Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from everyone here at Food For Thought HQ! Which is mostly me and a 6 year old and a sleeping person.. But still, it sounds cool and professional right? 😂

I’m currently chained to the stove, cooking my amazing (if I say so myself) roast leg of lamb with white wine, mint, rosemary, anchovy, lemon and lots of seasoning! It will be in there for about 4 hours gently marinating and turning into delicious fall off the bone goodness!

We are doing quite a small, very springy roast today with carrots and asparagus and all that lovely veg that comes with April seasonal change.. Although, it is not actually that nice outside so we are still gonna have roasties and loads of gravy and.. Yorkshire puddings! Controversial I know, I’ve had this conversation a million times.. But I have them with any and every roast! Don’t agree.. Let me know! Do agree.. Let me know!

Also, big shout out to everyone working in the industry today! Making sure everyone has some lovely foodie times with family and friends.. You guys and girls are awesome and we love you!! 😘👊

Anyway, have a wonderful day and feel free to send me your pictures of food. I love them! 🐑🐇🐣

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

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Why are chefs such rockstars?

I always found it so fascinating before going into hospitality, how people looked up to TV chefs as celebrities.. Paying money to go to festivals and demos, taking selfies with chefs and buying every book or watching every show they made. Chefs are cool and sexy right? They are dangerous, they play with fire and they can create stuff. People worship the likes of Jamie Oliver, Delia and Anthony Bourdain.

I think it all started with the likes of Marco pierre White.. Giving us this in depth look into the mystery of the hidden kitchen. A place we’re a very specific person worked. People who drink and smoke and swear, work with knives and have no families or friends outside of their world. Chefs were like criminals who could make art with food. Suddenly that was cool. Chefs were brought more into the limelight and glamourized. The title of chef gained instant respect and interest.

When I told people I was a chef, I was met with expressions of astonishment sometimes.. “wow, a chef that’s amazing”. People wanting to know what started you off and why you do it and wanting to know about hours and stress and schedules.. How the other half live. The ones who refuse to do a 9-5 but instead go down a different and more difficult path to express their passions and creativity. Sometimes you could drop it into conversation and gain the attention of a whole crowd. It was crazy.

The truth is… Chefs are rockstars in a way. They are creative and driven and they work really hard. They sacrifice a awful lot in the name of providing a nice experience for others. They are in control of stressful situations. TV chefs make it look easy but it’s not… However, the look on people’s faces, is rewarding. The respect is rewarding. The instant gratification of knowing that somebody is impressed with your job is nice.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it all sometimes, including those reactions.. But, that’s not the way the world always works. So for now, I shall keep doing this, in the hope that somebody is reading it somewhere and cares, even slightly about my opinions.. That would make me feel like a rock star.

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

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What it’s like to be the person with the noisy kid at a restaurant!

Hello.
Yes i’m the person you roll your eyes at when you are in a restaurant or pub. The person who you judged the minute i walked into the room with a child.

Great. Another romantic meal ruined? shouldn’t kids just be banned from these places? urgh.

The thing is.. there is absolutely no reason why i should get this reaction. I have every right to take my brother (who is 5.. and loud) wherever i go.. unless you have excessive booze or sex on your menu. obviously.  But hear me out. life doesn’t stop when the kids are around and so it shouldn’t.

In Europe and many countries abroad, kids are welcomed in to the night life, the restaurants and the culture and why the hell not? why do you have to grow up before you can sit and chat and laugh with your friends and family. Why do you have to sit down and shut up, don’t look at anyone else or make any kind of scene. We went out for a family meal this week. 3 Adults and 2 children at 6.30pm on a Friday night, they dressed nice and we enjoyed a family meal. Yes, we had the kids that jumped around (he was excited, we dont get to go out as a family often) , climbed under the table and didn’t want to eat the dinner he ended up with. We had the child who isnt very good at sitting down and shutting up.  Yes, we got the looks. quickly handed some colouring in the hope that he would calm down. Judged from other tables. Yes, it bothered me, put me on edge and made me feel like i had done something wrong or spoken some unspoken rule.

If we had been loud enough to disturb other tables, i would have understood. But we weren’t. People just assumed that we would because it was evening and there were children… How is it that i dont have to apologise for a loud adult friend drinking and laughing or a group of adults eating and celebrating who as a collective are louder than normal but i constantly have to apologise for a child, who is being completely harmless and being exactly what they are meant to be, a child?! The fact of the matter is that we paid just as much money if not more than some of those people and we have the right to take children to a restaurant to enjoy good food and good company.. so why, in this day and age, should children been seen and not heard when out at dinner?

Kids lives should be broadened and enriched with all sorts of experiences, including going to dinner and trying new places and new foods. I am very unhappy to admit that i select places to eat based on how child friendly they are. It sucks.

Step Up UK. I wanna take children to dinner and it not be an issue!! who’s with me??

Jade
Blogger, Lover of Food.

