All posts tagged: artisan

My day out with the “Snobby Butcher”

Sharing a version of my Great Food Club article on one of Nottingham’s most famous (possibly infamous) Butchers.. “So, what have you got on today, mum?” “Well, I am going to have breakfast with a Master Butcher and then meet his pigs.” “Cool, see ya.” That was kind of how my day with the award-winning Johnny Pusztai, the Master Butcher of Nottingham’s Mansfield Road, started. You know how sometimes you come across a place and you think “how come I never knew how amazing this was?” That was how I felt when I stepped inside the unprepossessing J.T. Beedham’s (Johnny’s butcher’s shop) on a damp January morning. Beedham’s, has been selling quality meats on the Mansfield Road in Sherwood since 1884, and the small shopfront nestled between cafes, pubs, healthfood shops and delis is the front for an Aladdin’s cave of butchery, smoking, curing and drying that makes the most of all the nooks, crannies, cellars and yard of this turn-of-the-century building. You need to visit somewhere like Beedham’s to remind yourself what real butchers …

Get this. Padella – handmade, delicious & affordable pasta – yep, affordable London

If I had a set of drums, I’d do a drumroll before starting this post, or possibly a trumpet fanfare, if I had one of them. Probably fortunately, I don’t have either. Why the excitement? Affordable (yes, properly, really, genuinely, affordable), delicious, authentic, handmade pasta in Southwark. Padella is situated just at the entrance of Borough Market, it doesn’t take bookings but is open all day, so if, like us, you pitch up outside peak hours, you don’t have long to wait (10 mins in our case).There is an open kitchen, and bench seating by the window and at the counter, with some tables to the rear. We sat at the window, all the better to watch the world go by, and it certainly does.. The menu is gratifyingly limited, with a handful of starters and main courses and just 3 desserts. The portions are perfectly judged, I am fed up with being served so much food that I have to leave half of it, or avoid a starter and sweet simply to make room …

Food Festival Porn in Melton Mowbray

As you know, I love a good food festival. The trouble is, so few of them are, in fact, any good. Almost every weekend there is a food festival somewhere, I don’t mean Farmer’s Markets or Food Markets, but events described as “food festivals” and usually held in some rather nice location, an old Market Square, a stately home, a country park, a lakeside location. Each one that appears on my social media, lures me in with promises of artisan foods and new foodie treats. I find it hard to resist, and I have been to loads. A lot of them are, though, pretty rubbish. I know it takes time for things to become established, for audiences to build up and for traders to think it worth their while, but still, Food Festivals that charge £6, £8 per head before you can enter to spend more money, and/or are in the middle of nowhere (petrol money, bus fares) and only have 6/7 stalls with traders who resent giving out samples, really, really annoy me. You …

A Year in Cheese – Autumn. A Lincolnshire Poacher and an aged Gruyère

I love cheese. I love gin as well, but I particularly love cheese. I treated myself recently to the Guarneri Brothers (of London Fromagerie, Androuet) book “A Year in Cheese” which explores the seasonality of cheeses, suggests a cheese plate for each changing season and is illustrated with wonderful, quirky and innovative recipes to make the most of the cheeses (by Alessandro Grand). The East Midlands produces some wonderful cheeses, as indeed does England, indeed the British Isles is awash with wonderful cheeses and the increase in seasonality, regionality and artisan production means that the choice, variety and quality must surely never have been higher. So I have set myself a challenge, to explore our seasonal cheeses, inspired by the Guarneri Brothers’ book (well, that is my excuse). So  – why seasonal cheeses? Cheese is like wine, there are endless varieties, nuances of flavour, changes with age, the earth the vines are grown in, the type of grape, the weather, the geography and topography, the texture (ok wine is clearly “wet” but you get my …