Food corner

"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had." 

Stephen Mennell

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Amassive lunch

An understatement. This was the very longest of languorous lunches in the history of the world. Or at least in the history of my world and that is not insignificant; in my 30 years on this earth I've had my fair share of long and languorous lunches. My sister and I arrived at Amass restaurant at 12 o’clock and left at 5.30pm. Five and a half hours of lunching is a new record for me.

The 2013 opening of Amass restaurant in Copenhagen was much anticipated, making headlines around the world.  Head chef and owner, Matt Orlando, has worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc, Thomas Keller and Rene Redzepi. He was sous chef and, most recently, chef de cuisine at Noma, number one on the world’s best restaurant list.

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The height of good taste

One word: surreal.

This time yesterday I was suspended from a crane quaffing white wine waiting for a Michelin-starred three-course meal cooked by this guy:

In the sky.

Yes, really. 

Daniel Hutchens (Speyside Glenlivet), Jacquie Bance de Vasquez and Leigh Farmer
(Sustainable Restaurant Association)

I was invited to attend London in the Sky by the good people at Speyside Glenlivet. They were also responsible for keeping me sober - important at this dizzying height. (I am a klutz and a dropped knife, fork or glass is a regular occurrence when I dine with wine; much more dramatic at 100 feet!)

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Deb and Wally’s Ginger Spice Cake

I have made this cake three times in the last month. Not just because I like it. Because I am greedy and forgetful.

I baked it the first time because I was visiting some friends who recently had a baby. I forgot to take a picture of it before I cut it. No matter, I had plenty of ingredients left. I’d make another next week.

I did just that. Despite having consumed most of the last cake, I had not tired of it. In fact, I was so keen for a slice when it came out of the oven that I completely forgot why I’d baked it again and cut it before I got the chance to take a picture.

Round three. Same story. Ridiculous, but true.

More ridiculous is the fact that I just spent the last half an hour taking photos of the recipe book instead so that I could post this blimmin’ thing and upon creating a folder called ‘Ginger and spice cake’ found that one already existed. 10 photos of the cake itself from the first time I made it last year. Sods law.

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Shaved courgette and Parmesan salad

This is my new favourite summer dinner. I have had it countless times since I innovated it a month ago. I say “innovated it” because it is based on a lovely salad I had when I was in Sydney at Christmas time.

It was lunch with my sister at Fratelli Fresh. We ordered a pizza and the courgette and Parmesan salad. I wasn’t that keen on her salad choice as, until then, I thought courgettes were boring. Cooked courgettes are. Raw courgettes are a revelation. Yep, that’s right, raw. Shaved and dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan, courgettes are light and fresh, vibrant and summery.

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Fried courgette flowers stuffed with spinach, goat's cheese and feta

I was really excited when I saw these beautiful courgette flowers (that’s zucchini flowers for my Aussie readers) at the farmer’s market near my work on Friday. It was a beautiful spring day so I felt it would be criminal to walk past them. 

In an ideal world I would have lightly battered and deep-fried these beauties, but I don't have a deep-fryer and I was worried about ruining them, so I decided to pan-fry them instead. The result was delicious, but quite different from what you might expect if you have ever ordered them in a restaurant. I managed to get a little crisp on them, but nothing like a batter and they were much more delicate to handle when they came out of the pan. I still highly recommend them though. 

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