contact

Use the form on the right to contact me.

For media enquiries, appearances and general bookings please contact Tess at Essential Lifestyle Group - tess@essentialgr.com  

 

Name *
Name
         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Andy Bates is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. As the gaffer of specialist food company ‘Eat My Pies’, Andy brings the best of British food back to the public, including classic tarts, pies, Scotch eggs and, of course, some tasty puddings.

Andy is a contributing chef for Food Network UK and has already had two successful series broadcast on the channel - Andy Bates Street Feasts and Andy Bates American Street Feasts. His latest series, Andy Bates Brazilian Street Feasts, launched in February 2014. All three series follow him as he travels across continents to explore the world of street food and find the stories and people behind the recipes. As a result, he has become a leading expert on street food, with regular appearances on the street food circuit. Andy, who lives by the quote "You should always finish on a little bit of pudding", has also written a cookbook offering modern twists on classic dishes.

Chef TV Blog Recipes 

On a global food adventure meeting inspiring people along the way.

Filtering by Category: Travel

Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Honey glaze and Coconut & Lime Yogurt Dip

Andy Bates

A playful take on dessert by piecing cubed fruit onto sticks and grilling on the BBQ. Towards the end of grilling brush with honey to caramelize. Serve on a large wooden board with a coconut and lime dip providing the perfect sweet and zesty dip.

andy-bates-fruit-kebab

My grilled fruit kebabs with honey glaze coconut lime yogurt dip

andy-bates-fruit-kebabs

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 mango de-stoned and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 peaches de-stoned and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1/4 watermelon peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes
  • honey for glazing

For the Yogurt dip:

andy-bates-fruit-kababs
  • desiccated coconut
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 500ml yogurt

METHOD

Peel, prep and cut all the fruit into roughly 2cm cubes. Thread the fruit onto to wooden skewers alternating pieces in any order until full but leaving enough space for a ‘handle’ at the bottom.

Grill on the BBQ for 5-6 minutes turning frequently until the fruit starts to caramelize. With a pastry brush, brush the kebabs all over with honey and cook for a further 2 minutes. Rest on serving board.

In a bowl mix the coconut, lime juice, zest and yogurt together, then transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve next to the fruit kebabs on a board or large plate.

Food with a View in Lisbon, Portugal

Andy Bates

andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal

Lisbon!

I’ve been coming to Lisbon with friends for years for an end of summer getaway. We rent a beach villa in the Aroeira area, South of the Tagus River and always spend a night or two in the city. It is one of my favourite cities with great architecture, history, food and a buzzing coffee culture. There’s so much for the foodie traveller, get into in this town and every time I’m here I find something new. The street art for me is some of my favourite in Europe and it's the next city on our tour... 

The town is also home to one of mankind's greatest inventions [that for me is right up there with fire and the wheel ;)]. It is, of course, the Portuguese Custard Tart or Pastel de Nata, covered with sugar and cinnamon, served alongside a bitter coffee or glass of port, considered the BEST breakfast or late snack that ever existed. You haven't lived until you have been to Lisbon and had one of these little gems fresh out of the oven.  A short tram ride will take you to the Pasteis de Belem Bakery where you can find exactly this! 

andy-bates-lisbon-portugal

It's a tourist magnet but don’t be put off by the queues, they move very quickly and even have security to usher the dreaded ‘bloggers’ along if they are taking too long taking pictures. With over 200 staff baking around the clock, these guys are a well-oiled machine that know how to make custard tarts! Purchase your tarts (you have to have more than one) and grab yourself a coffee (with NO SUGAR!) and experience the perfect balance of bitter and sweet working in harmony. Guess you can tell I like them eh… Anyway moving on....

andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal
andy-bates-lisbon-portugal

Make sure you try clams as well, they are sweetest in the world (in my opinion). Cooked in garlic with wine, Portuguese olive oil and garnished with lemon and coriander. Simple and delicious, it can be found throughout the city but my favourite so far being from Aura Restaurant by the town square. All this enjoyed with the excellent vintage tram service that operate as a handy hop on, hop off service giving you the freedom to discover the city however you chose. An obligation is the famous tram 28 route that criss-crosses the city centre, through the narrow streets, uphills and downhills, taking in Lisbon’s most iconic sites along the way.

andy-bates-lisbon-portugal

On the day, filming the crew and I ate our way around jumping on the legendary tram 28 topping at coffee houses, eating more custard tarts and ending up on a hotel rooftop with breathtaking views of the city to film my next recipe, Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Honey Glaze and Coconut & Lime Yogurt Dip.

What a city! People, I order you to weekend away in Lisbon!

andy-bates-lisbon-portugal






Bifana-Pork Rolls

Andy Bates

Bifana is a dish typical from Portugal with its origins in the Alentejo region. If you have never had one, here is my tasty and simple take on these amazing handheld snacks.

A great way to impress at a BBQ or even around the television with friends for movies or sports. Shows how much of a difference it makes to marinate meat, something that we British don’t seem to do. Also toast or warm the bread through is such an important tip for a great sandwich.


My Bifana

andy-bates-bifana-pork-rolls

makes 4

Ingredients

  • 400g pork loin, skin removed and cut into thin slices
  • olive oil for shallow frying

For the Marinade:

  • 1 heaped tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 300ml white wine or pale ale
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce or piri piri sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper

to serve:

andy-bates-bifana-pork-rolls
  • 4x bread rolls
  • fried onions
  • American mustard

Method:

In a container, mix together all marinade ingredients, add the pork, cover and marinade over night in the fridge. 

The next day remove the pork from the marinade, strain the marinade and reserve until needed. Pat the pork dry with kitchen roll. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry off the pork in batches if necessary so not to overcrowd the pan for one minute on each side. Place to one side on a plate until needed.

To the same pan the pork was cooked in, add the marinade and reduce to a consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Adding more pepper sauce if requiring or wishing for more heat. Return the pork and juices back to the pan to coat in the sauce.

Serve in bread rolls with fried onions and American mustard.

 

Food with a View in Alentejo, Portugal

Andy Bates

andy-bates-alentejo-portugal

The Alenetjo region is the south-central part of Portugal, known for it's vast garden landscapes with olive trees, vineyards and cork plantations. We headed inland to the heart of the Alto Alentejo near the village of Vaiamonte, no more than 30 miles from the Spanish border to the Torres de Palma Wine Hotel. I’ve never been this far inland in Portugal.

A beautiful old manor house converted into a hotel with a restaurant, spa, swimming pools and, of course, excellent wine. Dating back to the 14th century, the manor house had been unused for years and then taken over in 2009, renovated and opened in 2013 as Torres de Palma Wine Hotel. It mixes traditional architecture with modern fittings and finishing, perfectly. Greeted by Filipe Beja Simões, he, made us feel very welcomed and told us the most important part of our visit was to make sure we felt at home. The Portuguese are very welcoming. Filipe then took me around the surrounding vineyards that grow the grapes for their red and white wines.  , I find noticed  an explosion of Portuguese wines in London restaurants and wine stores, and rightfully so. They have a unique flavour and made by passionate people shouting to the world know about their produce. Torres de Palma is no different as young project beginning in 2011 with wines selected for 2014, now in its second year to great response.

IMG_3481.JPG
andy-bates-alentejo-portugal

Next up was to meet the Lusitano horses that inhabit the grounds next to the vineyards. Originally for trekking  now used for dressage, the chosen horse of the Portuguese National Guard and exported all over the world. I’m not exactly that experienced when riding horses, but the Lusitano is known to be patient and trustworthy with ‘young bucks’ like myself ;) Thanks to the trainer Phillipa for her patience and making me ‘sit up straight and show who’s in command’.

Finally with the sun setting we made our way up to the tower with Alentejo's landscape of vineyards and rolling fields as our backdrop to film my recipe. My take on a classic Portuguese handheld snack called Bifana (pork roll) and Filipe kindly sourced us some traditional Alentejo bread rolls (thank you, Filipe!).

andy-bates-alenetjo-portugal

After a busy couple of hours we had the ‘shot in the can’ and darkness was upon us and with the stars in the sky we called it 'a wrap'. Even with the minibus packed and a 3-hour journey ahead of us,  it was until one of the crew propositioned… “shall we just stay a little longer and have dinner?” We did just that, and I highly recommend the veal and migas :)

 

 

Quick BBQ Piri Piri Chicken

Andy Bates

A Portuguese classic and perfect for a barbecue. This is a very quick and easy take on the dish.

