I have recently travelled in the name of food to some brilliant places such as Beirut, Japan, Bahrain and Copenhagen. These travels led me to conclude that the UK must have the poorest historic food culture of all – with no deep-rooted love for food as pleasure, only sustenance – however, it’s not all bad news…
The UK has embraced food cultures from around the world with open arms and allowed them to flourish and take root here. This is part of the reason London has the most exciting and dynamic food scene in the world right now. Don’t think for one minute that it’s not spreading across the wider country.
Our love of ethnic ingredients and techniques
Our eagerness to adopt ethnic ingredients and techniques is unstoppable and has added to the melting pot of dishes we now call our own. What impact has this had on OUR food: new school, young chefs are no longer obsessed with classical French gastronomy being the be all and end all of every menu. This new wave of hardy young cooks are literally owning new wave Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian ingredients, adding modern techniques and celebrating this country’s incredible produce and making the whole package sing. We are on the cusp of an international food revolution in the UK and are all the better for it.
Not only can we look forward to eating and dining more diversely, the repertoire of foods, dishes and flavours available to us from so many outside influences gives such a wonderfully varied diet.
Deep Rooted Food Culture
Most noticeable when you travel to a country with a deep-rooted food culture – try, for example, going to Bologna in Italy and not eating pizza or pasta, Beirut in Lebanon and avoiding hummus and Labneh or rice and ramen in Japan. Countries with a deep-rooted food history do tend to stick to their own cooking style. Cooking over and over gives consistency but lacks the texture and depth that I feel certain that the UK will have in years to come.
World cuisine in London
Here are a few restaurants you may not have heard of but celebrate world cuisine right here in London.