Tasting Seattle for the first time…

Hello, good morning, happy Monday and a big old bear hug of a welcome from me to you on the other side of the world! No, you’ve not read that sentence wrong…thanks to the time difference, while the majority of you gorgeous readers are slumbering away over the next 3 weeks, I have taken it upon myself in the selfless sort of manner you’re no doubt used to by now to sample the food, drink, flavours and trends of the West Coast of the United States.

Over the next few weeks, there will be posts about all things edible from the western seaboard of a country well known for its super sizes and super exciting advances in the culinary world. From food trucks to diners to mom-and-pop places to must visit restaurants, I’ll be sharing a little of America’s best known treats and well kept secrets and I hope you’ll let me know what you think and if there’s anything you think I should be looking out for along the way.

Oh and if there are any sceptics out there among you who doubt that the US has much in the way to be proud of when it comes to food, did you know that without the glorious triumvirate of North, Central & South America we wouldn’t have avocados, chilli peppers, chocolate, peanuts, potatoes or vanilla? For that, I think we can forgive them Pop Tarts, spray cheese in a can and a ‘healthy fruit smoothie’ containing more sugar than 8 pints of Ben & Jerry’s…

First stop on this whirlwind of all things delicious? Seattle. So what springs to mind when you think of the Emerald City?

Coffee?

Rain?

Grunge?

Let me assure you, there’s a whole lot more to it than these three wired, soggy and emotive things and one of them is Pike Place Market. Open since 1907 and welcoming in excess of 10m visitors per year, this market houses more than 500 residents in 8 different buildings and has a huge variety of fresh produce, baked goods, seasonal flowers, singing vendors and enough things to see and taste to keep the fussiest of tourists happy.

image[12] image[1] Read More

Salted beef and chorizo worth freezing your behind off for at Partridges Fine Food Market…

Partridges 2

Partridges Fine Food Market runs every Saturday between the hours of 10am-4pm. So on at least one of your upcoming Saturdays between the hours of 10am-4pm, please, please, please do yourself a favour, scamper on up to Sloane Square and enjoy 50+ stalls of food that is individual, artisan and represents all the best fresh food of this and other countries.

J and I first explored this market a while ago and there are two awesome reasons to go there. Well to be fair, there are some 50+ awesome reasons to go there but the two that catch our eyes, wallets and stomachs are the salt beef bagels and the chorizo rolls.

The salt beef bagels are phenomenal. Two halves of a perfectly shiny bagel with just the right amount of chew to the dough are forced apart by a good few inches of pink, tender salt beef, draped with tangy pickles and a smearing of mustard that pulls the whole thing together one delicious mouthful at a time.

The chorizo rolls are arguably the best I have ever had. Fat little smoky Iberican Pork sausages nestled in toasted ciabatta, snug under a blanket of melted cheese and sweet roasted peppers really do make a sandwich worthy of proud dripping down your chin.

Lively, cheerful staff on all the stalls will give you a smile whatever the weather and if you find a little place nearby to perch your backside upon – stone benches outside the Saatchi Gallery are usually a safe bet – you can rest assured that you will have a superb al fresco lunch thanks to a little Chelsea foodie dream that is cornering the market in wonderful food.

Once your belly is full and the need to waddle is upon you, do yourself another favour and have a look around the Partridges shop itself because, for a food junkie, it’s an absolute paradise of exclusive cheeses,chocolates and deli goods alongside shelves of blissfully trashy American foods…pop tarts, miracle whip or Betty Crocker potatoes in a box anyone? Thankfully you’ll be too full to indulge in this calorific euphoria but it’s always fun to window shop.

Wedded bliss down under…

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the complete privilege and absolute joy of being a part of my sister’s wedding in Sydney. Sunshine, thunderstorms, tears of joy, tears of stress, frocks and sweatpants, pizza and Michelin stars, hen parties and belated Christmas dinners…this time away has had it all and, astonishingly I know, there’s been a fair amount of food related bliss tumbled in with everything else…

From personally branded ostrich burgers on the bbq (possibly one of the greatest gifts someone can get her brother-in-law apparently) to cheese and wine in the glorious Hunter Valley, the culinary delights of this trip have run the gamut from messy and fun to fine dining with the best silverware and everything in between.

Two of the biggest events though from an eating point of view (which, let’s face it, is how most of my days are planned and carried out) were undoubtedly the hen party and the wedding dinner. One I can claim partial credit for creating. One I can claim partial credit for devouring.

Read More