Tag Archives: award-winning

Food For Health Award Winners at The Good Food Market, St Katharine Dock

18 Dec

As winter gets colder, wetter and altogether gloomier, nothing warms the heart more than delicious food. The time for chilled sandwiches and salads is definitely over … rain showers and chilly winds disrupted October and November is proving to be just as dismal.

If the thought of devouring greasy junk food or a bland ready meal for lunch makes your appetite plummet, take a short stroll from Tower Hill Station to St Katharine Docks. Every Friday, tourists, local residents and nearby office workers converge upon Marble Quay to sample and buy award-winning, gourmet dishes at street food prices from The Good Food Market.

It’s the only market hosting traders in receipt of a coveted Tower Hamlets Food For Health award. Usually reserved for restaurants and cafés, the accolades can only be earned by adopting the rigorous standards required for healthy catering and overall nutrition. Prepared to strict hygiene laws and with an emphasis on wellbeing, the market’s dishes defy the boring image of healthy food in the UK – from Rummanco’s outstanding Jamaican Patties, Jerk Chicken and Curried Goat to the most tantalising, hearty Ethiopian stews from Redtent Enterprises.

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Try tucking into a delicious Palestinian Falafel Wrap from ChikP, crammed with tasty, vegan falafels with moist, fluffy centres. Alternatively, Adi Best Burgers make all their juicy patties with farm assured, British beef and Fins & Trotters – winner of the London Lifestyle Awards 2013 Street Food Vendor of the Year – serves up traditional Fish and Chips.

Visit Panka’s stall for a taste of original Peruvian cuisine, or explore traditional Portugese fare instead, from Taste of Portugal. You can also opt for meat or vegetarian Paella – studded with mouth-watering, fresh ingredients – from Mediterranean Paella, or spicier Asian dishes from Fab’s Thai Cuisine.

If you’re in a rush and in need of a quick bite, Chango creates moreish Argentine Empanadas with assorted fillings – easy to hold and devour without cutlery – or pick up a filled crêpe from Crepes N More. There are also Argentine Steak Sandwiches from Criollo Grill; Duck Confit’s self-titled speciality served in French bread; and a Famous Chorizo Sandwich, with roasted red peppers and rocket, from Gourmet Chorizo.

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Almost all hot food traders at The Good Food Market have earned a Food For Health award, with exceptions being newcomers who have yet to be assessed. The organisers of the weekly event, Shepherds Markets, take food provenance and nutrition seriously, so each trader is carefully vetted before approval to join the weekly line-up. Quality and taste are critical requirements, so it’s unsurprising that one of the latest additions is the Seriously Italian team, whose handmade pasta – produced with 100% British durum wheat – was honoured with a Great Taste Award earlier this year.

With such an array of hot food that’s healthy, satisfying and flavoursome, gone are the days of struggling through a pre-packed sandwich or a bowl of lukewarm soup – just visit The Good Food Market every Friday to indulge in an award-winning, decadent lunch instead!

The Good Food Market takes place every Friday, from 11:30am until 3:30pm at Marble Quay, London, E1W 1UH.

INTRODUCING: London’s Street Food Vendor of The Year, Fins & Trotters!

11 Dec

When the fight is on and it’s time to separate the winners from the losers, there’s only one thing for it: take it to the streets. If you can’t win at street level, before a hard-working crowd-turned-judge-and-jury, you’ll never know what you’re truly made of. 

Against a backdrop of food markets and festivals, where organisers and vendors vie for the appetites of hungry Londoners in an epic clash for supremacy, a victor has finally emerged from the scrum: Fins and Trotters Kitchen Restaurant

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Voted Street Food Vendor of the Year at the 2013 London Lifestyle Awards, the mobile stall is a regular fixture at Shepherds Markets’ sites across the Capital, dishing up traditional Fish and Chips. The humble stall was up against renowned traders from some of the UK’s best-loved street food gatherings, making the win, decided by public vote, an exceptional honour. 

Of course, the accolade comes as no surprise to those who have already sampled a portion of Fins and Trotters’ crispy-battered cod and chips. The dish is, quite simply, “a winner”. The fresh fish fillets are purchased each morning, and coated in an old-fashioned, seasoned batter to be deep-fried to just the right crispness! Paired with a generous portion of thick-cut chips, servings sell out fast! 

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Head to the Piccadilly Food Market, Jermyn Street Side, every Monday between 11am and 3pm, and the St Katharine Docks Good Food Market, every Friday from 11am to 3pm to sample Fins and Trotters’ award-winning, delicious Fish and Chips – officially London’s best street food dish! 

