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for people who love local food
London | Issue 5 | October 2011 £3.00
A fabulous Dorchester Collection hotel break
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AND WIN HRISTMAS SPIRIT OF C TICKETS!
ISSN 1756-2899 22
Home cooking from Valentine Warner
THE GOOD TABLE
BIG HOUSE COMPANY
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Seven days of chocolate
Essential treats for the indulgent week
Editor: Nick Gregory Email: email@example.com Art Director: Richard Cook Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Hayley Francomb, Director Email: email@example.com Miranda Coller, Director of Sales Email: firstname.lastname@example.org James Sloper, Sales Account Manager Email: email@example.com Photography: Diana Chaccour Contributors: Ben Brill, Cheryl Cohen, Ren Behan, Nick Harman, Duncan Shine, Mitch Tonks, Zeren Wilson, Helen Best-Shaw, Gergely Barsi Szabó, Mark Andrew, Louis Labron-Johnson, Julie Friend Flavour Magazine 151-153 Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 4HH Tel: 01179 779188 | Visit: www.flavourmagazine.com For general enquiries: Peter Francomb Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For competition entries: Email: email@example.com © Copyright 2011 flavourmagazine.com
All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission of flavour. While we take care to ensure that reports, reviews and features are accurate, flavourmagazine.com accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from the content of this publication. The opinions expressed or advice given are the views of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of flavourmagazine.com
Welcome to the beginning of autumn and the latest edition of flavour! Regular readers will notice that the image before you is not as pretty as the one that has graced this page for the past few months, as former editor Holly has moved on to pastures new. She has left a healthy ship, however, and I hope to continue with the same flair, attention to detail and most importantly passion for all things food that she creatively conveyed in these pages. I have been involved with flavour in one way or another since its inception in 2007 and have seen it develop into the wonderful publication it is today. And what a first issue I’ve inherited! Raymand Blanc’s Le Manoir heads up our look at cookery schools PAGE 50, we find out about the how’s and why’s of the coveted Michelin star PAGE 48, meet Spice King Sriram Aytur PAGE 58, wine enthusiast Gergely Barsi Szabó PAGE 69 and Masterchef winner Julie Friend PAGE 73. Not a bad start! I wouldn’t necessarily say this first month has always been a pleasure and plain sailing – there have been some pretty hairy moments, especially towards deadline – but it’s never been a chore, and the flourishing nature of the London food scene has made the process a whole lot easier. I look forward to further showcasing the best our capital has to offer. Well done!
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5 WIN! A luxury break in Berkshire 10 In Season Cheryl Cohen from London Farmers’ Markets brings you the best of the season’s produce 16 Seven Days of Chocolate Essential treats for the indulgent week 20 WIN! Dinner, bed and breakfast at The Royal Horseguards 22 The Good Table Valentine Warner brings his home cooking to life 44 Tried a slider? Zeren Wilson explores this foodie phenomenon
Competition Terms & Conditions In addition to any specifically stated terms and conditions, the following applies to all competitions. All information forms part of the rules. All entrants are deemed to have accepted the rules and agree to be bound by them. The winner will be the first entry drawn at random from all the entries sent in by the closing date and will be notified by either post, email or telephone. The prizes are as stated; they are non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. All entrants must be at least 18 years old. Competitions are open to UK residents only. One entry per person. Proof of postage is not proof of entry. flavour accepts no responsibility for entries lost or damaged in the post. Entrants agree to take part in any publicity material relating to the competition. The name of the winner will be published in the next edition. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes do not include unspecified extras (such as travel). All prizes are subject to availability. Please state if you do not wish to receive any further correspondence from flavour or competition organisers. You may be required to collect your prize. Please recycle this product.
> flavour news
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RUM ON DOWN
Charbonnel et Walker have been established as Britain’s Master Chocolatier’s since 1875. In that year King Edward VII encouraged Madame Charbonnel to leave a Parisian chocolate house, to join Mrs Walker in establishing a fine confectionery house on London’s Bond Street. Chocolates have been offered in the street ever since. Charbonnel et Walker hold a Royal Warrant and are able to display the Royal Coat of Arms alongside their logo. This privilege is held by few other chocolate companies. www.charbonnel.co.uk
Rum is not just a drink; it’s a way of life. For two days rum-lovers will have their taste buds tantalised by the world’s most exclusive rums, listen to live bands playing exotic rhythms, and sample some of the tropics’ most relaxing pastimes. Plus, savour the delights of the brand new Tropical Food Market 2011 marks the fifth anniversary of UK RumFest, the world’s biggest festival dedicated to celebrating rum and sugarcane spirits. Check out the dates and events at www.rumfest.co.uk
MELTDOWN FOR ICE CREAM VANS
Seen an ice cream van recently? Didn't think so... Their distinctive chimes used to be a familiar sound. But more regulation has pushed the industry close to meltdown. For decades, their chugging and chiming has signalled the start of summer and feeding time for generations of children armed with small change and sweet teeth. Now Britain's ice cream vans are stalling their way into a winter of discontent and towards an uncertain future in which they face becoming as endangered as milk floats.
iDINE WITH ROUX?
Jump on the i revolution wih Michel Roux Jr’s new iPhone app; Fine Dining with the Master Chef (£4.99) Michel is calm, unpatronising and an excellent teacher, while his recipes are inspirational. The app includes half-a-dozen video methods for things like potato terrine with smoked bacon salad, and rabbit pie with quince. Roux’d have thought? www.michelroux.co.uk
CUP CAKE WINS CAKE CUP
A vegan cupcake has been crowned the UK National Cupcake Champion of 2011. Jennifer and Virginia Buls, who set up their business just last year, baked the winning ‘Lime and Coconut’ cupcake from Absolute Treats. Absolute Treats beat 55 competitors – ranging from craft bakeries to High Street chains – to take the National Cupcake Champion crown. They also won Best Freefrom of the Year Cupcake and Best Tasting Cupcake of the Year. Yum! www.absolutetreats.co.uk
Coworth Park is Dorchester Collection’s 70-room luxury country house hotel and spa set in 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland. The splendid estate includes a wonderful eco-luxury Spa and three restaurants including the Spatisserie, relaxed dining in The Barn and fine-dining at John Campbell at Coworth Park. As one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly hotels, it’s only natural that this ethos is reflected in the cuisine. John and his team have created the ‘Shire Menu’, which uses seasonal produce, locally grown and freshly harvested, offering maximum nutritional benefit and the freshest flavours, at the same time benefitting the local rural economy. They have also created specific dishes for the restaurant’s eight-course Tasting menu, showcasing the very best that John has created throughout his career. This month a lucky winner and a friend have a chance to win a fantastic foodie getaway to Coworth Park which includes an overnight stay and Tasting Menu dinner at John Campbell at Coworth Park with wine selected by the restaurant’s sommelier. To enter, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
A FOODIE GETAWAY TO COWORTH PARK
HOMAGE TO FROMAGE
The Cheese and Wine Festival returns to Southbank Centre for its autumnal gastronomic extravaganza from Friday 14 – Sunday 16 October. The festival is going from strength to strength and promises an exceptionally high standard of cheese and wine-related stalls as well as tutored tastings and demonstrations from renowned experts and passionate individuals throughout the weekend. www.cheesewinefestival.com
(To be taken between Jan 1 and May 1, 2012, excluding Easter (6-9 April) and subject to availability), Good luck!
Coworth Park, Blacknest Road, Ascot Berkshire SL5 7SE 01344 876600 www.dorchestercollection.com
ONCE MORE, UNTO THE EATS, DEAR FRIENDS
London restaurant Festival 2011 (3-17 October) returns with a bang, and tickets are now available for its third year of truly exceptional new events. October will see two weeks of culinary celebrations in the capital and the expansion of festival favourite the ‘Gourmet Odyssey’. Start with a Laurent-Perrier Champagne reception, before enjoying a starter in one restaurant, your main course in another and dessert in a third – all of them London’s most exciting and exclusive restaurants. New locations include Bistro Bruno, Les Deux Salons and Clos Maggiore, Moro, Modern Pantry and Vinoteca. A noble quest for famished foodies. www.londonrestaurantfestival.com
Pete Goss is a sailor, adventurer and former Royal Marine. He has competed in seven transatlantic and two round-the-world races. The most recognised of these was the 1996/7 Vendee Globe non-stop single-handed round-the-world yacht race. This race turned Pete into a national hero for the dramatic rescue of fellow competitor Raphael Dinelli in hurricane-force winds. Pete was awarded the MBE by the Queen and the Legion d’Honneur by the French President. Mon Dieu! On Monday November 7, you can enjoy a superb dinner prepared by Michelin star Chef Hywel Jones in The Park, whilst being inspired and enthralled by Pete’s adventures and incredible action photography For reservations call: 01225 742777
DINNER WITH GOSS THE BOSS
The Wine Show is London's finest wine experience and will be jam-packed with the country's leading wine experts, the world's finest wine producers, unusual regions and varieties to discover. Take a stroll in The Wine Market where you'll find boutique wines from small wine producers and retailers; enjoy the Drinks Theatre in its all-new location; and visit Coutt’s private wine cellar, back by popular demand. All in all, a grape day out. www.wineshow.co.uk
WELL, WINE NOT?
BIGGEST. CREAM. TEA. EVER.
Forget James and the Giant Peach – it’s all about Island Grill and the Giant Scone! Island Grill’s “English Cream Tea”, priced at just £4.95, features an enormous, freshlybaked scone, which is at least four times the size of a normal scone. Guests can opt for the traditional raisin flavour, or sample the exotic lemon scone, made with a sprinkling of poppy seeds. The scones are accompanied by Jersey clotted cream, housemade strawberry jam and lemon curd, plus a pot of premium Tazo tea. Take home bags are available for guests who can’t manage to finish the scone! The English Cream Tea will be served in Island Grill daily from 2-5pm.
SEAFARERS HAVE A SOLE
From October 10 to 16, Britain’s Fish & Chip Feast will be raising funds for the welfare of fishermen and other seafarers in need, and their families who have fallen on hard times. Fish restaurants, ‘chippies’, pubs and cafes are being asked by Seafarers UK, the leading charity for our maritime community, to make a donation for every fish meal served, and also to encourage their customers to do so. Celebrity chef and fish fan Mitch Tonks is an enthusiastic supporter. “Fish is the lifeblood of our business and it is important for us not to forget the huge effort and risk that goes with catching it and bringing it ashore.” www.fishandchipfeast.org
British Pub Week celebrates the very best of British hospitality. The event, from October 28 to November 6, aims to get people back into pubs by promoting their positive impact on society through a packed series of events. Hundreds of pubs were involved last year and engaged with their community and MPs – even PM David Cameron took part by enjoying a pint in his local pub www.britishpubweek.com
SUBSCRIBE TO FLAVOUR FOR £18 AND RECEIVE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS TICKETS WORTH £26!
Discover exquisite and desirable gifts and treats, all hand-picked for their quality and originality from boutiques you will rarely find on the high street at the Spirit of Christmas Fair, 2–6 November, Olympia, London – The home of Christmas shopping. Find inspiration for the festive season and sample delectable delicacies in The Food Hall. Beautifully designed and wonderfully indulgent, the Fair is the perfect place to shop, dine and socialise in style.
ORD W ON THE
Flavour has teamed up with Spirit of Christmas to offer10 pairs of tickets for November 3, 4pm - 9pm when you take out a yearly subscription of flavour for just £18, a whopping 50 per cent discount on the cover price! www.spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk
• Bread Street Kitchen 10 Bread Street, City of London, EC4M 9AB Gordon Ramsay opens a colossal new restaurant spanning three distinct sections. Expect an informal approach to dining that features a raw bar serving fine charcuterie and shellfish, and a wood-burning oven that cooks more than just pizza. • Dorsia 3 Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2HR Taking over from the former Firehouse site in Kensington, Dorsia – an exciting new members’ club, bar and restaurant, has opened. It is a joint venture between Nick Andreen and Fraser Carruthers, both of Boujis fame. • Bunga Bunga 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, Battersea, SW11 3BA Duo Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling are to open Bunga Bunga, an Italian pizzeria and karaoke bar in Battersea. The restaurant’s wood-fired oven will bake pizzas named after Berlusconi’s shady lady friends, while the gondola-shaped bar serves homemade limoncello. • Le Paris Grill 37 Crutched Friars, Fenchurch St, EC3N 2AE Formerly at Bury Street, Le Paris Grill will reopen near Fenchurch St in September at a slightly larger site with seating for 100 diners. The restaurant will be open for lunch only as it has been for the past 32 years. • Aurelia 14 Cork St, Westminster, London, W1S A new restaurant is being launched by the family behind Zuma, Roka and La Petite Maison, on the site of the former Mulligan’s of Mayfair. The menu will have a distinct Mediterranean influence with lots of sharing platters and small plates. • Senkai 65 Regent St, Westminster, W1B 4BA Taking over the site formerly occupied by Cacoon, Senkai is a new Japanese restaurant from the same company. Senkai is all about the robata, a Japanese charcoal grill where they cook much of their food, and their extensive collection of sake.
HORN OF PLENTY
To celebrate the October Devon celebration of food, Tavistock-based Horn Of Plenty are holding a very special gourmet food and wine weekend from October 21-23. Head Chef Scott Paton and renowned wine critic and connoisseur Charles Stevenson take guests on a tour round the best of French food and wine.
Throughout October they are also offering a very special gourmet seven-course tasting menu, featuring the very best of Devon produce. This very special menu will be offered at lunch and dinner, alongside their normal autumn menu, and is priced at just £59.50 per person. www.thehornofplenty.co.uk
Congratulations to Tara Wilson who wins a fine dining experience for two with Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy and Mint Hotel!
Book 2 NIGHTS and stay a 3rd night FREE! www.classiccountryhouses.com
SEE P AGE
(Terms & conditions apply)
> flavour fab foodie reads
fab foodie reads
THE GOOD TABLE VALENTINE WARNER
Mitchell Beazley, £20
Valentine Warner takes us on an enticing journey to his own home-food heaven and the heart of his home – the good table. Valentine’s new book shows how the food you put on your table for family, friends and yourself is best when it is sourced and cooked with love and care. His recipes tell us about the mood, stories, geography, history and natural history that are the background to the dish. His ingredients are local, mostly inexpensive and easy to find, yet his dishes are often surprising, based on forgotten classics or hailing from distant countries such as Mexico and Morocco. Check out page 22 for some of these magnificent dishes!
For bookworms who love nothing more than cooking up a feast for family and friends, our monthly selection of new releases is enough to keep anyone entertained!
PICK OF THE MONTH!
PIEMINISTER: A PIE FOR ALL SEASONS TRISTIN HOGG & JON SIMON
Bantam Press, £17.99
Everyone loves a pie. Pies are part of our food culture and heritage, as British as ...er... pork pie, and nowadays they are also an essential fashion accessory for the festival-goer as well as the dish of choice at a trendy gastropub near you. pieminister – the creation of Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon – is the undisputed leader of this pie revolution. Now pieminister have produced the book that launched a thousand pies, putting on paper the brilliantly creative and utterly delicious pie recipes which are turning the likes of their Heidi and Moo Pies into household names.
BOOZE FOR FREE ANDY HAMILTON
Eden Project Books, £9.99
Booze For Free is the definitive guide to home brewing and making the perfect hedgerow tipple. By using his years of experimental brewing and extensive foraging around the UK Andy Hamilton shows you how to make drinks that are weird, wonderful and just plain tasty. His no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide with over 100 recipes, including great tasting wines made from fruit, vegetables and the hedgerows along with beers made from hops, yarrow, mugwort, elder and other foraged plants, is enough to keep you brewing throughout the year.
READY FOR DESSERT DAVID LEBOVITZ
Jacqui Small Publishing, £25
Pastry chef and award-winning blogger David Lebovitz is known for creating desserts with bold and high-impact flavours. His acclaimed new book presents show-stopping sweets that bakers of all abilities can master. In Ready for Dessert, David serves up a tantalising array of more than 170 recipes for cakes, cobblers, custards, cookies and more. So if you’re ready for dessert – and who isn’t? – you’ll be happy to have this collection of sweet indulgences on your kitchen shelf.
> flavour in season
At their best
Every month our seasonal selections come from Cheryl Cohen, director of London Farmers’ Markets which runs 18 weekly markets throughout the city. She is on the board of London Food, works closely with the Farmers' Markets Retail association and with London Food Links.
