kaveyeats

 

I said a couple of years ago that 2012 was the year of ramen. That was prompted by the opening of four fabulous ramenya in London, each one selling a vastly more exciting (and generally, more authentic) offering than the Wagamama-style facsimile that was prevalent at the time. Since then, the enthusiasm for real ramen has continued to grow unabated – some of the four brands I mentioned in 2012 have launched new outlets; we’ve also seen the opening of United Ramen (which I tried last year during their pop-up phase and went to more recently when they launched their permanent location in Islington) and Ramen Sasuke (which I’m visiting soon). Old hand Ramen Seto (formerly of Oriental City) has moved into a new home near Camden Lock. The famous Ippudo chain is opening in London very soon too.

My latest ramen splurping was at another new kid on the block, Kanada-Ya, which opened without fanfare on the 2nd of this month, directly across the street from Ippudo’s soon-to-open shop. Located on St Giles High Street, steps away from Tottenham Court Road tube station (and the hub of several bus routes), Kanada-Ya brings to London a successful Japanese ramenya founded in Kyushu by Kanada Kazuhiro just 5 years ago. The London store is their third store, with their second being in Hong Kong – a very international expansion from the start!

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With the protocol-chain hailing from Yukuhashi in Fukuoka Prefecture, it is no surprise that Kanada-Ya offers tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen, in the Hakata or Fukuoka style.

Indeed, the menu is very short and simple with just three variations on ramen – all featuring the same base broth, so no options for vegetarians – plus a short list of extras and an even shorter list of onigiri (stuffed rice balls).

I’m surprised not to see gyoza as in Japan, the little dumplings were offered by all the ramenya we visited, but mollified when a member of staff confirms that their Japanese branch does indeed sell gyoza and they hope to do so here too, going forward. The challenge for the gyoza is that, like their ramen broth and noodles (more of which in a moment), they make not only the gyoza filling but the wrappers too by hand and want to make sure they can do justice to their own standards before adding to the menu here in London.

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Pete orders the Moyashi Ramen (£11) which features Kanada-Ya’s 18 hour pork broth, chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori, spring onion and blanched beansprouts. And noodles, of course!

The pork broth is really rather good. Regularly skimmed as it cooks, it’s rich in flavour but light in texture. Tonkotsu is a difficult style to get right; I find some lighter broths too insipid but others with richer flavour so oily as to leave an unpleasant oil slick on your lips. Kanada-Ya achieves a great balance.

The noodles are absolutely excellent! Kanada-Ya make them on site using a specialist machine imported from Japan, that uses a special flour enriched with protein and alkaline salts. They offer the noodles cooked soft, regular, hard or extra hard; both of us find regular to be spot on. I reckon the texture of these noodles is the best I’ve tried in London ramenya so far.

Best of all are the Hanjuku eggs (which you need to order as an extra item). These blow any other ramen eggs I’ve tried out of the tonkotsu! They’re truly magnificent!

Chasu pork belly looks like it might be dry but actually proves to be soft and tasty, though not the best I’ve had.

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I order the Chashu Men (£12.50), which comes with a much larger portion of pork but collar instead of belly. It’s still soft and tastes good but I miss the fat. What I’d really like is the option of this much pork but belly rather than collar. Other than that, the only difference from the Moyashi is no blanched beansprouts.

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Curious about another of the extras, we order a portion of Black Garlic Sauce for £1. It has a lovely charred roast garlic flavour; rather than mix it into our broths, we dip occasional bites of food into it.

That includes the salmon onigiri we order. It’s odd to see these rice balls on the menu, as I’ve not encountered them in ramenya before, though of course they’re a popular snack across Japan. Perhaps they’re an easier option to produce while gyoza are not available? Our sake salmon-filled ones (£3 for 1, £4 or 2) are decent but the salmon inside is a little dull. The ume pickled plum (£2.50 for 1, £3.50 for 2) ones might be worth a try.

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On the drinks front, there are soft drinks only including the regular soft drinks and water, plus hot and cold tea, calpis and Japanese lemonade.

At the moment, they don’t list any desserts but offered us a taste of the ice cream mochi they hope to add to the menu soon. To my delight, these are Little Moons ice cream mochi, a brand I first encountered last year courtesy of United Ramen and they are very tasty indeed. We try the yuzu ice cream mochi (served with popping candy) and the matcha ones. Both excellent.

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With just 24 covers at traditional counter seating, Kanada-Ya is set to be a popular choice for the growing hoard of London’s noodle-splurping ramen lovers.

 

Kavey Eats dined as guests of Kanada-Ya.

 

Cooksister is one of the longest standing food blogs around and has gone from strength to strength in the last decade. I’ve been reading for several years, so it’s with great pleasure that I interview Jeanne Horak-Druiff for this week’s Monday Meet The Blogger.

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Hello and welcome, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about the kind of content you share.

Hi – I’m Jeanne!  I am a South African who has been living in London for the past 14 years and loving it more with each passing year. My blog started as an outlet for my writing more than anything else, and has morphed into an outlet for my cooking, writing and photography.  Although I started as purely a food blog, I now see myself as 50/50 food and travel.  I try to post a recipe, a restaurant review and a travel piece per week – so expect food, photos and faraway places!

Is there a story behind your blog’s name?

A koeksister is a plaited, deep-fried, syrup-soaked pastry that is hugely popular in South Africa.  I figured that I needed to anglicise the spelling a bit to make it non-threatening (!) but I knew that any South African looking down a list of Google search results seeing my blog name would definitely recognise a kindred spirit and click on it.

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What are your earliest memories of cooking? Who / what inspired you to cook?

The first thing I ever learnt to bake were scones – I was probably not ten years old yet and it became my party trick to back them after school at friends’ houses without a recipe. It was definitely my mom who taught and inspired me to cook – she was always a working mom, so she did not bake her own bread or make preserves.  But she loved to cook and taught me that there is no shame in customising an out-of-the-box or tin ingredient.  She said her greatest achievement as a cook was to cook dinner for the family year in and year out and not bore herself (and them) to death. I now get what she meant ;)

What are the biggest influences on your cooking at the moment?

A combination of what’s in season, what’s being harvested on our allotment, and what dishes stuck in my mind from our travels.

Tell us the story of your most spectacular kitchen failure!

