Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Eternal Lunchtime by Addled Palate

Time has passed since I broke fast this morning. Hours, made up of minutes, they themselves created by seconds, seconds forged by milliseconds, milliseconds a mere procession of yoctoseconds. Each unit occupied by but a single thought; what foodstuff would my body envelop when the sun hangs highest in the sky? What victuals would vie for my visceral attentions as the day begins it long, slow but inevitable descent into night? Or, put another way, what's for lunch, I'm bloody starving.

Impossible though it seems, it was but a blink of an eye since I allowed opaque liquid harvested from a cow - cooled by the chill kiss of the gently humming silver box in the corner of the room in my apartment where culinary alchemy occurs - to cascade over a receptacle filled with corn fashioned into tiny crisp wafers. Dusted with crystals of sweetness, I devoured them, masticating while musing on the nature of sustenance. I felt their energy merge with my own as they became a part of me, until later (about 11.00am to be specific) when they no longer were.

The midday repast is a special thing. It is when we reward ourselves for time spent not eating, even though we have not stopped ingesting with our minds. Lunch should not be onerous, but a joyous thing, it should ease the passage to afternoon, not jar it. No one wants a jar in their passage. And yet it is a meal to linger over, to celebrate with friends and at which to make new friends (I recall the look of pleasant surprise on the face of the plumber, who had come to fix a dripping tap, when I offered him a roll).

Yet lunch must not dominate the day, I ask only of it that it leave room for afternoon tea, some street food perhaps on the way to the artisan deli, a fucking enormous great dinner and Madeira cake and sherry before bed. Lunch must lurk in the margins of its sister meals, like a heroin addict in a shadowy alleyway, waiting for the next drunk to mug.

There is only one thing that can satisfy all these conditions. It is a meeting of carbohydrate and protein, a culinary conclave as ancient as an Italian granny. The cured flesh of the swine environed by milled wheat, water, yeast and salt that has been transformed into the staff of life by the magic of heat. Yes, a ham fucking sandwich.

Bring the ham whole to the table, along with a pristine loaf and allow your guests to rip away at flesh, crust and crumb with their bare hands. In that way, the meal becomes an energy vibrator that touches your guests in a very deep and real way. And you haven't had to go to the bother of making a load of sarnies for your freeloading mates.

Too soon, the meal has ended and friends drift away, leaving the gift of their memory in the form of the literal bare bones of the feast. I may use the ham bones for stock, or sharpen them and carry them as weapons (the alleyways around here are full of malevolent heroin addicts). To have offered food to your friends is to commit an act of love. And when you feed others, you feed your own needs too. You are saying 'I love you' but also 'I really love myself'. And no one's going to argue with that.

Addled Palate is categorically not related to Tamar Adler, and The Eternal Lunchtime in no way resembles her book and Guardian column Everlasting Meals.  

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Kitchen Person ultimate cheese guide

Danish Blue - like licking a mouldy fridge, this Panzer attack of savouriness is the black hole into which most of the earth's salt reserves have been poured. Stick to the pastries and TV dramas. 

Ready grated Parmesan - perfect for cheese lovers who are unable to figure out exactly how a grater works. Buy in a cardboard tub for that authentic two-day-old-dried-vomit-on-a-dirty-carpet aroma.

Dairylea - an emulsion of water, skimmed milk (and some cheese) all magically held together by sheer force of profit motive. Any child of the 70's will instantly recognise the unmistakeable flavour of parental neglect. Pairs perfectly with brown floral wallpaper and G-plan furniture.

Philadelphia with Cadbury's - you're a real go-getter, you're clawing your way to the top. You're juggling work, play and family life with a career on the side as an international assassin. You don't have the time, or frankly inclination to eat chocolate and cheese separately. You want it all, all of the time. You want medium fat soft cheese, you want fat-reduced cocoa powder and you want locust bean gum in your face-hole now!

Primula with ham - comes in a handy tube, perfect for squeezing directly into the mouth at 3.00am after downing a crate of Stella while binge-watching an entire season of Entourage. Can also be used as a substitute for toothpaste, grouting and spot cream. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Kingdom of Cooks

New e-book Lifts the Lid on the UK Restaurant Scene

Andy Lynes, the well-known food, drink and travel writer, has published his first e-book, Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs. In a series of in-depth interviews with some of the most exciting, acclaimed and innovative UK chefs, including Simon Rogan (L'Enclume, Cartmel, and Fera at Claridge’s, London), Mary-Ellen McTague (Aumbry, Manchester), Neil Rankin (The Smokehouse, London) and Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut, Chester), the book details the harsh realities of being a chef, the astonishing hard work it takes to make it to the top, and reveals the secrets of creating delicious restaurant dishes.

Kingdom of Cooks is a must-read for foodies, professional chefs and anyone who has ever dined in a restaurant and wondered just what goes on behind the kitchen door. The interviews take the reader behind the scenes of some of the most famous kitchens in the country to show what it's really like paying your dues working for chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver.

The book also documents an important moment in the history of British restaurant cooking where the eclecticism first mooted by the modern British movement of the late 80's meets the locavore imperative of the 21st century to create a truly distinctive style of British food for the mid-2010's.

“I've been passionately interested in food and drink for more than 30 years and writing about it for a decade. In my experience, there has never been a more exciting time to eat out in this country,” says Lynes, who embarked on a journey of more than 2,000km and criss-crossed the UK in order to speak to 14 chefs in 13 restaurants, and consumed over 80 courses of restaurant food in the name of research. “Although London is the accepted capital of food in the UK, I've literally gone out of my way to prove there is something gastronomically exciting happening in every corner of the country.”

