Food & Drink

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Just add fresh air: Skye Gyngell's quick and easy al-fresco summer eats

This past winter has seemed the longest ever, so it is with great excitement and gratitude that we at the restaurant have welcomed in the blue sky and warmer days. We are eating outside most days now and the garden is full of tulips, peonies, early roses and dahlias. Warm-weather produce is also finally beginning to trickle in – asparagus, peas, broadbeans, the first deeply sweet, orange-fleshed melons from Italy as well as apricots and even a box of cherries. Basil has returned, one or two tomato varieties and the first peppers and aubergines.

Inside Features

Cheap thrills: You can still eat well on a tight budget, says Mark Hix

Saturday, 24 May 2008

With food costs rising, the weekly grocery bill for an average family can add up to a small fortune – so this week I thought I'd give you some tips on budgeting. My grandmother was an expert on thrifty food shopping; we nearly always used secondary cuts of meat such as scrag end, heart and liver, and it always tasted great (even if it had spent an hour or so too long in the oven).

Wine: Aroma therapy

Saturday, 24 May 2008

For a wine to give out a distinctive flavour or character is normally seen as a plus. Not in the case of wines from the Cape. The talking point in South African wine right now is an unpleasant off-odour and taste in some bottles – described variously as burnt rubber, rhubarb or sun-dried tomato. No one knows what it is, but you know it when you see, or rather, smell and taste, it.

Wine: Something for the Weekend?

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Under a Fiver

Catch of the day: A new wave of restaurants are flying the flag for sustainable fish

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Eating out can be something of a minefield for the ethical epicure. Is the mushroom-stuffed chicken breast organic? Did the steak au poivre come from a happy cow? Where did the spring lamb spend its short life? But by far the most challenging choice on the menu is the fish course. With cod stocks plummeting, sea bass being caught at a rate of knots and farmed fish a hot topic, many diners would be forgiven for forgoing their flounder in favour of a guilt-free nut cutlet. However, if you know what to look for, it is safe to go back in the water for your supper, thanks to a new wave of restaurants flying the flag for sustainable fish.

A taste of the tropics: Skye Gyngell celebrates the mango season

Sunday, 18 May 2008

At this time of year, when local fresh fruit is thin on the ground, the arrival of Alphonso mangoes from India gives our desserts at the restaurant a tropical, exotic note, and a promise of the warmth to come.

The big easy: Mark Hix gets inspired in the deep south

Saturday, 17 May 2008

I've just returned from a visit to New Orleans where I was a guest of the McIllhenny family, which owns the Tabasco factory. I haven't visited the area since my trip there around four years ago, before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit; so I was witnessing a city that was very much trying to get back on track.

Wine: The light stuff

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Should summer wines be lower in alcohol? In response to demand for lighter styles, retailers are starting to come up with wines that use early harvesting to lower strength – without going so far as ghastly "wines" such as Eisberg that remove the alcohol altogether.

The 5-minute Interview: Tom Aikens, Chef

Saturday, 17 May 2008

The youngest chef to win a Michelin star, Tom Aikens, 38, began his career at Marco Pierre White's Mirabelle restaurant. He now owns three restaurants,appears regularly on television and is the author of two books. This summer he is taking part in the national Taste Festival.

Wine: Something For The Weekend?

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Legends in their own lunchtime: Skye Gyngell prepares a meal fit for the world's greatest chefs

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Last week I had lunch at St John, Fergus Henderson's restaurant in Smithfield, London. The lunch was given by Fergus to celebrate the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants awards. I know that my colleague Terry Durack wrote in this paper that he was less than impressed to see so many of the same names on the list again this year – and I have to say that, yes, it would be nice to see some fresh talent – but I'm here for the food. The celebratory after-party is held annually at St John and is a chance for chefs from top restaurants from across the world to get together after the event to relax, chat and mull over the results of the night before.

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