What’s the dreamscape landscape for your Christmas tablescape? Massimo Bottura lifts the curtain on his… Did I escape with that scape-a-thon?

Handwritten place cards, golden cutlery, elegant linen napkins and  an artistic centrepiece overflowing with little chocolate treats… this is the tablescape that Massimo Bottura not only envisioned but brought to life alongside the team at Barneys New York in their Madison Avenue store. The famous store, an unmissable destination for New Yorker christmas shoppers, asked the Italian chef to put together a holiday dining table that he could imagine sitting at with friends and family, enjoying his extraordinary recipes.

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To read more about Massimo Bottura’s dreamy tablescape, click here.
To visit the Osteria Francescana website, click here.

Posted in Food & Art, Foods Blog, London Food PR, Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Spoon 2015, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Global Phenomenon Modernist Cuisine Has Landed Down Under

Modernist Cuisine, a team of chefs and editorial led by super food geek, author and photographer Nathan Myhrvold, has taken the culinary world by storm with three exquisite books that bring the innovation and genius of the Cooking Lab into professional and home kitchens around the world.

Broccoli Cutaway

Brocolli-credit Nathan Myhrvold/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold, founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, is renowned for routinely pushing the boundaries of culinary science as a chef, scientist, photographer, and writer. This summer, Australian fans can finally forget about hefty shipping charges and will be able to buy all three of these exquisite books on home turf,

Mark Best of of Marqe Restaurant in Sydney recently hailed The Photography of Modernist Cuisine as ‘enormous in all respects’.

Pulpo a la Gallega Opener

Octopus – credit Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold takes home cooking to new heights, revealing a world of culinary possibilities and innovation. Nathan’s favourite dishes are deconstructed and explained in a way that will fascinate, inspire and motivate the curious home cook. Readers will be inspired to experiment with showstopper techniques such as caramelizing vegetables in a pressure cooker, and slow-roasting chicken with a Peking-duck approach for crisp, almost papery skin.

Vegetable Garden_Opener

Vegetables – credit Ryan Matthew Smith/Modernist Cuisine LLC.jpg

Nathan Myhrvold has never ceased to push the boundaries of culinary science, which is the latest turn his career has taken, in addition to being an avid inventor, CEO and founder of Intellectual Ventures, and prolific author in fields of technology, palaeontology and beyond. His three books demonstrate his genius along with some of the most exquisite photography ever to be printed.

Please see the Modernist Cuisine website for more information: http://modernistcuisine.com/.

For more information on Nathan and his books, please don’t hesitate to call out and ask Sarah Canet to contact you!

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Great British Bake Off – who is up for the challenge?

The Great British Bake OffJust when we thought we’d said goodbye (and dabbed our cheeks dry after that season finale), The Great British Bake Off is already on its way back into our lives. Well… it is at least if you are one of the courageous few prepared to apply as a contestant to the show’s seventh series.

The nation’s favourite BBC baking contest is returning in 2016 and the production team are currently looking for the next batch of great home bakers to take part.  If you, or someone you know, can turn out a terrific tart, produce a perfect pie or serve up a sublime sponge, then please get in touch now.

For more information or an application form, go to:

www.thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk

or email

baking@loveproductions.co.uk

… And especially given that Sarah had to make do with a Waitrose bought cake and we have another birthday in the Spoon office this week, we really do think that any keen candidates should test out their birthday cake baking skills on us as a trial run. Any takers…?

Posted in Baking, Food & Art, Foods Blog, London Food PR, Spoon 2015, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New book by Questlove to feature Nathan Myhrvold

Neo-soul and hiphop musician as well as legendary music producer, Questlove, may not be the first person you would think of when it comes to writing about food. However, over the past few years the Roots band member has been proving himself to be a serious food enthusiast, running a chicken shop in NYC’s Chelsea Market as well as hosting so-called ‘food salons’ from his home in Lower Manhattan where prestigious chefs come in and cook for a privileged and eclectic group of guests.

Now, Questlove has announced that he will be releasing a book, ‘somethingtofoodabout: Exploring Creativity with America’s Most Innovative Chefs’, in which he will muse over the creative processes of cooking with certain experts in the industry described by Chris Crowley at Grub Street as “food world luminaries”, including Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine.

The book comes out in April 2016.