An example of a great tasting and sharing recipe that you can quickly be rustle without the need of marinating due to the resting process. Great served alongside grilled romaine lettuce with a yogurt dressing. Also, an excellent alternative to a roast for the summer or outdoors.

 

andy-bates-piri-piri-chicken
andy-bates-piri-piri-chicken

My Quick BBQ Piri Piri Chicken

andy-bates-piri-piri-chicken

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 free-range chicken, butterflied (back bone taken out) or 4 chicken quarters

FOR THE PIRI PIRI SAUCE:

  • 6-10 birds eye chills finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp flaked salt

to serve:

  • fresh or grilled romaine lettuce
  • yogurt dressing 

Method

In a bowl, mix all the piri piri sauce ingredients together.

Make incisions with a sharp knife all over the chicken and place over the BBQ to cook 10-12 minutes each side.

With a clean paint brush, brush the chicken with the piri piri sauce and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes each side basting occasionally.

Place the cooked chicken into a bowl or tray and pour remaining sauce over, loosely cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes. This will tenderise the chicken and as its been cut all over with a knife and will absorb any remaining juices giving perfect flavour, juiciness and spice. Cut into pieces and serve with grilled lettuce and yogurt dressing.

 

  1. In a bowl mix all the piri piri ingredients together

  2. Make incisions with a sharp knife all over the chicken, Place over the bbq and cook 10-12 minutes each side.

  3. With a clean new paint brush, brush the chicken with the piri piri sauce and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes each side basting occasionally.

  4. Place the cooked chicken into a bowl/container and pour remaining sauce over, loosely cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes (this will tenderise the chicken and as its been cut all over with a knife will absorb any remaining juices giving perfect flavour, juiciness and spice) cut into pieces and serve with grilled lettuce and dressing.

Food with a View in Algarve, Portugal

Andy Bates

andy-bates-al

Early August, Good Morning Britain on ITV sent me on an adventure to some of Portugal's best destinations to film #FoodwithaView. I’ve always been very fond of the country from holidays as a child with my parents to renting a villas on the coast annually with wife and friends. It has everything that appeals to a traveller like myself. It is a short flight, great value, friendly natives, guaranteed sun, amazing beaches and, of course, THE FOOD! With iconic dishes like salt cod, piri piri chicken, garlic and clams and those famous, custard tarts. There’s not much to dislike about Portugal is there.

For my journey, I was sent to five regions around the country shooting recipes and finding out a little more about what it has to offer.

So the first stop, the Algarve...

andy-bates-algarve-portugal

We all know the Algarve region right? I certainly do, being born in the late 70’s I was part of the original family package holiday boom and can remember holidays in the sun spent around a hotel pool with my brother jumping off inflatable lylos whilst Mum and Dad sipped Mateus rosé (Portugal's finest ;). We very rarely left the hotel complex back then but nowadays, gulp… over 30 years later, the Algarve has so much more to offer.

Over 7 million tourists visit every year, being situated in the south of the country with guaranteed sunshine and over 140 miles of coastline, unspoilt beaches with crystal clear waters and some of Europe's best golf courses you can see why. Also, there're plenty of theme parks to visit making it perfect for a family holiday. I got involved with this (much to the enjoyment of the crew) with one of my finest pieces to camera by going down a water slide with a go-pro (when in Rome…).

andy-bates-algarve-portugal

But there's a lot more to the Algarve than tourism, the growing of almonds, fantastic oranges and olive groves are equally as important. If you’ve not tried Portuguese olive oil I urge you, it's some of the finest in the world and it's also home to piri piri chili. Known as peri-peri in Africa and most commonly as the bird's eye chilli, Columbus brought this fiery fruit with him to the continent and has been a staple on the Portuguese tables ever since. In fact so much so, they sailed with it on their travels whilst conquering the world. Nowadays it’s found all over Portugal along with coriander mainly due its versatility when used with poultry, pork, seafood and fish. And from the versatility of this pepper came piri piri sauce. Made as a marinade or seasoning, it differs throughout the country with its main ingredients being a combination of chillies, oil, citrus and herbs. It can even be made including alcohol and meat fat.

andy-bates-algarve-portugal

I’ve been discovering that Portuguese cuisine unlike their neighbours, they love chillis and are never afraid to spice up a dish. It works perfectly in hot climate served with a cold beverage which is why I’ve chosen a quick and simple take on Piri Piri Chicken. Perfect for a BBQ, especially if you’ve not had time to marinade and want more spice than your usual standard BBQ chicken fare.

andy-bates-algarve-portugal

Behind the scenes: On a tight schedule we arrived at Olhos De Agua and set up our #todaysoffice on the cliffs overlooking the sea. However as you can see by my last picture, we were totally unprepared for the mist that greeted us coming from the sea, making it totally unfilmable (especially if you're filming a piece based on great summer locations). We regrouped, found a nearby hotel and rescheduled to shoot again first thing in the morning just when the sun was rising. During re-shoot, in the early morning sun, again, we were hit by the mist halfway through. But as they say... the show must go on!  

andy-bates-algarve-portgual



WOMAD 2015

Andy Bates

MUD CITY with Alan & Mark 

MUD CITY with Alan & Mark 

In 2014, I was fortunate enough to be invited along to WOMAD Festival to judge the food on offer. And this year once again, Alan Fox and Mark Laurie from NCASS gave me the nod to join them again.

For those that don't know, NCASS are a trade organisation set up to assist and provide food traders and caterers with the information, systems and support to be safe, legal and most importantly, profitable business. They want their traders to succeed and have become a key part of the ever expanding street food and festival food scene. If you are interested in starting a street food business, NCASS will be there to provide you with all the knowledge you need. Check them out.

Back to the festival, WOMAD began in 1982 bringing music from around the world, performance arts and educational projects together offering for great long weekend and camping experience. This year although hit by a lot of rain on the Friday and Sunday, the show continued. Highlighting De La Soul as a personal favourite with a funk and soul backing band banging out all their hits from my teenage years plus a handful of classic 90’s hip hop covers thrown in for good measure.  With my favourite line heard being “If you're over 35 you'll know this!” 

But I was here to work so let's stick to point, FOOD ;)

NCASS and festival trader manager Lulu Cowley have been working together to ensure all the insurance, hygiene certificates and all paperwork are in order for the traders to have a problem-free weekend and do what they do best... MAKE AND SELL GREAT FOOD! 

WOMAD Radio!

WOMAD Radio!

The festival over the years has always had great food with some of the traders selling their wares at WOMAD for over 25 years. And with the emergence of new traders from the street food scene over the past 5-6 years becoming of a much higher quality (and rightly so) the organisers thought it about time we celebrate how this festival is becoming one of the leaders in great quality festival food. Even with just a year on from my last visit I can certainly vouch for this. With Lulu mixing a blend of older festival traders with newer traders, the offerings match the music with flavours from all over the world. NCASS and Lulu decided to recognise the food traders for their efforts with two categories of the 'Best Meal and 'Best  Snack' with a prize of £500 going to each. An extra category was added for 'People's Choice' voted by the festival goers thru twitter (or voting box) offering £500 to the winning trader and a pair of free tickets to the best food tweet using the hashtag #WomadFood.  My main task was to judge the categories of 'Best Snack' and 'Best Meal', amongst drumming up buzz with tweets and social media shout outs including an appearance on WOMAD Radio. And of course, eating and eat I certainly did. The food was so good so we decided to have shared winners in each category and here they are... 

- BEST SNACK -


Dorshi - Amazing East Asian dumplings using British produce
&
Oysters On Wheels - Pan-fried scallops and smoked salmon on toast at a festival? YES PLEASE!!

Amazing dumplings from Dorshi

Amazing dumplings from Dorshi

Oysters On Wheels

Oysters On Wheels

Pan-fried scallops & smoked salmon on toast

Pan-fried scallops & smoked salmon on toast

- BEST MEAL- 


The Thoroughly Wild Meat Company - Lamb tagine of the highest order with mezes
&
The Chai Shop Organic - Organic and hearty veggie curries, chai and cakes. 

andy-bates-woman-food
andy-bates-womad-food

- PEOPLE'S CHOICE- 


First Class Toast - all kinds of cheese toasties served all day and night
&
Dosa Deli - yummy, clean and fresh South Indian food made by great people

Dosa Deli

Dosa Deli

Dosa & Bhaji with coconut chutney

Dosa & Bhaji with coconut chutney

bacon & cheese toast from First Class Toast

bacon & cheese toast from First Class Toast

Many Thanks to WOMAD, Mark & Alan from NCASS, Lulu and her team and all the food traders for a great weekend. 



