You hate Tetra Pak.
You campaigned to bring back the Wispa. You’re that old.
You know precisely how Mr Colman made his millions.
You know how to pronounce macchiato. It’s: ‘flat white’.
You check the bill. It has happened. You’re capable of going Dutch without fuss. You also buy chips ‘for the table.’
You don’t actually like balsamic vinegar. You only eat cereal when it’s written in lower case. See: dorset cereals, rude health and so on.
You get IBS.
Illustration by Sonya Dissin
natural symmetry Patternity find inspiration everywhere, from the mundane to magnificent. Even cabbage leaves.
he process of looking up, down, around and beyond and noticing the patterns that surround us help us gain perspective and remember our place in the now,’ says art director Anna Murray, who, along with textiles designer Grace Winteringham, runs Patternity, the awardwinning creative organisation specialising in the exploration and application of pattern. ‘Pattern unifies us. Peering at the everyday shopping basket with a fresh set of eyes, we can see curling
cabbage rivers and folded, leafy waves.’ Here, beginning a regular collaboration with WOLF, they find symmetry in the folds and furrows of a cabbage leaf with the terrain of the Himalayas, while fat marbling in a juicy steak mirrors the tributaries that run off The Ganges Delta. May you never look at your groceries in the same way again. Still life photography Neil Watson, The Himalayas by Patternity, The Ganges Delta via Google Earth.
black lips The messy beginning of Rose Blakeâ€™s lifelong love affair with food
life of pie Few things grow into something more magnificent than the sum of their parts like a pie. Here's Fergus Henderson on one of his favourite things.
ies are all about the mystery that lurks beneath the crust, the fondling that’s happening under the duvet. The ingredients of any pie, when laid out in front of you, can look terribly humble but, after some time together, they become a regal thing. A major contributing factor to my love of pies is pastry. I love the stuff. Shortcrust and puff, which happen to be the predominate choices in the pie arena, are favourites. When the fillings of a pie are mixing with gravy under a thick slab of pastry that is crispy in some parts and soggy in others, it just feels right, that everything is working together. Everything is one place. It’s a specific pie feeling. By definition, if you want to get fiddly about these things, a pie should have pastry all the way around the filling. When dealing with meat and pastry, though, it’s difficult to achieve a perfect crust all the way around – meat is juicy, pastry is absorbent, so it requires a real deft touch. I would never bother. A top crust is enough for me. Also, the idea of a completely contained, airtight pastry disc makes me think of Fray Bentos tinned pies. They are technically proper pies, sure, but I’m not a fan myself. Another thing I’ve never been enamoured with, paradoxically, is the pie and mash shop. In theory there’s nothing not to love – the stark simplicity is a beautiful thing, and I love the working class tradition of it. I even quite like the liquor. It’s just that, even for me, a plate of heavy, suet crust pie and mashed potatoes tends to leave one feeling rather uncomfortable. The definition of pie is a funny old thing, and the translation of the term is a bit of a mystery to me. It’s very broad. There are plenty of potatotopped pies, like Shepherd’s and fish, that are hard not to love, but are they really pies? Also, if being totally encased in pastry is the definition, then you have to look at things like the pasty, but you would be on thin ice if you started calling a Cornish pasty a Cornish pie. It’d be like saying an elephant and a horse are the same thing because they both have four legs. But why is a lemon meringue pie a pie? Or banoffee? Key lime? Such things – not a great deal more than an over-sweet cheesecake – are not for me. Americans make brazen pies. Us Brits can be pretty brazen too, though. I quite like the brazenness of something like the custard tarts, which, you could say, is a topless pie. I rather like the sound of that. It’s hard to pick a favourite pie but, if pushed, I’d say game bird and trotter. You get all your trotter gear prepared and cooked, from which you get the stickiest, most delicious stock to braise the birds in. All that underneath a pastry lid? Unbeatable. Eel pies are also good, and I’m a firm fan of a pork pies. People can be a bit funny about them because of the aspic jelly, but for me there’s nothing more exciting than biting into that thick water pastry and not knowing whether you’ll get a mouthful of meat, jelly or just pastry. You slightly lose navigation. Someone came into the restaurant once with a genuine pie phobia. I found it fascinating, and suspect it taps into a fear of the unknown, what lies beneath.
There’s a lovely bit of lost-in-translation-ness with the word pie in my family. My brother in law is Scottish, where the term is used colloquially as another word for fanny. It’s a bit oo-er missus. I like that. Pike Pie The size of your pike might influence your pie size. -I always believed there was a huge pike living in Hampstead Ponds that would pull you under and, once you had stopped struggling, would feast upon you. Not a great introduction to pike, mythical, or not, but I’m glad to say my pike awareness has come on in leaps and bounds, culminating in Pike Pie. 1 pike (ask your fishmonger – they’ll be able to get you one) 8 leeks, sliced lengthways in half, then cut across at 1cm intervals 2 large knobs of butter a handful of plain flour 1-2 glasses of white wine puff pastry 1 egg, lightly beaten sea salt and black pepper Court-Bouillon a healthy splash of white wine a splash of vinegar 2 carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 onion, peeled and chopped 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped a few peppercorns a bay leaf a few parsley stalks Find a pan large enough to hold your pike and fill it with water. Add all the court-bouillon ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the pike and poach gently until it comes easily from the bones. Remove the pike from the court-bouillon, which is now delicious fish stock. Remove the bones and skin from the flesh. Sweat the chopped leeks in a knob of butter until soft, then mix with the pike flesh and use to fill an appropriate-sized pike dish. You are looking for a good showing of leeks. Now, follow the steps of a simple white sauce except, once the flour and butter mixture smells biscuity, add white wine instead of milk. From there on in, add our delicious fish stock until the word silky springs to mind. Check for seasoning and pour this sauce over the pike and leeks. Roll out your puff pastry and use to cover the pie. Brush with the beaten egg and make a small hole in the centre of the pastry. Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until well browned. A magnificent pie.
eating in the dark There is something about reporting on the worst of human behaviour that destroys any desire for refined dining. From borscht to basil sorbet, Mark Townsend, Home Affairs Editor of The Observer, shares a grisly food diary.
s a rule I crave spice when out on a job, the more grisly the murder, the more spiteful the violence, the hotter the dish. Maybe it’s a need to cauterise the soul, perhaps the jolt from a chilli rush is a reminder that there is life before death. Covering crime is for people who don’t require complex gastronomy. The worst brutality, the most inexplicable acts of hate, tend to occur in places where food is only eaten, never savoured. Maybe the two are linked. Gangland killings Liverpool, England Numerous visits A city with a knack for organised crime, I usually end up in a curry place close to Lime St, whose name I can never remember. The food is ferociously spiced but equally its interior is so dark you have no clue what rests beneath the ghee. Often my schedule in Liverpool entails journeying to the outlying estates and over time I have developed the feeling of being followed in the city – some of its principal cocaine dealers send postcards to my office explaining I am being watched. So, I eat the hottest madras I can find in the darkest corner possible. People smuggling Southern Romania February 2011 There were no vegetables, which normally suits me fine. But day after day of greasy chicken and home-brew had left me craving peas, or an apple. After more than 80 hours we finally left the family farm whose daughter had been smuggled into Britain and journeyed to Alexandria, one of the most prolific trafficking centres in the world. Even there I could find no fruit or veg, only a stall selling mititei – ground meat rolls – served with mustard and bread rolls which I was told to eat in the car because it was too unsafe. Anders Breivik massacre Oslo, Norway July 2011 Smoked salmon and dried codfish were never going to cut it in the wake of Breivik’s bomb and shootings that killed 76 people. Oslo felt traumatised and I found myself asking its grieving residents for the most outlandish curry in town. It was sited in the multicultural quarter of Gronland where Oslo’s Somalian community ordered plates smothered with green chilli and slabs of fried garlic. It was BYO and with every passing night, it seemed to get busier with regulars swopping the latest on the fallout of the fascist attack. In August 2012 I returned to cover the sentencing of Breivik and with Oslo seeming less shocked, I felt sufficiently calm to chance something more delicate. For five nights I sat at the same table and ordered murgh masala and a chapati at the Jaipur tandoor off Karl Johans Gate.
