Happy Monday everyone. Sorry for the delay in posting, things have been a little bit crazy! I hope, however, to redeem myself by telling you about the launch of brand new magazine, The Simple Things, which will be out in early September. From the same stable as the rather lovely Mollie Makes, The Simple Things has been devised to celebrate ‘homemade values and simple living – from urban gardening to thrift store shopping, simple cooking and relaxed entertaining to collecting vintage finds’. What more could anyone want?! I of course, given the premise of JustALittleJoy, am very excited about this, and cannot wait to get my hands on their first issue. A little taster of what to expect below…
I am very excited about the upcoming Supperclub Summit that’s about to descend on the Goethe-Institut in London. Running from the 1st to the 25th of August, the the world’s largest convention of international supper clubs is coming to South Kensington for a four-week festival of private and underground dining that will offer top notch cuisine at unbelievably affordable prices. The events are being co-organised by chef and food blogger Edward Smith, who left his job as a city lawyer last year to follow his heart and his passion for food (his fab blog Rocket and Squash is a great resource for hot new restaurants and deliciously different recipes). You can browse the full line up of supper clubs below, and as you’ll see, some of the events have already sold out so if something takes your fancy then grab your tickets asap!
A secret door off Brick Lane, an amazing loft in humble surroundings, a South African chef with a love for modern European cooking: Bootleg Banquet are veterans on the supper club scene and so it’s only right and proper for them to get the opening slot at Supperclub Summit.
Aug 2: Backdoor Kitchen SOLD OUT
Bermondsey’s Backdoor Kitchen uses an Italian chef, local Maltby St Market traders and some of the nicest vibes on the supper club circuit to create elaborate and eclectic mediterranean menus.
The North London family behind Mama Lan who turned their supperclub into a restaurant meet the unchallenged champions of Chinese desserts and a Malayan supper club that brings chinese Nonya fusion to the fore.
Aug 8: plusixfive SOLD OUT
For Singapore National Day, the country’s number one culinary ambassador Goz and his plusixfive supper club put on a seven course extravaganza to celebrate all things singaporean. Incidentally this is also the last chance to see plusixfive in action before it takes an extended break.
Aug 10-11: Rocket and Squash & Rollin Restaurant (Aug 10 SOLD OUT)
London food writer and trained chef meets German/Swedish modernists from Berlin.
Ostalgie. A nostalgic, Soviet chic, dinner by a Russian/Ukranian team. A blissful feast of generous Russian zakuski, with very cold vodka cocktails and a specially commissioned slide show with images from the GDR and the Soviet Union.
Rhodesia meets Rhine when “Queen of Cue” Ruth Anthony joins forces with food bloggers, wine makers and chefs from Cologne and Düsseldorf for a celebration of all things carnivore.
One of the first, most prolific and most ambitious chefs on the London supper club scene, Simon Fernandez, takes his East End venture across town. Expect restaurant level food and dinner party level vibes.
Asma Said Khan builds on Nawabi/Mughal traditions to create Indian meals that see all restaurant offerings pale in comparison. Armed with her grandmother’s recipe for that includes no less than 26 ingredients for a simple rice dish alone it’s easy to see why.
Mother’s Mother is a supper club from Berlin that celebrates and grandmothers’ food from around the world. Every meal is created by a new chef and pays hommage to one single grandmother. London based White Room supper club will be their local partner on the night. Chefs and their Mothers to be confirmed shortly.
Every year I promise myself I’m going to try making my own jam… and every year it never happens. Well this year, my friends, is going to be different. I have found just the thing to galvanize me into jam-making action – these lovely retro storage jars and pretty preserve labels from Hen & Hammock. The jars come in two sizes, the smallest of which (290ml) is perfect for storing homemade jam. Now I’ve got no excuse. Pictures of my perfect preserves to follow… um… shortly….
‘A kitchen surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive … Where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer. It seems an obvious concept, but I spent twenty years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting before I came up with it’.’
This was Dutch chef Gert Jan Hageman’s vision for the old greenhouse in Amsterdam’s Municipal Nursery. Built in 1926 and under threat of demolition, the Michelin star chef recognised the potential of the space and came up with a concept that would give it a new lease of life, by turning it into a culinary destination. With a lot of luck and a little help, he transformed the eight meter high glass building into a stunning restaurant (the dining room was designed by Piet Boon) that serves produce (fresh Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers) grown on the land around it. I’m seriously considering planning a city break to Amsterdam just to go check it out! For more info visit Restaurantdekas.nl.
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
1097 DE Amsterdam
T +31 20 462 45 62
F +31 20 462 45 63
I have completely fallen in love with this fabulous foodie blog by Béatrice Peltre, a French food writer, stylist and photographer living in Boston. Filled with beautiful images and mouthwatering recipes, La Tartine Gourmande offers a veritable banquet of inspiration for foodies and creatives. Unsurprisingly, her work has appeared in an impressive array of publications – Saveur, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Diner’s Journal, and the Boston Globe to name but a few – and she’s just released her first book, Le Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, which I cannot wait to get my hands on! Have a little look at some of her lovely pics below… and then go and check out her blog and find yourself something tasty to make for Sunday supper. Delish.
Le Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, RRP £21.91, Roost Books
I met the lovely Jo Pratt the other day, only I didn’t realise it was Jo Pratt… and I told her, to her face, that I didn’t like her mackerel salad… without realising she had made the mackerel salad. Very awkward.
I attended a food tasting at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where Jo had prepared a selection of scrummy dishes to showcase different types of British apples. I did keep thinking that I recognised her, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. (A bit like the time SamCam showed me around the new Smythson collection and I said to my colleague afterwards, “Wow, didn’t that lady look like Samantha Cameron?!”) Anyway, so I have two of Jo’s books at home, but I still couldn’t place her. And, unfortunately, I HATE mackerel. But the salad looked so good so I tried it anyway, and then practically spat it out again as she smiled on in a forbearing manner.
So, to make up for my misdemeanour, I’m going to share with you one of my favourite breakfast treats… her Ultimate Banana Smoothie, which I am about to go and make. Just chuck it all in a blender or smoothie maker and blitz until smooth.
3 ripe bananas,
150g banana or vanilla yoghurt,
2 tbsp peanut butter,
3-4 ice cubes.
You can check out her books and find more recipes at jopratt.co.uk
(Photo by John Autry)