London’s burning…

A bit behind on this, but in the latest issue of KFH Completely London magazine is a feature I shot on three of London’s hottest chefs who aren’t afraid to use flame, smoke and spicy heat to light up their dishes.

A whistle-stop round of portraits featuring Ben Tish of Ember Yard, Scott Hallsworth of Kurobuta, and Tom Sellers of Restaurant Story

Fire in the hold – enjoy!

Wake up and smell the coffee

Some outtakes from a recent shoot at Lyle’s in Shoreditch for the latest issue of Caffeine.

While the restaurant’s food has been widely praised, Lyle’s also pays a great deal of attention to their coffee. The all-day coffee bar operation starts from 8.00am as a separate yet integral part of the restaurant. It’s a slick and precise affair run by James Low (not the James Lowe behind the kitchen) and features timers, scales and dedicated hot water taps at two specific temperatures for tea and coffee.

Together with familiar Square Mile, Low also features less well known beans such as Koppi and Belleville, which will change regularly alongside the menu and wine list. And his choice of tea is equally discerning, featuring single-estate, small batch leaves from Lalani.

So, if you’ve been tempted to Lyle’s by the restaurant reviews, just don’t forget about the coffee.

The new ‘new thing’

A last minute job last week for Time Out took me down the road on the bus to a residential pocket of North London flanked by Stoke Newington, Highbury and Cannonbury.

In an area not known for it’s destination dining, Primeur is resolutely a neighbourhood restaurant with its quirky no-phone, in-person only bookings policy.

Although it had only been open a couple of weeks, it already had the assured feel of a local favourite. A couple of early walk-ins dropped by on the way home for a glass of wine and couple of plates. The welcoming banter gave them away as regulars already.

After a quiet start, it was anything but by about 8.30pm. It seemed like someone had rung the dinner bell outside – the place was full and the kitchen slammed with orders.

The food is ‘honest’ and seasonal, matched by an ever changing wine list from its extensive cellar. In an interview, chef, David Gingell has described the restaurant ‘like a visit to your grandmother’s house for a great dinner.’

So the ‘new thing’ seems to be just old-fashioned good times.

Nifty Fifty

The most recent issue of Observer Food Monthly was a great way to reflect on some of the amazing places and people I’ve met through work that have also made it into the The OFM 50, 2014

Here’s just a handful:

#19: High-rise dining, and the view from Sushisamba on the 38th floor of Heron Tower

#21: Claude Bosi’s power lunch at Hibiscus

#24: Aged basmati rice from Arun Kapil’s Green Saffron

#30: Wild Muntjac biryani at Gymkhana

#36: Mayfields and their artful dishes such as octopus, smoked eel dashi, and green asparagus

#39: Gochuchang, here with radishes and sesame at The Clove Club

#49: Alessandro Palazzi at Dukes Bar

A new chapter


Catching up on another recent project, online and PR work has included the updated website of Chapter One.

Although located in Locksbottom, Kent, it’s just 15 minutes by train out from London Bridge. As such, Chapter One falls under the radar of more shouty Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital.

And that’s a real shame because it excels at innovative cooking served up with finesse and grace. Add to that very reasonable pricing and a relaxed yet efficient atmosphere, and it makes for a great day out.

It’s a real testament to chef/patron, Andy McLeish who’s one of the most down-to-earth yet inspirational chefs I’ve met.

It’s hip to be square

After a lengthy hiatus (much longer than I’d really intended) I thought that I’d resurrect this sad old blog with some good news, and a new look.

I’ve recently started photographing for the good folks over at Mayfields. Not the usual kind of commercial gig, more of a creative collaboration. Really great people to work with, hipster Hackney location, eclectic playlist, and astonishingly innovative food.

Newly added to their website this week is a gallery of just some of the photos that we’ve been working on together. More to come over the following weeks and months.

Watch this space…

I scream for ice cream

Better late than never, it seems like summer has finally hit London.  For this week at least…

So it’s a good opportunity to post about a recent shoot I did for Metropolitan, the ‘in-flight’ magazine for Eurostar. The photos were for a feature on ice cream flavours that embody the theme ‘metropolitan’.

The locations they chose were Gelupo (classic Italian with a twist), William Curley (England meets France), Chin Chin Lab (madcap nitro ice cream innovators), and The Modern Pantry (fine contemporary fusion).

Metro_LDN_Ice_GLP-0002Metro_LDN_Ice_GLP-0018Kiwi, gin & elderflower sorbet at Gelupo

Metro_LDN_Ice_WC-0003Metro_LDN_Ice_WC-0016Apricot fromage frais ice cream, with an apricot and lemon thyme sauce at William Curley

Metro_LDN_Ice_CCL-0023Metro_LDN_Ice_CCL-0009‘A Cup of Tea & A French Fancy’ at Chin Chin Lab

Metro_LDN_Ice_MP-0032Metro_LDN_Ice_MP-0005Chocolate sorbet, with blackcurrant and Broadside ale ripple at The Modern Pantry