News, Notes, Events
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.