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Farms Not Factories Event at Tramshed, Shoreditch

At the weekend for a friend’s birthday, her partner organised to have a hog roast which we prepared in their garden to feed around 30 people. I posted photos across my social channels and I was surprised and rather annoyed that I received a few negative comments. The pig was extremely well cared for and high quality from a good farm/butcher and I can’t tell you how much love went into preparing that pig for the dinner – over 6 hours of manually turning it, covering in oil, herbs and so on. And when it came to serving the pig, there was such excitement and a huge appreciation from everyone for the delicious food they were being given. This pig had a good life and was being celebrated. It wasn’t being churned up into cheap sausages or burgers. It was being given a good send off and in my eyes, that shouldn’t be criticised. High welfare farming is something that’s very important to me, and I’ve written about it a few times on the blog. …

Beef and Sushi at Benihana, Chelsea

I first came across Benihana during a work trip to the US a few years ago, but I’d never had a chance to visit. Then there was the infamous ‘Beni-f*****g-hana’ scene in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street where DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort declares war on the restaurant chain. I love that film, and that scene in particular had always stuck with me. So when I was invited to review the Chelsea venue, I was intrigued and excited to see what all the fuss had been about for so many years. Benihana is a Teppanyaki restaurant with a number of locations around the world. Rocky ‘Hiroaki’ Aoki opened the first Benihana restaurant in 1964 in New York City. It’s largely known for the exciting spectacle of the chefs cooking fresh meat and fish right in front of diners with knives, eggs and all sorts being thrown in the air and food being (purposefully!) set on fire! It attracts a mixed crowd – when we were there, the clientele was largely families with kids entertained by the …

Learning about Feta with Odysea and Roussas Dairy

There’s nothing I love more than an invitation to an event related to cheese. And even more so if it’s about my beloved feta! Feta is a cheese which I’ve grown up with – in Cyprus I always preferred it to halloumi. It was also the cause of many a family row when eating at a local taverna – cubes of it would be scattered on top of the Greek salad at the start of a meal, and there would inevitably always be a fight for the last piece! I was recently invited to a feta tasting at The Greek Larder in King’s Cross, a restaurant I’ve been meaning to visit ever since it opened but frustratingly never got round to it. It’s a 10 minute walk from Kings Cross, in the very cool and completely revamped area north of the station, with large glass windows surrounding it in-keeping with the area. But inside you feel very much like you’re in a traditional Greek restaurant, with local produce adorning the shelves and displays. I was …

Review of Edinburgh Larder Bistro

Prior to us going up to Edinburgh for the weekend recently, I’d been researching places to go for lunch. As you can imagine, you’re spoiled for choice in this city, but something about Edinburgh Larder Bistro really appealed to me. The dishes and ingredients looked fresh and delicious. The Bistro is tucked away on the corner of Alva Street in the West End, down some steps, so you might not see it. But you really should! Stepping down ‘underground’, the restaurant is incredibly cosy and candlelit. But if you head through to the back, there’s an adorable ‘orangery’ style area, which is where we were seated. I tried a rather unusual lavender gin, served with tonic, which was lovely, and Tim had a craft beer. We ordered the set lunch menu which was great value, with three courses for £15. To start, we both ordered the wood pigeon pastrami with pickled beetroot on walnut toast and Strathdon blue cheese dressing. It was gorgeous and the flavours just worked so well together – beetroot and blue cheese are a …

A Pasta Education from Jamie’s Italian

As you probably know, I absolutely adore pasta. When I was a child, I had pasta with tuna, mayonnaise and peas for lunch at school every day for at least a couple of years. I think my teachers thought I was a little bit insane. I’d still be eating it every day now if I had the same metabolism as a seven year old! The team at Jamie’s Italian recently sent me this infographic on different types of pasta, where they originate from and the history behind them, so I thought it would be interesting to share with you all – there were certainly some types in here I’d never heard of or tried: I thought I’d try out a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website to include in this post, and this one really took my fancy – Chicken, Leek, Pea and Pasta Bake. Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter , plus extra for greasing 350 g conchiglie pasta olive oil 2 leeks , roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced 100 ml chicken stock …

An ‘Around The World’ Cheeseboard with Davidstow

I’m a cheese fanatic. Any regular readers will know this. Given the choice, I could quite easily live on the stuff. I’ve never encountered a cheese I didn’t like and I’m always on the lookout for new brands and types to try. The latest of these was Davidstow who challenged me to create my dream cheeseboard. Well, where to begin with that, considering my dream cheeseboard would be more of a castle, with different levels and rooms?! I had to control myself (for the sake of both my bank account and waistline!), so I went for an ‘around the world’ theme, featuring the following: UK: Davidstow 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar France: Camembert Spain: Manchego Italy: Mozzarella Greece: Feta I know most cheese connoisseurs will pair cheeses that complement each other, or are perhaps from the same country. However I like the idea of experiencing a range of flavours and textures, from the thickness of the manchego to the softness of the mozzarella, and the richness of the cheddar to the creaminess of the …

The Chocolate Show, London – My Top 5

Last month I paid a visit to The Chocolate Show in Kensington with my friend Laura. A whole show full of chocolate? Surely it can’t get much better than that?! There was so much to see and so many different types of chocolate that it would be impossible to write about it all. So I thought I’d give my highlights through a Top 5. Here we go, in no particular order… Paul A Young  I’ve been a fan of Paul A Young’s ridiculously amazing chocolate for a while now, as Tim has bought me an Easter Egg from his shop in the City for the past few years. It’s not the cheapest chocolate by any means, but it’s definitely worth it. I was excited to see the man himself at the show, and he and his team were making delicious gooey brownies which you could smell from far away. We were pretty much lured over by the divine scent! You can find out more about Paul A Young here. 2. Marou Vietnamese Chocolate They say …