Christmas shoppers will also find the stall at the More London Christmas Market on Thursday 12th December, from 11am to 6pm, at More London, More London Riverside, London, SE1 2DB.

Weekly Locations:

The Piccadilly Food Market (11am – 3pm)
St James Church Courtyard (Fins and Trotters is located at Jermyn Street side)
197 Piccadilly
London
W1J 911 

St Katharine Docks Good Food Market (11am – 3pm)
Marble Quay
St Katharines Way
London
E1W 1UH

RECOMMENDED: Pasta & Sauces by Seriously Italian

24 Oct

One of the best lunches I’ve had in recent months was not in a Michelin-starred restaurant or within the welcoming decor of a much-lauded new café, it was devoured outdoors, quayside at St Katharine’s Dock.

This wonderful meal took the form of three flavoursome pasta dishes from Seriously Italian‘s market stall. A regular fixture at The Good Food Market at Marble Quay (close to The Tower of London), the stall is run by a married couple from Italy and offers a selection of mouth-watering lunch dishes.

Cooked on site, each carefully prepared dish features the couple’s handmade, award-winning, fresh pasta and homemade sauces (also available to buy should you wish to recreate similar meals at home).

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Giovanni cooks parpadelle in green pesto

It was a pleasure to meet one half of the Seriously Italian duo, Giovanni, during my visit to The Good Food Market last Friday. His passion for cooking was evident and his approach towards his produce was inspiring: Seriously Italian is the only UK outlet producing pasta made from 100% British durum wheat. Even the gnocchi is made with British potatoes!

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The Seriously Italian stall at The Good Food Market

Being artisan chefs, the provenance of their ingredients is key, sourcing the finest quality stoneground flour, organic certified produce and fresh vegetables to create not only hot dishes, but also packets of ready-to-cook pasta and jars of accompanying sauces.

The stall offers three hot dishes each week, and I was lucky enough to sample all three available options during my visit, beginning with a combination of two types of plump, Organic Gnocchi – beetroot, and a spinach and ricotta.

Tossed in a richly flavoured vegetarian red pesto, which looked deceptively like meat ragu, the gnocchi were perfectly cooked, with soft, fluffy centres melting against a mild heat of chilli in the sauce.

Organic Parpadelle with Courgettes, Speck and Homemade Green Pesto was bolder and equally enjoyable. The vibrant sauce looked fresh and inviting and just one bite confirmed its superior quality. Fragrant with basil, the flavour was nicely balanced by bites of salty ham and al dente pasta.

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Organic Gnocchi and Parpadelle

Whilst my first two pasta dishes were outstanding, it has to be said that Seriously Italian‘s Lasagne – made with pumpkin, sage and almonds – was nothing short of INCREDIBLE.

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Lasagne by Seriously Italian

The creaminess of the bechamel was worthy of a standing ovation for perfection, even without the addition of delicious sage-spiced pumpkin and fresh pasta.

Sadly, I didn’t take a photo of my box of assorted pastas – I was too busy shovelling enthusiastic forkfuls into my mouth! Whilst I chewed and sighed with pleasure (it was a bit When Harry Met Sally but I really couldn’t help myself), I wasn’t surprised to learn from Giovanni that Seriously Italian‘s pasta was honoured with a Great Taste Award earlier this year. Well deserved, believe me!

Unable to wait an entire seven days until The Good Food Market‘s return to Marble Quay the following week, Giovanni kindly gave me a jar of his homemade Pistachio Pesto to continue my Italian adventure at home – an outstanding concoction which transformed an otherwise bland bowl of Sainsbury’s penne into a gourmet meal.

Overall verdict? Seriously Italian could easily be renamed ‘Seriously Good’! It’s a five star lunch in a five star location – a beautiful marina, brought to life with authentic Italian food, hospitality and warmth.

Visit Seriously Italian at The Good Food Market, every Friday from 11.30am (Marble Quay, St Katharine’s Dock, London, E1W 1UH)

REVIEW: Seduced in Selfridges by Godminster’s Brie

11 Sep

Temptation comes in many forms. Forget the biblical ones – the prophets and apostles were obviously deprived of a good Brie, or else they would have surely forewarned against the perils of its porcelain skin and creamy flesh. Many a diet has been derailed by its wanton allure.

Partial to parading itself in public – markets and festivals seem to be popular haunts – it is difficult to avoid bumping into one another; usually at the most inopportune moments, often after inwardly resolving to abstain from temptation.

I sheepishly share with you one such recent encounter:

Feeling peckish during a trip to Central London but with little or no money in my pocket, I headed towards a beckoning friend: Selfridges. Walking through its charming Food Hall is always a rewarding endeavour – an abundance of free samples should negate the need to purchase a full lunch. Or so goes the theory. In reality, the delicious morsels one consumes more often lead to dangerous impulse purchases.

