This week Celebrity & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala visits London restaurants in search for new food trends!
I AM unsure who or what creates food trends, but they definitely exist!
If you visit any modern country’s capital they will always have a trending slant on fashion, food and restaurants especially in New York or London.
So, last week I flew over to London to see what is trending right now. My brother Howard lives between London and New York and visits most capitals in the world each month.
He is a motivational speaker on retail trends including food trends. So I left it in his hands to book somewhere for dinner that is on trend!
We met at an old English pub in Soho and had a pint of London Pride straight from the barrel (something that we don’t get in Spain).
He then took me to a tiny place around the corner in Soho called Berenjak which is a Persian restaurant. The name comes from the brightly coloured toasted rice eaten as a snack at funfairs in Iran called Berenjak.
Persian or Iranian food is not that familiar to the Europeans, but it is similar to Lebanese food. It was a small, intimately cosy and really charming restaurant.
We had the most delectable hummus and some roasted aubergine crushed with mint and yoghurt served with flat breads. Then chunks of beef and lamb rump on skewers cooked on the open fire followed. We drank a bottle of Lebanese red wine which was light and delicious and put the world to rights.
“So is this the new food trend in London?” I asked. Howard explained that there were many trends, but mostly they are all centred around natural wholesome and authentic foods, making Persian food a popular choice as it is totally unadulterated.
The flavours were amazing I have to say and we had a Lebanese dessert wine with a baklava layered up with ice cream to finish.
We flagged down a taxi to take us home and the cabby asked how dinner was. We couldn’t believe that he was from Tehran and he was delighted that his country’s food was being well praised as we talked excitedly about some of his favourite dishes.
If there was a down side to the meal it was that the meat was quite fatty and rare. If you are going to put raw meat on a fire you need to cook it long enough for the fat to burn off but also to give it the full flavour of the charcoal.
I sent the meat back and my brother said… “OMG we can’t go anywhere!” I don’t like to be critical but after more than 40 years cooking I don’t feel embarrassed about being discerning!
I like the idea of some Persian dishes on our lunch menu (which has an international theme).
I have been thinking about the hummus and the aubergine and I definitely want to share some of these flavours with you, so I am giving you the recipe for the hummus.
It’s quick and easy to make and has fantastic flavours. You will never buy a bought hummus ever again!
Steven Saunders’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.
Ingredients (Makes 6/8 portions)
- 1 tin of cooked chick peas drained
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 clove garlic chopped into 3/4 pieces
- ½ fresh lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp Tahini paste (ground sesame seeds)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Pinch of Maldon salt
- ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- A little freshly cracked black pepper
- A little olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Sumac (Iranian spice made from wild berries, a bit like lemon)
- A pinch of cayenne powder
- Finely chopped fresh parsley
- Coriander oil ( optional)
- Add the chick peas and one tbsp of water to a small saucepan and heat over low for 10 minutes until it is heated through.
- Add the warm chick peas and the water and chopped garlic to the food processor, process about two minutes, or until smooth.
- Add juice of ½ fresh lemon and process for about one more minute.
- Scrape the sides down and add the Tahini, ground cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and freshly cracked black pepper.
Process for another minute.
- With the food processor running, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil through the chute and process for two to three minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Taste and season if necessary
- Serve it at room temperature.
- When ready to serve, add a light drizzle of olive oil, some whole chick peas, a pinch of sumac, a pinch of ground cayenne pepper and some finely chopped fresh parsley or dried chilli flakes.
- Serve with toasted Persian flat bread.
Follow Steven on Instagram … saunderschef – Email any questions … [email protected]
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant 2019-Costa Del Sol – www.thelittlegeranium.com