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Video: An Afternoon with Ferran Adria, at Google HQ London (Part 1)

A Chat with Ferran Adria of El Bulli

A Chat with Ferran Adria of El Bulli

I know, right? *Pinch* Ferran Adria, at Google HQ. For a geek who is into food that’s a pretty dreamy combination.

Ferran was visiting to promote his book – The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria – and was cooking lunch at the Google London HQ Canteen. It started badly as I got lost, which was frustrating, and that is all too regular an occurrence too, but an hour later, I found myself in a room with Ferran Adria, with an unexpected opportunity to interview him.

Ferran Adria's New Cookbook - The Family Meal

Now, I never expected this so I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t even know how to change the setting on my camera so that the video could be in colour. I had had a few too many glasses of red wine the night before. BUT, an opportunity to interview Ferran Adria, I couldn’t refuse. It was more of a chat really.

What a lovely man he is and he is hugely inspiring. PLUS, he gave us an exclusive. As part of his new initiative, the el bulli foundation, he is organising a conference in Spain that will gather food bloggers from all over the world in October at his first Gastronomy & Technology Day. His innovative brain stretches beyond food, and he will be publishing his research at the foundation online daily. So he wants to have a conversation with us.

It will be in Spanish but he was very encouraging. I will go if I can. As a technologist before food writer, and scientist before that, I am hugely interested. It also kicks off a series of events leading up to the launch of the el bulli foundation. Here’s hoping he hosts one here too.

Video chat with Ferran Adria with May of Slow Food Kitchen follows.

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Recipe: Crispy garlic chicken thighs with diced roast potatoes and crispy sage

Everyone loves a surprise, and this chicken dish has one. Tucked under the skin is a hidden secret, some crushed garlic paste, which coats the chicken flesh and flavours it beautifully, underneath a crisp chicken skin.

I’ve used chicken thighs here. I find them full of flavour and much better value for money than breasts. They cook better too, and on the bone retain their moisture. Legs would work well too if you prefer them.

Cooked on top of diced potatoes, the potatoes on the edge go nice and crispy. The potatoes underneath the chicken absorb all those fantastic chicken juices and are a delight. They serve two purposes: they keep the bottom of the chicken thigh lovely and succulent, and are utterly delicious after they have done all their work (that is purpose 2!).

Read more and find the recipe on iVillage: Crispy garlic chicken thighs with diced roast potatoes and crispy sage | iVillage UK

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Lucky Chip: Bang On Burgers and Great Chilli Cheese Fries

Oh, it breaks my heart to publish photos now, it really does. Whoever stole my SLR, lenses and iPod, may – whoever is in charge – smite you down with a giant lens shaped object. Anyway, I don’t want to stop blogging, so to fill a temporary gap, I bought a cheap point and shoot, hopefully it will be for just a short time. I felt this keenly, when I went to Lucky Chip recently, and had to use my flash instead of my lens for lowlight, but I liked it so much, I wanted to tell you about it anyway.

So, Lucky Chip is a burger van located in Netil Market Car Park, around the corner from Broadway Market. You can’t miss it, it’s just a van, and the only one in there. This weekend it was licensed with drinks from Off Broadway, but normally it is BYO.

The menu is simple and offers simple burgers – just burgers with cheese in a bun – right through a menu with Burgers like the Selleck through to the burger of the week. We opted for burger of the week, the Jeff Bridges True Grit Burger: Dry-aged Beef Patty, Smoked Bacon, Apple, BBQ, Onion Grits and Cheddar. We opted for some chilli cheese fries on the side, as my American friend Denise misses them very much.

To drink, a bottle of red and a cheeseburger pickle back to drink – three shots: tomato juice, followed by bacon bourbon (my bacon vodka and bourbon recipes will be coming soon!), followed by a shot of pickle brine. Now that was good. I suspect a trace of influence from the Pitt Cue Co boys here, but they had been there the night before, so it’s only natural.

