Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Lip your lips, Londoners
Tasting Plates. Yes, Please.
Taste of London is a luscious affair - an affair with all things food and wine, that is. The gastronomic event of the year, held from June 20th to 23rd at London's Regent's Park, is a fine food and wine lover's paradise that brings together some of the world's best producers and exhibitors, chefs and restaurants.
It's also celebrating its 10th birthday, so expect it to be better than ever with more special features including innovative, interactive cooking and eating events, classes and experiences.
Some of the best chefs from around the country, and indeed the world, will be stirring up some culinary magic.
They include three generations of the Roux dynasty, Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr and Emily Roux, international superstar chef, Rene Redzepi, along with Raymond Blanc, Ben Tish, Pascal Aussignac and Bruno Loubet.
London restaurants dishing up their signature dishes include the super-stylish Sushisamba, trend-setting Duck & Waffle, Peruvian LIMA and fish specialist The Angler. Pace yourself; there'll also be stunning dishes from Le Gavroche, Gauthier Soho, Opera Tavern, Tamarind and more.
Then there are some 200 boutique food and drink stalls to browse, taste and buy from. (What was that I was saying about pacing yourselves?) Yes, allow plenty of time because you'll need it.
Here are some of my favourites:
Clonakilty Black Pudding, the leading pudding in Ireland, is lovingly made from a closely guarded secret recipe. Converts will love it. The hesitant must expand their food repertoire and try it, along with a beautiful range of associated products reminiscent of what many of our grandmothers used to make. Maha Fresh Chutney, also now selling at now selling at Planet Organic in London, with varieties spanning coriander, carrot, yoghurt or mint, are an authentic range of fresh Pakistani chutneys whose fresh, natural ingredients make them both yummy and low in fat.
Simply Ice Cream, handmade in small batches using only natural, fresh local ingredients and seasonal fruit, is a taste sensation. Choose (if you can) from a stunning range of rich, thick ice cream flavours, or maybe try the multi award-winning Heavenly Honeycomb Crunch.
You might also like to try Ager Tauasinus' fine wines, Akashi-Tai sake or some Calvors naturally-brewed lager, and perhaps nibble some more-ish Awfully Posh Snacks or California Prunes, which are simply delicious, dried sun-ripened plums. A generous splash of Grays & Feather's boutique sparkling will hit the spot too.
For a sweet, non-alcoholic alternative, try Five Valleys Cordials, whose range is to die for - or to dive into at least.
Anyone with a sweet tooth? (My hand's up.) Try some beautiful hand-made Burley Fudge and get your lips around a delicious, beautifully-presented cupcake from Cupcake-a-licious. And enjoy, or share, some decadent, artistic Sweet Trees by Rivera, whose leaves have been lovingly replaced with chocolate and other sweet treats.
Discover Black Garlic, which has twice the antioxidants of normal garlic, is low in fat, rich in natural sugars and leaves no smell or bad breath. Savour some great British sausage from none other than the Great British Sausage Co and, at the Tomato Stall, try some superb products made with sublime Isle of Wight Tomatoes.
Sweeten things up with jellies, jams, chutneys and fresh products from Ouse Valley Foods and buy someone (or, better still, yourself) a beautiful gift from Pamper Yourself.
Spice things up with a splash of David's Chilli Oil to make your food sing, or maybe some of Rico Picante's exciting chilli sauces using authentic Peruvian chillies.
Definitely stop in at La Bandiera Olive Oil, whose single-estate extra virgin olive oil from the Tuscan coast recently took out the Gold at New York International Olive Oil Competition. Wow.
No serious food and wine event would be complete without some seriously good coffee, so stop in at the Coffee Bean Company for well-bred beans and coffee solutions.
And there's much more...
So, what are you waiting for. Grab your friends, families, mothers, babies and your tickets, and have yourself a top Taste of London. Chin chin!