This week, I meet with chef Andy Oliver at his Shoreditch restaurant Som Saa to see how he cooks a classic Thai recipe; green papaya salad. While Andy creates a delicious papaya salad, he gives advice on where to find the ingredients he uses in the recipe.
He tells me how he came to own a Thai restaurant including, right at the beginning, working with with Thai food hero David Thompson at his legendary – but sadly now closed – Thai restaurant Nahm.
Later on, Andy tells me what happened when he had to fire one of his chefs after a Twitter storm in 2018.
Zest Quest Asia, founded by Cyrus Todiwala – chef patron/owner of Café Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen – and his wife Pervin, is designed to encourage the next generation of chefs to bring excellence to Asian cuisine.
I find out what the students are cooking in the final as well as find out more about the authenticity of Asian cuisine, including the methods, ingredients and classic elements.
Then we hear from the judges, to see what they thought of the dishes, before the winners are announced.
The Black Sea has received high praise, just last week it won a special commendation at the prestigious Andre Simon Awards.
From Istanbul to Odessa, Caroline and I travel around The Black Sea and discuss the inspiration behind her book.
Caroline calls it ‘a travel book with recipes’ so you’ll not only discover recipes – inspired by meals, meetings and literature – you’ll also learn about the people, their stories and culinary cultures.
I joined Ramael Scully, or Scully as he’s known, in the kitchen of his eponymous restaurant in St James’ Market, London. We discuss how his background – he grew up in Malaysia and Sydney with a mixed heritage of Chinese, Indian, Irish and Balinese – influences his flavours in the restaurant. Then it was time for lunch, so he showed me how he feeds his staff with a flavoursome salmon recipe.