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Restaurant Review: Jamie’s Italian, Birmingham

I found myself in Birmingham – the land of pleasant taxi drivers, balti houses and a growing culinary scene – not so long ago. I was up there for an Arcade Fire gig (there were only seated tickets left at the 02 and I’d rather snog Brian Blessed than sit down to Arcade Fire) but…

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Restaurant review: El Pirata, Mayfair

When I was a kid, we used to go camping in Spain and France every summer holiday in our Conway Tardis (a sort of weird caravan/trailer tent hybrid). My parents would let me and my sister amuse ourselves for hours in the surroundings of whichever restaurant they’d chosen to settle in while they indulged in…

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Food chain: North Sea haddock goes MSC

“See this,” says skipper Donald Anderson as he prizes open the mouth of  a catfish to reveal a jagged set of needlepoint teeth. ” This’ll take your hand off. They live on the bottom of the sea and feed off shells, which is why their teeth are so sharp. Like razor-blades.” It’s just turned 6am…

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The Warwick Wingding

On Saturday food blogger extraordinaire Helen Graves and I teamed up to do a mezze stall at the Warwick Wingding in Peckham. We’d been talking about what to do for a couple of months, with an original plan to make cold jerk chicken sandwiches being replaced by an idea to create tempting Ottolenghi-style salads and…

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Turning Vietnamese: The Times

As you might have gathered from previous posts, I was in Vietnam in April – larking about and eating as much as I could. My love affair with Vietnamese food started long before that, when I first tasted beef wrapped in betal leaf at Song Que on the Kingsland Road about four years prior, but…

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Crab and saffron ravioli

July 2nd was the fifth anniversary of my dad’s death, and I couldn’t concentrate on work. So I decided to cook, and I wanted to create a dish that I could enjoy that night and remember my dad by – an incredible man and father who was so much fun and so life-loving. One of…

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The UK’s Top Ten Ultimate Breakfasts

Croissants from Fusion cafe, Sheffield For my first contribution to the MSN and Sainsburys food website, I wrote a top ten of ultimate breakfasts in the UK, finally managing to cover the Malvern Guest House in Deal, which has over 60 breakfast options (including ‘burger breakfast’). You can view the top ten here over at…

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