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Carnaby Street Eat Food Festival 20 July

Kingly Court  Carnaby Street Eat

Kingly Court Al Fresco Dining

Carnaby Street was a real hotspot in the 60′s when it was a centre for fashion and music of the Swinging 60s. Today, it is a pedestrianised shopping area with lots of quirky boutiques and a lot of restaurants and bars. Veer away from the main stretch and explore the side streets where you will find some artisanal fashion designers and eccentric English shops.

Carnaby StreetEat Food Festival

On Sunday 20 July, over 15 global cuisines from over 40 of the area’s best restaurants, bars and cafés will be offering their dishes and concepts out onto the streets. You can taste a variety dishes for £5 and enjoy expert cooking demos, led by presenter and foodie Hardeep Singh Kohli.

There will be a carnival atmosphere with live music and entertainment on the streets. Every outlet is doing something special for the day. ZSL London’s pop up is offerng face painting for kids and Lomography is offering free photography workshop on the day.

Carnaby StreetEat is not your usual street food stalls but actual restaurants in the area around Carnaby Street, Kingly Court and Newburgh Street. You won’t find the same old stalls that you see at street food collectives all around London. It’s a great opportunity to try food and drink from all these restaurants in one go if you fancy and for not a long of dosh.

We did a really fun food safari and previewed quite a few of these restaurants and bars around the Carnaby Street area and here are some highlights. Really love that all the restaurants have outdoor tables and have big windows opening into Kingly Court, a really buzzing crowd.

Wright Brothers serves Asian inspired fish and seafood dishes. They serve Jersey oysters at £1 a shot, what a bargain. We tried their salmon sashimi and some delicious creamy burrata too, accompanied by tall glasses of Prosecco.

Carnaby Street Eat Wright Brothers Oysters

Carnaby Street Eat Wright Brothers Oysters for £1

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Choccywoccydoodah is a chocolate lover’s heaven. Their shop has the most elaborate and colourful chocolate  cakes in town and if you want to host a party, check out their secret room. They will be handing our free chocolates on the day. Feast your eyes.

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Carnaby Street Eat Choccywoccydoodah's secret room

Choccywoccydoodah’s secret room

Carnaby Street Eat

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 Shoryu Ramen is a chain of ramen shops in London but they will be serving their famous Hirata buns from a special wooden Japanese street stall on Sunday.

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Hirata Bun Shoryu Ramen

Hirata Bun Shoryu Ramen

Carnaby Street Eat

Japanese Craft Beer

If you like craft beer and great tasting food, check out Whyte & Brown. We tasted a seasonal crab bruschetta paired with a really unique Honey Craft Beer and an exotic mess which is an eton mess with tropical fruits paired with a specially selected craft beer. These guys stock a long list of craft beer from both the UK and around the world and there is even one that is lemongrass flavour.

Carnaby Street Eat
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Fancy a Caribbean beach holiday in Central London, head over to The Rum Kitchen in Kingly Court. There is a very long cocktail list, especially rum cocktails. There is a great vibe, holiday music and the decor transports you to a hot sunny beach in the Caribbean.

Carnaby Street Eat 303 Carnaby Street Eat Rum Kitchen

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ChaChaMoon made a big splash when they launched with some tasty noodle dishes. They have since added to their menus and they have cocktails on their menu at just £6. We had lots several cocktails, a couple of starters and some Singapore noodles.

Carnaby Street Eat ChaChaMoon

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Stax Diner is Bea (of Bea’s of Bloombsbury fame and famous Duffin maker) is a new American diner serving food from the Deep South like Chicken and Waffles. I was thrilled that htey have A&W floats. There are lots of milk shakes and some hard milkshakes and hard ice cream floats like the Drunken Brown Cow. They have loads of fun whipping up these drinks. Make sure you try the Graceland with banana and peanut butter and the Dalmation with cookies blended in.

