Late! Sorry... I have no excuse as I didn't even leave my postcode this weekend! Maybe just that I'm distracted with making final decisions for the house! Six weeks to go! :-)
- I was invited to Panzer's Deli in St John's Wood to try their new chocolate cake. I arrived a little early straight from a chocolate tour so I bought myself the the vegan falafel "burger" (two marinated portobello mushrooms made the bun) to eat something savoury before more sweet things. It was delicious - the most authentic falafel I've had in ages - and great value at £6.50 with sweet potato wedges and salad on the side. The chocolate cake - made with Valrhona and topped with strawberries - was fantastic, too.
- The Social Pantry - a socially minded catering company have opened their first restaurant at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing. It's called Soane's Kitchen. They had a huge summer opening party on Wednesday during the quarter final. This week there's 30% off food. They also run a cafe in Battersea that I'd like to visit. The food at the party was all wonderful but my favourite dish was the simple chargrilled pineapple with coconut sorbet.
- At the Academy of Chocolate talk on Wednesday night we tried nine products made with beans from the same region of Peru - my favourites were Damson's with cognac, Dormouse 's new caramelised nibs with cinnamon and York Cocoa Works' 63% darker roast. I'm looking forward to making a trip up to see the factory this year - a great summer holiday adventure - with or without children!
- On Thursday I went to meet Georgina Hayden to discuss her brunch with Taste Tripper. It's now confirmed for Sunday 7th October and tickets have already started selling! She had just made baklava before I arrived and I got to try it still warm from the pan. I find most baklava far too sweet and greasy but this was outstanding. One of the most delicious treats I've eaten all year. I can't wait for Georgie's second book (which the recipe is in) and to try more of her food in October.
- My local East London community held its 19th annual street festival on Saturday. There was a whole range of home cooks serving up delicious food. I tried the Punjabi dish Chole Bature for the first time from Sangita's Kitchen: bright yellow pilau rice, chickpea curry and fried flat bread (bhatura). It was gorgeous.