Food Scavengers

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Ever wished that you could cut down on your food bills? Artist and activist Spring Exprit (Eugenia Beirer) may have the answer. Call it Dumpster Diving, Skipping or even Freeganism - on the face of it “food salvage” is simply the practice of retrieving and eating food that others have thrown away. But it goes much deeper than that, calling in to question the workings of the entire capitalist economy. Oh, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun too.

Hattie Garlick visited New Covent Garden Market with a group of novice scavengers to learn the tricks of the dumpster diving trade. Click More below to watch her video.

 

Soho Landmarks - Maison Bertaux

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Started in 1871, Maison Bertaux still survives in its original premises.  Such is the devotion to this wonderful pastisserie that one ex-Soho resident has been going there for over 60 years - even though he moved out of London 25 years ago.

Zabar's - A New York Institution

Zabar's Coffee Sacks

 

Zabar's is not a building that really stands out, perhaps the mock tudor looks a bit odd on 81st and Broadway but that's about it. Yet any self-respecting New Yorker knows it...

Ace Cafe
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Ace Cafe on London's North Circular Road has been serving bikers since 1938.  Hattie Garlick visited recently and learnt how, after being destroyed in an air-raid in 1940,  it became the world famous haunt it is today getting through an astonishing 7 tons of sausages a year.

But how does a vegan survive in this world of leathers and bacon sandwiches?  Hattie tracked down Vegan Biker Boy for some answers.

Fuchsia Dunlop - the full interview

 

Fuchsia Dunlop interview

At a relatively early age Fuchsia Dunlop became hooked on China.  She decided to learn Mandarin at evening classes and eventually won a scholarship to study in Chengdu, Sichuan.  It was there that she trained as a chef, the first westerner to attend the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. As a result she is now one of the foremost experts on Chinese cuisine and has built up a large and devoted following across the world.

At Barshu in the heart of London's Soho, a Sichuanese restaurant where Fuchsia acts as consultant, she talks to Mark Hilton, who also decided at a young age to study Chinese and Chinese culture and has lived in Xiamen in South-East China for 12 years. Discussion ranges from her life in Chengdu to the effect of the country's rapid changes on its cuisine and the, often false, assumptions the west makes about Chinese food.

 

More on Fuchsia...you can see her in conversation with Prue Leith here.

 

Chocolatier

Phil Neal - Chocolatier
A man with a dark passion. At Philip Neal in London's Turnham Green can be found some of the best chocolate in town. His ambition is to change people's habits, to get them to understand what great chocolate tastes like and eventually to open the best chocolate lounge in the country. He explains both his passion and his dreams.

 

Reza's Roots

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REZA MAHAMMAD, owner of the famed Star Of India in Kensington, TV celebrity and much loved personality, talks about his father’s early struggles when he arrived as a stowaway in 1937. He and a handful of friends attempted to establish Indian cuisine in England and eventually succeeded in changing the eating habits of a nation.

The Table Comes First

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Adam Gopnik, author and writer for The New Yorker magazine, came to London in late November for the UK launch of his new book. He credits Fergus Henderson for unwittingly giving him the title, The Table Comes First, and the two of them met up at St. John Hotel where the conversation ran from subjects as diverse as farting cows and the worrying proliferation of square plates in France...

 

School Dinners

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Everyone has a memory of their school dinner - and it's not always about the dreaded tapioca pudding! There are some people who actually liked them.

Jonathan Meades and Matthew Fort

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The collective knowledge and wit of Matthew Fort and Jonathan Meades make this conversation one to savour! The iconoclastic Jonathan Meades is often considered to have been the best of all food critics during his tenure at the Times, and is still regarded by many as supreme.  Meades airs his trenchant and outspoken views about today's chefs and the food scene generally. He cites RADA,  "the Sandhurst for chorus boys", where he trained as an actor, as the place which instilled in him a lifelong discipline and, one suspects, his disdain for the pretentious.