Newsletter 20 June 2012

Taste of London, Twisted Fairytales, Cocktail Competitions plus the latest Food News and Openings

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News & Events…


Taste of London, Regents Park, 21-24 June

 Newsletter 20 June 2012The most eagerly anticipated culinary occasion of the year is once again upon us with a host of new features and an impressive line-up of London’s finest restaurants. Celebrating London’s vibrant restaurant scene, Taste of London gives visitors the opportunity to dine from around 40 top restaurants, including Michelin starred places like Le Gavroche, Gauthier Soho, Rhodes 24, Club Gascon, Petrus, Maze, Benares and Tamarind.  Chef groupies can also get up close and personal with their idols through the Taste Theatre cooking masterclasses, whilst those who enjoy a glass of bubbly can take part in the Laurent-Perrier Champagne masterclass.  There will also be a host of other foodie features, including the unveiling of the world’s most expensive scotch egg, the British BBQ Championships and culinary treats from A Taste of Thailand.  Tickets start at £28 on the door.

Cocktail Quintathlon @ Zenna Bar, W1. Every Monday from 25 June – 23 July

The Cocktail Quintathlon is a series of 15 events across 5 weeks challenging bartenders to showcase their skills in various aspects of the trade including Speed, Knowledge, Mixology, Flair and Strength & Stamina.  Each event will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including Love Food Love Drink on 9 July.  Best of all, whilst these trade events normally take place behind closed doors, The Cocktail Quintathlon will be open to the public to watch and there will be plenty of G&T’s flowing too.  No need to book – just turn up and enjoy!  For bartenders wanting to get involved, send an email to

 Newsletter 20 June 2012
Twisted Fairytales with Babika Vodka @ Nightjar, E1. 25 June

With the zeitgeist for grown-up interpretations of children’s stories, including the recent Snow White movie, Babicka wormwood vodka is putting on a night of twisted story-telling that is strictly for adults. A host of storytellers will take to the stage to deliver three famous tales in their darkest forms; without giving too much away, think of Rapunzel’s saviour being blinded for his efforts or Red Riding Hood being eaten alive.  Accompanying the night will be a range of small dishes and bespoke cocktails created by the renowned bartenders at Nightjar. Contact the venue to reserve your space.


New Openings…


Donostia, W1

 Newsletter 20 June 2012Donostia is the brainchild of Nemanja Borjanovic and Melody Adams who run acclaimed wine merchant, Mountain Valley Wines.   Inspired since discovering the town of San Sebastian while on a wine sourcing trip, Donostia is a celebration of Basque cuisine which draws influences from Northern Spain and South West France.  The food should be nothing less than outstanding as the kitchen is looked after by the former head chef from our favourite Spanish restaurant, Barrafina.  Moreover, the owners have even arranged for the rest of the chefs to be trained in renowned restaurants in San Sebastian.  The menu features Basque regional highlights including a selection of Pintxo appetisers such as Crispy prawns with pancetta and Foie gras with walnuts, as well as a tapas menu of fresh seafood and meat dishes.

Evans & Peel Detective Agency, SW5

Situated on Earls Court Road behind a secret entrance, Evans & Peel Detective Agency is a new bar and restaurant that has possibly taken the Prohibition concept a little too seriously!   Evans & Peel cocktails focus on classics such as the Old Fashioned and Sazerac as well as more intriguing creations in the form of spirit infusions taken from flavours of the kitchen such as maple bacon or tobacco-infused bourbon. The food menu is small-plate style with a 1920′s American twist, the focus of which is on house-smoked meat sliders; classic pork butts and beef brisket are treated with one of the secret recipe dry rubs and slow smoked on site in the custom-built smoker.  The design also maintains the 1920′s influence with original vintage furniture and crockery.

Antico Restaurant & Bar, SE1

 Newsletter 20 June 2012Housed at the former site of a covered antiques market, Antico has joined the culinary mile of Bermondsey Street to provide locals with an easy going Italian place to meet and eat.  Owner Nick Crispini and head chef Nicholas Schizas – previously of Theo Randall at the Intercontinental – have created a weekly-changing menu that champions seasonal Italian fare. Starters include Burrata with prosciutto braciotto, rocket & fresh chilli; and Prawn & squid fritti with fresh chilli & basil aioli; whilst the mains are all about their freshly-made pasta dishes.  Those who prefer sustenance of the liquid variety can head downstairs to the cool lounge where they serve a range of classic cocktails and trendy Aperol, Campari and Prosecco based drinks.

School of Wok, WC2

Originally set-up by Jeremy Pang in 2009 as a London-based, mobile cookery school specialising in teaching his students Eastern cuisine in the comfort of their own homes, School of Wok has now got itself a permanent home in Covent Garden.  Born into a family of food lovers, Jeremy developed his culinary skills at Le Cordon Blue before going on to work in a number of restaurants in South East Asia.  The school caters for budding cooks of all skill levels, with resident chefs offering lessons in cuisines from all over Asia including Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese.

Try This Week…


 Newsletter 20 June 2012Opies BBQ Sauces
As we try to swelter in heat of the worst summer ever, it’s fair to say that a fair few of us are chomping at the bit to fire up the barbecue.  However, great meat is nothing without great condiments so check out this new range of BBQ sauces from Opies.  Made using naturally smoked ingredients and smoked in a traditional Sussex smokehouse, they not only taste great but also have a far deeper and more delicate taste than the normal stuff that is made using artificially derived smoke flavourings.  Available in three delicious flavours – hickory, chilli and garlic – they are great as a dip, but are equally as delicious when used as a marinade for your meat.  Available from Ocado and Booths for around £2.29

 Newsletter 20 June 2012


The folk at Tyrrells have given the taste of old Mexico a gloriously English Twist with the launch of TorTyrrells.  The crackingly crunchy tortilla chips infused with English chives are available in three quintessentially English seasonings – Glastonbury Cheddar & Caramelised Onion, Rather Hot English Chilli’s and Somerset Sour Cream.  With summer threatening to show its sunny head, grab yourself some dips, a cold (English) beer, a few chums and enjoy! Widely available for around £1.99