Jason Atherton, chef/owner of Pollen Street Social http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/
It was over a month ago now, but I’m only just recovering from Taste of London and Taste of Edinburgh.
They’re two of the UK’s most stylish food festivals, where anyone with an appetite for al fresco dining can sample exquisite food and see demonstrations from world-class chefs.
I was in good company alongside many culinary greats including Tom Aikens, Gary Rhodes, Theo Randall and Bruno Loubet, not to mention the gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow who was feverishly signing copies of her new cookbook ‘Notes from my Kitchen Table’. She looks as good in the flesh as she did on Glee (I know you all watch it).
Taste is not just about savoury dishes, which is great news as I have a real passion for puddings. So much so in fact, I put in a bar, devoted to serving desserts, in my new restaurant, Pollen Street Social http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/
The dessert menu is created to appeal to lots of different tastes, from a rather sexy Watermelon, Candied Goat’s Curd and Basil Sorbet to a traditional English rice pudding, but served with hay ice-cream and lime jelly.
Making puddings is a real art; it’s the only part of my kitchen where I insist on everything being accurately measured and weighted. If you put one too many olives in a tapenade, nobody is going to know. But when you make a lemon tart, if it hasn’t got the exact amount of eggs in it, it’s not going to set. I’m a stickler for using the right ingredients as well. To get the best results you need to start with the very best ingredients you can afford. I always use Billington’s unrefined range which I guarantee will make a real difference to the results of our baking.
Have a look at some of my latest pudding recipes on http://www.bakingmad.com/, or pop into the restaurant.
Pollen Street Social, 8-10 Pollen St, W1 (020 7290 7600), pollenstreetsocial.com