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Tim Hayward

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Everything posted by Tim Hayward

  1. Just visited this afternoon. I'm utterly in love. He's a charming guy, really knows his stuff. Today he was dishing out mugs of the most amazing hot chocolate - made solely of chocolate and water, the way, he said, that the Aztecs used to drink it. I don't think I've ever tasted anything like it. Clear, clean taste, absolute silkiness of texture - none of the graininess or cloying adhesive quality of others I've tasted and, quite counter-intuitively, light. I mean, c'mon, that's practically an isotonic health drink. Let's go. Now! To Islington, O my Brothers and Sisters! Batter down the doors, strip naked and roll in puddles of it.
  2. Mine only comes off the knife rack for splitting pig trotters, breaking up bones for stock and once to deter an intruder. A large, bald, angry, yelling cook waving a big chopper is clearly an effective home security solution - I've never seen anyone move so fast.
  3. OK, I now can't bear this any longer. Champagne Sadie and I subscribe to a dreadful gossip newsfeed called HolyMoly which published a leak about the show last week. As informed UK foodies we should know - on the oither hand, if you like the show and don't want to know how it ends... you probably shouldn't. HERE IS THE SPOILER Use it wisely. After all it could be total rubbish.
  4. That must be the difference between a gourmand and an architect. I always thought more was more
  5. My daughter's leftovers. Porridge, bacon and toast. Coffee Half a mango. Coffee
  6. Sadie!!!!!! ← What? ← Maybe we should start taking bets on it?
  7. So what would you choose to put in your own no limits sarnie? ← Seriously? St John sucking pig leftovers, cold. San Francisco sourdough. Rocket, plum tomato and Hellmans mayo. With an ice cold Anchor Steam beer. At a window table at Sean's Panaroma overlooking Bondi.
  8. So what would you choose to put in your own no limits sarnie? ← Swan on a bap?
  9. Remeniscent of Daniel Boulud's foie gras burger at DB Bistro Moderne back around 2003. Apparently a burger comprising 10oz of ground sirloin wrapped around a core of braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffles. In a brioche bun with chips. Set you back $59 or $99 if supersized with extra truffles. To be absolutely correct, the reviews were not universally glowing. Most of the New York based publications seemed to find the idea of dead-eyed Wall Street succubi ploughing into these meat mountains ironic and amusing. By the time the story had hit everyone else’s papers, however, it was being spun as another example of obscenely conspicuous American consumerism. It seemed a shame really. Though I can’t imagine myself ever attending the DB nor ever making that kind of crass gesture in a menu decision, the idea of a burger flavoured with foie gras was still profoundly appealing. Excellent PR stunt too.
  10. Actually you may have a point there. Most of the North London suburban villages still feature a neglected, family owned Italian trattoria. We should probably start using these places before they're all replaced by Stradas and we're left wondering where they went.
  11. How do we feel about Finsbury? I had a phenomenal meal at the Ambassador, Exmouth Market last night. Crab and baby spinach salad starter. Then braised pork with gnocchi and morel sauce. Utterly superb. Sadly, I drank far too much of an excellent and reasonably priced CdR to do a proper review. I don't think it's been open long and it's in one of those cursed locations that seems to open and go bust at weekly intervals but if my drink-addled recollection is worth anything we should all flock there to make sure it succeeds. Has anyone else had any experience of this place? Is it really as good as I think or has this hangover destroyed my judgement? What else is good in the area?
  12. Thanks everyone. Since they announced the first case of avian flu in the UK yesterday everyone's running around like - well, headless chickens. By the look of it there's going to be a whole bunch of discounted free range birds at the market tomorrow so I should be able to try out a lot of these.
  13. It's a ghastly confession but I'm still having trouble dealing with a whole chicken. Whether I use time/weight charts, a meat thermometer or just cook 'til the juices run clear, I'll still get either overcooked and dry breast or raw near the thigh joint. Ideas tried so far.... 1. Mcgee's ice packs on the breast 2. Proprietary chicken stand that holds the thing upright 3. Beercan (which does the same) 4. Jamie's thigh slashing trick 5. Cooking breast down 6. Using two smaller birds 7. Rotisseries - One built into an oven and one I found in a skip outside a kebab shop 8. Deep frying the whole bird The only thing that really seems to work is Escoffier's classic Poulet Saute, which is really something entirely different, but at least ends up serving most of the bird. Is the whole roast bird just a stupid idea? Is it some kind of elemental, caveman thing that taps into our notions of family eating but is always destined to taste grim? Help me out here. I'm doing one for the inlaws on Sunday and I don't want to poison them... ...honest!
