Orlando Gough

Well.

 

Saint Delia says that Masterchef is a nonsense because most of us can’t cook an omelette. And a new saint, Saint Felicity, says that that’s nonsense, as we’re not necessarily interested in cooking omelettes, or soufflés, or baking cakes;

what we want to cook is exotic stuff like Chicken Jalfrezi.

Who knows? Judging by the ranks of ready meals at the supermarket, Saint Delia has a point. Judging by the fact that the word ‘jalfrezi’ is now in the English Dictionary – raising the mouth-watering possibility of using it in Scrabble – Saint Felicity has a point; though she rather bizarrely followed up by devoting her next column to a recipe for Victoria Sponge cake.

Omelettes, soufflés, cakes, chickens…… Somehow it’s all about eggs.

It’s a moment to celebrate the egg

as glue

as the inspiration for Humpty Dumpty

as a crucial ingredient in the pick-me-up egg nog

as the indispensible component of a cooked breakfast

as an instant meal: scrambled, boiled, fried, poached, omelette

and by extension, if you have more time, frittata, tortilla, eggah, kuku

 

as a way of elevating something to the status of a meal – for example:

asparagus by itself, not a meal………asparagus with poached egg, a meal

 

as the central component of eggy-peggy language (for anyone outside

the society, it’s a secret language created by putting the syllable ‘egg’ after

every consonant – so for example ‘Felicity’ becomes ‘Feggeleggiceggiteggy’)

 

as a symbol of rebirth – hence Easter eggs, and hence the Easter Day sport of

egg-rolling in the village of South Stoke just outside Bath. You hard-boil your

egg, and decorate the shell (this year’s eggs included Boris Johnson and the Pope).

The eggs are rolled down the steep main street of the village. First to the bottom

is the winner. It’s very messy – the eggs roll under cars and into the gutter, and

the shells begin to come off. The competition is fierce and disturbing, and the

smell is even fiercer and more disturbing….

 

the yolk as a basis for emulsification with oil (what genius discovered that?):

mayonnaise, sauce tartare, sauce rémoulade, sauce verte, not to mention

hollandaise sauce, Béarnaise sauce, sauce Maltaise, sauce moutarde….. magic!

 

the yolk as a partner in liaisons with milk and cream, a basis for custards,

mousses, ice creams…..and as a means of thickening broths and soups

 

the yolk as a binding agent in egg tempura, and therefore a component of

some great masterpieces of Early Renaissance art

 

the white as a rising agent: soufflés, cakes, meringues, choux pastry,

gougère, Yorkshire pudding,….. and as a means of clarifying broths

 

the shell as an example of a perfectly designed container

 

as something not get on your face

as the perfect protest missile

and so on.

 

Try this Pipérade –

it’s a standard Basque dish, but you don’t find it served very often here in Britain.

Chop two medium onions; cut open, de-seed, and slice three small red peppers. Fry them gently together in olive oil for ten minutes. Add four chopped garlic cloves and six chopped tomatoes, and cook gently for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut three thick slices of white bread into cubes. Make croûtons by frying them in hot olive oil till golden. Beat eight eggs, season with salt and pepper, and add to the vegetable mixture, stirring all the time, as if you’re making scrambled eggs. Mix in the croutons, and strew with chopped parsley.

This dish is remarkably similar to the Tunisian Chakchouka, and the Turkish Menemen. Though in the Basque country it’s served with fried slices of Bayonne ham, which is hardly likely in Tunisia or Turkey.

Experiment with different herbs – mint, basil, coriander….

Good with green peppers instead of red.

Serves four.

We’ve published a book of Orlando’s recipes full of similar tales. For more about Orlando Gough Recipe Journal click here.

 


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by TOAST ( 22.10.13 )

The seventh of twelve people, men and women, all of whom in their various ways work with food and all of whom are passionate about what they do. It’s a truism to say there has been a revolution in food – but these twelve have all taken fresh approaches: all have a sense of rootedness and authenticity. It was a great pleasure meeting all of them: from the lovely Jeremy Lee working in a down-to-earth way at his grand and history-imbued Quo Vadis to the three artisan producers at Spa Terminus: extraordinary people working enormously hard at what they love. Our great thanks to them all.

Rachel Khoo is an English chef, writer and broadcaster. Born in Croydon, she studied at Saint Martins and worked briefly in fashion p.r. before moving to Paris where she learned patisserie at Le Cordon Bleau. She has written two cookery books published in French. Her third book, The Little Paris Kitchen, is also the name of her first TV series, famously and engagingly shot in the kitchen of her small Belleville apartment – where she also for a while ran a tiny, two cover restaurant.

www.rachelkhoo.com


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by TOAST ( 18.10.13 )

James Seaton

Westering by canoe and trail

some lakes half frozen, some clear

bleached grass underfoot

rolling clouds

Our new november 2013 collections – for women, men and house&home – are now available on our main site. 

 


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by TOAST ( 15.10.13 )

James Seaton, Toast’s co-founder and Creative Director has written words to photographs taken by Nicholas James Seaton on our autumn/winter 2013 shoot in Canada.

