When you ask John Tabatabai how he’d describe himself, he looks thoughtful for a moment – a trailblazer perhaps? A maverick? His response: “A lunatic probably.”
Tabatabai is 2 months into his first restaurant venture, a stressful time for any restaurateur but perhaps more so for the beginner. “I’ve never run a restaurant before,” he admits. “Working with operations, people, managing all the separate aspects and bringing it all together – it’s difficult. But I believe in it so strongly. It’s the opposite of what I was doing before.”
I first tried one of Mr Sherick’s shakes whilst hungover at an event by The Food Sauce. When you’re slightly shaky, a bit knackered and bloody starving, there is little better than a thick, sweet shake packed with creamy deliciousness and the added extra bonus of little bits of lovely brownie, meringue or biscuit. The good news is that they are equally good when fresh and sober, as I discovered this week.
Spending the afternoon at Wimbledon is pretty high up on the list of things to do on a nice summer’s day that are somewhat more pleasant than being in the office. Luckily, I had the opportunity this week to have lunch at The Gatsby Club with the lovely folks at Compass and Restaurant Associates, and sample some of their fabulous offering.
It’s pretty noticeable that food and drink options and standards have rocketed in recent years. There’s untold choice on the high street, luxury venues are more accessible in the age of discounts and if you’re heading to any festivals this summer – or any market, riverside or warehouse pretty much – you’ll have a plethora of gourmet options to satisfy your growling hunger.
There are a LOT of restaurants in Covent Garden. Hundreds, I worked on the marketing for one at one point, and it can be really difficult to stand out and an extremely tough sell. There’s a lot of good food, some inspirational chefs, stellar service and some beautiful venues. Fortunately new Italian Four to Eight on Catherine Street encompasses all these and has leapt into the best few in the area. Continue reading Four to Eight: Covent Garden→
I absolutely love a river view, or any view really, and enjoying one combined with a decent meal it’s a very lovely way to spend an evening. Northbank is a stone’s throw from St Paul’s and does both view and food in style. Continue reading Northbank: St Paul’s→
Let’s get the credit out of the way so I can move on to waxing lyrical about the result – these beauties feature in the best food porn collection of 2014, aka Jamie’s Comfort Food, and were pretty much the first thing I wanted to make on opening it on a very happy birthday earlier in the year. I’m a huge fan of this book (first few triumphs here) and this recipe is the icing on the sticky, rich, chocolatey cake.
I love peanut butter, especially with jam – it’s a weird, gorgeous combination that should be embraced a lot more in this country. This dish involves making a peanut butter custard, which even without the rest of the recipe is bloody lovely.
So once that’s done (just egg yolks, milk, vanilla pod, sugar and peanut butter heated gently and whisked) you whip up Jamie’s brownie mix – decent dark chocolate, butter (about half a ton), eggs, sugar and a bit of flour. Brownie mix into a lined tray, then the fun bit – you pour blobs of the custard on top and swirl it with a knife to make the pattern, then drop spoonfuls of jam on and poke the raspberries in. I spent longer doing this than everything else combined because I was having such a nice time.
In the oven for 25 minutes – take it out before you think it’s done to keep them squidgy in the middle and that’s it! It would be interesting to compare it to one using homemade jam and peanut butter, but I’m not sure that’s the point – it couldn’t taste any more indulgent, or have a more delicious combination of creamy custard, rich, moist cake and tangy fruit.
I’ll be trying it with crunchy peanut butter next time for a bit of texture, and maybe cherry/blackberry jam – happily the possibilities are limitless.
Welcome to the greedy business of feeding Franklin. Get in touch with any thoughts and enjoy the blog!