VIDEO: Galvin at Windows chefs demo their famous Tarte Tatin

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The tarte tatin at Galvin at Windows is something of a celebrity dish, if such a thing exists, in its own right. It is goregous. Seriously good.

Perfectly cooked caramelised apple on a layer of crisp, flaky pastry, it's beautiful.

Unconvinced? That can only be because you haven't tried it yet. Do. It's fab.

So it's rather lovely to come across this video insight into its making, though one can't help but think it makes it look deceptively simple to prepare. How can something that good be that easy to make?!

Either way - enjoy.

Video: Barbecued lamb chops, by Adam Perry Lang

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In this video, US BBQ Master, Adam Perry-Lang, shows you how to get restaurant quality food from your BBQ with Barbecued Lamb Chops.

Serves 6


70-100g/2½ - 3½oz (approximately 18 pieces) lamb cutlets, loin or shoulder chops.

For the Herb Oil:

120ml/4floz olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 bunches fresh sage
1 garlic clove
For the Baste:

Combine in a foil pan or heatproof pan and warm on the side of the BBQ or alternatively on the hob 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 10 crushed garlic cloves, and 2oz finely chopped savoury herbs such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, and/or sage in total

For the Board Dressing:

4oz chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4oz chopped fresh mint
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1½ teaspoons grated or finely chopped garlic
120ml/4floz olive oil
Juice ½ lemon


Combine all the Herb Oil ingredients in a large bowl or sealable plastic bag. Mix and crush the ingredients with your hands, directly or through the bag, squeezing them to release the maximum flavour.
Put the chops in the Herb Oil and let them absorb the flavours for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours. If standing for longer than 2 hours, refrigerate the chops.

Direct Grilling: Preheat the BBQ to medium-high and set a griddle on the grill. Combine all the baste ingredients in a foil pan or small heatproof pan and set on the side of the BBQ or alternatively on the hob.

Drain the chops and dry with kitchen paper. Squeeze a splash of lemon juice over the chops and season "like rain" with salt.

Put the chops on the well-oiled pre-heated grill and cook until medium-rare. Press on the chops as needed throughout the cooking process with a fish slice or foil-wrapped brick to maintain grill contact, and baste regularly, using a regular brush or herb brush.

Flip, jockey, and stack the chops as needed to manage the inevitable flare-ups and use the griddle to rest the chops if necessary. When the chops are nicely caramalized and charred on both sides, approximately 6-9 minutes total, they are done.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the board dressing in a bowl, mixing well.

When the chops are done, pour the dressing onto a cutting board and turn each chop individually in the dressing to coat and serve.   

Last night saw more than 50 chefs from across the country join forces to raise money for the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, that resulted in the loss of 160 lives and an estimated $3bn (£1.9bn) in damage.

The idea, which bore out of a conversation on Twitter between Kiwi chef and Masterchef winner Mat Follas (@matkiwi) and Dave Ahern (@corkgourmetguy), went from the idea of a 30 cover pop-up fundraiser dinner to the Kai We Care dinner almost instantly (Kai is Māori for food).

Thumbnail image for Mat Follas

Through the power of Twitter, Mat and Dave offered their help: John Comyn (@CityJohn) who took over the logistics; Grant Hawthorne (@granthawthorne) organised the chefs; Anny Baxter (@AnnyBaxter) took on the adminstration.

The event which took place at the Institute of Accountants at One Mooregate Place saw 200 guests enjoy a seven-course meal cooked by top chefs including Michelin-starred chefs Simon Hulstone (the Elephant, Torquay), Dominic Chapman (the Royal Oak, Windsor) and Russell Brown (Sienna, Dorset).

The canapés were prepared by fellow MasterChef contestant Steve Groves, who now works at Roux at Parliament Square. He was helped by other MasterChef contestants, Lisa Faulkner, Dhuruv Baker and James Knight-Pacheco from Raymond Blanc's BBC series The Restaurant.

Steve Groves

While guests were treated to petits fours by Edd Kimber, winner of The Great British Bake Off.

Guests also enjoyed New Zealand wines which were sourced by Ed Francis from the Engineer pub in Primrose Hill, London and beer-writer Melissa Cole. 

Front of house was looked after by staff from Jason Atherton's new opening Pollen Street Social. 

Dom Chapman told Caterer he was involved because it was a cause close to his heart: "I have spent a lot of time in Christchurch and it's a beautiful city. I am also married to a Kiwi so it really did hit a nerve."