  14. I'm with Sadie and Anne on this. I got married last summer. We, like you, decided to have an engagement of less than a decade and thus found all half-decent venues in the UK booked. Most of the venues that can cater, insist on doing so which means you're restricted to the Christ-awful, wrist-slitting ghastliness of rubber chicken or thrice warmed salmon with a 'medley' of seasonal veg. (I can't even type that without retching). This being my second marriage I was seriously considering not inviting any of my family, just for everyon'e psychiatric well-being but wiser counsel (Al) prevailed and persuaded not only to invite my parents but to throw the entire bloody thing in a marquee in their garden. My psychotherapist was put on red alert but the whole thing went off a treat. The problem is that wedding venues are now such enormous business that any attempt to actually control the most important day of your life is going to bugger up someone's spreadsheet. I can only offer the following advice... 1. If you want a venue that caters and doesn't reek of the vomit of the last four bashes, be prepared to spend more than you can imagine... 2. ... and reschedule for June 2009. 3. (and you'll still be disappointed by the food) 4. Think about having the ceremony at a church/registry office and then transporting everyone to another venue for the nosh (If it helps Bournemouth registry office is beautiful and we hired a topless bus to take everyone to the reception) 5. Find a good caterer (Mine was brilliant and cheap... someone my sister-in-law was a Leiths with. I'll PM details if you fancy) 6. Have an iPod disco (a bit off the brief, I know, but we got the guests to bring their own pods with playlists they'd arranged for the occasion - we had a blast) 7. Marquees, caterers, furniture, cars... are all cheaper out in the sticks. 8. Set up your wedding list with a wine merchant. Who needs a bloody toaster and too many vases when they can be setting up a reasonable cellar to kick off into married life. The above mentioned siter-in-law happened to be a wine merchant so it was easy to set up a web page to facilitate this. 9. Finding a place, setting up a tent and getting in caterers is a pain-in-the-arse but it's nowhere near as grim as dealing with some clipboard weilding harpie at a country house hotel who promises to take care of everything then just wheels you through like bodies at a crematorium. I reckon going off-piste is the only way. Hope this helps
  15. So, soon to be a case of Dans le Rouge ? Gareth ← Ouch
  16. It's OK. We don't have to worry about this any more. I just drove past the place tonight and realised it's on the corner of Clerkenwell Green aka 'The Location of Death' aka 'The Restaurant Triangle'. Has anything survived there longer than a year?
  17. I'll second that. It's been popular for a long time and might seem like too obvious a suggestion but the food and surroundings were bloody lovely
  18. Mine's a three yr old so you already have a lot more experience than I do. Generally I don't find London restaurants very kid friendly so there's a tendency for those that do welcome rugrats to be oversubscribed zoos. There's a small chain called Giraffe with branches off Marylebone High Street, in Islington and Hampstead. If you're doing much hanging out in London you'll probably end up in these places anyway (certainly Marylebone HS - it's foodie mecca). They're canteen style with a 'World Food' menu. I even like it for a fast grown-up lunch and their Sunday breakfasts are excellent. If you find youself at Camden Market (which I highly recommend for kid entertainment though it's gall and wormwood to an adult of any sensibility) then come out to the north and head to Casa Mansi/Marine Ices opposite Chalk Farm Tube. I like their ice creams, though opinions differ, but their restaurant is one of those fast disappearing local, family 'Red Sauce' Italians. I think they won the Observer Food Monthly award for best kids restaurant last year. Why not go completely counter-intuitive and take them for tea at the Ritz? They'll be awed into compliance My daughter also recommends Bodean's BBQ in Poland Street and Yo Sushi but at that point I frankly disown her. T
  19. I love the man. In fact I spent a week on a writing course with him which was utterly inspiring. His best moment though, must surely be getting a third of a book and half a TV doc out of what a bumbling and rather sweet, self deluded idiot Abu Hamza was. I'm still trying to work out what happened there. T
  20. Sushi Waka! My local. I thought it was an undiscovered gem. I'm the big bald geezer sucking fish in the corner.
  21. I used to live down at the Chalk Farm end of Belsize. Ice cream at Marine ices is phenomenal. Cross the bridge to Primrose Hill and turn left for The Lansdowne and the Engineer, gastropubs in Gloucester Rd. While your in Gloucester Rd check out Sardo Canale - food incredible though surroundings a little strange - and Melrose and Mason... a sort of grocer/deli/coffee shop for the discerning sleb. It's run by a couple of really nice guys, the food is bang on the button, my wife used to bake their cakes... and I still can't afford it. Keep going down Gloucester Rd to Parkway and drop into mine for tea. Avoid like the plague... The Polish tea shop (surly and unpleasant), Troika Tea Room (inedible stodge), any of the Lemonia empire (living on a twenty year old reputation like a Vampire on virgin's blood) all in P Hill 'Village'. The Sainsbury's over on Finchley Rd at O2 'retail heaven' is your nearest good supermarket.... I'll see if I can remember any more....
  22. Thanks everyone, That's fantastically useful. You've saved me a couple of days of phone bashing. Tim
  23. Can anyone suggest anywhere in the UK I might find a lot of parmesan? I need to arrange a photo shoot for an article on the stuff so UK importers, affineurs, retailers who keep a lot of it on accessible shelves would be great. Any help greatly appreciated. T
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