New York’s hottest seafood restaurant, a mouthwatering African food map and the mother of all London street food events – a tapas spread of tasty tips for gastronomes.
Words Hannah Thompson
Keep On Truckin’
The street food market Street Feast is beloved by Londoners for its eclectic gaggle of world food trucks and stalls. Now the pioneers of the street taste sensation are bringing Truck Stop to East London, the first Thursday and Friday in September. In locations across the city, trucks will be opening their hatches for the queues of locals and visitors keen to experience the latest food trends at the coalface of London’s most exciting food ventures.
A collection of old fire engines, ambulances and milk floats will be serving everything from Southern-fried chicken to tandoori-smoked lamb wraps. There’ll also be a Rotary Bar serving pint-sized cocktails and London’s best craft beer.
Street food fans can also hop on over to Dalston Yard (Dalston Yard, Thames House, Hartwell Street, London E8 3DU) every Friday and Saturday until September 14th, from 5pm–midnight every Friday and 12pm–midnight every Saturday.
A hub of lipsmacking food and drink includes Breddo’s Taccos’ famous chilli back shot, Baba G’s spiced tandoori lamb and Vinn Goute’s octopus curry and parrot fish cakes.
As well as top street food traders, this year will also feature a fresh juice bar, as well as a brunch menu and coffee from Caffeine Canteen.
Families can get involved with kids’ workshops, as well as cocktail classes and a Gin Store with outdoor terrace for the adults.
Street food has been a growing trend in London for the last few years, and the standards are getting better with ever increasing innovation in the menu.
truckstoplondon.com and streetfeastlondon.com
Seafood and eat it — raw
New York is known for its traditional oyster bars, but there’s a new wave of hip crudo joints popping up in the Big Apple. ZZ’s Clam Bar is the leader of the pack.
The restaurant has opened its doors to serve innovative raw seafood with an equally boundary pushing cocktail menu. You’ll see familiar half-shell East Coast oysters tucked in among the more unusual dishes including tuna carpaccio with foie gras and bone marrow, trout crudo with leeks and cured Japanese sardines with Cara Cara orange.
The owners are obsessed with raw seafood, believing it to be the most sophisticated kind of cooking, and indeed theirs is. The fish comes from Tsujiki market in Tokyo as well as local purveyors, and is prepared and presented impeccably.
The small 12-seat bar sticks to the familiar marble counter set-up, so you can down clams as you watch them shake your Manhattan. Prices range between about $15–$50 per plate. ZZ’s Clam Bar 169 Thompson St., Greenwich Village.
African Foodies Unite
My African Food Map is a website dedicated to exploring the best of the continent’s food, country by country. Starting in Ghana, website author Tuleka Prah presents videos and recipes about the dishes that
are central to each nation. For Ghana, she creates recipes for jollof rice, ‘Red Red’ beans and plantain, which are shown to great effect.
She dedicates a month to showcasing four popular dishes from a country, by uploading one four-minute film per week. Each dish is introduced by local food enthusiasts, so viewers know that they will get a very special perspective on the way it is prepared and how best to enjoy it.
Prah believes that African food has not been documented as carefully or presented as beautifully as other cuisines, such as Southeast Asian.
She wanted to start properly documenting the continent’s cuisine in a way that would not only attract new food lovers to try them, but also excite those who already know them.
Prah makes each recipe seem easy, and her simple-to-follow written instructions mean that you don’t have to cook along in live time. This new website could become the foodie destination for African cuisine.
Launched earlier this year, the AfroFOOD App is a new recipe app compiling the most famous and delicious dishes from the African continent and diaspora. The app was created by Ofamfa New Media, a company dedicated to the mantra ‘Made For Africans By Africans’. Download the app to a smartphone or tablet and you can cook your favourite African dishes wherever you are in the world. For newcomers to African cuisine, the easy to use interface and photographs make it simple to try your own versions of jollof rice, plaintain burgers and chicken kebabs as well as many spicy soups, curries and stews. Download from iTunes.com
Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity, Alison Oakervee,
Kyle Books, £25.00
Food tastes best when it nourishes both body and soul. With this in mind, get your next dinner recipe from Share, a cookbook created in association with Women for Women International, a nonprofit humanitarian organisation that provides practical and moral support to women survivors of war.
According to the food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations, women make up 70 per cent of the world’s farmers, produce 90 per cent of the world’s staple food crops and yet own less than two per cent of land. The proceeds of this book will go towards investing in women’s agricultural efforts and training, key to achieving global food security.
The international recipes within it come from the communities within which Women for Women operate, as well as from inspirational international personalities, such as Nelson Mandela, Paul McCartney and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Alice Waters have shared their recipes and the book is introduced by Meryl Streep.
The recipes themselves don’t fall short of the dazzling array of names behind them. Dishes include Cameroonian sticky doughnuts and spicy cashew and tomato soup alongside chicken with vino cotto. All the royalties from the book will be donated to food training initiatives. Buy the book at womenforwomen.org.uk
Chocolate layer slice
“I have a lot of love to give. That, ultimately, is why I am here (in DRC). However I divide my day – whether I’m working on policy papers or comforting victims – my motivation is love.” Ashley Judd
This recipe is divine – completely irresistible. My family and friends joke that it’s ‘all food groups’ – salty, sweet, tangy, crunchy and smooth. I was filming Kiss the Girls in North Carolina in 1997 and my driver’s mother made this for me. I remember my good intentions of sharing my fortune with the crew, but after taking one bite in my trailer, I didn’t come out until I had eaten nearly half of it! It turns out the lady who made it worked in a geriatric doctor’s office and for years traded recipes with older women who came through the doors. She has a stupendous archive of old recipes from the Southern states, and my family thinks this one is the coup de grâce. It can be made with a sugar substitute and still tastes completely perfect.
Prepare 40 minutes, plus 3 hours chilling
Cook 30 minutes
For the base
110g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
140g plain flour
90g pecan nuts, chopped
For the chocolate layer
200g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
25g unsalted butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cream cheese layer
225ml double cream
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
140g icing sugar
For the topping
125ml double cream
40g pecan nuts, chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and a line a 20cm square, 5cm deep cake tin.
2 To make the base, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then stir in the flour and mix well before adding the pecans. Tip this mixture into the prepared tin and press down evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden in colour. Place the tin on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool.
3 Meanwhile, make the chocolate layer. Stir together the sugar, cocoa powder, plain flour, corn flour and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the egg yolks and milk until well blended and smooth. Place over a medium heat and cook, stirring, for 6–10 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the mixture with cling-film to stop a skin forming as it cools. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, make the cream cheese layer. Whip the cream using a hand-held electric whisk until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar until smooth, then gradually beat the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until blended. Spread this mixture over the cooled cooked base.
5 Spoon the cooled chocolate mixture over the cream cheese layer, spreading it evenly. Cover with cling-film and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm and chilled throughout.
6 Finally, whip the cream for the topping using a hand-held electric whisk until stiff peaks form. Spread the cream over the chocolate layer and scatter with the chopped pecans. Carefully lift the cake from the tin and cut into 8–12 squares.