Food Jam @ Enys Gardens, Cornwall

Andy Bates

Enys House

Enys House

Inside the home

Inside the home

andy-bates-food-jam

Back in February my old flatmate Emma contacted me because she was thinking about putting together a food festival in Falmouth and asked if I would like to be involved? 
'Of course' was my reply.
‘What do you have in mind?

andy-bates-food-jam

Emma and her friend Mia had found a location in the unspoilt surroundings of Enys Gardens, Penryn, Falmouth. Uninhabited for over 40 years it has recently been privately taken over by owners that would like to see it being used a little more, so why not put on a little street food festival there.

Shellfish Pig

Shellfish Pig

Pork & Fennel Sausage Muffin from Angus & Mitchell 

Pork & Fennel Sausage Muffin from Angus & Mitchell 

andy-bates-food-jam

The festival accurately named 'Food Jam' held over two days (July 11th & 12th) and was a great way of bringing together local Cornish businesses. The locals were given a taste of how the street food scene works, featuring a street food trail inviting visitors on a culinary journey thru all the street food vendors whilst also enjoying the surrounding historic gardens. Each vendor had a small plate on offer between £3 to £4 therefore encouraging guests try a bit of everything. The trail continued through the house, gardens and marquee, allowing you to enjoy live music, featured talks, food demos and sample locally crafted beer from the microbrewery, Dynamite Valley.

Mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall

Mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall

Take a look at some of the traders below:

andy-bates-food-jam
Chocolarder's amazing chocolate selection

Chocolarder's amazing chocolate selection

Steak Sandwich from Chimichurri Cornwall

Steak Sandwich from Chimichurri Cornwall

Yours truly had the job of comparing in the marquee for the weekend, with inspiring talks from Matt Vernon on foraging and how to skin and cook wild rabbit, Richard Musgrave from Downright Delicious on how to prep for a dinner party, Hiromi from Sushi Ichiban Cornwall on how to roll your own sushi, local seaweed talks, and bee conservation and beekeeping talks from on grounds' beekeeper Roger Dewhurst. With many activities and games offering plenty for little people to get involved and ending each day with live music from Preachin' Country, the weekend was a great success with great attendance over both days.

As always I got to eat a lot over the two days from breakfast muffins, wood-fire pizza, Argentinian-inspired steak sandwiches, brioche sliders, pad thai, and custard tarts just to name a few. And as if that wasn’t enough each evening after the festival we’d tuck into the fabulous wares from the traders. Amongst my favourite was the amazing mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall, a creamy, rich, yogurt dip and the equally yummy honeycomb milk chocolate from Chocolarder

So Congrats to Emma and Mia for putting on such a great event, well done to all traders and businesses involved!  ROLL ON, Food Jam 2016...

Emma & I 

Emma & I 

Southern-fried Chicken Liver Sliders with Chilli Slaw & Baconniase

Andy Bates

This recipe came about from my recent travels to Abu Dhabi while in a market looking for inspiration and ingredients for my scheduled cooking demos for the next few days. I had decided earlier to make coxinhas and so when getting the chicken for the coxinhas the butcher randomly asked me if I’d want some chicken livers too.

“Well, yes!” I said. And so I decided there and then that would be the hero of the dish. Next, I went through the spice section and picked up some dry spices and herbs, garlic, oregano, and paprika to name a few. I was starting to get an idea of what was coming up… 

After I headed to the bakery where an insanely good smell drew me towards some freshly baked potato buns, delicious, sweet, fluffy and perfect for a hand-held snack. Then to the fruit and veg section, red cabbage, white cabbage, some apples and then finally a few red chillis. 

I came up with southern-fried chicken livers, cabbage, chilli and apple slaw in a mini potato bun. Yep, North American inspired but born in the middle east. Out in the U.A.E., I made it with roasted garlic and chicken fat mayonnaise (since no pork is allowed). However, now back in England I’ve changed the mayonnaise to include an ingredient that was made to go with liver, BACON! Using strained smoked bacon fat and adding the rendered crispy lardons, I make baconnaise, check it out... 


My Southern-fried chicken liver sliders with chili slaw & baconnise 

andy-bates-southern-fried-chicken-liver-burger-chili-slaw

makes 8 sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g chicken livers (for non-liver lovers, chicken filets will work as well)
  • 300ml of plain yogurt
  • 200g gram flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 8 mini potato buns or mini brioche rolls

For the chilli slaw:

  • ¼ head cabbage, sliced thinly
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 whole chilli, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (can use any chilli you like)
  • a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

For the baconnaise:

  • 100-150g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons, diced
  • 150-200ml mild light olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • pepper

METHOD

First, the chicken livers will need to be marinaded. Mix, all of the dried spices together. Pour the yogurt into a large bowl and add 1 tbsp of the dried spice mixture and mix. Then add the chicken livers to the yogurt mixture and stir though. Cling film the bowl and refrigerate for 1 - 4 hours.

Add the remaining spices to the gram flour, mix and put to one side to use as your southern coating (Gram flour is gluten-free, and I prefer the taste over plain/self-raising flour). 

For the baconnaise: 
In a frying pan, heat a tbsp of olive oil and fry the bacon lardons until crispy. Strain the oil into a bowl and keep the crispy bacon separate. Allow the 'bacon oil' to cool slightly.

In a food processor, blitz the egg yolks and mustard until combined. Keep the food processor running and slowly pour in the bacon fat exactly like you would if you were making mayonnaise. When all 'bacon oil' is all used up, move on to olive oil and continue to pour until you have your desired mayonnaise consistency. You may not need to use all of the oil. Add the lemon juice and crispy bacon to the baconnaise, season with pepper and fold through. Keep to one side until needed (make in advance and will keep for up to three days in a sealed container in the fridge).

Strain the 'bacon oil' from the lardons.

Strain the 'bacon oil' from the lardons.

Blitz 2 egg yolks and 1 tsp mustard. 

Blitz 2 egg yolks and 1 tsp mustard. 

Slowly pour the oil to make your baconnaise. 

Slowly pour the oil to make your baconnaise. 

Almost there...

Almost there...

Add the crispy bacon lardons and juice of 1 lemon to complete your baconnaise. 

Add the crispy bacon lardons and juice of 1 lemon to complete your baconnaise. 

For the chili slaw:
In a bowl combine the cabbage, shallot, chili and coriander. In another bowl mix together all the remaining ingredients, the whole milk, mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over the cabbage salad and toss to combine. Clingfilm and place to one side until needed or in the fridge (can be made in advance and will keep for three days in a sealed container in the fridge. But I like to keep the dressing and salad separate until right before serving, as it keeps the salad crunchy and fresh).

Pre-heat a deep fat fryer to 180C.  Pour the seasoned flour into a tray, take the marinaded chicken livers from the bowl and individually place into the flour. With your hands press and pack the flour around each liver creating a coating. Carefully place the breaded chicken livers into the flyer basket and dip into the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes with a lid on.

andy-bates-chicken-liver-slider

ATTENTION: Liver can spit and pop when fried. Use a lid as a precaution to avoid any issues.  

Lastly, to assemble your burger (if you can get your hands on mini potato buns, DO IT!), cut in half and toast on a hot pan. On the bottom bun spread some baconnaise, then add the southern-fried chicken livers, followed by a heaped spoonful of the slaw and then top with the other half of the bun.

San Sebastián-Donostia, Spain

Andy Bates

andy-bates-san-sebastián

I first visited this gem of a town in 2006 and have been back on an almost yearly basis since. From trips including weekend breaks, work trips, my 30th, my parent's 60th birthdays, a 40th and even a very civilised stag do thrown in for good measure and most recently this past month. For me, it's one of the greatest food cities on earth. I'd like to think I'm the only person that knows about it and only I have the knowledge of where to go and what to eat but alas, it's just not so. See lots of us have been and If you like your food or work in the industry then you've probably have been and have had a taste of how great this town is (for those of you that haven't been. GO, just book it!). So I thought it was about time I shared some of my favourite places of where to eat whenever I'm in town. 

