Written by Will
Welcome to my monthly roundup of inspiring things I’ve been listening to, reading and watching. Since being at home more, I’ve found more time not only to enjoy our tea, but also to get cooking and experimenting with plenty of different flavours. So this month I’m sharing some of my favourite food heroes to help inspire you to get creative in the kitchen.
WATCH: Liziqi Channel on Youtube
Liziqi is one of the most popular youtubers from China, with her channel gaining millions of views and it’s easy to see why. These beautifully made videos capture her life in rural China as she single-handedly cooks and crafts her way through everyday life with skills that seem from the distant era. Much like many of the humble tea producers that we meet in China, with centuries of crafting knowledge passed down through the generations. In this episode Liziqi takes us through the life of a tomato, from the converting of an abandoned pond to planting, harvesting and finally cooking a delicious meal. It is absolutely stunning to watch and will definitely make you jealous of her vegetable patch.
LISTEN: Come For Supper with Alexandra Dudley
Food writer and cook, Alexandra Dudley hosts this fun culinary podcast which features down to earth interviews with celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, actors, artists and authors about their secrets to supper success. Alexandra delves into the lives of her renowned guests to uncover memorable dinner parties, recipe tips and kitchen essentials, alongside their most candid kitchen catastrophes. This a must listen for anyone with post lockdown dinner party plans. There’s a whole host of personalities to choose from – one my favourites is with chef and cookbook author, Melissa Hemsley, who talks about her top tips on planet-friendly, waste-free eating.
WATCH: Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain
This excellent series is the lasting legacy of chef and intrepid travel writer Anthony Bourdain. While most other travel and food programmes struggle to portray the reality of a place during a short TV episode, this show manages to uncover the true heart of each destination with ease – all while enjoying plenty of delicious meals and great conversation along the way. The episode in Ethiopia where chef Marcus Samuelsson reconnects with the family and food of his homeland is especially moving, while the infamous episode in Vietnam with Barack Obama is a must watch!
READ: The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop
This book is an updated version of the now classic ‘Sichuan Cookery’ by writer and cook Fuschia Dunlop. Packed with simple recipes and clear instructions, it manages to codify the famous culinary region of Sichuan, China, known for its spicy chilis, complex textures and delicious sensations. All you need is just a few key Sichuanese store cupboard ingredients and you’ll be on your way to exploring classics like Mapo tofu, Gong Bao chicken, or even Numbing-and-hot dried beef, all of which go really well with a classic Sichuanese Dew green tea. If you love Chinese culture like I do, then this book can also take you deeper into the cultural history of Sichuan, as Fuschia recounts what brought her to the region so many years ago. Accompanied by loads of fantastic travel and food photography, there’s plenty for your eyes to feast on.
WATCH: Street Food Latin America
As I loved the stories and cooks from the first series, Street Food Asia, I knew this new bunch of episodes would totally be for me. This time the focus is on the foodie hotspots of Latin America and the series covers the local cooks who serve their communities with humble, delicious food at the heart of everyday life. I love the episode on Oaxaca in Mexico, where local cook Doña Vale makes the most amazing looking plate of tortillas and salsa called Memelas, which seem so simple but are perfected by each particular street food cook. Doña Vale is commended by her patrons as being a true representation of the working class, which shows you how these simple and tasty dishes, as well as the people who make them, actually take up an important role in the social and cultural sensibility of an entire region.
Stay tuned for more of our team’s favourites next month…