The chefs talk about their careers, their cooking styles and the techniques and ingredients that help set them apart from the crowd. Individual signature dishes, such as Chris Harrod of The Crown at Whitebrook's suckling pig with celeriac, pear and woodland sorrel, are discussed in detail, and you'll learn everything from how to make the perfect pork crackling to how to use every last scrap of a fish, literally down to the last scale.

Each chef has contributed a recipe – these include partridge, burnt heather, celeriac, watercress and chanterelles by Ben Radford of Timberyard in Edinburgh; Neil Rankin's Smokehouse short rib Bourguignon; and salt-baked beetroot, smoked eel, lettuce and chicken skin by Stepehen Toman of OX in Belfast.

Contact details for all 13 establishments are included in the book, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, making the book a short restaurant guide for readers to follow in the author's footsteps. Numerous other chefs and restaurants, both in the UK and abroad, are mentioned in passing, making Kingdom of Cooks an instant primer to the current restaurant scene.

There is nothing I like better than a good old chin wag about food and drink, and I realised that my work as a journalist afforded me privileged access to talented chefs,” added Lynes. “By documenting some of those unexpurgated conversations in print I've allowed readers in on some fascinating conversations they might otherwise not be party to.”

Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs by Andy Lynes is now available from Amazon's Kindle store, priced £2.99.

Andy Lynes is an author and freelance food, drink and travel writer. His work appears in The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent.  He has reviewed restaurants for the Metro and the Guardian, and is currently a member of the 60SecondReviews.com team. Andy is also a contributing editor to Seasoned by Chef's magazine, and food and drink editor of Zuri magazine. He writes regularly for Host, the pub and bar magazine, and The Caterer. As well, he has contributed to a number of books, including two editions of Where Chefs Eat and the Oxford Companion to Food. His second book, How to be a Chilli Head, will be published by Portico in May 2015. 

Chef/restaurateur Simon Rogan commented: “Andy is a true professional. He cares about food, and likes to dig deep into the creative side of the whole cooking process in order to understand chefs and restaurants.”

Andy Lynes is available for interviews, or to write articles related to the book. A PDF version of the book is available for review on request. His contact details are: Email - andylynes@gmail.com, or Mobile - 07838-299 589.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lynes & Co Pop Up Event, 6 Feb, Brighton

Book now for 'Generations'
Lynes & Co are delighted to announce their first pop up event in Brighton 

Brighton based restaurant critic, author and Masterchef semi-finalist Andy Lynes will be swapping his laptop for a stove top when he collaborates with his professional chef son George at a pop up dinner in central Brighton in February.
The event, titled 'Generations' will take place on 6 February at The Marwood Cafe in Brighton's Lanes in association with Tabl.com and see the father and son team collaborate on a four course menu that will draw on their diverse culinary experience with dishes such as ham hock, broad bean and Sussex curd served with scorched beer-pickled onions, warm bacon and mustard emulsion and parsley oil.
Although this is not the first time Andy has cooked at a pop up in Brighton (as founder of the Brighton Food Society, he has headed up the kitchens on several events since the society's inception in 2012), it is the first time he's put his name to an event. 'Cooking for up to 50 people at several sold out events over the past couple of years and getting great feedback has given me the confidence to do something for myself with my family. It's a great opportunity to get together with my son to cook, he works long hours so its a rare chance to get into the kitchen together. My wife Gill and daughter Alice will be there on the night too, running the front of house alongside The Marwood's staff.'
Andy is no stranger to professional kitchens, having staged in his spare time in numerous restaurants including Michelin-starred establishments in London and Belfast. He once ran the cold starter section for a night at the acclaimed Coohill's in Atlanta, Georgia serving 100 people during a hectic dinner service, and has worked part-time in the kitchens of Hotel du Vin Brighton where the head chef at the time was Graham Ball, formerly of the two Michelin-starred The Square in London.
As an amateur cook, he reached the semi finals of the BBC's Masterchef TV show in 1997 and was the only British contestant ever to take part in the prestigious Sofitel Amateur Cook of the Year competition in Lyon in 2000 with chef mentor Bruce Poole of the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce, competing against teams from all over Europe.
George, 21, began his career as an apprentice at Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning The Chilli Pickle in Brighton before taking a position as commis chef at The Coal Shed, also in Brighton. In his short career, George has managed to fit in stints at Maze and Chez Bruce, both in London and the Michelin-starred Curlew in Bodiam.
'I've never cooked with my dad in a professional kitchen, so its going to be an interesting challenge,' says George. 'I'm really excited to have this opportunity to present some of my own dishes under my own name for the first time.'
The event is being promoted by Tabl.com, the Brighton based company that provides an online platform for pop-up kitchens, supper clubs and 'food adventures'. 'Tabl.com is thrilled to be working with Andy Lynes and his son George on a rare pop up dining event,' says Andrew Fisher ,co-founder of Tabl Media. 'As a nationally renowned food critic, food writer, and accomplished chef in his own right, Andy is collaborating with his talented progeny to bring us a one-off culinary experience that fits with our mission to bring interesting people together for shared experiences around food. Tabl is going from strength to strength with big and exciting expansion plans for 2015.'
Andy, a regular contributor to the national press on all things food drink and travel, has written restaurant review columns for the Metro and the Guardian and is a member of the 60SecondReviews.com team. 'It's a bit scary being on the other side of fence for once and putting myself on the line like this, but I'm confident that we'll be able to deliver some fantastic food and that it will be a really great night.'
The menu is partly inspired by Andy's travels around the UK last year, researching his newly released eBook Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave chefs. 'Speaking to a dozen young chefs, including Douglas McMaster at Silo in Brighton was truly inspiring. I picked up loads of ideas about ingredients, techniques and flavour combinations as well as how to present food in a modern way and all of that will be reflected on the menu.'
6 February 2015
The Marwood
Book via Tabl.com (tabl.com/events/132870)