Steam and Rye Hero Platter

The Hero Platter at Steam and Rye

The lovely folks at Steam and Rye recently invited me to try their new Hero platter menu. I’ve been to Steam and Rye before and have enjoyed it; it is very much a feel good experience eatery, perfect for groups and fun nights out with friends.

It is a unique dining, bar, live music and dancing experience with a classic Americana theme, this is not the place to go to if you want a quiet drink after work. Inspired by 1940s United States where the grand living of the Great Gatsby met the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood, where the Wild West and travelling shows met the young sound of rock’n’roll, Steam and Rye really goes full-throttle with it’s Americana theme.

The new Hero menu is yet another example of how successful it has been in showcasing a taste of Americana in London.

Hero Platter Menu

Hero Platter Menu

I took Mr WFD along as my guest to help me consume this mighty platter and it’s a perfect sharing platter for 2 people.

When the platter arrived I had an Enrique foodie moment as to be honest I was hungry and at that moment in time I needed a culinary hero.

I do not eat pork so I asked if we could exchange one of the rib dishes for something else and thankfully I was given extra chicken wings. Mr WFD devoured the pulled pork butt burger, he noted the subtle sweetness of the pork and thoroughly enjoyed the sandwich. I really liked the radish and apple slaw, which is surprising because I usually steer clear of coleslaw sides but thankfully this was not smothered in mayonnaise and was a great accompaniment to the smoked corn-fed chicken which had a deep smokey flavour. The skinny fries were moreish and went really well with the succulent BBQ chicken wings. If you love BBQ and you love meat then there’s nothing else left to say really, this is the meal for you.

Steam and Rye Hero Platter

Steam and Rye Hero Platter

The Hero platter is every meat lovers dream to be honest and you would be forgiven for singing as you eat because if you can conquer this you can conquer anything!

Make sure you check out the Steam and Rye Hero platter, the more of you that go the better as this is a place to party, sing along as you eat and be consumed by the atmosphere. The service is courteous and friendly and the interior is great fun, you will enjoy it as long as you are ready  to have fun!

Visit http://www.steamandrye.com/

Cake-9

The World’s first ‘garden’ made from cake opened in London

The phrase “Let them eat cake” has been taken literally with the opening of The world’s first edible garden made from 15 different types of cake. It took place for one day only on the 23rd April 2015, it’s a shame it couldn’t be open for longer!

Visitors were encouraged to ‘dig in’ to the bourbon biscuit borders and nibble on one of the 250 cake flowers growing in the plot in Russell Square which was surrounded by a wall made from 1,300 slices of fruit loaf grouted with Nutella.

Theo Woodcock aged 1 from Loughton eats chocolate biscuits

Theo Woodcock aged 1 from Loughton eats chocolate biscuits

The quintessentially English country garden, which took over 450 hours to bake, build and install, was created to launch the paperback version of best-selling author Carole Matthews’ new novel The Cake Shop in the Garden.

The scent of roses, pansies and peonies has never been sweeter as the garden in the book’s title was brought to life using four kilos of icing alongside borders of chocolate crumb soil, Battenberg stepping stones, a bird bath lined with Swiss-roll and a lawn dotted with sugar daisies – not forgetting 300 leaves of edible ivy.

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Ensuring no one went home hungry, 30 bags of marshmallows, eight kilos of sweets and chocolate pebbles and over 1,000 biscuits finished off the Willy Wonka-esque wonderland where even the insects were edible.

Author Carole Matthews said: “The garden is the place where love, life and family collide for my main character, Faye Merryweather so it was really exciting to bring it to life using cake as it features so prominently throughout the storyline. It was certainly one of a kind – and where better for visitors to grab a slice of the action?”

Autor Carole Matthews in the world’s first edible cake garden

Autor Carole Matthews in the world’s first edible cake garden

The garden was crafted by award-winning cake designer Rosalind Miller who has produced bespoke creations for The Ritz, The Goring and Blenheim Palace as well as a number of high profile and celebrity clients.

The Cake Shop in the Garden is available in paperback now from all major supermarkets, bookshops and online retailers.

For further information visit www.carolematthews.com.

Hélène Darroze

Meet Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2015 – Hélène Darroze

Hélène Darroze of Hélène Darroze in Paris, France and of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in London, UK has been named the 2015 Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef.

She will be honoured at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, in London on the 1st June.

Hélène Darroze

Hélène Darroze

French-born Hélène Darroze is a fourth generation chef who, after completing a degree from l’Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bordeaux, joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco.