By dawn light, where the river divides to west and east, the water deep, slow flowing. Big shapes take their stately progress across the land – the St Lawrence Seaway, two and a half thousand miles from lakes to sea.

The docks were quiet. To the west Montréal rose, high buildings reflecting the morning sun back at us. The beauty of details, unintended; rhythms of tone and mass in stacks of weathered containers; piles of steel rails waiting to be shipped west; layers of paint fading to zincy rust on warehouse doors.

By evening light: the bright cranes; the great buildings criss-crossed with conveyor corridors – a vast abstract composition full of raw rhythms expressing… what? The vigour and optimism of 20th century industry? All lying quiet now. Overhead, FARINE FIVE ROSES flashes gently on and off in tones of vermillion, soft against the dusk.


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by TOAST ( 07.10.13 )

 

The fourth in a series of pieces written to photographs taken by Nicholas James Seaton on our autumn/winter 2013 shoot in Canada. Each focuses on an element, albeit a non-traditional kind.

By Nat Lucas.

Where once slipped burnished reflections in silver-grey, the flash of a passing express or arrows of geese rising up from the river, now laps the canker of rust. Bound unwillingly on steel framed beds these colours chime with autumn hues and vie to shrug their spore onto a careless passing sleeve. Illustrious names weep together – burnt orange, yellow ochre and cadmium red, shackled in a mottled bruise.   

Derricks gaze sightlessly into water; shoulders hunched against the bite like king penguins taking turns at the edge of an ice locked huddle. Cold chilled they sweat and wait, mustered at the command of ghost squads of stevedores. Hamstrung by rust they will swing and hoist no more.

Exposure hastens the rasping tongue of corrosion, the weakening flakes and slow dull notes of fatigue. Singing cables whipping above the festooned pier turn brittle when the bulbs go out and folds of litter bag the shore. Emasculated rivets drop unheard from the underbelly of the pontoon.

The transcendent form of Hart Crane’s The Bridge (1930) seems the stuff of fables from these bashed and fettered sheets:

 

“And Thee, across the harbour, silver-paced

As though the sun took step of thee, yet left

Some motion ever unspent in thy stride, -”

 

The manufacturing heartland is strapped into a rust belt. Pounding, flaming cities shrink to arid necropolises for machine tools stripped of salvageable parts. Rust blooms over conical towers, the past proud spires of factory husks, while vegetation hastens to reclaim old ground. Crowds shuttle in to stare toothlessly at the ruins. ‘Decay tourism’ has set up its stall. 

Metal memories are embedded in each one of these thousand shallow rough bubbles. Darker stains describe the best of times. Tremulous chariots for three point turns, mobile sanctuary for courting teens, are stacked wrecked shadows. Worn out, but held in fond regard, weathered in human harness unlike those cloud bothering, plunging elevatored monoliths.

To read the other pieces in our Element series, click here.

Excerpt from The Bridge by Hart Crane 1899 – 1932. Published 1930, Black Sun Press.


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by TOAST ( 07.10.13 )

By John Andrews.

‘To plead fashion, is like following a multitude to do evil’, so said the words on the pages of Winnie Black’s new ideal for living, The Female Emigrants Guide – Hints on Canadian Housekeeping by Catharine Parr Traill, the famous authoress of Backwoods of Canada. Winnie lived by every page and had done so since arriving as a settler’s wife in this the new world of the Canadian colony in the year 1860.

Donaldson’s Tailoring Shop stood on the main street of the town so young it was yet to be named and it was here that she was bound to collect the suit for her Ernest so that he might look smart in church. The money in her pocket, just over a dollar, was all they had left and rather than spend some of it on seeds that seemed bound to fail she had taken the decision to put it all on a suit so that her husband would look good before God. He could take care of the rest, ‘unless the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it, unless the Lord keep the city the watchmen maketh but in vain…’

Donaldson himself handed over the parcel, ‘It’s an old suit Mrs. Black but I’ve adjusted the trowsers and the jacket will fit a thin man. Mr. Black is thin is he not?’ Winnie let go of her last dollar and waited for change. Ernest was thin alright. He’d gone from an ox to a goat in less than a year. Grape jelly did no good. Whiskey did worse. Donaldson pushed the dollar back over the counter. ‘There’s no charge Mrs. Black. The suit came from the man found drowned last month up in One Fish Pool’. Winnie swallowed. Then she remembered that as a settler’s wife she was of ‘good temper’ and was not ‘peevish’ and would not be ‘discontented’. No, she would not let Mrs. Traill down. She would accept Donaldson’s charity. She thanked him as he held her smile for longer than he might, grasped the parcel in both hands, and left the shop.

