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Latest Food news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

10 of the best restaurants in Cádiz, Spain

Fri, 02 Aug 2019 05:30:10 GMT

Fizzing with culinary highlights, this selection from the Andalucían city’s old town takes in special spots for seafood and tapas joints away from the crowds

Go early: this tapa place is very small and almost always busy. It cooks its speciality, tuna from the strait of Gibraltar, in a variety of ways: from traditional with a twist to a more-modern style. Tuna tartare or tuna lasaña are my favourites. The menu is long and the quality is high, though the prices remain reasonable (tapas from €2.20). Check out the wine list, too, and you’ll spot some great bottles.
€12-€14pp, Calle Columela 4, on Facebook

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Tamal Ray’s recipe for clementine macarons | The Sweet Spot

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 11:30:04 GMT

As soon as you have a go yourself you’ll see that macarons aren’t all that hard to make, and you can always eat the wonky ones before anyone sees ...

Macarons – tiny, elegant, ludicrously overpriced – were the first patisserie I ever made. This was years ago, as an impoverished student living almost exclusively off whichever random collection of foods had been yellow-stickered for clearance at the supermarkets.

I quickly learned that, despite a premium price tag and a reputation for being fiendishly tricky to make, macarons are pretty cheap and easy to do. Just take your time. There are many, many blogs devoted to how to perfect them, but I wouldn’t worry too much a few cracks or wonky ones won’t distract from them being delicious.

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Observer Food Monthly Awards 2019 – highlights video

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:54:02 GMT

The biggest event in the food calendar, the Observer Food Monthly Awards celebrate Britain’s leading chefs, restaurateurs, food producers and much more. This year’s awards took place on 17 October at the Freemasons Hall in London, hosted by Nigella Lawson and Jay Rayner. Jamie Oliver collected the award for Best Food Personality, Claudia Roden took home Lifetime Achievement and Refugee Community Kitchen won Outstanding Achievement.

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Norma, London: ‘A place of joy’ – restaurant review

Sun, 10 Nov 2019 06:00:37 GMT

An Italian restaurant in Fitzrovia has all it takes to be a success – and it doesn’t put a foot wrong

Norma, 8 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2LS (020 3995 6224). Snacks £3.50-£8, small plates £8-£15, large plates £19-£30, desserts £3.50-£9, wines from £27

Movie critics get excited about the latest Scorsese picture. Theatre critics get excited when they hear Tom Stoppard has written a new play. I’m a restaurant critic, so I got excited when I heard about Norma, a new restaurant from the team behind the Stafford hotel. The Stafford is hidden away down one of the lanes off London’s St James’s Street. It’s a neighbourhood occupied by shops selling only things you might want rather than anything you might ever need: a handmade pair of shoes, say, or a £15m superyacht. In 2017, the Stafford became home to the Game Bird, a restaurant nobody thought they needed, but which it turned out I really wanted.

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Bistrotheque at Cultureplex, Manchester: ‘Largely forgettable' – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 01 Nov 2019 09:30:17 GMT

This self-consciously chic bistro is a place to be seen in, if you can find it in Manchester’s vast new fun-plex

Bistrotheque, a brasserie in Bethnal Green, east London, has become something of an institution since it opened in 2004. Dependable dinner, dependably raucous crowd. Chic chaos, steak frites, Twinkles, then downstairs to the club area to watch vagabond drag cabaret act The LipSinkers belt through songs by ABC, Kate Bush and Madonna. Or at least that’s how I remember Bistrotheque in its early days, down a back lane where mini-cabs drove gingerly. Nothing wholesome ever happened there; it was, instead, a space where renegades thrived.

Now, almost 16 years later, I find myself off to an all-new Bistrotheque in Manchester, in a former railway goods warehouse behind Piccadilly station. This new Bistrotheque is a small subsection of a vast, land-of-dreams leisure complex named Cultureplex. Created by Pablo Flack and David Waddington, the very same people who conjured up both Bistrotheque and then Hoi Polloi at the Ace hotel in Shoreditch, Cultureplex is one of those dining, eating, drinking, thinking, art-house, cocktail, coffee spaces that have emerged this year, in a similar vein to Oxford Street’s extravagant yet puzzling Arcade Food Theatre. Ah, these hyper-modern spaces that defy neat definition, or even any incredibly baggy definition. The more you gaze at Cultureplex’s website, the less fettered by earthly possibility you become. Go for a double cortado at Klatch, stay for the Bob Fosse movie, hear a piano recital by Rowan Lewis, then take an animal movement class at the gym, Blok. This is what today’s modern renegades desire.