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Carnaby Street Eat Stax Diner

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The Carnaby Street Eat food festival is taking place on Sunday 20th July 11am – 6pm, just around the corner from Oxford Street and Regent Street. Join in the fun. Get the full line up and more details about what else is happening on their website.

EatCookExplore was a guest of  Carnaby StreetEat

Carnaby_Street-Eat

 

 

 

 

 

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Moqueca or Fish Stew is a really popular traditional dish from Brazil and there are many versions from all over the country. This recipe is inspired by the ones form the Bahia region. The ingredients used are mainly fish, lime, coconut milk and palm oil.

If you have never tried this dish, it tastes a bit tangy from the lime juice, rich from the coconut milk, a mild chilli heat and the fish stock gives it the underlying umami flavour. It is my new favourite dish and it’s so easy to make too. It is not very complicated to cook and doesn’t take long either.

In this recipe, I’ve used some sweet potato and courgettes to give it some colour and texture. It is not normally used in this but I don’t like peppers which is what is normally used. The original Brazilian recipes use firm white fish like grouper, mahi mahi or monkfish but I used Salmon instead. Some recipe add prawns too but feel free to use whichever fish you can find at the fishmongers. I couldn’t find palm oil which is the ingredient that adds colour to this dish so I left it out. This dish is usually served with farofa which is made of toasted manioc (tapioca) flour or rice.

 

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca (In Association with Magimix)

Ingredients

  • 1kg skinless firm white fish cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2tbsp Cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 5 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 courgettes
  • 300ml fish stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Coriander
  • Steamed rice

Instructions

  1. Using the mini bowl and main blade on Magimix, I pulsed and then blitzed one onion, 2 cloves of garlic and one big red chilli.
  2. Place the pieces of fish in a non metallic bowl and add with the juice of 2 limes, the onion and chilli mixture and some salt. Put this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes.
  4. Cut the courgettes into similar sized cubes.
  5. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  6. Fry the onion for a few minutes until it is soft and translucent.
  7. Chop the tomatoes in the mini bowl of the Magimix and add to the pot.
  8. Then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 8-10 minute until the sweet potato is tender.
  9. Then add the courgettes and chopped spring onions. Stir.
  10. Add the fish and marinating sauce.
  11. Stir in the fish stock and coconut milk.
  12. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked.
  13. Squeeze in the juice of another lime and adjust seasoning to taste.
  14. Dish into a serving dish, sprinkle with coriander and serve with rice or farofa.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/brazilian-fish-stew-moqueca-association-magimix/

This recipe was made with the Magimix 4200XL Food Processor.

BBQ Masterclass with Weber For Cancer Research UK

On the 19 & 20 July 2014, Cancer Research UK and Weber would like you to invite your friends around for a BBQ to raise funds.

Weber BBQ Masterclass

Weber Chef Dan with a tray of smoked BBQ ribs and BBQ chicken

When the sun starts to shine in the UK and the warmer weather arrives, everyone brings out their trusty BBQs, dons the shorts and flip flops. Cancer Research UK and their sponsor Weber have teamed up to encourage everyone to ask their friends to donate to join in a gourmet BBQ party on the weekend of July 19 & 20 while raising some funds and doing good at the same time.

If you thought barbecuing is all about throwing some meat on top of an some charcoal and leave it til it burns, that is called grilling. Real BBQ cooks knows how to use their BBQ to cooks delicious gourmet meals. I recently went to a BBQ Masterclass at the Weber Grill Academy to get some barbecue tips and learn more about cooking with direct and indirect heat on a range of Weber BBQs.

Learning BBQing techniques at Weber Grill Academy

At the Weber HQ, they have the whole range of Weber Barbecues their new smoker, to some big gas grills, and some smaller charcoal barbecues on stands.  The clever Weber people have incorporated a lot of innovative designs into their products which improves your BBQ experience, from this chimney which is used to quickly and easily light up your coals before you pour them into your BBQ. Using the chimney, you get an even burn of the coals.

