1. Win Tickets to Taste of London 2012

    Great British Chefs and Taste of London have teamed up to offer you the chance to win pairs of tickets (worth £48) to this summer’s foodie event! Several chefs from Great British Chefs website will be serving special menus at the festival from 21st - 24th June Find out how to win one of 13 pairs of tickets ….

    Strawberry Tart by Pascal Aussignac

    For four days fine dining will be transported to Regent’s Park for great summer eating, drinking and entertainment. 40 of London’s best restaurants will be serving up their finest in an unbeatable alfresco gourmet feast, while 200 producers are presenting of their best food and beverages.  You’ll be able to sample and shop for a range of great produce in a lovely atmosphere.  There’s also a whole host of masterclasses & demos from the country’s finest chefs.

    The following chefs from Great British Chefs will have special menus of starter sized dishes for the occasion.  Treat yourself to their signature dishes reflecting their cooking philosophy and showcasing seasonal ingredients.  

    Salad Niscoise by Pascal Aussignac 

    Pascal Aussignac's Club Gascon will present top produce cooked in the manner of southwest France. Pascal’s grasp of seasonal produce and his capacity to bring ingredients together is showcased in every dish. 

    Bharwan Paneer by Alfred Prasad

    Alfred Prasad specialises in the cooking of north-western and southern India. His award winning Tamarind restaurant offers a modern interpretation of Mughal cuisine - the courtly food of ancient Rajasthan that revolves around the tandoor oven, in which marinated breads, meat, game and seafood are grilled over charcoal.

    Crab Salad by Theo Randall

    Having worked his way up the ranks at the iconic River Café, Theo Randall knows a thing or two about running a restaurant. At The Intercontinental, Theo cooks what he loves: Italian inspired, seasonal, rustic food that’s uncomplicated but packed with love.

    Hake Fillet with Golden Beet & radish salad - Simon Rogan

    Last but not least on Friday Simon Rogan will be the guest chef at Action Against Hunger's Restaurant at Taste of London. Simon moved to the picturesque village of Cartmel, Cumbria, in 2002 to set up L’Enclume, the restaurant with rooms which has since garnered a host of accolades.  His London “pop up” restaurant Roganic has also received rave reviews. His dessert reached the finals of Great British Menu & was served at the Olympic Banquet. 

    We have three pairs of entry tickets for Taste of London for Saturday evening 23rd June 2012 and 10 runner up pairs for either Thursday 21st or Friday 22nd June.

    For your chance to win, simply tell us which of the cuisines represented by the chefs featured above is your favourite - French, Indian, Italian or English & let us know one of your favourite dishes from that country - for example,  Italian, Spaghetti Carbonara.   Enter in the comments hereno later than 11.59pm on Sunday 17th June 2012.  Entry into the competition is for UK residents only & does not include transport to the event or Crowns to spend at the festival.

    Our Taste of London recipe collection has more dishes from the chefs at the event.

    We will randomly select the prize winners from the comments made by the entry deadline.  The lucky winners be selected & informed on Monday 18th June 2012 & your tickets will be sent by registered post on Tuesday 19th June 2012.

    We look forward to seeing your entries.

  2. Taste of India with Alfred Prasad

    Masala Dosa’s, Bhel Puri, Masala Chai, Roti & Curry galore, if only this blog could facilitate ‘smell-o-vision’, then you would be able to appreciate Taste of India (part of the Real Food Festival) on London’s SouthBank, it certainly awakened Dharini’s  olfactory senses.  Discover what happened when she visited the event over the weekend for Great British Chefs and met Alfred Prasad.

    Blog post by Dini - Dolce Dini

    Question: Wonder what an Indian, Michelin starred chef does to relax?

    Answer: Plays Carrom (of course!)  Thankfully, the sun shone and the rain didn’t stop play…

    It’s great to see this 17th century Indian board game still in action in the 21st century, and with wide appeal that it drew in young and mature players.

    Onto business of cooking, Alfred created an adapted version of a recipe on his current Spring menu, at Tamarind, a ‘Lamb and potato pepper fry’. He was extremely personable and taking questions from the audience, Alfred created the Anglo-Indian dish from his Mother’s collection in 30 minutes, perhaps an idea for a cookbook there?

    Taking tenderised lamb escalopes and sliced potatoes, Alfred marinated them in: ginger, garlic, salt, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and malt vinegar.

    After searing the meat, Alfred placed the potatoes in the pan to soften up. When both had cooked, sliced, tomatoes were added and a generous helping of ground pepper. It was at this point that there was a gasp from the audience, including me. We couldn’t believe how liberal Alfred was being with the seasoning. He reassured us that the pepper would cook off and the flavours would be balanced.

    The finished dish was delicious, how could we have doubted it so? The lamb had an underlying, fiery kick from the black pepper, but balanced with the mellowing tomatoes.

    For the tasty dish, Alfred’s Demo and the weather, I’m going to give it a …

    To peruse some of the Indian food highlights take a look here and there’s also a slide show of the photos I took below.

    If you like the sound of Alfred’s Lamb dish then take a look at more of his recipes on Great British Chefs’ site.  I was keen to make Alfred’s Bharwan Paneer for Great British Chefs team lunch and Alfred very kindly gave me some extra tips and a slightly adapted recipe for making it.

    Bharwan Paneer by Alfred Prasad

    Here’s how my version turned out when served at Great British Chefs HQ for lunch.