Speaking before the event, Mat said: This is a fantastic event, it is meant to be fun and for a good cause. People have come out of nowhere to help and donate their time and items for the auction.

"It's great for two reasons, it is great for chefs to meet. They are not TV chefs, but working chefs that are always in their kitchens. It's a great opportunity for them to give something back. And secondly, I doubt there is a chef that has not worked with a Kiwi in their kitchen. There is a lot of feeling towards Kiwis."

At last count the event had raised £60,000 which will be donated to the British Red Cross  Christchurch Earthquake Fund

Gilded turkey: Christmas with the Midas touch

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Traditional Christmas fare of turkey plus trimmings can be so tired. The seasonal feast is foisted upon us every year and it's often disappointing. Dry, mealy turkey accompanied by watery, mushy sprouts that are more grey than green. Sound familiar? No? Just my house then?

Actually, food writer, TV presenter and Gastronaut Stefan Gates is also fed up with the same old, same old Christmas dinner. As a result he has come up with something pretty extravagant. No golden goose for Gates, but instead a golden (literally) turkey.


goldenturkey.jpgHe's taken a well-cooked (as in, cooked well) bird and gilded it with 23ct gold leaf - don't worry, it's edible. Pricey? Not as much you might think. The amount of gold needed costs about the same as a bottle of cheap Champagne, according to Gates.

It certainly does have the wow-factor. But does it have the taste-factor, either in flavour or how appropriate it is in this age of austerity? Either way, it is definitely fabulous. 

** Visit the BBC food Blog for the full recipe **

Recipes: Michelin star meals for £1

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A group of Michelin-star chefs from the Von Essen hotel group have come up with a menu that allows all foodie fans to create top quality three course meal at home for just £1.

The chefs challenged themselves to come up with a Michelin-starred experience on a shoestring after debating the recent Spending Review.

Mark Teasdale, head chef at Sharrow Bay, Ullswater said: "I'd been chatting with Nigel Mendham and Shane Hughes, who work at the Samling, at Windermere, and Ynyshir Hall in Wales about George Osborne's announcements and cuts in general and the idea just took off from there."


"We decided to come up with a menu that people could try at home, and set a £1 limit per person for a three-course meal.  We knew it would be tough but we wanted to put a smile back on people's faces and help them where they have been hurt the most recently, in the pocket."

The menu includes a starter of twice-baked stilton soufflé with roasted onion, a chicken, bacon and leek risotto main course, and a dessert of Bramley apple crumble with hand-picked blackberries served with crème fraiche which costs just £1 per person for three courses.

Mark at Sharrow Bay has won the Michelin star accolade 14 times in as many years, while colleagues, Nigel Mendham at The Samling and Shane Hughes's Ynyshir Hall both hold a Michelin star each.

The £1 Michelin-style Menu ties in with von Essen's latest deal, which aims to make recent Government cuts easier to swallow by offering meals for just £1 when purchasing a two-night stay at one of the three hotels with Michelin stars.

James Parkinson, von Essen executive head chef said "We understand that people will naturally cut back after the Governments spending review however the food at each of these properties is an integral part of the guests overall experience and we don't want them to miss out. That is why we are offering a Michelin star dinner for the same price as a bag of chips."


Pizza Express staff flirt to customers to engage diners

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In a bid to make diners more relaxed, staff at Pizza Express in Richmond are being taught how to flirt.

The Italian restaurant chain has hired an actor to teach the art of small talk so that staff can engage with their customers more.

According to the Evening Standard, sources close to the company said that with the growing use of social media and texting has reduced face-to-face interaction, so the company has enlisted a conversational expert.

The restaurant is due to open next Thursday (21 October).

Angela baron, an engagement adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Developement, welcomed the move to give customers a better dining experience, but warned: If they mean flirting in the sense of, "What are you doing later when the kids are in bed?", then that's not a good idea.

The London Lifestyle Awards took place Riverbank Park Plaza on 7 October and saw 16 London businesses honored and celebrated for their contribution to London and it's lifestyle.

Over 3,000 nominations for businesses across the capital were received which was whittled down to a shortlist of 100 finalists in 16 categories by a judging committee. Over 100,000 votes were logged at their website which determined those who came out on top.


sanctum hotel.jpgFor hospitality, Mark Fuller's Sanctum Soho Hotel was voted London Hotel of the Year, while Crazy Bear scooped London Restaurant of the Year beating Theo Randall, Aqua Neuva, The Square and Trinity. Crazy Bear also won London Club of the Year.