Hah – there was that time when I we had dinner guests over and had been drinking rather a lot by the time I went to get the Schweinsbraten pork roast out of the oven and prepare the gravy, I clearly should not have been operating heavy machinery.  As I poured the gravy out of the roasting tin into a small saucepan, the heavy roasting tin slipped, tipped over the saucepan and sprayed hot, fatty, meaty liquid all over the countertop, the cupboards, the floor, the skirting boards… you name it. How I missed my feet, I do not know. After hubby mopped up a bit, I made Bisto gravy and served the roast.  Entertaining under the influence: don’t do it, kids!

Which food or ingredients could you not live without?

Salt, cheese, garlic and olive oil.

Which food writers / chefs do you find most inspirational and in the same spirit, are there any particular cookery books you cherish above the rest of the shelf?

I love everything about Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries – from the ethos of using leftovers to make stuff to eating seasonally, to the simple but beautiful photography.  I also love his recipes. Donna Hay’s books inspire me visually but I have yet to cook from one of them…

If I were coming for dinner, what would you cook for me?

For the starter I’d keep is simple with these astonishingly good tomato, olive and basil bruschetta;  followed by chicken in a creamy mustard, rosemary and preserved lemon sauce; and to finish, a South African classic:  coconut tart (klappertert).

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What’s the single piece of equipment you wouldn’t be without? (It doesn’t have to be electrical)

Excellent sharp knives, and my WMF boiled egg shell chopper (a sheer indulgence, I know!)

What’s your kitchen white elephant?

A piping bag and some nozzles.  A baker, I ain’t!

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Is there a particular cuisine or style of cooking that you seek out most often?

I have a long-standing love affair with French cooking. But I have never yet been known to turn down an Italian meal!

Which single dish could you not live without?

An excellent Caesar salad topped with a grilled salmon fillet. Simple heaven.

What are the biggest turn offs for you, when eating out?

Rude staff, and too much noise (either from music or from fellow-diners)

Do you have a current favourite restaurant (or top 3?)

Club Gascon (their set lunch is outstanding value for money); L’Atelier Joel Robuchon; Vinoteca Farringdon

What’s the strangest / funniest / best / worst (pick one or more) thing that’s happened to you in a restaurant?

I once took some visitors to the capital out to dinner and was obviously keen to make a good impression. We ordered sole and what arrived, at the premium price of sole, was quite obviously cheap plaice. We complained to the waiter who looked like a bunny in the headlights and fetched The Most Supercilious Manager in London.  His opening gambit was: “Is there a problem?  Because the fish you ordered is almost exactly like sole… [pregnant pause]  but it is in fact plaice”. When we objected to being served a substitute without being given the choice of ordering something else, he blamed the fact that sole was not “in season”.  When we then objected to paying the price of sole for cheap plaice, he disagreed that there was a price difference until we Googled both from a fishmonger and showed him the results. He then grudgingly agreed to comp us desserts. It was a total PR/service fail from any angle you care to look at it and I have never been back.

What’s your take on the never-ending “discussion” about taking photographs in restaurants?

This is a non-topic as far as I am concerned, wheeled out by the press periodically when they need a bit of blogger-baiting to increase their engagement. It’s my food; I paid for it and I will photograph it if I like.  I am not using my flash and I am not taking pictures of other people. I am not expecting other people at my table to wait for me to do my thing – I only photograph my own food.  I cannot see how this is any more distressing to fellow-diners than somebody checking their text messages at the table.  And restaurants who panic about it need to remember that free publicity is a rare and beautiful thing.

Blogging killed the newspaper star. What do you think bloggers bring to the arena that appeals to your readers / differentiates you from traditional journalists?

Bloggers are not constrained by available column inches like print journalists are, so I can give a blow-by-blow account of a meal, with accompanying pictures.  I have often said that I am not a restaurant critic – my intention is for you to feel as if you are there with me, experiencing everything I experienced. In my opinion, this gives people a good basis for deciding whether to spend their hard-earned cash on an expensive meal at a restaurant I have visited.  When I am booking restaurants in foreign cities, I often seek out blog reviews rather than critic reviews, because I want this sort of blow by blow account. And I figure if this is what I look for, then there may well be other people looking for the same kind of thing.

If we were meeting for a meal out, which restaurant would you choose?

The Swan at the Globe – both for the view and the consistently excellent, unpretentious food

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What’s been your favourite destination thus far, from a foodie perspective? Can you share a favourite memory from the trip?

The seafood trip I took to West Sweden.  I had never thought about Sweden as a food e destination and this trip totally changed my perspective. On the first afternoon we went on a mussel safari, which involved going out into the archipelago in a boat to look at the baby mussels on their ropes, and then mooring up beside a tiny island where we stopped off and hosts Adriaan and Lars made us some of the freshest, most delicious moules mariniere I have ever tasted.  We sat on the rocks eating mussels and sipping wine in the late afternoon sun.  Bliss.

Which destination is at the top of your foodie travel wish list? (Make it a top 3 if you prefer)

Canada, Japan, India.

What’s the very first trip you remember taking?

The first overseas trip I took was with my parents when I was 14.  We flew to Nice from Johannesburg and rented a car; and then we drove around France for 3 weeks, Chevy Chase-style.  Nice to Bordeaux; Bordeaux to Brive; Brive to Rennes; Rennes to Mont St Michel; Mont St Michel to Paris; Paris to Chamonix; Chamonix to Monte Carlo; Monte Carlo to Portofino; and then back to Nice.  It gave me a passion for France (and for travel) that I cherish to this day.

Where are you going next?

Jersey, Paris and Australia!

What three things can you never travel without? 

My phone, my camera, my earplugs

What’s the best/ worst travel experience you’ve ever had?

Best travel experiences have been my stay at the utterly breath-taking  One&Only The Palm in Dubai; and my Business Class flights to Singapore. I have not had any utterly appalling travel experiences – other than the odd bit of delayed luggage.

If we were to take a trip together, where would we go?

Japan!  Because you could show me the ropes!

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Since you started blogging, has your style and content changed over time, and if so, in what ways?

My style of writing has become less like a diary and more like a magazine –I now prefer to write something that might still be relevant in 5 years (e.g. a city guide) rather than breathlessly telling you where I’ve been.

What is the hardest aspect of blogging for you?

I never ever have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I always feel there is some aspect of my blog that I am neglecting…

What inspires you to keep blogging regularly?

