Food | The Guardian

Latest Food news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Miller & Carter, Liverpool: ‘The steaks are good’ – restaurant review

Sun, 24 Nov 2019 06:00:16 GMT

They shift over a million steaks a year at their 116 branches. Luckily, they know what they’re doing…

Miller & Carter, Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AF (0151 707 7877) and at 115 other locations (millerandcarter.co.uk). Starters £6.75-£9.50, mains and steaks £10.50-£31.50, desserts £5.95-£10.95, wines from £19.50

I know what you want from a review of Miller & Carter. You want venom and spleen, vented. You want to hear about the waste of cattle, slaughtered by a corporate behemoth, intent on cutting both corners and arteries. This is because you are horrid people. I am also horrid, and would glory in the evisceration of a cynical, cookie-cutter catering operation as much as the next sneering, bourgeois, fat-walleted, self-regarding metropolitan sophisticate.

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Nigel Slater’s roast chicken pasta and cauliflower cheese recipes

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 10:29:02 GMT

On chilly days, cosset yourself with carbs and creamy sauces

The first truly cold days of the year sent me in search of the earthenware gratin dish, the cream and the carbs. I longed for smoked garlic or bacon, soothing starch and puddles of cheese sauce. Food not to excite and inspire but to soothe and cosset. Suddenly, eating is about central heating, bolstering ourselves against the wind and the rain.

I don’t often toss pasta in cream – I find the marriage too soporific – but this week I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. Pasta shapes with ridges or hollows that would hold a sauce and carry a smoky flavour or two; vegetables that are at their happiest hidden under a blanket of pale, parmesan crusted sauce that’s hot enough to melt the coldest heart.

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Crisps, cheese and curaçao: how to have a fantastic election night party

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:00:11 GMT

General elections are inherently exciting because you get to stay up late, but the food and drink can take the fun to the next level

It may be a bit early to bring this up, but on the other hand, it is only a week away: what are you going to eat on election night? On 1 May 1997, a journalist named Gavin Hills held an election party that became the stuff of fable.

There was a firework for every Tory, let off when they lost their seat, and the sky was ablaze. I wasn’t there, as I didn’t know him, but people talked about it so fervently afterwards that it has entered my memory as the best election night I ever had – the one I wasn’t at. Hills died in a freak drowning accident the same month, tragically young at 31, and the magic of the election party died with him. Now, instead, we have snacks.

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Christmas starter: Thomasina Miers' recipe for buckwheat blinis with ricotta and salmon | Thomasina Miers

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 14:00:42 GMT

A delicious festive starter that can be adapted to serve with a sweet topping for the kids

Meera Sodha’s vegan Christmas starter of kimchi gyoza

Smoked trout is a delicious alternative to smoked salmon. These blinis are a lovely way to top or tail Christmas Day, and children can opt for a ricotta, lemon zest and maple topping, if they are squeamish about the fish.

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10 of the best restaurants in Cádiz, Spain

Fri, 02 Aug 2019 05:30:10 GMT

Fizzing with culinary highlights, this selection from the Andalucían city’s old town takes in special spots for seafood and tapas joints away from the crowds

Go early: this tapa place is very small and almost always busy. It cooks its speciality, tuna from the strait of Gibraltar, in a variety of ways: from traditional with a twist to a more-modern style. Tuna tartare or tuna lasaña are my favourites. The menu is long and the quality is high, though the prices remain reasonable (tapas from €2.20). Check out the wine list, too, and you’ll spot some great bottles.
€12-€14pp, Calle Columela 4, on Facebook

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Italy's traditional Christmas fruit cake, panforte | A Kitchen in Rome

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 11:00:32 GMT

Try this Sienese ‘strong bread’, packed with dried fruit and spice, as an alternative to Christmas cake

They arrived last week: the top of the fridge in the bakery at the bottom of my building now has a cardboard box crown, half containing pandoro, the other half panettone. “They are the long-life ones,” Angela behind the cash desk reminds me, before unwrapping a sweet: “They will last until next June.”