To read Grub Street’s article on the book release, click here.

Posted in Food & Art, Foods Blog, London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Modernist Cuisine, nathan myhrvold, Spoon 2015, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massimo Bottura’s Praise for Pasta

After Monday’s announcement from the WHO that processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages are to be placed on the high-risk carcinogen blacklist, health kicks and clean-eating are certainly on the brain.  If, as it does for us, this comes with a dose of disappointment at the prospect of cutting out some of your favourite food treats, then don’t be disheartened quite yet.  In today’s Guardian, Massimo Bottura has done us all a favour and given us the go ahead to keep pasta (so often seen as the carbohydrate demon) firmly on our shelves.  This statement comes out of a campaign that Massimo is currently working on to encourage people to embrace Italy’s favourite staple food as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

tortellino

Having started to get used to the idea of pasta as a delicious but high-calorie and non-nutritious ingredient, this news comes as a bit of surprise.  However, working alongside university experts as well as farmers and agriculturalists, Bottura has outlined the ways in which pasta can help people maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.  The chef explains that it simply comes down to serving pasta in a moderate portion and with plenty of vegetables rather than rich meat or dairy-based sauces, urging a movement towards the Mediterranean diet which characteristically turns towards fresh fruits & vegetables and olive oil and away from animal fats.  He also points out the sustainability of grains over meat, and is exploring ways of making delicious pasta with non-conventional grains such as quinoa.

© Paolo Saglia

© Paolo Saglia

To read the full article on the Guardian about Massimo’s praise for pasta, click here.

Beyond the parameters of pasta, Massimo has other exciting projects up his sleeve.  After his key involvement in the Milan EXPO this year, he will be moving on to other large-scale projects similarly focused on food sustainability and biodiversity in Italy.  This time, the chef will be working as artistic director of 20 restaurants at the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (F.I.CO.), 80,000 square metres of markets, workshop spaces, restaurants, classrooms as well as demonstrative fields and livestock raising grounds, which is due to open in Bologna late next year or early 2017.  The initiative, which will be aimed at foreigners and locals alike to inspire and educate about Italy’s diverse food culture, is intended to “carry on the Expo’s legacy” according to Stefano Bonaccini, governor of Emilia Romagna, the region widely-renowned as Italy’s food capital and also home to Massimo Bottura’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, Osteria Francescana.

To read the full article about the F.I.CO. project, click here.

Posted in Foods Blog, London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Proof is in the Eating

Not too long ago we announced on our blog that the spectacular breads from Mikael Jonsson’s Michelin-star studded Hedone bread ovens were making their way across London, finding themselves in neighbourhood bakeries like our local Bayley & Sage store in Parsons Green (click here to have a look). Regular customers and other chefs alike scramble for these fine loaves. With determination and perseverance, a select number of restaurants in London, most with Michelin stars, have persuaded Jonsson to allow them to serve his bread in their restaurants.

Hedone - Homemade brown sourdough bread © Richard Haughton

Well, it seems that this exciting bread-related activity is on the rise…

This year has also seen Massimo Bottura take a lead role in EXPO Milano, which, running since May, will close at the end of this month. During this project Chef Bottura has invited chefs from around the world to participate in Food for Soul at Refettorio Ambrosiano, located in a disused and refurbished theatre. At the inauguration of the Refectory, dinner guests were served “Bread is Gold”: a culinary celebration of bread’s rich symbolism, made from a mixture of breadcrumbs, sugar, and milk to evoke treasured childhood memories (including those of Bottura himself) of “the most delicious meal you could eat before going to bed… a cup of milk, bread crumbs and sugar.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Myhrvold, founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, will be devoting his forthcoming book to the art and science of bread. This multivolume book will detail bread’s origins and evolution, honouring the work of great bakers who have influenced the diversity of bread around the world and featuring a fascinating range of scientific and historical topics from grain agronomics and fermentation to traditional and modernist recipes.

Posted in Hedone, Massimo Bottura, Mikael Jonsson, Modernist Cuisine, nathan myhrvold, Osteria Francescana, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food For Tomorrow 2015

Yesterday at The New York Times Food For Tomorrow 2015 conference. Nathan Myhrvold, founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, creator and primary author  of the Modernist Cuisine series of books gave the keynote speech.