Now, the burgers take some time, but that’s fine, as they are made fresh and they’re very good. The burger was perfectly pink, and huge. Which is not something I normally like in my burger, but this Jeff Bridges burger was an animal of a thing with good flavours and great ingredients. I loved it, I really did. I really need to go back and try the simple one soon.

Jeff Bridges Burger

The chilli cheese fries were also great. Good beef and beans and great fries with decent cheese. I hate the slappy crap that burger obsessives would have you stick on your burger. Although there is one exception to that, the Meatwagon, as their slappy cheese actually has some flavour. I could have done with a bit more heat in the chilli but I am a chilli fiend. So, I will add some chilli next time.

£21 for 2 Jeff Bridges burgers and the chilli cheese fries. The normal burger is cheaper. Worth every penny. I’ll be going back to try the beetroot flavour onion rings which were finished when we visited, the simple burger and naked fries.

Not food related but important, bonus points go to Lucky Chip for a great playlist.

Follow them on facebook as that seems to be where they most frequently update on menu changes and location changes.

Lucky Chip, Netil Market, London Fields, E8 3RL, Tuesdays-Sundays

http://www.facebook.com/Luckychip

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Decadence: Claudia Roden’s Flourless Gateau Au Chocolate with a Lick of Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Claudia Roden's Gateau Au Chocolat with Ganache Frosting

I have a Kitchenaid. At last. I feel like I have always wanted one, perhaps I have, although it’s realistic to say that in my early years, I was craving sweets a big stronger.

It is bright pink and stands proudly in my kitchen. I have been sent one to review – disclaimer – and I have been happily whipping up cakes and brownies and all sorts of other bits and pieces that are detrimental to my waistline but so, so good for my soul.

My Bright Pink Kitchen Soldier

It has made life very quick and convenient. We had a few run ins but I soon realised that that is because I was putting too much in the bowl. 1.5kg bread too much. That was a bit silly, it is a home mixer, not an industrial one, and treated as such – with one cake mix, not three – it works like a charm. It is tough and quick, and the patisserie attachment has been very useful, especially for my new baking experiments that have been taking place in my kitchen.

I don’t often write about cakes, for several reasons. They require precision and following the rules, and I find this restrictive and annoying. I can almost see my Home Economics teacher watching me carefully from the corner of the room. I think it’s part of my rejection of my previous scientific education. I have now decided to embrace it and learn the language properly, not just the stuff I know and learned at home in school, but more ambitious stuff, so that I can be as creative with my baking as I am with everything else that I cook at home.

This seems a pointless pre-amble now as Gateau au Chocolate is not my recipe but one from food superstar Claudia Roden. But I can’t resist a rich, dense chocolate cake. It is full of great stuff: eggs, ground almonds, butter and rich dark chocolate. I used Green & Blacks Cooking Chocolate which I find rich and dense with some lovely orange / citrus undertones. It’s protein rich, with just a whisper of sugar, a proper adults chocolate cake. You kids will need to look somewhere else.

Chocolate Ganache

I thought it looked a bit naked just on its own, so I whipped up a quick chocolate ganache to cover it with. It worked very well. Any leftovers can become truffles too.

The recipe has featured in many books, I got this from the Green & Black’s Ultimate: Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection, which has been sitting on my shelf for a year now unloved, I am ashamed to confess. It’s a lovely book with some gorgeous recipes and I will be trying more of them soon.

The recipe is unchanged except for the ordering of it. I changed it simply so that it was more practical for me.

Recipe: Claudia Roden’s Gateau Au Chocolate with a Lick of Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Ingredients

CAKE

250g dark chocolate (70% or above recommended)
100g unsalted butter (optional but I used it), plus extra for greasing
6 large free range eggs, seperated
75g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
Flour or matzo meal for dusting

GANACHE

150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate

Method

CAKE

Preheat your oven 180 deg C. Grease a 23cm cake pan and dust with your flour / matzo.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan over another (slightly larger) pan of water, or a double boiler.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl until white and fluffy with dense peaks, as you would for meringue. Leave to the side.

Refill your mixer bowl with sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy (they will be pale and creamy).

