Anna Jones’s rhubarb recipes | The modern cook

Not just for dessert, the just-sweet, slightly tart character of rhubarb works well with savoury dishes too

Forced rhubarb shows up exactly when we need it. These neon-pink stems, the colour of Brighton rock, are forced from the ground in dark sheds in Yorkshire and cheer me on in the kitchen until the first greens of spring. Rhubarb’s spiritual home is under a sweet rubble of brown sugar crumble, but it also has enough acidity to stand up to the richness of cheese or a crisp-edged roast potato, so today I’m putting it to work in a savoury tray bake. Recently, I’ve eaten this piquant pickle with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think pink.

Continue reading…

from Food & drink | The Guardian

Top 10 places to eat and drink in York

York: Top 10 places to eat and drink

Looking for the best restaurants in York? Check out our 10 favourite places to eat and drink in York. This medieval town has always offered plenty to history buffs and café-goers, but a quiet foodie revolution, too, has recently been taking place. Wander down one of the higgledy-piggledy backstreets and you’ll find a new crop of young chefs putting the city’s food in the spotlight.


One of York’s newest restaurants has been causing quite a stir across the UK. After seriously starry stints at Northcote, Pipe and Glass and The Star Inn at Harome (along with extensive travels in Asia) half-Indian chef Neil Bentinck has returned to his hometown of York to open contemporary small plates restaurant, Skosh (the name is a reference to the Japanese word ‘sukoshi’, meaning ‘a small amount’).

The restaurant’s modern interiors combine pine tables with bold yellow and grey paintwork and fabrics. Bag the table in the middle of the restaurant that’s framed by a striking, jade coloured arch, or perch on a high seat overlooking Neil’s open kitchen.

Hand-finished ceramic plates arrived in swift succession, each one framing its own little delicacy – crisp square nuggets of saddleback pork were accompanied with a tangy gooseberry ketchup, jewel-like granola-fried Skosh chicken was dipped in a delicate sorrel emulsion, and molasses-cured wild sea trout came on little sticks with peanuts and lime.

Larger dishes were also excellent. Crisp-topped Suffolk lamb belly fell apart beautifully and was livened up with bursts of pomegranate seeds, pickled onion, charred baby gem lettuce and a dash of yogurt.

Baked hake was topped with finely sliced cauliflower and dukkah on an umami-packed miso cauliflower rice bed – the highlight of the meal. Summer veg, brought over from local Brunswick Nursery the very same day, was tarted up with creamy burrata, black olives and a rapeseed oil emulsion.

In a nod to Neil’s Indian roots, the dessert menu includes mango lassis. Shot glasses of smooth and creamy mango were flecked with cardamom and served with mini doughnuts that opened to reveal an intensely yellow saffron custard centre.

Neil’s speciality dessert uses goat’s curd from nearby Yellison Farm to create fluffy toasted marshmallows served with raspberry sorbet and lychee granita. Or go for the richer 76% chocolate slice, which comes with a brittle-like black olive crisp, a light fennel foam and a chocolate-fennel sauce.

Read our full review of Skosh here

Mannion & Co.

A European-style café and deli, Mannion’s specialises in platters from the deli counter. Yorkshire produce is paired with expertly sourced charcuterie, cheeses, olives and artichokes from France and Italy.

The café’s suntrap courtyard is a tiny oasis where you can enjoy a pork pie, homemade piccalilli and salad grazing platter. Or take away your sarnie of choice made with bread baked fresh on site every morning.

Super-light scones piled with jams and clotted cream, patisseries and home baked brownies make perfect pairings for Jeeves & Jericho loose leaf teas and wood-roast artisan coffee from Ue Coffee Roasters.

Betty’s Stonegate, York

Betty’s is far from a secret; the queue of tourists peering into the room of scones, tea and fat rascals is a giveaway. Five minutes down the street, however, Betty’s Stonegate (known to locals as Little Betty’s) is the Swiss tearooms’ (moderately) quieter little sister. Skip the scone paparazzi and enjoy creamy hot chocolate, rostis ladened with Gruyere cheese and indulgent Swiss macaroni.

Stick a pinkie out with a bone china cup of Betty’s delicately floral Assam and Darjeeling blend and take your pick from the immaculately presented cake trolley (the chocolate swiss roll is, unfathomably, rich and light all at the same time).

Coffee and cake at Betty’s is always a treat but the Lady Betty afternoon tea is even more so. Miniature savouries include Yorkshire pork and Bramley apple pies, smoked salmon and dill roulade, and succulent roast Yorkshire ham and tomato pâté sandwiches. A traditional silver cake stand bursts with aromatic Yorkshire lavender scones, sweet ‘n’ sticky toffee-apple macarons and a light choux pastry with whipped coffee cream.