It’s the satisfaction of creating something from nothing. A dish, a story and a photo, all combined together. It cheers me up even if I have had the worst of days.  And of course the fab friends and connections that I have made through blogging!

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What are you absolutely loving cooking, eating, doing right now?

Loving the deluge of sweet, home-grown summer tomatoes. There is also much barbecuing going on while the weather holds…

What’s the single most popular post on your blog?

Sautéed Brussels sprouts. Who knew?

Can we give a little extra love and attention to a post you love but didn’t catch the attention of your readers in the way you hoped?

Oh there are loads.  But I will restrict myself to this one: gem squash with a cheesy, spicy creamed sweetcorn filling.

 

Spread the love

Blog URL – http://www.cooksister.com
Facebook page –  https://www.facebook.com/Cooksister
Twitter handle – https://twitter.com/cooksisterblog
Pinterest profile – http://pinterest.com/cooksister/
Instagram handle – http://instagram.com/cooksister
Google+ profile – https://plus.google.com/+JeanneHorakDruiff

 

I was dreadfully late in publishing the round up of entries into August’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, which was a joint challenge with Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipes. Since it seems a bit unfair to expect anyone to participate in a September challenge in the half month remaining, I’m merging with next month.

What’s more, I’m throwing it wide open to say that any kind of frozen treat – ice cream, gelato, granita, lollies, semi-freddo, slushie, sorbet – goes!

Ice cream desserts are welcome too so if you fancy trying your hand at baked alaska, ice cream pie or an ice cream sandwich, this BSFIC is for you!

No restriction on style, ingredients or theme; whatever you want to make, if it’s a frozen treat, do please share it with BSFIC.

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Images of frozen treats from
Shutterstock

Posts published any time in September or October are welcome, but if they’re already up, please edit them to add the link and badge and send me the entry email.

How To Take Part In BSFIC

  • Create and blog a suitable recipe any time in September or October. The deadline is October 28th.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • Include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge (below).
  • Email me (by the 28th of the October) with your first name or nickname (as you prefer) and the link to your post.
  • Please include in your email an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 500 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like.

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Email me if you would like to discuss this.

I’ll post a round up of all the entries at the end of the month and I’ll also share your posts via Pinterest, Stumble and Twitter. If you tweet about your post using the hashtag #BSFIC. I’ll retweet any I see. You are also welcome to share the links to your posts on my Kavey Eats Facebook page.

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For more ideas, check out my my Pinterest ice cream board and past BSFIC Entries board.

 

For August’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, I joined forces with my blog sibling Dom at Belleau Kitchen for a BSFIC-Random Recipes Mashup. Instead of an ingredient or style theme, the challenge was to pick your recipe randomly and make whatever you picked. Not only was August a tricky month when it came to encouraging people to make frozen treats – the beautiful summer we’d been enjoying for the last few months fizzled out into a damp squib and it seems like half the country took their annual holidays too – I went away to Iceland for two weeks and wasn’t home to pull together my round up at the end of the month.

Of course, Dom has already shared the entries on his blog, but today it’s (finally) my turn! Apologies for the delay.

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Here are all the entries, in date order!

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I was quick off the mark this month, picking this White Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream from Divine Heavenly Chocolate Recipes with a Heart, which I served with powdered raspberry to add colour and flavour.

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Next, Elizabeth made a fresh and delicious Strawberry Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.

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Dom picked randomly from a book called Desert Island Dishes and made a tasty Salted Caramel Custard Ice Cream.

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Jane was worried about what to make since finding out she’s diabetic, but was relieved when her random pick turned out to be a G&T Granita which she adapted to make a Gin Slush Puppy.

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Corina’s recipe came from Michel Roux’ Eggs but as it was far too dense to churn, it didn’t quite work out as planned and she called the result a Chocolate Ice Cream Mousse.

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Alicia used the Eat Your Books membership she recently won from Kavey Eats to pick this Glace à l’abricot from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking.

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Kate’s decided to choose her recipe from the set she has bookmarked from other food blogs, and picked No Churn Rhubarb Ice Cream from The Baking Beauties

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Having settled into her new blog home, Hannah made Orange Souffle Glaces from the same Divine chocolate cookery book I used for my entry.

Chocolate Parfait

Choclette also used Eat Your Books to select this Chocolate Lavender Parfait from Green & Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection.

Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae

Karen turned to Delia Smith’s Summer Collection for this Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae recipe, which she adapted to use milk chocolate instead of dark.

 

Thanks to everyone for joining in. I’ll post a new BSFIC challenge soon. In the meantime, head over to Dom’s for the next Random Recipes!

 

Four years ago a course at Billingsgate Seafood Training School changed my life.

If that seems like it might be an exaggeration, rest assured that it really isn’t because, in a roundabout kind of way, it lead to me finally making it to Japan, a country I’d long yearned to visit. That’s a story for another time, but probably goes some way to explaining why I was so keen to accept the school’s invitation to attend one of their newer evening classes.

Known as Every Which Way Techniques, there are a range of courses to choose from, each one based around a seasonal fish or seafood.  In July, crab was on the menu. In September, the theme was scallops. In October the focus will be on Lemon Sole and in November, on Seabass. Our August class was based on mackerel, a fish that’s at its best in late summer.

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Classes are £55 per person for a group of up to 12 people and start at 6.30 pm. During the next 2.5 hours you will learn a variety of skills to prepare and cook the chosen fish. At the end you have time to grab a stool and tuck in to your efforts.

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During the class, our tutor Eithne taught us how to gut and clean out our mackerels, how to fillet  them and what to do if we wanted to cook them whole. With her patient guidance, this seemed very straightforward and all of us mastered the techniques.

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The cooking focused on smoking using wood chip shavings and specialist domestic smokers, but Eithne made clear that we could adapt equipment we would likely already have in our kitchens just as well.

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We smoked fillets of salmon and whole mackerel and also oven cooked fillets of mackerel with a delicious marinade applied, which we mixed from recipes and ingredients provided.

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As an added bonus, when I removed the innards of one of my mackerel, I spotted an intact liver. Asking Eithne if she’d ever cooked one (she hadn’t) I decided to give it a go and see what it was like. Turns out it was delicious, so there’s a top tip for you – mackerel livers for the win!

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We also learned a simple smoked fish pate recipe that Pete and I made the next day with the whole smoked mackerel we brought home with us. It was simple, delicious and I shall definitely make it again.