“I might be dead by June!” says a lady paying for a packet of chickpeas. “Well, you should wait and buy one of the ones we bake in December,” Angela laughed. “They won’t last until June, and they are better for it.”

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Alternative Christmas dinner: Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegan recipe for Chinese turnip cake

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 10:00:08 GMT

A vegan dim sum masterpiece packed with flavour, easy to make ahead, and a world away from stodgy spuds and soggy veg

Anna Jones’ festive winter herb, squash and butterbean pie

Turnip cake is a traditional Chinese dim sum dish (and actually made of daikon), but a few twists make it grand enough to act as a vegan Christmas centrepiece. If you don’t have a 23cm x 30cm high-sided tin, use another dish or tin with a similar surface area; the main objective is to get a 2cm-high cake in a tin with high enough sides to sit in a water bath without getting the contents wet. To get ahead, make the day before and keep in the fridge, ready to fry the next day.

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Christmas breakfast: Yotam Ottolenghi's ricotta and feta pancake recipe

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 08:30:05 GMT

A luxurious but relatively uncomplicated festive breakfast that heralds flavours yet to come on the big day

Tom Hunt’s festive no-waste kedgeree recipe

It’s Christmas morning – the pitter-patter of eager little feet has told me so – and the prospect of a grand feast is looming, but only one thing really matters right now: breakfast.

Assigned to kitchen duty, I take it upon myself to make something special yet not terribly time-consuming. It gives us all the sustenance we need to power through the pre-dinner preparations, as well as a lovely precursor of flavours to come.

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The Leaping Hare, Suffolk: ‘One of the good ones’ - restaurant review

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 06:00:02 GMT

Locals have been loving the Leaping Hare for ages – and it doesn’t put a foot wrong

The Leaping Hare, Wyken Vineyards, Stanton, Suffolk IP31 2DW (01359 250 287). Starters £6.95-£9.95, mains £14.95-£29.95, desserts £4.95-£6.95, three-course lunch £22, wines from £22

The good ones have a soundtrack all of their own; a gentle hum of easy, contented chatter, with the occasional clink of cutlery on plate and bottle to glass keeping time. The Leaping Hare at Wyken Vineyards, not far from Bury St Edmunds, is one of the good ones. Outside, on a calm autumn day, a few diners sit at tables, soaking up what feels like the last breath of the year’s warm sunshine, tucked in against the high, foliage-clad walls of the old barn. A herd of sheep and what appear to be a couple of llamas – I’ve never been that great on my camelids – keep the grass short beyond the fence. The air smells sweetly of leaf mulch on the turn.

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Observer Food Monthly Awards 2019 – highlights video

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 21:54:02 GMT

The biggest event in the food calendar, the Observer Food Monthly Awards celebrate Britain’s leading chefs, restaurateurs, food producers and much more. This year’s awards took place on 17 October at the Freemasons Hall in London, hosted by Nigella Lawson and Jay Rayner. Jamie Oliver collected the award for Best Food Personality, Claudia Roden took home Lifetime Achievement and Refugee Community Kitchen won Outstanding Achievement.

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'Death metal rarely works': how restaurateurs choose the perfect dinner playlist

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 06:30:05 GMT

There has never been a greater awareness of how music can affect our mood. Little wonder restaurants are employing consultants to select music for their diners

‘I love the new Thom Yorke album,” says Dan Keeling of the restaurant Noble Rot in Bloomsbury, London, “but would I play the new Thom Yorke in the wine bar? Probably not.” As a former A&R man for EMI (he signed Coldplay – “They were a different band then,” he says apologetically), Keeling can’t help but notice what is playing on the stereo when he is eating out – especially when it’s wrong.

