Archive | November, 2017

Siemens Home Connect Fridge Freezers – tech enabled fridges!

Siemens Home Connect Fridge Freezers – tech enabled fridges!

Posted on 30 November 2017 by Chris Ford

Sometimes it seems we get one step closer to the machines taking over with every passing day but I have to admit this concept is rather cool. Ever wondered if you have any onions left in your fridge while sat at your desk?  or how much milks left?  well wonder no more if you buy one of these new fridges from Siemens, yeah no really the fridges are taking over!

The fridge freezer makes planning for meals easier with connected built-in cameras, so you can check the contents of the fridge not only when at the supermarket, but anytime, anywhere.

Each time the door closes on the fridge freezer, two high-performance cameras take photos of the interior and door areas. The device then sends these photos to a smartphone or tablet using the Home Connect app, allowing stock quantities to be checked so you don’t buy what you already have or don’t buy at all.

Home Connect not only allows you to check what you have in your fridge, you can also check the temperature in the refrigerator and adjust the settings whilst you’re on the move. In addition, the app provides expert advice on storing and maintaining produce.

More info on the Home connect range can be found over here

 

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Makers Mark Whiskey Cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’

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Makers Mark Whiskey Cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’

Posted on 22 November 2017 by Chris Ford

 

 

Last week I had a lovely evening at The Athenaeum Hotel THE BAR with Makers Mark Whiskey UK ambassador  Amanda Humphrey learning about the history of the brand.

 

It was a really interesting evening in a stunning venue, and fascinating to learn how Maker’s Mark still employ a very old-school approach to their business despite the size of the brand. Each bottle is hand-dipped in their signature red wax and the labels are still printed and cut the same way they have always been despite the obvious advances in technology.  This makes owning a bottle that little bit more special, now I know this.

The bar staff at The Athenaeum Hotel held a competition to come up with a new cocktail to showcase Maker’s Mark’s latest expression Makers 46. We tried the winning cocktail on the night, which was amazing! Here’s the winning recipe for that cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’ for you to make at home if you can’t make it to The Athenaeum to try it in person.

 

 

The Road Less Travelled

INGREDIENTS

20ml Maker’s 46

20ml Mancino Chinato

20ml Rinomato Aperitivo

5ml Maraschino

2 dashes of aromatic bitters

4 dashes of rhubarb bitters

 

METHOD

Stir all the ingredients, strain into a ginza rocks

glass over a chunk of ice and garnish with an

orange twist.

 

‘The Road Less Travelled’ cocktail which is available now for £15 at THE BAR at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

You can buy some Makers 46 here.

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The Botanist Gin Dinner – London Cocktail Week

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The Botanist Gin Dinner – London Cocktail Week

Posted on 20 November 2017 by Chris Ford

We always enjoy London Cocktail week when it comes around but the highlight for us this year had to be the wondering dinner we attended at SAGAR & WILDE in Bethnal Green hosted by The Botanist Gin. Here’s a insight into the food and drink pairings we had on the night along with recipes so you can try them for yourselves.

I still dream about that Venison Ragu and the Islay Martini was quite possibly the best gin cocktail ive ever had!

 

Venison Ragu

Venison haunch

Chicken stock

Red wine

Carrot

Celery

Onion

Garlic

 

  • Dice mire poix
  • Salt venion haunch and grill.
  • Sweat mire poix, add red wine and reduce. Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
  • Put venison and liquid in gastro and braise for 4 to 5 hours in low oven
  • When meat is ready and can be pulled from bone, shread meat and reduce liquid.
  • Check seasoning and finish with sherry vinegar

 

Cocoa Pappardelle

1240g ‘00’ flour

200g semolina

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

7 eggs

360g egg yolk

 

  • Mix dry ingredients and add yolks and eggs and knead until soft
  • Roll pasta through machine to 1 mm thickness and cut to 1cm ribbons

 

 