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Junior Bake Off: the kids spinoff that’s the perfect antidote to baking brutality

Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:32:25 GMT

A world away from the increasingly competitive adult series, the children’s Bake Off is more smiles than tears, with bakes you’ll actually want to eat, and added laughs from Harry Hill

“It’s inspired by the melting ice caps,” Bakr explains to Harry Hill, showing off a blue velvet cake to represent geography, and more specifically an iceberg.It is an impressive sight, with painted cracks suggesting fissures in the ice, and two fondant polar bears.

If this were regular Bake Off, my eyes would have rolled back in my head. Even lovely Alice tried my tolerance for try-hard with her “Save Our Oceans” entremets in the most recent series. But this isn’t schtick. Bakr isn’t trying to build a personal brand. He is just a kid who loves polar bears, and he is alsoone of 20 competitors, all aged between nine and 15, on this year’s Junior Bake Off.

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Carbon cafe: what is the most sustainable coffee order?

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:00:16 GMT

From the beans to the milk to the way it’s brewed, the environmental impact of your daily pick-me-up can vary widely

If you stroll through any Australian city during morning rush hour, you’ll find the sidewalks teeming with people inhaling the savoury, bittersweet aromas of their early morning coffee, zinging to life as the caffeine hits their circulation. In fact, Australians drink more than 16m coffees every day, supporting a $10bn industry in this country alone.

But while the caffeine hit is relatively short-lived, the environmental impacts linger.

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Pickle juice and Marmite: the 11 best hangover cures – by pub landlords

Thu, 14 Nov 2019 11:00:37 GMT

They serve up the hangovers in the first place, but what do they recommend to take them away?

As party season approaches, so does the likelihood of waking up with a hangover – unless you don’t drink, or you are one of those elegant types who can decline an offer of more wine without yelping: “Oh, go on then!” a millisecond later.

Obviously, we’re still waiting for science to come up with a cure. Some swear by food or drink to sort themselves out. But which is best? We asked people who work with booze, from pub landlords to sommeliers.

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You know civilisation is on its last legs when a KitKat can cost £25 | Jay Rayner

Thu, 14 Nov 2019 12:02:38 GMT

As Christmas approaches, food firms are wheeling out ridiculous symbols of excess. It’s not a bit of fun – it’s conspicuous consumption gone mad

There is no more deathly phrase in the world of food than “it’s just a bit of fun”. Something being just a bit of fun is what leads from the gateway drug of a steak served on a slate so that cutting up your dinner sounds like fingernails being dragged down a blackboard, to a full English breakfast served in a dog food bowl, to a spare rib selection presented in a mini galvanised dustbin.

Just a bit of fun is the excuse for a record-breaking hamburger weighing more than a tonne which no one wants to eat; for a $169 hot dog topped with caviar and truffles which sounds disgusting; for a £130 wagyu sandwich, which really isn’t all that. It’s not fun. It’s seriously bloody annoying. What’s more it may well be a harbinger for the end of everything we hold dear. And as Christmas 2019 approaches, the volume of this nightmarish stuff is only increasing.

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Mikaku, Glasgow: ‘So much more than the sum of its parts’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 03 Nov 2019 06:00:08 GMT

On a dreary night in Glasgow head for Mikaku, the city’s kitsch but buzzing Japanese inn

Mikaku, 25 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3EF (0141 221 0573). All dishes £4.50-£9; wine £12.95

Night has come to Glasgow and with it an insistent, drenching rain of a sort often gifted by the Atlantic to Scotland’s west coast when autumn comes. The outer panels of the Hydro arena down by the Clyde are glowing in candy shades of pink and sky blue, as if it’s ready to return to the planet that dispatched it, and on Queen Street the gutters are overflowing. Most restaurateurs would despair at weather like this. Presumably the owners of Mikaku, a self-styled izakaya, or Japanese-inspired inn, are not among them. It all just adds to the vibe.