Group selfie ;)

Group selfie ;)

Peak times in San Sebastián are between May and October and it can get very busy on the weekends so flying out mid to late April or late October for me is the best time to go. It's just starting to get busy or slowing down with mainly locals out, you can get a table/perch within 10 minutes or less in every bar, car hire and accommodation are at a better rate and flights can be nearly half price. The only thing you will be missing out on is a bit of summer sun.

We (the wife and friend's Matt and Carolina) booked our flights a month before flying from Stansted Airport to Bilbao with Easyjet (£48 return), and had arranged to a hire car at the airport (£6 per day) and our accommodation being a two bedroom apartment in the Old Town from Airbnb. Make sure to grab yourself acoomodation in the Old Town or nearby to keep it all within walking distance and personally I feel an apartment gives you a little more freedom especially if you plan to do any cooking as we did and it can work out more than half the price of a hotel room.

The drive to San Sebastián takes about 90 minutes with a toll on the way or a non-toll drive taking around 2 and half hours. A secured parking can be found around town for €12-€20 a night. There is also a bus you can catch directly from Bilbao airport to San Sebastián for €15 each way but with four of us in tow it actually worked out the same price to hire a car including parking and petrol for four days as it was to get 8 single fares on the bus.

Volcano of black pudding, apple and sultanas at Hidalgo 56

Volcano of black pudding, apple and sultanas at Hidalgo 56

WHERE TO EAT?

Most pintxo bars are to be found in the Old Town, but never dismiss the Centre and Gros (new town) as many a delight can be found there too (I highly recommend the volcano of black pudding from Hidalgo 56. The 'lava' is an egg yolk on the top ;). An essential guidebook to take which can also can be purchased at many of the bars is 'The Pintxo Trail' which lists each bar's 'hero' dish and is a really helpful guide especially if it is your first visit. Most bars are self-service with cold offerings, picking your own pintxos, eating and then paying with an 'honesty policy' of how many you devoured off the bar. Although these tasty treats look like a 'little picker's dream' all layered in neat rows, taking up the entire space of the bar, screaming different colours and amazing flavours at you, the trick is to order hot pintxos from the menus chalked on the walls and this is when the food really steps up a gear. With hot offerings such as octopus, veal cheeks, pigs ears, hake cheeks, salt cod, foie gras, morcilla (black pudding), baby squid and offal... it's a foodie's utopia. Pintxos will generally cost you around €1-3 each. 

The Indurain at Bodega Donostiarra (tinned white tuna, salted anchovy, guindilla peppers, slice of onion, olive on a bed of olive oil)

The Indurain at Bodega Donostiarra (tinned white tuna, salted anchovy, guindilla peppers, slice of onion, olive on a bed of olive oil)

Griddled foie gras at Izkiña

Griddled foie gras at Izkiña

Before we begin, this isn't so much of a guide to San Sebastián but more like my 'Perfect Night Out in San Sebastián'. A gluttonous eating and drinking journey, one meal spread across five bars which are all based in the Old Town with no more than 2-5 minutes walk between each (obviously many of you who have been will have different views but this is not about you, this is my perfect meal ;). I hope you find the idea of this as appealing as it was to us, on the walk/waddle back to the apartment we all concurred that this was the most epic of meal adventures we had ever embarked on. And just so you know, be prepared to stand. Apart from the first meal we happily stood up for all the courses resting on high tables or bars. And leave your manners behind and follow Basque tradition, once finished with your napkin, raise into the air and throw it to the ground or under the bar. 

So let's begin... As always my first stop upon arriving is La Cepa, I think this may have been the first bar I ever came to in San Sebastián and there are many other bars like it but it will always be my first port of call, the staff are really friendly, food is great and they have the traveller's god-send, free wi-fi so a great place to check in after traveling. As a tradition I always kick off with a large plate of Jamon de Bellota, (acorn-fed pure breed Iberico ham) the flavour is rich and complex and a real delicacy paired with a plate of manchego cheese. The buttery texture of the manchego working so well with the ham. All rounded of with a chilled bottle of rioja to wash it all down. Ham, cheese and wine BOOM... What a start!

The pintxos bar at La Cepa (look at those jamóns!) - photo by @afickledream_

The pintxos bar at La Cepa (look at those jamóns!) - photo by @afickledream_

Jamón de Bellota, bread and 2 glasses of rioja at La Cepa

Jamón de Bellota, bread and 2 glasses of rioja at La Cepa

Next, it's onto Bar Borda Berri and it's all about extremely intense slow cooked dishes using Basque and international flavours and technics. I can vouch for this and they certainly do not disappoint creating tasting dishes like the famous 'crunchy' pig's ear, pork rib kebab, cod tripe, melt in your mouth veal cheeks, mushroom risotto, squid ink ravioli and the most tender octopus I have ever tasted all served on little plates seasoned perfectly with sauces, garnishes and the most flavoursome of local olive oils. The pig's ear is one of the best dishes I've tasted and Matt with who we travelled with returned on a daily basis just for this dish. I believe we ordered one of each and supped half pints of local beer all poured with that perfect European frothy head. The place has attitude in the coolest of ways, rock-n-roll cuisine if you know what I mean. To the owners; Iñaki Gulin & Marc Clua, I salute you both. WOW!

Borda Berri's squid ink ravioli - photo by @afickledream_

Borda Berri's squid ink ravioli - photo by @afickledream_

Borda Berri's crispy pig ear with tximitxurri sauce

Borda Berri's crispy pig ear with tximitxurri sauce

Borda Berri's Iberian pork rib kebab

Borda Berri's Iberian pork rib kebab

Borda Berri's roasted octopus

Borda Berri's roasted octopus

andy-bates-san-sebastian

For the third course and having to peel ourselves away from Borda Berri! We head to Ganbara, who are known to have one of the most varied and mouth-watering menus in the town. Famous and in high demand for their baked spider crab tartlet (A must!). They have a restaurant out back and it's always busy packed with locals with an oven in one of the corners adding even more drama to the bar. As we muscle our way through the crowds we found a corner on the bar and stumbled upon a mountain of seasonal mushrooms. We looked at the barman and gave him a look of 'we'll have some of that please' he nodded knowingly, wrote something down and poured us theatrically from a height some local white wine called txakoli. A couple of minutes later our dish arrived and it's a purist's dream. A plate of sliced and fried wild mushrooms perfectly seasoned garnished only with an egg yolk. Simple and brilliant!

Wild mushrooms & egg yolk at Ganbara

Wild mushrooms & egg yolk at Ganbara

So now for mains and Bar Néstor was where we were to head. Established in 1980 and famous for their potato tortilla where only two large ones are made a day at 12:00pm and 8:00pm and they sell quickly so best to get there early. It's a fairly limited menu and in no way is that a bad thing. I recommended trying two dishes, their aged steak and heirloom tomato salad. We managed 'luckily' to grab a table, standing on the street directly by the serving hatch. We mentioned steak and before we knew it our friendly barman had thrust a platter full of Cote de Boeuf in front of us. All aged, dark with perfect marbling. We chose, well, the biggest one of course and ordered the tomato salad and gernika peppers for sides with a belting big bottle of rioja thrown in for good measure. A lot of chat and a second rioja later, through the hatch a sizzling skillet of sliced steak and bone appeared. Perfectly cooked and swimming in its cooking juices. We hastily ordered more bread so nothing would be lost. The sides were on par too, tomato salad being simply chopped tomatoes in quarters soaked in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt only (For you non-tomato fans, salt really does change how a tomato tastes folks, try it) and the gernika green peppers sautéed and salted (differing from padrón peppers with the Russian roulette of sweet and spicy, gernika are always sweet and a little longer in appearance too). It's probably the first time I've ever had a steak without chips or mash. But don't fear, I got me carbs from that extra bread we ordered to mop up all those juices remember. Rustic cooking with big earthy flavours we couldn't have been happier. I remember one of us saying when finishing our last mouthful and placing knives and forks down 'that was quite something eh?!' It couldn't have been put better. A big nod to the owners; Tito, Nestor and staff who are extremely friendly and are part of what makes this place so great and why people keep coming back.

