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Food | The Guardian

Latest Food news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Casa do Frango: ‘London needs this delightful piri piri chicken joint’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 09 Sep 2018 05:00:48 GMT

Fiery Portuguese cuisine in Southwark takes Jay back to the Algarve – and a general strike

Casa do Frango, 32 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TU (020 3972 2323). Starters and sides £4-£10, chicken £9, desserts £3-£5, wine from £20 a bottle

In the summer of 1978, while my family was on holiday at an all-inclusive hotel in the Algarve, the Portuguese government fell and a day’s general strike was declared. The hotel staff walked out, leaving the family who owned the place in charge. This had no impact, apart from on the food. It improved hugely. Usually we got some weird version of Anglo-continental. There really was something on the menu called Brown Windsor soup. You looked into its depths and saw your depraved soul reflected back at you. Grapefruit came grilled with brown sugar, and meats were tortured by coagulating mushroom sauces.

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Elena Arzak's guide to San Sebastián, Spain: 10 top tips

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 05:30:21 GMT

As Lonely Planet names the city’s pintxos the world’s best food experience, the renowned chef at Restaurant Arzak picks her culinary highlights – and the must-see sights

Bokado is a restaurant overlooking the stunning Bahía de la Concha. It’s great for dinner (the summer tasting menu costs €47pp and includes seared Iberian pork, langoustines and wild bonito) or for a drink on the terrace watching the sun set over the sea. The people behind Bokado also run the restaurant and cafe at the San Telmo museum and style themselves as “pioneers in miniature cuisine”, with dishes such as squid croquettes (€2), crispy octopus (€5) and steak skewers (€2). The museum is in the old town and is a must-see. It celebrates Basque heritage through archaeological finds and more than 6,000 paintings, sculptures and photographs, including the 11 Sert Canvases (housed in San Telmo church), which illustrate the most important events in Basque history.
Both at Plaza Zuloaga, +34 943 573 626, bokadosantelmo.com; santelmomuseoa.eus

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Nepotism: a twist on a classic Mexican cocktail | The Good MIxer

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 15:00:01 GMT

Typically Mexican flavours – mezcal, lime juice and agave syrup – add oomph to this refreshing glassful

Serves 1
4 sugar snaps
50ml gin – Tanqueray No. Ten, for preference
20ml mezcal – we use Quiquiriqui
1 egg white (30ml)
25ml fresh lime juice
20ml agave syrup
1 small sprig dill, to garnish

Muddle the sugar snaps in the base of a cocktail shaker, then add all the liquids. Shake hard, add ice, shake again, then double strain into a pretty glass – a classic Nick & Nora, ideally – and garnish with dill.

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Tast, Manchester: ’We probably don’t quite deserve it’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 09:00:17 GMT

Pep Guardiola’s Catalan adventure is important, possibly a bit earnest, but the proof is in the pudding

As I sit in the Pep Guardiola-financed Catalonian restaurant Tast, one of Manchester’s newest, most forward-reaching dining experiences, I ponder how, during the recent culinary wars over cultural appropriation, one country that remained curiously silent is Spain. So, while Jamaicans have been audibly irked by Jamie Oliver’s jerk rice, and the Japanese take umbrage over our cackhanded tribute to katsu, the Spanish have stayed shtum about the piles of oily patatas bravas and pil pil prawns presented along Britain’s high streets as “a real taste of Catalonia”. It’s almost as if they’ve enjoyed the 40-year self-own. “Let them eat their king edward patatas doused in ketchup and chilli flakes!” they seem to have laughed since the 70s. “Give them their chor-it-so boiled in red wine with garlic bread to dip!”

All this, however, makes it trickier for delicate, thoughtful, educational places such as Tast to tempt in large crowds in 2018. And this it will need to keep bums on seats across its capacious three floors. Tast is a high-end, imaginative, occasionally edgy “taste of the Catalan kitchen” by Paco Pérez, a chef of two Michelin-star calibre.

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Three Sicilian wines that make you an offer you can’t refuse

Sun, 26 Aug 2018 10:08:36 GMT

Sicily, so close to mainland Italy, has a rich vinicultural heritage all its own

Morrisons The Best Nero d’Avola, Sicily, 2017 (£6, Morrisons)
With a culture infused with, among others, Greek, Roman, Norman, Muslim, Byzantine and Spanish influences, Sicily feels much further from mainland Italy than the couple of miles of the Messina Strait. Its wine culture, too, is very much its own. The second-largest wine-producing region in Italy (itself the world’s largest wine producer), it makes roughly the same amount as Portugal and double that of Greece and, like those two countries, has its own high-quality grape varieties. For reds, the most widely planted is nero d’avola, often used to flesh out blends on the island and (sometimes secretly) the mainland. Its stock has risen in the Sicilian wine renaissance of the past 20 years, however, making it a solo star of such darkly plummy reds as Morrisons’ bargain.

Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco, Sicily, 2017 (£22, Les Caves; Buon Vino)
While a lot of Sicilian wine (good and bad) is blended from grapes sourced in various locations, it’s when the wine comes from a single region that things get really interesting. One of the most intriguing extends from the town of Vittoria in the southeast of the island, home of the frappato variety, used to make pleasantly light, strawberry-and-cherry-scented red easy-drinkers such as Beccaria Frappato 2015 (£7.75, WoodWinters). For a truly ethereal expression of frappato – one that brings sage, rosemary and spice to the perfumed strawberries – try Arianna Occhipinti Frappato 2016 (£33.05, Les Caves), while the same winemaker’s white blend is a summer garden swirl of jasmine, with blood-orange pith, tang and refreshment.

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for almond and apricot tart

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:00:15 GMT

The French culinary influence on Sicily shows through in this rich pasticcio: an almond-topped pie with a not-too-sweet fruit filling

Apparently it was King Ferdinand I of Naples who introduced butter to Sicily. Having fled to Palermo on Nelson’s HMS Vanguard when French Revolutionary troops invaded Naples in 1798, and encouraged by his Austrian-born wife Queen Maria Carolina, King F constructed a crown dairy in the Palermo commune of Partinico. According to the writer and food historian Mary Taylor Simeti, this daily supply of cream and butter was vital when the rest of Ferdinand’s court, with its aspirations to French style, arrived in Sicily. They turned their backs on traditional Sicilian cooking, sending to Paris for their chefs, who became known as monzù – a corruption of monsieur.

Bechamel, brioche, mousses, glazes, sauces, pastry enriched with butter and cream: the food of the extremely rich had virtually no influence on the food of most of the population, who were, for the most part, desperately poor. In time, though, even when the fashion for French cooking faded and the monzùs turned their attention to elaborating on traditional Sicilian recipes, certain dishes and habits persisted and seeped into popular cooking.

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Is eating bananas whole gay? Fragile masculinity's bizarre new 'hetiquette' | Arwa Mahdawi

Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:44:01 GMT

Rapper Wiz Khalifa’s insistence that ‘you gotta break it in pieces, bro’ is but one example of gender expectations affecting food

Rapper Wiz Khalifa thinks heterosexual men shouldn’t eat bananas straight out of the peel. Khalifa shared his fruity thoughts on the Breakfast Club radio show earlier this week, telling host Charlamagne Tha God that men should break their bananas into little bits. It’s simple “hetiquette”.

“If you bite into a banana, you sus,” Khalifa said. “Sus” is slang for suspect, and in this instance, seems to be implying that eating a banana whole is a gay thing to do.

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What climate change means for the wine industry

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 11:00:22 GMT

The warmer weather may benefit English vineyards, but winemakers from Bordeaux to California are struggling. Here are six wines rising to the challenge

One of the ways the British media covers climate change is to treat it as a bit of banter in silly-season items on English wine. This summer’s heatwave was the pretext for an awful lot of these “and finally” moments, in which the tone is unfailingly flippant: never mind the melting Arctic, the shires will take over from Champagne!

Well, hoorah for that. Except, of course, the impact of climate changeon wine isn’t quite as straightforward as a few nice summers and guaranteed bumper vintages in Sussex. What the larky local-radio questions about Bordeaux-on-Thames tend to gloss over is that itwon’t necessarily make the UK, or anywhere, a better place to grow wine. Erratic weather, floods, hurricanes, extreme, unseasonal frost and drought: none of these are friends of the winemaker.

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Coconut oil is 'pure poison', says Harvard professor

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 12:31:37 GMT

It is feted as a healthy choice but the oil, which is high in saturated fat, is ‘one of the worst things you can eat’ says expert

  • In depth: Why we fell for clean eating

For certain health food shops and wellbeing sites it is the panacea that helps everything from bad hair and mental grogginess to obesity and haemorrhoids. But the carefully-crafted image of coconut oil as a cure for many ills has been roundly rejected by a Harvard professor.