Aqua Spirit just off Regent Street won London Bar of the Year. 

Bar Italia, Soho took home the award for Best Coffee Shop and the London Food Market of the Year went to Borough Market.

Awards in full:

London Men's Fashion Retailer of the Year - Jeffery West
London Beauty Salon/Spa of the Year - MACS Salon
London Coffee Shop of the Year - Bar Italia
London Hotel of the Year - Sanctum Soho Hotel
London Food Market of the Year - Borough Market
London Cultural Attraction of the Year - Elephant Family
London Sports Attraction of the Year - Polo in the Park
London Health and Fitness Facility of the Year - The Third Space
London Live Music Venue of the Year - The O2
London Theatre Show of the Year - Les Misérables
Best Green Contribution to London - Recycle for London
London Restaurant of the Year - Crazy Bear
London Women's Fashion Retailer of the Year - Sefton
London Bar of the Year - Aqua Spirit
London Club of the Year - Crazy Bear
Outstanding Contribution to London lifestyle - 95.8 Capital FM's Help a London Child

For more photos go to Table Talk >>




The Pope likes pizza

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pizza.jpgDespite the fact that the Pope is German, it seems during his time in the Vatican, he has developed a bit of a penchant for pizza.

So when he visited the UK recently, Domenico Crolla, the Italian chef who runs the Bella Napoli restaurant in Glasgow, was asked to created a luxury marinara pizza (tomato, garlic, oregano and no cheese).

Crolla's creation (pictured) used Molino Alimonti flour, was topped with gold leaf and was worth between £2,000 and £3,000, it was claimed.

At least it was until the Pope reportedly ate the entire thing.

chefsThirty-five top chefs were treated to an exclusive lunch at Le Manoir Aux Quats' Saisons courtesey of Villeroy & Boch Hotel & Restaurant Division and Northcote Obsession, Nigel Haworth's annual food festival.

Villeroy & Boch and Northcote hosted guests from restaurants including London's Hibiscus, The Ledbury and Galvin Restaurants and top restaurants from further afield including Sat Bains Restaurant with Rooms and Purnell's at Raymond Blanc's picturesque Oxfordshire hotel and restaurant.
The VIP diners enjoyed fine wines and an extensive Michelin starred menu of Wild Scottish langoustine, Loch Duart salmon with caviar, Cornish turbot with oysters and scallops, wild grouse, fruit raviole and chocolate marquise.

The exquisite plates of food created by Raymond Blanc's team were presented on Villeroy & Boch's latest collections Modern Grace, Stella and Marchesi.

Michelin Friday at Ludlow Food Festival

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Last weekend saw one of the UK's biggest food festival kick-off with demonstrations from some the the country's best chefs on Friday, dubbed "Michelin Friday".

The Ludlow Food Festival, now in it's 16th year, sees over 20,000 foodies decend on the small market town in Shropshire.  

Ludlow Food Festival

Ludlow's own Michelin-starred chef, Will Holland from La Becasse enlisted his Michelin-starred chums to demonstrate to a packed house at Olive Stage.

Despite a dodgy oven and a wonky stove (it was all part of the fun!) visitors were treated to mouthwatering dishes cooked by top chefs from across the country.  Unfortunately, (due to Health and Safety) visitors were unable to try the food, but were impressed nonetheless.

The line-up included Holland's fellow Great British Menu contestants, Alan Murchison from L'Ortolan, Daniel Clifford, from Midsummer House in Cambridge, Richard Bainbridge from Morston Hall, Norfolk and Great British Menu 2010 winner Tom Kerridge (Hand & Flowers) who wooed the crowd with his winning duck dish.

tom Kerridge's duck dish

To view more photos from the Ludlow Food Festival and Michelin Friday go to:  

Other chefs that took part included: Chris Horridge from the Fine Dining Academy, Aktar Islam from Birmingham's Lasan restaurant and winner of Gordon Ramsay's The F Word programme Best Local Restaurant in the UK, and Bryan Webb, from Tyddyn Llan in Llandrillo, Wales.

On Saturday Holland and Murchison teamed up in their version of Ready Steady Cook using produce that was being showcased at the festival.

You can watch some of the cook-off here:


Not only were visitors treated to an array of great chefs, the festival also housed great local producers of wine, beer, cider, meat, poultry and vegetables. For any foodie this is a must festival! 

To view more photos from the Ludlow Food Festival and Michelin Friday go to:  




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