Most of the fishermen at our markets bring mussels. They come into season in September, and are on sale until around March. We also have cider at our markets; MillWhite’s cider is cask matured in old rum, whisky and brandy barrels. If you can’t bear to use it to cook with, serve a bottle or two with this dish instead, and a side of some good sour dough bread. I’ve added Russet apple to this dish because I like the slightly smoky, sweet flavour it brings. Leave it out if you wish.
APPLE AND CIDER MUSSELS Sauté 1-2 shallots, 1 medium Russet apple and 1 clove of garlic in oil for one minute. Throw in 1.5kg of cleaned mussels, add 250ml cider and 1 bay leaf and slam on the lid and steam until the mussels have opened. Add a pinch of salt, taste the liquid and adjust as necessary. Add a handful of chopped parsley and serve immediately in big bowls with bread on the side and more cider.
Frosts bring out the flavours of root vegetables. For this gratin use 1kg total of your choice of vegetables. I like to use a mixture to vary the colours and flavours, sometimes substituting beetroot, sweet potato, carrot or winter squash, whatever looks good at the market. Try sprinkling pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the top for the last 15 minutes.
For more information contact: www.lfm.org.uk www.twitter.com/londonfarmers
Apple Day comes in October, when we celebrate all the amazing orchard fruits this country has to offer. Thanks to groups like Common Ground, who introduced Apple Day, there has been a renaissance in our appreciation of orchard fruits. www.england-inparticular.info/cg/appleday/index.html The top two apple varieties grown in the world are golden delicious which, as the cliché would have it are neither golden, nor delicious. And the equally ubiquitous red delicious which I call the Disney apple – polished, shiny and perfect to look at. The fashion model of apples. All style, no content. We grow close to 3,000 varieties in this country, with the most amazing names and flavours. Supermarkets blame the consumer for the perfect, shiny specimens on their shelves. And many shops have been taken to task for their over reliance on orchard fruit from overseas. I don’t think I’ve bought a non English apple for many years.
JANE GRIGSONS’S PHEASANT WITH APPLES
> flavour in season
FOUR-FOLD GRATIN Preheat the oven to 180C gas mark 4. Blanch 1kg of finely-sliced celeriac, potato and swede and Jerusalem artichoke in boiling water and drain. Butter a gratin dish. Slice 1 onion. Layer the vegetables in the dish with 150g of finely-grated cheese, seasoning each layer. Pour over ½ litre of vegetable stock, dot with butter and put in oven for about an hour until the top layer is crisp and bubbling. Options: use milk and cream instead of stock. For the last 15 minutes, sprinkle over a mixture of breadcrumbs and more cheese of your choice and cook till crisp.
No apologies for including a classic recipe. Pheasant is at its peak in early Autumn. Its leanness means it can be dry; a good excuse to cook with cream. Use a good flavoured apple such as a cox or reinette. Don’t use bramleys for this. Melt 60g of butter in a shallow pan. Brown one pheasant all over and season. In another pan melt another 60g of butter and sauté 1kg apples until golden. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Put a layer of apples in the base of a heavy, close fitting casserole. Put the pheasant on top, breast side down, and pack the remaining apples down the sides. Add 125ml crème fraiche. Cover and cook for an hour, but check after about 40 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and raise the heat to 230C/450F. Pour another 125ml of crème fraiche over the pheasant and add 4 tbspn of calvados or whiskey. Check the apple and add seasoning. Cover and return to the oven for about 5 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes.
> flavour babbo restaurant
Nestled inconspicously in up-market Mayfair is a restaurant a little different from the rest. Babbo is refreshingly informal, and serves classic Italian cuisine even better than momma used to make, using well-sourced ingredients to create dishes where you can really home in on every separate flavour.
Mayfair restaurants can be off-putting for those of us not paying 50 per cent income tax; the way in which the Maitre d’ looks you up and down, the stilted atmosphere, and of course the outrageous prices. You peer in the window, sigh a little wistfully and then wander off to a more congenial part of town. Don’t pass by Babbo though because it’s really not of the norm. This Italian restaurant feels right the moment you walk in. No one looks snooty, they look genuinely pleased to see you and not because they’re short of customers either – few restaurants are this busy on a Monday evening. The cosy décor is pitched just right, the lights low enough to encourage intimacy, but not so low you have to get out your mobile phone to illuminate the menu. The diners give off a cheerful murmur of conversation; no one is here to worship the chef, they’re here to eat. The menu is typical Italian, dishes you recognise from a thousand trattorias including lasagne, but done with the finest ingredients. Burrata with tomato, for example is, in conception, the same mozzarella and tomato dish you can get anywhere but of course this isn’t. A chunk of Puglian mozzarella is made into a pouch and then filled with mozzarella pieces and cream, the whole lot is then sealed into a ball and sent fresh to London every week to be served wobbly and wonderful at room temperature. I loved it violently and had to fight to keep L’s fork away. Not that she was unhappy with her San Daniele Prosciutto. Sweet and salty, this king of hams eclipses even Spanish jamons. It really does melt in the mouth, for once the cliché is apt, dissolving into a sublime deliciousness but still with enough texture to make it enjoyably chewable. Small porcini mushrooms added a bosky autumnal counter flavour and texture to the meat. We shared a mid-course lasagne, seduced by tales of it being chef Douglas Santi’s grandma’s 100-year-old recipe. The pasta was silky, the bechamel smooth and creamy and the ragu well-balanced and with quality meat. This is a lasagne that puts you into a quiet trance as you scrape the sides of the dish for more. Simple is best for ‘secondi’ in my opinion and so a fine piece of beef well-aged and hung and clearly well-sourced was perfect. That was all it was, apart from some rather good mushrooms, but it was all that was needed. The fat was almost better than the meat, radiating flavour in all directions. Simple but delicious. Homemade chocolate mousse with fried Amedei Tuscan chocolate balls was fun; the chocolate balls hot and smoking, literally. Babbo is highly enjoyable but don’t expect discount dining. The clientele clearly have pots of money but the atmosphere is friendly. It’s a neighbourhood restaurant in a posh neighbourhood and one you’d love to make your own.
Babbo Restaurant 39 Albemarle St Westminster London W1S 4JQ 020 3205 1099 www.babborestaurant.co.uk
Don’t pass by Babbo though because it’s really not of the norm. This Italian restaurant feels right the moment you walk in...
hocolate Week (10-16 October) is an annual chocolate festival that features tastings and events from the UK's finest chocolatiers. From gigantic chocolate eggs to chocolate-themed cocktails, if you can think of it, they’ve probably made it out of chocolate. The Aztec emperors saw chocolate as a panacea; while we know now it may not cure all ills, it certainly tastes mighty fine! Plan your indulgent week around these sumptuous picks…
Makes 36-40 Thursday 14th - Come and try our signature Chocolate Crowns
Welcome to the UK’s biggest and most extravagant chocolate celebration…
Charbonnel et Walker Tastings...
To celebrate National Chocolate Week, Charbonnel et Walker will be holding a series of in-store tastings every day from 12pm until 4pm.
Chocolate and almond rochers
How about making your own delight with the help of Michel Roux and a recipe from his new book, Desserts, published by Quadrille (£14.99). These chocolate and almond rochers can be made using white chocolate couverture if you prefer. As you are shaping the rochers, work quickly as the mixture has a tendency to solidify; if it does, just warm the mixture over hot water for a minute to soften.
Monday 10th - Sampling our new Dark Marc de Champagne Truffles
Tuesday 12th - Sampling our new Vanilla Truffles Wednesday 13th - Sampling our house speciality, English Rose & Violet Creams
Friday 15th - Match our ginger chocolate products with The King’s Ginger, a zesty and emphatically ginger liqueur, made for King Edward VII
Ingredients 250g nibbed almonds 50ml Cognac or Armagnac 50g icing sugar, sifted 200g dark bitter chocolate, chopped 30ml cocoa butter or hazelnut oil, gently warmed Method 1 Preheat oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. In a bowl, toss the almonds with the Cognac or Armagnac. Dust with the icing sugar and mix to ensure the almond pieces are evenly coated. Scatter on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, turning them at least twice until evenly golden. Set aside to cool, moving them about with a plastic knife every five minutes so they don’t stick together. 2 Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan one-third filled with hot water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt over a gentle heat, making sure the temperature of the water does not exceed 50ºC. 3 Mix about one-third of the almonds with onethird of the warmed cocoa butter or hazelnut oil until they are nice and glossy. Pour one-third of the melted chocolate over the almonds and mix gently until evenly cooked. 4 Drop a dessert spoonful of the mixture onto a sheet of baking parchment to form a little mound. Shape the rest of the mixture in this way, working quickly and leaving 2-3cm between each rocher. Repeat to mix and shape the rest of the rochers in two batches. Leave in a cool place until set. Store in airtight containers in the fridge. To serve, place the rochers in petit fours cases on a platter.
Charbonnel et Walker will also be exhibiting at Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th. Please ask in store for more details.
Saturday 16th - Sampling our beloved Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles
One The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4BT www.charbonnel.co.uk
It’s an exciting time for pretzel lovers, as Penn State Snacks prepares the launch of its special half-coated milk chocolate pretzel range this autumn. We can look forward to this sublime mix of sweet and savoury, set to go down a storm. Despite their chocolatey exterior, as a baked snack and only 110 calories per 25g serving, these delicious pretzels still offer consumers a healthier alternative to crisps and other snack foods. www.pennstate.co.uk
Gü GLORIOUS Gü!
Gü has just launched its limited-edition showstopping Christmas dessert – the Giant Raspberry Bauble. This comes beautifully dressed in sparkly gold foiling and presented in a chic table-ready giant bauble. Inside, rows of Christmas trees made from dark chocolate and printed with cocoa butter sit invitingly on top of four sumptuous layers of pud: First comes a layer of luscious raspberry compote, then a layer of soft chocolate Joconde sponge and a rich dark chocolate mousse, all topped with a layer of Gü’s signature ganache and decorated with elegant chocolate triangles. All you need to do is remove the lid and serve your guests directly from the bauble. This is available for £15 exclusively at Waitrose from December. www.gupuds.com
La Maison du Chocolat
Two iconic French brands, La Maison du Chocolat and Remy Martin, have partnered to put together an amazing, exclusive and luxury coffret including a bottle of XO Cognac and a box of Cognac-infused chocolates. The two creative heads of these brands have been working together on this product for a long time now – exclusive to Harrods for £275. www.harrods.com
London’s K Lounge will be serving three chocoholic Divine cocktails priced at £5 each. The cocktails are made using Divine chocolate, the main sponsor of National Chocolate Week, and consist of: • Mocha-chino • Hazel Angel • Strawberry Delight
Every Friday and Saturday night K Lounge, situated within K West Hotel & Spa, has live sets by Nightcrasher DJs. Head DJ, Charles Prince is one of the UK’s hottest and most exclusive DJs, having played at parties hosted by Rihanna, Jay-Z, Usher and Beyonce. www.divinechocolate.com
Jacqui Small Publishing, £30
Round off your week with a good book. In Couture Chocolate William Curley, the UK’s premier chocolatier, examines the origins of one of the world’s most popular foods – explaining the method of creating chocolate, how its quality depends to a large extent on the variety of bean used, and the differences between plain, milk and white. It reveals how some of today’s most popular flavours – such as vanilla and chilli were those favoured by the Aztec discoverers of chocolate, centuries ago.
Gary Rhodes, one of the great chef’s of our generation, has embedded himself firmly into the capital since launching his seminal restaurant, Rhodes W1. Located on Great Cumberland Place at The Cumberland Hotel, this acclaimed restaurant has been on the receiving end of rave reviews since its inception, and has gone on to garner a Michelin star back in 2008, which it has retained ever since, as well as three AA rosettes.
ining at this restaurant of most excellent appointment is a near-dreamlike experience. The décor has been managed and designed in painstaking detail by internationally-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen, who pulls no punches in delivering a sublime neo-art deco themed restaurant that features glittering Swarovski chandeliers, antique French chairs and mirrors covered in lush deep purple and black velvet. All of these elements combine fluently together to create an interior that is glamorous and chic, yet eclectic.
The menu is composed of a combination of classical French and modern British cuisine, that bears all the hallmarks of Rhodes’ personal style. Changing regularly due to the seasonality of ingredients, dishes include such masterpieces as blackened sirloin of beef served with a fricassée of asparagus and braised onions, as well as delightful desserts. Try for size a ‘bakewell tart’ soufflé atop a healthy dollop of almond ice cream. The chefs are constantly straining to push the boundaries of haute cuisine, and the five star silver service is at a similarly high level. In Yves Desmaris, W1 Rhodes has a true connoisseur of the vine: The master sommelier has hand-selected over 350 exquisite wines, each of which can be matched perfectly to a specific dish. The private dining room can be also hired for a tailor-made and bespoke experience designed for them from the crew of experienced chefs. Realise your wildest foodie fantasies together with a team who will work with you every step of the way. In addition to the fine dining experience W1 Rhodes offers, they also have a comfortable and informal bistro: W1 Brasserie at the Cumberland Hotel is a stone’s throw from Oxford St, and serves up uncomplicated food superbly presented, using only the very freshest of produce. Gary Rhodes has proved time and again that attention to detail, combined with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the seasons and their produce - as well as great flair and technique - leads to boundless success in his restaurants, and the W1 collection are certainly no exception. Rhodes W1 Restaurant Great Cumberland Place London W1H 7DL 020 7616 5930 www.rhodesw1.com
Pyramids of aromatic quince and yielding pears, feathered game with iridescent plumage, cobnuts, wet walnuts and the earthy pungency of wild mushrooms...
Just a few of the ingredients that signal the changing of the seasons at Borough Market, and hint at autumn’s promise. As the nights draw in what better way to celebrate the annual harvest than with a carefully chosen glass of wine paired with a mature artisan cheese, as illustrated by our featured traders this month. This is an exceptional time of year, and whether shopping, socialising or lunching, Borough Market has a wonderful part to play in uniting us all through our love of good, real food. Stop by and experience it for yourself, and make a note to join us for the Apple Day festivities on Sunday 23rd October when you will have the opportunity to sample rare apple varieties and products, including limited-edition Apple Day preserves, pies and juices. Muriel Chatel hails from a family of wine makers in Bergerac, France, and started Borough Wines seven years ago. "Our aim is to remove any barriers to buying good quality, affordable bottles of wine," says Muriel. "Everyday house wine should be easy to buy, and accessible to everyone." In support of this approach, Borough Wines’ latest Go Green promotion has proved a popular innovation at the Market. Muriel has installed vats on the stand containing specially selected wines, and invites customers to return to refill their empty wine bottles, time and time again. “It's a new approach to selling wine.” "We charge £2.50 for the bottle and then just £5 a time to fill it up with a great wine. This is a system that is common in France that is working very well over here, and it's also a great way to recycle bottles." Increasing numbers of locals are regularly visiting the Market for their weekly shop, and Muriel is relishing the fact that small, independent businesses like hers are beginning to reclaim the high streets once again. The Borough Wines stand is a great place to visit, with a superb ambience, knowledgeable staff and an owner who is proud of the product she is offering. It feels more like a community than a shop, a bit like the Market itself. www.boroughwines.com
The team at Borough Market
TreThowan’s Gorwydd Caerphilly
Threthowan's Gorwydd Caerphilly has had a stall at Borough Market for ten years. Ned Palmer, who runs the stall on Fridays and Saturdays, has been in the cheese business even longer and has a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all things cheese. creamy texture. Most people are used to a modern Caerphilly where the cheese is dry, sharp and crumbly, but ours is made using time-honoured methods and our customers definitely appreciate that. "I can talk about cheese till the cows come home, and I feel it is part of my job to educate people as much as I can. I am definitely in the right business!" Gorwydd Caerphilly, with Ned at the forefront, embodies the spirit of Borough Market – full of passion, enthusiasm and exuberance - and whether you are a regular customer or a passerby, Ned is more than pleased to pass on his knowledge and admitted obsession with cheese to anyone within earshot! www.trethowansdairy.co.uk
"Keeping true to our principle of simplicity," he says, "we only sell Gorwydd Caerphilly at our Borough stall, although we are thinking of making a chutney to compliment the cheese.” "There are just two traditional Caerphillys being produced today, and ours is the only one made with unpasteurised milk, Our cheese is totally handmade, and because we are so gentle we get a really nice
BOROUGH MARKET 8 SOUTHWARK STREET, LONDON SE1 1TL www.boroughmarket.org.uk
> flavour the royal horseguards
the royal horseguards
most luxurious and well-appointed hotel just yards from Westminster and Downing St, and with a view over the Thames, The Royal Horseguards is a stalwart of the Whitehall quarter, with a history as rich and prestigious as the setting in which it emerged. Throughout the century, luminaries and men of great power have stalked the halls of this venerable institution – built in the style of a French chateau – including Lord Kitchener, Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. Known as London’s ‘spy’ hotel, The Royal Horseguards was temporary headquarters for the Secret Intelligence Service during World War I, it is thrilling indeed to trail the rooms where policy was formed and secrets made.