Aged beef rib chop, tomato salad and g  ernika green peppers from Bar Nestor 

Aged beef rib chop, tomato salad and gernika green peppers from Bar Nestor 

andy-bates-San-Sebastian
andy-bates-San-Sebastian

And for the last hurrah... Dessert! The girls had declared they were 'too full for pudding' but I knew we had some room in us and there was only one place to go, La Viña. Run by Santi Rivera this traditional bar offers traditional Basque fare like croquettes, classic fish soup and clams in green sauce. The Russian salad is a favourite and the cheese and anchovy cone (looking like a mini flake 99 with the cheese as the ice cream piped into a cone and a whole anchovy as the flake) is a fun and tasty bite. But most people are here for one thing, the tarta de queso or baked cheesecake. A well-guarded secret that they will never give out "we don't give out the recipe" is said with an almost 'how many times do I have to say...' It's an utterly dreamy, no biscuit/crunchy base,  just a baked filling, I'll try to describe... From the outside in you start with a burnt crust, then the filling starts with a little soufflé like around the edges and then into a super smooth set middle. And the taste is sweet, creamy with a touch of sourness to it. But what makes it even better is that it perfectly matches with Pedro Ximénez, just ask them and they will know what to give you. The two together are insanely good with the sweetness from the wine against the cheese. Our journey was now complete, JOB DONE! On the walk back to the apartment I couldn't stop thinking about the taste and texture of that cheesecake and it continued into my sleep, so much so that I dragged the wife there early doors for a cheesecake breakfast. But to be fair she hardly put up much of a fight. FYI as it was too early a glass of wine you'll be pleased to know it worked just as well with coffee.

La Viña's tarta de queso 

La Viña's tarta de queso 

La Viña's cheese and anchovy cone

La Viña's cheese and anchovy cone

 

To recap my 'perfect meal' in San Sebastián's pintxo bars are... 

 

La Cepa - plate of Iberico jamon & Manchego Cheese with bottle of rioja

Bar Bordi Berri - Crunchy pigs ear, octopus, pork rib, sweetbread ravioli (just order everything)

Ganbara - Fried seasonal mushrooms and egg yolk

Bar Nestor - Aged beef rib chop, tomato salad and gernika green peppers (eat on the street if possible ;)

La Viña - Baked cheescake with dessert wine

 

andy-bates-san-sebastián

WHAT TO DRINK?

A slightly sparkling Basque white wine called txakoli – this is a light and dry wine that goes hand in hand with most pintxos. When txakoli is poured, the bottle is held from a height creating an impressive two-foot stream into a tall glass. This helps to aerate the wine, creating more bubbles. Other choices include rioja or 1/2 pint beers, they will ask if you want a full pint (probably asked because I am British) but I would recommend sticking with the halves, while a glass of wine or beer will set you back a mere €1.5 - €3.

Craft Beer too? I was lucky to find Basque Brewing Project. I'm never one to say no to a local independent brew and this hoppy little IPA is a winner. A few bars stock it the fridge so watch out for it. 

Gin and tonics. Served in those ginormous gold fish bowl type glasses with a tiny bit of tonic to go with your gin ;) A must for all G&T lovers. 

 

OTHER.

Other than eating and drinking, make sure to walk about and explore the streets or even take a walk on either of the beaches. In fact, you might need to as be aware that nearly all the pintxos bars shut between 3-7 leaving you choices of either finding a bar and drinking through until everything opens again or sightseeing or taking a deserved siesta yourself. You can even try some surfing at San Sebastian's Zurriola Beach which offers courses for beginners and also holds national and international championships, attracting surfers from all over the world. But back to food again and a must to try is La Brexta Market situated in Old Town.

Matt & I smiling in the fish market  - photo by @afickledream_

Matt & I smiling in the fish market - photo by @afickledream_

La Brexta's fish market  - photo by @afickledream_

La Brexta's fish market - photo by @afickledream_

Our feast from Merca    do La Brexta     -Whole Baked Sole with lemon, garlic & paprika potatoes     -Hake Glands in Garlic Butter    -Chorizo in Red Wine    -Mackerel Tartare    -White Asparagus with Anchovy Mayo

Our feast from Mercado La Brexta

-Whole Baked Sole with lemon, garlic & paprika potatoes 

-Hake Glands in Garlic Butter

-Chorizo in Red Wine

-Mackerel Tartare

-White Asparagus with Anchovy Mayo

 

It is an underground cave filled with chef and foodie delights split into three sections; fish, meat and delicatessen. The fish section is especially beautiful and eye opening with offerings of monkish, hake, sole, snapper, roes, cheeks, salt cod and just about every type of shellfish and mussel you can imagine all laid out in ‘shop window’ esq displays worthy of an award. The markets perfect for you to stock up on cured meats, cheeses, wine and other countless goodies from the region. There’s even a well-known supermarket down there which is really handy to pick up on staples for the weekend. Upstairs and outside is where local traders sell fruit and veg with many proudly claiming that it was picked that morning from their own gardens. It's impossible not to be inspired by the produce available, the region is so fertile that you can’t help but want to cook with it. We spent about two hours walking around tasting and asking questions before finally filling our bags and heading back to the apartment to prepare a feast all cooked with usual sparse rented accommodation utensils of 1 baking tray, 1 chopping board, 2 saucepans, 1 frying pan and 2 very blunt knives.

 

SIDE TRIP TO GETARIA.

Between San Sebastian and Bilbao, I cannot recommend highly enough the fishing port of Gretinia. I make an obligatory stop there for Sunday lunch on every visit for what we have come to refer to as ‘Basque Fish and Chips'. See down by the harbour in this little port town are about 4-5 restaurants that all specialise in whole fish (usually turbot and monkfish) cooked over coals outside on asadores. They arrive directly from the boats, placed over the coals, then whisked to the kitchen where they are quickly filleted and seasoned with dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and fried garlic. I always order a side of chips to complete the dish and a bottle of local txakoli. The fish is cooked to perfection and eating outside with friends next to the sea is never a bad thing is it.

andy-bates-san-sebastián
Monkfish

Monkfish

Turbot

Turbot

British Pie Awards 2015

Andy Bates

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

It's April and that can only mean one thing to me... The British Pie Awards!

This year, the British Pie Awards invited me back to not only judge but to also compère their awards lunch the following day.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

While looking at the list of judges a few days earlier I discovered that Marcus Bean, lover of all things chocolate and excerise, would be attending and decided via twitter we'd go for a run around the mighty Pie-shire (Leicestershire to be exact) on the morning of the judging. Our plan being that if we were going to be eating pie all day then at least a little morning exercise would just justify what was ahead.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

The awards as every year are held in St. Mary's Church with Reverend Kevin Ashby opening up the doors on the two conditions...

  1. That we, the people respect the church
  2. He can be a judge and eat pie too 

On the morning of the big day, the church was buzzing with excitement with local and national press attending. There were 830 pies from over 130 pie makers to be judged and as always it's great to see the Pierates making themselves busy like kids in a candy shop. Before the judging commences 'Revd Kevin' addresses the congregation with a sermon and a pie prayer. 

My chosen category was Class 1 "The Melton Mowbary Pork Pie" to be judged by myself and master baker Richard Watkins (being a 'Bates' I am allowed an wry smile at that title ;). Richard has been making pork pies for years at his family-owned business in Westgate, Gratham and certainly knows his shoulder from belly.

This category calls for all pies to comply with all specifications needed to be an authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association which is explained as such... "The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is a distinct product that is recognisably different from other pork pies, both in physical characteristics and in reputation. The sides of a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie are bow-shaped as they are baked free standing, whereas most other pork pies are straight-sided being baked in hoops. The meat used is fresh pork which is naturally grey when cooked, liked roast pork, not pink like other pork pies which used cured pork. The meat must be particulate, as we use chopped pork, not smooth on the palate as most other pork pies are because they used minced meat. The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is also well jellied and the meat seasoned with salt and pepper."

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

We have 14 pies to try and our judging criteria included; appearance, pastry thickness, over boil, filling and taste. They are all of the highest quality. The hardest part I found was not washing each mouthful down with a bite of a pickled onion and a glug of ale, so my taste buds had to be at the top of their game. Crispness, crunch and seasoning of pastry, fat content and slight peppery after taste are all things I'm keeping an eye out for. About halfway through Richard and I found one that clearly stood out. We continue to try the rest (all amazing) but we had already chosen our winner. The results for Class 1 were as follows:

Winner: Handcrafter Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe

Second: Artisan 440g Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Walker & Son for M&S

Third: Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Walker & son for Co-op website

After the all the eating AKA judging, a few of the judges and I rolled ourselves to the local for a welcomed pint and a chance to sit down and adjust our belts. Some of the other judges had tried over 40 pies! Take a peek at all the categories and winners of this year's British Pie Awards. 

The Great North Pie Co.

The Great North Pie Co.