Sex trafficking Odessa, Ukraine July 2011 I was undercover, masquerading as a human trafficker looking to buy girls for export to the UK. It was important I looked comfortable in my surroundings: it was important I ate like a local. I began with borscht but I find dill too fey and can’t stomach beets. Ukraine’s cabbage rolls left me cold while varenyky, dumplings stuffed with potato and cheese, induced mild self-loathing. But the worst was pyrizhky: small potato filled buns baked in thick cream and dill that made me wonder who I had become. By day four, the pretence was over. I started frequenting a dull pizzeria and ordering dinner with chilli oil at 5pm, claiming to have indigestion when later meeting the men who sell girls for exploitation.
Two female police officers shot dead Hattersley Estate, Manchester September 2012 Chips and gravy. Probably the most enjoyed meal this year despite a clear lack of ooomph. The chippy was located at the far end of the shopping concrete on Hattersely’s notorious estate. A group of hoodies blocked the doorway and the staff inside were unusually sullen, none of which mattered. The trick, as always, is to dilute the gravy with vinegar, roughly one part to five, and eat on the move. Outside it was chucking it down, the plastic tray soon swimming with rainwater, distilling the mix of gravy to vinegar to a blend so perfect Blumenthal would struggle to replicate it. As night fell and the police cars wailed in the distance and the packs of youths shuffled in the shadows, I felt fortified and safe.
Missing teenager Croydon, Brighton Road September 2011 Croydon is not the sort of place you want to sit down and eat in, particularly when you’re visiting brothels trying to locate a trafficked youngster. Probably the best find was a fried chicken gaff on the busy Brighton Road, a couple of quid for mechanically recovered poultry and re-heated chips. The most incredible aspect was that you had to queue every time.
Murder of five-year-old April Jones Machynlleth, Powys October 2012 My newspaper had booked me into a deserted renovated castle high above the estuary where April’s body was likely to have been washed out to sea. I was the only guest and as the rain swept in I dreamt of the nearest curry house, eight miles away. But the landlady persuaded me to stay, promising she would cook ‘Mediterranean with a twist’. Peering through the gloom at my roasted peppers with basil sorbet on a broken biscuit base, I wept silently.
Far-right rally Aarhus, North Denmark March 2012 It was snowing and the streets were plagued with neo-Nazi types getting lairy, but I chose not to eat during the day. I never do in Denmark. Lunch means smørrebrød, rye bread sandwiches. I find rye bread hateful; its density, its holier-than-thou tastelessness, the fact it is sold with liver paste or a hard-boiled egg or pickled herring, stuff I resent. People tell me there is a New Nordic Cuisine trend doing the rounds, but I say to them ‘sour cream-based sauces.’ Okay, it has The Killing but it also has the benign food of a land with no real unrelenting crime wave. In Aarhus I could find no Vietnamese, no Indian, no Turkish and settled for the default pizza. Murder of teenager Tia Sharpe New Addington estate, Croydon August 2012 Covering crime you soon become accustomed to navigating sprawling estates looking for anywhere to eat. Sometimes you daren’t ask directions because the person might kick your head in and sometimes you simply cannot find anywhere to eat. When I enter an estate like New Addington I always carry a bag of nuts just in case. As a bonus, you can feed the ‘status dogs’ – staffs – who would rather eat your hand.
Illustration by Margot Bowman
it’s ghana be big African food is beginning to have a moment. What’s taken it so long?
t’s surprising; given how much fervor we have for African music and fashion, African food has taken its time becoming a ‘thing’. We all know Moroccan food, don’t we? And unlike the flavours of the Middle East, that, thanks in no small part to that Yotam Ottolenghi, have found their way into kitchens across the country, many areas of African food have yet to make the leap into the mainstream. Yes, you might be familiar with a certain South African chicken chain that probably has a branch within a mile of your house, but we’re talking the serious, complex, gutsy flavours from places like Ghana, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Senegal here. As those already familiar will attest, there is a whole new plain of spicing to be discovered. African restaurants can be found in plenty enclaves of London and cities across the country but, unlike other immigrant cuisines, getting a wider bite for the food has taken a while. Now, a new wave of entrepreneurs, tired of seeing their food confined to culinary ghettos, are making their move. Finally, African food is a growing trend in London and beyond, and small businesses are taking the arterial route to intrepid foodies: in the markets. If you’re a regular at any of London’s trendy food markets, you’ll have noticed that African food businesses have been popping up all over the place over the past couple of years. Some, like Broadway Market’s fantastic Ghanaian stall Jollof Pot – who also have a café in Covent Garden’s Africa Centre – are now running very successful catering companies. Elsewhere, there’s Nochia Nigerian Food on Chatsworth Road market – they’ve been pioneers of West African street food since 2001, but only a part of Chatsworth Road market since October 2011 – and the smells from dishes like jollof rice (best described as a West African paella), goat stew, plantains, bean stew and bean cakes invade your sinuses from a mile off. As do those of the heady, bubbling stews of Spinach and Agushi, the super popular Ghanaian street food stall at Portabello Road, Exmouth and Broadway markets. Then there’s Bim’s Kitchen, the ever-expanding business of north Londoner James Bim (who’s from Nigeria) and his wife Nicola Adedeji. They started promoting their range of sauces, marinades and chutneys on the London food market scene, and their products – which turn exotic and unusual African spices and ingredients like baobab fruit, alligator pepper, cubeb, chilli and melon seeds into fantastic condiments – are now stocked in hundreds of delis across the UK. Unsurprisingly, the Peri Peri blends are a big seller, but the wider success of Bim’s Kitchen illustrates a growing appetite for African spicing. Of course, spice is the backbone of African food and it’s one of the most diverse cuisines on the planet. With influences from so many other countries – Asian, Indian, English, French, The Mediterranean – the phrase ‘melting pot’ does its job here. African spices are often mixed, such as the Berbere blend which is a combination of chilli, chives, tarragon, coriander, cardamom, garlic and fenugreek. Fenugreek features heavily across the continent; it’s bittersweet flavour lending itself well to slow-cooked stews. Then of
course, there’s chilli. If you asked most African street food stallholders they’ll probably tell you they’ve toned things down a little for Western palates. Most countries in Africa, like all places where the temperature is always high, have a palate for gum-blistering amounts of chilli. It makes sense. Most stalls, though, will have a little bottle of the really dangerous stuff on the side, for those who dare. While we might be a way off from finding kelewele (a popular Ghanaian snack of fried spicy plantains) in the aisles of Sainsbury’s, African food continues to grow in popularity. It will be interesting to watch its development. After all, in London during the 60s, English people were sniffy about Indian food. ‘Then, we all thought it tasted and smelled funny,’ says Hackney resident David Adebayo, who came here from Nigeria in ‘61 to give himself ‘more options, a better chance at making something of myself.’ ‘We all live together now, though,’ he continues. ‘And people are more curious and open to trying new things. Our food is tasty! People just need to get to know it.’ As part of an ongoing series of projects, Diesel are hosting a pop-up Ghanaian restaurant on London’s Regent Street, The Chop Bar, with Zoe from the hugely popular Hackney Wick pop-up, Ghana Kitchen (@GhanaKitchen). Chop Bars, a bit like the taco stands you find in Mexico, can be found all over Ghana selling quick, inexpensive hot meals and snacks such as Fufu, a food made from cassava and plantain pounded to a pulp in a pestle and mortar. It’s usually served with a soup known as ‘light soup’, made from vegetables and goat meat, ‘groundnut soup’ made from peanuts, or ‘palm soup’ made from the fruit of the palm tree. Another soon-to-be-announced Diesel project features talents of wide-ranging disciplines from all over Africa, and it just so happens that they all are wild about food. We spoke to a couple of them.
