Austere times breed entrepreneurship. Artisan Ben Keane was made redundant before training as a patissier and starting up his own product range trading as Yeast Bakery in East London. The Yeast line is small but perfectly formed (limited to just plain, almond and chocolate croissants). Made with Shipton Mill flour and French AOC Poitou-Charentes butter, these are the best pastries you’ll taste this side of the Channel:
The craze for all things Scandinavian continues — the National Gallery is even running an exhibition,
‘Forests, Rocks, Torrents: Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection’ (22 June until 18 September).
So hail a fine new Nordic offering from Signe Johansen with Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious (Saltyard Books, £20). Recipes to drool over include wholesome oatmeal bread, Finnish blueberry tart and sour cherry soup: signejohansen.com
One of our favourite creators of British charcuterie, the Bath Pig Company, has launched a spicy chorizo in a picnic-friendly 70g ‘snack pack’ (thebathpig.com).
All their chorizo is produced using RSPCA-approved pork spiced up with smoked paprika, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper. Use on the barbie in these superb monkfish and chorizo kebabs from ‘Grillstock’,
a barbeque competition in Bristol:
Cream of the Crop
A new style of food market is opening in London on Fridays from 24 June. At Stevie Parle’s Ladbroke Grove restaurant, The Dock Kitchen, suppliers converge to sell their wares with a few of Stevie’s friends, such as Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes, setting up stalls for the lark. Don’t forget to book outside lunch for after your shop. Runs fortnightly (8 and 22 July; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.): dockkitchen.co.uk
These days no music festival is complete without foodie accompaniment. For those of you who missed Glastonbury (or who can’t remember it), culinary highlights included stunning, melting gourmet burgers from North Somerset premium meat pioneers field&flower. Build your monthly delivery box of the burgers, steaks and all kinds of goodies online: fieldandflower.co.uk
Meanwhile, at Wilderness (12-14 August, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire), chefs Sam and Sam Clark and Skye Gyngell get headline billing for creating a Saturday evening banquet and Sunday afternoon feast — all in the open air — to complement the music of Gogol Bordello, Toots & The Maytals and Laura Marling:
And world music celebration WOMAD (Charlton Park, Wiltshire, 29-31 July) plays host once again to its unique ‘Taste the World’ stage, where star musicians from Asia, Africa and worldwide come to play, dance and cook, often all at once: womad.org/festivals/charlton-park/
Kitchen kit by Alice Whitehead
Drizzling is a common feature of our British summers — and we’re not just talking about the weather. From tomato and bean salads to cous cous and all manner of leafy green veg, a good dressing for dinner can bring out the best in otherwise bland ingredients. But whether your emulsion of choice is balsamic and extra virgin, lemon and walnut oil or red wine vinegar and Dijon, a squeezy bottle simply won’t do. Here are three lovely oil and vinegar drizzlers that will add sparkle to whatever you trickle.
This sleek oil and vinegar set will turn your dining table from ordinaire to objet d’art. Made from nothing more complex than a couple of red powder-coated tubes with a polished chrome base, the reflective finish turns it into a striking sculptural piece.
Wesco Oil & Vinegar Set, £68, Red Candy, redcandy.co.uk 0121 224 7728
Typhoon’s handmade glass teardrop combines an oil and vinegar drizzler in one, making it budget as well as beautiful — and a fantastic backdrop for infusing
Typhoon Tear Drop Glass Duo Drizzler, £17.49, Typhoon, typhoonhousewares.com
0151 486 1888.
These two little dickie birds are sure to brighten up dinnertime and (provided you’re not squeamish) you can remove their heads to refill, pour oil and vinegar through their beaks and drizzle on.
Bird Ceramic Oil & Vinegar Drizzlers, £20, Dotmaison, dotmaison.com 0207 923 7840
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.