The awards lunch took place the following day and was back in the church and PIE was on the menu for mains and dessert. The awards went very well with Boghall Butchers and Great North Pie Co taking the lions share of the awards but in the end small producer & Supreme champion went to Great North Pie CoCongrats to all involved! This is was only my second year at this prestigious event but everyone made me feel exceptionally welcome and very much part of the Pie family.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards
andy-bates-british-pie-awards
andy-bates-british-pie-awards

Afterwards the day was topped off by a lift back to London from old friends Piebury Corner, who incidentally won 2nd place in Class 8 Chicken Pie category for the “Theo Walcott” Jerk Chicken Porter Pie. Amongst our chat on the journey home they confined in me an idea to take over a well known Spanish island, start selling pies and rename it Pie-biza.

Now thats what I call the beginning of world PIE domination :)

 

 

Wild Rabbit, Pancetta & Sage Pie

Andy Bates

andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie

Wabbit! My latest assignment for BBC Food & Drink, they have taken me to Devon to meet Chef, Hunter, Forager and all round nice guy Tim Maddams. Tim invites me into his idyllic home with a back garden overlooking a lush valley where he cooks me two recipes using wild rabbits that he shot a few days before. The first dish was rabbit leg and chanterelle pasta and the second dish is easy slow cooked rabbit with pancetta and tomatoes. Both extremely tasty and both showing just how versatile wild rabbit can be. We really should be eating more these wild and tasty animals that have some how become to be known as the 'poor man's chicken'. They can be ordered through supermarkets, butchers and even online. They have such great flavour and quality of meat, nutritious, low in fat and full of protein and vitamins. They are also very good value for money, even from a supermarket a wild rabbit costs less than a free-range chicken.

andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie

One more bit of advice, just make sure to not grab yourself an old buck which can be a little too strong in taste. The perfect age for a wild rabbit is between 6-8 weeks old and most importantly stay clear of farmed rabbit imported from abroad. 

Here's my 'Wild Rabbit & Pancetta Pie' recipe using ingredients and flavours that I believe Tim would approve of ;) 


My Wild Rabbit, Pancetta & Sage Pie

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 wild rabbit
  • 100g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g small button mushrooms, each cut in half
  • 1 carrot , rough small dice
  • 1tbsp whole grain mustard 
  • 1/2 bunch sage, roughly chopped 

FOR THE ALL BUTTER RUFF PUFF PASTRY:

  • 400g strong plain flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 300g butter, ice cold
  • 100-150ml cold water

 

METHOD

For the filling, divide the rabbit into small portions on the bone and season with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large pan, then seal off the rabbit until nicely browned and set aside.

In the same pan, seal off the bacon until caramelised and set aside with the rabbit. Sweat the shallots, carrots and mushrooms in the remaining oil for 5 minutes, then add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid just covers the vegetables. 

Add the chicken stock, rabbit and bacon and return to a boil for about 20 minutes until reduced. Add the double cream and mustard and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add the roughly chopped sage and set aside to cool. 

Once cooled, take the rabbit out of the stew, take the meat off the bone (discarding the bones) and return the meat back to the stew. Chill until needed. 

Preheat your oven to 180C. 

Follow directions for my all butter ruff puff pastry

Divide the pastry into four and shape over a ramekin or jam jar and then place in a small bowl to retain the shape. Place spoonfuls of the filling into the bowl-shaped pastry and fill halfway. Squeeze the top together and gently push down, being careful not to break the pastry. Cut any excess pastry on the top and brush with egg yolk. Bake for 45 mins, making sure the pinch on the top is fully cooked through.

FullSizeRender.jpg
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-wild-rabbit-bacon-pie
andy-bates-bbc-food-drink-show

Shoulder of Lamb with Roasted Garlic & Almond dip

Andy Bates

This recipe is inspired by my dinner at Al Mallah Cafe in Al Ain, UAE and their ‘Lamb and Hummus’ plate. I’ve put my own twist by making an almond dip (never ever will I call it almond hummus again. Thank you Suzanne for correcting me ;) and cooking the lamb in a pressure cooker making this an ideal midweek meal or if you're short of time on the weekend.


My Shoulder of Lamb with Roasted Garlic and Almond dip

andy-bates-lamb-with-roasted-garlic-almond-dip

(serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg lamb shoulder 
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)

FOR THE RUB:

  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp ground coriander 
  • salt & pepper
  • 50ml olive oil 

FOR THE ROASTED GARLIC & ALMOND DIP:

  • 250g ground almonds
  • juice of 2 lemons 
  • half head of garlic 
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 600ml olive oil
  • 300ml water

FOR THE GARNISH:

  • 1tbsp chopped mint
  • 1tbsp chopped parsley
  • zest of 2 lemons 
  • handful of tasted pine nuts
  • flatbread to serve

METHOD

Place the shoulder of lamb onto a board and stab all over with a knife.

Place all the ingredients for the 'rub' into a large bowl, mix together and then massage into the lamb, leaving the the lamb in the 'rub' bowl, cover with cling film until needed.

In the pressure cooker, add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the lamb all over until browned and take out of pressure cooker. Add the onions and a touch more oil if needed to the pressure cooker and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil (deglazing the bottom as you go) then return the lamb and any juices back into the pressure cooker.

Seal with a lid (change settings if electric) and cook for approximately an hour.

Place the garlic into a piece of foil (about the size of your hand) with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap together tightly and roast in a preheated oven (180C) for 30 minutes or until soft, sweet and golden.

andy-bates-lamb-roasted-garlic-almond-dip

Soak the 2 slices of white bread in a bowl of water for 1 minute, drain and add to a food processor with the lemon juice, ground almonds and 'squeezed' roasted garlic. Blend together and adjust consistency with water if too thick. When smooth, very slowly add olive oil (You are looking for a paste similar to hummus). Season with salt & pepper.

TO SERVE:

Allow lamb to rest for 10 minutes the transfer to a clean bowl and shred into bite size chunks, discarding any bones and excess fat. Whilst the lamb is resting, bring the cooking juices to the boil and reduce to intensify the flavour and thicken.

andy-bates-lamb-roasted-garlic-almond-dip

Onto a warm large plate or four individuals. Spread the almond dip on the bottom of the plate, scatter the lamb on top and ladle some cooking juices over. Mix the parsley, mint, lemon zest and pine nuts together and finally sprinkle all over and serve with warm flatbread. 

*If you do have the time and/or don't have a pressure cooker then the lamb will happily marinade overnight and then sealed off the next day in a pan before slow roasting for 3-4 hours (until falling off the bone) at 140C/275F. Lid on or covered in foil.

Al Ain & Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Food Festival | Feb. 12-21, 2015

Andy Bates

Madinat Zayad to Al Ain.

Leaving the sand dunes of the western region... we headed to our second destination, Al Ain. An eastern city based on the border next to Oman. Although full of western food outlets (and I can confess to giving in on more than one occasion to Shack Shake), it's also full of hidden gems with cafes serving grilled lebanese and middle eastern spreads with freshly squeezed juices or smoothies. One cafe that particularly stood out was Al Mallah Cafe, a sandwich bar during the day and I seriously recommend the chicken breast and chicken liver sub then after 5:30 pm they fire up the shawerma grills and things get serious (seriously delicious). 

andy-bates-valentines-day

It's good, so good in fact that the wife and I happily spent our Valentine's evening there eating meats with warm hummus and pine nuts served with plates of freshly washed salad and herbs, pickles, warm flatbreads and freshly squeezed mango and banana juice. The whole meal came to under £10 (She’s a lucky lady eh!, I spare no expense on dates out ;)

Now back to the festival, this time it was to be in the centre of town at the Al Jahili Park with a huge fort as the backdrop. The street food traders prepared for their second weekend formulating their menus, poolside may I add. ATE Street Food even sourced some local camel hump for their daily special slider, which mind you sold out in just a few hours. And with the addition of more chefs including Jun Tanaka, Suzanne Husseini, John Quilter, James Walters and a few locals from TV station Fatafeat, the cooking demonstrations now had even more variety with a mix of local cuisine, street food and restaurant dishes all coming together again hosted by the brilliant, Andrew Dickens.

It was busier than anyone expected! I kept myself busy between cooking demos by helping some of the traders, my duties included: collecting boxes of cheese sandwiches from the walk in fridge for The Cheese Truck, boxes of apples for Yogusensi, proved dough for Pizza Pilgrims and peeling 2kg of prawns for Donostia Social Club. The event was a success with all traders selling out on all three nights.

