RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Many of you will be watching the week long coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the BBC all this week. This year was the first year I decided to brave the crowds to see it for myself and see how it compares to the other large flower shows around the country. The first…

Asparagus with hollandaise

 “Most cookbooks assume that if the reader follows the recipe to the letter, they’ll get a dish right first time. This is so wrong. If you’re making hollandaise for the first time, you will, of course, screw it up” Or so said Anthony Bourdain who was Gordon Ramsey before Gordon Ramsey and much much worse. Making…

Asparagus

For most vegetable varieties grown by amateurs, choosing the wrong variety or growing them incorrectly causes only short term annoyance, easily remedied and a lesson learned for next year.

Not so with asparagus. If I were to say to you that building an asparagus bed takes as much effort as a planning a wedding I wouldn’t be far wrong.

Gigantes Plaki

Brits reading this site will remember the famous slogan “Beans means Heinz” and for over a hundred years we’ve been sitting down to baked beans on toast for breakfast or lunch, so much so we seem to have almost forgotten that baked beans are an American introduction.

Gigantes

My memories of Greek and Turkish holidays often revolve around foods that we ate. Especially wonderful were the meze, small plates of tasty bites to share.

Nộm Bò Khô – Dried Beef Salad

We first had this sitting on kindergarten sized chairs in a small street cafe in Hanoi old quarter with wail of mopeds horns buzzing by echoing in our ears. The place was so tiny that the owned produced only a handful of dishes, completely fresh, zingy and alongside the street bustle a wonderful assault on the senses.

Massamam Curry of Squash

Thai food is one of the most fragrant and vibrant cuisines. However most of the pastes and sauces that you can buy from supermarkets fall far short of the mark. Making Thai food from scratch produces something that will make you jump up and down with sheer delight with it’s aromatic, vivid and punchy flavours….

Squash – Squashkin

What do you get if you cross a Butternut and a Crown Prince………?

A squashkin.

Mujaddara

I’ve seen almost as many ways to spell this dish as recipes. Mujaddara is a middle eastern grain and lentil dish with fried onions. It is an ancient dish dating back to at least 1,226 although folk law says that this is the dish that Jacob used to buy Esau’s birth right in Genesis.

Bánh xèo

I first made these in Hoian in a local cookery school where we made modest little pancakes which you wrapped with salad in rice papers. Imagine my surprise when ordering the same in Saigon and a supersized crepe the size of a small baby arrived.

Orange and White Tea

I started writing this post sitting in a wooden homestead by the side of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam surrounded by coconut groves.

Squash – Tromboncino

Opinion is divided about James Wong the Kew trained botanist, writer and broadcaster. James is famous for books covering how to grow unusual or extraordinary things or how to grow every day things in a slightly different way using cutting edge research.