Le Cochon Aveugle

This is one of our favourite restaurants in York. Joshua Overington’s six-course seasonal tasting menu at intimate French neighbourhood bistro, Le Cochon Aveuglerotates with the seasons to make the most out of fresh produce when it’s at its prime. Think refreshing carpaccio of octopus, 12 hour short-rib and homemade black pudding, and charcoaled crème brûlée with made-to-order ice cream and crunchy rosemary sugar. On-trend mini canelés with a burnt-sugar crust were delicious, and served with a rum-spiked banana milkshake: a grown-up alternative to milk and cookies.

Freshly baked pain de campagne with beurre noisette, as light as angel delight, is a permanent fixture, as are the show-stopping balance syphon coffee makers and the heaving gin cabinet. We loved The Botanist gin and tonic with cardamom and kumquat syrup (it came with whole kumquats and a sprig of fresh rosemary).

You can tell this is a local favourite. A warm welcome from co-owner Victoria and a wave from Joshua in his tiny kitchen behind the gin cabinet makes you feel like you’ve been coming to this tiny, neighbourhood restaurant for years.

Love Cheese

Locals Harry and Phoebe Baines have sourced cheeses from near and far to create an award-winning counter. The selection covers continental as well as British cheeses but this is your chance to taste some of the county’s best, and most unusual, varieties (try the Ribblesdale smoked goat’s cheese, Botton Creamery cheddars or intense Yorkshire blue).

There’s also a small café on site. Sit on a picnic bench on the terrace at the back of the shop and sip a Huddersfield-roasted Dark Wood coffee while you wait for a toastie. As you might expect, toasties here are a step above the norm (though try our toastie recipes for serious comfort). We liked ours made with Haxby Baker granary and filled with mature cheddar and spiced tomato or manchego with chorizo and chilli chutney.

Henshelwoods Delicatessen

Jam-packed with Yorkshire produce, this corner shop is the ideal spot to pick up foodie souvenirs to take home with you. Choose from over 70 exceptional cheeses (including Wensleydale and Swaledale), homemade vegetable preserves that date back to medieval times, and sweet treats such as Yorkshire parkin and Cartwright and Butcher biscuits.

Henshelwoods also makes up bespoke hampers, so if you’re staying with a friend in the area you can treat them to a selection of fine foods, including The Cheese Lover or a Perfectly Practical hamper of herbs, spices and oils. The Country Gentleman hamper is a great accompaniment for a long country walk – relishes, chutneys, pates and cheese with fine ginger wine.

Cafe No.8 Bistro

This tiny bistro on Gillygate is the kind of place only the locals know about. Take a table in its hidden garden to enjoy lunch in the shadow of York Minster (delicious soups and sandwiches are great value at lunchtime), or go in the evening and try the slow-cooked lamb, home oak-smoked salmon fillet or fresh fig and blue cheese salad.


Partisan & the French House is a young and vibrant independent coffee shop on Micklegate serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

The seasonal menu has its roots in global cuisine – everything from Scandinavian-style open sandwiches on rye to Korean Bibimbap – as well as offering plenty of vegan dishes. There’s a focus on local produce, and the owners even grow herbs and vegetables on their farm just outside York. 

Partisan offers a wide selection of homemade seasonal cakes, tarts, and scones, all baked fresh everyday. Think squidgy brownies, delicate financiers and indulgent donuts to enjoy with Monmouth coffee. 

Chocolate cake topped with raspberries

Rattle Owl

Named, peculiarly, after a toy (the owners both bought the same one on the same day), this small independent restaurant sits on historic Mickelgate, right in the centre of York. The structure might be 17th century but inside the style is contemporary: wooden tables have copper legs, walls are exposed brick, wooden chairs are sculptural and light fittings mix industrial chic with Art Deco glitz. Choose from a table in the bright conservatory area at the back or a high-backed grey banquette in the more atmospheric front section.

Haxby Bakehouse bread sets a precedent for the championing of local ingredients. Whitby crab is served with an intense avocado and fennel cream, buttery sable biscuits and cherry tomatoes. Pickled grapes, almonds and balsamic cubes add depth to an heirloom tomato dish, with a jar of tomato compote reduction on the side that has the punch of a Bloody Mary.