Gas grills are as good as the charcoal barbecues and you can get the smokey effect by adding wood chips into the special smoker boxes and the gas grills have flavour bars which reacts to dripping fat.

We learnt about the types of fuel used, using cheap mass market briquettes which are bulked up with sand is a false economy as they burn for a shorter time. Charcoal comes in different grades, with the best producing the longest most consistent burn. Weber Chef Dan informs us that briquettes are best for BBQing and smoking whereas charcoal is good for direct grilling.

The grills on some of the BBQs have hinges in the grills which allow you to add coals and place trays underneath without having the remove the food that is cooking on top of the grills. Their lids have inbuilt thermometers so you don’t have lift to lid to prod the meat and check the temperature frequently.

Weber BBQ Masterclass

We made a four course meal including a very impressive Banana Tart Tartine on the Weber BBQs. First course was Salmon with Grilled Asparagus and Poached Eggs. The salmon was roasted indirectly over a tray of water and of course the egg was poached on a BBQ too. Meanwhile, some salmon was being smoked in another BBQ. Eggs were poached in one of the specially designed wok’s that sit on top of the grill, while the asparagus was grilled on a gas grill.

Smoking Salmon and Poaching Eggs on a Weber BBQ

Crispy skin spicy barbecue sauce chicken Weber BBQ Masterclass

Making Barbecue Sauce Chicken with Crispy Skin

Next up, we prepped some chicken thighs in the kitchen by removing the skins and scraping off the excess fat, this will prevent fat from dripping into the fire and causing flare ups. Then then we butterflied the piece of chicken thigh and sprinkled generously with a spice rub. We then rolled the skin around the meat into a neat bundle and placed them on their special roasting tray. While cooking, the chicken was basted with their special Barbecue sauce, adding another layer of spice and flavour. The end result was a very tasty piece of smokey, spicy chicken with a crunchy chicken skin wrapping, a far cry from a burnt but raw bit of chicken leg on the  barbie. The best thing is, you can recreate this recipe at home in an oven too.

Roast Hasselback Potatoes on a Weber BBQ

To go with this, we made some Hasselback potatoes by cutting slits along the potatoes and then placing them in a zip loc bag and liberally coating them with olive oil, herbs and seasoning. This was then placed in a specially designed perforated pan and placed on the bottom of the BBQ, next to the coals for 45 minutes. This is one of the examples of indirect cooking using the heat from the coals.  The potatoes came out with a smokey flavour and crunchy from the slits that we made.

Meanwhile in a Weber smoker, a few racks of ribs had been smoking. These were cooked for an hour on higher heat before being wrapped in foil and put in the smoker. A short while before we had lunch, we basted these ribs with more Barbecue sauce and had them for lunch. The meat was falling off the bone.

 A fine BBQ meal at Weber BBQ Masterclass

 

Banana Tarte Tartin on the BBQ

For pudding, we watched the Weber chefs assemble a Banana Tarte Tartin using one of their special bakeware. Firstly, a layer of caramel was poured in the bottom, then some bananas were placed artistically on top. This was then topped with some puff pastry and then “baked” on the BBQ. The result was a very crisp pastry and deliciously sweet baked banana with caramel sauce. Quite the winning combination. If you have never thought of baking on your BBQ, this is one thing you could try.

I learnt a lot more than I expected at the Masterclass. If you have any sort of BBQ at home, you should got along to the Weber Grill Academy and attend one of their classes. You will get a lot more use our of your BBQ and impress your friends with the fancy dishes you can produce on it.

BBQing for a good cause

I’ve personally been touched by cancer in my family and this is cause that I am really behind. I’ll be hosting a BBQ to help them raise some funds. As with all charities, every little helps.

