PROJECT COMPLETE

I've been thinking about closing the blog down for a while. I stopped blogging regularly when I moved abroad, I found it very diffi...


I've been thinking about closing the blog down for a while.

I stopped blogging regularly when I moved abroad, I found it very difficult to get back into it when I returned to the UK.

When I set up the blog in 2012 there were only a handful of bloggers in Cardiff all doing their own thing. Since then it has exploded into a scene with people who have a real passion for food, drink and Cardiff. I just don't have that passion anymore.

Simply put, I'm a planner and a project lover. Once I've planned, executed and learned from something I need to move on to the next thing. It's something I have finally accepted and embraced about myself. I've toyed with the idea of setting up a food magazine based in Cardiff. For a good few weeks, I thought I wanted to run a pate business. I guess priorities change.

I will keep the blog up in the hopes that someone might read an interview with Hang Fire or Pettigrew, and it inspires them to live their dream.

Mostly I would like to thank all the people who took the time to share their journey with me. You're hard work and dedication is something that continues to inspire me. Thank you.


I hope you will join me in what comes next.

FOODIE NOTEBOOK: MARCH

It might be all doom and gloom with this Brexit malarkey, so cheer yourself up with some of my foodie finds! You can share your favourite...


It might be all doom and gloom with this Brexit malarkey, so cheer yourself up with some of my foodie finds! You can share your favourites in the comment box below.

What am I cooking?

This chicken shawarma recipe from the Tesco Real Food magazine. The magazine is usually the first port of call in my kitchen these days. There are so many cookbooks out there that it's sometimes overwhelming trying to pick new ones. Magazines are always on trend, and they almost, always, have a recipe for roast chicken.

Books

I've always got a food memoir on the go but I often have a hard time tracking them down in the UK. Most of the time I order them from the US, however, Cardiff Library does sometimes stock a gem like MFK Fisher's Long Ago in France: The Years in Dijon.

With an ever increasing amount of coffee table cookbooks, the late Nora Ephron often mused that food was more of a fetish than activity. The existence of her self-published cookbook is legendary. But The Most of Nora Ephron covers some of her most well-loved food and drink essays. My favourite is the story of her local Pillsbury Bake-Off contest.

Elsewhere

This video from The Perennial Plate beautifully captures the mundanity of doing something you love.

The picture above is of my favourite Parisian cafe Le Barbouquin. It's a petit coffee shop in Belleville neighbourhood, with a bookshop inside. It's usually filled with families and book lovers, yet it seems to be the only place my Paris-based friend and I have in-depth discussions about Grey's Anatomy. Karev, hero or idiot? Our verdict: idiot.

Online

Our own Hang Fire Southern Kitchen talk about how they made it to the top. A really inspiring article with Companies House.
























INTERVIEW WITH AVANT-GARDE VEGAN

Today on the blog I speak with Cardiff vegan chef Gaz Oakley, also known as Avant-Garde Vegan. Gaz has a dedicated social media following ...



Today on the blog I speak with Cardiff vegan chef Gaz Oakley, also known as Avant-Garde Vegan. Gaz has a dedicated social media following and a popular YouTube channel, which features his cooking videos.

What inspired you to start cooking vegan? Has it changed the way you think about food?

I have always cooked, I became a chef at the age of 15 and went full time at the New House hotel at 16. Nearly 10 years later I’m still cooking, the only difference is I’m vegan and cook vegan food. I made the transition nearly  2 years ago. I love pushing the boundaries and experimenting with vegan ingredients.

As a chef, what is the most valuable piece of advice you've received so far?

Definitely not to waste anything. Also to work efficiently as possibly keeping tidy and being organised. In terms of the actual cooking process, is to season at every stage of cooking with salt & pepper. And often lemon juice. Doing this really brings out flavours. No one wants bland food!

Where are your favourite places to eat in Cardiff? 

My favourite place to eat is Anna Loka Cafe. Love the relaxed atmosphere, and the food is excellent!

Are there any upcoming projects you can share with us? 

I have lots of things in the pipeline that are all works in progress.. so all I will say is..stay tuned to my Instagram, YouTube & other social media @avantgardevegan.



FOODIE NOTEBOOK: FEBRUARY

 Each month I share my favourite foodie finds. I'd love to hear your recommendations too! Cardiff I haven't been bac...



 Each month I share my favourite foodie finds. I'd love to hear your recommendations too!

Cardiff

I haven't been back long enough to visit all the new (ish) places that opened in my absence. Depot is one such place. We went along for some tacos, tequila and Attack! wrestling.

The Unique

A year or so ago a friend and I were looking for a wedding gift and found a trove of Herb Lester maps at a Granville Island market stall. We gifted the newlyweds with a Paris guide, which they took on their honeymoon.

I was thrilled to later discover Herb Lester also designed food maps of London, New York and this handy guide to reading Italian, Spanish and French menus.

The New York map gave me a brilliant travel mantra:"Because there's no one to stop you." Perhaps I could apply that to life in general? Well, until the new council tax bill arrives.

Books

Seattle? Pizza? Sign me up! Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
Hard work and dedication goes far in Bon Appetempt by Amelia Morris
Taking a chance in Paris with The Sharper your Knife, The Less you Cry by Kathleen Flinn

Podcasts

I love all things Seattle including Spilled Milk, the hilarious Seattle-based food podcast.

TV

You'll usually find me at home watching Wahlburgers, which always elicits the response "what the hell is Whalburgers?!" To which I reply "it's an awesome show about the Wahlbergs and their burger restaurant and sometimes the real Johnny Drama is in it."

Online

Ina & Jeffery Garten are #goals. The Food Network looks at their amazing life together.




BLUE COLLAR STREET FOOD: A FOOD REVOLUTION IN READING

UK street food has really taken over our towns and cities in the last couple of years. Although we often credit London with pushing most ...

UK street food has really taken over our towns and cities in the last couple of years. Although we often credit London with pushing most trends first, other UK cities have embraced the street food scene and made it their own.  So it should come as no surprise that London's much quieter neighbour, Reading, has a street food scene to shout about. 
Blue Collar Street Food has set out to revolutionise the Reading food scene. The festival was inspired by founder Glen Dinning's trips to Borough Market, where he had stumbled upon a mouthwatering burger. It was from the first bite of that burger that he made it his mission to learn everything he could about replicating such perfection. Through tireless trial and error, and connecting with local food lovers, he founded Blue Collar Street Food; a revolution was born. 
The festival featured vendors from Georgia, Czech Republic, Jamacia, Peru and many other countries. "The aim has always been to try and add to Reading’s upcoming and exciting food scene," says Glen, "Hopefully, by introducing new traders and types of food, we managed to do that for three days." 

"Over the next couple of years, we hope to build on the success of last week and introduce more people and places to food that is worth indulging in and getting excited about. Well keep shouting about just brilliant street food traders can be and give them the platform in as many places as possible to prove it."

The eclectic selection that was on offer is a testament to Glen's attention to detail, and desire to deliver the best quality and experience to customers; just like the burger he had at Borough Market. 

Blue Collar Street Food Reading runs every Wednesday from 10am - 4pm in Forbury Gardens.

For more information visit: bluecollarreading.co.uk