The Royal Horseguards has recently opened its doors to The Equus Bar, an elegant bar and lounge created specifically with the modern gent in mind. Reminiscent of a gentleman’s club, the bar and lounge are styled with deep crushed velvet reds, chain mail gold and period oil paintings to signify the hotel’s historic past. Eclectic fabrics in leather, chenille and rich weaves lend a ‘country house’ touch while illuminated carved glass panels display cognacs and fine malts. Archetypal British long-drinks dominate the menu – which was created in consultation with awardwinning, television mixologist Andy Pearson – with traditional punches and signature masculine cocktails denoting the hotel’s unique place in history. These include The Gladstone, The Cavalry Cocktail and The Churchill, named after the hotels famous regular, which delivers a combination of Bourbon, aromatic bitters and a tipple of homemade tobacco syrup – a nod to the great man’s penchant for fine cigars. A spot of afternoon tea in The Lounge is a delight; talented pastry chef Joanne Todd whips up a range of quintessential concoctions which never fail to enchant, from Traditional Afternoon Tea, to the opulent Champagne Tea, as well as a range of quirky themed ‘teas’ of her own devising, which change regularly. Bear witness to the Wimbledon Tea, with its white chocolate truffle tennis balls, or the Children’s Tea, which features an alphabet of cakes that form ‘The Royal Horseguards’. With 281 bedrooms, including the Tower Suite, which boasts 270° views of the capital, and a multitude of great event rooms, The Royal Horseguards caters for all; exemplary service is provided consistently, whether staying as a guest, or just popping in for tea, you will always remember your time at this hallowed, historic hotel.
Owned by the Guoman group, who are well-known for their top-class venues and hotels, The Royal Horseguards has gone from strength to strength, winning the AA London Hotel of the Year Award for 2010 – 2011, an accolade which recognises the highest of standards, regarding a stylish refurbishment programme, heavy investment in staff training and development and excellent service throughout. The hotel’s award-winning restaurant; One Twenty One Two, is named after the previous headquarters of Scotland Yard, which sat next door to The Royal Horseguards. The restaurant, holder of a coveted AA rosette, serves delicious cuisine, carefully prepared and served with much finesse by the highly-trained waiting staff. The wine list is extensive, and well thought out; be sure to ask to see the fantastic wine cellars when you visit. Adjoining the fine-dining restaurant is a secluded terrace, which provides a secluded haven to enjoy al fresco dining, or simply a quiet drink. Away from the hustle and bustle of London life, the Victorian hotel's exterior provides a stunning backdrop - perfect for watching the sun set over the London skyline.
To enter, please answer the following question: What is the name of the restaurant at The Royal Horseguards? Please email your details to email@example.com A LUXURY BREAK FOR TWO AT THE ROYAL HORSEGUARDS INCLUDING DINNER.
Terms & Conditions - Prize valid until 31st March 2012. Prize based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room, including breakfast. Dinner is from the set menu and includes one bottle of house wine. Subject to availability. Prize must be booked in advance. Guoman reserves the right to make changes to this promotion and other restrictions may apply from time to time.
The Royal Horseguards 2 Whitehall Court London SW1A 2EJ 0871 376 9033 www.guoman.com
(Embankment/Charing Cross station’s are only a 2 minute walk away)
Valentine cooks a collection of recipes from his new book The Good Table
VEAL WITH TALEGGIO & PARMA HAM
Serves 1 Ingredients 70g white breadcrumbs, made from stale bread ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt 1 free-range egg A drop of whole milk 1 good tablespoon plain flour 2 veal escalopes (about 75g each), beaten to about 3mm thickness 2 slices of Parma ham Black pepper 40g Taleggio cheese, rind removed, cut into wafer-thin slices 40g butter 12 sage leaves
WATERCRESS & GRUYÈRE SOUFFLÉ
Souﬄés are a ﬁne thing yet oen associated with complications. ey are, however, easy to make but, having said that, they behave as I do in a church service: aer the vicar has whispered ‘all stand’, I spring up, but aer only seconds, my rigid posture more resembles a sulking teenager. Get guests to the table quickly; a little neurotic fussing is acceptable.
Serves 2-4 Ingredients 3 large bunches of watercress A few ice cubes 80g butter, plus extra for greasing 80g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 600ml whole milk 150g good Gruyère cheese, finely grated 6 large free-range eggs, separated Flaked sea salt and black pepper Lightly dressed green salad, to serve (optional) 4 Melt the butter in a medium, nonstick saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually add the milk, stirring constantly with a whisk to eradicate lumps. It will all clag up initially, but persevere with the milk and all will loosen again by the time the milk is incorporated. Remove from the heat and add 65g of the grated cheese. Stir well until melted, then add the egg yolks two at a time, whisking well between each addition. Stir in the cooled watercress purée and check the seasoning one last time. 5 Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Fold roughly a quarter of the egg white into the cheese sauce to slacken the mixture. Tip the contents of the pan back into the bowl with the remaining egg white and fold in gently. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Put on an oven tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 22–25 minutes, or until the soufflé is well risen and golden brown. It should be a little runny inside. Command your guests to sit down just before it is ready. A lightly dressed green salad goes very well with it.
To serve Lemon wedge(s) Steamed chard or spinach
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/Gas 7. Butter the inside of a soufflé dish and dust with 1 teaspoon of flour. Turn the flour around the dish and tip out the excess. Cut a strip of baking paper and tie it around the outside of the soufflé dish with kitchen string, leaving 5cm rising above the rim to make a paper collar. 2 Place the watercress on a board and trim off only the truly tough stalks. Pick out any flora that don’t look like watercress and remove any unwelcome fauna. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and fill a big bowl with cold water with some ice cubes clicking about within. Drop the watercress in the pan, and when the water returns to the boil, cook it for 30 seconds, then immediately lift it out and put it straight into the icy bath. 3 When properly cooled, drain it thoroughly and gently wring out any remaining water with your hands. Purée the watercress in a blender or in a bowl with a stick blender. Leave it to one side.
1 Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and mix in the salt. In a bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Sift the flour on to another plate. Arrange these in a row: flour, egg, crumbs. 2 Take the veal escalopes and lay a piece of Parma ham on each. Grind a little black pepper over one of them, then add two wafer-thin slices of the cheese, laid side-by-side and covering the ham. Lay over the other piece of veal, Parma ham side-down, making a sandwich. Press down lightly so that everything is stuck together. 3 Gently introduce both sides to the floured plate (make sure the thin sides are floured too, and gently pat off any excess). Next take it to the bowl with the egg, dipping both sides, and finally to the seasoned breadcrumbs. Make sure that the crumbing is all over and around. 4 Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When it’s foaming, lower in the veal and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the breadcrumbs are a rich gold. Add the sage leaves when you turn the veal, making sure they are not on top of each other. It’s important to regulate the heat so that the cheese inside has a chance to melt and the veal cook, rather than just the crumbs on the outside. 5 Serve with the crispy sage, the butter from the frying pan and a good wedge of lemon. Steamed chard or spinach would be the correct accompaniment.
FRESH RASPBERRY JELLY
Serves 2 Ingredients 750g raspberries, plus extra for decorating 200ml cold water 3 heaped tablespoons caster sugar, plus extra if necessary A squeeze of lemon juice (optional) 4 sheets of gelatine (about 8g) 2 tablespoons crème de menthe (optional) Double cream, to serve (optional) Writing about jelly makes me think of my childhood, a happy action of which was spent throwing licked Chivers jelly cubes on to the ceiling, where they would stick fast. Oh happy days! No such luck with this recipe, I’m aaid, as it is made with esh uit. Mint and raspberries always go well together, even in this crème de menthe-splashed version, which has a slightly ghoulish colour combo. Method
1 Put the raspberries in a saucepan with the water and sugar. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer briskly for 6-8 minutes, or until the raspberries are very soft, stirring occasionally. 2 Take the pan off the heat and pass the purée through a fine sieve into a large jug (do not push it through too hard, as grinding the pips will result in a cloudy jelly). Make the liquid up to 600ml with cold water. Sweeten with a touch more sugar, if necessary, and add a squeeze of lemon if you think it needs sharpening just a little. Return to the saucepan and heat gently. It should not be boiling hot when you add the gelatine. 3 Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl half-filled with cold water for 4 minutes until soft. Lift out with your fingers and squeeze over the bowl to remove as much of the water as possible. Whisk the gelatine into the warm raspberry mixture until melted, then pour into a 600ml jelly mould or individual ramekins. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for around 8 hours or until set. 4 When ready to eat, slide a knife gently around the outside of each jelly, then dip the mould or moulds into a bowl of just-boiled water and hold for the count of five. Turn the jelly out on to a large plate, or individual plates, and decorate with extra raspberries. If it’s not too left field for you, pour over a little crème de menthe just before serving with cream.
The Good Table By Valentine Warner Published by Mitchell Beazley, £20
A silver tide of pickled herrings is shoaled up in my idge and, when there are none of my own le, I will take a pot om a shop shelf, open it immediately and pay for the empty jar with the rest of my purchases. Odd moments have seen me crouching on a kitchen stool, chin back, while attempting to gulp the ﬁsh down whole. I need them. I like my cure quite sweet in taste, so cut back on the sugar as you see ﬁt. Method
> flavour valentine warner
Makes 2 x 500g jars Ingredients 6 whole medium herrings, scaled, gutted, filleted and pin-boned 3 tablespoons flaked sea salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds 10 black peppercorns 500ml white wine vinegar 200g caster sugar 4 small bay leaves 2 small carrots, peeled 1 medium white onion, very finely sliced
1 To sterilise the jars, preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180ºC/Gas 4. Wash the jars and lids really well and put them on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes. Put a clean cloth on the kitchen table and lay out the fillets in close rows, skin-side down. Evenly scatter over the salt and leave them for 1½ hours. 2 To make the marinade, crush the juniper berries and coriander seeds a little under a knife, as this will help them release their taste. Tip all the spices into a medium pan and warm them over a low heat until their smell comes to the nose. Do not burn them. Pour in the vinegar and sugar. Scrumple the bay leaves to help them release their aroma, and then add them to the pan. Continue to simmer gently to melt the sugar as you prepare the carrots. Slice them as close to paper-thin as you can and add to the pot with the onion. Bring it all up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Leave to cool completely. If the liquid is applied to the fish hot, they will cook rather than pickle. 3 When their time is up, put the herrings in a colander and rinse well under cold water. Pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper. Cut each fillet in half at a diagonal angle. Sprinkle some of the marinade into the base of the two sterilised jars and scatter with a few pieces of the fish. It’s nice if the silvery sides press against the glass, as this is what you will see when opening the fridge or when the jar is placed on the table. Add a little onion and carrot. 4 Continue layering the jars, fairly dividing the bay leaves between them, until the top of each jar is reached. Make sure that the pickling liquor completely covers the fish and goes to just under the brim of each jar. Cover tightly and chill in the fridge for at least two days before serving. Eat them before and they will not have had time to soften and mature; open a tin of pâté instead. They will store well in the fridge for 1 month, but should be eaten within a week once opened. (This is why it is better to make them in smaller jars rather than a single big one.) 5 Serve with good rye bread, cold butter and hot horseradish, making sure each loaded morsel is quivering with the onion and carrot.
Marinade 8 juniper berries 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 1 teaspoon caraway or dill seeds 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
To serve crusty rye bread a little cold butter a scraping of hot horseradish
Taste of Christmas
Prepare for Christmas and indulge in food heaven at London’s most extravagant Taste of Christmas to date!
repare for the festive season and treat yourself to an indulgent day out at Taste of Christmas, where some of the capital’s top restaurants and renowned foodies will be on hand to educate and inspire with an array of seasonal activity.
buds a treat and gain the inspiration you need to design your most exciting Christmas menu yet. Here at flavour, we champion local and premium ingredients, so the boutique market is where you will find us! Try and buy from the artisan producers showcasing a world of food and drink, and don’t forget to come and meet the flavour team on stand 422. Whether you want to sign up for a subscription or simply tell us what you think of the magazine, we’d love to meet you, our readers! If you need a break from shopping, be sure to drop into a wine, chocolate, beer or cheese tasting. Can’t tell your Chardonnay from your Chablis, or your Cheddar from your Caerphilly? Some of the country’s top brands will be running a programme of masterclasses designed to help you choose the best produce for your Christmas table or a cosy night in.
For festive inspiration, head to the AEG Taste Theatre, where some of the country’s best chefs including Jamie Oliver, Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall, Rachel Allen and Gary Rhodes will be appearing. They’ll be rattling the pans in a series of live demonstrations to help you hone your holiday feast and prepare for the ultimate season of extravagance. A selection of the capital’s top restaurants will be serving up seasonal menus of dishes designed to inspire. Create your own menu from some of the finest kitchens with the likes of Benares, Roast and Rhodes W1 all vying for your affections. Taste of Christmas is the perfect place to give your taste
> flavour taste of christmas
Taste of Christmas tickets
As a media partner of Taste of Christmas, flavour have ten pairs of tickets to Taste of Christmas to give away... To enter please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and quote Taste of Christmas in the subject heading. If you’re not lucky enough to win, we have secured a special ticket offer: Buy two tickets for £26 - Saving £18 on the door price! Visit www.tasteofchristmas.com or call the ticket hotline on 0871 230 7132 and quote flavour. VIP and other ticket types are also available from the website.
blackberry and almond tart
Serves six Ingredients 275–350g (10–12oz) readymade shortcrust or puff pastry 3 tablespoons blackberry or blackcurrant jam 2 eggs 100g (4oz) caster sugar 100g (4oz) softened butter 100g (4oz) ground almonds 175g (6oz) blackberries Method 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. 2 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a circle large enough to line a 23cm/9 inch non-stick tart tin (preferably loose-bottomed).
Chef Gary Rhodes
Tip • Eat warm or cold with pouring cream. • The tart can be dusted with icing sugar before serving.
Lift the pastry on to the rolling pin and place in the tart tin, easing the pastry into the bottom and corners of the tin and trimming off any excess overhanging pastry. 3 Prick the base well with a fork. Spoon and spread the jam over the base, then refrigerate for 20 minutes. 4 In a food processor, blend together the eggs, sugar, butter and almonds until totally combined. Spread the almond mix into the tart case and place the blackberries on top. 5 Bake the tart for 40–45 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Set in trendy Spital Square, Galvin Café a Vin is the sister restaurant of famed fine dining restaurant La Chapelle, and sits adjacent to it on the busy plaza. To continue with the sibling rivalry, Café a Vin is not as grand or opulent (or indeed pricey) as its bigger brother, but instead chooses a different tack: It combines the flawless service one might associate with eateries of the starchy tableclothed Michelin starred variety, with classic no-nonsense French/ bistro fare – also drawing on Italian influences - that won’t incinerate the pockets of your pantaloons. It is for this reason that Café a Vin is the recipient of the coveted Bib Gourmand, Michelin’s award for restaurants that offer ‘good food at moderate prices’. Head Chef David Stafford has worked closely with renowned Chef Patron’s the brothers Galvin to create a fantastic, rustic, no nonsense menu that offers delightful dishes such as braised feather blade with Jerusalem artichoke alongside a delectable wild mushroom risotto. The brasserie mixes natural and reclaimed materials in its décor, the main feature being a stunning pewter bar over 6 metres long, designed by Sir Terence Conran, which runs down the centre of this snug and stylish venue. Café a Vin also features an undercover heated rear garden area, perfect for al fresco dining, and often guests will be treated to the delicate notes of resident pianist Paul Eldridge, who plays mellow jazz and various classics, as well as requests. With this tiny haunt The Galvin brothers have triumphed again, in what food critics are hailing as a real hidden gem: Get your tables booked at Galvin Café a Vin quick, they’ll be gold dust soon.