Karin Michels, an epidemiologist at the Harvard TH Chan school of public health, poured scorn on the superfood movement and singled out the fad for coconut oil in particular, calling the substance “one of the worst things you can eat” that was as good for wellbeing as “pure poison”.

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Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoulet

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 06:00:48 GMT

Hearty, traditional dishes that owe more to the farmhouse kitchen than to haute cuisine, including poule au pot and duck à l’orange

The story goes that France’s King Henry IV declared that every family in France should have the means to eat chicken every Sunday, and from this, the poule-au-pot was born.

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Cocktail of the week: red wine slow-downer

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 14:00:28 GMT

A quality pinot noir paired with grapes, vodka and agave for a new take on sangria

Inspired by beachside sangria, this is less sweet than its Spanish sister, but inspires the same feelings of holiday relaxation. No frills, just quality ingredients – which make this easy to pair with most seafood dishes, grilled meats and salads.

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Cocktail of the week: la vie en rosé

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:00:23 GMT

A French-influenced vodka-and-rose-flavoured spritz with floral notes

It’s time to make wine spritzes classy again, and this rosé-based one has a lovely, floral nose that’s the perfect companion to any late-summer garden party. This subtle and elegant drink uses a homemade infused rose water and vodka mix that’s great to have in the drinks cabinet to add aromatics to all kinds of cocktails; it keeps for ages, too.

Serves 1

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How to turn cheese rinds into a tasty French treat – recipe

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 05:00:47 GMT

Don’t bin those old cheese rinds – they’re the main ingredient in fromage fort, a punchy, booze-soaked spread

Cheese is one of life’s pleasures, as addictive as narcotics, but thankfully much better for us. Professor Tim Spector, author of The Diet Myth, has a theory that the French are slimmer because they eat funky cheeses full of good bacteria that are vital for a healthy digestive system.

The aftercare of cheese is as important as the making, and my local cheesemonger’s advice is to keep it wrapped in wax paper in a container in the bottom drawer of the fridge, where there’s higher humidity (cheese likes to breathe, so doesn’t like plastic), and to scrape off any mould that forms, to prolong its life.

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Karl Ove Knausgaard: ‘I don’t know why more people don't read Mein Kampf’

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 11:00:22 GMT

‘There is no chance that anyone could become a Nazi by reading that book,’ says the Norwegian author who discusses his autobiographical novels, his love of schnitzel and Liverpool FC

For anyone who has read all or part of the six volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical novel My Struggle, I guess it would be a profoundly curious thing to meet him in person. The books – he likes to call them “the project”, as if they were a sort of demonic exercise – set a new standard of literary self-disclosure. Written over two and a bit years, around the time the author turned 40, their 3,600 published pages seem to offer a direct line into the Norwegian’s troubled and attentive mind as it tries to understand itself through the reconstructed detail of everyday life.

My Struggle proceeds as if the clues to Knausgaard’s fractured formative years, the breakdown of his first marriage, his dislocating move from his native Norway to Sweden and a new wife, Linda, and the brief joys and long frustrations of looking after three small children, might make some more sense in their reliving. He wrote, he says, always out of a desire to make something better of his life, in the hope of “a cool hand on a warm forehead”.

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Nigel Slater's warming autumn recipes

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 07:00:17 GMT

The change of seasons finds Nigel Slater contentedly back in a hot kitchen, preparing duck with figs, pot roast pork and apple and blackberry crumble

The light coming into the kitchen is golden once more and I couldn’t be happier. Each warm, sunny day is bookended by crisp mornings and cool evenings. There is a distinct change of climate at the stove, too: the jars of beans and lentils have come down from the larder shelf; there is meat cooking slowly on its bones; and there are proper puddings in the oven. As a cook, I’m in my element, but also as a shopper, with the best of both seasons at my fingertips. After just one too many salad days of a long, hot summer, this cook has never been happier to be back in the kitchen.

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My carnivore diet: what I learned from eating only beef, salt and water

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 04:00:07 GMT

Jordan Peterson insists his fad diet helps you lose weight and feel better. I tried it for a week, and let me tell you: it was truly, punishingly awful

When I started my carnivore diet, I had no idea what it would involve. I thought it could be fun. I wasn’t to know I’d started on a journey that would involve rapid weight loss, complete exhaustion, and a professor of nutrition telling me I was at risk of scurvy.