Lamb belly

  • Salt lamb bellies over night
  • Wash and vac pack pack with thyme garlic and olive oil.
  • Cook at 84C for 6 hours
  • Remove from bags, take out bones and press between grease proof and chill
  • When cold, portion
  • Grill and cover with mint sauce

 

 

Wild Mint Sauce

 

  • Make a gastrique by boiling together equal white vinegar and demerara sugar.
  • Chill and add chopped wild mint and pour over lamb bellies

 

Beetroot salmon

 

1 side of salmon, skinned

 

30ml Botantist gin

500ML beet juice

50G brown sugar

30G Caster

130G salt

10G pink Salt

 

  • 1 side of salmon, skinned
  • Combine ingredients and cover fish.
  • Cure for 48 hours turning each day

 

Apple Cake

250 grams unsalted butter

300G sugar

4 eggs

300 G flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 tablespoons cream

6 braeburn apples peeled

demerara sugar (for sprinkling on top)

 

  • In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at the time and stir
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together, mix some of it onto the batter, then add some of the milk, then some of the batter like this until all blended. Don’t over work
  • Smear half of the batter in a buttered gastro, cover with cake batter and add apples all over mix.
  • Sprinkle with Demerea sugar
  • Bake at 180 C for 25-30 mins

 

 

Islay Martini

 

Glass: Martini

 

50ml Botanist Gin

5ml Dulce Infused Dry Vermouth

2.5ml Port Charlotte Whisky

 

Garnish: Sea Aster

 

  • Stir in mixing glass over cubed ice, strain and garnish.

 

For more info on The Botanist Gin head over to https://www.thebotanist.com or to buy yourself a bottle click here.

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Interview with Rupert Jones

Interview with Rupert Jones

Posted on 08 November 2017 by Chris Ford

 

Kaleidoscope a new film  written and directed by Rupert Jones opens in UK cinemas on 10th November.  The film a drama inspired by the work of Hitchcock and Polanski. At the heart of this modern day Psycho are some unsettling questions: Can we ever escape the role in which we are cast by our early circumstances? Must a perpetrator first be a victim?

Staring  some amazing British talent in the form of Toby Jones, Anne Reid and Sinéad Matthews Kaleidoscope immerses us in the world of middle-aged Carl (Jones), recently released from prison, who is trying to adjust to life on the outside. His bleak life is challenged by the arrival of his controlling mother (Reid) just as he embarks on his first date in 15 years. The film is a twisted and tangled delve into one man’s psyche, as influences of past and present collide in his tortured mind. 

We recently spoke to Director Rupert Jones about the film:

Kaleidoscope film written directed by Rupert Jones starring Toby Jones photographed by Andrew Ogilvy Photography

 

Where did the idea of KALEIDOSCOPE come from?

I’m never sure where ideas come from. This began with the notion of a man who wakes to find a dead body in his bathroom and with no memory of how it got there. Everything came from that, really. How did the body get there? And what to do now? The next big idea, I suppose, was the notion that the man’s mother would be the quasi detective of the piece.

How did you go about setting the tone – what did your DoP help bring for the aesthetic?

I guess the two biggest aesthetic choices were that we were going to imagine that the previous tenants of the flat had lived there for decades without changing anything; and that we were going to light the film with hard shadows and pretty severe contrast. Philipp Blaubach, the DP, was absolutely tireless. Some of the more challenging shots are in the film because of his dedication. Even though we were working six day weeks, Philipp built a large scale kaleidoscope at home which enabled us to get the interior shots of the kaleidoscope. He was also, along with the grip Chris Rusby, instrumental in making the stair shots attainable.

What has it been like working with your brother, Toby?
I’ve worked with Toby a couple of times before, so I knew we’d function okay. We see a fair amount of each other, so we’re quite used to communicating. Given that it was such a quick shoot, there isn’t much time for anything outside the work and I think we’re both professionally minded, which is to say there for the same reason – to realise the script.