Galvin Café à Vin
Galvin restaurants have teamed up with INEDIT, a beer developed directly for gastronomy by Estrella Damm and the sommeliers at El Bulli. INEDIT is an alternative to wine for pairing with all dishes from the informal to more exquisite, sophisticated types of food. It complements food once thought to be a challenge in terms of culinary pairings, including salads, vinegar-based sauces, bitter notes such as asparagus and artichokes, fatty and oily fish, and citrus. Chris Galvin and David Stafford will be appearing at the Restaurant Show on 11th November at 11am on the Centre Stage at Earls Court 2 together with the sommeliers from El Bulli to present a food and beer pairing. Guests will be able to taste the food together with the beer, and will learn about the beer and see the food being cooked. This promises to be an exciting spectacle; beer matching is at the cutting edge of gastronomic development, and some of the finest culinary minds in Europe have deployed much time and effort in making INEDIT the groundbreaking beverage that it is. 35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY 0207 299 0404 www.galvinrestaurants.com
new wine finds
Naturalness in wine may seem like a contradiction in terms – after all, the product can’t be created without the intervention of a wine-maker. Even so, over the past year the ‘natural’ wine scene in London has well and truly taken off (it is already big news in France and Japan), prompting heated debate and spawning a burgeoning wine bar circuit that specialises in these often idiosyncratic, but always interesting wines.
t’s easy to presume that natural wines are the same as organic wines, but this only tells part of the story. For a wine to be labelled as organic it needs to be made from organically-accredited fruit. Once the grapes are harvested though, the wine will often be subject to the same processes as conventional, commercially-made wines. Natural wines are made to a philosophy of ‘nothing added, nothing taken away’ throughout the entire winemaking process. That means no added sugar, no synthetic yeast cultures, no artificial enzymes, no acidification, no added tannins and often no added sulphur dioxide. The list of tricks and techniques goes on
and it may surprise you to learn that all of them are commonplace in wine production all over the world. Natural wines are intended to be the most expressive representations of the vineyards from which they come, unadorned by the flavours of new oak barrels and produced by people with a genuine commitment to the environment. Like with any category, there are good, bad and indifferent wines to be found – but those that have caught the natural wine bug will tell you that the best examples display a clarity and purity that is difficult to find elsewhere in today’s wine world.
Perhaps more so than the reds, ‘natural’ white wines can sometimes be an acquired taste. The best examples are not onedimensional fruit-driven wines, but a marriage of savoury, nutty characters and bracing mineral freshness. This stunning Grenache Gris from Roussillon in Southern France bursts with citrus fruit and a smoky complexity that is as satisfying as it is intriguing. This is a white that works beautifully with food, particularly Mediterranean fish dishes like grilled sardines where the oiliness matches perfectly with the crisp acidity of the wine. Available at: www.robersonwine.com and on the wine list at Terroirs (WC2) and Brawn (E2).
2008 VDP CÔTES CATALANES BLANC; DOMAINE MATASSA
> flavour mark andrew
One criticism often levelled at ‘natural’ wines is that they are designed to be consumed immediately and don’t improve with age. One taste of Mas Coutelou’s ‘Ouest’ (a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend) is enough to dispel that myth. While it still shows the vibrant blackcurrant character of its youth, there is layer after layer of complexity here, with leather, hickory, liquorice and biltong notes. All of the Mas Coutelou wines are well worth seeking out, but this decade-old beauty is unbeatable with any hearty red meat dish. Available at: www.robersonwine.com and on the wine list at 1 Lombard Street (EC4) and the Fulham Wine Rooms (SW6).
2001 VDP COTEAUX DU MURVIEL ‘OUEST’; MAS COUTELOU
Mark Andrew is the Senior Wine Buyer at Kensingtonbased merchant Roberson Wine. In addition to their awardwinning shop on London’s Kensington High Street, Roberson supply wine to many of the UK’s top restaurants. When Mark is not travelling Europe seeking out interesting new wines, he runs Roberson’s wine school and fine wine tastings, judges at numerous wine competitions (including the Decanter Magazine World Wine Awards) and is currently studying towards the Master of Wine qualification.
> flavour trinity restaurant
Visiting one of London’s most spoken-about gems, Helen Best-Shaw found that simplicity and care are the perfect blend for a memorable meal
Adam Byatt's Trinity is situated in Clapham Old Town at the North-Eastern tip of the common. Established in November 2006, the restaurant is renowned for its use of top quality, well-sourced, seasonal British ingredients cooked to perfection. Having been named both AA London Restaurant of the Year and Time Out's Best Local Restaurant in 2007/08 Trinity has a reputation to maintain. The décor is sparse and muted; shades of stone, white and natural wood. An open kitchen looks onto the chef's table, while windows the length of the restaurant fold back for al fresco dining on the few occasions that the vagaries of the British summer will allow. For those who wish to try to reproduce some of Byatt's dishes, a stack of his first book How To Eat In sits at reception. The menu is plain; positively sparse, even. Rather than ‘pan fried’ this, ‘drizzled’ that and the other ‘on a bed of’, it simply lists the main ingredients of each dish and questions about the details of how each plate is cooked are left to the attentive waiting staff to answer. The food is at complete contrast to the pared-down menu – rich dishes bursting with deep flavours, textures and quality ingredients – and is presented beautifully, arranged perfectly and each plate is a picture. 4 The Polygon Clapham Old Town London SW4 0JG 0207 622 1199 www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk Stand out dishes were the ‘pig's trotters’, served with sourdough, gribiche and crackling; tender, flavoursome and sticky… Delicious. A much lighter starter was the ‘mussel and oyster, cucumber and dill’; fried
oysters accompanied by a mussel foam (which was lovely), pickled cucumber and a dill vinaigrette. The bread and butter were homemade – the rolls salty and buttery, the butter a fluffy white cloud, ultra soft and creamy. The grouse served on pommes mousseline, was rich, well-flavoured (but not too gamey) and wonderfully tender. Similarly good was the tender rabbit, wrapped in lardo di Colonnata, and served with girolles and artichokes. Just because we had to, we had some of Trinity's signature thrice-cooked chips with bone marrow with our main courses. For pudding cherry soufflé was well-risen and gooey in the middle, its sweetness balanced by the tart fruit it was sitting on and was fantastically well-cooked. The wine list is extensive with a strong showing from France, but rather than restrict ourselves, we put the wine choice in the hands of the sommelier and were very happy to have done so. The wine that came with each course was well chosen, complementing or contrasting well with each dish. We were very impressed with Trinity. The cooking was excellent, portions are generous and the service attentive, with staff that have a real passion for food and their industry. We would be delighted to return, and think that the restaurant excels as a destination both for couples and groups of friends.
T H E C O O K I N G WA S E X C E L L E N T, P O R T I O N S A R E G E N E R O U S A N D T H E S E R V I C E AT T E N T I V E , W I T H S TA F F T H AT H AV E A R E A L PA S S I O N F O R F O O D A N D T H E I R I N D U S T R Y.
imply put, The Forbury in Reading, Berkshire, offers one of the most opulent and desirable experiences you will ever have. This stunning hotel has had every attention to detail thought about in its decoration, from the lavish fabrics and wallpapers, to the 86,000 Italian glass beads in the chandelier running the length of the building in the old lift shaft - you are left breathless at every corner. The 23 rooms and suites arranged over four floors, blend design, art, lighting and sound to create a space that doesn't just look right, it feels right - this atmosphere permeates the hotel, and nowhere more so than the Forbury’s acclaimed restaurant, Cerise. Whilst you relax ordering cocktails and food, you will notice the superb music, lighting and people all contributing to the atmosphere. Cerise accommodates relaxed and informal dining and has two private alcoves, perfect for that romantic tête-à-tête or private party. The produce at Cerise is sourced from all over the UK, from the Outer Hebrides to Brixham. Interestingly, the majority of their hand-picked suppliers come from within a 40-mile radius of Reading. The staff are knowledgeable, educated, informed, and really a part of the performance. Dine until the late hours. Get deep over coffee. Enjoy a swift, light lunch. Sip cocktails. If you want it, you will have it. The Forbury stays with you, always.
E EXCLUSIV READER OFFER
LET fLavour BE Your CuPID!
Enjoy a luxurious night away with that special someone. The Forbury is just 25 minutes from London and is the perfect place to relax and get away from the everyday stresses of life. Their romance experience is ideal for any anniversary or special occasion. The romance experience includes: • Overnight accommodation in one of the sumptuous bedrooms • Bottle of chilled champagne in the room on arrival • A box of Hotel Chocolat luxury chocolates • 3-course seasonal dinner in the Cerise restaurant on the first night • A complimentary late checkout till 12pm • Full English breakfast every morning All for under £162.50 per night!
flavour is proud to offer a reader-exclusive romantic getaway at the Forbury at the special price of only £325 for two nights (normally £225 for one night).
Please quote flavour offer FOR25
The Forbury Hotel, 26 The Forbury, Reading, Berkshire RG1 3EJ • 01189 527 770 • email@example.com • www.theforburyhotel.co.uk
haringworth Manor is an idyllic and luxurious 14th-century Cotswold manor set in a 55-acre estate just east of one of the Cotswold’s most attractive villages, Chipping Campden. With heavy oak beams, a wealth of antique furniture and tapestries and roaring log fires in winter, it’s the perfect retreat whatever the time of year. Each of the bedrooms has its own unique style of furnishing and decor so there is always something new to experience! The hotel’s health and leisure facilities include a heated Romanesque swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room as well as tennis and that quintessentially English game, croquet.
The hotel is well-known for fine dining and the cosy John Greville Restaurant has been awarded two rosettes by the AA. The chefs make full use of locally grown and reared produce and the restaurant is open every day including Sundays when the lunch menu includes a mouthwatering choice of traditional roasts. The hotel is surrounded by a traditional Cotswold garden complete with lavender walk, decorative stonework and panoramic views over five counties. When the weather allows, cream teas or drinks can be enjoyed on The Terrace.
Near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6NS • 01386 593 555 • www.classiclodges.co.uk/charingworthmanor
Talland Bay Hotel
he Talland Bay Hotel in Porthallow, Cornwall has undergone a major transformation in the past two years. It now boasts 20 well appointed bedrooms, all of which are individually designed to the highest standard. Talland Bay is set 150 feet above sea level in a quiet, rural location on the coast midway between the bustling little seafaring towns of Looe and Polperro. If it’s your first time at Talland Bay, you’ll know you’re somewhere special as soon as you arrive. There’s a sense of peace here that makes it easy to forget about the ‘real world’. At the heart of the hotel, the interior decor and unique collection of art throughout provides an aura of contemporary elegance.
Only the best quality locally-sourced produce is used and the Head Chef has been awarded two AA rosettes for culinary excellence. You can enjoy a candlelit dinner of fine dining in the Terrace Restaurant or maybe a more relaxed, lighter meal in the Brasserie, which serves the best fish and chips you’re likely to find anywhere. Talland Bay runs special offers between October and March, excluding Christmas and New Year. Stay 2 nights and receive your third night half price, or stay 3 nights and receive your fourth or last night complementary. Your half price and free nights are based on a bed and breakfast basis.
Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow, Near Looe. Cornwall PL13 2JB 01503 272667 www.tallandbayhotel.co.uk
ucknam Park Hotel and Spa is a magnificent Palladian mansion set within a beautiful private estate of 500 acres, just six miles from the historic city of Bath. A majestic five-star luxury hotel, with a fabulous one Michelin star restaurant, Lucknam Park delivers both elegant sophistication and the warm comfort of an English country house. The hotel’s 42 bedrooms are all individually designed, including 13 impressive suites. The award-winning Spa offers extensive facilities including nine treatment rooms and five thermal cabins. The adjoining Brasserie is perfect for al fresco and all-day dining. For the more energetic, explore the 500 acres on horseback or alternatively on one of their bicycles! Available from October 1, is the new Winter Indulgence break, fully inclusive of Champagne and handmade chocolates in your room on arrival, a three-course dinner in the Michelin star restaurant, The Park, on one evening and an a la carte dinner for two in The Brasserie, on the other. Enjoy a delicious Wiltshire cream tea for two on one day, served in the drawing room, luxury accommodation, full English breakfast daily and full use of all Spa facilities. This offer is available for arrival on Friday and Saturdays, based on a minimum two-night stay and valid until March 31. From £425 per room per night based on two adults sharing.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Bath, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ 01225 742 777 • www.lucknampark.co.uk
et behind an attractive Georgian façade, Macdonald Hotel Windsor occupies a superb position opposite the famous Guildhall and within two minutes’ walk of the Castle. It’s also perfectly placed for some wonderful retail therapy as you browse the town’s amazing array of designer fashion outlets. The elegant hotel features stunning interiors by designer Amanda Rosa, with a subtle palette of colours for calmness to create a naturally comfortable venue for the perfect escape. Many of the 120 richly-furnished bedrooms and suites have superb views over historic Windsor and the Castle; some also have a private veranda or outdoor space. Double bedrooms are priced from just £135 per night for a Classic room.
Caleys Lounge is Windsor’s coolest place to meet, eat and drink and features informal yet stunning decor and mood lighting. Grills from the Josper charcoal broiler are a speciality – a culinary tradition beginning over 40 years ago in Spain where dishes include 21-day aged Scottish ribeye steak, Highland lamb chops and a whole lemon sole. Also on offer are unique sharing boards; choose from a cured meat selection, smoked fish, British cheeses or a variety of dips. Caleys two-course lunch/dinner menu is priced from just £15 per person or indulge in three courses for £20, while a two-course Sunday lunch costs from £18 including the option of a traditional roast joint with crispy roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
23 High Street, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1LH • 0844 879 9101 • www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/Windsor
f a city break is on your agenda this autumn / winter, look no further than the sumptuous Bath Priory: treatment and relax in the warm blue waters of the pool. Dining at the Bath Priory is a memorable experience; under the direction of Executive Head Chef, Michael Caines MBE, the young and exceptionally talented Sam Moody leads the team. Racking up awards this year for their sublime cuisine, this is modern cooking at its very best using local and homegrown produce. The light filled dining room overlooks the gardens by day and is atmospheric and intimate by night. With great food and a wine list that really stands out, dinner at the Bath Priory is not to be missed. A sublime luxury hotel a short stroll from the heart of the Georgian city of Bath yet hidden in four acres of gardens, Bath Priory evokes a serene country house ambience. After a day exploring the eclectic boutique shops of Bath and discovering the city’s many art galleries and museums, return to relax by the fireside with a warming mulled cider. The Garden Spa is the perfect place to unwind; indulge in a pampering hot stone
Priory Lodge, Weston Road, Bath BA1 2XT • 01225 331922 • www.thebathpriory.co.uk
An Evening of Romance at an English Tudor Castle
What could be more romantic than arriving at your destination to discover you are in the magnificent surroundings of an English Tudor Castle? Your three-course candle lit dinner will be served in one of our intimate dining rooms, followed by coffee and petit-fours. The following morning, awake to The Baron’s Breakfast served in your bedchamber - smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on granary toast finished with caviar. This offer comprises of: ~ A deluxe bedchamber ~ A bottle of house Champagne ~ A single rose on your pillow ~ A gift bag of truffles All in your bedchamber awaiting your arrival. £475.00 per night.
Classic Country Houses
he Classic Country Houses collection has exclusive use properties available across the uK and Europe to suit all party sizes and budgets. available for one-day events through to long-stay holidays, these properties are the perfect venues for all celebrations and occasions.
This well-situated ground floor apartment is right on the beach (just the other side of the hedge!) and has beach bars, restaurants and amenities all within a short stroll of the property. Good transport links into the bustling towns of La Cala, Marbella and Malaga with action-packed night life, or you can enjoy a relaxing vacation with use of the communal pool and private sun terrace.
La Cala Beach apartment ~ Sleeps 6 guests (pictured above)
Telamara - Motor Yacht ~ Sleeps 14 guests
Our beautiful vessel is an ex-rock stars party yacht and can sleep upto 14 guests. On the quayside in the vibrant town of Marmaris, Turkey you can enjoy static charter weekends, through to full week-long charters of the beautiful Aegean coastline.
Enjoy a 10-day vacation and pay for just 7 nights! ~ oct 2011 - June 2012
Quote: Lacala-flavour or Telamara-flavour when booking to use this offer
The old vicarage, south Devon ~ Sleeps 40 guests
Nestled within the quaint village of Malborough near Salcombe, this gothic vicarage has lovely local pubs within walking distance and great sightseeing available nearby, but you can also enjoy total tranquility or entertain guests within this large property and garden.
Brockington Hall, Herefordshire ~ Sleeps 30 guests
Situated within the Herefordshire countryside and adjacent to a nine-hole golf course and quaint country pub, the house is equipped with a games room, large conservatory for dining and grounds ideal for retreats and family get-togethers.