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OFM’s classic cookbook: Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:00:22 GMT

Where it all began: Nigel Slater celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nigella Lawson’s first cookbook. Plus six brilliant recipes

How to Eat is easy to find on my bookshelf. It is the book in tatters. The one whose spine is torn, whose pages are smeared, smudged and scorched. The book that has clearly done service for 20 years.

You can tell from the title this is more than a recipe book. From the first entry for roast chicken (stick half a lemon up its bottom) to the last – Marmite sandwiches (cream the butter and Marmite together as if you were making a cake) – the book is clearly the work of a roll-your-sleeves-up cook. Someone deeply familiar with the appetites of food-loving friends and a growing family. This is not some pictures-of-plates coffee-table tome.

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Tamal Ray’s recipe for pear eclairs

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 11:00:05 GMT

Make the most of the first autumn pears with a super-light choux pastry treat

I used to be mad about eclairs as a child. I must have got through my own body weight in them, but it wasn’t until many years later that I realised they came in versions other than the standard chocolate and whipped cream.

Choux pastry can be daunting if you’ve never made it before, but follow the steps below and you should be fine. There will be enough here for a few extra shells, just in case a few go wrong in the oven.

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How to find the best-value French wines | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 13:00:23 GMT

It’s still possible to get affordable, good-quality French wine – so long as you know where to look

It might seem odd to talk of value for money when it comes to French wine, given that it boasts some of the most expensive wines in the world, but in my view it’s hard to surpass. Of course, France produces a lot of poor and overrated wine, too, but it’s still possible to find thrilling and affordable bottles from every part of the country – so long as you know where to look.

As prices of premium wines have risen elsewhere, French wine looks increasingly good value. The price of champagne, for example, often compares favourably with that of English sparkling wine, especially if you go for own-label: Waitrose’s current offer on its stylishly packaged, attractively creamy Blanc de Blancs Brut (12.5%) at £18.99(down from £23.99) is a good case in point.

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Food and Brexit: will our cupboards be bare?

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 14:10:02 GMT

From farmers and poultry producers to professors of food policy, those on the frontline have been sounding the alarm. So how will the UK cope after 29 March 2019?

It is a warm day and the European Commission building, on leafy Smith Square a few streets away from the Houses of Parliament, has laid on a buffet. There will be sandwiches. There will be roasted chicken legs. Whether anybody will have an appetite for it after the event it is to follow is another matter entirely; perhaps they’ll decide to fill their pockets in an attempt to stock up for possible shortages to come. A panel of the learned, the well-read and the frankly terrified has gathered here to discuss the likely impact of Brexit on Britain’s food sector, and it is not a jolly event.

Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for south-west England and Gibraltar and a specialist in European food systems, tells us she is normally a sunny, optimistic soul. Not today. “There is very little good news coming out of Brexit,” she says, bleakly. “It’s a tragedy that we have no certainty.” Nick von Westenholz from the National Farmers Union (NFU), many of whose members voted out, takes us through various trading scenarios – customs tariffs going up, down or disappearing altogether – all of which impact the farming sector’s finances in complex ways and therefore its ability to produce more, which we may well need to do post-Brexit to keep ourselves fed.

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Gravity-defying dessert, $195 mac’n’cheese and Beyoncé’s guacamole: the tastiest food TV

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 14:17:21 GMT

There’s plenty to satisfy your food-based telly cravings in the week between Great British Bake Off episodes. Here’s our pick ...

While everyone was busy being distracted by all the prestige drama, streaming services have quietly built up a giant stockpile of food shows. With CNN’s Anthony Bourdain documentary not out for at least another year, and the next episode of the Great British Bake Off almost a whole week away, here’s a list of all the food shows you should be watching instead.

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Gazelle, W1 – Six dishes are not enough – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 09:00:21 GMT

Trapped in London’s Bermuda Triangle of food, our hungry critic finds that six experimental dishes are not enough ...

Some restaurants provoke an existential crisis. Yes, I know it’s just dinner. But dinner is my job, and some evenings remind me I could be running a cat orphanage in Udaipur, or something useful.

Rather than, say, visiting a restaurant that serves tiny tastes of “bitter herbs, parmesan, anchovy”. Plus, exactly 15 other teensy dishes such as “halibut with elderflower” or “squid with sandalwood”. Each concoction offputting, but hewn to test boundaries. Each reminiscent of something an antihero in a Bret Easton Ellis novel would order.

