The grazer

A taste of what we like

The Guardian - Cook - - Readers’ Recipe Swap -

Do­minique Ansel is as close as it gets to a rockstar in the pas­try world. The Cronut – his in­sanely popular crois­sant­dough­nut mashup – was one of Time’s 25 best in­ven­tions of 2013. Peo­ple still queue for it out­side his New York bak­ery. There have been live re­ports from the Cronut queue, ad­vice on how to jump it , and life-af­ter-the-Cronut in­ter­views, not to men­tion a mil­lion dis­ap­point­ing fak­enuts. Which nicely makes the point that Ansel him­self is no fake – he is a Fau­chon-trained, Miche­lin­starred, multi-award-win­ning patis­serie poly­math. And Se­cret Recipes From the World Fa­mous New York Bak­ery (Mur­doch Books), out this week, is about as close as you’ll get to know­ing how he does it.

As Cook knows only too well, read­ing a recipe book from cover to cover does not nec­es­sar­ily mean you will be mirac­u­lously im­bued with the culi­nary knowhow of the au­thor. Some­times see­ing how it’s done and, cru­cially, at­tempt­ing it your­self with the guid­ance of a nur­tur­ing tu­tor is the only way. Cook­ery School at Lit­tle Port­land Street is an ex­cel­lent Lon­don des­ti­na­tion for novices and am­a­teurs alike. They’ll even teach you how to make your favourite sig­na­ture dishes, such as J Sheekey’s fish pie, or the Ivy’s sticky tof­fee pud­ding. cook­

Cof­fee in Port­land: it’s prac­ti­cally a PhD spe­cial­ism, it’s so big of a thing. Jerry Se­in­feld de­voted an episode of his web se­ries Co­me­di­ans in Cars Get­ting Cof­fee to sampling the city’s caf­feinated wares with Fred Ar­misen from Port­landia – a thing of beauty in it­self. But if you’re headed to the Pa­cific north-west and fancy a brew, check out first­we­’s Ten Es­sen­tial Port­land Cof­fee Shops.

We heart Heart (No 4 on the list).

If you pre­fer to do the brew­ing your­self, try a cloth cof­fee fil­ter . The Hario Wood­neck Drip Pot (from £35) comes in two sizes with cloth fil­ters sold in packs of three (from £10). They’re re­us­able and, ac­cord­ing to those in the know, they make a great brew, too.

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