CANCER Research UK is asking everyone to gather their mates, invite the neighbours, call up their granny, fire up the BBQ and be part of its brand new BBQ fundraising campaign on 19-20 July. By donating to attend, family and friends can help beat cancer sooner, while having a fantastic day of fun with family and friends. If you plan to host a BBQ and say ‘burger off’ to cancer anytime this July, or join others BBQ-ing across the UK on the main Big BBQ Weekend you can get some party gear from their website. You can collect donation up front or on the day. You can get lots more information on their website: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/do-your-own-fundraising/bbq

Weber Grill Academy

EatCookExplore was a guest of Cancer Research UK and Weber Grill Academy

Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies (In Association with Magimix)

As part of the Brazilian recipe series, I have a really simple ice cream or ice lolly recipe using Avocados. In Brazil, they use Avocados in both savoury and sweet dishes like Avocado Mousse and Avocado and Coconut cream. The creaminess that the avocado imparts makes it an ideal ingredient in ice cream.

Healthy Fat in Avocado - The avocado is one of those super foods that they always recommend in Anti Inflammatory diets as a good source of healthy fats. Besides being full of potassium it a souce of healthy monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. Some studies have found that by eating half an avocado with a burger inhibited the production of inflammatory compounds. If you follow any sort of low carb diet, avocados is a good ingredient to add to increase your intake of healthy fats.

So try this Mango and Avocado Ice Cream recipe as a healthy alternative to other fat laden desserts.


Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies Dairy Free

Avocado and Mango Ice Lollies Dairy Free

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into chunks
  • 2 Avocados, flesh scooped out or cut into chunks
  • 200ml canned coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp Golden Caster sugar or honey if you prefer. Add to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. I used the mini bowl and the main blade in the Magimix to make the first batch.
  2. Fill the ice lollie moulds to the top and put in the sticks.
  3. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  4. When ready, you can soak them in a little hot water to get them out of moulds.
  5. To decorate, you can either roll them in some dessicated coconut to make them look pretty or partly dip them in chocolate or even drizzle over some melted chocolate to make a lacey design.
  6. Enjoy!
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/avocado-mango-ice-lollies/

If you don’t want to make ice lollies, you can put the mixture into an ice cream machine or even better, use this nifty new tool Chef’n Ice Cream Maker where you can make ice cream in 90 seconds.

 

 

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad or Salada de Feijao Verde (In Association with Magimix)

The cuisine for this summer is of course Brazilian since everyone has been infected by World Cup fever. My little contribution to that are a selection of Brazilian recipes that I thought I’d try out using ingredients that are new to me.

In my research, I found that Black Eyed Beans or sometimes called peas is quite predominant in the cuisine. It’s found in Feijoada, the street food Acaraje, stews and salads.

So here I made a Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad  or Salada de Feijao Verde. It’s quite simple once you get all the ingredients together. In this salad, I added, the black eyed beans, tomato, avocado, red onions and coriander.

Adding avocado to a salad with tomatoes has shown to increase absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene, recent research shows. Even avocado oil added to salad gets the same results. The best way to get the most beneficial part (the darkest green area under the skin) of avocado is to peel the skin off by hand. Avocados themselves contain a large array of carotenoids which is believed to be the key factor in its anti-=inflammatory properties. Avocados also contain good fats which is high in Oleic acid which is shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

I made this salad using the Magimix 4200XL Food Processor to chop all the ingredients. This very handy kitchen appliance  made quick work of it. I am really impressed with all the different blades that come with it and the variety of functions it has like besides the obvious slicing, chopping and grating to mixing bread dough and making smoothies with it’s special blender attachment.

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad or Salada de Feijao Verde

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serve 4 people

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Salad  or Salada de Feijao Verde

A simple, healthy recipe using Black Eyed beans, avocado and tomatoes. Work really well as a side salad or bring it along to a picnic.