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The new rules of holiday eating: ditch TripAdvisor, embrace disaster, and make a plan for when you're 'hangry'

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:13:06 GMT

Dining out while away can lead to meltdowns. From setting a budget to finding a place to eat, here’s how to make the most of your mealtimes away from home

Eating out on holiday is considered a treat. And on one level, it is. You have enough cash to blow on a plate of pasta puttanesca that tastes the same as the one you make at home, but is slightly superior because you are eating it while wearing perfume in an artfully dilapidated alleyway. That’s not something to sniff at.

Ultimately, however, while there may be a small number of eerily well-adjusted weirdos who disagree, for the rest of us dining out while away spells meltdown: skipping sightseeing to obsess over TripAdvisor reviews; arguing with holiday companions over whose dietary preferences should take priority; wasting hours trying to locate a joint that suits both your pescatarian girlfriend and your raging carnivore of a dad.

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Bake Off is broken – here's how to fix it

Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:21:20 GMT

Prue’s barbs, Paul’s aggression, preposterous challenges ... this year, everything went wrong with the baking show we used to love. Can it be salvaged?

• The Great British Bake Off final review – even Paul Hollywood couldn’t bear it

If Bake Off was ever supposed to sour, it wasn’t supposed to happen in 2019. It was meant to happen when it controversially moved to Channel 4 three years ago, not when we were all collectively distracted by Henry’s snazzy ties or Helena’s obsession with the undead. But this year has seen the cake contest become decidedly overbaked, and it’s not just one thing that’s gone wrong: it’s everything. Search for #GBBO on Twitter and you’ll be faced with thousands of tweets of irritation rather than admiration. While we haven’t gone off Bake Off entirely, the show seems to have forgotten what made it so compelling in the first place, fuelled by stress, tears and some near-impossible challenges. Bake Off 2019 has, frankly, forgotten how to be Bake Off. So, if you’re reading Channel 4, here’s how to fix it.

Related: The Great British Bake Off final review – even Paul Hollywood couldn't bear it

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OFM Awards 2019: Best ethical food project – The Clean Kilo

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:00:37 GMT

The Midlands store, voted for by OFM readers, brings a realistic and convenient approach to everyday zero-waste shopping

  • Best ethical food project – full list of runners-up from across the UK

OFM last met Jeanette Wong and Tom Pell in April and, since then, the owners of Birmingham zero-waste, plastic-free store the Clean Kilo have been busy. Customer numbers are up 33%, its range of 600 lines has doubled in the last year and, this month, OFM’s 2019 Best Ethical Food Project will open a second site, in Bournville.

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Bake Off winner David Atherton: ‘I enjoy the buns innuendos!’

Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:47:00 GMT

He won GBBO with a reputation for being calm, tidy and methodical. But the star baker says in reality he’s an extrovert hippy who hasn’t washed his hair in 15 years – and another contestant tested one of his bakes

He’s the quiet, controlled one who wowed the judges with precise technical bakes. At least, that’s the impression you probably have of the 2019 Great British Bake Off winner, David Atherton. Wrong. In person, he’s an adventurous extrovert with a hippy streak. “Most of my practices I did in my pants while eating pizza and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. The person in the edit is not me,” he says. “At the end, it showed me singing to myself and dancing around, but actually I did that the whole way through. I am calm and methodical, but I’m not particularly reserved.”

Atherton’s triumph – he didn’t win a showstopper while the hotly tipped finalist Steph Blackwell was star baker four times – is all the more remarkable because he was a reserve applicant (as was his co-finalist Alice Fevronia), drafted in to replace a dropout just two weeks before the show began. Yet the 36-year-old health adviser is such an experienced and confident cook (“Ottolenghi is my absolute hero,” he says, and he is a big fan of baker Dan Lepard), he didn’t panic or even change any social plans. “The weekend before the show, I decided to cycle to Paris. It was good for my headspace.”

