Welcome to October
Hands up who complained about the heatwave this summer and was secretly craving cold frosts with blue skies, sausages and mash, and crispy leaves underfoot? I know I wasn’t the only one! Well, friends, the time is now. Embrace autumn for all its wonderful comforts – grab a blanket, hunker down with a brew and get stuck into this issue, because it’s a good ’un.
For a start, we’ve got Ballymaloe Cookery School founder Darina Allen (the doyenne of comfort food) sharing her recipes for making the most of this season’s best ingredients – there’s dingle pie and fish pie, roast duck with Bramley apple sauce, creamy mushroom soup, and more. Bristol food writer Claire Thomson has been teaching us how to get slow-cooker smart and, if you’re anything like me, I know you’ll have had it hidden away (like most kitchen gadgets) languishing unused all year in a cupboard – until now. Claire’s got six great reasons to dust it down and get cooking. And then, of course, we have our gorgeous apples and pears story from food photographer and writer Stuart Ovenden. For anyone needing inspiration to use up a glut, or just can’t resist a sticky tarte tatin (especially one spiked with rum), this is the one.
But perhaps most excitingly of all we have the results of our O Chef Awards, in association with Dark Horse Wine. All summer the judges have been darting around the country meeting the chefs you nominated and now finally we can reveal the talented winners. Turn to page 72 to find out more.
Enjoy, and see you next time.