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Ingredient Focus: Australian Truffles

Until quite recently, restaurants were used to the long summer stretch being a time where black truffles are off the menu. The closing of European winter truffle season leaves quite a hole in the kitchen and the loss of such a powerful ingredient can at times feel like a handicap. However, when it’s British summertime, […]

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The Age of the Specialist

The old adage, ‘do one thing, and one thing well,’ has never been more relevant. In the advent of food truck super-stardom we’re seeing a rise in food operations specialising in a very small field of cuisine. Not just an ‘Indian restaurant’ but one focusing on Gujarati cuisine. No longer is the new Chinese restaurant […]

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Wild Harvest Goes Wild for Clarence Court Eggs

This year Clarence Court is celebrating 90 years of producing their best-in-class eggs. Over the past 90 years they have dedicated their time to developing a wide range of much admired, rare-breed eggs. Clarence Court was established in 1928 when the pioneering botanist, collector and horticulturalist Clarence Elliot brought the Araucana hen – laying pastel […]

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Ingredient Focus: Bergamot

This yellow-green citrus fruit is cultivated around the Mediterranean in specific regions of Italy, France and Turkey. The unique flavour profile of the Bergamot is unlike any other citrus fruit, carrying a bittersweet, floral flavour that can almost be described as having an air of sophistication about it. Perhaps most famously, it provides the backbone […]

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Booze and its Role as an Ingredient

For better or worse, booze has historically been laced throughout the professional kitchen. Cooks have always done well to befriend the bar staff and front of house, but the use of alcohol in the kitchen runs much deeper, and there’s more to this enquiry than a few sozzled chefs. Sauces are enriched, pans deglazed and […]

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Ingredient Focus: Cardamom

The perfumed fragrance of cardamom is one of the most intriguing, alluring and deeply powerful ingredients in the kitchen. From lacing a humble bowl of rice with its presence, to using it as the foundation for Scandinavian pastry, this potent little pod is capable of very great things indeed. The small triangular pod is found […]

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The Influence of Israel

Whether it’s smoky baba ganoush, or loaded bowls of rich hummus and ful, the food of Israel has been a game changer. Our love for the food of the Middle East and Levant has been an enduring one. Thanks in no small part to Yotam Ottolenghi, the flavours of Israel and Lebanon have almost become […]

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What’s Your Go-to Heat Source?

There’s a certain satisfaction derived from exciting the taste buds with heat. While tolerances may vary, the magic that occurs is undoubtedly one of life’s great pleasures and one that can lift a mediocre dish, into something infinitely more interesting. However, care needs to be taken to ensure all the other flavours in a dish […]

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Is Battling Food Waste the New ‘Foraging’?

Rene Redzepi has a lot to answer for. It’s not as if he was the first chef ever to go out and forage for ingredients, but he is absolutely the person responsible for bringing it to the mainstream. After pretty much every food writer and journalist wrote their version of the ‘I went foraging with […]

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Ingredient Focus: Rediscovering Saffron

The bright red stigmas of the crocus sativus plant have been traded for centuries. Each flower has to be hand harvested, carefully removing the stigmas and drying them for use in cooking and perfumery. It’s estimated that around 150,000 flowers need to be harvested to produce a kilo of saffron, which goes some way to […]

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Loving Spanish Charcuterie

Jamones Blázquez is a 4th generation Iberico ham specialist and was formed 85 years ago in Salamanca, Spain. Blázquez owns over 3.500 hectares of parkland in the best area of the Spanish geography. There, cattle are being reared, pampered and fed. The life of what later on will become a true gem begins on the […]

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Exploring Edible Flowers

Turkish Delight, when made well, harnesses all the delicate, but powerful flavours of the rose. It’s probably most people’s first experience with actually tasting a flower, even if it is from an essence. The thing is, we’re not exposed to many dishes or foodstuffs that are comprised of flowers and so the concept can be […]

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The Dark World of Chocolate

The mysteries of chocolate and its captivating powers are something we might never fully understand. Sure there are scientists that can tell us how complex sugars within the cacao might trigger synapses to fire in a certain way, but our love of chocolate seems much more primal. The cocoa bean originates from South America, but […]

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Capturing the Freshness of Summer

For a while now, we’ve been infatuated with deep, dark and mysterious flavours. Every trendsetting Top 50-listed restaurant has been coaxing out umami rich tinctures from the most exotic, and under-loved ingredients and cultivating ways to extract deliciousness, be it from new and unusual sources, or age old traditional methods. A lot of this has […]

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Ingredient Focus: Exploring Citrus

Acidity is an element in cooking that can make the most significant difference to a dish when controlled. It’s a specific art in its own right. There’s a shift in interest towards central American food preparations that lean heavily on the use of various citrus fruits. The marinade for Cuban sandwiches often incorporates the fresh […]

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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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