Add the ground almonds and melted chocolate and butter and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the whisked egg whites, taking care not to knock out the air.

Pour into your cake tin and make for 30 – 45 minutes. Test it by sticking a metal skewer or knife through it, when it comes out dry, it’s done. I found mine was perfect at 35 minutes.

GANACHE

Just as the cake is cooled, melt your chocolate as before. Stir through the cream and spread all over the cake once it’s cooled and out of the cake tin.

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Pumpkin, Pecan & Spinach Mash for Inbetween Days

Not a looker but this mash is delicious

Summer has gone. The leaves are falling, the winds rising, and the rain is a more regular visitor. The nights close in earlier than before.

It’s that time of year when it is impossible to dress correctly, always being too hot, or too cold. It’s just not all that pleasant.

But, it’s not all bad.

Pumpkins are in season again, their proud round orangeness proclaiming the arrival of an imminent Halloween. Carve ‘em, light ‘em, and make them a jack ‘o lantern. Do eat them too, they’re delicious.

I love them in soups, curries, tarts and pies. I love a rough and tumble of diced cooked pumpkin with strong cheese, nuts and spinach. I especially love them in a mash.

Now this mash is non traditional. It’s crunchy and soft, salty and sweet. For me it was the perfect plate of comfort that I needed to get me through one of the first autumn evenings.

Now pumpkins may seem tricky, but I promise that they’re not. For this, buy one small one, cut in half and scoop the seeds and fibres out with a spoon, then drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25–30 minutes at 180 deg C, until just tender. Now they will be very easy to peel and mash, and the flavours will be concentrated. Just delicious.

Read more for the recipe: Pumpkin, pecan and spinach mash for inbetween days | iVillage UK http://www.ivillage.co.uk/pumpkin-pecan-and-spinach-mash-inbetween-days/13514

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Abergavenny Food Festival: A Masterclass with Some Blaas, Some Hangover Guidance & Lots of Scandi Goodness

Kids sliding down the castle hill in cardboard boxes at Abergavenny - loved it

Kids sliding down the castle hill in cardboard boxes at Abergavenny - loved it

Everyone loves Abergavenny. Touted as one of the best food festivals for very serious food lovers such as us, I don’t know why it took me so long to get there.

Abergavenny (or in local speak Aber-gaa-veiny) is a sleepy town in Wales, and home to two of the best restaurants in Wales and – I have been told and am yet to eat at either – the UK generally: The Walnut Tree and The Hardwick.

Giving the New Voices Masterclass with James Ramsden at Abergavenny

Giving the New Voices Masterclass with James Ramsden at Abergavenny

The festival was charming. Gentle corporate sponsorship that didn’t interfere with proceedings supported it. It was rich with masterclasses from the likes of Bill Granger, Angela Hartnett, Fergus Henderson, Lucas Hollweg, Henry Harris, Richard Bertinet, Signe Johansen, Trina Hahnemann, James Ramsden and lil ole me. I made lots of blaas – literally hundreds – and homemade butter from raw cream. I loved it. What brilliant company too, I had to pinch myself.

Highlights for me were:

The Radio 4 Food ProgrammeThe Radio 4 Food Programme

Food Quiz from the Radio 4 Food Programme

Food Quiz from the Radio 4 Food Programme

Entente Cordiale from Richard Bertinet & Henry Harris

Entente Cordiale from Richard Bertinet & Henry Harris

The Nordic Terroir with Trina Hahnemann and Signe Johansen

The Nordic Terroir with Trina Hahnemann and Signe Johansen

Antics at the castle at Abergavenny

Antics at the castle at Abergavenny

The G & Teas from the Rare Tea Company and Sipsmith

The G & Teas from the Rare Tea Company and Sipsmith

Rude Health Rants - I did one too

Rude Health Rants - I did one too

Terrific Light Masala Dosa from Café Spice Namaste

Terrific Light Masala Dosa from Café Spice Namaste

Great hat

Great hat

Angela Hartnett at her Taste of Home Masterclass

Angela Hartnett at her Taste of Home Masterclass

The Dr Henderson - ultimate hangover cure - from Fergus Henderson

The Dr Henderson - ultimate hangover cure - from Fergus Henderson

Amazing stripes action from Fergus Henderson

Amazing stripes action from Fergus Henderson

Hangover Cures – Fergus Henderson, Shaun Hill and Chris Hirst

Hangover Cures – Fergus Henderson, Shaun Hill and Chris Hirst

Fig Tart from The Secret Larder at Dewsall Yurt Village

Fig Tart from The Secret Larder at Dewsall Yurt Village

Scouting Shenanigans

Scouting Shenanigans

Down to Earth – Jane Baxter and Lucas Hollweg

Down to Earth – Jane Baxter and Lucas Hollweg

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Bitesize: Vintage Dirt, Sipsmith Damson Vodka & Sloe Gin, London Restaurant Festival

I am back in London and Bitesize is back. I have had a few requests for info on food happenings in this town, so it was definitely time to bring back Bitesize.

Vintage Dirt

Vintage Dirt is pleased to announce that on Saturday 24th September 2011, they will be in association with Laverstoke Park Farm presenting a six course tasting menu of Bio-Dynamic Food in one of East London’s best kept secret locations.

Douglas McMaster (Wasted (Aus), St John Bread and Wine, Young Chef of the Year 2009) and Claire Roberson (Shacklewell Nights & Green Onions) will be combining their  ‘pop – up’ credentials for one night only.

Both from farming family backgrounds, Douglas and Claire firmly believe in the importance of the role of Bio -Dynamic produce in modern-day cooking and farming as it’s the only sustainable way to farm organically in the modern world.

Tickets for the six course tasting menu on Saturday 24th September 2011 will be available for £50 per person, we will be offering a Bio – Dynamic wine match per course for an additional supplement if requested or a BYO policy. Email vintagedirt1@gmail.com to book.

More info on http://vintagedirt.wordpress.com/

Sipsmith Damson Vodka & Sloe Gin

Who would have thought that boutique distillers Sipsmith could improve on their superb gin & vodka? Well, they just did with the launch of the fabulous new limited edition Damson Vodka and vintage Sloe Gin. It’s really special, and I highly recommend that you get your paws on a few bottles. It’s a limited edition and I would expect it to go quickly.

http://www.sipsmith.com/

London Restaurant Festival

The London Restaurant Festival is back with some new additions this year. The Gourmet Odyssey and Big Debate are back. Also featuring this year are Tapas Trails, and a Fortnum & Mason Culinary Carnival featuring chefs like Sat Bains, Shaun Hill and Nathan Outlaw. Further details and tickets on  http://www.londonrestaurantfestival.com/

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A New Blog for iVillage: Celebrate with Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies

Greetings folks! I’ve been writing for iVillage for quite a while now, and as of this week, I will be writing a recipe blog there. I am quite excited about it, they’re great people to work with and I get to flex my culinary muscles for them on a weekly basis now which I will post links to here so that you know when they are live.

I started with some Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies which are luxurious and addictive. Mosey on over to iVillage for the recipe. Enjoy!

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Back to London: Joe’s Cafe in Knightsbridge

Maria Elia at Joe's in South Kensington

Hello London! I am back. I didn’t want to come, but then when I did, I remembered how much I love it here. Hello, hello, hello.

So, I have lots of places to tell you about that I have been to over the summer. I’ll start with one that really charmed me, Joe’s Cafe in South Kensington.

Owned by the Joseph clothes brand – now stay with me and don’t be put off – they very sensibly have paid attention to the food that they are serving and have put Maria Elia at the helm. Maria Elia grew up in her Cypriot parents restaurant kitchen in London, before spending time at El Bulli and Elena Arzack. Impressive, no? She most recently worked at The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room before moving on to Joe’s earlier this summer.