y Alassane is a 24-year-old actor and model who was born in Mauritania, West Africa, to Senegalese-Mauritanian parents. When he was a little boy there was genocide against Senegalise migrants that meant his entire family, except his father, was deported by the UN to Senegal. In 2001 he moved to France and soon after travelled to America to study English. On his way to school one day, he was discovered by photographer Albert Watson who took an interest in Sy’s distinct look. He was then signed to a major model agency, and has since modeled across the world for brands like Benetton, Philip Lim and Sony. All the while he’s been pursuing his main love, acting, and got his major break as the lead character in Restless City (Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) in 2011. hat food memories do you have from W when you were younger? I was spoiled by my grandmother, Khardiata Diaw, during those years. She had a few special dishes. She knew I loved milk, or any derivative of it, and used to make a delicious Senegalese dish for me called Lakh [think of it as the Senegalese version of Swiss muesli], which is made from wheat such as millet mixed with fresh cow’s milk so it becomes like a thick yoghurt.
You must travel a lot with your work, eating in all sorts of places. Yes, and now I’m grown up I am very easygoing with food. I never have any particular requests and will eat anything. What is your favourite Senegalese dish? Definitely thieboudienne, a traditional dish made from rice, fish and a rich, spicy tomato sauce with onions, carrots, cabbage, cassava and peanut oil. I also love Yassa, a popular, spicy West African chicken dish cooked with lots of onions and lemon juice. our brother owns a restaurant in France, Y is that right? Yes, we own it together. It’s in the north of France in a place called Amiens, just over 100 miles from Paris. He’s more involved than I am – I just help him when I’m around. I love food, but don’t have the passion for cooking that he does. I know how to present it, though. Serving food is a big passion for me and I have always worked in restaurants, both across Europe and in America. I ended up opening a small caférestaurant in Senegal in 2010, actually. an you pass on a nice recipe from your C restaurant in France? Yes, here’s one for a typical Senegalese fish and rice dish. Bon appétit! Serves 4 1kg lean fish such as hake tbsp of tomato paste 100g dried fish (see what you can find in your local market) peanut oil 1 green pepper 3 small red chillies 1kg rice 200g carrots 200g sweet potatoes 200g turnips 200g aubergine 1 small cabbage 3 onions parsley Cut the fish into chunks and, in each piece, make two holes. Prepare a stuffing by pounding together one onion, a bunch of parsley and one chilli with some salt in a pestle and mortar. Fill the holes you have made in the fish with this mixture. Fry the fish pieces in peanut oil and, once browned, remove from pan and rest on some kitchen paper. Add the remaining onions, chopped, to the saucepan and colour them. Add the tomato paste – dissolved in a little water – and bring to a fast boil. Add the vegetables – peeled, and either left whole or chopped, depending on their size – and the dried fish pieces. Cover everything with water, season with salt and pepper, and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add your browned fish back into
the pan, and simmer for a further 30 minutes. 40 minutes before the end of cooking, add the rice.
aurence Chauvin-Buthaud is the Parisianbased fashion designer behind menswear fashion label Laurenceairline. Her designs speak of myriad influences, from graphic African prints to Scottish plaids and Japanese polka dots. She has a knack for applying a sleek, sophisticated construction to beautiful African textiles, and avoids the ‘tribal’ clichés so often associated with African fashion. Instead, Laurenceairline – who are stocked across the world – likes to re-imagine Africa’s cultural inheritance in a modern, international way. Chauvin-Buthaud often works from a workshop on the Ivory Coast, where she was born, and teaches local employers couture sewing techniques. The profits from her collections are invested back into the company, to continue building stable learning centres, teaching fashion skills to help encourage future businesses. aurence, although you were born in L Africa, you spent much of your childhood in Switzerland before you moved to Paris. What kind of food did you eat? Well, when I was growing up in Switzerland my mom cooked both African and European food. I have very fond memories of her cassava and plantain fritters. hat do you eat when you’re on the Ivory W Coast at your workshop? When I’m working on collections, I like to eat steamed tropical vegetables. I’m particularly fond of steamed sweet potatoes along with a traditional dish from the Ivory Coast, Garba, which consists of fried tuna with cassava semolina. ou love to cook, right? What’s your Y favourite thing to make? I love it, but I don’t have a particular dish I love to make. I prefer to invent new recipes. Cooking for me is very creative, similar to the process of working on fashion collections; I mix colours, tastes and textures to create something surprising and tasty. hat are the typical staples of Ivorian W cuisine? ‘Sauce graine’, a red sauce made from palm seeds, is a very typical Ivorian staple, and famous across all of West Africa. There’s also ‘sauce arachide’ which is basically a peanut purée. Then there’s the plantain, which is like an Ivorian celebrity: it’s everywhere! It can be cooked so many different ways, too. Do you have a recipe you can share? Yes, it’s a very simple dish, barely even a recipe. It’s for my mom’s plantain fritters, which are almost like donuts. You make a mix of 50% grated cassava and 50% very ripe plantain, roll them into balls and then fry them in hot oil. That’s it! They’re a great accompaniment to spicy dishes.
rules for eating at home by Eva Wiseman
A table is not properly set without a bottle of ketchup. Anything can be spread on toast if you use a wide enough knife. If in doubt when preparing a meal, think of Cher’s character in Mermaids – a mother who dealt exclusively in the bite-sized. Reggae Reggae Sauce is the key ingredient for an authentic Bolognese. Match your food to the programme you’re watching: Poirot – sardine sandwich. Luther – massive, massive bloody steak. Eating cereal for dinner is a political act. Recipes are for nerds. Tables are for perverts. You will never be more satisfied than the moment your fork plunges into a bowl of pasta, ketchup and grated Cheddar (mature). Cherish this. Wine is just Ribena for people wanting to make a point. Every dessert dreams of being Nutella. TV is the perfect amuse bouche. Buy bigger mugs. Romantic dinner for two: Marmite, toast, bar of Whole Nut. Take pride in your perfect cheese on toast. Take pride in tea the colour of a well-tanned arm. Take pride in tuna mayo mixed in exactly the right quantities. Take pride in the meals you eat alone, in slipper socks, in front of Sky Living, while the sun shines aggressively outside, attempting to shame you into leaving the house. Take pride in using a single pan to cook and eat from. Take pride in accurately spread peanut butter. Salad is pretentious.