It was not until she had walked home, a walk out of town of so many miles she lost count, and had hung the suit ready to air that Winnie noticed a peculiarity in the jacket. When the sun shone through the dirty window it spelt something out across the inside of the lining. She stared at it, not for the first time since her arrival here thinking she had lost her mind, and then started tearing at the seams. On the inside back there was a double lining into which were some words cross-stitched in the colour black,

‘The Last Will and Testament of Edward Cooper’

‘Under one of the trees you passed on the way to find me you will discover a small box, within which is a ‘Canadian’, a nugget of gold I once stole in desperation. Good luck to you, I hope I was not too heavy to lift from the water. I will be God’s now and a murderous thief no more. One Fish Pool seems as good a place as any to start again.’

www.andrewsofarcadia.com


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by TOAST ( 04.10.13 )

The sixth of twelve people, men and women, all of whom in their various ways work with food and all of whom are passionate about what they do. It’s a truism to say there has been a revolution in food – but these twelve have all taken fresh approaches: all have a sense of rootedness and authenticity. It was a great pleasure meeting all of them: from the lovely Jeremy Lee working in a down-to-earth way at his grand and history-imbued Quo Vadis to the three artisan producers at Spa Terminus: extraordinary people working enormously hard at what they love. Our great thanks to them all.

Since 2011, the Little Bread Pedlar has been making and delivering artisan croissants, breads and pastries to cafés, delis and shops across London. Ex-St. John Bread & Wine chef Nichola Gensler founded the bakery with her partner Martin Hardiman. Nichola bakes and Martin bikes the produce across London with his team early every morning. The Little Bread Pedlar is based at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey, where they sell their wares directly to the public on Saturday mornings. They also run a café and bicycle repair shop nearby.

Nichola and Martin are extraordinary and dedicated: seven days a week working from early until late. The reward is our’s – in the really outstanding quality of what they produce.

www.lbpedlar.com 

 



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Orlando Gough

A few years ago we went with our friends the Seatons on a deeply compromised holiday to a lovely part of south-west Ireland, the Beara Peninsula. The Guinness was good, the countryside luscious, the fiddle-playing frisky – Ireland is, after all, Ireland; but there were drawbacks. Swimming was out of the question as the sea was teeming with jellyfish; we pottered about in a knackered old rowing boat, anxious about the admittedly remote possibility of capsizing. Going for walks was a nightmare, as we were attacked by tics; pulling them out afterwards was companionable but intensely painful, the potential consequences of missing just one of the little beasts alarming. Sitting outside in the evenings was out of the question, since, despite having the use of an ingenious anti-mosquito machine, we were bitten black and blue by the damn things. The natural world was not going to take our holiday-making lying down. We wouldn’t have been particularly surprised if it had rained frogs. 

The jellyfish were, of course, spectacularly beautiful. In a world where most objects are opaque, there is something fascinating about a partially transparent object – a soap bubble, a birdcage, an aquarium, a crane, the London Eye. The structure is on display, and one can appreciate the complexity of it. At the same time, the world behind looks almost to be an intrinsic part of the object, so there is a certain mystery. Staring at one of these gorgeous, disturbing creatures beneath our boat, it was impossible not to wonder: does it have a brain? does it have control of its motion? what’s it for??…


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by TOAST ( 01.10.13 )

The fifth of twelve people, men and women, all of whom in their various ways work with food and all of whom are passionate about what they do. It’s a truism to say there has been a revolution in food – but these twelve have all taken fresh approaches: all have a sense of rootedness and authenticity. It was a great pleasure meeting all of them: from the lovely Jeremy Lee working in a down-to-earth way at his grand and history-imbued Quo Vadis to the three artisan producers at Spa Terminus: extraordinary people working enormously hard at what they love. Our great thanks to them all.

Jane Scotter farms Fern Verrow, a 16 acre biodynamic holding in the foothills of the Black Mountains, producing seasonal vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs and meat. Every Friday Jane hand picks the best of what she has, packs it with great care in her van and drives through the early dawn to Spa Terminus. In the early morning she lays out her stall – with an attention bordering on love. It looks beautiful, entirely fresh, wholly good. As soon as she opens, those in the know come flocking to procure their week’s worth. Her produce is wonderful, flavour beyond what one imagines possible from what we mistakenly think as everyday English vegetables…


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by TOAST ( 24.09.13 )

James Seaton, Toast’s co-founder and Creative Director has written words to photographs taken by Nicholas James Seaton on our autumn/winter 2013 shoot in Canada.

Over the vast terrain’s undulations, the roads run utterly straight. Thus a flash of sunlight on chrome glimpsed at the horizon will only manifest itself as a roaring 60mph truck some ten minutes later. If you had the time – and there’s plenty of that out here – you could watch its progress as the road dips in and out of sight: its silent progress, the only sound coming from the lazy wind across the wheat stubble. Like watching a meteor or a satellite coursing the heavens. Only in the last few dozen seconds of its approach will its noise, its mass become apparent. It’s a surprise. And then, in a flurry of dust it has passed, the noise quickly fading to silence – and once more there is just the wind, the land and oneself.

In all this vastness of land and sky, one finds oneself quickly thinking – I hope someone comes to fetch me before long. You could get thirsty out here. Hungry. You could be forgotten.


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by TOAST ( 23.09.13 )
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