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Herbs: Where the magic happens

Herbs are usually the last ingredients added to the pot, and the first one omitted from a recipe, particularly with home cooks. But the fragrant flavours from herbs are often where the magic happens, where the dish becomes more than just the sum of its parts. The general misuse of herbs helps make their inclusion […]

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Burn with intention

Signs of an ingredient or dish visibly being burnt used to be cause for concern and often would be sent back to your station, never leaving the pass. However, there’s a rising trend in burning things with intention. Purposely seeking those charred bits, going just beyond the line of caramelisation. In many establishments, chefs are […]

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Understanding texture

There’s a reason overcooked pasta doesn’t taste good and it’s got nothing to do with the flavour. Take the most pristine ingredient, give it too much or too little heat, and it will taste bad. Balancing textures is a technique often overlooked, but one that can deliver the most satisfaction or surprise in a dish. […]

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Taking Stock

The foundation of almost every worthwhile dish is a carefully constructed stock. It’s the very bones of deliciousness and something that is criminal to overlook. There’s a certain respect and thriftiness to making your own stock, honouring the whole animal in a Fergus Henderson, nose-to-tail sort of way. The fact is, utilising the spent carcasses, […]

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Japan and its extraordinary influence on western cooking

Japanese food has been long reaching for many years with sushi boxes now an everyday lunch staple in supermarkets. But the influence of Japan and the country’s food culture runs much deeper than a few California rolls. Attention to detail is laced through the Japanese approach to tasks, whether it’s the construction of a reliable […]

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From The Dark & Heavy, To The Vibrant & Light

The exciting edge of dishes isn’t found in the middle ground. Finding the perfect balance and harmony between ingredients doesn’t have to mean flavours can’t dart off in a particular direction. Heading off into deep, dark and heavy flavours is a sure-fire way to create a dish that has integrity. Building layers of satisfying flavours, […]

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Pickles & Brines

Pickles aren’t just for Christmas, no longer only seen clinging to the edge of a loaded cheeseboard. Unless you’ve been in hiding for the past year, you’ll have noticed that fermentation, in all its guises, is hot stuff right now. Every tattooed, knife toting young chef is tending to his pickles, dry cured meats and […]

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Technique & The Growth Of Modernist Cuisine

Technique is what transforms simple, honest cookery into something special, something out of the ordinary. Technique hinges on attention to detail and hours upon hours of meticulous practice. It demonstrates persistence, and a desire to do things right. We are at the crest of a powerful wave in cookery, and technique has been the driving […]

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Deciphering Sumac

Chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi have a lot to answer for, especially the growing consumption of Middle Eastern herbs and spices. Sumac sits in cupboards of many an enthusiastic home cook thanks to him, but this inspiring ingredient is rarely used to its full potential outside of a commercial kitchen. With its super-tart, citrusy twang, sumac […]

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Autumnal Flavours The meteorological calendar has autumn spanning the months of September, October and November. The astronomical seasons are based on the equinoxes and solstices. This system places autumn from the 22nd of September to the 20th of December this year. Without coming over too druid (this is a seasonal update however) when my game suppliers get […]

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