Back at the hotel every evening the traders resembled a Rugby team after a hard fought win. They were all battered, bruised and nursing their wounds but very high in spirits. And their remedy was like that of a Rugby player by heading to the hotel bar. It was affectionately named ‘Power Hour’ (the bar tended to close with less than an hour to go ;). 

With Al Ain done and dusted we headed to the final destination, Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi. 

We all knew it was going to be a busy weekend, so the traders usual three to four day break before each festival had now been cut down to just one day by the pool with days spent sourcing and buying, giving themselves an extra day of prep to get ready for the final weekend of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival.

andy-bates-suzzane-husseini
andy-bates-suzzane-husseini

As I only had cooking demonstrations to do, I had an evening or two to spare and Suzanne Husseini kindly invited the Real Food team, Andrew Dickens, the wife and myself round for dinner. Now I'm lucky enough to work with street food and restaurants for a living but as soon as someone says 'home cooking' I accept instantly and I'm round in a shot! We were not disappointed... Suzanne put on an Arabic feast of all feasts with dishes like whole baked red snapper, homemade hummus, stuffed vine leaves and my favourite, lemony garlic chicken on rice with yoghurt sauce. We all left very happy and very full. Seriously, everyone needs to grab her cook book. 

andy-bates-cheese-truck

This time the festival was to be directly on the beach, on the Corniche to be exact. Right in downtown Abu Dhabi where many of the hotels are based.

We were all in a routine now, we were basically a travelling Street Food Festival circus. The Real Food Festival team at the helm getting all the final touches and last minute issues ironed out. The trucks arriving a couple of days before along with the demonstration stage, mobile prep kitchen, fridge and freezer trailers, electrics, plumbing, fencing, music stage, toilets and much, much more. 

The event again went to plan… BUSY! Even in the midst of a sandstorm, all traders sold out again, the kitchen demonstrations were all full houses and you could sense the people were excited and happy to have us in their city. 

I’m honoured to have been part of this journey, working with the traders and organisers as we ventured into the unknown, bringing the first travelling Street Food Festival to the United Arab Emirates. Seeing them go from strength to strength at each festival in stunning locations with road trips, hotel breakfasts and some bad dancing sprinkled along the way. And of course being out of London for three weeks in February in the sunshine is never a bad thing. Returning back to Blighty, I think we all felt a feeling of ‘MISSON SUCCESSFUL!'

Roll on to next year…

Abu Dhabi to Heathrow. Heathrow to Hackney. 

Taste of Dubai Launch Party

Andy Bates

With the 'major' help of Chef Spencer and the team behind #VidaFoodTruck, Taste of Dubai organised a preview event to mark their launch at Vida Downtown Dubai. Together we cooked up a few street food creations including my southern-fried chicken liver burger and sea bass ceviche along with Chef Spencer's lamb dawg, tater tots with braised beef and salsa to name a few. 

Taste of Dubai will be March 12 - 14th at the Dubai Media City. Join me at the Chef's Theatre and Cookery School. Get Involved! 

*some photos provided by Hotelier Middle East

MADINAT ZAYAD - ABU DHABI FOOD FESTIVAL | FEB. 5-8, 2015

Andy Bates

And the journey begins… Hackney to Heathrow, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Madinat Zayad. 

Upon my arrival, I meet with the British street food traders at the hotel on the eve of the first night. They flew in several days before and their trucks shipped from the UK, a journey that took four weeks on a boat. They've been sourcing and preparing local ingredients, everyone's in high spirits and looking forward to the next three weeks.

Our first destination is the western region town of Madinat Zayad, right in the middle of the desert! (or dessert as I’ve been picked up upon calling it on twitter ;) The venue is Madinat Zayad Public Park, a lush and beautiful park surrounded by palm trees making it a mini oasis. A first for everyone trading in the streetfood scene I believe? 

Everyones been hard at work, the sun is shining and most importantly everything seems to have arrived (just in the nick of time), all thanks to the tremendous work of the team from Real Food Festival as they have put their all into these events for over six months to make it happen (Bravo!). Their goal, to be the first to bring street food festivals to the Abu Dhabi Emirate. 

So what am I here to do? Well, they've incorporated a cooking demo stage and I’ve been asked along with some of the traders to do some cooking demonstrations. Hosted by the patient and damn nice bloke, Andrew Dickens, we think we’ve got a pretty good team.

We make an early start on the first day of the festival to head to the local markets to see what ingredients we can find and get inspired for our cooking demos. It’s exactly what you’d expect; Loud, colourful and vibrant with strong smells of fruits and spices.

For my first demo I'll be making coxinhas (a Brazilian bar snack and one of my faves) as I know it's a crowd pleaser and great fun to make. For my other recipe I'm not so sure, I want to be inspired by local produce but also make something that shouts 'street food'. So when getting the chicken for the coxhinas, the butcher randomly offered me fresh chicken livers. Andrew and I gave each other a look that said 'I LOVE LIVER' (as liver lovers do) and so it was decided there and then that would be the hero of my second demonstration. Next, Andrew had to gather some dry spices and herbs; garlic, oregano, paprika to name a few. I was starting to slowly get an idea of what was coming up…

Then we were drawn to the bakery where an insanely good smell pulled me towards some freshly baked potato buns, rich, with sight sweet smell, fluffy and perfect for a hand held snack. Finally we headed to fruit and veg and grabbed some red cabbage, white cabbage, red onion, apple and chilli and all else that makes a perfect slaw.  

Yep! North American inspired but born in the middle east, I had come up with southern-fried chicken livers, chili slaw in a local potato-brioche style bun. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was gonna fill the base with roasted garlic and chicken fat homemade mayo. YEAH!

Now to the festival:

The offerings from the street food vendors is a mix of their own known classics from the UK but with local influence thrown in. We've got hot dogs, tapas, sliders, pizza, fresh juices, churros, Indian, British style tacos (with coined name of bracos), grilled cheese and ice creams… 

The street traders are ready for the weekend, 'en place', their menu signs posted and shouting their usual banter between the trucks. We were ready on the demo stage, so let the party begin! ;) From my experience of new street food events opening in different countries and cultures around the world, it's always a joy to see people coming through the gates and well, not knowing what really to expect. It's not a restaurant, it’s a little like a music festival and the big name acts are the street food traders. With colourful trucks and tents each with their unique styling, menus shouting out their offerings and inside the stars/chefs bang out their hits. Cheesy??? A little but bring it on!

After an hour the crowd starts to warm up and get the idea… Phones are out, social networking with pictures, queues are starting to gather and the knowledge/know that you're not there to eat just one dish hits home.

It's early days here in Abu Dhabi Food Festival and as we roll on to the next cities, it's gonna build up momentum. But what a great event to be involved with, seeing traders from the UK being giving this opportunity is what makes our scene appealing, I'm so proud to be part of this movement, working with small business getting out there and giving it a go, doing what they love and do best, working for themselves, meeting new friends and most importantly serving great food.

I wish the team nothing but good times and good fortunes.

Next stop, Al Ain...


Whelks @ Crabhouse Café

Andy Bates

andy-bates-crabhouse-cafe

Whelks… hmmmm. From my childhood all I can say is, YUCK!

I love British seaside food and summers spent on the beaches of Kent and Sussex. For me it's all about fish n’ chips and ice cream! Not chewy, slimey 'things' covered in vinegar, although I can vaguely remember my brother daring/telling/forcing me (probably all of them at the same time) to try one, I was only seven and the blood still runs deep...  No wonder I was a bit scarred when I heard what I was soon to do. 

See the thing is when you mention whelks to people that is exactly what they think of, a snail type thing served in a polystyrene cup with vinegar from the 60’s and 70’s.

But there's more to the whelk than meets the eye. In the UK 20,000 tonnes of them are landed each year and we are not eating them, so where are they going? The answer is... they mostly end up in soy sauce or canned as bar snacks in the far east. So are we missing a trick when it comes to the whelk? I was lucky enough to be sent by BBC Food and Drink to Weymouth to investigate that very question.