He can immediately recall examples at both ends of the fine dining spectrum: the Eat Tokyo chain plays “the most melancholic, weird, ceremonial synthesiser music – I often go in for a quick bit of lunch and come out feeling quite depressed.”

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Early afternoon delight: the boundless appeal of brunching

Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:49:26 GMT

Does the brunch trend show any signs of slowing down? Instagram sensation and foodie Clerkenwell Boy doesn’t think so. In fact, he points out brunch has now encroached well into the afternoon. Sophie Goddard finds out why he’s such a fan …

With 197,000 followers, award-winning Instagram foodie Clerkenwell Boy is one man who knows his chorizo from his churros. Famed for his mouth-watering food shots and on-the-money restaurant recommendations (warning, don’t scroll when hungry), who better to talk us through the delights of brunching? Here’s what he has to say…

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Cocktail of the week: Mr Scrooge’s Tea | The Good Mixer

Fri, 06 Dec 2019 16:00:46 GMT

A festive ginger hibiscus tea with a bracing, brandy kick

There are a few stages to this warming, festive cocktail, but there’s nothing remotely complicated about any of them. It’ll help blow away any post-Christmas party cobwebs instantly.

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OFM Awards 2019: Best food personality – Jamie Oliver

Sun, 20 Oct 2019 10:00:52 GMT

‘I’m a bit battered and bruised, but I’m optimistic,’ says the campaigning chef who has been voted by OFM readers as their personality of the year

Jamie Oliver has had a year. It was a year that kicked him into a bush then pulled him through it slowly, and he’ll talk about how that felt, yes, but first, he wants to discuss something more important, which is how to save the world.

We are sitting in the grand warehouse of the Jamie Oliver offices in north London, where today’s staff lunch is pappardelle with dried porcini and thyme in a mascarpone and tomato sauce. Their in-house barista is employed through a social enterprise staffed by the homeless, and a huge sign by the door reads “BRAVE”. The atmosphere is more that of a bohemian family home than the headquarters of a multi-million-pound food empire – Oliver has no office, instead he takes meetings here, on the sofa, casual as pizza, a jaunty little scarf around his neck, a tired flicker in his eye.

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From avocados to Instagram: the decade in food

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 09:00:05 GMT

The 2010s brought seismic change to the UK’s culinary landscape says critic and restaurateur Tim Hayward

Talking about the British food renaissance is easy for those of us in the industry. Depending on your point of view, it either kicks off with the publication of The Official Foodie Handbook in 1984, which gave us a name, or the first TV series fronted by Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay in 1999, which gave us our most significant public figures. We tend to view the years that followed as a period of constant growth and success, but, as a new decade begins, the story of the 2010s seems more complex.

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Christmas drinks: how to choose your festive fizz | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:00:43 GMT

It’s usually champagne all round on Christmas Day, but what about alternatives, and are they any better value?

I don’t know how your Christmas Day kicks off, but once we’ve opened our stockings, had a caffeine injection and put the turkey on, it’s fizz all round (well, not for the kids, obviously, but their sleep-deprived parents and grandparents are well in need of the boost after the night before).

That’s always meant champagne, but does it have to? Everyone has their own family traditions, so absolutely not, but a bottle of champers undoubtedly marks the celebratory nature of the day, and the truth is that, when it’s on special offer (and I can’t emphasise that strongly enough), it’s better value than a lot of comparable sparkling wines.

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Salad, soup and pasta: Yotam Ottolenghi’s parmesan recipes

Sat, 30 Nov 2019 09:31:32 GMT

Three different ways of bringing out the savoury charms of Italy’s favourite cheese: in a pasta classic with an off-grid, Middle Eastern twist, a punchy sprout salad and a cheery vegetable broth

The making of parmesan is a strict affair, from the cows and their fodder to the whey starter and rennet, to the size of the wheel and the length of the ageing. The members of the Parmigiano Reggiano consortium, which unites all producers, believe this all adds up to making their cheese the most popular in the world. They’re probably right, too. Fortunately, when it’s time to eat, things are much more open-ended. The block of parmesan you have in your fridge can make an appearance in a host of dishes you may not have thought of (and never, ever throw away the rind, either).

