Greetings. During a week of work and wandering around London I marveled at the ever-changing face of British cuisine in a country best known for fish and chips, steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash, traditional English breakfasts…complete with lard-fried toast and a cardiologist’s warning, and high tea served with the finest scones, clotted cream, finger sandwiches, and cakes. Around many corners of the city there were great and innovative chefs using bountiful local ingredients to create a fresher, lighter, healthier, and tastier new cuisine that can even be found in some of the best city pubs. And the range of delicious international choices continues to grow well beyond the most reliable Indian restaurants.
I was also struck by the excitement of the city’s food markets, with my favorite this trip being the Borough Market at London Bridge where an awesome array of delicious cheeses, noodles, meats, samosas, falafels, paellas, ciders, baked goods, candies, and beet-filled veggie burgers awaited. If only I’d had more time and a few extra stomachs.
And one of my favorite stops was a booth called PieMinister which has taken an English tradition and made it new and interesting again…creating brilliant pies that go far beyond beef and organs to include organic vegetables and chicken, goat cheese, smoked fish, and a world of old and exotic flavors. In this process of paying tribute to (and reinventing) a special part of local food history, this business is winning awards and building a very loyal following.
And here’s a picture of my favorite pie named “Heidi” filled with smoked goat cheese, sweet potatoes, spinach, and red onions, sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes and covered with mushy peas, toasted shallots, and gravy…
Simply delicious and a cultural and culinary landslide! (Kind of looks a bit like Mt. Vesuvius at its height!)
We win in business and in life when we honor the past as the starting point for an even more remarkable future.