Why did I like it? Maria is clearly very talented, and the food it effortless and flavourful. No doubt it is very complicated and detailed, but the food belies this. There is no pretentiousness, this is simply great food from a talented chef who loves what she is doing, I can’t wait to go back again soon.

We started with a gorgeous halibut carpaccio which was delicate and flavoursome. The star dish, the “Textures of X” – I tried both pea and tomato, is a dish with 4 small dishes where X is the star. The tomato baklava was stunning, although it feels unfair to single out one thing as the pork was also delicious (and very large).

Go try it – you won’t be disappointed. I will be going back soon and am delighted to have found another great option near all of those fabulous museums (the other is Casa Brindisa of course).

Joe’s Cafe, 126 Draycott Ave London, SW3 3AH www.joseph.co.uk/joes-cafe/locations/

http://www.thisismariaelia.com/about.html

Pork

Textures of Tomato

Halibut Carpaccio

Texture of PeasTexture of Peas

Meringue Roulade for Dessert

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In The Independent and a Bridgestone Review

WHAT A WEEK! I feel like I went 10 rounds with Big Daddy last week at Electric Picnic. I  am still shattered physically, which is ridiculous as I am not 95. El downside of this food writing business and my personality combined is that I am prone to laziness and indulgence (peppered with moments of frenetic activity), so recipe testing for my mini-tome Comfort & Spice and lots of Posh Lunch Clubs (mixed with Posh Dinners and more down and dirty guilty pleasures) mean I am now a little larger and more slow moving than before. A disgrace.

A good friend in Ireland dispensed some much needed advice this week: “Niamh, food and drink is your business. You will always eat and drink. Always. You need a personal trainer. ”

And woe, I fear it has come to that.

My Secret Life, The Independent Magazine; Saturday 10th September, 2011

There is a little interview with me in The Independent Magazine (My Secret Life – Niamh Shields) this morning with a really fun photo which was the result of a really fun shoot but all I could think was OOOOPS! Did I really do that to myself? So, personal trainer it is. I also thought it would be a head shot – I SHOULD HAVE IRONED MY SKIRT. Ah well. It adds character, no?

I am a happy sort though and just go with it, so I am not stressing or anything just acknowledging, it’s the downside of this business.

In other news, the Bridgestone Guide folks published a review of my book which nearly knocked me off my chair. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that people in Ireland – especially these people – like my book as much as they do. Thanks so much.

Niamh Shields, celebrated Waterford-born food blogger at @eatlikeagirl, has written her first cookery book and, in the process, she’s also written her first novel.

“We took the Eurostar at stupid o’clock…”.
“Add the spices and stir for a minute or so to temper them”.
”A Blaa is a fluffy white bread roll with a floury top, so expect to get a flour moustache as you eat them”.
“When you fry the rolls the meat crumbles, so when you bite in you find little pork crumbles fugitive amongst the noodles”.

Wow! What sort of inspired writing is that, and I could pull down fifty more examples where Ms Shields finds the perfect, poetic word: the pork crumbles fugitive amongst the noodles; stupid o’clock; the spices tempered; the funny, giggly flour moustache. Inspired. Most novelists never get with an ass’s roar of such wit and culture.

And if the writing is inspired, then the food is double inspired.

Before I go, let me leave you with a little Electric Picnic story which I have only recently heard and which granted me lots of laughter.

My friends who helped at the Comfort & Spice Pop Up Café at Electric Picnic are wonderful, but not all are comfortable cooks. One friend was shredding some spring onions for me, and really worried about it (I didn’t know), when Paul Flynn (of The Tannery Restaurant & Cookery School, ex head chef at 3* Chez Nico, tv celebrity chef and author of two books) saw her distress and asked: “Can I help with the onions?”.

My friend, who really is not into food and had no idea who Paul was asked frantically and in hushed tones so I couldn’t hear “Do you know ANYTHING about FOOOOOD?!”.

Paul graciously answered: “I think I can manage the onions”. And he did. Thanks Paul :)

Too funny.

Right! I have a date with those brownies from Electric Picnic. I will post the recipe soon. Have a lovely weekend all!

