The Foscars

FOSCARS 2014

Foscar 2014 goes to Parkholme Supper Club, for the second time. In just three years, the Dalston supper club has raised £50,000 for MSF. Alicia and her team of volunteers have held over 75 supper clubs and cooked foods from an astonishing number of cuisines, including Syrian, Malaysian (three cuisines in one), Chinese, Indian, Italian, Singaporean, French, pretty much all of the ex-USSR (there were 14, but in particular Georgia and Russia), Turkish, English, and with guest chefs, Filipino, Spanish, Korean, Moroccan, Mexican and Ghanaian, plus a few random bits from Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries Alicia has lived in. The £50,000 raised by the supper club is enough for MSF to provide a vaccination programme for more than 300,000 children or distribute basic hygiene kits to more than 2,000 families. What an incentive to carry on the good work!

FOSCARS 2013

Worldivore’s food award, the Foscar for 2013 goes to…

Global Feast 2012, a 20-night feastathon held at Stratford Old Town Hall during the London Olympics, a truly original and magnificent culinary event (see my August 2012 posts). Congratulations to the team – Alex Haw, who built the amazing Worldscape table, Sinead MacManus, curator Isabel de Vasconcellos and all the chefs, bar and waiting staff! A magnum of Champagne awaits.

 

 FOSCARS 2012

The 2012 Foscar goes to…

Alicia Weston of Parkholme Supperclub! *loud applause*

Not only is she a (food) Artist, she’s an Iron Lady too when it comes to fundraising! She has raised over £15,000 for MSF! And she wears nice dresses! Congratulations Alicia! A magnum of Fosters on its way! Speech please! At least a comment, perhaps? 😉

‘Hi Worldivore! Thanks so much for the great accolade of the inaugural winner of the 2012 Foscar… I am glad to see that Parkholme Supperclub will go down in history 🙂 not just for being the UK’s first charity supperclub. We’ll continue to keep cooking and raising money and hopefully living up to our first award!’

Alicia *goes backstage and kisses Colin Firth*

THE FOSCARS 2012

Here are my nominees for the 1st Annual Food Oscars (Foscars).

The winner will receive a magnum of Fosters.

BEST DISH I’ve had in the past year. Like a good film, I’ve chosen dishes that I could devour over and over again.

Feijoada (Producer: film-maker Carla di Bonito)

Brazil’s national dish of Portuguese origin, featuring red or black beans and assorted smoked pork (traditionally including ear, tail & feet), sausage and beef. Served with rice, collard greens and lightly roasted cassava flour (farofa). Garnished with a slice of orange and hot pepper sauce, washed down with Brazilian rum, Cachaca (pronounced cashasa) or better still, Caipirinha, or beer. For me, a more satisfying meal would be hard to find.

Boeuf Bourguignon (Producer: artist Jilly Ballantyne at J-illy Cafe) Long-term South of France resident Jilly’s recipe is hard to beat and impossible to resist. I shall try prise it out of her but the secret’s in marinating the beef in wine the night before, I think. I have a theory artists and scientists (and people who cook with the heart) make the best cooks. To be explored further in FOOD&THINK.

Korean Oxtail Soup (Producer: my mum) No way I’ll get the precise recipe for this one. Korean mothers do not tell you in detail how anything is made or what goes in it for fear of being made redundant. All I know is that it’s cooked for a very, very long time to release all the marrowy flavours.

Osso Buco Ravioli (Rocca, Dulwich Village) Following in the marrow theme, the sauce contains a dreamy, creamy marrow reduction, and the meat inside is also bursting with marrow juices. Lovingly sealed with fresh, homemade pasta, garnished with parmesan. Spectacular!

BEST ADAPTED DISH

Special Tempura Sushi Roll (Edo, Crystal Palace) Rice wrapped in nori seaweed with salmon, avocado & crabstick filling, then – and here’s the adapted bit – it’s skillfully dipped in tempura batter and briefly deep fried! Yes! Think deep-fried Mars bar gone East! And just as disgusting to the purist, perhaps. But for me, the deep frying seals in the flavours and softens the texture. Cut up and served with a soy sauce and wasabi dip, it’s absolutely delicious! This was invented by the chef at Edo in Crystal Palace for customers who didn’t like the idea of eating raw salmon. Genius. (SEE PIC BELOW)

