This is my first blog for bartlett mitchell since joining the team as a consultant this Autumn. By way of an introduction, I have been cooking professionally since the age of 15. Way back when I started my apprenticeship at Claridge’s, I had always dreamed of opening a restaurant and back in 2001 I did just that. I now own Trinity, Upstairs at Trinity and Bistro Union restaurants, all in Clapham, I’ve written a cookbook and dabbled on TV but ultimately it’s food that really does it for me. In fact, I’m pretty obsessed. As part of my new role with bartlett mitchell I’m intending to write monthly on my experiences with food hoping to be able to bring some small pockets of inspiration and foodie highlights to you all over the coming months.
I have been busy refurbishing Trinity over the Summer, which has allowed me to take some time away. I visited Sardinia, not the first time and not the posh bit either. But if you ever get the chance it is the most amazing island for food in the Med. I cooked almost solidly, such were the quality of ingredients I felt as though I had to cook them or the opportunity would be lost forever. I ate in the most amazing restaurant called Sa Mandra, which specialises in cooking young pigs – bigger than suckling – over an open fire. The food at this restaurant was incredible; I can taste the very unique crackling now.
They also served a cheese with maggots, and yes, I was pretty skeptical, but this cheese, called Casu Marzu, is an island delicacy and well worth trying but not for the faint hearted. For the wine lovers amongst you the national grape in Sardinia is called Cannonau and it is wonderful, similar in style to pinot driven red Burgundy, just delicious. If ever you want to buy traditional Sardinian food the place to go in London is Vallebona (www.vallebona.com) Stefano, a dear friend of mine, imports some of the finest ingredients I know.
I very much look forward to dropping foodie highlights into your lives over the coming months.