Ingredients

  • I can black eyed beans or use 400g rehydrated dry beans if you can find them
  • 1 large onion, red or white
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If you are using dried beans, boil for about 20 minutes until tender, then drain.
  2. For this recipe, I used the main bowl and the main blade to chop the ingredients.
  3. Firstly, I put in the peeled onions and roughly chopped them using the pulse button
  4. Then, I added the tomatoes and coriander and chopped those too
  5. To assemble the salad, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Make the dressing in another bowl by mixing in the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and seasoning
  7. Dress the salad and adjust seasoning.
  8. Serve.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/brazilian-black-eyed-bean-salad-salada-de-feijao-verde/

Magimix provided EatCookExplore with the food processor for this recipe. 
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Botanical Brews at the Polo Bar Westbury Hotel

What is more English than a tall cool G&T. The Polo Bar at The Westbury has elevated the classic G&T with a new menu of botanical infusions in association with Tanqueray’s No. 10 Gin. This new menu was created by 2 of London’s top mixologists, Tim Homewood and Elias Yiallouris. The Polo Bar has just won the award for the Best Mixology at the London Club and Bar Awards.

After weeks of tweaking, they have settled on a menu which includes a Blue Lady Tea & Grapefruit Peel, Fennel & Star Anise , Blackberry & Hibiscus Tea & Lemon Peel, Cinnamon, Clove & Vanilla, Rose with Elderflower tonic, Pink Pepper & Orange Peel, all served with Fever Tree flavoured tonics.

We were there recently to try out the new Gin menu. The elegant Polo Bar is the Westbury Hotel was really bustling for a weeknight. It’s a popular haunt for the local Mayfair clientele, stopping for an after work drink.  It’s also the perfect location for ladies to take a weight off their feet after a marathon shopping session along Bond Street. The long room is dominated by a long Art Deco bar and seating on low bar tables scattered around the room, with windows overlooking Brook Street.

The Gin is served with a tray of spices and flowers which is then infused in a glass teapot before being poured over ice, some citrus peel and topped with a matching flavour of tonic. The spice infusions and the flavoured tonics really transforms the flavour a classic G&T. If you have never tried the drink like this, I’d urge you to stop by The Polo Bar and be prepared to be surprised.

Besides, the G&Ts they have a long list of cocktails, fine wines and spirits too. They also serve some gourmet canapes like these goats cheese cones, crispy prawns and seared tuna bites. 

Polo Bar
Westbury Hotel
37 Conduit St,
London W1S 2YF
020 7629 7755

Polo Bar Westbury Hotel (6)

Polo Bar Westbury Hotel (11)

Polo Bar Westbury Hotel (10)

EatCookExplore was a guest of The Polo Bar 

 

Discover great tasting Isle of Wight Tomatoes

No more tasteless tomatoes

I have never paid much attention to tomatoes and all I really knew was that I liked Italian plum tomatoes for my pasta sauces, fresh San Marzano when I can find them in local Italian delis, cherry tomatoes on the vine and plain old no name varieties in the big buckets in supermarkets. I have never had the luxury of buying my tomatoes by the name, instead I have been buying by the colour and type. 

All that has changed after my recent visit to the glasshouses that grow an amazing variety of fantastic tasting British Tomatoes on the Isle of Wight where I tasted some very juicy, flavourful, ripe tomatoes. My tomato tastebuds have been awakened. Gosh, we have been duped for such a long time, being offered only those tasteless generic, unnaturally uniform and tasteless water filled red fruits anymore.

Arriving on the Isle of Wight via the ferry/train combo, I am met by Paul Thomas and Joni at the station. A short drive through to the heart of the diamond shaped island is a lush green fertile valley which is the home of Wight Salad’s 26 hectares of greenhouses, where the  Isle of Wight tomatoes are grown. 

Isle of Wight tomatoes greenshouses
We meet up with Ross Hammond, Site Ops Manager to take us on a tour of the facilities. At the first greenhouse, we don white jumpsuits, shoe coverings and gloves, careful to not bring in any microorganisms that could taint the health of the plants. All the greenhouses are its own ecosystem and we had to be careful not to transfer any pesky bugs from one to another.

