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The Hall, St John's College

Dining at St John’s College, Cambridge

Steamed, wet vegetables, baked beans, lots of baked beans, pies in tin foil, room temperature yoghurts, Mother’s Pride bread, plastic chairs… That is pretty much my memory of dining in halls at university. It was the 80s; it rained a lot; students had big hair; it was Hull. In fact, “dining …

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Take a step back in time with mutton

When Roger Brown rings late at night, you know it is something special. In hushed tones, the butcher tells me he has pulled off a coup. After years’ of negotiation, he has convinced a local farmer to let him have his prized possession: a quartet of four-year-old Dorset Poll. This, …

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That thing called umami

Give a bottle-fed, four-month-old baby a sweet drink, courtesy of a 10% sucrose solution, and he will look content. Swap sweet for sour, using a dash of lemon juice, and the baby will look decidedly unimpressed, wrinkling his nose and pursing his lips. Then try out the nipper’s palate by substituting …

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Butchery masterclass from Roger Brown’s in Birmingham

Take one salt marsh lamb, a butcher, a good cook and a convivial host and what have you got? You’ve got a lamb masterclass in the middle of Birmingham, that’s what you’ve got. Kitchen School, run by Jayne Bradley Ghosh, is one of a growing number of food schools and …

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The Edgbaston: food and cocktail pairing

There is nothing quite as satisfying in the world of restaurant punditry as seeing a young chef step up to the hot plate, hone his craft and build on his promise. Obviously, it’s equally pleasurable to see a chef with an over-inflated opinion of his cooking come a cropper but …

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Richard McComb in Birmingham Living interview

The jolly editorial team at Birmingham Living have a regular feature called “In The City” in which they ask influential movers and shakers for their take on what makes the metropolis tick. Obviously, they asked me. What took so long, guys? Unfortunately, the magazine missed the opportunity to put a huge picture …