Illustration by Kate Merry
a quiet shame Growing up, whatever we unwrap to eat during school lunchbreak can be a constant source of derision. But what it can teach us about how to handle shame, says Nell Frizzell, is invaluable.
f, as Freud suggests, we use our handbags as symbolic vaginas and, as tabloid subeditors suggest, we use our lunchboxes likewise, then I can tell you now; my primary and middle school vagina was a source of constant shame. While the other girls had nice, tidy, white bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off (all neat, a little bit of pink cosied between two unthreatening triangles of fluffy whiteness) my lunchtime offerings were an insane, unwieldy, often highly fragrant collection of wholemeal bread, loose sunflower seeds, great lumps of cheese, grated carrot, brinjal pickle and – oh, suffer the little children – bits of cereal because we didn’t have any real biscuits at home. There is a shame, not unlike the shame of being fat and bra-less in the PE changing room at school or of being picked up from your first proper party by a bicycle-riding father holding a cushion so you can sit on his cross bar, about lunchboxes. Like daily envoys from home, bringing your reallife kitchen slap bang into the middle of school, they were an all-to-revealing glimpse of family life. You cannot lie with a lunchbox. Cheese and brinjal pickle was a reminder that, yes, my house smelled of curry. Sunflower seeds and loose raisins just proved what everyone else suspected; that my two good-looking hippie parents were worried about their fat little daughter. The occasionally empty lunchboxes? That working full time and having kids can be tricky. Of course, what was in your lunchbox was only half the battle. In fact, it was one that most of us got over by actually eating, on our hard school benches, with coats draped over the offending lunch boxes like breastfeeding shawls. Or keeping our lunchboxes secreted in our rucksacks and posting unseen mouthfuls of food up to our faces, without anyone actually seeing from whence it came. Sadly, even this couldn’t save one of my friends, whose mother had died some years earlier and whose father was clearly struggling to cope, when he came to school with nothing but a tin of cold curry, a tin opener and a spoon for his lunch. Even now I cannot imagine a more painful and obvious sign that the boy was in need of help and affection. So, of course, we laughed at him. And we laughed at him again, weeks later, when he produced a box of Rice Krispies, two pints of milk, a spoon and a bowl from his schoolbag for lunch. Not because we thought it was funny that his dad couldn’t manage to make his son a packed lunch. Not because we wanted to upset him. Not even because we were mean. But because we were so flooded with relief that, today at least, our lunchbox wasn’t the object of derision. Back in primary school we still had to stack our lunchboxes up on great big wooden racks outside the dinner hall – presumably to stop us from eating our lunches at 11.30am, as I do these days. There it would be, naked, for everyone to see.
My first lunchbox was a giant pink teddy bear that split open from the top of his head, autopsy-style. The strange shape meant, of course, that my sandwiches would roll around, that my carton of Um Bongo (its very presence was a battle ground – my ecologically-aware father begged me to decant cartons of juice into a reusable bottle, the bastard) would bodyslam any soft fruit into an ungodly mess and, quite often, a tsunami of raisins or seeds or nuts would simply pour out all over my lap upon opening. Now, let us fast-forward to middle school. I am possibly the most awkward 13-year-old since Edward VI, I have a plain blue square lunchbox that I have covered in stickers and, today, I have forgotten my lunch. My teacher puts a call in to home where, for a change, my dad is catching up on some paperwork. ‘No worries,’ says my father. ‘I’ll drop it in on my way back on-site.’ An hour later, halfway through a maths lesson with the dreaded (and almost certainly perverted) Mr Ford, the school secretary walks in to the classroom brandishing triumphantly my huge, primary school, pink teddy bear. ‘Don’t worry Nell, your dad just dropped this in.’ It was the only time in my life where I have been temporarily blinded by humiliation. The next and final lunchbox of my school career was a pink and white Spice Girls box that I bought ironically. Oh yes. Ironically. When Take That split up and Jenny had to take the day off in mourning (presumably to ritually burn her collection of 8,000 padded Take That alice bands) we laughed, cruelly. When the gym class did a routine to Wind Beneath My Wings, I snorted like a pig throughout. When Megan told the class that she was doing a dance routine to Steps’ Tragedy I called her Robin Gibb for the rest of term. I was a prick. Eventually, even my ironic love affair with The Spice Girls died and the lunchbox joined the great Tupperware mountain beneath my parents’ kitchen sink. I, as nigh-on adult, took to bringing my lunch in small clear plastic containers. Or even just a loose sandwich, wrapped in cling film. Not my father, however. My father, the builder. The man who re-roofed houses in green denim cut-offs listening to Thomas Mapfumo and the Bundu Boys. My father who used a circular saw in bare feet and listened to Woman’s Hour as he plastered, took to carrying his sandwiches to work in my old Spice Girls lunchbox. As he as the rest of the lads broke for lunch, sitting around drinking chipped mugs of sweet tea, reading the paper and smoking roll-ups, my dad would pull out cheese and brinjal pickle wholemeal sandwiches, sunflower seeds, apples and lumps of cereal, out of his new Spice Girls lunchbox. Whether he was blissfully unaware, intentionally controversial or just a genuine fan of Wannabe, I’m still not sure. But if your parents can teach you one thing, then surely it is shame. And how to live with it.
Illustration by Sonya Dissin
Specimens, by Emily Robertson
it’s all going off An emerging sector of chefs are utilising microbes in their kitchens, making age-old fermentation processes relevant again. We try and get to the bottom of why they’ve all gone mould mad. By Eleanor Morgan
oll the word ‘fermented’ around your mouth. loudest voices in the conversation about how we Development at Noma – a cool guy; tall, bearded, What do you think of? That bottle of red eat in the 21st century. It should, then, come as no with slicked-back hair and concentric rings relegated to cooking that’s been sitting on your surprise that the kitchen whose back-to-nature tattooed up his arms – tries to be succinct in kitchen worktop a little too long and is starting philosophy has percolated through the food his explanation of the restaurant’s utilisation to taste a bit Sarsons-y? The heavy, hoppy yeast world more than any other has in recent times of microbes or, in his words, ‘the creation of cloud belching its way out of your home-brewer has a whole lab, The Nordic Food Lab, which lives microbial terroir.’ It is, essentially, about seeing neighbour’s garage? Your increasingly fruity on a boat in the harbour opposite the restaurant, mould as another kitchen tool. ‘It’s about having compost heap? naturally – dedicated to ‘biology.’ the chance to understand our craft on a cellular Despite the fermentation process being the I went to Noma to interview Redzepi in April level,’ he says. ‘We seek to educate ourselves backbone of most of the stuff we snaffle on a daily last year for GQ and his enthusiasm for the lab’s and other chefs around the world about this new basis, the term can be a bit misunderstood. If you ‘pursuit of deliciousness’ was infectious. He array of tools we have at our disposal; that is, if opened your fridge and the small cognitive leap is cupboards now, you’d made to consider bacteria, probably find at least a few yeast of mould as merely of the following: bread, another utensil, such as cheese, yoghurt, cured a pan, oven or pacojet, meat, cured olives, vinegar we avail ourselves to an (count any vinegar-based array of new flavours and salad dressing, too), soy techniques, the generation sauce, coffee, chocolate, of innovative flavours.’ beer, wine, pickles. As you It might sound esoteric can see, it would be hard – read: pretty bloody geeky to get through the day – but if pursuing flavour is without eating something what you’ve chosen to do fermented. with your life, why wouldn’t What exactly is a you be interested? For Ben fermented food? Sandor Reade, Head of Culinary Ellis Katz, author of The Research and Development Art of Fermentation, and at Nordic Food Lab, working whom the New York Times in kitchens since the age of describes as ‘becoming for 15 lead to a ‘keen interest fermentation what Timothy in biology’ and a recently Leary was for psychedelic completed extra-curricular drugs: a charismatic, Above: fermenting things in Nordic Food Lab, image by Claes Bech Poulsen. Below: meju image by Ben Reade degree in Gastronomic consciousness-raising Sciences. You can see why, thinker and advocate who wants people to see was almost hopping from foot to foot. if you’ve worked in a restaurant so preoccupied with the world in a new way’, describes a fermented The same childlike enthusiasm was obvious nature as Noma is, that might happen. For Reade, food as ‘one whose taste and texture have been when head chef Matt Orlando served a spring ‘the complex interactions between man, plant and transformed by the introduction of beneficial dish of new season peas with ‘peaso’ (pictured microbe’ is ‘truly fascinating.’ bacteria or fungi.’ As he says in the book, most food overleaf ), a ferment of peas in the style of miso If you look at the lab’s research blog, you’ll see and beverage fermentation processes are ancient developed in the lab. ‘I’m seriously excited about their projects have included ‘reverse engineering rituals that humans have been performing since this one,’ he grinned. The taste of the peaso was meju’ (pictured) – a traditional Korean fermented before the dawn of history, yet ‘we soy bean cake which is dried for about have largely relegated them to factory six weeks while moulds and bacteria production.’ break the structure down; submarine Not anymore. The processes may kraut – sauerkraut fermented be archaic, but some of the finest underwater; conserva cruda, a type of chefs in the world are going mad for raw tomato paste preserved through microbes. For them, fermentation is moulding instead of cooking (the a new flavour frontier. ‘Every living recipe for which was actually taken creature on the planet interacts from Katz’ book); bee larvae granola. intimately with its environment Now, the lab is not suggesting via its food,’ says Katz. ‘Humans you go and feverishly loot the in our developed technological nearest beehive. No. While creating society, however, have largely cornerstones for a new kind of severed this connection.’ The idea cuisine, they’re trying to create of re-establishing a connection with broader building blocks of knowledge, natural processes is, along with ‘Much of what we do is picked up on creating new flavour compounds, the restaurant scene, by Noma and a big part of this new movement. others’ he says, ‘and we try and share So who’s partying with our findings with as many people organisms in their kitchen? Magnus Nilsson is extraordinary; very sweet from the peas, with a as possible. There’s nothing exclusive about it?’ a big advocate of fermenting and preserving at buttery mouthfeel and, on swallowing, intensely And it’s not just a cheffy thing. Reade says we Faviken, where the remote Swedish location and savoury. Like regular miso – traditionally made should all be thinking about experimenting with the often-harsh surroundings of his restaurant by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans with fermentation in our homes. ‘It [fermentation] is rely on preserving processes to make ingredients salt and the fungus koji – with vivid greenness. being recognised in all areas of food as a massive last. Noma is, of course, a trailblazer, too. In It was an entirely new flavour for me, which, I area of development in the near future, even for the eight years since Rene Redzepi opened his imagine, is the point. home cooks.’ Aside from simple ferments like Copenhagen restaurant, it has become one of the Lars Williams, Head of Research and bread, we should be thinking further afield. 17
Noma’s ‘peaso’ dish, image by Eleanor Morgan
‘More complex types of fermentation are a very rewarding experience, such as making beers and wines, vinegars, cheese, soy sauce. All these things can be made quite easily.’ He goes as far to say that the processes ‘should be taught in schools’ which seems quite far-out, but isn’t really. If it’s that easy – it really is, too; making vinegar is an absolute doddle – we’d learn to save so much money. On a recent trip to New York I tasted the best vinegar I’ve ever had when I visited the secret culinary lab of the prolific Momofuku chain. When Dan Felder, who heads up the lab for David Chang, turned the little knob on the oak barrel containing apple vinegar and dripped a little onto a spoon to try, a perfume of sour apple laces almost took my face off. I don’t really want to evangelise about vinegar, but it was something else. ‘It literally couldn’t be easier, either,’ he says. I make a mental note to buy an oak barrel when I get home. For Felder and for Chang, who, along with Redzepi, has pretty much set the modern agenda in the restaurant scene, the Momofuku food lab is centred on the idea of ‘creating umami from scratch.’ The little kitchen in a secret Lower East Side location is a cave of discovery. Every surface is packed with bottles and containers filled with ferments of various stages. Soy sauces alone take up a whole wall – there’s barley soy, fava soy, even olive pit soy – and it’s an important subject for Felder, previously of Momofuku’s famous set menu restaurant, Ko. ‘We use it every single day in the kitchens, but there’s not many cooks who could really explain the process. Similarly, when a diner reaches for it in a sushi bar, who has an idea of what goes into it?’ So, Felder – who recently made a trip to Noma with his assistant, Veronica Treviso, to teach them, as Redzepi Tweeted, ‘a thing or two about fermentation’
– and Chang like to work with the Momofuku cooks to understand what’s in it. And that’s the rub for a lot of the experimentation in the lab. Re-connecting with things. ‘People do a lot more local eating now, foraging and eating local ingredients,’ he says. ‘So what we do has a sense of growing something in a completely urban environment. We’re completely disassociated from the natural world, but utilising microbes means we can have a relationship with it. It’s not like planting something in rich soil, but it’s still a relationship with a natural process.’ Looking round, I spot a row of tubs containing a dangerous-looking, mulchy brown mess. ‘Fish sauce,’ says Felder. I’m not sure why, really, but I ask to smell it. ‘Don’t ask me to take those lids off,’ he sighs. OK. ‘Fish sauce is pretty much the only thing that freaks me out, in terms of what we do,’ he confesses. Looking at it, I’m not surprised. It looks like something you’d find at the bottom of a fetid swamp. He doesn’t ever worry about getting sick, though. ‘We control things so carefully, and know exactly what microbes are growing, so it’s not really a worry. A lot of anxiety about these things comes from a lack of understanding about what’s happening, but we have that here.’ Reade, when I tell him about Felder’s uneasiness with the fish sauce, calls him a wimp. ‘There’s nothing dodgy about fish sauce at all. I’m willing to push things and we are all working within a set of parameters, which keep us safe. When we’re living on the edge, we get in contact with people who can tell us what we need to know.’ Felder also stresses just how much work he and Chang have done with biologists and research labs to give them knowledge and confidence in what they’re doing. In terms of new products created in the Momofuku lab, for Felder, their nut misos are ‘a 18
high point’. He takes two little pots of both their pine nut and pistachio misos from the fridge. Again, not wanting to make the experience sound too biblical, but upon tasting it, well, I felt like I was Felder’s disciple. While the pine nut miso offered an intense, fatty creaminess, almost peanut butter-like, the pistachio miso was the knockout. With the texture of gelato, the flavour was one of the most memorable things I’ve put in my mouth; deeply savoury, but also sweet, vividly nutty and green, I envied those who would be sitting down to eat a bigger portion of it at Ko that evening. Incidentally, it’s served in a raw fish dish – the exact details escaped me at that moment. If Chang – who jokes that Felder ‘has the best job in the world’ – decided to market the nut misos as a commercial product, people would go bezerk. ‘We have talked about it,’ says Felder, ‘but it’s not something we’re too concerned with right now.’ On a wider scale, fermentation is becoming a new arm of creativity for chefs. Far gone are the days when kitchens baking their own bread for diners was a novelty. Now, the focus is on chefs pasteurising their own butters, making their own vinegars (in London, Ollie Dabbous’ own apple vinegar is almost worth going to Dabbous for alone) cheeses, yoghurts and curing their own meats. And for those who spend a lot of time in their kitchen at home anyway, we should be thinking about this stuff ourselves. Not only will we save shitloads of money and impress our friends, but also, at risk of sounding properly hippy, it will connect us to our food more. Your insides deserve it, too. The average person’s gut probably doesn’t get enough healthy bacteria and, as any person of sound mental health knows, Yakult is rank. As Katz so eloquently puts it, it’s about ‘taking responsibility for our shit, both literally and figuratively.’
