Archive | July, 2017

The San Miguel Experience – London

The San Miguel Experience – London

Posted on 31 July 2017 by Chris Ford

 

Last week San Miguel invited me to San Miguel – The Experience in London.

Now this may sound like a chance to drink some of Spain’s favourite beer and it was but there was a lot more to it than that.

San Miguel have teamed up with some pretty inspiring people who we joined for an evening of inspirational talks, creative workshops and immersive experiences celebrating people from around the world who live life differently.

I’ve picked out a couple of my favourites here, the most noticeable one I guess was  the Virtual Reality simulator Birdly which makes you feel like you are soaring above streets of New York city, pretty dizzying realistic stuff!

 

Then there was Mike Kus, a British designer and photographer as well as pretty amazing Instagrammer.  Mike guided us through how he takes a photo for Instagram and generally how to take better snaps. It was the simple things like use interesting / different angles and the settings to use to enhance your image. Mike mainly uses the brightness, contrast and structure tools right in the Instagram app itself for his processing.  He also just uses a regular iPhone. I left feeling impressed and inspired that I can up my Instagram game (watch this space on that one!)

The other stand out session I attended was more interactive. We joined Belgian pastry chef and chocolatier Willem Verlooy for a really enjoyable class where we made our very own chocolate treats. I filmed most of the session in the video below, (sorry for the poor sound on this one my mic wasn’t working properly!)

After a few great talks we then had to of course check out the beer and food selections, being hosted by San Miguel there was course an array of their beer range on offer. I really enjoyed some of the less common offerings particularly like the 1516 which is made to conform to Germany’s strict purity laws and result in a fresh slightly smoky tasting spin which went down really well.  The other winner for me was the San Miguel Selecta 3 toasted malts and 3 specially selected hops creating a really smooth beer with a lovely slight hoppy finish. I really really liked this one!

I can’t wait for the San Miguel Experience to return to London next year, it was such a fun inspiring night.

For more info on San Miguel head over to https://www.sanmiguel.com/en , Mike Kus is on Instagram at @mikekus  and Willem Verlooy is at @willemverlooy

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Rising Young Actors

Rising Young Actors

Posted on 24 July 2017 by Chris Ford

To mark the Blu-ray™ and DVD release of Jason Blum’s Get Out on 24th July starring Daniel Kaluuya, we take a look at the UK landscape of the young, diverse British actors who are similarly starting to make real waves in film and television.

Daniel Kaluuya

On a path that has seen him professionally acting since the age of 17, Daniel Kaluuya’s career is definitely on the rise.

In Get Out we see Daniel playing the part of Chris Washington, a young African-American man who’s been invited by his white girlfriend Rose to meet her family at their upstate home out of the city.  At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behaviour as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Daniel’s past roles include Black Mirror, Sicario and Kick-Ass 2, his performance in Get Out has caught the eye of many, with the Guardian calling it “Understated and layered”. With upcoming performances in Marvel’s Black Panther and Steve McQueen’s Widows to look forward to – the only way is up for Daniel.

 

Riz Ahmed

A couple of years ago you’d have been forgiven for not recognising the name Riz Ahmed – now that’s not the case! His performance as Nasir “Naz” Khan in HBO mini-series The Night Of quickly propelled him to become one of Britain’s most sought after actors. Since then, he’s featured in film and television’s biggest productions including Rogue One and Netflix’s The OA and HBO’s Girls.

 

John Boyega

Sticking with Star Wars, another actor whose breakthrough came from the George Lucas intergalactic franchise is John Boyega. London born Boyega first burst onto the scene with his performance in Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block as Moses. Since then, after a reported 7 month audition process Boyega is now a leading man in the Star Wars Universe playing the role of Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and forthcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

 

Babou Ceesay

Babou Ceesay is most notably known for his recent role as Marcus in the new series Guerilla, a brutal depiction of 1970’s Britain. Recently in Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Babou revealed how theatre productions shape the way he acts, saying “theatre has a profound impact on the work I do now. Repeating a performance, night after night, starts to give you some grounding.” Babou has also starred in some of Britain’s biggest shows on television including Law & Order: UK, Luther and Casualty.