The Hope Cove, south Devon ~ Sleeps 40 guests
Overlooking Hope Cove and Bigbury Bay, the views across the coast are stunning. Gaze out of the panoramic windows in the open-plan lounge or sip bubbly in the sunken hot tub on the decking. Whatever you choose, this house is great for parties.
Book nOw and stay a third night frEE available october - March 2012
* Not including Christmas or New Year’s breaks
Quote: Oldvic-flavour, Brockington-flavour, Hopecove-flavour when booking to use this offer
www.classiccountryhouses.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • 07809 516858
THE POWER OF
This month Nick Harman
Sister to Charlotte’s Place in Ealing, this lovely bistro is located in an area where well-known actors and actresses can be regularly seen strolling the pavements. Life is good in Turnham Green, so called because the rest of us turn green with envy when visiting. The bistro is popular and chef Wesley Smalley has a modern British menu that offers inventive, tasty dishes at prices surprisingly modest considering the average local income. The bar at the front of house offers tapas-style snacks, drinks and coffee with a good view of people passing, while up back in a raised section well lit by an enormous skylight is the place where the dining gets done. ‘We use wild grouse shot on a private estate in Yorkshire,’ Wesley tells me before service starts. ‘I ask my butcher, Macken Bros, to hang them for at least 5 days to a week before we start to serve them in the restaurant.’ Sounds good, but before the we meet the bird we take a piggy detour: a Kromeski of middle white pork is excellent, Kromeski being the practice of wrapping the minced or chopped meat in caul fat and then deep frying. Served with sweet corn, coriander and lime it was nowhere near as heavy as it might sound. Ah, the bird lands next. Wesley shows what it looks like whole before shooing it back to the kitchen to be sliced. A bit of breast and a leg are just the right amount, and the meat was perfectly cooked with just a hint of crispness on the skin. What really stood out was the flavour infused into the meat from the stuffing, a mixture of parsley, sage, thyme and lavender, a blend that was sublimely floral and delicate. Some roast potatoes and apple and quince jelly made a welcome change from game chips and the lusciously sweet red cabbage was the icing on the cake for this bird fancier. The whole dish was a modern take on grouse, taking it out of the world of Downton Abbey and up to another level. If you’ve never had grouse before, this is where you should put that tentative toe into the water. 6 Turnham Green Terrace London W4 1QP 0208 567 7541 www.charlottes.co.uk
(Pictured left-hand page)
Canary Wharf is like another London. Emerging from the tube station you’re dwarfed by the glass towers shooting up into the sky, each reflecting fluffy clouds and jet airplanes busily making their way across the ether. It’s a brave new world of people perched 15 floors up shifting money around furiously and getting paid handsomely to do so. A world where you would think shaved Parmesan and micro basil leaves would be what everyone wanted to eat, but no. At Plateau grouse is firmly on the menu because, as Head Chef Allan Pickett says, it’s very much what his customers like to eat. ‘Demand is so great we started off only just managing to get birds hung long enough for the flavour to develop,’ he says from his open kitchen in the middle of the room. ‘As the season develops, we’ll be having some very ripe birds indeed for those customers who demand it and many do.’ The dish is fairly traditional at Plateau - on a heart-shaped crouton the grouse’s innards are served as a rich pâté. The game chips are present and correct as is the watercress, but Alan uses Hendricks gin to make the jus, with added juniper berries to fortify it further. The result is a gravy that adds something extra to an already great grouse and at £28.50 it’s a good price and so selling well. ‘It may even come down in price,’ says Alan. ‘Grouse are not expensive this year and I love the fact we have this seasonal bounty. I like to be seasonal, nothing is frozen or out of season if I can help it.’ Eating grouse in Plateau gives you a grouse-eye view of the world, it’s only four floors up but Canary Wharf, stretches away and the view is particularly good at night with the lights resembling a mini-Manhattan. 4th Floor ,16-19 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5ER 020 7715 7100 www.plateau-restaurant.co.uk
If you’re looking for true tradition in London then Boisdale’s of Belgravia is the place to go, even if it’s more Scottish than English. Created by jazz-loving Ranuld Macdonald (no, not that one) the exterior is an eye-numbing pillar box red while inside it’s a massive tartan explosion. The emphasis is very much on the sort of nourishment one imagines Prince Philip enjoys; a no nonsense Franco-British menu. It’s a nod back to the days when aristocrats viewed food as just something to kill time when not killing the wildlife. That’s why grouse is very much on Boisdale menu at this time of year. Their take is the classic one: roast grouse on crouton, game chips, watercress, bread sauce and game jus, accompanied by a glass of Château Rahoul 2005 and all for £35 until the end of October. The clientele when we went at lunchtime all looked if not rich, then well-born. And they know how to deal with their grouse. They had their napkins in their collars and were happily pulling apart the birds with their fingers. The sweetest meat is always near the bone and you simply don’t get to it with a knife and fork. The ‘ting’ of the odd bit of denture-threatening shot being ejected onto plates was the only soundtrack as we ate our beautifully pink grouse and splashed around in our excellent game sauce. The wine was a perfect choice with the bird and the service delightfully oldschool. Boisdale also has a magnificent whisky bar for afters and a cigar bar too, so that, weather permitting, you can end your meal in a way that makes you happily raise your glass to the good old grouse whose season is all too short. Boisdale of Belgravia 15 Eccleston Street Belgravia SW1W 9LX 0207 730 6922 www.boisdale.co.uk/belgravia
(Grouse menu also available at Boisdale of Bishopsgate and Boisdale of Canary Wharf)
Mitch Tonks runs RockFish Grill & Seafood Market in Clifton, Bristol. He is an award-winning chef, restaurateur and food writer and has two other seafood restaurants in Dartmouth.
With sustainable fishing top on the agenda, each month regular flavour columnist and seafood specialist Mitch Tonks cooks up a storm with his seasonal fish of choice...
A wonderful flat fish from the seas of the South Coast, the plaice is in season right now. This has to be one of the simplest fish to recognise and tell if it’s fresh, as it has distinctive bright orange spots marking its grey skin – the brighter the orange the fresher the fish. The second thing to look at for freshness is the flesh, which should be snowy white… Pretty simple stuff. They stand out on the fish counter as if announcing their freshness and there is no hiding if they are not fresh from the sea, although beware of plaice that is already filleted and skinned on the counter, much harder to tell how fresh it is. This is a fish that is a winner with most people and versatile in the kitchen. Strangely, it’s rather overlooked in many of the smarter restaurants and more usually found battered in the chip shop, but on the plus side it’s a relatively inexpensive fish to buy in this country. When in season you will find that they are lovely and fat and perfect for crisping up in batter and serving with chips. Whenever we put them on the specials menu at RockFish with chips they sell out fast. Thinner fish are delicate and somehow more refined and will poach beautifully to soak up flavours like cider and thyme (like the recipe here), simple to cook and serve or pan fry with the skin on. As the skin is relatively smooth with no prickles it cooks to a beautiful crisp in the frying pan, under the grill or baked in a hot oven. Plaice is fabulous baked or grilled. To bake, heat your oven to max, smooth a little soft butter over the back of the fish and bake for 10-12 minutes. You can if you wish make a few slashes across the back of the fish and fill with some sprigs of thyme. To grill the fish, a little olive oil or butter can be smoothed over the back and placed under a hot grill until the skin bubbles and crisps (within two-three minutes). Finish the fish in a really hot oven for six-seven minutes. This way you’ll ensure you get a wonderful, moist cooking. ■
POACHED PLAICE WITH CIDER AND ONIONS
Serves 2 Ingredients 25g butter A glug of olive oil 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 500ml good quality dry cider 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 x 150g plaice fillets A small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Method 1 Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the olive oil. Add the onions and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes so that they gently brown and melt but do not fry. Add the garlic, cider, bay leaves and thyme and simmer for 5-6 minutes. 2 Lift the fish fillets out and place them on a serving plate. Add the parsley to the pan, turn the heat up and reduce the liquid by a third. Season to taste. 3 Place a pile of onions on top of each piece of fish and spoon the remaining juices around. Alternatively, put the fish back into the pan and take the whole thing to the table.
> flavour mitch tonks
© Mitch Tonks. RockFish Grill & Seafood Market Fishmonger, food writer, restaurateur www.rockfishgrill.co.uk www.mitchtonks.co.uk www.twitter.com/rockfishgrill Recipe taken from The Aga Seafood Cookbook by Mitch Tonks published by Absolute Press. Photo credit Pete Cassidy
The slider is taking over the London bar snack scene. Everywhere you turn there's a beef patty sandwiched between a cute brioche bun, skewered ceremoniously with a wooden stick. Call it a small hamburger if you must, but purists rage with incandescence if you call their "mini hamburger" a slider or vice versa.
tried a slider?
y very first slider moment came in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma, California, at Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, in Healdsburg. Three perfectly-formed baby burgers presented as a bar snack; a decadent, joyous, holy union of Wagyu beef and foie gras. I was instantly seduced.
The original "slider" is credited to White Castle in Wichita, Kansas, an attempt by founder Walter Anderson to produce a burger that rose above the unclean and sometimes horrific practices of the meat packing industry in 1921. The burgers cost five cents and were cooked in a specific way; thin beef patties cooked over a moist bed of onions, the steam from the onions cooking the burger completely, with no need for flipping. Served in pairs or trios due to their small size, the slider emerged blinking into the daylight. Now the term slider is also applied across the USA for any mini hamburger and encroaches on the menus of the swankiest restaurants.
• CUT, in the Dorchester Collection, announces the arrival of Wolfgang Puck in London, with London's fanciest slider. Kobe beef patty, brioche bun, slathered in Ogleshield cheese. A luxurious, wanton temptress of a slider. • Redhook have re-launched their new menu with a surf 'n' turf slider, a hunk of lobster making friends with a well-seasoned bit of beef. • Spuntino have led the recent charge with their beef and bone marrow offering, alongside twists on the original like spiced mackerel and salt beef. • Giant Robot have proudly had their meatball sliders in Clerkenwell for some time, and just up the road Meatballs have just launched an entire restaurant concept around the slider. So the slider is strutting around town like it owns the place, looking cute, smiling sweetly and seducing us with its charms. Where to next for this cutesy little burger? It's just settling into its new home, stretching its legs, getting comfortable. It'll be here for a while. As for the Wagyu and foie? The memory remains as the best bar snack I've ever eaten.
London has several incarnations now:
ne... evi rap G
The Chancery is tucked behind Chancery Lane, a short hop from legal land and the beautiful oasis that is Lincoln's Inn Fields. Owner Zak Jones has installed dynamic young talent Stephen Englefield in the kitchen, and a sparkling new tasting menu has just been launched. Englefield’s duo of tuna sees ponzu jelly, tobiko caviar, wasabi and mango sorbet playing together to incendiary effect. The seared foie gras with butternut squash jelly, gingerbread and pomegranate has got us in a lather here too. A restaurant to watch. www.thechancery.co.uk
A food writer and wine consultant, Zeren Wilson will leave no stone unturned in his quest to find the hidden gems of London’s food scene and bring it to you on a plate. Check out Zeren’s restaurant review site for a taste of what he has to offer: www.bittenandwritten.com
Gusbourne Estate Blanc de Blancs
Gusbourne Estate are taking the British wine trade by storm, having produced this charming 100 per cent sparkler from Chardonnay grapes grown in Kent. Don't dare tell them it's almost as fine as Champagne, as us Brits got there first. The neck foil reminds us that this is made by the "Method Anglaise", a reference to the fact that Christopher Merret created a sparkling wine through a secondary fermentation in bottle, way before monks in Champagne started playing around with the stuff. This fine wine combines green apple and a blast of lemon freshness on the nose, with red apple and a fine mineral backbone on the palate. Served at the Fat Duck don’t cha know? www.gusbourne.com www.armit.co.uk
Arise the Slider. The Slider infiltration across London gathers pace with a large chunk of the menu at this new opening dedicated to these cutesy little burgers. In one of the most atmospheric dining rooms in London, site of the old Quality Chop House, which dates back to the 1870s, the meatball is put on an altar and worshipped. Choose between beef and ricotta; greek lamb; pork; chicken; or a vegetarian courgette ball. Choose to have them on their own, or encased snugly in mini semi-brioche buns from the nearby Nadell Patisserie. www.meatballs.co.uk
Wolfgang Puck has landed in London at The Dorchester Collection, 45 Park Lane. Lauded for his stateside eponymous restaurants and SPAGO - his latest venture is a meat-heavy offering, where Wagyu and Kobe beef are served in swanky surroundings. We reckon the bar is a beauty, and the cocktails are serious. Crouching Tiger wowed us; Jasmine green tea infused Belvedere vodka and lemon juice. Take a date and watch them swoon. www.45parklane.com
Follow Zeren on Twitter: @bittenwritten
When it comes to the oil that you use in almost every facet of food preparation, from frying to roasting to drizzling over a delicious salad, the quality of your oil really does matter. Olivado oils are representative of the healthiest, most delicious and versatile oils on the market today. All the oils are extra virgin and produced to exacting standards. The sheer variety of flavours and types of oil in their range means that Olivado have something to cater for every discerning palate, having single-handedly pioneered the process of extracting extra virgin oil from the avocado.
ary Hannam, CEO of Olivado and former movie mogul – he produced ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ starring Anthony Hopkins – has recently expanded this latest, most fruitful New Zealand-based venture to the lush central highlands of Kenya, in order to sate growing international demand for Olivado’s signature product, Extra Virgin Avocado Oil. The Olivado Fair Trade Organic programme in Kenya now gives economic and social stability to 10,000 people. Its key is focusing on rewarding individual effort.
For a simple, healthy meal, dice a selection of autumn veg and roast in avocado oil. Add cooked puy lentils, and crumble feta cheese into the mixture. Drizzle with avocado oil, dress with tarragon leaves and serve warm.
Similar to Extra Virgin Olive Oil in many ways, Extra Virgin Avocado Oil has a creamy taste and velvety texture compared to the bitterness of its sister oil. As well as their lovely avocado oil, Olivado range includes Macadamia Nut Oil and DOP and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils, which combine taste and health, being very high in healthful polyphenols. If you haven't tried avocado oil, you should. It is similar to olive oil, but not bitter in taste and it has many excellent culinary and health benefits. For this recipe, and more visit www.olivado.com and you can also buy on-line. The Fair Trade Organic Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is available in Waitrose.
Mix four heaped tablespoons each of sugar and salt to four litres of water, making enough solution to submerge your bird in a bowl. Leave in a cool place for eight hours or, ideally overnight. When it’s time to roast, pour off the brine, rinse the turkey and pat dry. Season, baste with butter and cook.
A GREAT TIP ON COOKING YOUR TURKEY...
For a juicy, flavoursome turkey get brining. Here’s how:
whole foods market
Looking ahead to the feast of the year – Christmas planning 2011
hole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic supermarket in the UK and has an unrivalled commitment to sourcing British produce as locally as possible. Now is the time of year our thoughts start turning to Christmas and how we’re going to help you plan the most important meal of the year.
If you can’t wait until Christmas here are some other delicious British foods to look out for during the autumn at Whole Foods Market: ENGLISH APPLES AND PEARS Kent’s Mole End Farm. This organic fruit farm produces some of the best produce you’ll taste this year.
“The turkeys are free-range and eat stinging nettles and brambles straight out of the ground, which is great exercise for them. Bramble Farm also does not slaughter any birds under 25-weeks-old to ensure that the meat has had plenty of time to mature.” • All Bramble Farm turkeys are reared from day-old chicks and grown slowly and naturally for optimum flavour. They are available from 4kg to 10+kg in 1kg increments. Preorder or pick up from the store at £8.99 per kg. • Bramble Farm brined and boneless turkey breast – Quality Bramble Farm turkey brined, boned and ready for cooking. £12.99 per kg.
Your Christmas meal needs a centrepiece and there is none better than a prime, British turkey. Whole Foods Market sources the best turkeys it can find from Bramble Farm in Surrey among other British suppliers. Bramble Farm turkeys are slow growing and as a result produce finer meat. “The slower the growing process, the finer the grain – the turkey tastes better and carves beautifully,” Says Derek Joy, farmer at Bramble.
GARLIC Colin Boswell - Isle of Wight Garlic Company Colin’s passion for garlic began in his mother’s Isle of Wight kitchen garden more than 30 years ago. Realising their Arreton Valley home sat on a rich soil perfect for producing quality garlic, Colin began ploughing and fertilising his land to create a farm business that now harvests some of the best garlic in the world. RASPBERRIES John Chinn - Cobrey Farm Herefordshire The Chinn family grow fantastic raspberries in a Herefordshire microclimate that traps the sunshine from early spring. By the autumn the raspberries are ready for picking and arrive fresh with us here at Whole Foods Market.
