Films

June 19th , 2016

The self-titled “The World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival” rolled into Regent’s Park again for 4 days of eating, drinking, food demonstrations and general fun and frolics. Taste of London is a great day out, giving us all the chance to taste signature dishes from some of the best restaurants in London and interact with the chefs that created them. As with all outdoor events Taste of London is at the mercy of the British weather, which this year hadn’t been too kind, though lucky for me the sun made an appearance on the Sunday and I could leave my wellies at home. It is always difficult deciding on a personal #BestInTaste dish as they are so varied and all so good but for me Mr Todiwala’s Kangaroo Tikka Roll was a revelation and Action Against 5 star burger 5 Star Burger - 5 varieties by Raymond Blanc, Jason Atherton, Gizzi Erskine, Shaun Searley and Nieves Barragán Mohacho - was delicious and helped a great cause. In all a great way to spend Sunday lunch.

(More photos)

May 7-22nd, 2016

This Sunday saw the end of another superb Eat Cambridge Festival, an annual event that celebrates everything food in Cambridgeshire. With talks by experts in their fields, tastings from local producers, a smorgasbord of street food, pop-ups and family fun, Eat Cambridge is organized by Heidi White (aka The Moving Foodie, a Cambridge based events coordinator, food blogger and food columnist). The festival has gone from strength to strength, with tickets to each event in high demand and quickly selling out. The latter being the reason that I didn’t manage to get to as many of the fringe activities as I would have liked (do pop over to Pina’s blog One Two Culinary Stew for far better coverage of the festival than I) however one highlight for me was vintage, radio-style comedy 'The Misfits of London: The Gin Chronicles', performed by Interrupt the Routine on a stage in the beautiful setting of Childerley Long Barns. With food from Provenance Kitchen and Cambridge Distillery Gin based cocktails. A delightful evening of laughter, delicious food, drinks and peppered with a bit of education in the form of some Gin history from Master Distiller Will Lowe. Can’t wait for Eat Cambridge 2017! (FB Album)

March 21st, 2016

This week saw the launch of Romulo Café in Kensington High Street, London.  The restaurant & bar pays homage to the much lauded Filipino diplomat General Carlos Peña Rómulo, the elegant décor a whimsical imagining of what the statesman's home might look like; the General’s Bar, the Ambassador’s Lounge, the Diplomat’s Dining Room, The Library, each decorated with its individual style & adorned with a fascinating collection of memorabilia, medals & photos of the General meeting well known figures in history, including the Pope! Romulo Café restaurants are already a foodie favourite in Manila, established in 2009 by the General’s granddaughter Sandie Romulo Squillantini & her husband Enzo Squillantini, serving heirloom dishes from recipes handed down by family matriarch Virginia Llamas Romulo. This newest International branch stays in the family, helmed by the General's other granddaughter, Rowena Romulo, & keeps to the Romulo tradition, serving dishes that will be loved by not just Filipinos, who will recognise the flavours of home, but all diners who enjoy good food, prepared with love & served with gracious hospitality. I especially enjoyed the street food style bar snacks served with a Romulo stamp of refinement & Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno; roasted chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins, chorizo & peas was divine! Click for their menu. Truly looking forward to returning for a Sunday lunch.

February 9th, 2016

Traditionally Chinese New Year it celebrated by sharing food with friends and family, this year I also had the enormous pleasure of sharing lunch with Chef Ken Hom, one of my culinary heroes, at A Wong's Forbidden City bar, enjoying a veritable feast prepared by Chef and owner of the restaurant, Andrew Wong himself. An event hosted by Oxford Brookes University's Gastronomica Society, it was through serendipity and a nudge from Twitter I ended up with a seat at their banquet. Following a welcome glass of champagne we heard a little about Ken's involvement with the University, the value of education to Chinese families and what he's been up to recently. I can hardly believe that it's been 30 years since I first watch Ken on TV and that he's sold over 8 million woks! Ken's contribution to Asian cuisine, particularly in Britain, is enormous, yet he remains humble and is exceptionally kind and generous with his time. With the low lighting and sheer quantity of dishes that flowed from the kitchen my photos really don't do justice to Andrew's food. Suffice it to say that every morsel was divine and those duck egg custard buns that critic Jay Rayner waxed lyrical about in his Guardian post lived up to the hype. I feel truly blessed to start the CNY is such a delcious fashion and eagerly look forward to returning to A Wong for a dim sum lunch in the restaurant proper.

January 10th, 2016

Whilst trying to decide where to take my teenage nephew for Sunday lunch, I remembered Pina (One Two Culinary Stew) had Tweeted that local Food Park favourite Fired Up! Pizzas were doing a pop-up at No. 77 for the month to allow their Thai chefs a chance to return home for a holiday. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to pay a visit and I knew my Pizza crazy nephew would be happy with the choice. Arriving at No 77 I I was immediately charmed by the blue frontage and quirky décor. Inside, the pub is spacious and the fun design choices continue; with mismatched chairs, chandeliers made out of bottles, reclaimed cinema chairs forming a screening area, palm trees and real log fires. The patrons seemed all to be regulars, chatting happily with the front of house. A minor hiccup with the electric meant a bit of a wait to get our food but that didn’t detract from an overall great experience, the pizzas were authentic, delicious, hot, every bit as good as I'm used to but with the added comfort of a table out of the weather to sit at and pint to wash it down with. We look forward to returning to try out their regular menu soon. (FB photos)