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Bake Off winner David Atherton: ‘I enjoy the buns innuendos!’

Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:47:00 GMT

He won GBBO with a reputation for being calm, tidy and methodical. But the star baker says in reality he’s an extrovert hippy who hasn’t washed his hair in 15 years – and another contestant tested one of his bakes

He’s the quiet, controlled one who wowed the judges with precise technical bakes. At least, that’s the impression you probably have of the 2019 Great British Bake Off winner, David Atherton. Wrong. In person, he’s an adventurous extrovert with a hippy streak. “Most of my practices I did in my pants while eating pizza and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. The person in the edit is not me,” he says. “At the end, it showed me singing to myself and dancing around, but actually I did that the whole way through. I am calm and methodical, but I’m not particularly reserved.”

Atherton’s triumph – he didn’t win a showstopper while the hotly tipped finalist Steph Blackwell was star baker four times – is all the more remarkable because he was a reserve applicant (as was his co-finalist Alice Fevronia), drafted in to replace a dropout just two weeks before the show began. Yet the 36-year-old health adviser is such an experienced and confident cook (“Ottolenghi is my absolute hero,” he says, and he is a big fan of baker Dan Lepard), he didn’t panic or even change any social plans. “The weekend before the show, I decided to cycle to Paris. It was good for my headspace.”

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Christmas taste test: cakes, mince pies and panettone

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 12:00:39 GMT

Melissa Hemsley tastes traditional and modern takes on mince pies, fruit cakes and roulades

  • Andi Oliver tests cheese and chocolate
  • Fred Sirieix tests party food and drink

Morrisons The Best Classic Panettone, 750g, £7, morrisons.com
This one is really tasty. Moist and buttery, with that yellow-y inside. Feels homemade, or from a deli. Lots of amazing fruit. Really enjoyable.
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Why beaujolais is my go-to red for this year’s Christmas dinner | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 29 Nov 2019 14:00:08 GMT

Beaujolais’ bright, vibrant fruit is surprisingly good with turkey or the Christmas ham

The challenge with Christmas drinking, as with Christmas cooking, is mitigating the boredom of serving exactly the same thing year after year. In food terms, you can break out a bit with new stuffings and sides, but where wine’s concerned, I suggest you serve something different with the turkey every year.

Last year, for instance, I said you might like to focus on amarone for a change, and the year before that, southern French reds got my vote, specifically those from the Rhône and Languedoc. This year, however, I’m directing you to beaujolais. If you’ve only ever had beaujolais nouveau, you might think I’ve lost the plot: why on Earth drink something so lightweight on a special occasion? Well, for a start, beaujolais can be serious. True, it’s made from gamay rather than the more prestigious pinot noir of its neighbours to the north, but the climate is also warmer, which allows for fuller, richer, more concentrated reds that can handle the turkey and its multitudinous trimmings.

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Christmas taste test: the best party food and booze

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 12:00:39 GMT

From champagne and smoked salmon to paté and negronis – ranked by Fred Sirieix

  • Melissa Hemsley tests cakes, pies and panettones
  • Andi Oliver tests cheese and chocolate

Waitrose Blanc de Noirs NV Champagne, 75cl, £23.99, waitrose.com
Loads of bubbles. The smell has a balance between the fruity and the biscuity - reminiscent of an older champagne. Fresh, fragrant – I can drink another glass.
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Neil Rankin: ‘If you keep your food and drink simple, the night is more sociable’

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 13:46:58 GMT

Chef, restaurateur and doyen of all things grilled, Neil Rankin explains why it’s all about quality not quantity when it comes to putting together beautiful small plates and cocktails

Any social occasion needs three things: abundant food, great conversation and even better drinks. It sounds simple, but when you want to impress, the temptation to overcomplicate food can leave you feeling overwhelmed and overworked. So how do you make food to remember, without breaking your back in the kitchen? The answer is to take inspiration from the French – not their haute cuisine, but their countryside cooking, which is just as tasty and a fraction of the effort. The secret is simply to use the best quality ingredients, which should be left to do the culinary talking for you. When the basics are really good, there’s not much more you need to do other than throwing them together.

