Newsletter 11 May 2011

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News & Events…

1163 Newsletter 11 May 2011Taste of Spain, Canary Wharf, 11-13 May

Iberica Food & Culture has assembled some of Spain’s leading chefs and producers to help showcase the artisan foods and boutique wines available in the UK. On 11 May, Taste of Spain will kick off at Jubilee Place, where visitors will be able to sample Iberica’s acclaimed tapas and boutique wines. On 12 and 13 May, a “mini-Spain” will take over Reuters Plaza, with various specialist food and wine stalls as well as a full demo kitchen featuring acclaimed chefs such as 2 Michelin starred Nacho Manzano and Jose Pizzaro.  Free event. www.ibericalondon.co.uk

Natural Wine Fortnight, 9-22 May

1164 Newsletter 11 May 2011Natural wines are wines that have received little intervention in the winery, are produced without chemicals and additives and are made with grapes grown in a natural environment without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. Anecdotally, this may also lead to purer flavours and a reduced risk of ‘the morning after’.  Restaurants such as Hibiscus and Bar Battu have long been championing all-natural wine lists, but the fortnight sees hundreds more restaurants, bars and wine shops around the country getting involved with samples and offers for the public. For a full list visit: www.thenaturalwinefair.com/natural-wine-fortnight

The Natural Wine Fair @ Borough Market, 15 May

For a complete natural wine experience, head down to Borough this weekend where the famous market will play host to over 100 wine producers from around the world. Once inside the event, guests will have the opportunity to sample around 500 natural wines for free, hear great talks and meet passionate producers. As ever, the market will also be in full swing with their regular roster of food stalls to indulge in.  Tickets are £18 including free wine sampling.  www.thenaturalwinefair.com/tickets

1165 Newsletter 11 May 2011The Art of Service by Fred Sirieix

In an era where restaurant owners think nothing of spending tens of thousands on arty décor, the finest cutlery and acquiring the best chefs, the all important service side of the industry seems to have taken a bit of a back seat.  However, if you’re considering opening a restaurant or are serious about making a success of your existing venue, then you need ‘The Art of Service’ in your life.  The ‘game’ style training-manual has been created by restaurant manager extraordinaire, Fred Sirieix of Galvin at Windows and from Michel Roux’s ‘Service’ TV show.  Thorough in teaching the skills, knowledge and attitude required of quality service staff and also easy to understand, The Art of Service is the indispensible toolkit for every front of house team. www.theartofservice.co.uk

New Openings…

The Icecreamists, WC2

1166 Newsletter 11 May 2011Crazy ice-cream innovators, The Icecreamists’, have launched a new flagship store in the historic Covent Garden Market Building.  Taking design inspiration from pop culture, the 1,300 sq ft store looks set to be London’s temple of all things cool during the summer months.  Adorned with surreal upside down ice cream sculptures from up and coming artists the parlour is split across two levels – a dedicated lounge area upstairs and a take-away downstairs with outdoor seating. The menu is truly wacky, with creations such as The Toast Mortem – ice cream on toast served in jet black cones; and ice cream cocktails designed by super-mixologist Alex Kammerling.  www.theicecreamists.com

Bloom, SW6

Bloom bar and kitchen has opened in Fulham to provide locals with somewhere for a mid-week refuge and a weekend wind-down.  Open from dusk till dawn, the Bloom offering includes everything from breakfast and dinner to cocktails and afternoon tea.  The reasonably priced menu is designed for informal everyday dining, with simple dishes based around quality ingredients.  Expect things like Sweet corn fritters with roast tomato & bacon; seared red mullet with lemon fennel & saffron mayo; and also a range of sharing-style bowls, sandwiches and salads. 339 Fulham Palace Road. www.mybloom.co.uk

Kerbisher and Malt, W6

Unlike most chefs, who see the opening of a fine dining restaurant as the pinnacle of their career, the chef/owner of Kerbisher and Malt has gone the other way.  With impressive stints at the OXO Tower and Racine already under his belt, his latest venture sees him serving up top notch and ethically sourced fish and chips (hand-cut of course!) to Hammersmith locals. His menu also includes healthier options such as grilled fish and more unusual options such as a mackerel baps. www.kerbisher.co.uk

Try This Week…

1167 Newsletter 11 May 2011Coln Valley Pimms Gravadlax

If you’re after the quintessential taste of British summer this year, look no further than this delicious new creation by Coln Valley Smokehouse. The salmon is prepared to a secret recipe and cured for three days in a marinade of Pimms, fresh orange juice and mint – a combination that actually makes perfect sense.  With a succulent texture and soft citrus and juniper notes, the Pimms gravadlax provides a distinctly British twist on the traditional Scandinavian dish. Around £4.49 fromwww.simplysalmon.co.uk

1168 Newsletter 11 May 2011

Shloer Summer Fruit Punch

David & Victoria, tea & biscuits, Pimms & summer – one without the other just doesn’t make sense.  However, following what seems like the longest bout of sunshine ever, coupled with a seemingly endless bank holiday, you may wish to lay off the booze for a little while… which is where Shloer’s Summer Fruit Punch comes in.  Essentially providing all of the tangy and sweet flavours of Pimms without the alcohol, this sparkling soft drink is best served with loads of fresh summer fruits over ice and is ideal for lazy summer drinking when hangovers aren’t desired!  Widely available for £2.29

Reviews…

Le Cassoulet, CR2 (South Croydon)

1169 Newsletter 11 May 2011Croydon may not have the best of reputations and trying to convincing someone to head deep down south for a meal may see you carted off to the house of crazy.  However, it will be ‘them’ who are crazy, for it appears that South Croydon is slowly turning into a serious culinary hotspot.  Just ask chef-extraordinaire Malcolm John, who already owns two restaurants in the area.  Having already been mightily impressed by his easy going Fish & Grill restaurant concept, we found lightening can strike twice as we fell in love with the culinary brilliance and charm of Le Cassoulet.

McQueen, EC2

Having already gained a reputation for being one of the coolest nightspots in East London, the team behind McQueen have opened a restaurant to provide the Shoreditch-set with an equally hip place to eat.  And as takes its name and inspiration from the original King of Cool, Steve McQueen, it’s no surprise that the restaurant provides a classic American flavour to nights out in London.