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Coalville’s Trappist brewers – in pictures

Wed, 07 Aug 2019 07:00:45 GMT

Faced with dwindling revenues from dairy farming, the monks at the Trappist monastery of Mount St Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire decided to swap milk for beer

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Easy Tyrolese: Rachel Roddy’s recipe for canederli dumplings in broth | A Kitchen in Rome

Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:00:15 GMT

These bread dumplings, bathed in a delicious meaty broth, are typical of the south Tyrol, where isolated farmsteads made enterprising use of simple ingredients

The restaurant was about 100 metres from Fortezza station, in a small town in an alpine valley in South Tyrol, and had high-backed wooden benches and a line of stuffed animals in the window. When I am hungry, my already-limited objectivity dissolves like an aspirin. As I sat on a soft cushion on that hard bench, wondering if the animal next to me was a stoat or a fox, the canederli put before me were, in that moment, the single best thing I had ever eaten. I might as well have discovered a new planet or set of tastebuds. It was short-lived bliss: I had another train to catch, so I wolfed it down, giving myself such indigestion that I found it hard to ask for the bill and run to the platform.

Fortunately, this was, like my bliss, short-lived. Sitting on the train, Alto Adige rushing past like a Super 8 film, I could once again appreciate the chocolate-brown bowl on a lacy doily in which three sturdy dumplings bobbed around in amber, salty meat broth. A perfectly fine food elevated to ecstatic by growling hunger and a train timetable.

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Kolamba, London W1: ‘Big, bold lessons from a faraway island’ - restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 08 Nov 2019 09:30:24 GMT

Sri Lankan cuisine could be your new favourite after a visit to this West End hideaway, where every dish is a lesson in flavour and authenticity

On my way to lunch at Kolamba, a new Sri Lankan place on Kingly Street in Soho, I got to thinking how one of the great subplots of British eating over the past 30 years is our growing curiosity and adoration of spice. Diners who might once have known curry simply as something that’s vivid red or fragrant brown and hails roughly from India now know a Malaysian laksa from a Thai massaman, or a katsu from a scotch bonnet-laden curry goat.

Recently, more of us have been turned on to the joys of Sri Lanka. Kari and rich sambol served with a crisp, rice-and-coconut crepe, possibly with an egg baked into its base – an egg hopper – and smeared with sticky chutney. It’s a godly combination that, once tasted, you’ll wonder where it has been all your life. Patently, Sri Lankan food has been cooked lovingly in Wembley, Tooting and East Ham for decades, but it was the opening three years ago of the very much adored Hoppers in Soho that shoved Sri Lankan cuisine blinking into the “cool food” spotlight.

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How to make a proper old-school chocolate mousse | Kitchen Aide

Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:00:42 GMT

Use decent chocolate, keep it simple, and if in doubt, consult Elizabeth David ...

I’ve tried chocolate mousse recipes from various chefs with all sorts of ingredients and methods, but none of them ever comes out quite right. Do you have any pointers, or maybe a failsafe recipe?
Katie, Kildare, Ireland

Neil Borthwick, chef at The French House, caused a bit of a stir when he put chocolate mousse on his menu when the Soho institution reopened this time last year: it was the first time many of the capital’s diners had seen this old bistro classic in decades.

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Italian wines that are made for a meal | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 08 Nov 2019 14:00:39 GMT

Some Italian wines might not knock your socks off when drunk alone but they come into their own with food

One of the highlights of my year is the annual Italian feast at Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge, Devon, which is cooked by the wonderful chef and food writer Jane Baxter, who makes an occasional appearance on these pages, and on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, come to that.

Baxter, whose motto should be “never knowingly undercatered”, is incapable of making a meal with fewer than a dozen courses, and this year was no different, including six antipasti and three pastas, which makes a nonsense of trying to match individual dishes. The trick is to find a wine that will rub along with pretty well everything you throw at it, and I found it in an Etna bianco from Sicilian producer Tasca d’Almerita.

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Homemade Christmas baking is a joy – even if it is not to your taste

Thu, 14 Nov 2019 08:00:33 GMT

The aroma and satisfaction you get from being well-prepared for the big day is enough encouragement to make your own cakes and puddings. But don’t skimp on the brandy

I like to make my own Christmas puddings and cakes because the smell alone makes me feel psychologically prepared for the forthcoming festivities. It’s a bit of a ball ache, to be honest, and I’ve tried to replicate the smell with candles – but for some reason, the scent doesn’t seem particularly edible.

