Gout, ask anyone who’s had it they’ll all tell you it’s not funny. This time of year is a full-on trigger alert festival of everything that’s bad for it. High protein, offal, shellfish, booze, dark green veg, all the warning signals for an apocalyptic flareup. It’s why I like to call it Goutmas! But it’s such a great time for feasting, really the only time of year in this country that everyone can be a glutton for a week.
The Beefy Boys ‘Butty Back’ vs The Flying Cows ‘The High Flyer’
It’s been coming, we’ve had competitive BBQ for a while now and individual rib and brisket events. Now it’s competitive burgers. Though we did have a burger round at Grillstock festival this year, that’s where I first met The Beefy Boys. Their burger beat ours (Backyard Brummies) into second place, depriving us of a chance to go to Las Vegas for the World Food Championship. How ‘World’ was it? Debatable, how global is the baseball World Series? Anyway The Beefy Boys did us proud by placing second overall in Las Vegas and actually winning a round. Must be great to take on the Americans at their own game and beating them!
Black cuttlefish risotto, should try it on a black plate next time
Before I even tried this dish I loved the idea of it. Look at it, it’s black, really black! The only thing blacker is the horrible one in a packet of liquorice allsorts. It’s a Venetian classic that’s also very popular across the Adriatic in Croatia. It should be more popular here too, cuttlefish is a delicious cross between squid and octopus. Sweet, tender and meaty. Unlike squid and octopus it’s also cheap. Any cheaper and fish markets would be giving it away. So why aren’t we eating it? I suppose it’s because it looks so unpromising in it’s raw ink soaked freakishness.
My crispy fish sauce chicken wings
A spate of, ok two, new Thai restaurant openings in London has the capital’s food elite frothing with excitement. The chefs behind Som Saa in Hackney and Smoking Goat in Soho come from the same Northern Thai stable The Begging Bowl in Peckham. I had no expectations from either as I’ve never been to Peckham or Thailand for that matter. But I do love cooking Thai food and I’m sure Peckham is lovely this time of year. Som Saa is by all accounts authentic Northern Thai whereas Smoking Goat is better described as Thai influenced smoky bbq. You’d think that being a foodist I would prefer Som Saa but it was the smack-in-the-face sweet and sticky deliciousness of Smoking Goat that won me over. The standout dish of the dozen or so that we tried in the two restaurants was the Smoking Goat’s Fish Sauce Chicken Wings, and it’s not even Thai!
In some ways I’ve been very Chinese in the past. I promise to change…
It’s not my first time food blogging, my buddy Nick at smokeandumami.com let me loose on his blog a couple of years ago. We started the mighty Birmingham and West Midlands Food Map that highlighted places to eat and shop for food in our conurbation. Although obsolescent since Feb 2014 it’s still quite relevant which may be an indictment of our dining scene. Nevermind, I’ve always thought home cooking was more fun anyway! Here are the recipes and other home-cooking blogs that I’ve posted on smokeandumami:
“People change, They gain a peach but they lose one too”
A year is a long time, but for me this past year has flown by. From being full time employed and studying to be a qualified actuary, through planning a restaurant then actually opening a bakery and then quitting a bakery. To now, writing this blog post.
I’m Lap-fai Lee, Lap to everyone who knows me and to those same people they also know I’m obsessive about food, especially cooking it. Hence The Foodist. Or if you like, a cross between a foodie (yuk!) and a fascist because I usually have a few things to say about what people eat even as they’re chewing it.
So follow this blog if you want to know what I’m eating but especially if you want to read about good food and how to cook it. Or if you just want to look at some nice photos of food.