The day Author Attic went exotic and had a cup of Oolong tea with food writer, Jenny Linford, in a lovely tea shop called Postcard Teas. We were also a bit indulgent and kept up the exotic theme by having some passion fruit flavour cakes! Read below to find out what Jenny had to tell us about The London Cookbook over a very sophisticated tea break.
Q. You visited many shops, butcheries and cafe’s whilst writing ‘The London Cookbook’. Which was your favourite discovered shop and why?
I’ve been writing about London’s food scene for many years now and I put all my favourite people and their shops in The London Cookbook so I couldn’t pick just one!
Q. There is a borrowed recipe on nearly every page of ‘The London Cookbook’. Which recipes now feature regularly in the Linford household?
I was given a lot of great recipes from food-loving Londoners. Among the ones I find myself making regularly are Piloo’s Coriander Chutney, Sarah’s Seedcake and Rosemary’s Biscuits.
Q. Most of the food places you visited in London are family run businesses, what is your opinion of the food giants in London such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco?
What I love about London’s food scene is its diversity. The big supermarkets are hugely successful and profitable, so I wanted to highlight the independent food shops as many of whom are struggling to stay profitable because of London’s high rents, business rates, the congestion charge and changing food shopping habits. I like shopping in markets and independent food shops because you get to know the people selling to you and they take a personal pride in what they’re doing.
Q. It’s summer time in London. Which food hang out would we most likely bump into you in?
At the moment, I’m often to be found sitting at the marble-topped bar at Jose’s, Jose Pisarro’s great new tapas bar on Bermondsey Street nibbling on prawns with garlic and sipping sherry.
Q. Describe a day in the life of a food writer.
It’s always very diverse, which is what I really like about my work. One day I can be exploring London, visiting new food shops, the next day I might be in my kitchen testing a recipe or in my study writing.
Q. You founded the very successful Gastro-Soho Tours in London. Tell us what will we see, who will we meet and most importantly what will we get to eat?
My Gastro-Soho tours take in a range of food shops, from bustling Chinese supermarkets to vintage specialist food shops dating back to the nineteenth century. There are a lot of tastings en-route, from freshly baked Chinese red bean buns to my favourite olives, flavoured with anchovies, chillies and lots of garlic.
Q. What other new food titles have we got to look forward to?
I don’t have a specific book project on the go at the moment, but watch this space!
Q. If you had to describe ‘The London Cookbook’ in a style of a recipe what would it consist of?
There are so many different elements in the book – recipes, stories, food history, glimpses into the many different cuisines that can be found in this most cosmopolitan of cities – that it would definitely be a fusion dish!
No kitchen should be without one.