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Kavey Eats attended the Smoked Mackerel Every Which Way Techniques class as a guest of Billingsgate Seafood Training School.

News: The school have just introduced gift vouchers. Wouldn’t these make a great Christmas gift? The lucky recipient recipient could book onto a course of their choice, on a date that works for them.

 

Neil often has me oohing with envy when he shares the details of his latest press trip. Even worse when he tweets photos of his borrowed Bentley by the Great Wall of China or the latest American road trip featuring lobster or real deal barbeque meat. In addition, Neil (and his wife Mrs Dine Hard) are our allotment neighbours, so it’s lovely to spend time with them there. Let’s be honest though, it’s Mr Kavey Eats and Mrs Dine Hard that do most of the hard work…

Lambshank

Hello and welcome, plea­se introduce yourself and tell us a little about the kind of content you share.

My name is Neil Davey and I’m a freelance journalist. I blog as “The Lambshank Redemption” because originally I’d intended to cover both film and food. My break in journalism came through reviewing films, but it was the food side that I came to enjoy more, hence the original plan was to combine the two with a “night out” – a restaurant review and a film – and a “night in” – a recipe and a DVD review.

Is there a story behind your blog’s name?

When it came to the name, it was always likely to be a film and food pun. Funnily enough, The Lambshank Redemption was my second choice as I much preferred Dine Hard, but someone had already registered that and, annoyingly, never done anything with it. Still, I managed to snap that up for my Twitter handle instead, which is good because it’s much shorter and easier to remember than “LambshankRdmptn”. Bite Club was also kicked around for a while…

I started the blog at the suggestion of William Leigh. I was between editorial jobs and keen to boost my name as a food writer, and the blog seemed a good way to try and do that.

Neil

What are your earliest memories of cooking? Who or what inspired you to cook?

It’s probably a combination of my mother and my grandmother. My mum, sister and I used to make a great date cake – a recipe I really must dig out soon – in school holidays and my grandmother was also a great baker: because of her I will never turn down a rock cake. The other things I always associate with her and my granddad – aside from fond memories of a sweet tin containing neat, uniform slices of Mars Bar – are pickled cucumber and onion, and bowls of stewed fruit. I think much of that sprang from WWII-inspired frugality. The first thing my granddad did when they moved closer to us in 1981 was to find the local greengrocer and persuade them to sell him all the battered and bruised stuff that other people didn’t want. He’d often return, proudly clutching a bag of grim looking fruit and vegetables that had cost him a few pence, and within minutes, they’d have transformed it into elegantly sliced simple pickles or a big bowl of stewed apple or plums or whatever, that would become breakfast or dessert for the next few days. More often than not, we still do the same, the only difference being much of our pickled / stewed / transformed produce is home grown.

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What are the biggest influences on your cooking at the moment?

The influences come from all over these days. In the course of the job, I’m very lucky to travel the world, usually to eat or hang out with chefs, and often pick up a technique or an ingredient (or a chilli sauce!) on these trips. I don’t think there’s a single particular influence, although until recently, I was very focused on BBQ for a piece I was compiling for delicious. magazine. In all cases though, I do err on the side of spicy…

Tell us the story of your most spectacular kitchen failure!

The most recent one involved my first attempts at Syrian food, from a book I’m supposed to review called Almond Bar. The potato salad – with loads of lemon juice, paprika, tomatoes etc – was utterly delicious. Just as well really, as the falafel came out incredibly salty and the rosewater ice cream… For the falafel I’m pointing the finger at a typo: the recipe calls for a tablespoon of salt and, based on my second, actually edible attempt, I think that should read teaspoon. The rosewater ice cream though, I’ll throw my hands up and take a fair chunk of the blame. I’d never used rosewater before and didn’t realise quite how much the concentration varies between different manufacturers. I also just tipped the entire bottle in without tasting as I went… the result was a litre-and-a-bit of bright pink, insanely bitter custard that went straight down the plughole.

Which food or ingredients could you not live without?

At the moment, with the sunshine doing brilliant things in the polytunnel, it’s tomatoes. A good tomato sandwich – bread toasted on one side, lashings of mayo, loads of salt and black pepper – is one of the joys of life. I couldn’t live without chillies either, either whole, dried or in sauce form. And mashed potato… as a kid, it was about the only thing I ate and it’s still my favourite, comforting form of spud.

Which food writers / chefs do you find most inspirational and in the same spirit, are there any particular cookery books you cherish above the rest of the shelf?

If I ever think my mojo has gone missing, I tend to re-read Anthony Bourdain. I’m loathe to use the word “passion” when it comes to food – I hear Giles’s voice asking if I’d be willing to be nailed to a cross for it – but in this case I think you have to as Bourdain’s enthusiasm is palpable. I also re-read Jeffrey Steingarten on a regular basis, as I adore his commitment to the tasks at hand and his essay on salt should be essential reading for everyone with an overbearing health freak in their life. Recipe wise, I’d be lost without Madhur Jaffrey and Delia for many basics but meander through the rest of the collection on a regular basis, sometimes for an exact recipe, but more frequently for a little inspiration. I also still have vague plans to do the Julie & Julia thing and spend a year going through Len Deighton’s Action Cook Book or Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking.

If I were coming for dinner, what would you cook for me?

These days when we entertain it’s all about the advance prep. Back in the day, I’d happily do all sorts of elaborate stuff but that meant never seeing guests and spending every hour in the kitchen. These days I quite often sous vide meat hours in advance, so that can be finished off in a pan or in the oven: I’ve had particular success with steaks marinaded in a ssam jang sauce recipe I got from Judy Joo. So you’d probably get something really straightforward – soup, bangers and mash, apple crumble and custard – or a big Korean feast, with lots of meat, lettuce wraps and fermented side dishes. In all cases though, as a former Neal’s Yard Dairy employee, there’s going to be a killer cheeseboard. That’s a given.

Lurpak Cinnamon Simple Pleasures

What’s the single piece of equipment you wouldn’t be without?

I LOVE my Global knives. I think you can do without much kitchen equipment, but a good knife is an absolute essential. That and a really good pan. The Le Creuset sauté pan I got sent recently is a cracker. The non-stick is excellent, so it washes up like a dream, and because it’s a sauté pan, the sides are that bit higher so I often pull that out instead of a saucepan.