 

Jordan Stephens 

London-born Jordan Stephens is not only a successful musician, but is also a very much up-and-coming star. The Rizzle Kicks front man has recently starred alongside Ella Purnell in road trip movie Access All Areas – previous work includes a cameo role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to which he described as “one of the most intimidating experiences of his life”. Other work includes E4’s Glue and drama series The Last Panthers.

 

Take home GET OUT, available on available on Blu-Ray™ and DVD on the 24th July

 

 

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The Regal Rogue boozy brunch

The Regal Rogue boozy brunch

Posted on 18 July 2017 by Chris Ford

Last month I received a curious invitation to join a brand called Regal Rogue for a bit of a boozy brunch on a Saturday morning to kick off London Wine Week.

Regal Rogue was developed by Brit-born Mark Ward. Mark realised, while living in Australia, that they produce some of the best wine in the world so why no vermouths?  Hence Regal Rogue was born.

I don’t think I have ever had vermouth before, so this was a bit of an education of me. We learnt that Regal Rogue was being used a base ingredient for an array of cocktails on offer and with the blazing sunny weather we were experiencing, they were perfectly refreshing while not too boozy for the early morning start.

On arrival we started off with a ‘Lively Spritzer’ consisting of Regal Rogue Lively White, fresh grapefruit, lemon, sparkling wine and a sprig of rosemary.  The grapefruit shone through on this one and really woke me up!

 

The brunch was served family style and to start we had a selection of five starters to try. I went for the Granola with Honey oaks, roasted buckwheat, quinoa and rosella yoghurt which was amazing, I would never ever normally order this for breakfast but it really was tasty, a game-changer for me breakfast-wise.

Then we went onto the main breakfast items, I particularly enjoyed the crispy haloumi as well as the smoked haddock and sea beet kedgeree. Again not things I would normally order for breakfast but this all felt like a real treat. To accompany our meal we had a choice of Regal Rogue cocktails.  My favourite was a mix featuring ‘Daring Dry’ with apple, celery, spinach and cucumber which complemented the strong flavours of the kedgeree perfectly.

The interesting thing about Regal Rogue to me is its actually quite low in alcohol making it an ideal mixer for summer cocktails. You can enjoy them and not worry about getting too tipsy in the heat. But as the brunch drew to a close we did up the alcohol game a bit and enjoyed a ‘Australian Rogroni’ which had Regal Rogue Bold Red mixed with gin, Italian bitter and a large slice of orange, and wow this really packed a punch! But so good on this roaring hot day.

I guess the take home from the Rogues brunch though wasn’t the food. It was that Vermouth can be used as an excellent and light replacement for spirits in things like gin and tonics or negroni with surprisingly fresh and delightful results. Give it a go especially as we continue to enjoy this glorious weather!

 

for more info on Regal Rogue head over to www.regalrogue.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stagolee’s Hot Chicken, Fulham, London

Stagolee’s Hot Chicken, Fulham, London

Posted on 07 July 2017 by Chris Ford

Last week we went along to a press night at new Fulham restaurant Stagolee’s,  with the promise of fried chicken it seemed rude not to , so we trekked over from East London (actually it wasn’t that bad) to the lovely Fulham Broadway to check out what Stagolees had to offer.

Speaking to head chef and co-founder of Stagolee’s Ashley James you can see straight away there’s a passion for good food. Texas born James has a strong pedigree when it comes to food, having trained under Michelin starred chef Tom Aitken and worked as a sous chef at New Yorks famous Rainbow Rooms it’s a exciting prospect that she has chosen to bring us some of the southern staples from her homeland. In fact Ashley explained to us it was the lack of authentic southern food that inspired her and friend Jordan Harris to open Stagolee’s in the first place.