Please send your answer and details, via email to: email@example.com
WIN! TWO £50 WHOLE FOODS MARKET VOUCHERS
Whole Foods Market are offering two lucky flavour readers the chance to win a £50 voucher to help with Christmas preparations. To enter please answer the question below: Q. Which farm does Whole Foods Market source its British turkeys from?
> flavour the michelin guide
With the latest Michelin Guide due to be launched on October 6, flavour’s Louis Labron-Johnson takes a look at this infamous and revered award system…
t might seem odd for global gastronomic gourmets to be in thrall to a tyre company, but the evolution of Michelin is rich and indeed fascinating. Founded in 1889 by the brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin, their innovations in the motoring industry - which included both the first removable tyres and first pneumatic (air-filled) tyres - soon propelled them ahead of their competitors. In 1900 a small, practical guide was given complimentary to customers of the firm, aiming to make travelling easier by listing petrol stations, repair pits and hotels around France. Originally the emphasis was placed on motoring and mechanics, rather than food and board, but over time roads and petrol stations became more numerous and better connected, and the section on hotels and restaurants became ever more popular, eventually becoming the raison d’etre of the publication. The Michelin brothers were aware that the mediocrity of many of the country’s hotels and inns was an impediment to the development of tourism, thus the guides did not only list the places one
a guide to the guide
could sleep and sup, but gave unambiguous assessments of the quality of service in relation to price, overall honesty, and the frequency in which they encountered bedbugs and cockroaches! These ‘reviews’ were then forwarded to the patrons of hotels, who were left in no uncertain terms as to their obligations to their guests. In 1926 the appraisals were further modified to include a rating system that has since become legendary. Probably the most coveted asterisk in history, the Michelin star has been sought after and fought over since its inception in the tyre manufacturer’s guidebook to good French eating. Today the star rating system is recognised worldwide, and focuses on the excellence of culinary technique, consistency of flavour, and overall quality of the food, rather than décor, surroundings or the service provided. The system is uncomplicated, yet the stars are used very sparingly; out of the thousands of restaurants reviewed by Michelin’s undercover food tasting team, very few receive even one star, which is the primary reason that they are so prestigious.
best in britain...
Great Britain now boasts 143 Michelin stars in total, which is a far cry from the meagre 25 awarded in 1974, the first year the guide was released on our shores in its current format. It is testament to how far we have come as a foodie nation, and the world is fast realising that ‘bangers and mash’, for so long synonymous with the country’s culinary failings, is no longer our greatest contribution to international cuisine. Indeed, many chefs, critics and foodies consider London to be the most exciting city in the world when it comes to eating out, the quality of food there exceeded only by the sheer variety of cuisine available, perhaps more diverse than anywhere outside our multicultural, cosmopolitan stewing-pot of a capital. However, when its comes to the serious star collecting, Britain still has a long way to go when compared to Michelin heavyweights France and Japan, the former with an astonishing 571 stars on total, and the latter with 240 in Tokyo alone, including 14 restaurants holding the cherished three stars, which makes it the most heavily-starred city in the world. Britain currently has four restaurants holding three stars; two of which are in the sleepy village of Bray, where both Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Alain Roux’s Waterside reside.
a star is born!
over the years
The Michelin rating system has not been without controversy over the years, here are some of the critiques: Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, the youngest ever recipient of three Michelin stars, famously returned them, saying that he was being judged by people who knew a lot less about cooking than him, and that he was bending over backwards for them, giving them too much respect. Some American food critics, notably Stephen Kurutz of the New York Times, have complained that the guide is biased toward French-style restaurants, and only gives its awards to the larger, grander establishments, ones with the ‘correct grade of cotton in the serviettes’. When Michelin released their first Japanese guide in 2007, it gave Tokyo an unprecedented 191 stars, more than any other city, including Paris. However, many in Japan were not impressed, some chefs even refusing to accept a star. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?” said Tokyo chef Toshiya Kadowaki.
The stars and what they mean:
A very good restaurant in its category.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Excellent cooking and worth a detour.
Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
Do you ever find that no matter how many recipes you follow, tips you pick up on the TV or blogs you read on the internet you can never quite get that dish just right? Well, perhaps it’s time to go back to school and hone your cooking skills with those that make it their business to serve up the perfect platter. The young, the old or even the whole family can experience what it’s like to be at the cutting edge of the kitchen as we learn first-hand from the professionals.
into the kitchen...
Little introduction is needed for Raymond Blanc and his two-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in rural Oxfordshire, but it’s not only at the tables where Raymond serves up his treats, as Le Manoir also has a fantastic children’s cookery school housed in the restaurant’s kitchens from where his team can open up their secret book and share their knowledge with aspiring chefs..
hildren aged from seven to 16 can attend La Petite École to learn about the origins of ingredients, pick vegetables from the gardens at Le Manoir and experience cooking in a fun environment. The day is packed full of activity and allows for the children to enjoy their own created meals as well as indulging in the best of desserts. Certificates are also issued to each junior-chef at the end of the day. Prices are from £260 per child.
the raymond blanc
Le Manoir also run an Adult and Child Cookery Day, where parents can bond with their kids while working as a team under skilled guidance. The added purpose of this course is to create an enjoyable learning environment that would hopefully continue in the home for delicious meals to be produced as a family. Prices from £520 per adult with child. Both of these courses are non-residential but if a family of four were to stay overnight prices start from £480 per night. It really should be on everyone’s bucket list…
Church Road Great Milton Oxford, OX44 7PD 01844 278881 www.manoir.com
As part of Celebration of Food Festival 2011, Barbora Stiess of The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy has whipped up some wonderful events to make this an October for foodies to remember!
the devilled egg
vents held throughout the month will showcase the various experiences on offer at the Academy. “We are delighted to be taking part in Celebration of Food this year,” says Barbora. “There will be a huge amount on offer and I can’t wait to see some of the fabulous events they have lined up – foodie heaven! Most of all I am looking forward to our Fitness and Flavour retreat – it will be an amazing week and very rewarding to host. In fact, it’s going to be a fantastic month all round!”
the devilled egg itinerary...
From 13 to 16 October, The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy takes you to a luxurious and unique ‘Fitness and Flavour’ retreat located at the magnificent Park Hall near Blakedown, Worcestershire. Barbora Stiess – culinary guru behind the academy - has teamed up with Emma Morris (professional personal trainer) to offer a one-of-a-kind food and lifestyle course, focused on the ideal balance between fine cuisine and exercise. On October 18 and 19, there will be two wine tasting evenings at The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy itself. Lucky customers will be given the opportunity to sample a variety of wines, accompanied by delicious dishes designed specifically to match each bottle. This experience will educate tasters on the provenance of the wine, and the history of the winemakers. Both tastings will be held at a lovely Georgian house in the heart of Clifton, Bristol, at the special price of £30 per person. From October 21 to 23, there will be a range of cookery demonstrations at the Dartmouth Festival. Excellent for those with busy schedules, The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy also offers online Video Tutorials that teach aspirants the skills techniques and knowledge to produce culinary perfection through a series of tutorials that can be learnt from the comfort of their own homes. For a yearly subscription, you will receive one online tutorial per month, together with a downloadable PDF of the ingredients and instructions, and ongoing online support throughout the year. On October 26, ‘Cook the Christmas Presents’ sees parents invited to accompany their sons and daughters to a three-hour course where they will learn to make a series of beautiful and delicious treats – perfect presents, if you can bear to give them away! Best of all, there will be 10 per cent off all gift vouchers and bespoke courses purchased in October.
cookery school cottages business celebrations
ocated on the outskirts of a picture-perfect Cotswold village, Thyme at Southrop Manor is the result of owner Caryn Hibbert’s vision to create an outstanding country estate where visitors can rest, play and learn; immersing themselves in beautiful rural surroundings whilst breathing in the bracing country air.
Having spent almost ten years dedicated to restoring the old barns and farm buildings of Southrop Manor Estate into a rare combination of facilities, Caryn was recognised by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England for the exemplary quality of her work. Thyme at Southrop Manor, sited on what is still a working farm, now accommodates luxury cottage suites, soaring entertaining spaces, meeting rooms and a contemporary food school with the most beautifully equipped Bulthaup teaching kitchens. In designing the content of all the cookery and foraging courses, Hibbert was inspired by the seasons and by the locale, and, unusually, has created a food school where the chefs are gardeners and the gardeners are chefs, sourcing their ingredients from the estate’s own gardens, local suppliers, foragers and producers. The courses are all intended to boost existing culinary skills or to start pupils off on the right foot if they come
empty-handed. And for Caryn Hibbert, that means really understanding the relationship between the food we eat and the land it comes from. What also sets a cookery course at Thyme at Southrop Manor apart is the atmosphere and the setting: relaxed, jolly and convivial, the modern teaching kitchens with their glorious floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the olive grove garden and the Cotswold countryside beyond are perfectly designed for working together. The courses take a variety of forms; from full days, short days and evening classes, to cooking demonstrations, food-tastings and skill-based, hands-on cookery days. Subjects covered are diverse; visitors can learn artisan cookery skills, such as charcuterie, bread making, cheese making and chocolate craft, as well as classes focused on particular ingredients, such as game, fish and shellfish. A particular highlight of Thyme at Southrop Manor is the opportunity for guests to take over the food school entirely, whether with a group of friends, or perhaps business colleagues, and create an entirely tailor-made day. Being able to sample real country life, albeit in luxury, is part of the attraction of Thyme at Southrop Manor. Across the courtyard from the food school are four beautifully restored Cotswold cottages, with a further cottage located in the heart of the village, opposite the pub. Grand and slightly quirky, the five luxurious cottages can sleep from two to 14 people. A stunning achievement, Thyme at Southrop Manor is truly a place to thrive in. It is both a hive of learning and activity, as well as a destination for rest and recuperation, nestled deep as it is in the heart of the English countryside.
Cookery Course Dates
8th Oct 12th Oct 22nd Oct 26th Oct 2nd Nov 4th Nov 17th Nov 22nd Nov 1st Dec 4th Dec 10th Dec 13th Dec 16th Dec
IAL SPEC ER OFF
Autumn Foraging; Mushrooms Thyme for Game Curry On! Monthly Menus Classic French Bread Making; The Homemade Loaf Best of British; Low and Slow Monthly Menus Thyme for Game “Men at Work” Christmas Turkey The Handmade Chocolate Monthly Menus Talking…. Christmas
£95 £175 £175 £125 £185 £165 £175 £125 £175 £155 £220 £125 £85
for flavour readers
Book three places before the 30th November 2011 on any course and get the fourth place free! or... Book a place on any course plus one night’s accommodation and get 10% off your cottage price. Please quote flavour when booking. Thyme at Southrop Manor, Southrop, Gloucestershire GL7 3NX Telephone 01367 850 174 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.thymeatsouthropmanor.co.uk
Blakes Hotel London 33 Roland Gardens London SW7 3PF 0207 370 6701 www.blakeshotels.com
> flavour chef profile
Name: Neville Campbell Age: 50 and proud! Where from: Manchester Home: Mitcham in Surrey
Lady Weinburg created Blakes – it was very much her inspiration and this is thought to be the first boutique hotel in the world. It’s such a vibrant place to work and the hotel is just a home away from home for so many amazing people. In the kitchen I keep a strict ship with a happy team. I reward as and when necessary. My brigade is small – just five of us - so it’s important to keep everyone motivated and on an even keel. I’ve always been interested in cooking from an early age and wanted to be a chef since I was 14. I worked in a kitchen at boarding school (washing up, peeling veg etc) and my mum was a keen cook. Everything revolved around food for us. I used to watch The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr, during my school holidays…1974 or 75 I think it was, and he always picked out the pretty woman in the front row and they had dinner. The combination of great food and beautiful women meant the seed was sewn! My first job was in a steakhouse doing the grilled fish, salads and the potatoes whilst the other chef cooked all the steaks! I came to London in 1983 and I’m still here. A new day always brings new experiences…new tasks… new ideas… I love getting to market to see the best produce of the day whether it be Smithfields, New Covent Garden or Billingsgate. The sights and sounds of the market just invigorate me and excite me and I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen. Visits to the markets and seeing what competitors are doing keeps everything fresh and reinvention is key in this business. If I eat out and like a dish it might find its way onto the menu, but with my own twist to make it mine and my style is very much eclectic – East meets West with a nice Blakes twist. From reading the industry and food magazines, Mexican food is going to be the next big thing that will see an explosion of new and exciting flavours onto the market. Food will never have its day – there are too many innovations and companies bringing sensational fish and meat to the marketplace. If I could have anyone prepare me a three-course meal it would have to be my mum. She passed a long time ago but her memory is always with me in the kitchen. I’d start with a clear chicken broth with pearl barley and veg, corned beef hash for mains followed by a classic sherry trifle for pudding. Although I am also a bit partial to a chicken tikka jalfrezi so I may have to go out for that at the Spice of Raj at Colliers Wood! There are a lot of people that want to become chefs and may not have considered fully what it requires. You have to be dedicated and really want it. You cannot be impatient as it takes years, not months to become a chef. Hard and long unsociable hours are the norm but you get a fabulous reward at the end of a good service. Enjoy today though, because tomorrow’s another day. ■
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For Nadia Gencas, MD of Barking’s Amber Bakery, a dream has become reality with the opening on September 13 of her company’s first retail outlet at the new Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre. For the past seven years the Amber Bakery has supplied a range of Lithuanian breads and pastries from its Barking base to ethnic London retailers. Now with the launch of its own retail shop, it is planning to revolutionise Westfield visitors’ bread eating habits with the launch of the Russian fusion bakery store Karaway. For the opening, Nadia has worked with a British artisan baker to adapt some of the most popular Russian traditional bread recipes and then add a 21st-century twist to offer consumers a whole range of exciting new tastes. “For the first time people will be able to try authentic Russian breads with no artificial additives or preservatives,” says Nadia, “and a whole range of Russian and Lithuanian recipes with a unique modern artisan twist such as; rye bread with nuts and raisins, potato bread, onion and Dill bread. We are also offering a range of snacks including the traditional Russian poppy seed pastry that is perfect when toasted, spread with butter and eaten with a cup of tea. “No one else is baking bread in this way, and we are sure we will inspire our customers to be adventurous. Rye flour, which we use for most of our breads, is extremely healthy and nutritious and we will be showing visitors to Karaway great new ways of eating and enjoying bread. We will also be offering a whole range of traditional pastries and snacks and will look forward to explaining the stories and traditions attached to many of the recipes. “At first I didn’t know what to expect but so far it’s been great. We presented a concept to Westfield and they believed in us and gave us this opportunity and hopefully Karaway can reach out and establish itself as something unique and exciting for the mainstream market.” We wish Nadia all the best with Karaway and are sure it will prove a big hit at Westfield for many years to come.
10 Fresh Food Great Eastern Market Westfield Stratford City London E20 1EH 0208 534 4458 www.karawaybakery.com
Also known as ‘The Spice King’, Sriram Aylur is Executive Chef of St James Park’s ‘The Quilon’, the only Michelinstarred restaurant specialising in Southern Indian food in the entire world.
The son of a chef, Sriram was practically raised in the kitchen, and was inspired by the work ethic practised by his father and his staff. No matter how hard the work, levity and laughter ruled the workplace, and Sriram follows those guidelines still. After college, Sriram joined the luxury hotel group Taj Hotels and Palaces, and in a meteoric rise through the ranks, became head chef in a mere two years. From here the idea for his award-winning restaurant, The Karavali was conceived, which was recognised by the New Statesman in 1995 as one of the top five restaurants in the whole of India. Sriram has since gone from strength to strength, and his latest venture is certainly no exception. The Quilon is progressive, yet remains true to its roots, and this sentiment is reflected in the sumptuous and varied menu, which includes exciting dishes such as Black Cod with Tempered Asparagus served with Lobster Butter Pepper, alongside more traditional South Indian classics; his delicious Avial and Masala Dosa are not to be missed. All hail the king!
