News, Notes, Events


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

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Hong Kong

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.


'Food and Travel' Award Winner!

June 2017: I am as happy as a clam that Samarkand won the 'Food and Travel' award at The Guild of Food Writers Awards 2017.


Dock Kitchen

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

Come, join us, feast!


GFW award

May 2017: Samarkand has been short-listed for The Guild of Food Writers Food and Travel award.

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.

Piglet 2017

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.

My top ten cookbooks

January 2017: Desert island cookbooks surely much harder choice than desert island discs? 1000 Cookbooks asked me for my top 10. See my picks.