Local sourcing continues with the mains, the highlight of which was seared Scarborough woof (catfish) served with a deep-fried goujon, confit potato cylinders and a creamy bacon foam topped with charred baby gem lettuce, garden peas and an intense lemon purée. Yorkshire duck breast came perfectly pink with pak choi, spiced peach and a burnt orange sauce.

The organic-focused wine list majors on small producer wines. Bottles include subtly aromatic Sancerre ‘Clos du Roy’, rich Moonambel Syrah from Australia and, for special occasions, a refreshing ‘Les Reuchaux’ Puligny-Montrachet.

You can also buy bottles off the shelf at The Owlet, a tiny off-licence in the window of the restaurant that claims to be Yorkshire’s smallest. Prefer your beers? Go for Yorkshire Heart lager, Little Brew porter or York Brewery ale, all brewed in York and the surrounding area.

Yorkshire Food Finder

Join York’s recently launched food trail Treks in the City, to visit artisan breadmaker Phil Clayton, local coffee roasters York Coffee Emporium, and Sarah Puckett, who makes her Puckett’s Pickles within a mile of York Minster, before enjoying a specially designed menu at The Star Inn The City.

Don’t fancy a tour? Many of these producers can be found at York’s Shambles Market (Parliament Street), which re-opened after a £1.6 million refurbishment last year. Or book a trip to coincide with the York Food and Drink Festival, which runs in June and September.

Visited all of the restaurants in York and fancy venturing a bit further from the city? Read our foodie guide to Ryedale for country pubs, Michelin-starred chefs and cream tea in a walled garden.

For more information visit and be sure to get hold of a York Pass for free entry to attractions in and around York, with discounts at cafes and restaurants.

Written by Alex Crossley

First published July 2016

This week on the podcast we celebrate Yorkshire Day with web editor Alex Crossley (who also happens to be from Yorkshire!). Alex returns to her home county to explore the independent food scene in Leeds including a lesson in British charcuterie from Friends of Ham as well as matching speciality coffee with Yorkshire-made sweet treats at North Star.

olive magazine podcast ep63 – Leeds independent food scene special

from olive magazine

Jack Solomons Club, Soho: cocktail bar review

A dark room with high ceilings, armchairs and an illuminated bar

Jack Solomons Club in a nutshell: Legendary 1950s Soho boxing promoter Jack Solomons provides the inspiration for this speakeasy-style bar on Great Windmill Street, in what was once Jack’s old boxing gym.

Where is it? A two-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station.

What’s the vibe?

A cavernous, dimly lit basement doesn’t seem a likely setting for a chic cocktail lair but Jack Solomons Club, located in the bowels of Sophie’s Steakhouse, is just that. Enter via a ‘secret’ entrance through a takeaway kiosk owned by Sophie’s and descend a staircase down into the club, where the décor swerves away from anything boxing related and instead invokes the life and times of Jack through its slightly louche mid-century stylings.

High ceilings and a mixture of bare-brick and red-leather walls are offset by capacious velvet and leather chairs in jewel tones that cluster around low tables. Booths line one side of the room and it’s very dark, so much so that aside from the dim lamps on tables the only real source of illumination comes from the pewter-topped bar, whose tall shelves of bottles are brilliantly illuminated. The overall effect is slinky, sexy and snug.

A room with booths lined with dark curtains
Curtained booths line the wall at Jack Solomons Club

What’s the drinks menu like?

In tribute to Solomons’ favourite tipple, scotch, the drinks menu includes an extensive roster of whiskies (scotch, Japanese and bourbon) and many of the cocktails are whisky based, with names inspired by Solomons’ life and career, from his favourite greyhound (Black Jack: peat whisky, maraschino liqueur and lime) to his journalist nemesis Charlie Rose (Old Guard: bourbon, plum reduction and lemon). Find out more about whisky here.

Which cocktails to order at Jack Solomons Club?

The Nipper Morris (a bantam-weight boxer promoted by Solomons) featured Woodford Reserve, orange bitters, apricot purée and champagne, and had well-balanced dry, fruity and smoky notes.

A glass with orange-coloured liquid inside
The Nipper Morris

On the Ropes was a punchier whisky cocktail; here, the sweetness of maple syrup and fruitiness of Hennessy VS was tempered by spicy cardamom bitters and a proper alcoholic kick thanks to Nikka from the Barrel whisky.

A glass with orange-coloured liquid inside next to a small glass bottle
On the Ropes

The bar also does a fine line in non-whisky cocktails, too: in the delicate, elegant Yorkshire Lady, lavender provided a pleasingly restrained floral backdrop to sour lemon and dry, fragrant tea-infused Sipsmith gin.