How did you get Anne Reid and Sinead Matthews involved?
I met Sinead through a casting director. Given her character’s nefarious motives in the film, it was important to cast someone we instantly liked. Sinead is very alive and charismatic and sexy, so it was fairly easy to see her in the part straight away. There were various issues that complicated the casting along the way, so it was not until we were well into pre-production that we cast her. Thankfully she said yes. Casting Anne was actually quite straight forward. She’s a fantastic and intuitive actor with great authority, which is the bottom line for me. When we approached her, she asked to meet and we did and she agreed. I think she was intrigued and challenged by the script and rather relished the prospect of playing against type.

Is there a specific reason that London felt right for the setting?
Not really. I guess it was the most convenient and realistic.

The film has been noted as a modern-day Hitchcockian and Polanksi-esque drama; what inspired you in the writing and final directing stage?
Any mention of Hitchcock or Polanski in relation to the film feels very flattering. The challenge of holding the audience in a state of suspense was something I was really interested in from a craft point of view. As a writer, I wanted to engineer a story that worked in that way, I was interested in the demands of that kind of structure. I watched a number of Hitchcock films, as I was writing, but I couldn’t point to any specific aspect. I was interested in he Tenant which is a film that rather haunted me when I was a child – it’s strange atmosphere, and that somehow i was dealing with things beyond my field of experience.

Have you got anything else in the pipeline?
Yes, a few things in various states of completion. But I’d rather not say what these are. Superstition.

 

 

KALEIDOSCOPE – RELEASED IN UK CINEMAS 10TH NOVEMBER

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V-MODA: Crossfade 2 Wireless – Review

V-MODA: Crossfade 2 Wireless – Review

Posted on 07 November 2017 by Chris Ford

 

Recently V-Moda sent over their new flag ship Bluetooth headphones the Crossfade 2 Wireless for us to take a look at, and my hour long commute each day I took them on a two week trial run. Here’s my thoughts on how they stack up to my current headphones the Bose QC35’s.

Sound Quality

I’ve used a variety of Bluetooth headphones over the years (most recently the direct competitor to to these Vmodas the Bose QC35) and I was instantly struck by the sound, both power, clarity of bass all very strong, these quite frankly make my Bose headphones sound muddy! And I was totally happy with them beforehand.

Noise Cancelling

So the V-Modas do not have active noise cancelling instead they use what they call passive noise isolation. The ear cups are extremely well insulted meaning a natural barrier to outside noise without the need for powered assistance, and yes it does work quite well. Is the noise cancelling as good as something like the Bose QC 35? Well no not quite but it’s not far off. On a packed train to work I could hear my music crisply and clearly without the distraction of the rumbling train, again on a short flight to Belgium the noise cancelling was just as affective  without the power draining ANC on something like the Bose.

Battery Life

On battery life they beat competitors hands down,  with a 15% Longer Battery than than the original Crossfade this bigger battery provides up to 14+ hours of music with no ANC and they can also be used with the cable even when the juice dies which was a massive plus to me when testing.

Comfort

The Vmoda crossfade 2 are extremely comfortable, Id go as far to say they are a pleasure to put on my ears, with some over ear headphones I find they pinch my ears but the Vmoda’s comfortably surround my ears with the memory foam cushions blocking the outside world wonderfully

Looks & Design

The Vmoda Crossfades 2 come in a striking and a tad unusal design compared to a lot of cans but that’s no bad thing, there’s also the ability to change the side plates for different colours or even custom engravings if you really want that bespoke feel.

Using Vmodas ‘CliqFold Hinge’ the headphones fold into an impossibly small exoskeleton case perfect for on the go and traveling.

Conclusion

I have been really impressed by the Vmoda Crossfade 2. The sound quality , battery life and comfort are all on point, there is a slight compromise on noise cancelling abilities compared to some active noise cancelling models out there but the foam cups in our  testing did a excellent job blocking the outside world.

Vmoda Crossfade 2 Wiresless are out now and currently £279.99 on Amazon.co.uk

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