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A taste of mezcal, tequila’s classy artisan cousin | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:00:09 GMT

The less well-known cousin of tequila is enjoying a moment in the limelight

Have you been put off mezcal for life after seeing a worm at the bottom of the bottle? Yup, me, too (and, being a drinks writer, I’m slightly ashamed to admit that). Mind you, there hasn’t been a great deal of it about – until recently, that is, when all of a sudden mezcal seems to be popping up just about everywhere. Well, not in your local corner shop or supermarket, maybe, but in a significant number of bars – and not just the Mexican ones, either.

Mezcal is made from agave, as is tequila, but generally not from blue agave, and it comes from the Oaxaca region of the country, rather than Jalisco. It’s much less commercial than tequila, and made mainly by small artisanal micro-distilleries, with prices to match; though at least they tend to forgo the worms, which are mainly a commercial gimmick.

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Taste Test: from lemon tart to tiramisu, the best supermarket puds

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:30:21 GMT

Cookery writer Georgina Hayden picks up her spoon to taste and rate high-street desserts

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'Milk' mania: why most alternatives aren't great – but camel milk just might be

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 18:00:01 GMT

They’re better than dairy, but almond, rice, oat, soy and coconut milks are not as environmentally friendly as they seem

Dairy milk isn’t great for the environment, right? Between flatulent cows, poor land use and vast water consumption, the industry has a major environmental impact around the world. But choosing a worthy, tasty and maybe even nutritional alternative for your morning coffee or cereal seems to be a tall order.

That’s not for the want of options, of course: the market is booming. Globally it has grown 8% each year in the past decade, with dairy-free milk representing 12% of dairy and alternative milks globally in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and there are endless variations on almond, soy, oat, rice and coconut milks available at the supermarket.

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20 of Europe's best ice-cream parlours: readers’ travel tips

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 05:30:08 GMT

Unusual flavours, such as lemongrass, poppy seeds, and peppered raspberry, are among the treats discovered by readers in search of a holiday scoop

Legendary ice-cream shop La Martinière is on the quayside in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and also has a quieter outpost at the far end of the island by the Baleines lighthouse. There are too many flavours to count: my three-year-old was bowled over by the simple vanilla, my husband by the local caramel fleur-de-sel (sea salt, for which the island is famous) and I couldn’t get enough of the Ferrero Rocher and the peppered raspberry. Eat in La Martinière’s garden reclining on the deckchairs, or stroll down to the lighthouse gardens and enjoy the view over the Atlantic as the waves crash onto the beach below.
17 quai de La Poithevinière/9 Allee du Phare, la-martiniere.fr
Jo Devine

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The rise and fall of the TV chef | Tim Hayward

Sun, 19 Aug 2018 10:00:18 GMT

There may never be another Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay. Why would today’s young chefs be interested in working in food television?

For almost as long as there has been TV, there have been cooks on it – from 1940s original Philip Harben to the Sainted Delia – but it was around 1999 that TV producer Pat Llewellyn, in a blaze of genius, brought Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay to life on our screens, in sweaty whites and clogs, but repositioned as sexy. These weren’t TV presenters with some distant history of cooking or food writing, these were real chefs and we were going to share their lives and love them like rock stars.

Celebrity chefs with one foot in the kitchen and one on the studio floor became the dominant phenomenon of British media and for a couple of decades, the overwhelming ambition of many young cooks was to break into TV, while the image – mercurial, driven, invariably male, perfectionist, a Marco Pierre White filtered through his scion Ramsay – became a template. All that, though, is suddenly up for grabs. We’re witnessing a change in the peculiar relationship between chefs and celebrity.

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A recipe for linguine with grilled mussels and garlic breadcrumbs | Thomasina Miers

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:00:15 GMT

A thoroughly French way to cook mussels

I recently spent a memorable, sun-soaked few days in and around Marseille. The cooking was gutsy, with bold ingredients such as garlic, anchovies and olives appearing lavishly, ensuring that I was always coming back for more. I particularly loved the Italian influence from just up the coastline – this mussel pasta was a particular favourite. It is a feast for four, but also makes for an amorous dinner à deux.

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Anna Jones’s recipes for French vegetable barigoule and pistou

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:00:20 GMT

A herby, lemony provençal vegetable broth, to serve with pesto’s cleaner, greener, fresher cousin

Sometime in the early 90s, my family took a day trip to France. My dad had heard about a restaurant near the ferry and we went for a lunch that changed how I look at food. I was so impressed by the deep respect given to food, to cooking and serving – and the seriousness of it all. It wasn’t the style I now cook in – I’ve never quite found the patience to cook like those chefs – but I am forever grateful to my father for booking that table.

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Tozi, London: ‘Exceeds your expectations’ – restaurant review

Sun, 02 Sep 2018 05:00:15 GMT

Venetian small plates at Tozi are a tasty, timely reminder of all that’s at risk if we leave the EU

8 Gillingham Street, London SW1V 1HJ (020 7769 9771). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £60-£100

Tozi is a desperation booking. We are going to a Sunday morning prom at the Royal Albert Hall and need somewhere to eat afterwards. We don’t want special. We want sustaining. Going south from the Royal Albert Hall isn’t a good idea. Head down Exhibition Road, and before you know it you’re on the Fulham Road. I don’t proclaim any food allergies apart from eating on the Fulham Road. Last time I went down there I ended up in the Farm Girl Café, looking hungrily at a Yorkshire terrier which was eating better than I was. There’s always Bibendum, but that’s sell-a-child-into-slavery-to-pay-the-bill territory. I’m not against that on principle. What’s one child against Claude Bosi’s tripe and cuttlefish gratin? But you do have to be in the mood.

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Can you learn to cook like a chef by watching YouTube?

Wed, 01 Aug 2018 11:50:42 GMT

Tim Dowling is a quasi-competent cook. Can a week of online tutorials help take his straightfoward cuisine to restaurant standard?

Chef Lallalin Mahasrabphaisal cooks in one of Manchester’s most acclaimed restaurants, Siam Smiles. Previously located inside a Thai supermarket she owned, the cafe has now moved to new premises. While it was, and still is, a modest place, this paper’s reviewer called it “the most exciting thing to happen to me in Manchester since the days of the Haçienda.”

And yet Mahasrabphaisal, also known as Chef May, has no formal culinary training, experience, or , initially at least, any kind of yearning. She only took it up because the cafe’s chef quit and she wanted to keep the place going. She taught herself to cook by watching YouTube videos.

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Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for leeks, saffron and haricot beans

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 09:00:05 GMT

A slow-cooked vegetable hotpot with herby French onion tones

Margot Henderson is a food hero of mine. When I moved flats in London, I wanted to be sure of two things: that I had a patch of grass to call my own and that I lived within a short radius of her (and Melanie Arnold’s) Rochelle Canteen. While this dish isn’t on their menu, it was inspired by a similar slow-cooked courgette dish that is. Eating it reminded me always to let the flavours do the talking and to keep things simple with my own cooking.

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Nigel Slater’s sardines with tomato and orange recipe

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:00:23 GMT

A tasty, zesty and quick to cook fish dish

You will need 3 or 4 sardines per person depending on their size. Score the fish on each side, 3 of 4 scores on each one, cutting almost through to the bone.

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Easy does it: seven simple new Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:00:48 GMT

These dishes from my latest book make cooking fun, relaxing and delicious

One person’s idea of cooking simply is the next person’s culinary nightmare. For me, it’s about being able to stop at my greengrocer on the way home, pick up a couple of things that look good and make something within 20 or 30 minutes of getting in. My husband, Karl, on the other hand, has a completely different idea. If we’re having friends over at the weekend, he’ll want to spend a good amount of time prepping and cooking as much as he can beforehand, so that very little needs to be done when our guests are here.

There are other approaches, too. Esme, who tests my recipes, prefers to be in the garden at weekends. Her idea of simple cooking is to put something in the oven on a Saturday morning and leave it simmering away, ready to be eaten four or five hours later. My colleague Tara, on the other hand, can’t relax without knowing that a meal is ready a full day before it’s due to be eaten: sauces are in the fridge, stews in the freezer, vegetables are blanched or roasted and ready.

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Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles, London: ‘I left thinking all was well in the world’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 05:00:16 GMT

Slurp joyously at this brilliant noodle joint – and drown your fears over Britain’s Chinese eateries

Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles, 62 Wentworth Street, London E1 7AL (020 8617 1470). Small plates £4.80-£7.50, big plates £7.90-£11.20, wine from £16.50 a bottle

These are complex times for Britain’s Chinese restaurants. I know this because recently I sat on a panel about their future at Asia House in London. For the most part I was listening to my fellow panellists, Andy Kwok of the Good Earth group, and the uber-restaurateur Alan Yau, who set up Hakkasan, Yauatcha and Park Chinois among others. I contributed memories of the Chinese restaurants along Queensway in the early 1970s, where chefs stood in the windows pulling noodles as a kind of come-hither culinary theatre; they talked brutal economic and business realities.

