Towards the end of 2010 I made a promise to make something by my own hand for a couple of friends of mine. It came about through a viral Facebook post; one of those meme type things that implores you to pass the message on to your own friends. I’m not usually down with these sorts of things as they’re often some schmaltzy feel-good nonsense, or worse, carry some veiled threat of bad fortune if you don’t spread the word. But this meme was far more benign, with it’s message of making something for your friends, it was right up my street. Two of my friends replied; Charlotte from Brighton and Stacy from Seattle. I already knew that I was going to bake them some cakes and as Stacy was flying to the UK in the summer to join Charlotte and her man Paul for their tenth anniversary party, this would be my only opportunity to deliver on that promise.
A few weeks ago my Saturday turned out to be a bit of a sprawling adventure, that took in just a few of my favourite food haunts…
It started innocently enough with a quick Jedi mission down to the Kernel Brewery on Maltby Street. It was Jedi in that it was supposed to be the sort of easy-in, easy-out operation that has you imagining Obi Wan slipping effortlessly into Bermondsey, before gliding home with the goods quicker than you can say ‘these are not the doughnuts you’re looking for’.
There’s a whole lot of Burger goodness going on in London at the moment, much of this beefiness has been wafting its way to me through twitter and I’ve been keener than mustard to get my teeth into some of it. But experiencing any of this in the flesh has been a bit elusive. My drought came to an end when I attended my first BurgerMonday. Daniel’s chosen chef for this outing of his foodie social gathering was to be michelin starred chef Lionel Lévy, flown in specially from Marseille for one night only. Already I sensed I was in for a treat.
I love a bit of baking, it has always been one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen. It’s usually my friends and family that have the onerous duty of consuming the fruits of my dabblings, but this weekend I was baking biscuits for over seventy-five coffee-loving Londoners. I had the great pleasure of taking part in a bake-off organised by Daniel Young. The New York-born food critic, resides in London, and with his pop-up events he’s on a mission to bring people together over a love of great dining while showcasing some of the capital’s finest food destintations.
One of the highlights of this weekend has to be the trip to Chin Chin Labs where I got to experience the unusual and innovative ice cream that they’ve been serving to growing crowds of ice cream lovers. You wouldn’t ordinarily associate the bustling markets of Camden with the high brow world of Molecular Gastronomy, so it may come as a surprise that in a small shop in the midst of street food stalls and blasting trance music lies Chin Chin Labs, Europe’s first Nitro ice cream parlour.