“I wanted to bring to London American food how we eat it not the over exaggerated way a lot of places do, I want to bring Londoners a piece of our home”.

So hearing that got me a bit excited, and from the moment the devilled eggs arrived for us to sample I knew Ashley was serious, I mean who does devilled eggs here?  I have only had these in the States and they were divine!

Hot Chicken

The main star of Stagolee’s though is clearly the hot chicken. Hot chicken or Nashville hot chicken is a type of fried chicken that is a local specialty of Nashville, Tennessee. it is a portion of breast, thigh, or wing that has been marinated in a blend of seasoning, floured, fried, and finally sauced using a paste that has been spiced, Stagolees bring this to us in three levels one plain, one spicy and one well so hot I nearly passed out, that one’s not for the faint hearted!

Key Lime Pie

 

Everything in Stagolee’s is made from scratch and it shows, from their biscuits to their home made key lime pie ( I still dream about that pie) in fact Ashley said the only thing she hasn’t been able to make from scratch was the crinkle cut fries , a small price to pay when you have such amazing food on the menu.

In fact Stagolee’s ticked all the boxes for me, they had good food, good beers ( all us breweries and some I haven’t seen on tap before) and very competitive prices.

To sum out Ashely and Jordon’s attitude to Stagolee’s they quote American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez,

“the people who give you their food give you their heart” and that’s exactly what they are offering with Stagolee’s.

Stagolee’s Resturant

453 North End Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1NZ

Nearest Tube – Fulham Broadway

stagolees.co.uk

 

 

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Whisky and Beef the perfect combo ?

Whisky and Beef the perfect combo ?

Posted on 07 July 2017 by Chris Ford

So recently Ive been drinking alot more whisky than I used to, not in a problem kind of way but Ive just been enjoy a dram of a evening alot more than I used to so when Scotish distillary  Balblair got in touch with some recipies to pair with their whsikies this one stood out to me, beef and whisky has always sat well with me and this recipie sounds like a winner, I will be trying it out this sunday so I hope so!

 

Smoked Highland Ribeye, Potato Rösti with Green Beans, Wasabi & Pickled Shallots &Brown Butter Béarnaise

 

A truly epic piece of meat that is a guaranteed summer barbecue showstopper. Let your guests carve at the table and get stuck into the sides family-style.

 

Ingredients (serves 8)

 

For The Beef:

1 Bunch x Rosemary

1 Bunch x Thyme

2 Heads x Garlic, Halved

2 Tablespoons x Smoked Paprika

2.5kg x Highland Fore Rib Beef, French Trimmed

 

For The Green Beans:

2kg x Green Beans, Top and Tailed

 

For The Pickled Shallots:

8 x Large Banana Shallots, Peeled and Sliced into Thin Rounds

250ml x White Wine Vinegar

200g x Caster Sugar

10 x Juniper Berries

1 x Bay Leaf

 

Dressing:

2 Teaspoon x Wasabi Paste

100ml x White Wine Vinegar

200ml x Highland Rapeseed Oil

 

For The Rösti:

4 x Large King Edward Potatoes, Peeled

2 x Large Egg Yolks

20g x Rosemary, Finely Chopped

10g x Cracked Black Pepper

 

For The Béarnaise:

300g x Unsalted Butter

120ml x White Wine Vinegar

15g x Tarragon Leaves, Finely Chopped

6 x Large Free Range Egg Yolks

  

Method

 

The day before serving, cold smoke the beef over oak wood chips for 1 hour at 20 – 30C. Remove the beef from the smoker and place on a baking tray. Run the remaining ingredients over the beef and place, uncovered, in the fridge to marinade overnight. Make sure to remove the beef from the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking.

 

Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ Gas Mark 5.