As Britain’s Beer Drinker of the year, you obviously have an affiliation with the national pastime. Can you tell us about your beer-matching menu at Quilon? Beer is one of my favourite drinks. With more than 1,000 beers brewed in this country alone there is a great variety in terms of taste, flavour and the overall experience. We offer both a five-course and an eight-course beer and food menu, in every course we have two dishes, and each course is matched with a beer that could hail from any part of the world. What are the general properties of a South Indian dish? South Indian food in general does not have butter or cream. Wherever there is use of butter, it is used very sparingly. Most spices are grown in the South, including cardamom; cinnamon; chillies; curry leaves; and the best peppercorns are from Kerala. Coconut is used generously in Kerala, especially towards the coast, bestowing upon the dish its creamy texture. Most cooking is done by boiling, braising or steaming, thus the use of oil is quite low. All these factors make the cuisine healthier and lighter. The Quilon serves food from the South-West coast of India, so there is a great deal of fish, shellfish and vegetables on the menu, besides chicken, lamb and game. Do you feel that British people’s attitude to Indian food is overly dictated to by the ubiquitous Tikka Masala, and other derivatives of the North Indian Cuisine? This used to be the case some 8-10 years ago. I think the British now are the most aware and knowledgeable of Indian food in the world after Indians themselves. In the last decade quite a few speciality and regionally-specific restaurants have opened and now people travel for pleasure and business more than they ever did, and consequently awareness has increased. What can you tell us about your scientific approach to spices, and the medicinal properties that they hold? Indian cooking in general and South Indian cooking in particular has a lot of herbs and spices used to make up a dish. Every spice or herb is used for a reason. For example, turmeric powder is always used to marinate
meats and fish. This is because turmeric is a good disinfectant. Thus it is used as a precautionary measure. If one has a bad throat half a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with hot milk should give a great amount of relief.
> flavour sriram aylur
All spices have oil in them and so the best way to get the flavour and properties of the spice is by adding it to hot oil or broiling it and making a powder of it. Cooking is science; it is chemistry with a creative approach that makes food interesting. Every spice has medicinal properties, once we understand and learn to use them in our daily meal, they can not only help us eat healthily, but also help us remain healthy. You really are what you eat. The warmth of Indian hospitality is world-renowned. Does the quality of service play a large part in your dining experience? There is a saying in India, which, when translated, means ‘guest is God’. Indeed, service is the very foundation on which the whole hospitality business is based. You describe your cuisine as progressive Indian food, not fusion. Nonetheless, are you inspired by any particular cultures, food-wise other than Indian? In fusion the cuisine, inspiration, ingredient could be from anywhere and could also be a mixture of influences. This is often good but one could lose their way. Even when a dish could be inspired by any other cuisine the ingredient that we use has to be from the West Coast of India. With all the varied spices and herbs that are available in South India, it makes a compelling reason for sticking to this style. I am quite inspired by Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine and culture.
The Quilon 41 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6AF 020 7821 1899 www.quilon.co.uk
> flavour the big house company
Come rain or shine and whether it’s for weddings, corporate events or just one big party, The Big House Company has three exciting venues to entertain and enthral no matter what the conditions.
the big house
Culmhead, Somerset Sleeps 24 (12 bedrooms with eight bathrooms) Built in the late 1800s, Widcombe Grange is an impressive stone-built country house set in 22 acres of landscaped woodland on the Blackdown Hills in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The grounds are spectacular and lend themselves to a range of country pursuits including archery, fishing and clay shooting to name a few. There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool, so your group can stay and play without ever having to leave the site!!
o-owners Peter and Caroline Insall and Ben and Victoria Fox have more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and they have created an experience at their three ‘Big Houses’ that is tailored to suit every want and need. Sleeping between 21 and 31 guests, although smaller groups can be catered for, each house has an individual feel and The Big House team will leave no stone unturned to deliver as much or as little as you desire. Most importantly, however, they want you to have fun!
All three houses are small enough to be personable, but big enough to be accommodating. Food sourced by local suppliers can be supplied, delivered or cooked for you; hot air balloons can lift you off from outside your bedroom; bikes can be hired for you or wine tastings arranged for you – all the bases are covered and, anything that hasn’t been already thought of, can be done. The Big House’s strengths lie in their organisation, personability and ‘can-do’ attitude. They fill-in the gaps to make your stay as active or as ‘laissez faire’ as required. The houses and their grounds are stunning in their own right, the Big House team make them complete.
The Big House Tone Dale House Wellington TA21 0EZ 01823 662673 email@example.com www.thebighouseco.com
Bideford, Devon Sleeps 20/24 (In 10 bedrooms with eight bathrooms) Berry is an elegant Georgian house situated remotely in open farmland close to the cliffs of the rugged and dramatic North Devon coast. This a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and the house has superb views out to sea as well as inland across a wooded valley to the tall medieval tower of St Nectan's church. Great care has been taken to retain the historic character of the building whilst discreetly incorporating the best modern services and to provide a great sense of contemporary style without the feeling of being too new!
Tone Dale House
Wellington, Somerset Sleeps 21/31 (In 16 bedrooms with nine bathrooms) Tone Dale is an impressive, elegant Palladian-style Villa, set in four acres of wonderful landscaped grounds, centring on the mill stream, alongside a once thriving, but now silent woollen mill. Built by Thomas Fox in 1797, the house and gardens have been carefully restored by the current owners.
It’s all about the giving...
> flavour harrods hampers
“Christmas was close at hand - the season of hospitality, merriment, and open-heartedness,” said Dickens, and we at flavour and those at Harrods believe that quote perfectly embodies the sentiment of the festive period - a fun time filled with family, friends and, of course, great food and drink.
Whisky & Truffles
nd so, with nothing but ‘hospitality’ and ‘merriment’ on our minds, flavour has picked out a few delectable gourmet Harrods hampers for you, your family and anyone you might wish to bestow a little ‘open-heartedness’ upon. Every single Harrods hamper is a testament to the exquisite produce developed and picked by their buyers, who spend 12 months a year scouring the globe for the very finest food, drink and accessories.
Named after a shoulder strain that was experienced by the distillery’s malt-men of old, Monkey Shoulder is a smooth blend of Kininvie, Balvenie and Glenfiddich and an ideal partner for chocolate. Spirit: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky Confectionery: Whisky truffles, 240g
The Scottish Selection
For an oh-so-virtuous Christmas give this Daylesford hamper, brimming with fruit-laden goodness and an ultra-soft Daylesford bear. Wines & Spirits: Château Léoube, Red; Raspberry Gin 25cl Pantry: Christmas pudding 900g; Christmas cake 900g; Shortbread selection 330g; Manuka honey and oat savoury biscuits 150g; Strawberry preserve 227g; Brandy butter 227g; Cranberry sauce 200g; Red onion and apple chutney 330g; Sparkling apple and bilberry juice 375ml Confectionery: Milk and dark chocolate heart selection 90g; Father Christmas milk chocolate lolly 40g; Snowflake white chocolate lolly 40g Gifts & Accessories: Preserve pot and wooden spoon; Teddy bear; Wooden heart decoration
Awaiting the recipient of this festive hamper, is a delicious selection of seriously sweettooth-friendly treats from Scotland, including whisky-infused marmalade, classic Dundee cake and shortbread. Spirit: 12-year-old single malt Scotch whisky Pantry: Dundee cake 350g; Shortbread assortment 350g; Shortbread fingers 375g; Raspberry preserve 227g; Wild-flower honey 227g; Orange and whisky marmalade 220g Confectionery: Butter toffee 170g; Vanilla fudge 170g; Butterscotch 170g
Champagne & Truffles
A perfect pairing for Christmas, the Champagne and Truffles set artfully combines delicate notes of ripe fruit and a fine sparkle with rich, oozing chocolate ganache. Wine: Premier Cru Champagne Confectionery: Pink Champagne truffles 240g
Daylesford Fresh Box
Perfect for nibbling, this farm-fresh box is brimming with natural ingredients, including five cheeses, a sweet red onion chutney and a lovely crate to reuse. Fresh Food: Ham 1.5kg; Smoked salmon 200g; Adlestrop 500g; Stilton 250g; Pennyston heart 180g; Double Gloucester 500g; Cheddar 500g; Pantry: Oatmeal and Manuka honey savoury biscuits 150g; Sea salt and pepper crackers 150g; Red onion and apple chutney 330g; Piccalilli 320g; Gifts and accessories: Cool bag and wooden heart decoration.
For the full brochure visit: www.harrods.com
As shopping destinations go, few can beat London’s Marylebone Village for its trendy clothing boutiques, hip design and homeware stores, and the myriad of restaurants and bars. Unsurprisingly, Marylebone is also a gourmet paradise with a truly breathtaking range of produce and goods in just a handful of excellent shops.
London Farmers’ Market
By Johanna Uy
S ER’ SID MET IN UR GO UIDE G
A fantastic array of organic, free-range and sustainable fruit, veg, meat, dairy and seafood can be found at the weekly London Farmers’ Market (www.lfm.org.uk/markets/marylebone) on Sundays at the spacious Cramer Street Car Park. Around 30 or 40 stalls cater to enthusiastic locals who stock up on excellent quality produce for the week ahead. Seafood takes a starring role in these markets, with no less than two stalls devoted to all good things from the sea. Weston and Long’s fish and shellfish are net and line caught off the Norfolk coast. The selection of readyprepared seafood includes potted shrimps, dressed crab and smoked mackerel and haddock fillets. Fresh Blakeney Point oysters are also available for on-thespot tasting or for shucking at home. Family business, Seafayre, sell whole fish such as seabass, plaice, Dover sole and mackerel freshly caught from the previous day off the Kentish coast. For excellent quality and well-priced grass-fed native Colchester lamb, free-range poultry and locally-shot game birds, look no further than Layer Marney Lamb (www.layermarneylamb.co.uk). The family-run business takes animal welfare seriously, with all lamb reared and butchered at the farm premises and fully traceable.
One of the UK’s longest-standing and firmly established organic farms, Sunnyfields (www.sunnyfields.co.uk), offers a range of seasonal fruit and veg at the markets, under the ethos of directly supplying farm goods to the end consumer in the most efficient way possible. Next door, devour a buttery, sautéed oyster mushroom sandwich generously topped with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley at The Mushroom Table (www.mushroomtable.com), whilst eyeing the organically-cultivated enoki, girolles, chestnuts and other seasonal mushrooms for sale. Meanwhile, The Potato Shop (www.thepotatoshop.com) boasts 12 varieties of organic potato farmed in Tenterden, including Yukon Gold, Wilija, Salad Blue, Ratte and the highly popular Nicola and Pink Fir, to name but a few. Another highlight at the Marylebone Farmers’ Market is the freshly prepared everyday Frenchinspired meals from Madame Gautier (www.madamegautier.com). Feast your eyes on all manner of regional French specialties, from giant pans brimming with hot confit of beef and poulet provençale to classic side dishes such as celeriac rémoulade, ratatouille and pommes purée.
insider’s gourmet guide
When you have had your fill of the markets, cross the road to one of London’s best and most popular butchers, the Ginger Pig (www.thegingerpig.co.uk), where top quality meat and poultry are sold by superfriendly and helpful staff. More unusual cuts are given a look-in, from beef short ribs, bone-in neck of lamb to smoked ham hocks. For a more hands-on experience, the Ginger Pig also runs cookery and butchery classes. Next-door is quite possibly Marylebone’s best food shop, for its sheer variety and the quality of its stock. La Fromagerie (www.lafromagerie.co.uk) has more than its on-site cheese maturing cellar and walk-in cheese room. The shop also sells charcuterie, fresh produce and store cupboard goods from the world’s best sources, including tomatoes from San Marzano, jamon iberico from Spain, Ligurian olives, and the best English apples. Around the corner is Fishworks (www.fishworks.co.uk) and its combined wet fish counter and restaurant, complete with resident fishmonger. Fish doesn’t get any fresher, as you can choose your fish or shellfish from the counter, and then have it cooked and eaten in the restaurant. Easily overlooked but a must-visit on any Marylebone shopping itinerary is village institution, the Blandford Fruit Stores, where owner Eric Halil has been getting up at 4am to make the trek to New Covent Garden Markets for the best quality fruit and veg since the ‘70s. Another long-standing local treasure is the Paul Rothe and Sons general store, deli and café established in 1900, complete with laminate tables, shelves packed to the rafters with home-made jam and relish, and old-school service. Tucked away in Marylebone Lane is London’s oldest established sausage supplier and shop, Biggles (www.ebiggles.co.uk). The range of sausages is endless and covers all manner of traditional, continental and specialty styles, with no bread or rusk added. Those who prefer cooking and entertaining at home are also spoilt for choice in Marylebone. Divertimenti (www.divertimenti.co.uk) is a specialist kitchen and tableware shop and cooking school, crammed with gadgets, tools and beautiful crockery. The school caters both to novices and more experienced cooks, with a focus on world cuisines. For an Italian bent, Cucina Caldesi (www.caldesi.com) runs courses in all aspects of Italian cooking with guest chefs such as Valentine Warner and Sophie Grigson making special appearances.
> flavour xxxxxxx
A regular contributor to CAMRA magazine Pints West, Duncan Shine champions the virtues of real ale and traditional cider. He’s also editor of the website britishpubguide.com
A favourite – if slightly dubious – pleasure of mine is watching other people rushing about when I don’t have to. Being on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas may be some people’s idea of hell; but try it when you’ve already done all your Christmas shopping: you may find it wonderfully relaxing watching all those rushed and careworn faces. Or how about sitting in the pub, beer in hand, and looking out through picture windows as rush hour hurtles around you in all directions? Now that, surely, is the perfect place to experience a delicious sense of freude at everyone else’s schaden. There are few pubs better for watching the rat race than The Swan in Hammersmith. Surrounded by the busy traffic of Beadon Street and King Street, it is also perfect for watching the comings and goings of the punters at Broadway Shopping Centre, and the thousands of Londoners departing on one of the four underground lines that fan out from here. Although an excellent refuge from the stresses of the 21st century, there has actually been an inn here for well over 250 years. In the 18th century, this was one of
the first coaching inns where travellers would stop on their way west out of London. The pub you see today however, is a much later construction. The original was demolished as part of the work to prepare Hammersmith for the arrival of the railway, and so the interior owes much to a Victorian sense of majesty and grandeur. As you enter you can’t help but be impressed by a gleaming elegance from floor to ceiling. Ornate glossy flooring, chandeliers hanging from the ceilings across which are traced elaborate gold-leaf shapes. There is a large brass mirror away
The Swan 46 Hammersmith Broadway London W6 0DZ 0208 748 1043
> flavour xxxxxxx
Raise a glass to...
