- NEWS & ACHIEVEMENTS -

2011
Delicious Magazine Recipe Feature Recipes published in Princes Trust Charity 'Trusty' Cookbook Guest panellist on UKTV Food's 'Market Kitchen' Recipes published in 'Come Dine With Me Special Occasions' book Blog named as a "Media Must-Have" in Jan & Feb issue of Olive Magazine

2010
Launch of Sabrina's one-to-one private cookery tuition Guest critic on Gordon Ramsay's 'F-Word' series finale Organised Top Chef Charity Banquet for Haiti raising £70,000 for 'Action Against Hunger' Seasonal Food & Recipe Writer for 'Blue Tomato'

2009
Winner of Channel 4's 'Come Dine With Me' (West London) 'Bronze' winner in professionally judged 'AA Home Cooking Competition 2009' Appointed resident cookery columnist for Foodepedia

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

GORDON RAMSAY'S NEW TV SHOW NEEDS YOU!


He's back! With a brand new TV show based on the success of the last series of "The F-Word" and 'Britain's Best Restaurant' challenge, which was judged by a room full of critics (including little old me) at the series finale which aired back in January. Apparently ratings had never been so good, so lucky old Ramsay gets yet another TV show called "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" and needs your help!

- Know of a great restaurant that deserves to win?
- Does your local eatery serve fantastic food and offer great service?

If so, then why not nominate them to take part in the new show? You never know, they may actually win! To nominate your favourite restarant, visit:

www.bestnominate.co.uk

I am voting for Le Bouchon Breton Restaurant in Old Spitalfields. Massively underrated eatery I think!

Monday, 15 March 2010

HAMBURGER - the GOOD, the BAD and the DOWN RIGHT WEIRD!




America... Home of the hamburger, birthplace of fast food restaurants and land of 'Supersizing', but for all the hype, these days the rest of the world are poised and positioned to overtake the U.S. in creating the perfect hamburger. One of the best burgers I ever had, strangely was in Seoul, Korea, at a place called "Kraze" - Anyway, I digress. So once again, I brave the jungles of New York, swinging from tree to tree in search of the perfect hamburger to share with burger-lovers everywhere! After doing my research, the same names kept cropping up repeatedly so I tried to visit as many of these famed spots as possible!

First stop is "Shake Shack" - What sounds like a would-be tacky, retro diner, is actually a carefully constructed high-end brand by Uber-Chef Danny Meyer, owner of the famous Union Square Cafe, Grammercy Tavern and Maialino, but to name a few. So to turn your hand from culinary perfection and well-known American dining to hamburgers? Well, it's not for the faint hearted as it carries palpable risks, with every food critic in the country, including most of New York, just waiting to pounce on you if you go wrong. Did Danny Meyer go wrong? The simple answer is, no. Not at all... not in the slightest. With 3 locations already open, this is the kind of formula that's success is becoming viral. Apparently on the average day in New York, you can expect to wait well over an hour in line just to place your order and up to another 30 minutes to collect your order.

I visited the Madison Square Park location on a cold and blustery day when the heavens seemed to open up and it was raining cats and dogs and i waited for 30 mins just to get to the counter and another 20 minutes to collect my order. There is no indoor seating, just outdoor tables and chairs and heat lamps (which don't help you when you look like a drowned rat!) But was the burger good? Yes Siree Bob, it was. The menu is simple. Burgers are single or double, with or without cheese. There are 3 different hotdogs, including classic 'Chicago dogs' - which I'm told are authentic and delicious and DO NOT FORGET to try their Milkshakes and 'Frozen Custard' - which they are equally famous for as they are scrumptidily-umptious! After waiting in the rain with my other fellow drowned rats, I grabbed my bag-o-burger-goodness and made a dash for a NYC Taxi cab and headed home to devour it's content. The burger was perfect in size, not one of those crazy giant patties that us Brits can't seem to stomach. The hot dog was delicious, meaty and the bun a sweet and soft dough, almost like a brioche. Washed down with a lovely chocolate Milkshake, it was definitely something special. For menu and locations check out their website: www.shakeshack.com

Other recommended spots for great burgers in the City are:

Corner Bistro - 331 West 4th Steet
www.cornerbistronyc.com

Bill's Bar & Burger - 22 9th Avenue
www.brguestrestaurants.com/restaurants/bills-bar-burger/

For the WEIRDEST burger I have ever seen (pictures above, can you tell which burger I am talking about??) head to 'Tipsy Parson' in the West Village for the ultimate in sweet and savoury craving curbers, the Doughnut burger. Priced at $14.00 a pop, it is not some shambolic accident, but a carefully constructed monster designed to satisfy those of us who cannot choose between savoury and sweet and therefore seek a hit of both to curb the craving. Visit their website at: www.tipsyparson.com

Thursday, 11 March 2010

HOT-DIGETTY-DOG!













So here I am in New York, almost a week into my trip and having had some of the most incredible meals of my life. My mission was to track down some of the best meals, everything from 2 Michelin star to $2 hot dogs… when it comes to culinary pleasures, I have love for all kinds of foodie delights.

My first ‘bite’ of the Big Apple is all about one of the most famous foods of New York, the humble Hot Dog. I did my research and spoke to as many locals as I could and the two names that kept popping up over and over again were ‘Gray’s Papaya’ and ‘Crif’s Hot Dogs’. Armed with my camera and a ferociously empty stomach, I go on a pilgrimage in search of sausagey perfection!

Gray’s Papaya has to be one of the most famous and most loved destinations in the city. Not to be confused with ‘Papaya King’ or ‘Papaya Dog’, Gray’s has been featured in films like “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, as well as TV shows like “Sex and the City” and “How I met your Mother” and is more of an institution that a simple food stop. But on arrival you will quickly see that there is no pretense here. They simply serve the city's best hot dogs with either fried onions or mustard and ketchup. Simple. No fuss, no muss, just tasty doggy goodness. They even do a great value ‘Recession Special’ at $4.75 for 2 of their fine hot dogs with a beverage of your choice. The irony being that I couldn’t even afford the ‘Recession Special’ on my visit as I left all my cash at the apartment and had only my credit cards and $2.00 in my pocket! But these dogs come in at $1.50 a pop, which isn’t exactly gut-busting, so lucky old me that I could afford one on this occasion! Phew! What a tasty dog, delicious sausage with a juicy ‘burst’ of flavour as you take your first bite. Hot-diggety-dog! But if you are scratching your head wondering where the ‘Papaya’ bit comes in, then wonder no longer... because along with your hot dog you can grab some exotic fresh juices including Papaya and the famous ‘Coconut Champagne’ (which despite it’s name is booze-free) as well as Pineapple juice, although I don’t think the juices are the main attraction here, but go see for yourself! http://www.grayspapaya.com/

Crif’s dogs is a very different affair. Simplicity is just not done here! The menu is huge, the hot dogs are entirely different and come with over a dozen different toppings. Everything from bacon wrapped ‘Chihuahua’ dogs topped with sour cream and avocado slices, to Chilli dogs and vegetarian dogs. Great corn dogs are also available, although try as I may, to grow to love these cakey, deep-fried hot dogs, I find myself at the bring of purism only able to stretch to having a little chilli (con carne) on top of mine. Crif’s is very much a trendy spot, attracting all kinds of people, including locals and tourists. The inside is a small, dark room with a few seats. Hilarious signage on the tills “Tip! – you cheap bastards!” – A tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless thoroughly effective reminder to dig deep when rewarding staff with a gratuity. It works, I sprung $5 as I did not want to be labelled as cheap! Crif’s, perhaps, gains an added amount of fame from the mysterious looking phone booth located inside the dining room, that is the obscure entry for a bar called ‘P.D.T’ – which stands for “Please Don’t Tell”. A (not-so) secret bar adjacent to Crif’s, where you have to make a reservation and obtain a 4-digit pin number to gain entry. Once gained, you must enter the pin using the phone in the special booth located in Crif’s and “Hey presto!” entrance is granted. Hmmm, more PR trickery at work.

So Crif’s hot dogs were great, but admittedly not a patch on the good old simple classic of Gray’s Papaya, just proving (even more) that keeping things simple is often best. To visit Crif’s website, log on to: http://www.crifdogs.com/

This is me signing off for now, but there are a lot more New York foodie stories to come, so stay tuned folks.