Recipes for the colder months, making the most of whatâ€™s around
magnus nilsson 20-21
sue webster 22
nuno mendes 23
young turks 24
simon rogan 25
herbs, beets magnus nilsson A
t Faviken, a tiny restaurant on the eastern slope of Åreskutan in the remote north of Sweden, 28-year-old head chef Magnus Nilsson bridges a certain kind of Viking bloodlust with the sweet, organic simplicity of fresh and foraged ingredients. Nilsson will slaughter a geriatric cow and then dry it for nine months until, he says, ‘the pure flavour of meat becomes secondary to the aromas of controlled decay… rather like cheese’ or serve a thrush with its decapitated head neatly alongside, which manages to be entirely macabre and totally respectful at once. Faviken (Phaidon) is his first cookbook and, reading it, his obsessiveness is striking. One whole page explains the right way to peel a carrot, while another recipe calls for autumn leaves ‘harvested from last year.’ Then there’s ingredients like ‘turnip leaves that have never seen the light of day’. Because the food at Faviken is so of its place and solely dictated by what’s available in the surrounding environment at any one time, many of his recipes will, of course, be hard to reproduce. But it’s better to not think of them in that way. More, like colours of his Scandinavian Eden, where he shuffles around on skis with a rifle strapped to his back, ‘just in case a tasty bird crosses my path.’ These simple recipes offer just a little insight into the secrets of the talented man in the woods.
salt did not stay bright green, but faded first into military green and then, towards the end of spring, was almost brown in both appearance and flavour. After a while I realised that it was not bad at all, just a reflection of the natural circumstances surrounding us. We allow herbs such as lovage, oregano and sage to go through this natural transformation today. The ones that we want to keep very fresh and pure, such as fennel and lemon balm, we put in the freezer just after mixing them. Then every day we defrost a little, giving us the scent and colour of summer throughout the year. Suitable plant material for this technique could be: Oregano Thyme Lemon balm Sage Chives Tarragon Mint Fennel Currant leaves Garlic leaves Makes 1.5kg 1kg unwashed herbs, leaves only, picked on a dry and sunny day 1kg very good-quality sea salt, chilled Briefly process the herbs in a food processor, making sure that they do not heat up, as this causes them to lose their aroma. Combine the herbs with the salt and pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any unwanted plant fibres. Transfer the mixture to a vacuum-packed bag and freeze until needed, or store in an airtight jar, depending on the result that you want. rated red beets seasoned with raspberry G vinegar, raspberry ice and jelly yoghurt This is a beautiful winter dessert, making the most of earthy tones from a salad of beetroots prepared almost like a savoury garnish with vinegar and salt, then served with ice and jelly made from very fresh raspberries kept in the freezer since the summer and some very good, thick yoghurt. This can be from sheep’s or cow’s milk, depending on your preference, but I usually choose cow’s.
Herb Salt I love herbs and they are a big part of my cooking. However, in winter, when there are no fresh ones to be found and the mountains of Jåmtland are covered in snow, we mainly use dried herbs. To add diversity to our menu during these dark and cold months we started using salt to stop the enzymatic breakdown and decay of green plants, simply by mixing the two in equal parts and then passing them through a sieve, resulting in a moist, brightly coloured seasoned salt. The salt keeps well in an airtight container for about a month, but after that the colour and clarity of the primary aromas gradually deteriorates, a deterioration that actually echoes the passing of the year in quite a beautiful way, At first I was very annoyed by the fact that the
Serves six 1 gelatine leaf 100g unfrozen juice from raspberries* 1 large, top-quality beetroot a dash of raspberry vinegar birch- leaf oil, for seasoning 6 spoons good, thick yoghurt at room temperature 100g ice made from wild raspberries* Soak the gelatine leaf, melt it gently, then drain and add to the raspberry juice in another bowl. Allow it to dissolve, then place in the fridge to cool and set. Peel and grate the beetroot and season it with raspberry vinegar, birch-leaf oil and salt for a delicate savoury garnish. You need enough oil to 21
coat the beetroot and give a bit of acidity to give freshness without overpowering the flavour. Leave to marinate for about an hour. Spoon little piles of beetroot, yoghurt and raspberry jelly onto a plate, starting with the elements that are at room temperature, then finish with the ice. *Berry ice This is an extraordinary way of extracting pure flavour from fruit. It would be very uneconomical and wasteful, not to say irresponsible, to produce only this sorbet without also having a use for the huge amounts of pulp that the technique produces. One kilogram of fruit only yields about 50-70 grams of finished sorbet, but the pulp that is left over can be turned into an excellent jam, or used as it is with yoghurt for breakfast. To make the ice, we freeze perfectly ripe and soft berries, then defrost them quite rapidly, which destroyed the cell structure inside the fruit and releases a little liquid. This liquid is absolutely crystal clear, has very little texture of its own, and tastes of pure fruit. When refrozen, this essence turns into an ice with none of the annoying notes of pith or skin or another flavours you get when you strain fruit and mash it, and the texture of the sorbet turns out a lot lighter and finer. Makes 50-75g 1kg perfectly ripe, soft berries such as raspberries or redcurrants sugar, to taste (see method) Freeze the berries when they are at their very peak of maturity, with a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. Keep frozen until needed. Defrost at room temperature, placing the fruit in a strainer standing over a dish to catch the juice. When completely defrosted, remove the pulp, reserving it for another purpose, and keep only the liquid that has been extracted from the berries by gravity. Do not touch or stir the pulp, because this will force impurities into the liquid. Adjust the sweetness of the liquid is necessary; depending on the type of berries you are using the need for this will vary. A perfect raspberry usually will not need any sugar, but a redcurrant definitely will. Do not over-sweeten them – keep them quite fresh and tart. Freeze and process the sorbet in a Pacojet immediately before serving. Only make as much as you need for each occasion, otherwise you risk losing some of the freshness and tainting any remaining sorbet with the unmistakable flavour of the freezer.
venison, mushrooms nuno mendes T
For the nasturtium oil In a blender, start the nasturtium leaves on a high speed and add the oil until it spins. Spin on high until the mixture is hot and the emulsion breaks. Strain through muslin and set aside.
his recipe for venison loin with nasturtium and mushrooms is not for the faint of heart. But then, anyone who has eaten Nuno’s food at Viajante would expect nothing less. He doesn’t make a habit of sharing recipes, either. This dish demands a lot of effort but the result, a sort of molecular winter forest walk on a plate, tastes as impressive as it looks. You will need: A siphon gun, a food thermometer, muslin, nitrous oxide and a lot of nasturtiums – your best bet is your local garden centre. Flavour-wise, they’re similar to watercress.
For the crunchy nasturtium cake Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a food processor. Pass through chinoise . Put into siphon gun and charge with nitrous oxide. Poke a hole in the bottom of a paper cup and fill 1/3 with the mix. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Dehydrate cakes after they are set until crispy.
Serves 6 Venison 70g venison loin per serving
For the venison Sear the loin pieces, then cook at 50°C in oil for 20 minutes. Leave to rest for 4-5 minutes, then sear again and slice. Or, just cook to medium rare in a pan, but don’t forget to rest.
Venison sauce Make a strong jus that’s two parts chicken wing stock to one part venison stock. For every litre of jus, infuse with 300g darkly roasted barley and 100g black pepper. Strain. Keep aside and heat to serve.
For the mushrooms These need very little cooking. Sear the girolles for 5 seconds in olive oil in a very hot pan. Serve the Pied de Moutons raw.
Mushrooms Girolle mushrooms, cleaned and scraped then torn in half. Do not wash. Pied de Mouton mushrooms, cleaned and sliced.
Serve the venison in slices alongside pieces of the cake and with the mushrooms delicately scattered over. Cover with enough sauce to coat each mouthful, and finish with the nasturtium oil and the red nasturtium petals.
Crunchy nasturtium cake 15g plain flour 80g lactose powder 4 eggs 100g nasturtium purée 7g xanthan gum
FOOTNOTES 1. D arkly roasted barley: raw barley (available widely in health food shops and online) put on a tray in the oven at 180°C until brown. 2. P ied de Mouton, also known as the hedgehog mushroom. In season until February, should be easy enough to find at good markets. Or, available widely online. 3. L actose powder can be found in health food shops and, again, online. 4. For the nasturtium puree follow exactly the same method as the oil but use water instead. 5. X anthan gum is available in most big supermarkets. 6. If you don’t have a chinoise, use a fine sieve. 7. B oth the siphon gun and nitrous oxide can be procured online very easily. What you do with the rest of the gas is none of our business. 8. T o dehydrate the cakes, leave in a 60°C oven overnight.