What’s your kitchen white elephant?

Good question… I know I don’t use the Kenwood Cooking Chef as much as it deserves, although the grinder element of it does get a daily work out around coffee time. There’s an air fryer I got sent ages ago which hasn’t been plugged in for over a year now, so that’s probably the one.

HItchin Risotto Hitchin Hermitage 2
Rodells Lloyd Lambshank Lobster Benedict

Is there a particular cuisine or style of cooking that you seek out most often?

Not at all. I like all sorts of cuisines.

Which single dish could you not live without?

I’m not sure there is one although if I hit a proper old school pub anywhere and they’ve got ham, egg and chips on the menu, well, that’s my decision sorted.

How do you decide where to visit next?

A lot of what I do has a work element, so often the requirements of a commission dictate where I go. Otherwise, PR information, word of mouth, friend’s recommendations… all play a part.

What current / upcoming trends in the restaurant scene do you find the most exciting?

Ah the trend question. I’ve got a new writing gig where I’m supposed to look at upcoming trends and I’m really struggling with it. My mind doesn’t really work like that. I do think that Korean food will spread across the UK in the next couple of years though and that makes me happy.

What are the biggest turn offs for you, when eating out?

“Can I explain our menu to you?”

As a restaurateur mate always replies: “Is it a list of food that I order and you bring? In that case no, I’ve done this before…”

Or, possibly worse, “chef will send out the food when it’s ready, not in any particular order.”

As the same restaurateur says, “is chef paying for my meal? No? In that case chef can send food out when I want it not when it’s convenient to chef…”

Do you have a current favourite restaurant (or top 3?)

I often get asked for recommendations. At the moment, thanks to the travel writing, I’m actually eating out more abroad and outside of London, so I’m way behind on new openings in my home town. Accordingly my current Top Three is going to be a deeply pretentious list of places all around the world while my London Top Three is probably out of date. Accordingly I tend to stick to a couple of stalwart places and a wild card if anyone asks. Depending on who’s asking, you can perm any three from…

Goodman – Great steak, great cooking, great front of house, great atmosphere. Same applies to Burger & Lobster. You know what you’re going to get and, in these instances, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The Heron has to be in there too. It’s so brilliantly unlikely and it’s certainly not for everybody but it’s probably the best place in London for a chilli-based endorphin rush. Besides, I was always a fan of the late lamented Dive Bar so basement rooms in slightly grungy pubs are always going to score highly.

I’ve also got to say The Coach & Horses, of course. It’s absolutely my favourite pub in London – it’s a proper old school boozer, and so am I – and Leigh Norton can fry better than just about anyone I’ve ever met. If that sounds like I’m damning him with faint praise, it’s not meant to. He can also really cook. When the restaurant opens “properly” later this year, and he can have a run of his more creative stuff… oh boy. Can’t wait. Earlier this year he was serving a risotto of caramelised sweetbreads with sherry vinegar that’s one of the best things I’ve eaten in London in the last two, three years. They have a pretty good food and drink quiz there too, I’m told…

Of recent(ish) openings, I was very impressed with Lyle’s – a great small plate menu – and The Typing Room, and recently had a fantastic supper at Mazi in Notting Hill.

What’s your take on the never-ending “discussion” about taking photographs in restaurants?

I always take photos but: a) do it discretely; and b) just take photos of what I’ve ordered, rather than stop everybody else from eating… unless they’re taking photos too, in which case I might. I really cannot see what harm that does. If I was setting up a tripod and asking the restaurant to change the lighting levels or insisting the waiter pour the sauce from the other side or something, then yeah, I can see it’s annoying. But quick snap or two, no flash, on my phone or camera?

Lambshank SDW Dog Lambshank clams
Lambshank - Bens Chilli Bowl Food Lambshank - Bens outside

What’s been your favourite destination thus far, from a foodie perspective? Can you share a favourite memory from the trip?

Probably Maine. MSN sent me out in July 2012 to live blog from the Maine Lobster Festival and to compile a top ten of great things to eat on the East Coast. With the help of the brilliant TV Food Maps – a website that has plotted pretty much every place ever featured on a Food Network programme by state and city – I had a couple of days walking and eating around Brooklyn, a day through Connecticut stopping at some superb diners, a night in Rhode Island, then up to Maine to consume my bodyweight in lobster rolls before looping back for a couple of days in Boston. The food was terrific, the people lovely and the scenery in Maine is like driving through a Richard Gere film. My favourite moment was when I stopped at Miller’s, a lobster shack on the water in a place called Spruce Point. It’s not in any of the books, but was recommended to me by Michael Salmon, the chef at The Hartstone Inn and it’s this beautiful, idyllic spot and the lobster roll was absolutely first class., plus as you eat , you’re looking over the waters the lobster was fished from, and there are fishermen hoisting more pots up and bringing fresh lobsters in to the restaurant’s tanks… I asked the waitress how long ago the lobster in my roll would have been in the water. She blushed, apologised profusely and said, well, you’re here slightly out of season so it might have been, like, four hours?

Which destination is at the top of your foodie travel wish list? (You can make it a top 3 if you prefer)

I know I need to spend a LOT more time in Italy, so that’s a constant on the list. Chicago has been a target for a while – fingers crossed I’m there in September – and probably Australia. With luck I’ll be in Melbourne for the food festival next year.

What’s the very first trip you remember taking?

As a kid, probably a family trip to Devon. In those days I didn’t eat a whole lot but that was the trip when I first discovered seriously good cheddar. There was also a café that did this incredible orange ice cream.

Where are you going next?

Depending on when you publish this, I’m going salmon fishing in Alaska on Sunday! After that I’m heading to South Carolina for a food festival, plus a few days exploring BBQ shacks around Charleston. And then, if all goes to plan, I’m in Chicago for a three days…

After that, I’m actually hoping for a holiday, probably Portugal.

What three things can you never travel without?

These days it’s all about the chargers and leads. A couple of years ago I found this brilliant adapter plug with a couple of USB sockets that goes everywhere with me. I left it in San Francisco a couple of years ago, bought a replacement that wasn’t as good… and so paid for the hotel to post it back to me in London. I always carry a complete change of clothes and washbag basics in my hand luggage, just in case my suitcase doesn’t make it through. And I have a portable battery pack that holds about 60 hours of charge, that’s come in very handy a few times.

