Whilst we’re preparing for glorious sunny days on the Piazza de Richmond Road, there is no denying that winter still has a firm grip.
Our winter lunch special is continuing through these months, with our Hearty option (seen here as Braised Lamb, Potato) and all main pasta’s at a warming £12 with a glass of wine.
I couldn’t think of anything better to distract me. Full menu is here to view
The newest addition to our brunch menu is Uova al Purgatorio – aka Eggs in Purgatory.
Originally dished out by my dear friend Morgan’s grandad, Poppa Liotta. He travelled from Italy and settled in Tasmania to raise his family (mostly on Uova al Purgatorio), and for the while that I knew him – even after 40+ years in Australia – still spoke as he did when he’d just stepped off the plane.
He lives on through this recipe, and we’re offering it as part of our brunch on Saturdays and Sundays for your eating pleasure.
The opening of LARDO, our new pizza and charcuterie restaurant is only a day away now, and so we decided to say thank you to all those lovely people who’ve helped us get it this far in the best way we could think of – with beer and pork! It’s been a month of scrambling to get everything finished but we’re over the moon with how the space has turned out, and this was a chance to share it with everyone else.
Anyone who’s opened a restaurant will tell you exactly the same, but it really was down to the wire – we were busy polishing and cleaning and prodding the disco oven into life right up until the point when people started showing up. It didn’t seem to matter. Our brilliant staff kept everyone fed and watered despite being surrounded by our hungry and thirsty friends. We served our guests slices of our fennel pollen salami, and our chefs Damian and Christian sliced fatty porchetta between chunks of bread. The late stayers were treated to slices of lardo pizza. All of you lucky people will get a chance to sample this over the next week.
It seems slightly unreal actually – two years on from the start of our road trip around the USA, when the spark of the idea happened, and we’re finally there. During that trip, when we met a bunch of people who were making closer connections between the farmer and the chefs, it seemed like a logical step to try and create a project which does the same in London. Living in this neighbourhood, we’re constantly meeting folks who are making or baking or growing something fresh and tasty, and we hope to get lots of this locally grown produce into the food that we’re serving.
Some pictures from the party (more on Flickr):
Last week I was at One Pig, a aural trace of a pigs life from the comforts of the farm to my fork. The very same day I had just returned from Wales, where we celebrated by slicing up our first samples of our hams. Timely?
I have been a fan of Herbert for at least 10 years when a friend of mine invited me to a gig in an upstairs venue in Melbourne. I remember some use of a toaster, and a sample of a kettle. I hadn’t seen him for years, but then I saw that he was to perform his new album One Pig, with a dinner prepared by the guys from Shaklewell Nights and Rosie Sykes. I was nervous that after the dinner my apetite would be suppressed - my dinner partner was fearful I was going to turn her vegetarian – all unfounded.
The performance was set-up like a barn dance. The hay barrels were actually instruments, and the pen was linked to electronic pig samples that were played like a loose harp. The whole thing was added drama by the white lab coats the musicians wore, and specifically the months on Yann Seznec’s coat, who played the pen, which counted down the pigs months to live.
Having spent the last year doing my own research on pigs – involving the visiting of beautiful farms at parts, and then also the more gruesome abattoirs, this event seemed more personal. The six month life span of a pig previously had been discussed as a factual farm term that we had used to reference weight, and also the cost impact for the farmer. Suddenly now seen from the perspective of the pig, 6 months which equates to around 5% of it’s potential life span, becames apparent.
The conversation that preempted the performance dallied with some of these pretty big issues revolving commercial food production. This album approaches this topic which so often can be interpreted as sanctimonious at best in a new and refreshing way. It is hard to find an answer to this ever growing issue while you are about to stuff your face full of pork, but I am glad that the conversation was being had.
Unlike many of the great albums of the year, I don’t think I will hear the One Pig album again with intent, although I was in a cafe yesterday and the music they played there was very similar. Perhaps it wasn’t so obscure that you can’t listen to it while drinking latte’s. One thing this event did do was lead me to the purchase of Eating Animals, by Jonathan Saffran Foer. Up to now I had tried to avoid this book in the fear that I too would be changed for life. But going into a world of meat production has made me face the true realities of the food chain and part of eat is surmised brilliantly by Foer. I would recommend anyone who eats meat to read this book, but as I am sure you know already, it isn’t all beautiful.
More reviews of it here:
The Kings Walk Garden holds a collection of short one day courses over the summer, and I was lucky enough to snag a place in lieu of a friend at the last minute.
This weekend made it my third consecutive weekend in Soho. I would have normally sworn off sharing my weekends with tourists, but there have been too many things to do that it would have been criminal not to.
We lucky four were invited to the friends & family day of of Spuntino, the third, long anticipated restaurant from the hugely successful guys behind Polpo and Polpetto. I don’t think there is anything better than to see your friends do well at what they do – Go Rachel!
I can count the number of Antipodean coffees I have left on one hand. And I’ve been spoilt by some of the best coffee in town. And for those that haven’t heard, here’s some info on the genius that is the Disloyalty Card, a kind of reverse loyalty scheme set up by a chap called Gwilym Davies to encourage a big East-London-coffee-love-in.
Not really sure what road coffee will be like while we’re away, but I’m guessing that these little fellas are going to be few and far between…