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Comfort & Spice Café: The Real Stars, Brilliant Producers

So, Comfort & Spice Café at Electric Picnic went well, and I was delighted with it, but what really made it special was the brilliant produce – mostly Irish – that went into the food.

(I had photos of all of the products but someone stole my camera so, generously, Aoife of I Can Has Cook has donated the ones that she took of the food)

Stars of the show were:

Overnight Slow Roast Pork Shoulder with Spiced Apple in a Homemade Blaa - Crowes Farm Terrific Organic Pork

Crowe’s Farm Organic Pork Shoulder & Bacon – terrific stuff, I highly recommend it. For Overnight Roast Pork Shoulder and that infamous Bacon Jam. Crowes Farm also fulfilled a last minute order for me with ease. Irish people – check them out – you won’t regret it.

http://www.crowefarm.ie/

Frank Hederman Organic Smoked Salmon
– only the very best will do, and for me that is Frank Hederman’s smoked salmon. A generous friend arranged to pick it up for me direct from the smokehouse, and we were all set.

http://frankhederman.com/

Frank Hederman Organic Smoked Salmon with Potato Cakes and Cucumber Pickle


Great local potatoes from the Stradbally Farmers Market
which became part of the potato cakes and also the chorizo and slow roast pork hash.


Organic Glenilen Butter, Milk & Creme Fraiche
– for the blaas, the Turkish eggs, the brownies and the bircher muesli. As my 2 year old niece said when I cooked with her: MORE BUTTER, MORE BUTTER!

This fabulous rich creamy butter made everything that bit more special. We have wonderful pasture in Ireland – it’s all that rain you see – and as a result our dairy is really very good and a little unique. Glenilen, for me, take it to another level, matching the quality of homemade butter but it is easily available in shops. It’s what I use if, for some reason or another, I haven’t made my own.

Londoners, you can get it in Waitrose, Selfridges and good delis. The milk was a special order but was really special, and the creme fraiche with the brownies a dream.

http://www.glenilen.com/

Glenisk Organic Yogurts - fantastic organic yogurts for the Turkish Eggs and the Bircher Muesli. Creamy, thick, not too tart, perfect. Available everywhere highly recommended.

http://www.glenisk.com/


Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate for Cooks
– my brownies went down a storm, and I think it was the alchemy of this terrific cooking chocolate and Glenilen butter that made it (there’s not much flour in there you see). Sadly no pic due to those camera thieves. Also the following ingredient which was (you guessed it) terrific.

http://www.greenandblacks.com/uk/what-we-make/home-baking/cooks-chocolate.html

Chorizo & Local Potato Hash with Local Free Range Eggs

Local Free Range Eggs from a farm near the festival – I found a great farm via their son on twitter when I asked for sources of great free range eggs. Can you meet outside Napper Tandys Pub before the festival, I will meet you there with the eggs?! If only everything else in life were that easy. Great eggs, great service.

And that’s it. Life is easier, sweeter and tastier when you source locally. All it takes is a little bit of effort.

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Comfort & Spice Pop Up Café at the Theatre of Food, Electric Picnic

So, we did it. Two days of pop-up brunching at my favourite Irish music festival, Electric Picnic, at the new Theatre of Food in Mindfield.

Comfort & Spice Pop Up Café at Electric Picnic, Ireland

It was challenging. I have never delivered food on this scale with restricted access to equipment (pots, knives, you name it, my fault – bad planning and lack of experience). It didn’t help that I had to travel overnight from London the night before to even get there.

Electric Picnic

But I am so glad I did it. We delivered, people really liked it, and I have learned so much for next time.

Highlights for me were:

Comfort & Spice Pop Up Café at Electric Picnic, Ireland - getting started on the first day

– the people – lots of great lovely people from my friends who helped, to customers, to chefs and restaurateurs in the Theatre of Food (which was absolutely fantastic too and a credit to Electric Picnic, the chefs and artisan food producers of Ireland). On the morning of the first brunch, I had had hardly any sleep, having prepped into the early hours. Paul Flynn – legendary Irish chef and fellow Dungarvan local – got stuck in and helped us with our prep.*doffs hat*

– there was no pretentiousness anywhere, lots of enthusiasm, people wanted to be involved, share their knowledge, help each other out and then have a laugh over a drink at the end of each day, with some live music thrown in for good measure.