What’s the best/ worst travel experience you’ve ever had?

Best… probably a trip to this incredible ranch in Montana. That or getting upgraded.

The worst… same trip to Montana. Everything that could have gone wrong with the flights went wrong, we ended up having to sleep in Denver airport overnight and United Airlines were worse than useless. I’ve subsequently turned down trips because it’s meant flying United. A bit first world problem I know but they’re an utter chocolate teapot of an airline.

If we were to take a trip together, where would we go?

Now there’s a question. I’ve still not been to India so going with someone who’s very familiar with the food could be great fun. Or Korea, seeing we’re both obsessed with Yijo restaurant in Finchley?

Hickory Pit Nashville Sauce Hickory Pit Devilled Eggs

What are you absolutely loving cooking, eating, doing right now?

Less love, more necessity but it’s that time of year to get creative with courgettes. I’ve become a whizz at frittatas as a result…

What’s the single most popular post on your blog?

Funnily enough, with all the international travel and stuff featured, I’ve just checked and it’s this post. On Hitchin, in Hertfordshire.

Can we give a little extra love and attention to a post you love but didn’t catch the attention of your readers in the way you hoped?

Nice idea… but traffic wasn’t the reason I started the blog so I rarely look at the traffic figures. I just throw ‘em out there and if they stick, they stick, if they don’t, well, I’m not going to change my style or try and focus on popular subjects. It’s all just a bit of fun, really.

 

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Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/DineHard
Instagram handle: http://instagram.com/DineHard

 

We’ve been growing a variety of cucumbers called Lemon this year – so named not because of their flavour but their size, shape and colour.

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The skins on ours have been tougher than we expected, so we’ve peeled them before adding them to salads.

This one was combined with very thinly sliced red onion, chopped sugar snap peas, some home grown lettuce and a few cherry tomatoes and tossed in my default jam jar salad dressing.

Jam Jar Salad Dressing

Ingredients
1 teaspoon French mustard
2 teaspoons honey
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

This dressing can easily be varied to ring the changes. Substitute soy sauce for mustard. Switch cider vinegar for the balsamic. Use rapeseed oil instead of olive, or even sesame oil for an Asian flavour. Instead of honey try maple syrup or muscovado sugar.

Method

  • Measure ingredients to a small jam jar.
  • Seal and shake hard until well combined.
  • Taste, add more mustard, vinegar, honey or seasoning if required and shake again.
  • Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve immediately.
 

My baby sister got married in Croatia a couple of months ago. I can honestly say it was the joint happiest day of my life so far. (The other, for avoidance of doubt, was my wedding to Pete, exactly 20 years ago today). It made my heart so happy to see my sister and her fine fiancé tie the knot, surrounded by friends and family – utterly magical.

I thought I’d cry during my speech but breeze through my reading. In the end, my emotions (and voice) caught during the reading, which was part way through the ceremony and caused my sister to cry as well, oops sorry about that! But I managed the speech without sobbing, though it caused a few (good) tears amongst some of the wedding party, I think!

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The setting for the ceremony was breath-taking, in the truest sense of the word – a hotel’s outdoor terrace overlooking the old town harbour, city walls and red tiled roofs – a view that made us gasp. The weather was searingly hot and we sat (or stood in the case of the bridesmaids, best man and groom) wilting in the heat, but still all of us grinned at her beauty when we saw her arriving on my dad’s arm. The ceremony was lovely and soon they were married. Such an adorable couple.

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After the ceremony, the entire wedding party walked down to the harbour for a champagne reception on an old-style sightseeing boat. As the group walked through the old town, local buskers spontaneously switched to playing Here Comes The Bride, and fellow tourists stopped to watch and applaud. Boat trip around the city walls and nearby Lokrum island over, we walked back to the hotel where tables had been set up on the terrace for the evening meal, speeches and dancing.

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The entire day was glorious!

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Pete and I travelled to Dubrovnik a few days before the wedding and also booked to stay on another 4 days afterwards. We spent the first few days in a beautiful villa with pool with my sister and brother-in-law-to-be and the bridesmaids, best man and partners. For our last few days, we were very pleased with our choice of the Hilton Dubrovnik, with an enviable location right by Pile Gate and a very enjoyable breakfast buffet to boot.

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We had plans to do lots of sightseeing locally in Dubrovnik and take day trips to nearby islands.

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In the end, the weather in late June/ early July was so hot and humid that I was zapped of what little energy I can ever summon within minutes of stepping outside. I’ve certainly endured hotter but Dubrovnik’s summer heat was astonishingly oppressive. We hoped that early starts in the morning might allow us to evade the heat but discovered that it was already hotter than Hades by 8 o’clock in the morning!

All of which is why we did little more than eat out and walk the city walls for the entire week of our visit!

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… and we only managed to get half way around the city walls walk before my abject terror of heights (and the resultant need to scale most of the stairs sideways like a crab, clinging to the railings for dear life) combined with the excessive heat (even though we started the circuit the moment the gates opened at 8 a.m.) saw us admit defeat after an hour. Presciently, we began with the half that afforded us views of Dubrovnik old town with a backdrop of indigo blue sea and the island of Lokrum behind.

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But we did fall for the beautiful old town and quickly came to understand why my sister and brother-in-law chose this pretty place in which to tie the knot.

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We had many delicious lunches and dinners but here are my top picks; all three are located in the old town, inside or just outside the city walls.

Pizzeria Tabasco (Cavtatska ulica 11)

The company from whom we rented the villa gave us some excellent restaurant recommendations, including this lovely pizzeria located just outside the city walls, near the lower entrance to the cable car.

Enormous, wood-fire oven-baked pizzas with really delicious toppings, these were not only top quality but incredibly good value too. One of the toppings on mine was a local fresh cheese which quickly melted into puddles a minute or so after it was served to the table. One of the best Italian-style pizzas I’ve had, anywhere.

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Restoran Dubrovnik (Marojice Kaboge 5)

In the maze of narrow streets within the old town walls, this elegant restaurant is a little out of the way of the busiest thoroughfares and feels a little more peaceful as a result. The tables are on an open rooftop, with sliding roofing panels available to provide protection should the weather require. We loved this outdoor seating with its surround view of the beautiful stone buildings of the old town.

The menu is modern European with a focus on local ingredients and we enjoyed our first meal so much we booked to go back on our last evening.