    You can see more pictures of our lunch here - we had pilau rice, chicken and potato curry and a tomato & cucumber salad too.

    Which are your favourite curries to serve at lunch?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page.

  3. Alfred Prasad at Taste of India this weekend

    This weekend (20th-22nd April 2012) is your last chance to experience Taste of India at the Southbank Centre.  The Southbank Centre Square in London will be transformed into a bustling Indian market offering a variety of food, fashion, jewellery and crafts. There will also be cookery demonstrations and on Saturday at Great British Chefs we were delighted to see that Alfred Prasad will be in the demonstration theatre from 2pm.  Find out what else is taking place & learn more about Alfred here ….

    Grilled spicy jumbo tiger prawns - Kalonji Jhinga by Alfred Prasad

    Alfred Prasad, who at 29, was the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin star. Tamarind was the first Indian restaurant in Europe to be recognised with a star and remains one of only six on the continent to hold one.

    Alfred Prasad

    Alfred’s rise to the position of Executive Chef - a year after he joined as sous chef - marks the more recent section of a career which has crossed continents. Born in the south of India, Alfred trained in Madras and then at the ITC Maurya Sheraton in Delhi. Building on his South Indian upbringing and affinity with the ingredients, he nurtured a love of seafood.

    His menus at Tamarind offer imaginative adaptations of the rich cuisine of the North such as delicately spiced, succulent kebabs and aromatic curries. Also featured are expansive flavours of the South including coconut based curries and seafood typical of its coastline. You might even find your lamb Biryani served with a pastry lid, flavoured with mint, rose water and saffron.

    Prasad contributed a highly memorable menu for the Feastive Great British Chefs app - his chocolate mint leaves being a particular favourite.

    Also at Taste of India, you’ll find the best expressions of traditional street food from North West Indian Dosas, Pani Puri and Bhel Puri to Mauritian Du Pan Frier, a delicious crispy chickpea bread and Roti Chaud curry wraps.

    You have the opportunity to  experience restaurant quality dining using the very best British produce to create the very best Indian food and get a taste of the dazzling array of cuisines from Bangalore to  Bombay. The strong regional characters and identities make South Asia one of the most enticing, exciting and satisfying regions of the world to discover through your senses.

    So seek some refuge from this rather wet April and treat yourself to a warming Madras curry and hot masala chai, and let yourself be transported from the banks of the River Thames to the beachside of Mumbai.

    To see which other fine chefs will be joining Alfred Prasad, check out this weekend’s chef demo timetable. For more of Alfred’s recipes visit Great British Chefs.

    What are some of your favourite Indian starters and street food dishes?  Let us know over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.

  4. Alfred Prasad’s Slow Cooked Hyderabadi Lamb Shank

    Photography by David Griffen for Great British Chefs - Alfred Prasad

    We’re delighted to showcase a wonderful slow cooked lamb recipe that would make a perfect dish for Diwali celebrations or indeed at any time when you want to seduce your guests with the enhanced flavours of authentic Indian cookery.

    Alfred is one of the new chefs on our website and is head chef of the Michelin starred Tamarind in central London.  His lamb shank curry celebrates food from the Nizams of Hyderabad - their food is an amazing mix of Arabic, Turkish, Moghul and regional Indian cuisine.

    The festival of Diwali - the five day Indian Festival of Lights - celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.  It’s the Sikh, Hindu & Jain equivalent of Christmas.

    Alfred said “In India Diwali was the most eagerly anticipated festivals for our friends.  In London we invite a bunch of friends over.  The house is lit with oil lamps made from clay and we have a lovely meal.

    We’re delighted to share Alfred’s recipe for the slow cooked lamb shanks:

    Hyderabadi Shanks

    Slow-cooked lamb shanks with browned onions, ginger, garlic, yoghurt and ground spices

    Ingredients: (Serves 4)
    4 Lamb (leg) Shanks
    4 tablespoons Vegetable oil
    4 sticks of Cinnamon
    4 pods of Cardamom
    6 Cloves
    3 medium Onions, sliced
    3 tablespoons Ginger & garlic paste
    1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
    1 teaspoon Chilli powder
    2 teaspoons Cumin powder
    2 tablespoons Coriander powder
    4 tablespoons Yoghurt
    3 ripe Tomatoes, chopped
    ½ teaspoon Garam masala powder
    ½ bunch Coriander leaves

    Method: Wash the lamb shanks and leave to drain.

    Peel onions and slice fine, wash the tomatoes, chop fine and keep aside.

    Heat oil in a large saucepan; add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and sauté for half a minute; add sliced onions and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

    Add the lamb shanks and cook over high heat for five minutes, stirring constantly.

    Add ginger & garlic paste, stir well for a couple of minutes and add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powders and salt, sauté for a further five minutes. Add yoghurt and sauté for a further 5 minutes over high heat.

    Add the chopped tomato, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the oil separates from the masala.

    Add enough hot water to cover the shanks and bring to a boil, cover with a lid, simmer and cook until the lamb is done (approximately 1 hour). Remove from the flame, remove the shanks using a pair of tongs and strain the cooking liquid.

    Cook the strained liquid for a further 10 minutes or until reduced to the desired consistency and check seasoning.

    To finish, add the cooked shanks back into the sauce, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes, sprinkle garam masala powder (optional) and chopped, washed coriander leaves and serve hot.

    We hope you will try this gorgeous recipe, and don’t forget to let us know how it turned out.  What’s the Indian dish that you like to make the most?