Category Archives: Sources

What do I look for in food?

When I started Meals on Blogs, just a few weeks ago, I wrote on the Food for Thought page something grandiose like promising my manifesto for food.

This week, the promise has been gnawing away at the back of my mind, so I guess I’ll have to knuckle down and try to develop my thinking without being nominated for Pseuds’ Corner.

I guess the manifesto is already starting to evolve naturally, if you care to read the posts here. I like big tastes; a lot of what I cook is Mediterranean-influenced. And because my cooking increasingly tends to simplicity – there’s a longer Influences piece here, I’m sure – I’m getting more and more interested in ingrdients.

That naturally leads to a passion for Organic and other better quality starting points, and more time buying from butchers rather than supermarkets, say. We get a weekly Organic vegetable box from the highly recommended Abel & Cole, who unfortunately clock up a few more food miles than is ideal from South London, but we’ve bought from them for years, and intend to stick with them.

I also like buying from the local specialist shops – the Italian shop and the Asian supermarket, up by Worthing Station are favourite haunts. They give better value than the supermarkets, tell you about what you’re buying and, best of all, have that authenticity that seems to matter more and more to me. As an aside, little so-called fusion food really works for me, unless the ingredients go together so naturally you’re unaware of the coming together of different cultures.

My kitchen isn’t a restaurant kitchen, so I’ve given up trying to emulate the kind of cuisine that needs the resources of a commercial kitchen to do well. My book of recipes from Le Manoir remains unused – even Raymond Blanc’s easier Cooking for Friends is too much like hard work. Or is it unwanted or inappropriate work?

I cook for fun and relaxation – and just occasionally to show off.