Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pickled Herring

I only started making pickled herrings when I came to London, in fact I don’t think I’d eaten them before then. I first had them in a pop up restaurant on the top of a dis-used carpark and immediately after finishing them went straight up to the chef and had a long conversation about pickling. There’s something great about food taking about a week to make, something oldy-worldy – a similar feeling to opening jams from years before or eating Christmas pudding in June.

This is a really easy recipe and works every time, if you can't get herring then it works really well with any oily fish such as mackerel or sardines which are available throughout the year. There’s nothing to be scared about with pickling – it’s simple and easy but seems to be becoming a lost art. I say re-use those old jars and stock up your cupboard!


Ingredients -

8 herrings, filleted
200g course sea salt
500g sugar
350ml white wine vinegar
110ml water
8 whole peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 large spring onions
10 thin slices of lemon peal

Method -

-       Mix the salt and 300g sugar together. In a plastic box layer the herring fillets sprinkling the sugar/salt mixture between each layer
-       Leave in the fridge for 24 hours, this will lead to a firmer and tastier fish.
-       After 24 hours rinse the fillets and discard the sugar and salt
-       In a pan heat up the rest of the sugar along with the white wine vinegar and water until the sugar is disolved. Set this aside to cool
-       In your pickling jar layer the herring fillets along with the spices, onions and peel and then cover with the cooled sugar solution
-       Leave for at least a week before eating but they will last for a few weeks after

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Food photography

I’ve always wanted to be a food photographer. It seems the obvious thing seeing as though I work on so many photography shoots and love photography, combine that with my passion for food and cooking and pretty much anything to do with a kitchen and what do you get? You got it - a food photographer!

Recently I’ve been busy trying to shoot more to build up my portfolio so by pulling a few favours with photographers I work with and a lot of hard work I’m slowly starting to put together a portfolio. I thought I’d give you all a little sneak preview. I originally intended to post the recipes for each dish with the shots but 1. It’s been a lot of work and
2. I didn’t make them all…

Hope you enjoy

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I’ve not written about Supperclub yet, I’ve no idea why but thought it was about time I should tell the world about it. The point of supperclub is to go out to an establishment, have great food and a bit of a laugh with friends, price means nothing, the genre of food means nothing , it’s purely judged on how good the food is. A taster menu can be judged against a street kart. A kebab can be judged against a Michelin starred restaurant (There’s only been one Michelin starred establishment and it didn’t score well, there hasn’t been a kebab…yet).

Previous supperclubs have included chicken and chips in Brixton, a 6 course taster menu in a hidden restaurant and tapas in a lovely tapas bar near London Bridge. There really is no pattern. Saying that there is, of course, fierce competition to find somewhere that the others haven’t heard of but all being food lovers this is getting increasingly hard!

Every month we get together and dine, each person takes turns to choose a restaurant and then a new person is invited at the end, I am the 5th member.

This month it’s my turn and my choice of restaurant is down to 2; Gourmet San – a Szechuan restaurant in Bethnal Green that is not advertised and is supposed to serve authentic and delicious Szechuan food or 40 Maltby Street – an Italian wine bar come restaurant that serves Italian influenced dishes and regularly changes the wines by the glass so that there’s no need to buy a bottle as they’ll pair a wine for each course you have.

I’ve gone for 40 Maltby Street. It’s Supperclub tonight…I’ll write about how good (hopefully) it is tomorrow…

...So you might all be pleased to know that I won this round of Supperclub with 40 Maltby Street. You walk in to a charming wine bar under a railway arch in a slightly off the beaten track location. You kind of feel like you’re ‘in the know’ and maybe a bit ‘cool’ as there’s a very secret / hidden vibe to it. The staff (contrary to other reviews) were all very welcoming and more than ready to give their recommendations for any area of the menus be it wine or the starters.

The menu is written on the blackboard by the door and changes every day along with the wines they have by the glass. We started with a sparkling red from Tuscany that was a lovely digestive but not sure if I’d want to drink it throughout the meal. 3 bottles of wine later and 13 dishes later we were all very satisfied with my choice of establishment.

I’m not going to write about every dish as I think you should go there and enjoy the experience for yourself but standout dishes include the egg mayonnaise - beautifully cooked eggs topped with mayonnaise with anchovies draped over the top and half a gem lettuce on the side to add a bit of crunch. Simple but brilliant. Other dishes to rave about were the deep fried brawn (cows head, sounds weird tastes incredible), duck with blackberries and also the shrimp with cauliflower and almonds.

All dishes showed a confidence in their simplicity and were executed well. I’ll be sure to visit again!