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The Owl, Leeds: ‘Casually delicious’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 29 Nov 2019 09:30:03 GMT

It shouldn’t work, but it really does: an oyster bar and restaurant in Kirkgate Market that is cool – but not too cool

Leeds is currently hiding in plain sight as Britain’s best city. They won’t thank me for telling you that, though. People enjoying a low-key, Saturday mooch in the gloriously preserved, tastefully re-loved Leeds Kirkgate Market, and stopping for a quick beer and plate of Lindisfarne oysters at The Owl, do not wish for a million cool-hunters from down south. Those ambling among the food stalls, eating a thali tray from Manjit’s Kitchen or an Istanbul-style fish butty from Mr Mackerel don’t need an influx of TikTok stars making lip-sync videos by the yorkshire pudding wrap stall.

That’s a real thing, by the way: slow-roast beef, fried onion and gravy wrapped in a large, flat, carb-heaven pudding. My knee-jerk reaction to news that Leeds folk were wrapping their breakfast bacon and eggs and fried tomato in a Sunday lunch accoutrement was that this lawless mayhem must be quashed. But, having seen the joy it brings, my policy has taken a U-turn.

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The new rules of holiday eating: ditch TripAdvisor, embrace disaster, and make a plan for when you're 'hangry'

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:13:06 GMT

Dining out while away can lead to meltdowns. From setting a budget to finding a place to eat, here’s how to make the most of your mealtimes away from home

Eating out on holiday is considered a treat. And on one level, it is. You have enough cash to blow on a plate of pasta puttanesca that tastes the same as the one you make at home, but is slightly superior because you are eating it while wearing perfume in an artfully dilapidated alleyway. That’s not something to sniff at.

Ultimately, however, while there may be a small number of eerily well-adjusted weirdos who disagree, for the rest of us dining out while away spells meltdown: skipping sightseeing to obsess over TripAdvisor reviews; arguing with holiday companions over whose dietary preferences should take priority; wasting hours trying to locate a joint that suits both your pescatarian girlfriend and your raging carnivore of a dad.

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Break the rules and do what you want: how to put the fun back into cocktail creation

Fri, 27 Sep 2019 16:11:50 GMT

Grey Goose’s global ambassador, Joe McCanta, shares the story of how he became an expert mixologist, along with his tips for creating beautiful cocktails and drinks to elevate any social occasion. As told to Emma Gritt

I came into mixology via my background in wine. I worked as a sommelier in my hometown of New York before becoming enamoured with cocktails, and since then I’ve never looked back.

It was around the time that I started working as a bartender that the Cosmopolitan, due to its not infrequent appearances in Sex & the City, really helped bring cocktail culture into the mainstream. I still think the Cosmopolitan is such a fun drink. It’s got a real sense of theatre to it, the way you light the orange zest in front of the guests … there’s just something really sexy about it.

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Coalville’s Trappist brewers – in pictures

Wed, 07 Aug 2019 07:00:45 GMT

Faced with dwindling revenues from dairy farming, the monks at the Trappist monastery of Mount St Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire decided to swap milk for beer

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Meera Sodha's vegan recipe for nam jim aubergine salad with wild rice

Sat, 30 Nov 2019 10:30:33 GMT

Aubergines and herby wild rice, tossed in a punchy, salty-sour Thai sauce that, once tasted, you will make again and again

Up and down the length and breadth of Thailand’s tables, you’ll find dipping sauces of various kinds sitting quietly yet potently to add fire and life to your meal. Nam jim is a particular favourite of mine, and, although there are many variations, loosely speaking it is always a fabulously punchy concoction usually made with chillies, sugar, garlic, lime and a salty element (such as fish sauce or soy). Here, I’ve generously doused some roast aubergines in the sauce, then tossed them with wild rice and fresh herbs to add some fire and life to your table.

