News, Notes, Events
Fire Islands Book Tour
Topping Books, Bath - 29th May, 7.30pm
Kelly & Walsh, Hong Kong - 20th June, 1pm
Chorleywood Bookshop - 24th June 2019, 7pm
Stanfords, London - 10th July, 7pm
Middlesex Food Festival - 4th August
Edinburgh Book Festival - 24th August, 3.45pm
Waterstones Chiswick, London - 11th September
Google Kitchen, London - 28th November
Omnivore Books, San Fransisco - 15th February 2020
More dates coming
Fire Islands Out Now!
May 2019: The UK and Australian editions of Fire Islands are out now. US and German editions follow later this year.
Where to Eat in Jakarta
April 2019: From the waung that has been turning out exceptional asinan and gado gado salads since 1960 to the coffee shop which pairs technicolour cakes with the world’s best brew, read my guide to Jakarta eats in TRAVELLER.
Academy of Chocolate
March 2019: As a judge at the Academy of Chocolate awards, I had the enviable task of tasting and deliberating produce from the world’s finest chocolatiers. Pictured here a cocoa pod, fresh from Peru, judging notes and tasting plates in the background. My favourite discovery was the pairing of dark chocolate with wild forest pepper from Vietnam. This exotic spice lends gingery warmth and lemongrassy citrus. Compelling.
London Book Fair
March 2019: Indonesia was the market focus for this year’s London Book Fair. The pavilion at Olympia was a splendid showcase of Indonesian literature, art, food, fabric and fashions and a celebration party at the Design Museum hosted a magical, mystical party with haunting Sumatran vocals . A fringe programme sees Indonesian cultural events across the UK this spring from puppet theatre to poetry recital. I am enjoying the attention on the vibrant cuisine.
February 2019: We have been shooting some recipe videos from Fire Islands. Soon I’ll be bringing you the ultimate nasi goreng, a very gingery chicken stir-fry that makes a great speedy meal, and luscious black rice pudding with salted coconut cream.
Fire Islands Cover
February 2019: I am thrilled to reveal the stunning cover of my new book, Fire Islands. Based on my favourite traditional Indonesian pattern, mega mendung, Lucy at Studio Polka created the most superb design. Look forward to sharing more soon.
October 2018: There is the most amazing design team working on my new book. Kristin Perers taking gorgeous, painterly photographs, Becks Wilkinson making food look like art, and Tabitha Hawkins weaving her styling magic. The whole house is filled with beautiful fabrics, fresh flower petals and the scent of lime leaves and lemongrass.
School of Artisan Food
October 2018: At my cooking workshop this month we explored food from along the silk road. Take yourself to Xi’an in the heart of China with my recipe for biang biang noodles.
Great Taste Awards
April 2018: I had the great honour and delight of been part of the judging panel for The Great Taste Awards. We have been blind tasting amazing products from pies and jams to sorbets and curry sauces. There were many highlights, but I am particularly pleased that these stand out sansho peppercorns from Vinegar Shed were awarded the rare accolade of three stars. If you haven’t tried sansho, you must. They provide an intriguing numbing of the tongue quality similar to Sichuan peppercorns, but paired with a fragrance and citrusy freshness.
Silk Road Cooking
March 2018: Join me for a day of discovery, exploring the exotic flavours found in the cities along the Silk Roads, the ancient trading routes connecting East and West. We will be making:
Hot and tingly oxtail with hand-torn noodles from Xian
Almond milk chicken with saffron and dates from Venice
Green-herbed plov with chickpeas from Samarkand
Spiced lamb Turkish flatbreads from Istanbul, with Aryan to drink
7 October - Book now at The School of Artisan Food
February 2018: It's one of the most exciting places on earth. When European capitals are shivering in the cold, Hong Kong is at its vibrant best celebrating Chinese New Year. Read my piece in delicious. magazine.
Delicious Produce Awards
July 2017: A behind the scenes peek at the delicious. magazine Produce Awards where I chaired a table of expert judges. We feasted on the best of British artisan food from spelt sourdough to elderflower yoghurt ice cream. It turns out that rapeseed oil encourages robust debate amongst the foodie elite.
