Month: April 2015

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant Pop-Up

Just a quick post to let my fellow Londoners know that there’s a Jamie’s Fifteen Pop Up going on at Old Street Station today! My very first cookbook was Jamie Oliver’s ‘The Naked Chef’ – I can still vividly remember queuing up outside Hammicks bookshop in Harrogate, about 12 or 13 years old, waiting to meet the man himself to get my book signed. He called me “sweetheart” and I’ve loved him ever since – that book is still sitting proudly on my bookshelf! I’m pretty sure it was him that got me into cooking in the first place, and in fact, inspired my generation to get into the kitchen. Prior to that, chefs on TV had always been older and frumpy. He made cooking ‘cool’! I saw the pop-up being talked about on social media yesterday, so I thought I’d head over during my lunch hour. I was actually expecting them to be selling food from there, but it’s more of an exhibition about how the restaurant started and the stories of its staff. …

Throwback Thursday – The Fork & Wrench, Baltimore

              The riots in Baltimore have made global news this week and it has made me think a lot about the time I spent there with my last job. One of the company’s studios, Firaxis Games, are based just outside of the city, and I was fortunate to visit them on a couple of occasions – they really are some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with!  On one visit, they took us to a great restaurant called The Fork & Wrench, which I thought I’d write about for this week’s Throwback Thursday post.      It’s labelled on Google Maps as an ‘American Gastropub with Industrial Vibes’, but I’m not sure if that’s the best description. It felt more like stepping into someone’s home, albeit, someone who has a rather unusual taste in decor. All of the furniture felt unique and antique – as we were a large group, we were seated at a long table with drawers in it, some of which had …

Sweet & Spicy Beer Can Chicken

As you may know, Tim loves chicken. In fact, I don’t think ‘love’ really covers it. I’d probably call it an obsession. Our friends will be able to tell you many a tale relating to Tim and chicken (I think it even made it into his Best Man’s speech at our wedding). One of my favourites (although not at the time!) was when he nearly burned our flat down due to said chicken. After coming home from a big night out, after a few (!) beers, he decided to cook a roast chicken. Only he fell asleep with the oven on… let’s just say it’s a good job I got home in time! We’ve been trying a few different kinds of recipes out recently, and one of them was Sweet & Spicy Beer Can Chicken. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe – ours was a much smaller chicken as it was only for the two of us, but his recipe, as per his website, is as follows: Ingredients 1 x 1.8 kg whole free-range chicken olive …

Baking Focaccia with Cypriot ΟΣΟ Olive Oil

A couple of weeks ago, a London-based company called P S Lambis started following me on Twitter. The name caught my attention, clearly looking very Cypriot, having grown up in Cyprus myself. The second I visited their website, I was in love with their products and everything their business stood for. Landing on the homepage, with a looped video of a Cypriot hillside landscape, I was transported back home. P S Lambis was set up by the Lambis family in memory of their father, Pambos, and the company produces olive oil, honey and coffee, (all made in Cyprus) under the brand ‘ΟΣΟ’ (OSO). In Greek this means ‘as long’ or ‘as much’. All of these products played a key role in the life of Pambos Lambis. The company’s website has a ‘stories’ section written in a script form, re-enacting moments of his life that explain why these food items were so important to him.  ‘The Journey‘ especially brought a tear to my eye. I related to this through my own family’s comings and goings from Cyprus, …

Spicy Curry at Assado, Waterloo

On Friday night, we planned to meet up with my sister-in-law, Pops (who I’m sure you’ll be hearing more of on this blog!) and her partner, Pete, for dinner. With us living in East London, and them in Wandsworth, Waterloo is usually a good central point for us to meet. But we’d all been busy and hadn’t got round to booking anywhere in advance. There are plenty of chain restaurants in the area (Wahaca, Ping Pong, Wagamama etc) but you can’t book on a Friday night and the queues are insane – we’d learned our lesson from doing this many times before! Pops has a Tastecard, and I found that there was space at one of the restaurants in the Tastecard programme called Assado, a ‘Goan Canteen.’ The website describes how chef Cyrus Todiwala found a natural correlation between Goan, Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine during his travels and combined this with the food of his Indian homeland. It certainly sounded interesting!     The restaurant, located a short walk from Waterloo station, just past the Old Vic …

An Indoor Gourmet Picnic

Earlier in the month I came across a competition from ‘Holidayscottages.co.uk’, asking bloggers to write about their favourite picnic recipes. Considering that picnics have always been a big thing in our family, and in fact, are the reason for the name of this blog, I had to give it a go! The only slight problem – this is a picnic competition… in April. A time when the weather is temperamental to say the least, here in the UK. Last week had been the hottest week of the year so far, with sunshine and temperatures up to about 23 degrees! Yet the one day I had set aside to do my picnic (Sunday) turned out to be fairly chilly and overcast. But I wasn’t to be deterred – instead, I set up a picnic area in our own living room! Given the name and the story behind this blog, I wanted to make it a gourmet picnic. So I thought about what foods I would traditionally eat during a picnic, and what could I do to …

Sushi Lunch from Sushilicious, BOXPARK Shoreditch

I love sushi, although I’ll admit, I was quite a late adopter! I’ve always been into seafood, but growing up in Cyprus, there wasn’t really anywhere that sold sushi. I thought I’d give it a go for lunch one time when I started working in London, and bought some from M&S – big mistake! It was pretty rough, and it put me off sushi for ages, as I was completely disillusioned about what good sushi should be. It tasted fake and rubbery. Tim eventually got me into it and now I can’t get enough of it! We’ve been to some fabulous sushi restaurants in London, such as ROKA and Flesh & Buns, but I’ve never found a good ‘fast food’ alternative… until now! Sushilicious recently opened up in Shoreditch’s ‘BOXPARK’, next to Shoreditch High Street station. It’s located next to Falafelicious, which I visited recently and wrote about here. When I walked in to Sushilicious (around 1pm on Friday) the fridge shelves were pretty bare. I was worried I’d fallen victim to the Friday lunchtime …