A journalist friend just asked me this. Of course not I said. I have guests of all different ages. There are probably some in the East of London which are more directed at young trendies but mostly I…Continue
Started this discussion. Last reply by Hari Covert Apr 10, 2012.
Hey ms marmite lover here,This is a place to discuss the market.Any queries, problems, suggestions can be posted here. People can also make contact with each other.One question: did having it at…Continue
Started this discussion. Last reply by Ali Cook May 17, 2011.
I've spent 23 years working at Condé Nast so far. Before I worked for someone else, but then I took over.What's the most popular meal here?
Avocado and smoked salmon on dark rye bread.Is that what the models eat? Can you tell when they are models?
No. Everybody looks like a model in this building.How many portions of avocado a day do you sell?
We sell avocado all day long. At least 32 portions a day of avocado on toast.What other dishes are popular?
We have some traditional Portuguese bread, pao casero. House bread, made of rye, and the Portuguese custard tart.I've noticed there are some cakes here. Who eats the cakes in Vogue House?
Yes. It's very popular. They like it with meat, like spag bol with courgettes. They want low fat.And people don't want carbs. Who is eating all these carbs then?
That is a secret.Tony and his assistant giggle.
In the morning, people are very worried about calories; they are very careful. But by the afternoon, they don't care. That's when they eat the chocolate.Are there many vegetarians and vegans?
A few but not a lot. Not really.Do you get the editor of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, coming in?
Yes.Is she a Twix woman?
Normally she takes some nuts.So she's quite healthy?
Yes, and she likes a tricolore salad: avocado, mozzarella, tomato.What about famous people? Do you get them in here?
Yes, sometimes. We don't ask them. We don't know them. They aren't dressed up.Have you got any plans for this place?
In January, House & Garden is going to do this place up. Change the cutlery, put in banquette seating, more tables.At the moment there are only two tables off to the side, although there is a wall of work by famous photographers. Mostly people eat at their desk.
Water is very popular as a drink. We sell 10 to 15 boxes a week, and each box has 12 bottles.Tony explains:
We have two seasons. In the winter, we make soups and jacket potatoes. All are homemade, freshly made. We have pea and ham; butternut; basil and tomato. Also porridge in the winter.
In summer, it's salad and juice. We sell at least 20 green juices a day. I had a deal where you got 10 juices a week. A diet plan. Carrot, orange, apple and ginger goes well.
But around here we have too much competition, with Pret and Eat and Caffè Nero. People come here when they have five minutes, grabbing something to eat at their desks. And people are careful with money since Brexit.I thought they were all rich here.
No. Even people in Vogue House are being careful.
I can't eat bread. I can't do gluten.Are you coeliac?
No... but I find it makes me bloat.She then pays by credit card for a courgetti dish.
Yes! And I have a credit list.Is there anyone that owes a lot of money?
We get it docked from their wages.I think he's joking. Do you do Portuguese coffee? I order 'um galao'.
Yes, we do, but they want flat white here. They want Australian coffee. I can do galao but it's very milky, which they don't want.
Donde esta la casa de Julio?I asked again, this time at Holbox's only gay bar. I'd wandered down the starless flooded back street, stepping over sleeping dogs like furry puddles, looking for this mythical house, the only house in Holbox, a tiny island a few miles from Cancun, that makes pibil. Pibil is a Mayan oven where food, usually pig, is cooked for hours on a low wood fire. It's Saturday night, around 11pm.
Hay Julio aqu? Es la casa de Julio?She hesitates. Eventually:
Soy una jornalista de Inglaterra, especialista en la comida. Soy aquí por descubrir la cocina de Yucatán. La gente me dijo que Julio hace la cochinita aquí. (I am an English journalist, specialising in food. I'm here to discover Yucatan cooking. People told me that Julio makes cochinita pibil here.)She nods. But doesn't move.
Se puede verla? Quiero sacar fotos. (Can I see it? I want to take photos).She shuts the door. I'm not sure what's happening. Is that a no? I wait. Eventually a brown man with a kind face cracks open the door.
'Muy saborosa,' he growls, eyes blinking with sleep.I'm holding my camera and a light, I have no hands free. He sticks his finger into the dripping liquid and feeds it to me, placing his stubby finger directly in my mouth. This is discomfitingly intimate but I don't want to be rude by flinching. I nod enthusiastically:
'Muy rico.' (Very rich/tasty.)This is a mixture of achiote, bitter orange juice, onions, salt and spices. Julio pours the tray into the cauldron, stirring and smiling.
We are a group of six families setting up a typical Mayan village here in the jungle. We want to explain our culture to tourists, so you are our first tourist.He shows me a smoking pile of leaves.
We are cooking pumpkin here, pibil-style. It should be ready now.With a friend they shovel off the dirt, then the hot stones and burning embers, finally tearing off the banana leaves and revealing around 25 whole pumpkins of different sizes.
One hour 20 minutes.Which seems remarkably precise. Are all of these smoking mounds pibil ovens? I ask, waving my hand.
Many of them, but some are just smoke to keep the mosquitos away.
Cooking pumpkins in this way means the flesh is sweet and dense. We serve them with honey and a pumpkin seed sauce.
Building a house takes a month. We cut the trees during the new moon, otherwise the insects eat it and turn it into dust.
We are also building a well, so we are completely self-sufficient here. Dig down 17 metres anywhere in the jungle and there is water. We have 5 metres more to dig. Do you know this tree?He points to a tree with black resin on the bark.
This tree 'Chechem' burns you but we use it as medicine.In English this is known as Poisonwood. The tar will burn your skin. He then points to another tree:
These are jungle bees, they are very rare now. They are so vulnerable; they don't even have stingers.We watch the bees cluster around a kind of bark pipe sticking out of a tree.
The honey is in the tree. If the bees are attacked they close up the opening, as that's their only defence.
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