Nasturtium oil 500g nasturtiums, raw Rapeseed oil, as needed
pears, fermentation young turks I
saac McHale and James Lowe tell us how the humble pear snuck in to be the unlikely hero of their weekly changing menus upstairs at The Ten Bells last winter and how, with careful over-ripening, it can be transformed into something amazing. Isaac I never used to get pears. Growing up, they were just not quite as good as an apple. In years since I have seen them poached, roasted, caramelised, poached in beurre noisette by Michel Bras and made into sorbets and soups, but it wasn’t until I bought some on the roadside in Croatia that they made sense. Sold to me from a table outside a woman’s garden, she had 20 tomatoes and 15 pears. That was it. Just the few things that were ready in her garden. The pears she had picked from her tree were warm from the sun and amazing, a world away from the underripe fruit we see in supermarkets and shops in the UK. It was the best pear I have ever eaten.
James We baked them anyway just to see what would happen and were very pleased with the result. As a puree it was a great accompaniment for a blood cake that was being served as a second course. At this stage, the pears had incredible flavours of honey, vanilla and tropical fruit, as well as the funky spritz from the ferment
Blood crackers, pear and lardo Serves 6 8 slices cured lardo, each cut into 3 pieces, 6 cm-ish long each (we use cuore di lardo from Salumificio Gombitelli, bought through Natoora, if we aren’t using our own homemade lardo) 1 pear, carefully ripened at cool room temperature over a week (we use Passe-Crassane, Williams and, as the season progresses, Barlett) For the crackers 100g rolled oats 300ml water 100ml fresh pig’s blood 30g butter ¼ tsp each of black pepper and mace, finely ground 5g salt Blend the rolled oats, dry, in a food processor until medium-to-finely ground. Put in a pot with the salt and water and slowly bring to the boil, whisking all the time. Cook out for five minutes on a low temperature, then stir in pig’s blood (ask your butcher!), butter and spices. Cook for a further five minutes, then spread on greaseproof paper on a tray and cook out in a 110 degree oven until crisp. Every five minutes, open the door to release the steam and dry them quicker. Once crisp, allow to cool and break into rough, four-by-five cm squares. Warm your ripe pear on a plate in the turned off oven, until the skin has turned dark. Cut thick wedges of pear and cut them into three or four chunks. Place a chunk on each cracker, drape over a slice of lardo and serve
James When serving something as simple as a large chunk of fruit it’s so important that it’s as good as it can be. The appearance is simple, but there is a lot of thought behind it. We started using the pears only after a period of careful ripening and storage, which later extended to accidental fermentation. We stored them with bananas which release ethylene, ‘triggering’ the pears to ripen. The first dish we used pears in was a salad with lardo, chicory and anchovy as a middle course in a fairly gamey menu that we were going to run. We decided to keep the pears in the plate warmer and serve a few wedges on each plate. The pears, after such careful ripening and being held at 50C, had been transformed; the fruit remained solid in shape but tahe skin turned brown and the interior into a warm, ester-rich and juicy mess. Isaac Pears continued to be a part of our following menus. The next week we made pig’s blood crackers as a snack, topped with a small piece of warm pear and lardo. They were also in a dessert, where they featured in a cake and as baked chunks, which we served with liquorice ice cream a couple of weeks later. We had built up quite a large amount of ripe fruit when we discovered a lost and overly ripe (fermenting!) box of pears.
Isaac and James are @youngturksfood I saac is about to open The Clove Club in Shoreditch in February, thecloveclub.com James is close to finding a site for his restaurant.
Shot by P.A. Jorgensen
rosehips, anise hyssop simon rogan R
1. For the rosehip syrup, combine the rosehips, orange peel, lemon juice, sugar and 375g/13oz water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes; remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside.
osehips have a really lovely flavour. I like using them because they scream of the countryside and are a great way of adding acidity to a dish. They are abundant at the moment and you can find them on roadsides all over the place, and they’re even better after a frost. They work well with tomatoes; at my restaurant, L’Enclume, we make a juice out of rosehips to dress them as it really lifts the flavour. Mascarpone adds a richness in this dish of poached pears, anise hyssop snow, sweet cheese ice cream and rosehip syrup.
2. For the anise hyssop snow, fill a large bowl with iced water and sit a smaller bowl inside. In a saucepan bring 300g/10½oz water to a boil, add the fructose and the anise hyssop and boil for five seconds. Take off the heat and pour into a food processor, blend until completely combined. Strain the mix through a fine sieve into the iced bowl. Transfer to a freezable container and freeze for 6 hours or until frozen solid.
Serves 8 For the rosehip syrup 500g rosehips 1 orange, peel only 1 lemon, juice only 125g sugar
3. For the sweet cheese ice cream, add all the ingredients to a pan (except the ice), blend with a hand blender to incorporate air and then heat to 90C/194F (use a kitchen thermometer for this). Push through a fine sieve into a bowl sat in ice and whisk continuously until cold. Once cool, pour into an ice cream machine and churn until set.
For the anise hyssop snow Iced water 20g fructose 80g anise hyssop, roughly chopped (available online, but very easy to grow. It has, unsurprisingly given the name, a strong anise taste)
4. For the hazelnut crisp, preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. In a pan over a medium heat, dissolve the glucose and caster sugar in 75g/2½oz water and heat to 160C/320F (use a kitchen thermometer for this). Mix in the chopped hazelnuts and pour onto a sheet of baking parchment, place another sheet of baking parchment on top and use a rolling pin to roll out the mix as thinly as possible. Leave to set. When the mix has fully hardened, chop it finely.
For the sweet cheese ice cream 300g milk 225 mascarpone 75g caster sugar 40g stabilizer (available online) 25 dextrose (available online) 7g glycerine (available from good health food shops or online)
5. Finely dice the bread and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
For the hazelnut crisp 25 glucose (available from good health food shops) 120g caster sugar 120g chopped hazelnuts 120g white bread 50g cornflour 80g icing sugar 40g butter 1 free range egg
6. Turn the oven up to 160C/325F/Gas 3. In a large bowl, combine the cornflour and icing sugar, then add the chopped hazelnut caramel and toasted bread. Stir in the melted butter and egg. Spread the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When the crisp is cool enough to handle break it into shards.
For the poached pears 4 Black Worcester pears (ideally), peeled, cored, halved 150g sugar
7. For the poached pears, slice the pears into 2-3 slices per half. Place the sugar with 250g/9oz water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, add the pears and poach until soft. 8. To serve, run a fork over the top of the frozen anise hyssop snow to create ‘snow flakes’. Place a few slices of the poached pear on each plate, spoon the rosehip syrup around them and add a scoop of the sweet cheese ice cream. Scatter over some of the hazelnut crisp and the anise hyssop snow. Finish with a few sprigs of anise hyssop.