The humidity and heat hits you as you walk through the doors, then your green smell that get when you have a hot box full of green plants and ripe fruits. There are rows upon rows of very tall tomato plants, well over 10 feet tall in some circumstances, trailing like triffids up support poles. The vines can grow up to 40 feet in length it seems.

Each plant is heavily laden with fruit of varying degree of ripeness. Men on tall machinery are working by hand, picking ripe fruit for the market, tying up the growing stalks, cutting back sections, pruning by hand or sometimes even hand pollinating the plants.

Isle of Wight tomatoes Greenhouses

The tomatoes are picked daily when they reach the desired amount of ripeness that is judged by its colour of 5 as per the chart. Here they like to pick their fruits at their ripest to ensure that optimum flavour. The Isle of Wight tomatoes get their great taste from the amount of sunshine they receive and benefit from being picked only when ripe.

the tomato stall (46)

Freshly picked Isle of Wight tomatoes

Freshly picked Isle of Wight tomatoes on the vine

As we traverse the rows of tomato plants, I spot many different varieties, distinct by their different colours, shapes and sizes. There are little yellow ones, stripey brown ones, big green ones, red plum shaped ones and more. Plucking the ripe fruits straight off the vine to taste leaves a lasting impression, each variety I tried had a completely different flavour. The juicy fruits were sweet and fragrant and some were more tart but each one was quite different and definitely did not taste anything like the tasteless varieties that I have been buying from supermarkets. Joni tells me that some of the staff here like to snack on bowls of ripe cherry tomatoes instead of  sweets and I would too if they tasted like these ones.

The tomato plants are grown in coconut husk and watered with nutrient enriched water. The air in the greenhouses are controlled for both temperature and composition and Co2 is pumped in where required. Bright yellow and white boxes nestled between the rows houses bumblebees who naturally pollinate the plants. They even use predator insects to keep other harmful bugs at bay.

The bumblebee pollinators

The bumblebee pollinators

Organic Isle of Wight Tomatoes

About 10 hectares of greenhouses grow organic tomatoes. The difference is the soil in which the tomatoes are grown in, which is made of compost from the plant waste and from all the other material that supports the growing like the string to tie up the plants to the support sticks. In the darker months, the greenhouses use artificial lights to prolong the growing period. Typically the yield for organic tomatoes is about 15% less than the conventional crop.

the tomato stall (22) the tomato stall (23)
Growing Tomatoes on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight, besides being England’s largest island, is also one of the sunniest place in England which makes it an ideal place to grow tomatoes. The Wight Salad group started as a cooperative for local growers and started by selling their produce in some of London’s farmers markets. They found a loyal following and high demand which has led to today’s successful operations. They now supply over 50% of the British tomatoes in the country. They sell to supermarkets across the country and also directly to the public at farmers’ markets across the South (which is how their business started) and also through their website.

On the Isle of Wight, with the help of  heating in the greenhouses, they can grow tomatoes from March until November. The greenhouses are kept at an even temperature throughout the year and the humidity is controlled too. Irrigation of the greenhouse is supplied by harvesting rain water and run off.

They grow over 200 varieties of tomatoes here and about 40 of these are sold regularly in shops. With their special access to tomato seed producers around the world, they are often asked to trial older lost varieties of Heirloom tomatoes and they probably have the largest repository of tomato seeds in the world.

You can see some of the varieties that they grow here http://www.thetomatostall.co.uk/our-tomatoes/.  Some of the varieties are baby plum, piccolo (cherry tomato on the vine), coeur de boeuf, Angelle, Sun Choco, Jack Hawkins an old English Heirloom and even San Marzano, the celebrated Italian plum tomatoes.