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Kim-Joy’s recipe for madeleine sea shells

Wed, 04 Dec 2019 12:00:36 GMT

What makes these classics even tastier? Sandwiching them together, of course

Madeleines are essentially shell-shaped, so it makes sense to sandwich a pearl between them. Try using any small fruits for the pearl, to add a burst of refreshing flavour.

Serves: 6 (12 madeleines)

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Mulling is over if you want it: a guide to festive vodka cocktails

Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:28:05 GMT

Start new traditions this Christmas and stave off overindulgence with festive vodka cocktails from mixologist Joe McCanta

Old habits die hard, especially at Christmas. As a tradition it offers a reassuringly familiar checklist of experiences after a busy and unpredictable year – and, no matter how little sense they make (do we really gain anything from pulling crackers except for a small pile of mess on the dinner table?), we return to our yuletide customs without fail.

Festive food and drink is a perfect example of this. The turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas pudding, the mulled wine, the eggnog; each has its own individual merits, of course, but indulging in all of them in one day is ridiculous unless you’re actively trying for indigestion. But each gives us that all-important, indescribable feeling of Christmas, so we persist at our peril. To hit all the positive psychological triggers that festive food and drink provides, without the digestive drawbacks of piling decadence after decadence on your poor stomach, would be a Christmas miracle, and getting creative with drinks, in particular, could be the answer.

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Tapas Revolution, Westfield Stratford, London E20: ‘Is this punishment for Brexit?’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 22 Nov 2019 09:30:21 GMT

There are great ideas and good intent hiding somewhere in this growing chain, but in the rush to expand, flavour and care have taken a hit

The assertively titled Tapas Revolution in Westfield Stratford suggests that some sort of military junta is afoot, determined to make us enjoy jamón serrano while sitting just south of Uniqlo’s gilet section. Full disclosure: I do not need martial law to make me enjoy shopping-centre food. I eat a lot in what the kids are calling malls. I’m in there frequently, mooching, running errands and generally hiding from life.

It is, of course, fashionable to express dismay about any time spent inside these neon-lit retail kingdoms, and about their food offerings in particular. Nevertheless, as Christmas approaches, be sure that you will at some point find yourself in a multi-storey car park gridlock while heading to the festive stampede for Victoria’s Secret’s two-for-one gift thongs, which is when the likes of massaman curry at Rosa’s Thai will suddenly feel like refuge. As will the weeping tiger jay tofu at Busaba, or even just a pleasant scone in the Waitrose cafe while observing jabby-elbowed cardholders rinsing the free coffees.

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'Utterly delicious': top chefs on the best thing they ate in 2019

Sun, 08 Dec 2019 11:00:37 GMT

Eggs in Mexico City, pickles in New Delhi, king crab in Vancouver – chefs and cooks including Rick Stein, Clare Smyth and Angela Hartnett on the mouthfuls that made their year

Rick Stein, chef and food writer

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Felicity Cloake's mince pie masterclass: an easy step-by-step recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

Wed, 04 Dec 2019 12:00:36 GMT

How to make proper mince pies, with crumbly, rich pastry and fruity filling. They put shop-bought ones completely in the shade

When people claim they don’t like mince pies, I feel compelled to assure them it’s just the commercial version they object to – if they tried homemade ones, with their crumbly, buttery pastry and fruit-packed filling, they’d agree I was right. Admittedly, this cooksplaining doesn’t always go down terribly well, especially after a couple of festive sherries, but the pies themselves usually do.

Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Makes 20

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An alternative Christmas dinner: Anna Jones' recipe for squash, winter herb and popped butterbean pie

Fri, 06 Dec 2019 12:00:41 GMT

Go easy on yourself this Christmas, and make something ahead of time – this flavourful winter pie hits all the right buttons

Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegan Christmas dinner

At Christmas, I pick my battles. I put most of my effort into an all-singing main event that can be made ahead: this year, a squash and crispy butterbean topped pie.

I keep everything else relatively quick and simple. I keep the veg to go with it to a minimum: a potato (always roast), something green and one other that can sit and be quickly warmed up - braised red cabbage or something baked.

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Why is a 2017 bottle of Irn-Bru selling for £250?

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 16:36:19 GMT

The rust-coloured soft drink is an institution in Scotland – yet that doesn’t explain why an out-of-date bottle is on eBay with a seriously inflated price tag

An out-of-date Irn-Bru bottle is being sold on eBay for £250 – but that isn’t as bizarre as it sounds. When the recipe was changed in 2018 in response to the sugar tax, the drink’s maker, AG Barr, confidently predicted that most people wouldn’t notice the difference. This proved to be a tragic miscalculation. A furious campaign (“Hands off our Irn-Bru”) was launched to protest against the decision, with a change.org petition getting just under 54,000 signatures.

Things reached such a frenzied state that 2,000 people signed up to a plan to break into the factory and steal the original recipe (Scotland’s answer to the storming of the Bastille). Disappointingly, this scheme never came to fruition. But the people of Scotland spoke with their wallets – AG Barr announced that its profits this year have plummeted by 20%.

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James Acaster: ‘If there was no health consequence, I’d eat ice-cream all the time’

Sat, 16 Nov 2019 17:01:42 GMT

The stand-up comedian on his dad’s pancakes and the joy of cold lasagne

My mum loves baking and would make loads of biscuits and cakes, but the rule was that when a batch was gone, they were gone. Until she baked more the following month. I’d have to pace myself. I got worse at pacing myself as I got older. I was obsessed with her double chocolate chip cookies – really chewy but still with granules of demerara sugar. I still haven’t had a double chocolate chip cookie as good.

We always had dinner at the table. Mum and Dad thought it was important to have that communal time. We weren’t allowed to have dinner in front of the telly, ever. Even when I was a teen. Mum’s dessert was always kept secret. If we’d known what it was, we might have rushed or not finished our main course. Me, my brother, my sister and Dad were all obsessed by desserts, so Mum had to keep a very close eye on us.

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Thomasina Miers' recipe for Mexican roast cauliflower with coriander rice and almonds | The Simple Fix

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:00:38 GMT

A marinade of chillies, spices and garlic is a great way to coax complex flavours and textures out of cauliflower, and goes wonderfully with jewelled rice

Barbacoa is a celebratory dish from central Mexico: the marinade of chillies, spices and garlic is slathered over goat or lamb and cooked overnight in a deep pit. Ancho chillies are often used for their sweet, earthy flavour, along with other chilli varieties, depending on the region and the cook. We made a mutton barbacoa at The Good Life Experience (a festival of music, food and books in Wales) this autumn, spreading the marinade over cauliflower for the non meat-eaters. I loved the result: a vegetarian supper full of deeply complex flavours and wonderful sweetness.

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Christmas dinner: Thomasina Miers’ recipe for roast turkey breast with fino stuffing

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 11:00:08 GMT

A luxurious and traditional turkey dinner, but with a Mexican twist, and a really special stuffing roll you can make ahead to save time

Yotam Ottolenghi’s alternative Christmas dinner

The fun of planning, cooking and eating delicious food comes into its element at Christmas.

I love thinking about what we might eat at every stage – with allowances for long, brisk walks peppered between feasting. If I can make anything in advance, I will: a smoky chilli raisin relish for ham; a delicious compote for breakfasts; some spiced nuts for drinks; every breakfast, lunch and dinner is an opportunity to eat something special.

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