Eight a.m and I slip out of the house without eating breakfast. I’m not sick or on a diet but working as a judge co-ordinator for the UK Guild of Fine Food and need to stay hungry. Today, at the Great Taste Awards London office, I am going to taste 40 or more food and drink products. Taste is the key criterion in this annual competition. In 2017, more than 40 judges will sample 12,000 food and drink products blind. They don’t see the packet, jar, bottle or box, the marketing, price or advertising copy, so are impartial. My job as judge co-ordinator is to: summarise what my panel thinks; provide feedback; helpRead More →

Chefs concerned about food waste  – and their bottom line – are incorporating every last leaf and rind of fruit and veg into their dishes.  Could you try stem-to-root cooking, cut landfill and get two or three meals for the price of one? Here’s my experience. Cauliflower stalks and leaves Don’t dump the leaves and stalks after you’ve magicked cauli florets into cauliflower rice, pizza bases, mash or even cake. Simmered with onion, veg or chicken stock and Parmesan rind or a cube of cheese – plus a bay leaf to keep the school dinners pong under control – leaves and stalks make a creditable cauliflower cheese soup. The first time I made it, I was amazed that a cauli soupRead More →

You would think buying food for a food bank would be easy. You’d be wrong. First rule: buy what users of food banks need. Not what you think they need. I’ve heard many food banks are inundated with fusilli shapes, pulses, baked beans, chocolate digestives and cornflakes but short of meat and fish to eat with all those carbs. I’ve looked into the collection box at Waitrose and seen everything from a jar of Nutella to a taco kit, mince pies to chocolate advent calendars. Also an awful lot of pasta. So I do some research.  The lovely people who run the Wandsworth food bank at St Mark’sRead More →