Fuller’s London Pride (4.1%) Nowadays one of Britain’s most famous beers, still brewed at the old Fuller brewery in Chiswick. It’s sold as a classic best bitter, but I find it a little paler than many. When it’s at its best, there is definitely a hint of those old Caramac bars – the ones that bunny used to advertise – but that flavour sits surprisingly well with the undercurrent of bitter fruitiness. Box Steam Derail Ale (5.2%) Stronger, premium pale ale from Wiltshire. Now, this is hoppier than a hyperactive rabbit, and there’s a beautiful bouquet to it too. It’s a rare pale ale in that it really is very full-bodied with a strong, slightly bitter taste. This is how an I.P.A. should taste. Daleside Square Rigger (4.5%) This is a gentler beer than Derail Ale. It has an amber colour to it and, although it says I.P.A. on the pumpclip, I don’t think it’s typical of that style. The mix of hops gives it a complexity of taste that is reminiscent of a premium ale. There is that flowery aroma though, and this is an unconventional but rewarding brew. Orkney Dark Island (4.6%) Dark is the word for this ripe, flavourful Scottish beer. It’s worth pausing to take in the aroma, which has more than a hint of Fruit and Nut chocolate bars, while the taste develops the chocolate theme but with a figgy-pudding addition that makes the approaching winter seem quite inviting. A wonderful award-winning pint.
to your left. The main drinking area has picture windows on three sides, all the better to put your own day into slow motion as you smugly watch the teeming masses bustle by. At the front of the pub, there are tall wooden frames that break the space up without actually reaching the ceiling. The furniture is a mixture of high bar stools, comfortable sofas and simple wooden tables which reflect the eclectic mix of customers, from those escaping from the shopping or the office, to the discerning lunchers and real ale connoisseurs. There’s an imaginative menu offering starters such as pork and sage terrine alongside deep fried brie or chicken and chorizo skewers; while the main course might be cod in smoked salmon, a lamb shank pie or a porterhouse steak. Vegetarians should love the roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart made with cheesy pastry. As good as the food is, the real strength of the Swan lies in its selection of beers. There are as many as six hand-pumps ranged along the bar, with a combination
of well-known brands and unusual guests. This is a part of the Nicholson’s pub chain; their commitment to a wide variety of different ales and bitters is very consistent across the estate. Beers such as Fuller’s London Pride, St Austell Tribute and Sharp’s Doom Bar sit comfortably alongside such delights as Box Brewery’s Derail Ale, Daleside Squarerigger and Orkney Dark Island. It is a happy side-effect of being in such a busy location that these beers sell and rotate quickly, so it is always worth checking what is on offer at any given time. There is a cosy lounge area to the rear, which is far better suited to those seeking a quiet meeting away from the hurly-burly that surrounds the pub; and upstairs is a more formal dining area; but the real joy of the Swan, for me, lies in the ability to sit with a cracking pint and drink in the tradition and history – Gustav Holst is thought to have been a customer here – while quietly pitying those outside who are missing out. Bliss. ■
In-between filming BBC One food programmes such as ‘Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers’ and Simon Hopkinson’s ‘The Good Cook’, BBC Executive Producer Peter Lawrence somehow finds time to tend his organic garden…
D ia ry of a
to experience f ever there is a time for a gardener d swings, it’s now. The September severe moo valent of the harvest is the ‘grow your own’ equi worked tirelessly for months FA Cup Final: you have tribulations that and made it through all the trials and despite the frosts, floods, nature can throw at you but you have now got droughts, slugs, blight and aphids your hands on the ultimate prize… ations are extremely Sadly, the glory and self-congratul no sooner have you pulled short-lived. The truth is, that and beetroot, picked the last of your onions, early leeks dug the last few the juiciest apples from the tree and toes, than you are left with a rows of main crop pota nder that winter bleak muddy patch and a timely remi will soon shift, the days is looming. The summer clock any inclination to get shorter and the only things with family – hardly grow seem to belong to the cabbage ard to. something to look forw bad. The September Thankfully, there is more good than s rare but golden and makes the crop evening sun is ing. Suddenly you do have look all the more entic ming, in plentiful the choice of what to eat is overwhel and and at least the ripening squashes supply splashes of colour on pumpkins still provide a few the dark earth. of course but now is The potatoes and onions will keep crop of tomatoes. the perfect time to devour the final y sorry for themselves The plants are all looking prett
on in there. A few but the last of the fruit is hanging to ripen on the windowsill might need a helping hand s. I’m so pleased I but most have managed it themselve ties this year, the experimented with different varie colours look range of flavours is amazing and the beef tomatoes ning. In particular, the marmande stun the yellow pear-shaped gems are a hearty feast and are incredibly sweet and tasty. tomatoes I wanted With such a range of ripe delicious me savour their very to make something that would let of creamy mozzarella, a few different qualities. A ball ery olive oil made sprigs of basil and a drizzle of pepp of lemon juice, a little the perfect companions. A dash red this quick-tozest and some salt and pepper ensu mouthwatering endprepare dish became a fitting and ed with crusty bread and a of-summer treat – serv chilled glass of rosé. and winter With the heat now gone from the day ener looks to ing ever closer, the optimistic gard draw dark nights draw in the the year ahead. As the it) cabbages will be potatoes, onions and (dare to adm bridging the hungry comforting winter companions, come out and the months until the seed catalogues of a whole new first salad sowings herald the start may bring. season – whatever that
a food history Peter is currently in production on s with the Hairy Bikers for BBC Two. serie
When things turn really hot…
gergely barsi szabó
A few years ago I made a daring career change. I left my business journalist life back home in Budapest and came to London for the wine trade. Wine has always been present in my life, my grandpas having their own vineyards. I think if you choose wine you enter into a lifelong learning process. Since I came to London I tried to explore all the aspects of the industry: I was working on tastings, spent some years as a sommelier and now I am running Borough Wines in Borough Market. Selling wine here is a bit like "theoretical sommelierie" – show me what’s in your bag, and as we go through the ingredients, I will recommend you a bottle of wine. This will go perfectly well with what you’re about to cook…
“Lamb curry is on the menu, suggest something that goes well with hot food!” I have heard this request a couple of times working at Borough so I have decided to do something about it! So, here we go, a universal wine guide to all those folks who find pleasure in chilli peppers, sweat and tears. Different chilli peppers have different concentrations of the substance. It was an American pharmacist, Mr Wilburn Scoville who started experimenting on people to see if they could detect different concentrations. The result was a couple of burnt tongues, and the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU), that grades the regular bell pepper with 0, and the hottest Habaneros at about 200,000. That is almost lethal. But why do we enjoy it? Obviously it can be a question of machismo, but the main reason lies in the endorphin addiction. When you eat something with such an irritating quality your body produces endorphin as a natural painkiller. A hormone of happiness released in your body technically speaking you get high with chili peppers. But what sort of wine should we pair with spicy food? Ever since serious Indian food appeared in the UK, the complementing drink of choice was lager. Can wine actually work with spicy food? Of course it can, but you have to be very careful with the matching. We are talking about dangerous substances here. No one wants to turn his or her palate into a battlefield of chemical warfare. On the market the usual request is to have something massive and full-bodied. The customers say that the chilli blocks the flavour sensation and therefore you need more flavour, more body and more alcohol. I think it just doesn’t work like this. The spicy food irritates our palate on a high level. If we add a lot of tannins and high alcohol this combination won’t give us any ease. The solution is a light, chilled fruity dry white or rosé. There is a certain reason why Alsatian wine works so well with most of the Asian cuisines - it does not want to overpower the food. So the solution should be something like an easy Folle Blanche, Muscadet, a Colombard or some really pale Provençal-style rose. The lighter the better: alcohol burns the palate. Even a 15% abv wine would not normally irritate the palate, but what if it’s already on fire because of the capsicum? Well, a good heavy red can actually feel like tasting barrel-proof whisky... In the case of chemical warfare, these are a lot easier to drink than a heavy red. If we feel anything after that hot chilli, it should be a pleasant chill, not some mouth-drying tannin bomb. Take a try, but be careful, do not go for a 100,000 SHU pepper just because you found a decent bottle of light white!
> flavour cigalon
If you’re really clever, really talented, or really naturally gifted in any field, you don’t need to shout about it. You do your thing quietly, confidently, and don’t need to impress your brilliance on everyone you meet - excellence will reap its own reward. Cigalon is just such a restaurant...
The Gascon family of restaurants is the pedigree here, which includes Club Gascon, Comptoir Gascon and Le Cercle, and Head Chef Julien Carlon and the two managers have all been through the ranks there. Soothing pastel shades and the most gorgeous central island of booths that wrap themselves around each other, each one offering an enclave of seclusion, create a stunning first impression. Chuck in a couple of olive trees and you’re seduced into feeling that yes, you really are in a Provençal idyll. The addition of indoor trees could easily come across as gauche and a bit naff, but the effect is measured and subtle. The exceptional black olive tapenade that is presented as the first morsel, sets the tone. A depth charge of flavour, the distilled essence of black olive, kicking off eager anticipation, salivatory switches flicked to “go”. Excellent, bouncy bread, a cute touch of being toasted on one side, completes a joyful first few mouthfuls. A Niçoise salad is ordered to test the kitchen, the simplicity of the dish offering no hiding place for a slack brigade. What we receive is a supermodel of a Niçoise. Glorious oozing egg, flashes of red from sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, intense salted anchovy, and the finest tinned pale Albacore tuna. Or is it? We’re told that the tuna is a confit in olive oil, prepared in-house - beyond the call of duty and an utterly brilliant touch. £6.50 of Niçoise perfection. King Scallops and Poutargue risotto sees scallops that have had just a whisper of heat from the pan, their dense sweetness requiring little more. Poutargue is the French Bottarga, dried mullet roe shavings, and injects soothing risotto and scallop with a salty slap of the sea. Line-caught salt cod in vegetable broth reads like an anodyne bore-draw football fixture, but what arrives is an exercise in balance and precision. Pearly white flakes of fish, nestling in a broth of delicacy, the lively addition of a seriously garlicky aïoli adding spark. Looked so simple, yet over delivered at every step. Fillet of Hake on Camargue black rice is another deft piece of cooking; meaty fish with crisp skin sitting on dense jet-black, nutty rice, the plate given a shock of colour with a shellfish bisque and two prawns. The sweetness and depth of flavour to the prawns was a delightful surprise, the bisque carrying a kick from the anise of Pernod or Pastis. Bagna Cauda with cruditées, more often seen in its home of Piemonte, Italy, but also found in Nice, is dense, pungent and authentic – a hot blend of anchovy, garlic and butter, ready to receive crunchy vegetables for dipping. Bay leaf Crème Brûlée for a delicate twist on a classic, completes a seamless afternoon. Downstairs the Baranis bar reveals a gravel lined Petanque alley, where you can throw a few balls around, drink Pastis, and explore a wine list led by Provençal and Corsican bottles, thoughtfully selected and carefully sourced, overseen by enthusiastic bar manager Yohann Bodier. There is a measured poise to everything going on here, from the genuinely warm and unaffected welcome from manager Yann Osouf, ex-Wolseley, to the controlled pace of the dishes coming from the kitchen. The comforting sense is that these guys have been doing things too well, for too long, to screw things up. Two visits here saw expectations exceeded on our return. The Set Menu at £19.50 for two, and £24.50 for three courses is as fine a set menu option as you’ll find in London, and has all the panache, quality and attention to detail of the à la carte. Cigalon is very clever, very talented and very slick - it just doesn’t need to shout about it.
115 Chancery Lane City of London WC2A 1PP 0207 242 8373 www.cigalon.co.uk
> flavour matt dawson
The 2003 World Cup winner was joined by acclaimed ‘caterer with a conscience’ and chef Allegra McEvedy MBE on a joyous, grubby and above all greedy tour of English food and farming. Each one of the 10 episodes will see them meet the farmers and labourers who devote their lives to putting fresh produce on our tables.
Rugby is fairly topical at the moment and food is never far away from our thoughts. Now, combine the two and you have the perfect recipe and that’s why we caught up with former England and British Lions scrum-half Matt Dawson to chat about his new television series Matt and Allegra’s Big Farm.
gone into the process and how much more there is to food than just what you see on your plate, it really puts it all into perspective. In my rugby days we basically saw food as fuel and, although a few others and myself really enjoyed what we ate, we didn’t have the full understanding of where it came from and how it got here. It’s been a real eye-opener. “Allegra and I have had an absolute blast doing this. She has been great fun and up for any challenge put in front of her, be that horseback riding, quad biking, operating heavy machinery and generally just getting stuck in. She’s definitely been braver than me. “This is a food show and although we’ve been to remote places, had some pretty intense experiences and showed many different methods of farming, we’ve still kept it light hearted and accessible. We don’t ram sustainability, seasonal, local etc… down your throat, but we just try and show the reality behind the food chain.”
As they seek out the real experience of farming life, they have to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to some hard graft, earning all the ingredients needed to rustle up a mouth-watering selection of British dishes at the end of each programme to feed the people they have met and worked with along the way. “I am a massive foodie and keen cook and this seemed like the perfect challenge in a field I am passionate about,” Matt says. “There is plenty of produce out there that not everyone knows about and a hell of a lot of farmers who work tirelessly without getting the kudos they deserve. “Getting up-close and personal with livestock you can really witness what has
Matt has form when it comes to food, having been part of the successful Mitch and Matt’s Big Fish with Mitch Tonks on UKTV’s Good Food channel, and so this venture was just another extension of his love affair with all things gastronomic. Matt and Allegra’s Big Farm airs on Good Food, Sunday to Thursday at 9pm from October 23, and we at flavour can’t wait to see how the intrepid pair get on as they travel the country in that big red bus…
In 1997, while enjoying her post as the CEO of a medical charity, Julie Friend entered BBC MasterChef purely because her late mother had once sighed 'You could win this darling'!. As the saying goes, the rest is history. Mum was right (aren't they always?) and from then on Julie moved from a desk to the kitchen, combining private catering with teaching and food writing. In 2005 she opened her delicatessen Flavours in Tufnell Park, North London, which has become a local meeting place, particularly at the weekend when the shop also has a stall at the local food market.
blackberry loaf cake E
ach month the deli focuses on a feature flavour or ingredient where Julie and her team can introduce seasonal stock and play with some new recipes for goodies on the counter and in the fridge. Method This time of the year there is nothing more satisfying than grappling your way through spiky hedgerows to emerge with a bountiful collection of sweet, juicy blackberries – nature’s free gift to us as summer winds down and the more autumnal weather kicks in. If you can resist eating them all there and then, save a handful and make this simple loaf cake which makes a wonderful afternoon tea treat. Ingredients 125ml (4fl oz) sunflower oil 200g (7oz) fresh blackberries 125g (4oz) caster sugar Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt 3 medium eggs, beaten 175g (6oz) plain flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan oven/Gas mark 5. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin or use a greaseproof liner. 2 Whisk together the caster sugar, oil, lemon zest and juice and eggs. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, add the blackberries and toss to coat. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet mix. Stir together gently, trying not to break up the berries. 3 Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for around 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (start off on the top shelf and move down after about 40 minutes if getting too brown). Leave in the tin to cool. Dust with icing sugar when ready to serve. 4 Slightly warm with a dollop of crème fraiche makes a great dessert.
> flavour nick harman
the sweet smell of nothing
This month Nick Harman finds out why his senses are no longer being tickled...
What happened to food aromas? Not the ones they talk about in those TV commercials badly-dubbed from the original German; the ones where a blonde yummy mummy stalks her family with an aerosol, spraying furniture, teen trainers and pets alike to ‘remove lingering odours’. The terrible thing is that even if they did do that, the dishes served inside all too often have no aroma anyway. The times I’ve bent down until my nose is buried in the plate to try and detect some olfactory clue are legion. Yes I am the man over at the corner table apparently about to snort his meal like a gastro Keith Richards. The sense of smell as much as sight, prepares us for a meal. A perfect work of art on the plate with no aroma is about as stimulating as looking at a picture of the dish. Heston Blumenthal famously employed a perfume atomiser to spray fish and chip shop smells around the diner in order to enhance the pleasure of the food. The vinegar from the pickled onion jar apparently was the key ingredient. Not a bad idea, but surely it would be better to simply make the food smell enticing in the first place? No such problems at Galvin Bistro in Marylebone. There the smell of great food hits you straight away. So much so you can’t wait to get to the table and get stuck in. Maybe that’s why we are being besieged by so many new bistros; they aren’t gastro temples of tat, they’re places that you go to eat in again and again where food is fun and part of a social experience. It’s time to celebrate smell again and give the elbow to sterile plates of food fit to be nothing more than pictures on a wall. Wake up and smell the garlic!
The sense of smell as much as sight, prepares us for a meal.
No, I mean the smells that used to greet you when you walked into a restaurant, the ones that got your tummy rumbling and the gastric juices going. These days walk into any top level London restaurant with your eyes closed and you might well think you were in an office block or dry-cleaners. Of course the powerful extraction hoods in the kitchen are partly to blame. They suck so hard that chefs’ aprons flap up like chorus girls’ skirts every time they walk past, and while extractors may make the kitchen a bearable work place they kill the atmosphere in the main room. Supermarkets employ a system that sends the bakery smells down pipes to appear at the front door, thus luring in the punters. Well the better ones do anyway, the ‘pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ places don’t bother with such psy-warfare, the prices do the luring for them. They could perhaps pump the smell of cheap lager, as that seems the most popular choice among customers. Why don’t restaurants do something similar? A vent over the front door wafting garlic out into the street would surely get diners queuing up in no time, their noses in the air like the Bisto kids.
Nick Harman is editor of www.foodepedia.co.uk and was shortlisted last year for The Guild of Food Writer’s Restaurant Reviewer of the Year.
Winners of three gold stars at last year’s Great Taste Awards, Six O'clock Gin and Six O'clock Tonic are the new champions of the Bramley and Gage range. The blueprint for Six O'clock Gin and Six O'clock Tonic is balance, poise and precision, values upheld by Michael Kain, who has created both a clean and smooth London gin and a natural bittersweet tonic. When combined, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. For the gin, Michael carefully balances juniper with six other botanicals to chime together as sweetly as any timepiece. Orange peel adds citrus in delightful harmony with floral elderflower, resulting in a clean, smooth and richly flavoured gin. Six O’clock Tonic is an all-natural Indian tonic water made with real sugar and contains no saccharin or artificial preservatives. The bitterness comes from natural quinine extract and this melds with acidity from lemon and lime extracts. Quench your thirst this summer with the ultimate British aperitif – creating your very own moment of “ginspiration” before dinner. www.sixoclockgin.co.uk
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