How can technology, which is often associated with the pitfalls of our food system, provide answers for improving it? Nathan Myhrvold — scientist, inventor, chef and coauthor of “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” — explores technology’s role in this changing culinary landscape.

Set aside a few minutes, listen and learn from a master thinker.

Click the link for more on this blog about Nathan and Modernist Cuisine a delicious story…...

Posted in Modernist Cuisine, nathan myhrvold, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Observer Food Monthly Awards were on fire

Was this the best ever Observer Food Monthly Awards event?

Those lucky enough to go and to eat the Ekstedt’s food and drink 69 Colebrooke Row’s cocktails might agree with me that it was. Naturally, I’m biased but Niklas Ekstedt’s fire pit menu was utterly delicious. Cooked outside in pans on burning wood, the menu read like this:

Ekstedt Fireside Taster Menu - OFM Awards 15 October 2015

Ekstedt Fireside Taster Menu – OFM Awards 15 October 2015

For those that went to the awards but didn’t manage to find their way outside to the courtyard, there was even more Ekstedt food circulating. Inside he was serving :

Canapés

Hay-baked turbot on Swedish crispbread

Vendace roe on rye bread

Smoked reindeer heart tartar and elderberry capers

Chanterelle and radish

Bowls  

West Sweden squid, juniper and seaweed

Fjällbacka langoustine, smoked tomato and toasted almonds

Beef, roast leek, potato and Västerbottensost purée

Sea buckthorn and carrot dip, blackened broccoli

Desserts 

Hazlenut cake, cloudberry butter and Oviken yoghurt

Lemon thyme bavaroise, raspberry and wood sorrel

Chef Niklas Ekstedt and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro

Chef Niklas Ekstedt and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro

If you want to see the list of winners see the Hot Dinners website. Then on Sunday buy The Observer so you can read all about them in the Observer Food Monthly supplement magazine. It’s a cracking read.IMG_0056

With congratulations to all those who won and all those who organised the event.

If you’d like to know about Ekstedt, click here.

If you would like to visit Ekstedt, restaurant details are on the website here.

Montage of Ekstedt Images by PA Jorgensen

Montage of Ekstedt Images by PA Jorgensen

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Osteria Francescana makes history in the L’Espresso Restaurant Guide 2016

News has just flown in from Italy that has made us very excited indeed here at Spoon HQ…

Osteria Francescana Team
One of Italy’s most prestigious and widely-read publications, L’Espresso, has announced its restaurant rankings for the L’Espresso Restaurant Guide 2016, and needless to say Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has been awarded a shining result.

No surprises there, we hear you say…but this time, Osteria Francescana has reached new heights, making history in the process. For the first time on record L’Espresso has dished out a 20/20, and by now you may have guessed who that has been awarded to… full marks for Osteria Francescana!

A huge congratulations to Massimo Bottura and the whole team in Modena for this wonderful achievement. Once again, they leave us wide-eyed and open-mouthed in astonishment and admiration… what will they achieve next??

Click here to read more about Massimo Bottura, and here for the Osteria Francescana website.

Posted in Foods Blog, Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Spoon blog 2015 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rye and Raisin added to Bayley & Sage’s collection of exceptional Hedone breads

We are very excited to announce that our very own local Bayley & Sage store in Parsons Green is now stocking two more spectacular breads from the Michelin-star studded Hedone bread ovens: rye and raisin.

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Both have been tried and tested here at Spoon HQ and we can confirm that the Hedone loaves, previously proclaimed ‘best bread in Britain’ , are true to the name.

We think that the Hedone raisin makes a perfect breakfast, toasted and topped with a generous swipe of butter. The moist golden raisins add a lovely sweet, chewy energy boost to the bread, which is exactly what we feel like first thing in the morning to get the day off to a good start.

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The rye, with its doughy centre and perfectly crunchy-yet-chewy crust, makes for an exquisite lunchtime treat (and even wholly converted the resident rye sceptic here at Spoon).

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We’re very glad to know that these baked delicacies are just a stones-throw away from us here at HQ. We are also pleased to announce that Feast, Barnes and Feast, East Sheen are also now stocking Hedone bread, meaning that even more of us will be within reach of Chef Mikael Jonsson’s exceptionally fine loaves.

Click here to read more about Mikael Jonsson’s bread and where to find it.

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