That said, I don’t really like eating any of this stuff. I don’t like the heaviness of the cake, the booziness of the pudding or the crushing disappointment when you bite into a delicious mince pie and find it full of mincemeat. But on the other hand, if you take the sense of plenty you get from having two full, two-litre puddings on your shelf; add in the self-righteousness of a cake that is mostly made six weeks before you need it, rather than half an hour; and spend a second ruminating on what a great host you are, you understand why you might have given several full days of your life over to making this stuff, without ever feeling moved to put it in your mouth.

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Cocktail of the week: Meraki Bar’s Apollo belvedere | The Good Mixer

Fri, 08 Nov 2019 16:00:38 GMT

An espresso martini with a lovely, orangey twist

Everyone likes an espresso martini, and this orange-flavoured version is a neat little twist on the original.

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Kim-Joy’s recipe for tangzhong hedgehog monkey bread

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 11:41:46 GMT

This looks like a woodland floor – the perfect environment for little hedgehogs

Monkey bread is the perfect sharing bread, and you will want to keep tearing off these spiced and buttery pillows. You will need a bundt tin, as the hole in the centre means that the enriched dough cooks evenly, and the nonstick coating will help the bread slide out easily at the end.

Serves: 12

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Crunch time: Yotam Ottolenghi’s crumble recipes

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 09:32:00 GMT

Three clever riffs on the humble crumble, for breakfast, dinner and pudding: plum and apple topped with cornflakes, coconut chicken curry, and pear and macadamia with chocolate sauce

The humble crumble is a splendid British staple, taking a bunch of cheap and plentiful ingredients and turning them, with little effort, into a gloriously steamy pot. True to form, however, I had to mess with it, but even when palm sugar, curry leaves and cornflakes take the place of more customary ingredients, you still get that magic moment where crumble topping meets filling.

Here, I have crumble for breakfast, dinner and dessert, which may be a bit of a stretch for the purist, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

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Southern comforts: Italy’s great reds | David Williams

Sun, 10 Nov 2019 06:00:40 GMT

Whether they are volcanic, fruity or velvety, there is much to savour and enjoy in the smooth and heady wines of the south of Italy

Notte Rossa Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy 2018 (£11, Marks & Spencer) It’s easy to generalise about a wine region. Take the south of Italy. It’s hot down there, we might say with an airy wave of the hand gesturing vaguely at a map. So naturally that should mean red wines, and big, ripe, thick, powerful ones at that, with plenty of alcohol and dark heady scents, maybe something sweet and raisined wrung out of those vines where things get really hot and dry. Wines made from the primitivo grape, a speciality of Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot, do in fact often come close to fitting that characterization. And there is a lot of pleasure to be had in the sheer intensity of reds that are made without much concern for modern day wine dictums about elegance and freshness, wines such as the sumptuous Notte Rossa, with its plums, dates and figs, and velvety feel.

Santa Venere Speziale Marsigliana Nera, Calabria, Italy 2018 (The Wine Society) But the likes of Notte Rossa and the even richer, darker and more intense Puglian primitivo made by the same producer, San Marzano Primitivo Di Manduria Riserva ‘Anniversario 62’ 2015 (£25.99,, are not the only stylistic game in town in the Mezzogiorno. There’s a lot more variety in red winemaking than the region is given credit for. In Puglia, for example, you can find a perennial favourite of mine, the wonderfully sprightly, 12% abv (as opposed to 14.5% and more for most primitivo) Paolo Petrilli Motta del Lupo 2017 (£10.80,, which is all about fresh red fruit and freshly picked herbs and bright, drinkable freshness. And The Wine Society has just added two similarly exuberant, red-cherried stars from Calabrian producer Santa Venere: the almost racy, light Speziale made from the masigliana nera variety; and the weightier but still effortlessly bright and tangy Vurgada Nerello Capuccio Gaglioppo 2016 (£13.50).

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Four classic Sichuan Chinese recipes | Fuchsia Dunlop

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 07:01:11 GMT

Four fresh menu ideas from the southern Chinese province: chestnut chicken, aubergines in a sour gravy, prawn in cashew nuts and a savoury custard with a minced pork topping

Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4-5

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Soggy soufflés: have Bake Off’s impossible technicals soured the whole show?