The last greenhouse we visit is the one that gets the most sunshine. This one houses the varieties that they are trialling for tomato seed producers and also to experiment with other crops. At the back of this greenhouse are rows of chilli plants, this year experimental crop. Don’t be surprised to see this being added to their list of products later.

the tomato stall Isle of Wight tomatoes Isle of Wight Tomatoes - Heirloom tomatoes the tomato stall Many unusual varieties of tomatoes Isle of Wight Tomatoes
Other Tomato Products from The Tomato Stall

The Tomato Stall Products
Of course with all food producers, the fatter margins are with the added value products. Here, a lot of their nutrient and lycopene rich produce is used to make a variety of tomato based products under the The Tomato Stall brand. They make a variety of products like their distinctive bright yellow Sunshine Juice made with just tomatoes, which is now widely used to make Sunshine Mary’s, the golden version of a Bloody Mary.

The Tomato Stall's Sunshine Juice

The Tomato Stall’s Sunshine Juice 100% tomatoes, no additives

Their compact production facility also produces Chilli Jams, Chutneys, Oak Roasted tomatoes and Oak Roasted tomato infused balsamic. I’ve used the chilli jam in making cheese toasties, a generous smear really transforms this into a moreish. The Great Taste Award winning oak roasted tomatoes are terrific used in pasta sauces and chopped and added into a posh Mac and Cheese ( something I learnt from Tom Aikens recently).

the tomato stall - Isle of Wight tomatoes
Roasting  tomatoes for their award winning Oak Roasted Tomatoes takes over 10 hours of roasting ripe tomatoes in this oven, after cutting it by hand and manually turned. This is then smoked for about 4 hours. All highly labour intensive but the resulting flavour I can attest is sweet and flavourful.

If you have never tasted Isle of Wight tomatoes before, pop down to a local farmers market or order from them directly online. The people in the know order their tomatoes by name. You could also try one of their Specialty boxes which has a mixed variety of tomatoes that sometimes include some of the other less common varieties that they grow. Make sure you add some of their Roasted Tomatoes to that order too.

You can buy these amazing tomatoes and the other products from their site www.thetomatostall.co.uk , in Waitrose or Sainsburys with the packs labelled Isle of Wight Tomatoes. They can be found at Borough Market or at selected farmer’s markets around London like Pimlico, Swiss Cottage, Barnes and on the Isle of Wight itself, you can buy their tomatoes at Farmer Jacks.   

EatCookExplore was a guest of The Tomato Stall and Isle of Wight Tomatoes

Tom Aikens helps launch Market Deli by Walkers

It’s always fun to attend events where great chefs are doing a demo or masterclass. Tom Aikens was at the launch of Walker’s new premium snacks range, Market Deli. His introduction emphasised his reliance on really good produce and the provenance of his ingredients.

Tom demonstrated a couple of dishes using some of the ingredients that inspired the new flavours of snacks, a spicy. chunky gazapacho wiht a multitude of ingredients and a very decadent Mac and Cheese.  I picked up a couple of useful tips from his demo:

1) always use warm milk when making roux, helps the sauce come together, no lumps.

2) add some chopped up sun dried tomatoes into your mac and cheese. This adds an extra dimension to the flavours.

Walkers’ new Market Deli range comes in 8 flavours inspired by “deli” foods like chorizo, sun dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. The range come in potato chips, tortilla chips and the trendy pita chips which I quite like. My favourite flavour was the Flame Grilled Roasted Spanish Chorizo with Roasted Onion.

Walkers Market Deli

Market Deli Tom Aikens making mac and cheese

Tom Aikens making mac and cheese

Tom Aikens makes mac and cheese

Market Deli Tom Aikens adding sun dried tomatoes to mac and cheese

Adding sun dried tomatoes to mac and cheese

Adding sun dried tomatoes to mac and cheese

Adding sun dried tomatoes and fresh herbs to mac and cheese

Market Deli (23) Market Deli (29) Market Deli (28) Market Deli (26) Market Deli (27) Market Deli (48) Market Deli (47) Market Deli (50)

Market Deli (55)

Market Deli (54)

 

EatCookExplore was a guest of Walkers at this event.