May 2017: There is a Central Asian takeover at Dock Kitchen on 6th June. I’m excited to share a banquet with you. Of course plov will star, alongside a tasting menu of:
Tomatoes, dill & purple basil, Koryo spicy carrots, Grated courgettes with pine nuts & poppy seeds, Spicy meat dolma, Tarragon flatbreads
Yoghurt, cucumber & rose petal soup
Beef shashlik with tahini & pistachio sauce, Georgian quail with walnut sauce, Green herbed plov with chickpeas, Sweet & sour braised carrots
Roasted peaches with marzipan & rose syrup, Pomegranate & vodka sorbet
Uighur Seven Spice
April 2017: Itamar Srulovich tells me he found my Uighur spice mix so compelling, he put it on the Honey & Smoke menu with barbecued lamb. You have to try this recipe, it brings a flavour combination like no other - warming, numbing, fragrant:
2 tbsp cumin seeds, 1.5 tbsp black peppercorns, 1.5 tsp Sichuan pepper, 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon, seeds of 3 green cardamom, 2 cloves, 2 star anise. Roast the spices separately in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind together in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar.
March 2017: Piglet 2017 has been an amazing experience! It is THE cookbook award to my mind. The coolest, the harshest, the best. Today Samarkand trotted out of the tournament in the semi-finals in a review by Marlon James. That man knows awards, he won the Booker after all, and now he knows Central Asian food too! He said of my recipe for spicy meatballs with adjika “You will wonder, as I did, why everybody isn’t sprinkling every single meal with adjika, a spicy pepper paste from Abkhazia.” Having declared Samarkand a “wonderful book”, Caroline and I can be happy with that.
Read the battles:
Honey & Co
February 2017: There was a Samarkand supper club at Honey & Co. Itamar Srulovich made gorgeous plov studded with quince, barberries and pomegranate seeds. Caroline Eden and I reminisced on our travels. Patricia Niven took photographs. Yotam Ottolenghi saved the day with missing Sichuan pepper. Everyone feasting on my take on Central Asian food. What a happy evening.
February 2017: Honoured to stand in this crowd! Samarkand joins a joyfully diverse collection of books chosen by Food52 as ‘2016’s most impressive cookbooks’. The books will face off in a tournament of review battles judged by food luminaries. Let the battle commence!
Instagram To Watch
February 2017: How delightful to be picked as an Instagram account to follow by food editor Sarah Akhurst. She says “Amazing food writer, beautiful Instagram account showing her recipes, travels and family.” (You can follow me here)
Travel Writers Festival
February 2017: On Sunday 5 February I will be speaking at The Stanfords Travel Writers Festival with Elisabeth Luard, Caroline Eden and John Wright. We will be discussing culinary adventures.
November 2016: Samarkand has launched in The Netherlands with a brand new cover. Watch out for the German and Russian editions coming soon.
Abergavenny Food Festival
August 2016: The 2016 Abergavenny Food Festival took place in glorious sunshine. I joined a lineup of passionate ranters for Rude Health (don’t subject your babies to bland mush, excite their taste buds from a young age!). I also gave a cooking demonstration where we took on pilaf cooked under a Shah’s crown.
Splendid Table Podcast
June 2016: The city of Samarkand is on the storied Silk Road, but off the beaten path for many tourists. We make the case for the ancient Uzbek city's food and culture on the Splendid Table podcast with Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Listen now.
Where to Eat in Uzbekistan
June 2016: I’ve picked eight great places to eat and drink in Uzbekistan for Olive magazine. Get ready for crisp pastry triangles filled with lamb and fresh doughnuts with homemade apricot compote.
Dizzying Press for Samarkand
June 2016: The press coverage for our book has been overwhelming. Amongst others we have been highlighted and reviewed in The Telegraph, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, The Guardian, Waitrose Weekend, Food52, Delicious, Olive, The Metro, The Week, Vegetarian Living, House & Garden.
Read some of the quotes here.
Book Launch at Daunt Books
June 2016: Co-authors, flushed with pride at our book launch party. Daunt Books is truly the ultimate of travel bookshops and a perfect setting for a book that is as much travelogue as cookbook.
Talks at Asia House and Stanfords
May 2016: Join me for talks at the Asia House Literature Festival and Stanfords in London next month.