The Great British Chefs App

Local Photographer to Cornwall, David Griffen emailed me with this:

“Just a quick email to say hello, and to let you know about an exciting new app called Great British Chefs. The app features some of my food photography – I was commisioned to shoot the food of four chefs – three in the South West (Nathan Outlaw, James Sommerin and Simon Hulstone) and Tom Aikens in London.”

Having released the app this week, the developers say:
“The Great British Chefs App (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) brings together 12 of the UK’s most creative chefs, who between them have 15 Michelin stars and a host of other awards. Now you can have 180 of their recipes and their unique cooking styles into your kitchen.”

The Times think:
“Many dishes are quick and simple while maintaining that giddy air of Michelin stardom. It’s full of wild combinations, useful everyday techniques and genuinely brilliant, interesting recipes. And at a time of hyper-simplified home cooking, perhaps that’s no bad thing.”

If you would like to watch a trailer for the app please visit: www.greatbritishchefs.com
And here are the links to go and buy the app:
iPhone: http://togbc.com/r8QL3G
iPad: http://togbc.com/n054mx

Be warned though. It’s food seduction and now I want an iPad all the more. 😛

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A Foraged Feast

Foraging with Rachel Lambert

I love the idea of free food.

However, I’m not talking about the free dinner variety, but another kind; the sort of fare that’s free if you know where to find it.

It started practically in infancy. I’d have been too young to remember the first blackberry I tasted, but from a toddler I was hooked. In memory they were always fatter, sweeter and juicier than those that grow in my adulthood. From the end of every August, my sisters and I would range for miles along lanes in the quest to pick them. We’d search in woods for the fallen hazelnuts missed by squirrels or look out for ‘fairy-rings’ in fields for mushrooms. As teenagers, we’d go on more daring apple scrumping raids from pony-back. Standing in stirrups to reach over the walls into hidden orchards. Then, in my twenties it turned to gorse flower picking. A gallon of golden coconut-smelling flowers patiently picked from prickly bushes would make the most divine sparkling wine. Now, I make elderflower cordial from my mother’s recipe that my children adore or occasionally pick samphire off the cliffs and sauté it with some butter as a summer vegetable. Yet, the sum of what I know it just the tip of it. There’s so much more besides… Continue reading

Hovis Wholemeal Bread Challenge

Two slices of squashed Hovis wholemeal with marmite and cream-cheese

Just before Christmas I took part in the Hovis Wholemeal Challenge.

I agreed to give it a go because I’m actually a bit of a glutton and have never been known to refuse the offer of any kind of food.

But, I wish I’d known a little a bit more about what the challenge would entail beforehand so that I could have got my head round the task properly and put myself in genuine ‘guinea-pig’ mode.

I’d assumed I’d be trying lots of different Hovis products and I was really looking forward to seeing what tasty offering they have.

The first week involved filling out a survey everyday to see what my morning eating habits were before the challenge. That seemed simple enough. I was asked what I ate, when I ate, if I snacked during the morning and when I started to feel hungry again.

I did feel a little smug for not eating breakfast or for being a ‘snacker’. I’m a pretty typical woman so not eating leaves me with a virtuous feeling. Although the general healthy eating message is that if you miss breakfast you are more likely to snack and develop unhealthy eating habits.  I knew I wasn’t feeling hungry because I tend to eat fairly carb-loaded suppers. So  I’m not actually a conventional carb-avoider. Continue reading

The first slice and a New Year

The intention was to share my Christmas cake recipe back in 2010.But truthfully, I don’t really follow any tried and tested recipe.

My mother made the best fruit Christmas cakes and she must have followed the same recipe when she made each of her three daughters’ wedding cakes as well. What I remember was that they were dense, dark, full of fruit and nuts, bound together with a little ‘cake’ and steeped with brandy.  So they were very, very moist.

Unsurprisingly, my desire is to try to replicate her cakes. I’ve no idea what recipe she followed so I borrow all the best ingredients from several recipe books at once. I want a cake to be loaded with fruit, candied peel, nuts and spice. For 2010’s Christmas cake I used cranberries instead of cherries just to see if it would make any difference. I soaked the fruit and nuts overnight with brandy and, after a month just before icing,  laced the cake again liberally with rum.

The end result is an intensely sweet and fruity hit, and since the cake is so solid thin slices are easy to cut. Just as well, really, as I can only really manage a little of this luxuriously mixture at a time. Perfect with a refreshing cut of tea after a long and bracing walk in the winter time, or pretty good when I’m tired after a late night and I need a ‘sugary’ boost to lift my energy levels. Continue reading

Brandy Butter & Bread Sauce recipes with clotted cream.

In my opinion, there is only really one kind of cream clotted cream – everything else is ‘milk’ (slightly thicker milk, sour milk or milk with air)  in comparison.

Here’s some simple recipes from Rodda’s which I’ll be using over Christmas.

Luxurious bread sauce with Rodda’s clotted cream

Perfect with turkey, chicken and game birds.

Serves 6-8 Prep time 5 minutes plus 2-24 hours steeping time Cooking time 10 minutes Continue reading

Chef’s Special: Bustophers Bar Bistro, Truro.

Local Guinea Fowl breast and leg with a warm salad of Bok choi, pancetta and chestnuts

Recipe by Rob Duncan, Head Chef, Bustophers Bar Bistro, Truro

Rob Duncan

Local Guinea Fowl breast and leg with a warm salad

Bustopher’s has for many years enjoyed a very popular and loyal following in Truro as a classic-meets-contemporary dining venue. Husband and wife partnership, Tom and Vicky Hancock have put their heart and soul into the recently refurbished business. Rob Duncan’s arrival in 2008 has raised the standard of a long already established menu style with his introduction of a huge variety of varied and interesting dishes. Rob is also passionate about his commitment to sourcing local and seasonal produce and creating a close rapport with his local suppliers.

“I wasn’t aware that it was possible to get ‘English’ let alone ‘Cornish’ Guinea Fowl until very recently,” Rob enthuses. “It is exciting to find that this very tasty although somewhat underrated bird is effectively running around as wild as the local pheasant are, and these are practically shot in Truro.” Rob likes to use both the breast and leg of the Guinea Fowl in this recipe. “It tastes rather like chicken, with a relatively neutral flavour but a bit gamier, especially the legs. One bird feeds two people, I buy them through Angus Trotter’s in Redruth, and when you consider the cost of free-range chicken they work out as good value.” In addition the dish’s seasonal chestnuts add something of the ‘festive’ to its flavour.

Bustopher’s has recently been awarded ‘Gold’ in the Restaurant Class in the Taste of the West’s Hospitality and Retail Awards 2009. A step up in achievement from ‘Silver’ in last year’s competition for Rob’s culinary excellence. Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: Proper coffee and real bread

I’ve been busy.

Busy is good. Not only have I been occupied working but I also been busy taking my taste buds on a sensory adventure. Now it’s time to play catch up.

Last week I happened to be in London and since that’s a bit a rarity for me to venture across the Tamar, I leapt at the invitation from the ‘make mine Milk’ team to learn a few proper coffee making skills along with a group of other bloggers. It was a ruse to get some feedback on their campaign so far and discuss upcoming activity for 2011, however I’m easily seduced by the fantastic spread of breakfast they provided us with.

The ‘coffee morning’ took place at the London School of Coffee where  we were treated to a crash course in Barista skills.

Daisy Rollo, originally from Brittany, was our barista trainer. She grew up with the smell of cafe au lait and a warm croissant in her nostrils everyday. I grew up with Tetley tea and burnt toast in mine so I feel I started life – as most Brits – with a certain plebeian disadvantage. Continue reading