A very British taste of a very M&S summer…

The most iconic porcine rivaled only by Farmer Hoggett’s Babe, Toy Story’s Hamm or Jim Henson’s leading lady…

A caterpillar birthday cake requested by as many big children as small…

That chocolate pudding…

There can be no denying that M&S has created some of the most iconic foods available on high streets across the globe and everyone has their favourite, be it the sweetest of Jaffa laden spheres, the juiciest of posh puppies or the most virtuous of tropical kale juices.

Willy Wonka sang that there ‘is no world I know that compares to pure imagination’ and where M&S cooks, tastes & creates, others follow which is why the Summer Foods Press Show was one of the hottest, most salivatory tickets in town recently. With over 300 new lines due to hit stores from April 2015, this is the biggest launch outside of Christmas and promises to deliver on every count from flavour to value and quality to style.

A Taste of Britain can be found in every dish from the fantastically creative – Battenberg Biscuits – to the heart-warmingly traditional – Black Pudding Scotch Eggs – to the must-haves for your sunshine soaked summer parties – that’d be the delightful & ready to drink Mint & Cucumber Gin & Tonic. So step this way and let’s get started on the only shopping list you’ll need for the coming months…

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Pleasing the palate, the soul and the stomach; don’t be scared – we’re eating duck, drinking wine and getting loved up on kimchi…

Let’s face it, Friday afternoons are rather wonderful. The weekend is whispering in your ear and the promise of two days freedom is a pretty potent drug to see you through the last-minute-finishing-up that generally heralds the end of the week…

…then when you get a text to say you’re being taken out for dinner? Well, like new and wholly-impractical-but-gorgeous-shoes, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or finding an old Keanu film on the tv, that just puts a super sized smile on your face.

I’ve made no secret that Salvation Jane is an awesome place to eat. It really doesn’t matter if you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner because they nail it every single time. I don’t even think it’s possible for them to disappoint me…

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Full on feasting at the altar of Chipotle…

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What do the Culinary Institute of American and the fast Mexican food chain Chipotle have in common? The first produced the man who produced the second.

Steve Ells started Chipotle in 1993 after attending the renowned US cooking school and completing a subsequent stint as a line cook in San Francisco, an area infamous for burritos especially in the Mission district and you know what? The more I learn about both Steve and his ethos, the more I like. For instance, did you know that they only have 5 items on the menu because Ells believes that ‘it’s important to keep the menu focused, because if you do just a few things, you can ensure that you do them better than anybody else.’

I. Love. That.

Seriously, in a world where growth often come at a cost, be it financial or ethical, isn’t this kind of a great thing to believe? That it’s better to be known for being the best at one or two, or in Steve’s case five things, rather than being just ok at thirty?

Or how about this for a fact with which to dazzle your peers – did you know that there are no freezers, microwaves or tin openers in any Chipotle kitchen? So wait, if you can’t freeze it, reheat it or get it from a can, where does it come from? It’s fresh! Woo hoo!

Now I’m not going to go all out and suggest that a burrito a day is the way forward (although my inner fatty is just taking a moment now to imagine how freaking fabulous that would be) because burritos are large. I mean seriously big. Often the size of your arm, sometimes the size of a 6 month old baby, with the potential to deliver 1000+ calories per portion it’s not like they’re pushing spinach or blueberries off their superfood podia BUT let’s remember that just as there are bad calories, there are also good and anything that has beans, onions, peppers, avocado, lean meat and brown rice in it can’t be all bad.

Plus, and don’t even get me started on personal accountability although it looks like it might be too late for that, aren’t we all big enough and ugly enough to take on board the facts and make a decision for ourselves? Yes, if you eat a burrito a day you will end up being very large, very uncomfortable and not someone to stand upwind of but that would be your choice. YOUR CHOICE. Y’know how Chris Rock said that guns don’t kill people, bullets do? That’s kind of how I feel about food. Everything in moderation people. Coca Cola and Krispy Kreme won’t kill you but ingesting excessive amounts of their most calorific, fate and sugar laden products might. What you put into your body is your choice and yes, it might be bad for you but it didn’t force its way in like Watson’s nightmare cake scene from the ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’ now did it? Read More