Pricier than the other two, but (from our Londoner perspective) still reasonable for the quality – and much less expensive than other high end restaurants in town.

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Taj Mahal (Ulica Nikole Gučetića 2,

In spite of the Indian name, this is actually a Bosnian restaurant and the tables are tucked along one edge of a narrow old town alley.

By far the most popular dish amongst customers was cevapi – little grilled minced meat kebabs. They were simply served inside soft warm bread with raw red onions and the most amazing butter and fresh cheese condiment that I devoured (and then asked for more of).

They also do some delicious local meat and cheese platters and a range of other Bosnian dishes. Various others in the wedding party visited during the week and enjoyed the Taj Mahal as much as we did.

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As for ice cream (or gelato, as it’s mostly in the Italian style), there are many excellent ice cream vendors to choose from and I suggest you go for the nearest when the mood for ice cream strikes!

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Our plan is to head back to Dubrovnik (and the rest of Croatia too) in the next year or two for a spring or autumn break, when the weather is a little more conducive to more active exploration.

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Message on a bottle – words from Croatian natural water brand

 

P.s. Happy 20th wedding anniversary, Pete. I love you!

 

A blogger after my own heart is fellow Londoner Leyla Kazim, who is as enthusiastic about eating out in London and as excitable about travelling and eating around the world as I am myself. Find out more about Leyla in today’s Meet The Blogger.

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Hello and welcome, plea­se introduce yourself and tell us a little about the kind of content you share.

Hello! I’m Leyla and I’m a twenty-something lover of all things gustatory living in South West London. I started my blog in October 2012 – it’s intended to be a personal anthology charting the places I visit, the cultures I experience, the food I eat, and the impressions they make upon me.

My mum is Mauritian and my dad is Turkish-Cypriot – to say I was brought up surrounded by some pretty exceptional cooking is an understatement, and I have little doubt it’s because of my parents that food is such a huge part of my life today.

I studied Astrophysics at university and worked in a software company for several years – neither of which automatically marry themselves with the love of food. But I got to that age where I came to realise what I actually enjoyed doing with my time and what meant the most to me. So my work now is writing about food or photographing it. And when I’m not working, I’m eating.

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What are your earliest memories of cooking? Who or what what inspired you to cook?

Despite my mum being a pretty great cook, she was always very territorial in the kitchen. No one was really allowed to get involved or in her way, so I first learnt to cook rather late in life when I moved out of home to go to university and had to feed myself. It was the first time I had free range in a kitchen, and I was in my element. I started out not even being able to make an omelette, but quickly learnt a lot and soon found myself cooking whenever I wasn’t busy getting drunk.

A lot of my family on my dad’s side have been in catering most of their working lives. My parents themselves own a café / restaurant and I started working in it at the age of 12 on Saturdays. I did everything front of house and my dad was in the kitchen. Nowadays, I’m mostly found on the other side of things as a guest in restaurants. But I suppose you could say I’ve been in that sort of environment, one way or another, for most of my life.

Tell us the story of your most spectacular kitchen failure!

I made a sorbet once, with egg whites. It tasted of frozen egg white. God, it was awful.

Which food or ingredients could you not live without?

Lemons. The juice of them may as well run through my veins. That’s the part-Turk in me.

10_things_to_eat_in_Istanbul

Is there a particular cuisine or style of cooking that you seek out most often?

I’m attracted to food of the Levant like a homing missile. For me to delay a visit to a newly opened Middle Eastern restaurant for much longer than it takes to glance over the online menu, is nothing short of sacrilege. I guess it’s ‘in my blood’, as they say.

My two other favourite cuisines are Japanese and Spanish. Gah..

Which single dish could you not live without?

Bread. I can give up anything else you throw at me (with some protest). But I could not give up good bread. Did you know bread is considered sacred in Turkey and if people find a piece on the floor, they will pick it up and put it on a wall or something out of respect. You can have that little nugget for free.

How do you decide where to visit next?

Through much torture and deliberation. There are so many restaurants to visit in London alone and not enough time / money / metabolism / willing dining partners to even begin to make a dent. And I’m in restaurants more than the average Jo. Nowadays, I just slam my finger down on a map with my eyes closed and see what’s good in that area. That, or take recommendations.

What current / upcoming trends in the restaurant scene do you find the most exciting?

Middle Eastern food has had some sort of second coming of late, what with Sabrina Ghayour’s fabulous cook book Persiana, new London openings such as The Palomar and Arabica Bar & Kitchen, and Alan Yau is opening a lahmacun place on Shaftsbury Avenue soon. See you there.

What are the biggest turn offs for you, when eating out?

Bad table manners. Oh my, I cannot abide it. I can’t stand people chewing with their mouth open, loud chewing, talking with your mouth full, licking of fingers, wiping of fingers on jeans. And so on.

Do you have a current favourite restaurant (or top 3?)

I had lunch at Lyle’s last week and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I’m 100% returning for their evening menu.

One of my favourite restaurants to date is Café Murano for exquisite Italian.

Cafe_Murano

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you in a restaurant?

I was on a date once in a very posh restaurant and managed to set the menu on fire. It was a good ice breaker.

What’s your take on the never-ending “discussion” about taking photographs in restaurants?

As long as you’re not setting up a tripod and reflector box between tables, then I really can’t see a problem. Photos are ultimately taken to share with others through some sort of online channel, so it’s all free press for the restaurant. Thankfully, most seem to be entirely fine with it. I’m yet to be asked not to take photos, but then I haven’t eaten in Paris for a while..

Blogging killed the newspaper star. What do you think bloggers bring to the arena that appeals to your readers / differentiates you from traditional journalists?

I think people read national press reviews to enjoy the read, not necessarily to then pick up the phone and book a table at that restaurant. With bloggers however, I feel people are more likely to actually visit the places we have said are good. It’s the voice of the people – while there is more than enough room for both journalists and bloggers (and I do swing between the two), there’s no denying that bloggers have a very big influence.

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What’s been your favourite destination thus far, from a foodie perspective? Can you share a favourite memory from the trip?

The blog has only been running for two years, and there were a lot of places I visited prior to it that I haven’t written about. One highlight was Naples and the pizza that left me and my partner starting at each other wide-eyed after the first bite, with expressions of ‘Errr.. are you getting what I’m getting? Holy sh*t this is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.’

