Yesterday started with one of those stunning autumn mornings; bright, crisp with a whiff of change in the air. It was a perfect opportunity to cycle to my local Farmer's Market on Orange Square, SW1. For me the market is a great way of keeping in touch with the seasons, and their spoils. The market has some great stalls, one of my favourites is the Kingcup Farm stall which is filled with great locally grown produce and much to my delight they always have a wide array of unusual herbs (yarrow, dill flowers, salad burnett, fat hen, lucerne, dandelion and borage) as well as a wide array of tubers and beets. The Kohl Rabi got my attention, as did the stunning rosehips (which make a great syrup or jelly - it also is the component in itching powder which is made from the innards of the rosehips) and the densely black sloes which are great for flavouring gin. I always find the colours of the vegetables so inspiring, and select whatever looks most vibrant and appealing. I definately get 'colour days', where I am drawn to food with certain colours and will cook with a whole palette of foods from a certain colour group. Yesterday was definately a red day, as one of my finds were crab-apples that I intend to make into a jelly that will be flavoured with spruce.
Hello - I'm Steven, welcome to my blog. I won BBC's Masterchef in 2007, which as the show's ardent strapline bellows, "It will change your life!" Well I have to say it certainly has.
I live and work in London, and work as a private chef and flavour consultant for individuals and businesses in the UK and Europe. I am looking to start my own restaurant in the future, so watch this space. Enjoy reading!
"My weaknesses have always been food and men, in that order."
"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter, and in wine."
"A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do."
"An empty belly is the best cook."
"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch."
"The smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us...." Marcel Proust
"When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries." The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
"People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it is safer to harrass rich women than motorcycle gangs." Unknown
"Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class." Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet
"Never eat more than you can lift.." Miss Piggy, Diva.
"The squid is so cooperative. Its body forms a tube that can be stuffed with marvelous fillings. You don't have to be Greek to enjoy this one. " Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet
"The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries and times; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss." Jean Antheleme Brillet-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste