Food at 52 on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas

We're delighted to have had a full year of fun public cookery classes, corporate parties and celebrities through our door.

All culminating in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas episode airing tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm (Series 3 Episode 3 for if you want to watch it on Catch Up).

Kirstie Allsop Christmas Food at 52

Photo courtesy of Raise the Roof Productions.

And what a year to look back on!

Green and Black's gave us the gift of chocolate on permanent display on our conversation starting coffee table.

Green and Black's Chocolate Coffee Table

We've had lots of really fun public cookery classes, corporate parties and celebrity PR events including with: Gennaro Contaldo, Anna Mae's macaroni, Great British Chefs, Giorgio Locatelli, Costardi Brothers, Ursula Ferrigno, Jimmy Doherty and many more.

We even collaborated with local florist Flor Unikon to make Christmas wreaths! Here's a lovely write up they did of the event.

Thank you so much for joining us this year.
Christmas party cheer at Food at 52

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 John, Emily & the Food at 52 Team x

Hari Ghotra cooks Southern Indian with us

Who better than Hari Ghotra of Great British Chefs and creator of the Hari Ghotra spice kits to join our Southern Indian class to see what spices and flavour combinations are created in the South compared with the North?

Hari (above, photo from her site) created a really original vlog on youtube - a great way to share the sights and sounds of curry cooking. Not yet the scents and flavours - for that you'll need to pop along yourself!

After the class she emailed us to say

"I had a fabulous time on Friday night. Such a lovely atmosphere and the school is amazing. Rachel was great too and really insightful about the dishes. Really wonderful experience and I could see how much the other guys were enjoying it too. I like the format of the session grouping people together seemed to really work."

She was also kind enough to share her opinion on our TripAdvisor page:

"I had the pleasure of spending an evening at Food at 52 for a South Indian Cookery class last Friday and I have to say I had a ball. The cookery school itself is like a home from home and the decor is just fantastic. It's like an eclectic mix of trinkets someone who has travelled the world has picked up and brought back with them and found the perfect spot to display them. From the jucier loo-flush to the chapatti presses to the utensils used in the cooking - it was a feast for the eyes. 

The session was super relaxed, we worked in groups so we all just got on with it. The wine was flowing and the teacher was great - she explained just as much as was needed and then we got to sit and eat together which was truly wonderful. The food was fantastic and I will be cooking the dishes again.

If you like cooking or want to do something a bit different on a Friday night with your friends, or as a couple or even on your own like I did, then I would highly recommend it. Fun, food, wine - all the makings of a great night!"

Such lovely words. If you want to check out her work, she has a wealth of information on Indian cuisine through her website Harighotra.co.uk.

Jimmy Doherty's Seasonal Veg Skewer Recipe

We were lucky enough to have Jimmy Doherty and the Jersey Royals team in creating some really innovative recipes with the seasonal produce. Here's Jimmy with his team and Emily and Andrea, our kitchen porter, (either side of him).

 

Great recipes to tuck into! They've kindly shared some photos and the recipes which we will pass onto you over the next few weeks.

Here's the first one for Jersey Royal and Halloumi Rosemary skewers - great to add to your party if you're having one this weekend.

Look beautiful and a simple way to create a flavoursome skewer without having to buy bamboo ones.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

The mint oil

  • 25g fresh mint, leaves only
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

The skewers

  • 4 x straight woody stems of rosemary around 25cm long
  • 500g Jersey Royal new potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut in half
  • 360g halloumi cheese, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Method

Add all the mint oil ingredients to the food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Add the potatoes, halloumi, aubergine and tomatoes to the mint oil. Mix well to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Strip the base rosemary leaves from each stem, leaving the top 4cm of each with leaves. Thread alternate potato, halloumi, aubergine and tomatoes along each stem and continue until everything is used up.

When ready to eat, preheat the barbecue or grill.

Cover the leave tops of the rosemary skewers with a sheet of tin foil to prevent them burning. Grill or barbecue the skewers over a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, turning regularly until the potatoes are cooked through and the vegetables are golden. Baste occasionally with the mint oil. Serve with a drizzle of remaining mint oil.

For well and truly minted skewers, prepare the mint oil a few hours before and leave the ingredients to marinate beforehand.

 Thanks to This is Phipps for the recipe and photos

Relish the power of pickles with Vadasz Deli

Know how to pickle your cabbage or make a lip smacking relish? Learn how to make your own kimchi and sauerkraut courtesy of Nick Vadasz.

Nick from Vadasz Deli came to Food at 52 as part of a corporate kitchen hire to dazzle the team with knowledge of how to kick start kimchi and sour up sauerkraut, amongst other gems, as part of a birthday celebration.

Armed with gallons of vinegar, sieves and an impressive array of his best selling take home jars, Nick created a vinegary paradise for fermented and preserved veg.

Want to learn his recipe for kimchi and sauerkraut? Just click on the links and be sure to let us know how you get on!

Guess the exotic ingredient

At the start of our classes we like to do a bit of a quiz with the ingredients we will be using. Particularly the more exotic ones from our Asian classes. 

Any idea what this is?

...

Well done if you recognised it as a cut end of the pak choi vegetable. It really shows the beauty of nature and the patterns it creates if you look closely enough.

It's one of our favourite vegetables in our Vietnamese cooking class.

Ever wondered the difference between pak choi and bok choy and other similar variants? Chances are they are all the same or at least of the same family; pak choi and bok choy certainly are.

They're also known as Chinese cabbage; a refreshing, juicy and crisp vegetable that's been cropping up in our markets and supermarkets more and more. Grown in Asian countries such as Vietnam, China and the Philippines they make a great alternative to your more regular greens. Bringing a touch of Eastern flavour to our London home.

Most recently it was joined by choi sum in the shops, another related Asian vegetable. For a great visual guide of a host of other Asian vegetables check out this link from The Kitchn.

On our Vietnamese classes we combine the two with tender stem broccoli to create a lovely ensemble of Asian greens which makes a delicious side dish.

Simply prepare them by washing and cutting as desired and stir fry in a combination of light soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, vegetable oil and hoisin sauce or oyster sauce.

For an extra flourish, garnish with toasted sesame seeds.