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Alchemilla, Nottingham – ‘Quite gorgeous’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 09:00:07 GMT

A refreshing experience: compelling, Japanese-influenced, semi-fine dining that tests the boundaries of Nottingham’s eating out scene

Almost all new restaurants claim to be a labour of love, hewn from an unswerving chef’s blood, sweat and tears. Chefs are really dramatic people. However, the opening of Alchemilla in Nottingham is a gargantuan feat by any measure.

Alchemilla lives below-ground in a crypt-like space, formerly an abandoned coaching house on the Derby Road. The premises sat unloved and festering for more than 100 years, full of rubbish and rot. It was the sort of loveless hell portal over which Kevin from Grand Designs might become quite animated. Especially if chef Alex Bond had told him he planned to spend part of spring 2017 renovating the place himself.

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Josh Niland knows fish – here are his top tips for cooking it well

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:00:07 GMT

Gourmet Traveller’s chef of the year is only interested in cooking fish and seafood – no matter how difficult it is

There’s not much the chef Josh Niland doesn’t know about fish and seafood. For example, he knows the dish that revolutionised the way we cook fish was a salmon with sorrel dish created by the Michelin starred-chefs the Troisgros brothers in Roanne, France, in the early 70s. Or that it’s trimethylamine that makes fish smell, well, fishy.

Indeed fish is all that Niland, recently voted Gourmet Traveller’s chef of the year by his peers and last year’s best new talent, is interested in cooking. It is all that he serves up at his popular Sydney’s Saint Peter restaurant and it’s all that’s sold at his new and novel Fish Butchery – where you can buy anything, as long as it comes from the sea.

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Len & Alex Deighton’s Italian Cookstrips: Pici

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:30:21 GMT

Len: Italian grandmothers join the strips of dough to make one continuous noodle.
Alex: I give a strip to each guest and we all make dinner together.

Len Deighton is the author of the Action Cookbook and French Cooking for Men (HarperCollins)

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Ditch the almond milk: why everything you know about sustainable eating is probably wrong

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 05:00:50 GMT

From cod to clingfilm, the advice we’re given can often be confusing. If you’re serious about eating green, here are some straightforward solutions

In food and drink, we all want to do the right thing. We want to shop and eat sustainably. But, sometimes, it is easier said than done. Our willingness to jump on the latest eco-trends and unquestioningly accept reassuring labelling can lead to unintended consequences. If we are serious about eating green, we need to read beyond the headlines and think rigorously about how we apply ethical advice in our own lives. By way of inspiration, here are some of the ways we get it wrong on ingredients, storage and recycling – and a few surprisingly easy solutions.

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Classic French recipes | Yotam Ottolenghi

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 08:29:01 GMT

A Gallic feast, starting with gram flour pancakes from the Riviera, then a classic duck provençal, and capped with a crunchy Parisian apple pudding

The little formal chef training I got was in a very French environment, where I was taught a set of techniques and recipes formalised decades earlier. For my ability to make a decent stock or chop vegetables uniformly – both important skills, yet ones I exercise less and less – I will always be grateful to my French mentors, but for inspiration that is more relevant to the way I cook today, I owe more to visits to France itself. Rustic, regional cooking, still going strong, as well as innovations in the big cities, feed me a constant flow of fresh ideas from this culinary giant of a nation.

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Cucina paradiso: Joe Trivelli’s modern Italian home cooking

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:29:22 GMT

The River Cafe chef on his mentors in the kitchen and what he cooks for his family. Plus six recipes from his new book, The Modern Italian Cook

The idea of a celebrated restaurant chef compiling a cookbook of dishes that he or she actually cooks at home is almost a joke set-up. Given their antisocial hours, and overexposure to rich flavours, the punchline would be something like: “How many recipes for beans on toast do you need?”

And yet, this is what Joe Trivelli set out to do with his new book, The Modern Italian Cook. By day, he is one of a pair of head chefs at the beloved, game-changing Italian restaurant the River Cafe in west London. But when he’s not cooking there, he’s invariably rustling something up for his wife and two young children. “People always ask me if I like to cook at home,” says Trivelli. “And I know quite a lot of chefs understandably don’t. But I really do.”

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