Walker’s Ceviche (Producer: Lynne Walker) Is Ceviche the new Sushi? It’s raw fish that’s ‘cooked’ by marinating it in lemon juice, oil and herbs. Lynne is my tennis partner and brilliant cook and wine connoiseur, as well as a brilliant scientist. She adapted this dish by using undyed smoked haddock instead of fresh fish. The smokiness added an extra dimension and matched the citrus/herby flavours perfectly. Recipe on its way. (SEE PIC BELOW)

BEST INGREDIENT IN A LEADING DISH

Nori seaweed definitely. Dried squares of edible seaweed that’s packed full of nutrition – third protein, third dietary fibre, and significant amounts of iodine, carotene, vitamins A, B & C, calcium and iron. You can buy small snack squares, sweet or salty. Or larger sheets for rolling sushi (masterclass with foolproof tips and step-by-step pix to come) to impress your guests at your next dinner party. It’s easy – all you need is a sushi rolling mat (from oriental supermarkets or Waitrose) and some sticky, short-grain or sushi rice, rice vinegar and fillings of your choice.

BEST CHEF

Paolo Cannas, of course! Of Rucola, St Paul’s, City of London. See my review of Rucola on Qype. www.qype.co.uk/place/2193984-Rucola-London

BEST CHEF IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Luca Lorrai, of Rucola, St Paul’s, City of London.

BEST HOMEMADE INTERNATIONAL FOOD IN LONDON

Parkholme Supperclub www.parkholmesupperclub.co.uk

I will let the founder, Alicia Weston, speak for herself. You can also see my review on Qype at http://www.qype.co.uk/place/1823738-Parkholme-Supper-Club-London.

‘How could we do better, after the punitive diets of January, than celebrate the entrance of February with a supperclub that celebrates the great British pudding? I imagine early Feb will have us shivering in our boots and longing for some delicious, sweet, hot puddings to give us some fuel for the winter.

‘When my father was a boy, my granny always made a pudding, and I know it’s the one thing he truly misses about English food, eating now a very Asian diet as my mother rarely cooks Western food. Sometimes he forlornly picks up a Tesco ready-made variety (and sometimes my mother doesn’t make him put it back!). But we all know it’s just not the same.

‘I too have a weakness for puddings, the product of seven years of boarding school. My granny taught me to cook them – I still have the cookbook she gave me with the recipe for bread and butter pudding scrawled in my childish handwriting. Puddings are one thing the English do supremely well. I’ve cooked puddings for foreign friends who have been seriously dubious – you should have seen the Italians, they were even more suspicious than the French – and steamed treacle sponge has won over the hardest hearts. With lashings of custard, of course – I think it can hold its own to any tiramisu or tarte tatin.

‘So for this supperclub, my friend Vanessa (whose idea this was) and I will cook eight of the classic puddings for you to try. There will be light starters and mains but save yourself for the puddings! Try Sussex Pond pudding which has a whole lemon in it and when you cut into it a pond of lemony buttery syrup pours out. Because of the whole lemon it’s impossible to do individual portions so you’ll never see this on a restaurant menu!

‘Puddings and Piano evening is a collaborative effort. In addition to Vanessa’s pudding-making expertise, we are lucky enough to have a guest attending who is a professional musician, and who also does a lot of fundraising work – he’s played with people from Dire Straits, Status Quo and all sorts by the look of his website (www.rockliffjam.com) and he has promised to play for us (when he’s not eating puddings), on my friend Donald’s lovely 106-year-old Bechstein Boudoir Grand piano (“Gertrude Grand”). If you can tolerate a few mistakes even I might take a turn. Should you play the piano and are willing to contribute, you shoot to the top of the bookings list ;-).

‘Here is the menu. I’ve tried to make the savoury food as light as possible, given the constraints of English food! You can spend hours shelling prawns and still get only a mouthful…’

Pints of North Sea prawns with homemade mayonnaise, served with homemade granary bread and butter

Truffled cauliflower soup

***

Roast chicken and vegetable pie with a homemade puff pastry top

Smoked fish pie (with a light breadcrumb topping – no pastry!)

***
Sussex Pond pudding
Jam roly poly made with homemade jam
Bread and butter pudding
Steamed golden syrup sponge
Sherry trifle
Blackberry and apple crumble (blackberries picked myself, during the riots, on Walthamstow Marshes)
Eton Mess

Chocolate sponge with chocolate custard

Gallons of custard!

Cost will be £40 of which £35 will go to MSF.

Alicia Weston, Parkholme Supperclub

 

Photos: Special Tempura Sushi Roll, STSR cut up, Walker’s Ceviche

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