Well, it was National Honey Week from 22nd to 28th October and the nation was abuzz with some pretty sweet things (I had to do it). You’d be wondering why I’m interested in National Honey Week given that I live in London. After all, bees, birds and nature are all the domain of the countryside right?
Let’s get something out in the open shall we? We didn’t expect this hot spell in London to last long. A couple of weeks of sunshine, at best, is all that we had pinned our hopes on. Still, here we are, almost the end of July and still basking in glorious, unrelenting, sunshine. The weather has held up for so long that we are forced to reconsider our behaviour. Dare I say it, we may even have to adopt some warm-weather habits such as barbecuing.
With year-round sunshine and cuisine influenced by a diverse Creole, Mexican and Native American heritage, Fort Worth topped my list of places for inspiration. With Britain’s collective failed attempts at barbecuing it seemed the most natural place to turn for help. The city’s celebrity chef Tim Love of Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters was, to our good fortune, in London recently. I was happy to be able catch up with Chef Tim. With multiple restaurants including Lonesome Dove and Woodshed in his repertoire rest assured that we are in good hands. Here are Chef Tim’s seven top tips you need to know about barbecuing.
Barbecue Vs Grill
In the US we differentiate between barbecue and grilling. The key to barbecuing is slow and low which allows the meat to soak up smoke and the seasoning allowing it to become tender and moist. The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of the meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelised crust. In America this is done over both charcoal and gas grills.
Experiment with different woods when slow cooking. Each burns at a different temperature and will give different flavour notes to your food. You’ll soon figure out your favourite.
Start your fire early and let your smoker heat up fully. This should take about an hour and a half.
Be adventurous and remember that you can smoke anything from savoury to sweet.
Top tip: My favourite thing to smoke is chocolate chips which I use in cookies.
First and foremost be patient and make sure you have a very hot grill.
Also keep half of the grill hot and the other half cooler. This allows for searing. It also gives you a place to finish your meat off by roasting.
Top tip: When grilling vegetables, soak them in ice-cold water first. This is great for searing and also keeps the vegetables crisp after you’ve cooked them.
Lonesome Dove Restaurants are located at 2406 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 419 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 and 100 N Central Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. For more information visit: www.lonesomedovebistro.com
At long last, it almost feels like spring. The temperature may be struggling to hit double digits but our collective spirit has not waned. For an early taste of summer award-winning rooftop bar Madison brings us exceptional news.
Madison launches 12 cocktails inspired by the Big Apple from April (just in time for the long weekends). Curated by the bar’s very own Fred Tartas of German Gymnasium, The Berkley and The Ritz fame drinks range from timeless Margarita and Moscow Mule to modern twists of Berry Smash (gin, calvados, fresh strawberries, mint, lemon and orange bitters) and Maple & Almond Sour (whisky sour, Armagnac Gaspard, roasted almond, dark chocolate and egg white). The palatial drinks tell the enduring story of New York beginning from the Victorian era through Prohibition to the present. Flavours include bourbon, gin and vodka as well as speciality spirits such as Macchu Pisco.
Could I be more excited by this news? Not possible. As far as rooftop drinking goes Madison affords an enviable panorama of the greatest city on earth. A separate VIP area and a gorgeous walkway which affords unforgettable views across the capital simply adds to Madison’s allure. Couple this with a taste of New York and I (along with most Londoners) am sold. Dreams of long hot summers and Manhattan cocktails here we come!
New Manhattan inspired menu will be available from first week of April. Madison Bar is located at: Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s, London EC4M 9AF. For more information visit www.madisonlondon.net