By Rupert Taylor, Sales Executive, Hush Heath Estate
There have been many many highlights to 2011 for me in terms of food and drink. It’s been a year of new discoveries and new adventures. I started running at the end of last year and this seems to be my way of justifying what a greedy pig I’ve been.
In no particular order here are some of my favourite moments.
Koya on Wardour Street is just a wonderful restaurant. It’s worth standing out in the cold in the queue to sample the amazing pickles. I love the Buta Miso, it’s the perfect comfort food. Only this week I was lucky enough to sit by the kitchen watching the chefs calmly go about their business, whilst I tucked into ‘Tatsuta’, deep fried venison with celeriac.
Heritage Tomato salad was pretty ubiquitous this summer, but the best version I sampled was by the Young Turks, with goat’s milk and marjoram. Superb! I totally love what these guys are doing, building a following by cooking their own food in unique environments.
I must confess I have a bit of a penchant for fast food, and Big Apple Hot Dogs has certainly been satisfying that need. The fact that their dogs are now on the menu in Mishkin’s shows that street food is really making waves. Special mention to the fondue burger from Lucky Chip that I inhaled on a Hackney rooftop, it was special.
I was lucky enough to have friends organised enough to get me a seat at the French Laundry at Harrods. The classic dish of ‘Oysters and Pearls‘ was pretty deserving of its legendary status. A perfectly balanced dish. All in all it was an unforgettable evening.
It was amazing to meet Chef Keller as well, a total legend. I hope that isn’t the last trip he makes to London to cook.
In October I took part in a tasting of Fine and Rare with Reid wines, there were some fascinating wines like Moulin-a-Vent 1949 Avery’s bottled, but the real highlight was a bottle of what is commonly believed to be Terrantez 1862. The wine was amazing and still so alive, but the real sense of occasion to drinking such a wine is thinking back to what life might have been like 149 years ago. It was a real privilege to taste what can truly be described as a meditation wine.
I’m very happy to see the trend for dry sherry/ sherry bars kicking in. I’m particularly happy about the move towards more producers making En Rama style fino sherries. Throughout the year I have consumed many and I do hope that next spring/summer we will see further such releases.
The grape variety that has really got me excited is Mencia. I particularly love the wines being made by Raul Perez in Bierzo. Mencia has a wonderful structure and the acidity is particularly food-friendly. I’m sure these wines will garner more of a cult following as time passes, but I really hope that the prices stay accessible.
Lastly I must mention Zucca on Bermondsey street, where the both the food and wine are of astounding value. The veal chop is legendary and over the past year I have enjoyed some phenomenal pasta there too.
Next year is shaping up to be a very exciting one for English wines, so I’m very excited about my recent move to Hush Heath Estate, which caps off a brilliant year.
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