“The emergence of China as a richer, more powerful country has changed perceptions,” she says. “It’s a place people visit, whether for their holidays or to do business. The opening of Hakkasan [in London in 2001] was another turning point – somewhere so smart and glamorous. As a result people no longer think that Chinese food is either cheap and junky or terrifyingly exotic. But without going there, you can’t really open this great casket of wonders. It is such a huge country.” Why, though, do so few people here know about Jiangnanese food? “I guess it’s to do with patterns of immigration. The Cantonese dominated things for so long. When people do come here from this region, they tend to be well-heeled – they’re not the kind of people who would be cooks – while most chefs out there tend to say: ‘Why would we want to leave, when we have all these wonderful ingredients?’ Hangzhou is one of the most loved … [Read more...] about China’s best-kept food secret, revealed by Fuchsia Dunlop
He takes me to another of his initiatives, a “Waste Not Want Not” horsebox-trailer-cum-food-bank which he tours the island with on a rota. Inside, Vicki, a mum of seven kids aged 10 to 19, is picking up a few essentials. She currently lives in a hostel room around the corner with six of the kids. The trailer is looked after by Dave, who along with Blaney’s son is the only other soup kitchen organiser (none of them, including Blaney, take any salary). Dave fought in the Gulf war in 1991, and has severe PTSD. When he first came to the Isle of Wight and found himself homeless, he walked past Blaney’s temporary night shelter in Ryde five times before he plucked up the courage to go in. … [Read more...] about OFM Awards 2017: Local Food Hero – The Pop Up Soup Kitchen
We’ve been struggling a bit with Veganuary and need some tips from seasoned vegans. We both work and sometimes need pre-prepared or quick-to-make meals. What are the standout products, and which of the main supermarkets have the best ranges? We don’t want to spend a fortune. … [Read more...] about We’re struggling with Veganuary – where should we buy food?
The excitement of a new seasonal ingredient often leads me to over-buy, and rhubarb is no exception. This leaves me with a glut, and a need for new recipes and ideas to turn it into something edible before it starts to brown, bruise and liquefy into something undesirable. Luckily, rhubarb can be used in a huge range of dishes, both sweet and sour. … [Read more...] about How to make the most of a glut of rhubarb
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced3 carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved lengthways and thinly sliced1 celery heart, trimmed and thinly sliced1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger1 heaped tsp finely chopped medium-hot red chilli4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped2 x 250g packets cooked green lentils (eg puy)2 tbsp cider vinegar1 litre vegetable stockSalt5 heaped tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley120g artichoke hearts in oil, drained and thinly sliced, to serve … [Read more...] about Four recipes for hearty vegan soups