In more recent times, Japan. All of Japan. All three glorious weeks travelling around and eating my way through Japan. The fish is so iridescent and so luminescent that it doesn’t look like it can possibly be real. It’s all a bit incredible there, really.

Where are you going next?

Do I have an answer for this.

From December, I’ll be embarking on a nine month travelling expedition. I’m basically hitting all the countries that I’ve been desperate to eat in for as long as I can remember. There’s been some hard saving that’s gone into this, and I can’t quite believe it’s finally within grasping distance. The countries include: India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico.

As long as I don’t get hit by a bus in the meantime.

What three things can you never travel without?

Sun cream – I have no desire to age prematurely. Some sort of GPS device for every moment of every day when I am lost – I have a terrible sense of direction. A notebook – if I don’t write it down, it didn’t happen (I also have a terrible memory). And a fourth one is my SLR.

What’s the best travel experience you’ve ever had?

We stayed overnight in a Berber tent on the fringes of the Sahara once. I woke up to find the nomads climbing some mighty sand dunes under a bruised sky just before the sun was due to come up. They were climbing to watch the sun rise over the desert – we joined them. It was incredible.

If we were to take a trip together, where would we go?

I think it would have to be Japan Kavey, right?

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Blog Class (Entire section is optional)

Since you started blogging, has your style and content changed over time, and if so, in what ways?

If my writing hasn’t improved over these two years, then I quit. I started pretty terribly, so there was really only one way to go.

What is the hardest aspect of blogging for you?

Procrastination is a pain in the arse. But it’s a bit like exercise – once you start, you remember you quite enjoy it. Oh, just me then..

What inspires you to keep blogging regularly?

It’s the journal of my life, really. I get a lot of pleasure looking back on what I’ve done, places I’ve been, and I’m a person that loves to record things. I plan to post something weekly while I’m travelling – it will be an invaluable chronicle of what will be a once in a lifetime adventure.

Plus, people seem to like it – that’s always nice to hear.

The Mad Turk

What are you absolutely loving cooking, eating, doing right now?

I’m desperately searching for some fresh hazelnuts but can’t find them anywhere – ahhh. Also, my plum tree in the garden is in its first year of fruiting. I picked four ripe ones yesterday. They were small, but goddamn they were the sweetest most exquisite plums I’ve ever eaten.

What’s the single most popular post on your blog?

Something about ribs – one of Gordon Ramsay’s recipes that I decided to cook and blog one day. I know nothing about SEO but something I did on that post has seen its hits rocket off towards the edges of the universe. I think that’s a strange anomaly and so I mostly ignore it. So the second most read blog is my 10 Things to Eat in Istanbul post – a lot of research, time and love went into it, so it’s really nice to see it appreciated.

Can we give a little extra love and attention to a post you love but didn’t catch the attention of your readers in the way you hoped?

Hows about a big up for my cousin’s gaff in Stamford, The Mad Turk. He’s doing the Turkish-Cypriot cuisine proud with the food coming from his kitchen. Great restaurant, wonderful food, and he’s a lot of fun.

 

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Blog URL http://www.thecutlerychronicles.com/
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Twitter handle https://twitter.com/LeyLaLaa
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TomCoxMini

Guest Post by Tom Cox.

 

 

 

A while ago now Kavey invited me to review a cook book on her blog. Me and my girlfriend Nat often do our share of the cooking in the household (currently living with her parents and brother) and I decided this would be a great opportunity to try something new. So after reeling over the dozens of cook books available on the list Kavey provided me, with it being world cup time and my particular penchant towards the new and interesting, I eventually decided on the extremely colourful Brazilian Food by Thiago Castanho.

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First impressions were great, it had loads of really interesting looking chapters with really rich interesting pictures and a short excerpt from a review by Michael Palin (a personal favourite of mine). I decided we were definitely onto a winner.

The one thing that I really liked about the book is that it’s not just a cook book, it’s a tome on Brazilian cooking and culture with tidbits of history about Brazilian cuisine and history, quotes from anthropologists and all in all you really get a taste of the culture that cultivated this cuisine. However, this blessing is also a bit of a curse as it’s not the most accommodating of cook books with a lot of ingredients you’d struggle to find at your local supermarket and although there are a couple of tips about visiting an African/ Asian food shop there is some stuff I’m pretty sure has simply never made it to our shores (a bold claim I know but seriously try and find annatto oil). Some of the recipes had some pretty advanced cooking skills and weren’t altogether clear at times.

In short unless you’re a professional chef or some sort of super foodie (I consider myself a pretty good cook) then I reckon you’ll struggle with quite a few of the recipes.

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Ultimately I decided to go for one of the simpler looking recipes Galinha Caipira, or for those of us who’s Brazilian Portugese is a little rusty, Braised Chicken. This recipe, Thiago notes, was one of his grandmother’s and I hoped it would give us a good example of real wholesome Brazilian cooking. This recipe had very few of the really difficult to source ingredients apart from annatto oil, annatto now being a plant that I’ve developed somewhat of a disliking for after trying desperately to find in every random foodie looking shop I could find. I did discover that annatto oil is also known as achiote oil, but in the end I substituted oil, paprika and turmeric.

The recipe was quite simple but the picture was somewhat misleading and had a few ingredients in the picture that weren’t present. Although it called for both red and white onion in the ingredients, it made no mention of when to use one or the other in the method of so I went with my best judgement.

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We decided to serve this with Coconut rice (as opposed to the serving suggestion of Brazilian-style white rice) which I think was a fantastic choice in the end as what the main lacked in flavour the coconut rice made up for by being a real treat! The taste of the chicken dish was a little dull and didn’t really have anything distinctive about it; this should have been pretty predictable from the list of ingredients but I thought I’d give the book the benefit of the doubt, somewhat to our disappointment.

In summary if you have a good couple of days to source, prepare and cook a meal then I’d say go for it this book is a real visual treat and gives you bucket loads of really great insight into the vibrant country in which the food was developed.

I’m sure if I’d had the time to dedicate to one of the more complicated recipes I’d have enjoyed it more but for the average cook I’m not so sure it suits. It’ll stay on my book shelf more as an interesting insight into Brazilian food and culture as opposed to something I’ll be trying to cook from again.

 

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Brazilian Food from Octopus Books. Brazilian Food is currently (at time of writing) available on Amazon for £20.40 (RRP £30).

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