- we made it to the front page of The Ticket fromThe Irish Times, who said we were the best brunch at Electric Picnic. Brilliant, but I must confess it filled me with mild panic, I wondered how we could cater for more. We managed, warning people that they may need to wait, we adjusted the menu where we could, and slow roast pork hash replaced the wildly popular chorizo hash when we ran out of it.

– we won a Bridgestone Award – a Bridgestone Award! – amazing and totally unexpected. Also an indication of how seriously Electric Picnic take their food. The Bridgestone Guides are the leading Irish food guide, and John and Sally McKenna saw fit to award us one of 5 awards, the judges award. I was thrilled, I still am. I can’t quite believe it.

Some of my brave & fearless friend helpers, sadly we never got a team shot! :(

– my brilliant friends. I honestly had no idea how hard it would be, but they pulled together fantastically and we got it done. I owe them all a big dinner, at the very least.

– the team at VSC Events who were fantastic and always supportive, getting everything we needed at a minutes notice.

So that was it! My camera was stolen but my friends and Aoife of I Can Haz Cook pooled together some photos for me. Thanks so much all.

My next festival will be Abergavenny in Wales where I will be giving a Masterclass with James Ramsden. It’s a brilliant festival – not corporate and all about the food – tickets on sale for our masterclass but also ones by Signe Johansen & Trina Hahnemann on the Nordic Terroir; Hangover Cures Masterclass from Fergus Henderson, Shaun Hill and Chris Hirst and Tapas Abergavenny Style from José Pizarro. Lots more too. Tickets available on the Abergavenny website – they are selling out too so be quick! 

Hope to see some of you there.
 

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Missing Camera – taken at Electric Picnic. Please Help

Hello folks! So this is not a recipe post or a food post, just a little plea. It looks like someone took my camera and lenses plus lots of memory cards not yet backed up, and my ipod touch from my prep kitchen at Electric Picnic last night. I was there until very late so it was late at night or this morning. I am hoping it was an accident and someone will find it. Or that if someone took it they will have a change of heart and get it back to me.

My camera has my only pictures of my pop up café and lots of my little niece and nephew. There’s lots of videos and pics plus recipe ideas on my ipod touch. They were both in a small black bag. I can’t afford to replace it just now so I am really in a bind. I don’t actually care if someone took it, just please get it back to me. Or the memory cards at least.

So, if you were there would really appreciate you asking around.

*fingers crossed*

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This Weekend: Comfort & Spice Cafe at the Theatre of Food, Electric Picnic

Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic, this weekend!

Well, I am so excited. I am going this weekend to one of my favourite music festivals in Ireland – Electric Picnic – and running my Comfort & Spice Café there for brunches! Recipes from the book feature predominantly, and it runs from 12 – 3 on Saturday and Sunday.

Comfort & Spice Café Space at the Theatre of Food, Electric Picnic

Come, and I will sooth your hangovers with slow roast pork shoulder and spiced apple (homemade) blaas, chorizo, potato and egg hash a veggie spicy tomato, egg and potato hash, Turkish eggs with chilli butter, my homemade bacon jam with soda farls and bircher muesli for the virtuous out there. We will also have wine from The Wine Buff. Well, it is a festival, isn’t it? And I do love wine.

Comfort & Spice Café at Electric Picnic - Brunch Menu

So, come by and tell your friends! It’s a big space and there will be plenty of room.

Personally, once my apron is off, I will be checking out all of the other wonderful food events including the farmers market and food collective which will have talks and demos from some of my favourite Irish food folks like Paul Flynn and the guys from Harrys Restaurant in Inishowen. More details on the Electric Picnic website. You can follow the Theatre of Food on facebook too.