A coupe glass with white and orange liquid inside
The Yorkshire Lady

Is there any food?

The bar has a small-plates menu – we enjoyed well-made beef rib croquettes and a smoky burnt aubergine dip with toasted pitta bread.

Anything else?

Live jazz bands perform regularly in the bar and doors lead to a large dance floor where, on weekends, DJs play until the early hours.

Where to go nearby for dinner: Soho is packed with restaurants so you’re spoilt for choice – on Great Windmill Street there’s obviously Sophie’s upstairs or head to Blacklock for lusciously cooked chops piled high on flatbreads (check out more Soho restaurants here).

Insider tip: Snag one of the booths, which have curtains you can draw for extra privacy.

Price: Cocktails start at £13

Photographs by David Loftus

Written by Hannah Guinness

from olive magazine

Alice Hart’s summer minestrone soup recipe

For those who resolved to eat more vegetables in 2018, the British chef’s new vegetarian cookbook has plenty of tasty options

There might be a lot of chopping here, but this recipe is child’s play and the result is special enough to warrant the extra effort. The cream adds a certain silky richness but can be left out if you prefer. This is lovely served cool the next day.

Related: Alice Hart’s silverbeet and brie mini muffins recipe

Continue reading…

from Food & drink | The Guardian

Echo Deli in Paris

I don’t get out for lunch as much as I used to, or want to, but a dizzying amount of cafés, restaurants, and pastry shops have opened while I was holed up writing books. One that was getting an inordinate amount of good word-of-mouth, from friends and other restaurant owners, was Echo Café.

Entering the restaurant late morning, I was startled by the amount of sunshine that was flooding the place due to its location just across from an open place. I got there at 11 am and there wasn’t much going on. But by the time I left, the place was packed with sun-starved Parisians flocking to the café during their lunch break to get some Vitamin D, as was evident on a busy weekday afternoon.

But the other very good, and better, reason for the crush of Parisians is Chef Mailea Weger who worked at Gjusta and Gjelina in Los Angeles, places I’ve wanted to go on every single trip to L.A. that I’ve been on, but I’m usually on the other side of the city. And as anyone familiar with L.A. traffic knows, it’s a long haul from one side of Los Angeles to the other.

But proof that good things – and good food – come to those who wait, Mailea has arrived in Paris. And I was primed to go.

Continue Reading Echo Deli in Paris

from David Lebovitz

Nigel Slater’s seafood with bacon recipes

Classic surf and turf – each flavour boosts the power of the other

I have always liked what cured meat does to seafood. The fish seems to appreciate the saltiness of the bacon, as if pining for the sea. This week, my local fishmonger had a rather handsome hake. Well, handsome compared to, say, a monkfish. I bought four fine hake steaks. The Spanish eat a lot of hake – in fact half of all the hake consumed in Europe. Back in the kitchen I looked to them for inspiration and found it.

Fish seems to appreciate the saltiness of the bacon, as if pining for the sea

Continue reading…

from Food & drink | The Guardian

Not so fresh: why Jamie Oliver’s restaurants lost their bite

The chef’s chains are facing a crisis on the high street. Where did it all go wrong?

Jools Oliver, wife of the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, set social media abuzz in December when she posted pictures of the couple’s £9m home. The seven-bedroom, Grade II-listed property in London’s rarefied Hampstead was as sumptuous as might be expected for a chef who has built a £150m fortune from a business spanning books, TV, endorsements and restaurants.

But as Jools’s followers admired the fruits of Oliver’s success, he was battling to save Jamie’s Italian, the centrepiece of his restaurant division. In December, Oliver pumped £3m of his own money into the business, and in January the chain said it would close 12 of its 37 UK branches, as part of a rescue deal with its creditors to keep trading.

Continue reading…

from Food & drink | The Guardian

Ruby Tandoh’s recipe for cherry blondies with bay cream | The Sweet Spot

Beautify your brownies with these grown-up blondies spiced up with citrus and cherries

Usually I like to take a recipe straight to its basest form: opera cake? Make that a chocolate sponge. Towering croquembouche? Serve ‘em a nice eclair instead. These blondies are unusual for me, then, because for once I’ve taken something a bit saccharine and naff and made it classier. Brought to life with citrussy cardamom and plump cherries, these avoid the cloying sweetness of traditional blondies, while the bay-infused cream adds a subtle aniseed warmth. They might only be brownies with a wig on, but they taste a million bucks.

Prep 20 mins
Cook 30-35 mins
Serves 12

Continue reading…

from Food & drink | The Guardian