On arriving in this great thriving fishing port town we popped over to the beach to sample whelks in their classic British seaside serving (forced to eat by my director, George) but I still was not convinced. They were chewy, covered in black spots and nothing to taste apart from vinegar, I thought I was seven years old again (Director George also commented that my behaviour was very much that of a seven year old ;).

andy-bates-crabhousecafe

But luckily enough our next stop was Crab House Café where I was introduced to chef owner, Nigel Bloxham. He LOVES whelks or ‘sea snails’ as he calls them, (interestingly I later find out if you put ‘Sea Snails’ on a menu instead of ‘Whelks’ they will sell out) and he wants to encourage us to eat more whelks. Nigel even helped launch the ‘Great British Whelk Revival’.

Nigel explains to me that they are full of nutrients, environmentally-friendly and because they grow naturally at sea it gives them a lovely sweet flavour that works great with strong flavours like chilli and garlic. He cooks me a dish very similar to French snails with garlic butter but with our very own, British whelks. He slices them and suddenly they don’t resemble anything whelk-like, fries them in butter, garlic and parsley, with a squeeze of lemon then serves it with a massive hunk of crusty brown bread. They are sweet, succulent and tasty. I LOVE IT! Thirty years later, I am now converted!

Nigel was kind enough to share his recipe featured below, why not give it a go...

 

Catch it TODAY on BBC Food & Drink, January 23rd at 8:30 or after on catch-up HERE >>      


NIGEL'S WHELKS WITH GARLIC & PARSLEY BUTTER

Ingredients

  • 2kg whelks (sea snails) with shells on or 500g shelled
  • 250g garlic and parsley butter 
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • bread (to mop up all those lovely juices)

Method 

Take the whelks out of the shell.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the whelks. Keep them just barely simmering for about 10 minutes. This cooks them right through.

Take them out and drain. Slice them up so they don't look like whelks anymore, which is a good trick!

Fry the sliced whelks in a frying pan with a knob of garlic and parsley butter. As soon as the butter has melted, squeeze the juice of the lemon over and serve with bread.

 
andy-bates-crabhouse-whelks

*For more information on Nigel's cookbook visit HERE



Abu Dhabi Food Festival | Feb. 5-21, 2014

Andy Bates


  • February 5 to 7 in Madinat Zayad

  • February 12 to 14 in Al Ain

  • February 19 to 21 in Abu Dhabi

"A gastronomic feast awaits visitors at the first Abu Dhabi Food Festival to be held emirate-wide this February 5th -21st. The festival, served up by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), will reach out to residents and visitors alike over two weeks and three weekends and is supported by the emirate’s leading hotels, restaurants, malls and main attractions. 

Featuring the best Food Trucks all the way from London, UK and the UAE, Street Feast is an exciting new food festival road-show taking in the whole of the Abu Dhabi region. With cuisines from all around the world, the festival offers the chance for some serious feasting as well as chef demos, live music and entertainment in a unique, family-friendly day out. Street Feast is a new event organised by Real Food Festivals, launching as part of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, presented by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al-Ain Municipality, Western Region Municipality, and Official airline Etihad."

SHARE WITH FRIENDS -->

MORE INFO -->

MORE INFO ON ABU DHABI STREET FEASTS -->

 

 

 

Wild Beer Co | Cheddar and Ale Soup

Andy Bates

Craft Beer, Craft Beer, Craft Beer!!!

Beer tasting with Andrew & Brett of Wild Beer Co

Beer tasting with Andrew & Brett of Wild Beer Co

You'd think that beer has only just been invented in recent times with the explosion of craft beers over the past few years on our shores, but our beers and real ales have always been right up there as some of the best produced in the world and let's face it we pretty much invented I.P.A & pale ale so what's all the fuss about?

My first experience of 'craft beer' was over in America in 2012 while travelling the country filming my second series of Street Feasts for Food Network UK. After filming each day, the crew and I would go to a bar and try what I would describe as cold, fizzy and strong I.P.A. I was hooked straight away, refreshing and with lots of flavour and an unfamiliar taste as I was a premium lager drinker (to my shame). So I asked myself what was so different... Do the hotter summers of the States demand a cooler beverage? If so, I can see why the cold and fizzy-ness would work so well over there but here with our colder climate, is there really a need to follow in their steps when our cask ales work so well? Or is it simply just another way to enjoy beer?

Now back to Britain. It seems so, as we now have over 1,200 independent breweries in the UK producing craft beer and not just the American style but with flavours from all over the world and of course, British Ales. Cynics (and there's no shortage of them) will say its an over hyped machine with people jumping on bandwagons but for me I see nothing but success stories of people setting up small businesses, getting out there and giving it a go (exactly what this country needs) and doing something they are passionate about. Now we love an underdog over here so tell me what is there not to like about these companies?

Which leads me onto the Wild Beer CompanyI was lucky enough to be sent down by BBC Food and Drink to spend a day with them at their brewery, finding out what inspires them, how the business is going and of course try a beer or two ;)

Set up in 2012 by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis on a mission to "brew beers with a bit of a difference focusing on different ingredients, different yeasts and different barrel ageing techniques."

Both Andrew and Brett have worked in food and drink throughout their careers. Brett from California, a former chef and Andrew (an Englishman) in management and ownership of pubs and bars. They meet working at a brewery and discovered they shared a love for sour and interesting beers. 

Cheddar @ Westcombe Dairy

Cheddar @ Westcombe Dairy

Brett took me foraging around the Somerset countryside, showing me how they use natural yeasts including berries for their beers. This method really sets them apart from mass produced breweries. Back at base, Andrew took me through a tasting session... What really stood out to me was that these are not beers for downing by the pint but drinks to be slowly enjoyed and importantly matched with food. 

Now onto my recipe...  One thing I learned was that the Wild Beer Co are based directly opposite to Westcombe Dairy, producers of some of finest cheddar in Somerset. This was the opportunity for the crew and I to stack up on a car load of cheese and beer. Gleefully taken, it gave me the perfect excuse to make a Cheddar and Ale soup. I used cheddar from the farm shop and Wild Beer's Scarlet Fever, a red ale with toffee caramel and citrus hops. A perfect combination!

So if you have not guessed it by now... on this week's BBC Two - Food & Drink, I'm talking CRAFT BEER with the Wild Beer Co and I join Melissa Cole at Bristol Beer Week. Tune in this Friday at 8:30 or after on catch-up HERE.

Enjoy, it's a great one!

Filming @  Bristol Beer Week  w/the wonderful  Melissa Cole

Filming @ Bristol Beer Week w/the wonderful Melissa Cole


My Cheddar and Ale Soup

andy-bates-cheddar-and-ale-soup

Ingredients

(serves 4)

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 60g plain flour
  • 300ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 300ml ale (I used Wild Beer 'Scarlet Fever')
  • 200g mature cheddar (grated)
  • 1tsp english mustard powder
  • good dash of Worcestershire sauce

FOR THE GARNISH:

  • 100g diced pancetta lardons
  • 1 jalapeño (thinly sliced, keep the seeds if you want it extra spicy)  

Method 

andy-bates-cheddar-and-ale-soup

In a saucepan, melt the butter and sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mustard powder and flour and cook out for 2-3 minutes. Slowly, add the stock and stir continuously with a whisk to avoid lumps, add the beer and bring to a boil. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted, then add the cream and cook gently on a low heat for 10 minutes until it has thickened. Add to a food processor or liquidiser/blender and blitz til smooth, return to a clean pan and keep warm until needed. 

In a frying pan, fry off the pancetta lardons until crispy (or to your liking).

Serve in a bowl with the pancetta and jalapeño sprinkled on top.

*For a vegetarian option, use vegetable stock and omit the pancetta on the garnish. 

(photos by Nathan Valentine)

andy-bates-bbc-two-food-and-drink

Leicester Market | Nov. 16th

Andy Bates

6th Annual Winter Food Festival @ Leicester Market 

November 16, 2014The 6th Annual Winter Food Festival is right around the corner and the day is shaping up to be an excellent one!

WILL BE RETURNING TO DEMO A COUPLE OF HOLIDAY THEMED MEALS AFTER APPEARING AT THIS YEAR'S SUMMER FESTIVAL INCLUDING: LEFTOVER TURKEY AND SWEETCORN CHOWDER WITH STOVE TOP SCONES AND ONION, FENNEL AND CHEESE TATIN. IN ADDITION TO THE COOKING DEMO’S I WILL ALSO BE SERVING UP TASTY CUBAN SANDWICHES AT MY OWN STALL IN FRONT OF THE FOOD HALL.

FREE TO ATTEND AND WILL START AT 11AM TIL 5:30 PM. 

More Info -->

GET INVOLVED AND SHARE WITH FRIENDS > FB EVENT