 

Lay a clean tea towel over a large mixing bowl and coarsely grate the potatoes into it and season with salt and pepper. Over the sink, twist the towel into a ball, squeezing as much moisture as possible. Mix the grated potatoes with egg yolks and rosemary. Heat up a 12-inch non-stick frying pan with an inch of oil, over a medium heat. Carefully fill the pan with the potato mix, gently pushing the mix down in the pan with the back of a spatula. Fry for 4 minutes and then place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the rösti out onto a baking tray and set aside for later.

 

Drizzle oil over the beef, season generously with sea salt and roast in the oven for 1 hour 35 minutes.

 

To make the pickle liquor for the shallots, bring the vinegar, sugar, bay and juniper berries to the boil along with 200ml of water in a pot over a high heat. Boil for a minute and then remove from the heat and chill until cold enough to touch. At this stage add the sliced shallot rounds and leave to steep for at least an hour.

 

The wasabi dressing is simply made by whisking the oil, wasabi paste and vinegar until it combines. Taste, season and chill.

 

To make the Béarnaise sauce, melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. When the butter starts to turn a light brown, and begins to smell nutty, turn the hob down to its lowest temperature. Once the butter has entirely melted, set aside for 10 minutes so that the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pot. In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar and a tablespoon of cold water. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (ensuring that the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching water). Continuously whisk the eggs until they have doubled in size and become light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from the water and slowly add the clarified brown butter whilst constantly whisking until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the tarragon, taste and season then set aside. Do not leave this sauce for more than two hours.

 

Remove the beef from the oven and place back in the smoker over oak wood chips at 30C for 30 mins, allowing the meat to absorb the smoky flavour as it rests and becomes tender.

 

Simmer the green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water, then toss in a large mixing bowl with the pickled shallots and wasabi dressing. Serve on a large platter along with the rösti. Pour the Béarnaise into a small gravy boat then finish the dish by carving the smoked beef and placing on a large board, finishing with a sprinkle of smoked salt.

 

Whisky Pairing: Balblair 99

A robust piece of beef like this needs the full-bodied finish of the 99. The warmth and fruity spiciness of this whisky will complement the sweet cherry smoke of the meat.

 

for more info on  Balblair and their range head over to www.balblair.com

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The Moretti Gran Tour is back !

Posted on 04 July 2017 by Chris Ford

The Moretti Gran Tour has become a bit of a fixture in our summer calender and something we really look forward to each year and Im pleased to say that this week its  back and I might go as far to say  better than ever before with the introduction of an immersive sensory experience is intended to transport you  to different Italian regions, from the Tuscan hills to the Sicilian sea front, alongside four Italian street food vendors at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park, London  until the 9th  of July.

The sensory experience offers visitors a guided tour of famous sights, scents, tastes and sounds from across Italy which will be brought to life by creatives Robin Collective through an experience that explores how taste is unique to an individual and how a wide range of multi-sensory stimuli can alter and heighten the flavours we experience.

Your journey around Italy will continue as taste buds will be indulged with foods native to each region, from molecular caviar to market spices, all paired with the Birra Moretti range.

You can tuck into four of London’s best Italian street food vendors each serving a range of authentic signature dishes inspired by different regions of Italy.

Returning again this year  Arancini Brothers will be offering its citrus, mushroom zucchini and spicy sweet potato with smokey cheese arancini balls – all served with homemade aubergine and tomato dipping sauce and garlic aioli. These were a total highlight for me when I tried them last night.

Also returning are the amazing Pizza Pilgrims who are  serving their classic Margherita made with tomato, fior di latte, parmesan and olive oil pizza.

Or you could try a  ‘Meatball Parm Hero’  from Cheeky Italian which is filled with fried chicken, pork and beef meatballs, oozy mozzarella, marinara sauce all in a toasted white bap.

For more info on the event head to https://www.birramoretti.com/partnership-and-events/moretti-gran-tour-2017/

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Moretti Gran Tour London

Moretti Gran Tour London

Posted on 04 July 2017 by Chris Ford

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