how to butcher a chicken
1. The chicken you buy will come tied up with string. Cut this off and loosen up the legs. 2. Push the legs away from the body and, using a sharp knife, slice the thin skin below the breast. 3. Now flip the bird over and pull the legs gently upwards until you feel the joints pop. If you feel with your finger along the centre of the back you will feel where the meaty part of the leg ends and the spine begins. Slice along that line. The legs should come away from the body with little force. 4. Now flip the bird on it’s side and cut a slice along the ribs and below the wing joint. 5. The back and crown of the bird will now lift away, flipping like a note book, and you can gently separate any skin still connecting the two parts. 6. Now you have a crown and some spine and bits best suited for turning into stock. Put those parts aside and focus on the breast and wings. 7. Use your kitchen scissors to carefully snip the wingtips off. Put these aside with your other stock scraps. 8. The wing can be a tricky part to remove, but they are very tasty cooked separately from the breast. Take your sharp knife and slice around the joint. This requires finding the joint within the flesh and it’s wise to feel out the joint with your fingers beforehand. 9. Splitting the breast is simply done with a knife and some kitchen scissors. Using the knife, slice along the join of the breasts on one side of the centre bone. 10. Using your scissors, carefully snip the breast plate in half. 11. By slicing the meat away beforehand you have better control of the cut with the scissors and can avoid splintering the bone into the breast. 12. Your wings are delicate little things to cut. There is a join where you can slice apart the two sections but be gentle else you’ll break the bones. 13. The wing bits are great, tasty things that are lovely seasoned. 14. The legs are much tougher, and also come with noticable white joins between the thigh and the drumstick. 15. Softly cut around the joint until you feel more resistance, then move the joint to find point of connection. Carefully but firmly slice between the two bones. 16. The skin and flesh may have become loose on the bones while cutting, so pull the drum and thigh back in to shape. 17. There you are: 10 pieces of chicken of various sizes, ready for cooking in a variety of ways. 18. Don’t forget to use those offcuts for stock.
peter and rona Introducing two brand new voices in food. Their tone may, like the sharp allium tang on the breath of a lover after a hearty Italian buffet, stir a whiff of recognition, but the recipes are all stone cold originals. Cin cin!
eter and Rona are a flamboyant couple who prefer to keep their age a secret. They have been married and divorced four times and have one son, Graham, 45. As an actor, one’s life is very much feast or famine. But famine does not mean one must go hungry. You see, what has really sustained our hotchpotch of a family throughout the years, besides our wonderfully colourful array of friends and the legendary holidays we’ve all shared, is our collective love of good old honestto-goodness grub! Whether pals are staying at our Cornish home, ‘Spirulina’, or our Cretan bolthole ‘Pena’ (that’s Peter and Rona, combined) we always ask them to leave a recipe behind as a little thank-you (on top of the rental fee, which we feel is still very reasonable). Here are some of them. aniel Craig’s D Chocolate Button Sandwich It was one evening a couple of years back at Spirulina when Michael Haneke had just wowed us all with his Mushroom Bombe starter, when Daniel slipped off to the toilet and returned, nearly 20 minutes later, somewhat teary-eyed. I knew he could get a bit egg-bound when not working, but we soon established this was not in fact the problem. He’d just read a bad review of his rather secret debut synth album, and the tears sprang forth and he disappeared once more. Moments later, I found Daniel in his pants, bursting open the Sunblest and preparing two slices of this comforting white nonsense with three firm thumb jabs and a man-size wipe of salty butter. If one doesn’t have access to Sunblest (lucky you!), simply rinse and dry, rinse and dry, rinse and dry some wholemeal using some warm water and a large old hairdryer. The result will be the same. Daniel then tips about 13 giant choccy buttons onto the bread, presses the other slice down with his stout, capable palm, and bingo! Daniel Craig’s giant chocolate button sandwich. A blob of piano yoghurt on the side will give it a continental feel. I was lucky enough to have a brief fling with Daniel (what volcanic stamina!) when I was in the Lake District nursing Peter through the mumps. Gordon Brown’s Plum N’ Wolf Souffle People get Gordon so wrong. He’s very physical and a truly surprising flautist. Gordon loves to let go on holiday and, with his unexpectedly bulky chest and general confidence around the Chateau, he had the kind of charisma and presence generally reserved for men half his age. After a couple of nights we were joined by the rather dangerous Nicole Kidman en route to film something wonderful in Grenada. She was far taller than the Chateau could really cope with and a rather violent swimmer. Nicole and Gordon hit it off from the moment he split her lilo and I rather suspected foul play when I caught them tussling later in the shower. Gordon insisted, however, that Nicole was fixing the head as he just couldn’t reach.
Our final evening was very emotional as we all got a tiny bit woozy on the ‘wacky backy’ and shared our deepest hopes and fears. Peter confronted his unrelenting baldness while Gordon rocked him to sleep. Wolf is not hard to come by, as one might imagine, and has a tang not dissimilar to cottage cheese. Gordon only uses Welsh wolves and likes to hunt them down on his free weekends using just his wit. Fry the wolf’s head and shoulders with a sprig of parsley and a dash of flat lager. Gently smash the forelegs (Gordon would snap them against his chest without so much as a blink). Fold them into the largest pan you have and boil them off. After an hour the wolf should have reduced by half. Fill a bath with boiled potatoes and gently lay the wolf bits on top. Chuck in some plums and tuck in. Gordon never explained the soufflé aspect of this dish. Tom Stoppard’s Naughty Custard Teasers Tom and Peter were firm friends at Oxford, enjoying boozy nights and vibrant horseplay, until Peter’s fourth breakdown left Tom blindfolded and struggling in a weir. Our favourite time, though, was the summer of ’71, moored up on the Helston River, enjoying one of our infamous ‘jam’ nights; Tom on accordion, Miriam on slap bass. Tom would always slump rather suddenly around 10 when he would slip off, head lolling, for a nap in his cabin. But eventually, with great ceremony, he would reappear, clad in bandeau and pants, brandishing his Naughty Teasers. This is such a sensuous recipe I feel 19 just thinking about it. Fry off a quarter pound of milk and deafen swiftly with unbleached flour. Vacuum seal the dough in a bun flask for ten minutes max and rock it. Heals do a basic bun flash in cock yellow for £67. When the mixture begins to sweat, smash the flash with a noddy hammer and devour. The outer crust of the teaser should be bitter and yellow, like a smoker’s finger, but once broken, the innards should melt on the tongue leaving only a small, rubbery nugget, which can be removed and wrapped discreetly in a napkin. It’s always fun to undermine the aftertaste with a burnt barley wine, then sit back and unwind with some medium jazz funk. I would recommend Level 42’s early hit The Chinese Way. James Franco’s Beefy Buttons We love renting out our spare room at Spirulina and experiencing the different sounds and smells of each new occupant. For two balmy weeks in the spring of 2009, that room was filled with the indescribable scent that is James Franco. James was taking a mini break between designing his new range of jewelry for the shorter-fingered man, and a movie he was writing about an autistic bakerturned-detective, ‘Doughballs’. He got quite glum at times and took to moping about the garden staring at the lavender. Peter and I seriously considered asking him to leave, but I knew he was struggling with the rings, having made a batch of 200 all too small, even for children.
What joy it was when I came down one dawn for Peter’s medication to see that wonderful brown twinkle back. James, a man of limited height, was smiling like the proverbial Cheshire, proud to have retrieved a large hunk of beef from the upper cupboards that I was storing for Peter’s birthday. With a sensuality I’d not seen since my one night stand with Michael Maloney, he showed me his wonderful method of slowroasting, starting at 5:00am and using the heat from the onions to increase the temperature of his Bikram Yoga, which he always did in the kitchen in an all-in-one. He had been quietly designing a circular beef knife up in his bedroom and showed me how to puncture out perfect bovine discs. All of us enjoyed at least 30 beefy buttons apiece that night. Except Graham, our son, who was feeling fat and sulking in the bath. This is where James really stepped up to the plate and told me he felt Graham needed one of his motivational seminars. He took him off the the woods, tied him to a tree and told him to find his way back. Two days later he still wasn’t home so Peter went to pick him up in the Volvo. That night we all went to bed feeling that special beef buzz and I drifted off with a devilish memory of those twinkling hazelnut eyes. Also in the series: Andy Weatherall’s Hexagonal Ham Mark King’s Destroyed Crumpets In Fennel Brine Idris Elba’s Big Bad Bunty Loaf Jeremy Irons’ Dreadlocked Sausage Sean Connery’s Triple-Haunted Trout Nose Laurence Olivier’s Arrogant Ham Busters Kenneth Branagh’s Eggy Poodles
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