After three years under his tutelage both in business and in the kitchen, she returned home to the family restaurant, Chez Darroze, in Villeneuve-de-Marsan in the Landes region. There, in 1995, Darroze’s father gave her the keys to the kitchen, where she spent the next four years refining her culinary style and honing her skills.

At the age of 32, Darroze closed the family restaurant and set her sights on Paris, opening her eponymous restaurant on the Left Bank to critical acclaim and widespread commendation. Darroze’s talent and heartfelt contemporary French cuisine caught the attention of the Connaught, leading to the opening of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in 2008.

Darroze Paris

Darroze Paris

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Darroze Paris

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Darroze Paris

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Darroze Paris

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Darroze Paris

Seven years on, Darroze remains head chef at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and her namesake restaurant in Paris. She travels regularly between Paris and London with her two children, Charlotte and Quiterie, overseeing all aspects of her businesses.

An integral and common thread in Darroze’s restaurants is not just her impeccable gastronomic expertise but the seasonal, authentic ingredients that take precedence in her contemporary French recipes. Darroze has spent a lifetime gathering her network of loyal suppliers, allowing her the freedom to create stunning seasonal dishes using the freshest, highest-quality produce the market has to offer. One of Darroze’s signature dishes – squid ink risotto with sautéed squid and chorizo, confit tomatoes and parmesan foam – exemplifies her cooking: it is simultaneously complex and modest, but also impeccably balanced.

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

As well as being named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2015, Darroze’s other accolades include admittance into the French Legion of Honour as a Chevalier by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. Darroze’s likeable and even-handed personality inspired the character, Chef Colette, in the 2007 Pixar Animation Studios’ hit Ratatouille. She is also a judge on France’s Top Chef 2015.

Through this accolade The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, shines a light on a rarefied family of extraordinary female chefs. The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award celebrates the work of a woman whose cooking most impresses the world’s toughest critics and most venerated chefs, more than 900 of whom voted in this category.

William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said, “Celebrating the success of remarkable female chefs, in what remains a very male-orientated world, is of enormous importance. In conjunction with Veuve Clicquot, we are proud and excited to present the award to Hélène Darroze. Hélène’s impressive accomplishments, passion for exceptional produce and dedication to the profession makes her the perfect recipent of this year’s Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. She is an inspiration to future generations of women who want to enter the profession, proving that skill, hard work and passion will be rewarded and celebrated.”

The Veuve Clicquot Champagne house has long been known for empowering innovative and audacious women. It began with Madame Clicquot, who came to the helm of the business in 1805, creating the successful global brand of today which extends to the 41-year-old annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.

Commenting on Darroze’s victory, Veuve Clicquot President, Jean-Marc Gallot, said, “We are thrilled to present Hélène Darroze with the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award. Her work and tireless passion, spanning Paris and London, truly embodies the spirit of the award and we look forward to watching her continued excellence in years to come. We are delighted to celebrate exceptional female chefs and women in business that embody the same drive and resolve as Madame Clicquot herself. Celebrating the accomplishments of women like Hélène through the award and other initiatives like the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award is of great importance to the House. Not only does this award celebrate extraordinary women in the industry but it also encapsulates the harmonious pairing of excellence in food and the exceptional art of wine making.”

Darroze responded to the news of her win by saying: “As much as the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef is an accolade for me, it is also an accolade for my team at the Connaught in London and Hélène Darroze in Paris. I am honoured to win the award because there are talented female chefs all over the world and I imagine choosing only one is challenging. I think it is important to celebrate women and their achievements. My hope is that the recipients of this award inspire young women, including my daughters, to follow their passion and work hard to hone their skill regardless of profession. I greatly admire all of the previous winners of this prestigious award and I am thrilled to now be in their company.”

As a winner of the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award, Hélène Darroze joins a group of exceptionally talented chefs including luminaries, Elena Arzak of Spain’s Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic in France, Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in the Italian countryside and last year’s winner, Helena Rizzo of Brazilian restaurant Mani.

The selection process
The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award is voted for by almost 1,000 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up the Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The Academy comprises 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 36 members, including a chairperson. None of the event’s sponsors have any influence over the voting process.

Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award
The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award celebrates the work of an exceptional female chef whose cooking excites the toughest of critics. The award is inspired by the life and achievements of Madame Clicquot who nearly 200 years ago set the standard for women in business. The winner reflects Madame Clicquot’s attributes of innovation, creativity and determination.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards:
This year’s results will be announced at the annual awards ceremony, held in London’s Guildhall on 1st June and published live on twitter (@TheWorlds50Best) and later on www.theworlds50best.com. The awards will also be streamed live courtesy of our main sponsor, S.Pellegrino & Aqua Panna via their content hubwww.finedininglovers.com