Frisée aux lardons for Salad haters

This is a classic French salad for those of us who don’t like salad. It’s meaty, rich and decadent and is a celebration of bacon, eggs, bread and gluttony. And yes, it’s a salad… of sorts. I first came across this on my study year in France – I went visiting some of my classmates in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and  came across this dish, as a starter in a traditional Bouchon – a Lyonnaise restaurant that specializesRead more

George’s bubble & squeak

I never knew my paternal granddad, if I did apparently I’d have had to call him George. His story is brave, romantic and inspiring and his influence on me and my sisters remains to this day. George was born in 1902 and served in the navy in the first world war.; it seems he may have lied about his age as his service record starts in 1916. This was all before he met my nan, Dolly, who was born 20Read more

Guard of honour for family and dogs

Jarod and I have just spent a week in a cottage on a working farm in Cornwall (more on that in another post coming soon). Our daily routine was dotted with hungry chickens, nosy dogs (meet Bobby below), braying horses and some of the best fresh food this country has to offer. It would’ve been rude not to make the most of it. My family live down the road and I cooked this  lamb dish for them. It’s another oneRead more

Noel’s cinnamon lemon chicken with rice

Noel has been my best friend for 20 years. We met in the mid-1990s when we were both barmen working in the upstairs bar at 79CXR, the first central London bar to have a late night license while we had a late night attitude. At its best, our part of the bar was five-deep with customers each being served with sass and, if needed, sarcasm. The bar is long gone but our friendship remains. Noel is a talented portrait artist, anRead more

Ashley’s beef stew with smoked oysters

This really should be called Ashley’s anxious beef stew with smoked oysters. While I love quick to prepare, slow-cooked one-pot meals, the fact that you often have to leave the house while they are cooking fills with dread (what if it burns, what if it catches fire, what if I raze the house to the ground?). That’s why this one cooks overnight. I live in a small flat, my kitchen is in my living room, the sink elsewhere, and IRead more

Sam’s Turkish fish stew

Sam Semple is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I first met him in 1999 when we were both editors on Douglas Adams’ community website h2g2, the idea of which was to create a user generated version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The site went through some turbulent times which Sam and I weathered to survive a particular bleak winter (3 months over Christmas with no pay) to come out the other side richer and employed byRead more

Erinn’s Bánh mì (pork roll)

Erinn and I, as many do, met over a chance encounter in a pub, off Kensington Gardens. Three hours, four meals, five bottles of wine and two confused dogs later we bonded. We’ve been friends ever since. A lot’s changed since then; lovers and husbands come and ago, dogs grow old and sadly people move. I moved down the road, Erinn moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn where she single-handedly renovated a beautiful town house to keep its original features yetRead more