Recipe: butternut squash soup with cumin

Butternut squash soup with cumin

‘The making of a good soup is quite an art, and many otherwise clever cooks do not possess the tour de main necessary to its successful preparation.’ So wrote Elizabeth David in French Provincial Cooking (1960), quoting a French cookbook from fifty years earlier. Not sure it’s that difficult to make a good soup, although [...]

Postcard from … Lyon

Cheeses at La Mere Richard, Halles de Lyon

It felt pretty good to be sitting at a table at lunchtime in the ‘Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse’ market with a couple of friends, wolfing down oysters, boiled crab with mayonnaise and crevettes grises washed down with lots of cold Muscadet. There was a nagging concern, though – had we left any room [...]

Recipe: brined pork chops with garlic, sage and white wine

brined pork chop

If you like comfort food with amazing flavours, then try this dish, adapted from a favourite recipe by Marcella Hazan. It first came to my attention when featured in Jeremy Lee‘s excellent ‘less is more’ series – recipes involving few ingredients – in the Guardian, back in 2001. The dish is originally from Treviso, near Venice in Northern Italy and has been modified to use [...]



The Scottish langoustine, also known as nephrops norvegicus, is an example of a delicious and sustainable seafood fished year-round in the UK. Caught mainly off the coast of Scotland by bottom trawling, langoustines live in burrows and only come out to feed or mate.  This makes over-fishing difficult and there is little by-catch. The only problem, if you live [...]

London’s ramen, rated

The kitchen at Tonkotsu, Soho

After attending a screening of the classic ‘ramen movie’ Tampopo recently and hearing about a couple of new ramen joints opening in London, it was definitely time to put London’s ramen scene to the test. Ramen, for the uninitiated, is a dish originally from China wholeheartedly adopted by the Japanese. Consisting of a bowl of wheat noodles in a [...]

Book Review: You Aren’t What You Eat, by Steven Poole


If sacred cows make the best hamburgers, as the saying goes, then this laugh-out-loud-funny book is a must-read for anyone with an appetite. In You Aren’t What You Eat, the author argues that our food culture has got completely out of hand. The easy targets of clueless urban foodie hipsters, TV nutritionists and celebrity chefs [...]


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