Wed, 30 Oct 2019 17:19:55 GMT

The icing is off the stalwart series after a bleak finale. But is it the challenges or the judges that have stripped it of warmth?

No one has had much fun with Bake Off this year, have they? For a show lauded as the balm for all our pains the 2019 season has been one massive upset. As upsetting as a deflating soufflé, in fact. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what played the star role in the final’s ultimate technical. Our finalists had to double bake six stilton soufflés, with biscuits, in under 70 minutes, and, boy, did they struggle. Alice had never made a roux; Steph didn’t know what a bain-marie was. Instead of impossibly light creamy, cheesy clouds, we got puddles. And underbaked crackers. The general feeling is that the show has got too difficult, too obscure and too cruel. But has it, really? To find out, I went through the final technicals in every year’s Bake Off since it started.

Perhaps we’re homing in on the wrong thing: it’s not the challenges but the judges

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OFM Awards 2019: Editor’s award – Andrew Fairlie

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:00:41 GMT

OFM honours Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie, who died earlier this year. His friends Sat Bains and Tom Kerridge pay tribute to him

The only Scottish chef to hold two Michelin stars, at his eponymous restaurant at Gleneagles, Andrew Fairlie died on 22 January aged just 55. Here, two of his close friends and admirers, the chefs Sat Bains and Tom Kerridge, pay tribute to one of the UK’s culinary greats.

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Fried noodles with carrot, red cabbage and tofu | The New Vegan

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 10:30:03 GMT

The seductive south-east Asian classic noodles, bursting with flavour and scrumptious chewiness

The sight, smell or even the mention of certain foods sets off a Pavlovian response in me. Say laksa, saag or hot lime pickle, and my gums will start to twitch, my legs spasm and nothing else matters until said food is on my plate.

Currently, the object of my affections are these life-giving noodles, a recreation of a plate of utter joy and deliciousness I had sitting under fluorescent lighting at a street stall in Tekka market, Singapore. They were spicy, fried and loud with flavour: they were also addictive.

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OFM Awards 2019: Best readers’ recipe – Su Scott’s kimchi jjigae

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:00:39 GMT

A Korean kimchi stew which reader Su Scott finds deeply comforting – the OFM judges agreed

Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, we were never short of kimchi. Mum always had one jar left of over-ripened kimchi just as her perfectly ripened new batches were ready to be enjoyed.

There are many recipes that use over-ripened kimchi, but this stew is my favourite. It reminds me of home. I can picture my parents’ kitchen and our dinner table. It’s something I would like to pass on to my daughter of dual heritage.

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Thomasina Miers’ celeriac steaks with sherry, lardons and capers | The Simple Fix

Mon, 11 Nov 2019 13:00:10 GMT

A simple celeriac ‘steak’ transformed into a rather opulent main course full of savoury, plummy flavour

Awareness of climate change, and how meat production contributes so drastically towards it, has given me huge inspiration in my recipe writing. A simple mantra to follow is to cook with more seasonal vegetables, grown as close to home as possible. And when we do eat meat, how can we eat less of it, buy better quality and use it to season our food, rather than filling up on it? My cooking is having to get more creative, so we are eating more adventurously and (hopefully) deliciously.

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Dining gripes: why all restaurants should take bookings

Mon, 04 Nov 2019 17:50:19 GMT

The founder of Polpo has made a list of everything he hates about eating out. I disagree with most of it, but here are my own bugbears – from time slots to up-selling

When the restaurateur Russell Norman makes a list of everything he hates about eating out, this is a giant act of generosity: the man pretty much invented the small plate (the whole grand concept of making things so delicious that you don’t mind a tiny portion). Nevertheless, I have checked the list and disagree with most of it. For instance …

The founder of the Polpo restaurants hates the question: “Do you have a reservation?” (It’s actually OK, if you still run a booking system, to ask people if they have booked); the “concept” (fair enough, but we are all humans just trying to plant a flag on the shifting soil); “artisanal”, “hand-cut”, square plates, novelty crockery (OK, granted); sommeliers sniffing corks (there is a theatrical framework to all human activity – what Lakoff would call Metaphors We Live By; sniffing stuff is merely part of that frame); waiters who go: “Don’t worry – I’ll remember everything” (but what if they can?): also, ones who say “Enjoy” (castigating expressions of goodwill is very 1980s).