November 15 th, 2015

This Sunday I was lucky enough to get a seat at Symonds Founder’s Reserve dinner, hosted by Guardian Events at Kachette London to help promote the premium Cider. The evening began with a pint of the fresh and fruity drink, blended from Herefordshire apples including Dabinett & Michelin varietals; SFR has a high degree of complexity and depth of character and was the perfect accompaniment to the delicious smoky meats dished up by Smokestak’s Chef David Carter. The Aged Dexter beef brisket (pictured) was simply divine, melt in the mouth tender with that wonderful charred flavour, the richness nicely cut by the pickled red chilies and cucumber. Just before we tucked in David spoke passionately about his journey from Barbados, to Michelin kitchens and finally owning an operating the U.K.’s largest, custom-built smoker. A passion that is reflected in the amazing meal he delivered. Rounding off perhaps one of the best Sunday’s of recent memory was toe tappingly awesome music from the genre defying Coco And The Butterfields. ( More photos on our FB page. )

October 20th, 2015

Since opening their doors 2 years ago (Nov 2013) the Pint Shop has become known as one of the best places to eat & drink in the region, delivering consistently good quality fare that has earned them a loyal following & National recognition, including recent nods at both the Observer Food Monthly & Great British Pub Awards. Not planning on resting on their laurels; co-owners Benny Peverelli & Richard Holmes have brought in celebrated chef & Guardian columnist Rosie Sykes to help develop a new autumn menu that Benny says “takes our food to the next level”. Lucky enough to taste some of the new dishes at the recent launch I wholeheartedly agree, all that I love about their food is still at the core. The Devilled Lamb Kebab illustrates this beautifully; moist & tender meat, slow cooked over their spit roast; a signature of their old, much loved menu, elevated in taste & appearance with the addition of chilli & carefully blended fruit sauce that adds a delightful kick, all served on a flat bread. “We were worried that our menu was getting a bit too serious” says Richard as he hefts a platter of cheese burgers, “we wanted to add some less intimidating dishes onto the menu to encourage new customers to give us a try”. It may look like an ordinary burger but the taste is anything but ordinary! More on our FB page.

May 21st, 2015

Last night some of the finest chefs in the UK joined forces with street food favourites at Dalston Yard to cook up a fabulous feast in aid of Action Against Hunger. Auction Against Hunger is the creation of Ben Maschler (Draper’s Arms), Jonathan Downey (Street Feast) & Gizzi Erskine, who also served as host for the evening alongside Tim Hayward (Fitzbillies). Cooking were; Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), Skye Gyngell (Spring), Isaac McHale (The Clove Club), Robin Gill (The Dairy), Nieves Barragan Mohacho (Barrafina), Anna Hansen (The Modern Pantry), Hamish Brown (ROKA), Jose Pizarro (Pizarro Restaurant), James Lowe (Lyle’s) and Tom Parry (Kitty Fisher’s), Yum Bun, Breddos Tacos, Smokestak, Rola Wola, Bleecker St. Burger and B.O.B.’s Lobster. Phew what a list! As expected the delightful bites of food served up were spectacular. I’m hard pressed to pick a favourite, though Smokestak’s brisket bun was right up there alongside Breddos’ Baja Tacho, the cherry on top for me was getting to try Nuno Mendes’ cooking, given the near impossibility of getting a table at Chiltern Firehouse, his Iberico pork did not disappoint. A fabulous evening which raised an astonishing £126,196 for a truly worth cause, thanks to all involved! (Taste Card) (Facebook album)

June 8th , 2014

A packed weekend of food, beginning on Friday with the launch of Food Park at CB1, Cambridge’s own street food collective and brain child of Heidi White. Saturday was lunch was at Hunan London, where friends & I sampled some of the secrets of Mr Peng’s Kitchen in Pimlico. The menu at Hunan is left to the chef so as soon as we sat down the plates started coming, lots of little bites that packed huge flavours. The beautifully delicate tempura French beans encrusted in sea salt, chilli & garlic was perfection, every bit as good as I remembered. Opposite the restaurant is the local farmers market which hosted numerous vendors with all sorts of delights, beyond that is William Curley’s flagship boutique, the miso & white chocolate ice cream was a revelation! Extending my weekend of gluttony was a trip to the Old Truman Brewery in London to attend the European Premiere of Chef: The Movie starring the multi-talented Jon Favreau. A *warning* the film makes you very hungry! For me that necessitated a stop at All Star Lanes for their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger with lime & fennel slaw, chipotle mayo & hot sauce. Diet starts Monday!

May 22nd, 2014

This year Auction Against Hunger moved to Street Feast's Dalston Yard, the ultra-hip venue where some of the best street food vendors in London can be found. Serving side by side with regulars Yum Bun and Pizza Pilgrims were some of UK’s top chefs, the all-star list included; Sat Bains, Ben Tish, José Pizarro, Neil Rankin (Smoke House) and Anna Hansen (Modern Pantry) all working to raise vital funds for Action Against Hunger. The evening was hosted by Gizzi Erksine and Tim Hayward plus DJ-ing by Richard Jones of the Feeling and his wife Sophie Ellis Bextor. There were too many great dishes to list them all here but my top three had to be Ben Tish's (Salt Yard) 'Iberico Pork & Foie Gras Burger', Yum Bun's pork belly bun and dessert of 'Peanut Truffle and Chocolate Pork Scratchings' from Paul A Young. It was a fun filled evening enjoying delicious bites of food, awesome cocktails and great music in the company of some very generous and talented people. Tickets sales and auctions (both on the night and online) raised an incredible £105,089.00!! (FB Album here).