Updated: Mar 31
This week I had the pleasure of working with Will Devlin from No Fixed Abode. Will is a local ‘pop up’ Chef who works in various Kent locations, coffee shops, wine bars, etc to share his passion for locally sourced ingredients through a creative menu of delicious recipes. He ran our masterclass on ‘how to cook the perfect steak’ on Wednesday evening at the beautiful Squerryes winery and I was reminded what ‘miracles’ these guys perform. Behind the beautiful Tasting Room at Squerryes is a very small kitchen with basic equipment for heating up your soup for lunch or popping the kettle on for a cup of coffee but beyond that is the huge warehouse where all the sparkling wine is stored. This is a temperature controlled space and this is where Will and Patrick (from Thackerays restaurant in Tunbridge Wells) put together our steak suppers. This venue at least had four walls as these days dining events are being held in more and more unusual locations.
Star Wars themed, Night Circus Pop-up Restaurants the wacky themes are endless ‘but pop-ups give people something that’s a little bit different’ says Elizabeth Carter, editor of the The Good Food Guide, published by Waitrose.
Pop-ups are very trendy and the whole ‘limited’ time only makes them more popular.
‘Beauty and the Feast’ caught my eye, advertised as a ‘gluttonous banquet’ served in the vaults of Waterloo station, complete with fairy-tale characters singing on the table? More and more its part of a total experience and dining out is part of the entertainment.
This leads me on to my ‘hands on’ supper clubs which are a version of a ‘pop-up’ once a month and they are an experience as its an evening of food, but learning about the ingredients, recipes and techniques in putting the dish together. The educational pop up, hasn’t got such a ring to it maybe it should be the ‘flavour club’ as its all about bringing the food and flavours alive!
So next week the food calendar is busy. We have Shrove Tuesday aka ‘Pancake Day’ and Valentines… a few ‘gluttonous’ days but they don’t have to be. With all the fantastic ‘meal deals’ from the supermarkets and tempting recipe ideas you can really come up with a recipe to suit all tastes. Pancake day is a chance to have fun with the children and I normally let them make up the batter and toss their pancake creations in the air, ready for breakfast. We like the traditional lemon and sugar but as I am running a cookery camp that day we may get a little more ambitious with our toppings! My opinion about Valentines Supper is it should be a chance to rustle up something delicious together. It doesn’t have to be anything too fussy but making it together over a glass of wine and some chat makes it all more enjoyable.
So with a busy food time ahead, let me know what your favourite recipes are… we will have a go at a ‘fail safe’ chocolate mousse (recipe from Ruth Hinks) which is a family favourite click here to see my you tube clip and these are popular in my Valentines cookery day: Chocolate and beetroot brownies