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The vegan revolution: why the latest 'meat' is made entirely from thin air

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:45:14 GMT

A US startup claims it can convert CO2 into nutrients. Could innovations such as this and 3D-printed steaks provide a sustainable food future?

In a feat that has biblical overtones, a California startup claims to have developed a technology that can create “meat” from thin air. Is this latest artificial meat product the ultimate solution to the environmental catastrophe the world’s growing meat consumption poses, or a pipe dream that will never make it beyond the lab?

The air-based “meat” comes from a company called Air Protein and is based on an idea conceived by Nasa in the 1960s as a possible way to feed astronauts in space. The basic concept is that CO2 breathed out by astronauts could be converted into nutrients by microorganisms called hydrogenotrophs.

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OFM Awards 2019: Best independent retailer – Field & Flower

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:00:44 GMT

Veg boxes are a hit. Why couldn’t someone do the same for grass-fed, free-range meat? Cue James Mansfield and James Flower, voted by OFM readers as their 2019 winner

  • Best independent retailer – full list of runners-up from across the UK

James Mansfield and James Flower met in 2006, in a blaze of tweed, shotguns and Range Rovers at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. “Don’t judge us,” says Flower, who grew up rearing cattle in Somerset. He was expecting the place – now the Royal Agricultural University – to be full of farmers, but there were more people there to study “estate management, that kind of thing. It was a bit of a shock although we met some amazing people, but in the first week James and I met and stuck together.”

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Kim-Joy’s recipe for apple crumble desert with camels and cacti

Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:30:22 GMT

A classic pudding with a twist – and comforting to the core

Yes, you read that correctly: this is a desert, not a dessert. If you love apples, this will definitely prickle your fancy.

Serves: 4-6

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How to cook saag paneer - recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 12:00:09 GMT

The Indian restaurant classic spinach-and-curd-cheese side dish gets the Felicity Cloake treatment

Saag paneer has long been my go-to side dish in Indian restaurants, but having managed to recreate the magic of these deliciously oily, garlicky greens dotted with plump pillows of fresh curd cheese, these days I increasingly find myself eating it at home with nothing more than a warm flatbread for company. (Note: to make this vegan, use extra-firm tofu instead of the paneer.)

Prep 15 min, plus draining time
Cook 10 min
Serves 4 as a side

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Fair game? A burger recipe made from ‘ethical’ meat | Waste Not

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 06:00:55 GMT

Is it possible to eat meat ethically? Consider these wild burgers, that are made from genuine wild meat that might otherwise end up in the ground

To improve the overall carbon footprint of our restaurant, we’ve pledged to serve only high-welfare, zero-carbon meat at Poco Tapas Bar in Bristol, and now cook only with generally unwanted cuts of meat such as offal, culled wild beasts and invasive pests, including red signal crayfish, squirrels and muntjac deer. All can be classified as waste food products: offal and unfavoured cuts are processed for pet food or rendered down for disposal, culled wild animals are buried in landfill, emitting further greenhouse gas emissions, and if pests aren’t culled, their numbers spiral, which impacts on woodland, river beds and other wildlife.

Creating a demand for such meat brings it the value it deserves, and saves it from being wasted. Just be sure to buy from a veritable source. Some game is, in fact, farmed and then labelled as wild, so it has as high a carbon footprint as any other free-range meat. So buy from a good butcher or online, from the likes of The Wild Meat Company. And remember to ask for the packaging to be kept to a minimum.

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OFM Awards 2019: Best restaurant – The Oystermen, London

Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:00:37 GMT

Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton started out working weddings and music festivals – they even fed Grace Jones. Now their restaurant has been voted your favourite place to eat

  • Best restaurant – full list of runners-up from across the UK

The Oystermen – Matt Lovell, 41, and Rob Hampton, 35 – are pretty sure they weren’t the first restaurateurs to be offered the site they took on in Covent Garden in 2017. “I reckon the agent pitched it to everyone else and no one wanted it,” says Lovell, as we sit down for lunch, two massive platters between us laden with oysters, raw and cooked, Pacific rock oysters and the Oystermen’s first native oysters of the season, from as close as Essex and as exotic as Carlingford in Ireland.

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