I have been known to leave the store laden with a range of items I neither required nor intended to buy. In my time, I have carted home everything from expensive vinegars and piquant sauces to gluttonous cakes and healthy yogurts!

However, of all the options in the heavenly hall, there is one that has been known to frequently derail my budget: the cheese counter. Good Lord, what a temptation! Smoked, soft, hard, blue, international, British, pasteurised, unpasteurised, flavoured, plain – there’s a cheese for every palette and every mood. Whether you’re seeking comfort and consolation or pleasure and elation, Selfridges offers a cheese to induce the required emotion.

It was here, by the side of the counter, where we finally met, in the most unexpected and illicit of encounters. I had been strolling along, admiring a particularly beautiful roasted, Organic pork leg when there it was… sprawled naked, ivory curves on show for all to see, lying in the most provocative manner on top of a discarded wrapper.

Posing seductively, its intent was abundantly clear; Godminster Brie wanted to seduce me (oh, how ironic to have the Lord’s name within its title). My rumbling tummy betrayed my growing hunger; I was insatiable, too weak to resist its smooth, silky skin. It was love at first sight.

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Its chaperone, a delightful lady from Godminster Farm, did little to curtail my hunger: “It’s Organic,” she revealed. My heart briefly stalled as my mouth began to water. My new love, such a rare and delicate treasure, was not only beautiful but also angelically pure. I chided myself for ever doubting its virtue.

A longing smile must have seeped across my unworthy features, for the kindly chaperone suddenly uttered: “Would you like to try it?”

I caved to inner desire and there, in broad daylight, within the expanse of the Food Hall, I succumbed. Fireworks exploded! Produced on a farm in Bruton, Somerset, using Jersey milk, there was a delightful depth to its flavour, as if all the beauty of that glorious region had converged into one.

As I lost myself within the pleasure of its melting strokes upon my tongue, the chaperone announced its superior, award-winning status (a Great Taste Award with which I heartily agree).

No sooner had I finished with my fair love, the chaperone coyly introduced its unexpected companion – an exotic-looking, freckled specimen, intent on spicing things up: Brie with Black Pepper!

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Where my fair love had been subordinate and soothing, this new offering was bold and unapologetically dominant. Pulled into the delicious delights of a 50 Shades-esque slap upon my taste buds, I was now torn between the two beauties.

“They’re £5.99 each if you would like to take them home,” explained the chaperone. My word. A bargain at twice the price! You certainly don’t get this sort of offer on the high streets of North London, although one does wonder about the fridge contents of certain Tweed-clad neighbours.

Who would have imagined that an innocent visit to Selfridges would lead to a cheesy seduction and the offer of a private threesome at home? As my mind roved to thoughts of wild abandon over a cheeseboard with my two new loves, snap shots of the props awaiting in my kitchen brought forth a heavy sweat from my brow.

Images of thick, quince jam and plump, curvaceous grapes – vigorously sandwiched between the fair and fiery duo laid before me – were too tantalising to dismiss. I knew then that my inner resolve to be ‘good’ was futile. The two Bries had generously supplied a taste of their charms and I couldn’t be so impolite as to turn them away; such rudeness wouldn’t be Christian.

However, with funds somewhat absent at the moment of our meeting, I had no choice but to reign in my appetite and mumble my excuses. Upon returning to my abode, I consoled myself with the internet. It was a brisk session, over within minutes – I had found the strumpets causing my pain on Godminster’s website, reiterating their offer to join me at home for the tiny additional cost of postage!

Resigning myself to future weekends hugging the Weight Watchers cookbook, I added Godminster’s site to my list of ‘Favourites’ – reflecting our meaningful encounter. It was no slap-dash ‘one bite stand’. Goodness no. We’re involved.

REVIEW: Foodies Festival At Hampton Court

2 Jun

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Hungry Londoners and discerning foodies from across the South East will converge on Clapham Common this weekend (June 7th, 8th & 9th) for a mouth-watering extravaganza, showcasing the best in street food, artisan bakers, pop up restaurants and international specialities. Aptly called ‘Foodies Festival’, this culinary celebration is the king of open air feasts, featuring live entertainment, celebrity-hosted workshops, exclusive masterclasses and even a mobile spa!

I was lucky enough to win two tickets to attend the Hampton Court event during the final Bank Holiday weekend in May. It was the ultimate opportunity to spend a blissful Monday basking in the sun whilst eating good food, sipping on cocktails and humming happily to great music.

The first thing to captivate me was the incredible aroma – simmering sauces and Asian spices competed with the unmistakeable smell of grilled sausages and barbecued meats. I marvelled at the discovery of exotic, new fruits, revelled in new flavour combinations (which I mentally noted to try at home) and sampled international street food that transported my imagination – and tastebuds – to faraway lands. Clusters of friends lounged on the grass, drinking Raspberry Mojitos, Bloody Marys (from Blood Shot bar) and refreshing Ginger Beer (the newly launched Grouse Ginger), as live singers belted out Beyonce and Stevie Wonder classics. Stumbling toddlers licked greedily at melting Purbeck Ice Cream while amused parents tucked into slow-cooked, pulled pork sandwiches (from Jamie’s Italian), Thai noodles (from The Noodle Bar) and generously filled Empanadas (by Chango). Strangers began talking to one another at stall fronts, sharing mutual appreciation for tasty, free samples. It was a visual and sensory feast laced with an atmosphere of discovery, excitement and deep contentment.

The range of available food was genuinely spectacular – although I was slightly disappointed by the absence of any notable lamb dishes. Being of Greek origin, an abundance of marinated or spit-roasted lamb is as essential as water. That said, there were plenty of incredible alternatives, including hearty vegan and vegetarian options.

Steak lovers made a bee-line for the Gaucho BBQ stand where the magnificent sight of huge hunks of meat, cooking to a slow char over hot coals, awaited. Burger fans headed towards the award-winning Street Kitchen for a cheese-topped ‘Buffalo Bill’ or a Crispy Chicken variation with Caesar Sauce. Of course, no outdoor food feast would be complete without the humble hog and foodies queued patiently for Roast Hog’s signature roll; ciabatta filled with succulent pork, homemade apple sauce and crackling. The Bath Pig delighted visitors with their quirky tapas ‘lollipop’; a skewer of creamy mozzarella and spicy chorizo balls – fun AND flavoursome! Not forgetting the British tradition of serving bangers, The Great British Sausage Co. had an array of different varieties to satisfy every appetite – all succulent, juicy and perfectly spiced.

Sugar highs were available everywhere, with my favourites being Fudge Kitchen (I’m a long time fan!), The Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla cupcake (red velvet is so overrated) and The Brownie Bar’s signature creation (the clue is in the name!).

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Demonstrations, lectures and workshops were provided for anyone looking to hone their cooking skills or food knowledge – including a Drinks Theatre, Cake & Bake Theatre, Chocolate Theatre and a very endearing Children’s Cookery Theatre.

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After forcing my way through an underwhelming Jerk Chicken Wrap from one of the Caribbean stall holders (freezing cold, despite just coming off the coals), I had set my tongue on fire enough to justify the need for an oversized ice-cream cone. Topped with gigantic, creamy scoops of raspberry ripple and rich chocolate, it was pure gluttony – my freebie intake at the Festival had already been epic! I managed to sample no less than caramel rum; flavoured vodkas; single malt whiskey; ginger beer; white wine; red wine; soft and hard cheeses; breads; crackers; olives; infused oils; bruschetta; fudge; chocolate; flavoured popcorn; tea; condiments; tapenades; organic honey; jams; sauces; cakes; macarons; vegan loaves; sausages; ham (you must try Jorge’s Deli); and barbecued meats. From an international perspective, my tastebuds toured across most of the United Kingdom, much of The Americas, through to the West Indies, on to Spain, Greece, France and Italy, some stop-overs in Eastern Europe and final pit-stops in Africa and Asia. It took Phileas Fogg 80 days but I safely travelled the globe in a single day.

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Weary from my travels, and with a satisfyingly full belly, I surrendered myself to the heavenly scented Spa Bus, courtesy of Elemis, for a glorious back massage (£15 for 15 minutes).

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Relaxed and happy, I finally headed home – armed with a sack of food and a freshly pressed lemonade, from The Fresh Lemonade Company, to hydrate me during the long train journey home. So good was my experience, I’ll be returning to Foodies Festival for the Clapham Common leg, because I’d be a fool to miss repeating such an enjoyable experience!

Taking place in eight U.K. locations throughout the summer, Clapham is one of five remaining chances to experience the Festival before its conclusion at the end of August:

London Clapham Common (June 7, 8 & 9)
Bristol Harbourside (July 12, 13 & 14)
Edinburgh Inverleith Park (August 9, 10 & 11)
FEAST Battersea Park (August 16, 17 & 18)
Oxford South Parks (August 24, 25 & 26).

Tickets are available to purchase from the Foodies Festival website or, alternatively, can be bought on the day.