Let’s talk about sex..ism, baby!

Successful, female chef.

It’s not dirty talk. It’s real talk coming up right now.

I spent my three or four years or however long it was in kitchens being called things like darling, love, dear, babe and even sugar tits.

Being called naggy or bossy if I had an opinion on something. Working doubly hard for half the amount of respect..

I’m not a raging feminist I don’t understand why feminists need men to burn for what they’ve done, that’s kinda crazy. I just want people to be seen as equal, I don’t think it’s fair that because women are seen as more likely to have family or develop other distractions that get in the way of work. But it’s true.. I support my family, as you all may know and i would opt to do fewer, longer days to accommodate for that. I would work 3/4 14 hour days – that’s up to 59 hours! In three days! But I was looked at as a part timer, a little girl who couldn’t hack doing “real chef hours”

When I first started training, I met and fell for a chef in a higher position than me. If I had known that it is acceptable for people to make the ludicrous comments they made about me in that time.. I would never have done it! I was a younger less experienced chef, dating an more experience higher positioned chef. I was also being recognised for my abilities at the same time. Unconnected. No one else saw it that way.. “extra practise at home? Did (no name) Teach you how to handle meat” “we all know what you did for that mark”

Guess who was called a slut. Not him. Me. I was 20..and it knocked my confidence, it made me doubt myself and my ability as a chef, it haltered my progression!

I look around my profession and there is a very small amount of women. That’s no shock.. I see female head chefs and I wonder how much they had to sacrifice to get there… How much extra they gave, how hard they had to work to get to where they are now! I have known women who have had to move all around the country, working harder to get more information to be taught things that people don’t want to teach anymore. (but that’s a point for another day)

The first time I moved up in a kitchen, some one made a joke about who I had given a blowjob to, to get this step up.

Now don’t get me wrong, not all male chefs are like that.. Some of the men I have worked with have been inspirational. Some have them have helped me grow and learn and progress without prejudice.

I guess the moral of this story is to be more like them. Be a good guy! If your in a kitchen with a woman, be the guy who jokes with her not at her expense.

If a woman’s place is in the kitchen.. Than let us be in the kitchen!!

Hey if you have any kitchen related stories, get in touch! I’d love to hear them!

 Jade 
Blogger, Lover of Food.

A Shucking Good Time!

Last weekend I spent some time down in Falmouth watching chef demo’s and tasting fantastic street food! I also did some sample tasting and spoke to some of the local suppliers who had gathered to the tent situated in event square.

Demo’s included Arty William’s from The cove and Michelin star chef Chris Eden from Driftwood.

Granted.. I was only there on the Sunday (damn responsibilities) but I had a great time. St Michael’s Hotel and Spa were definitely the starts of the show, with there Oyster Bar, Champagne Bar and Fresh Seafood Kitchen in the corner of the main marquee area.

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There was one down side for me though.. I hate Oysters!

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Oysters.. ew. – But beautifully prepared and served by the St Michael’s Staff.

So lunch for me was a wild Cornish venison tartiflette – potato, venison, and cheese.  (find out more about the Cornish Venison Co. and follow them on twitter here) Honestly what more could you need!

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Venison Tartiflette and Apple Slayer cider. YUM.

Music was provided by Suzi Mac (wow what a voice!) and fun was had by all!!

Another great year for the  Falmouth Oyster Festival – Check them out for next year!

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GLUTENy is a sin! F**K That!

Im coming to the end of week three Gluten free.. Its been tough but i have held my own, no cheating and no giving in to temptation! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah right!!

I am lying. I have given in to the glory of gluten on 3 separate occasions!

  1. Naan Bread and Poppadoms – Im sorry but i couldn’t handle it any longer. A curry is a treat and i was feeling ill, i needed comfort food! No regrets!
  2. Party food – It’s a Scorching hot, bank holiday Monday, you’re at a 4 yr olds birthday party and the goodies are in full force; cake, sandwiches, pizza, sausage rolls, donuts.. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!!! No regrets.
  3.  A Beef Brisket Burrito.. It was from Craftworks street-food Kitchen in Truro and it was worth it!! Have a look on my Instagram and tell me you would have said no!! ( you would be lying!) NO REGRETS!

The fact is that since i have given up gluten, i have had a healthier gut, less bloating and stomach cramps and i have lost 3 pound. I am happy about that and i continue on my journey. There will be people who tell me that i have ruined it, i should be beating myself up and kicking myself. I haven’t achieved anything and i should give up… because that what we do normally right?

We set ourselves standards, goals which are hard, sometimes unbelievable and then we beat ourselves up and feel worse than we did before we started!!  I could listen to that part of my brain that loves to hate myself. I could give up, get depressed and eat. Gain more weight, hate myself more and feel even more like a failure. But why should I? The fact that i am even trying to make a step toward a healthier lifestyle is a good thing! I am acheiving exactly what i set out to do.

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Stop beating yourselves up. Your beautiful. You got this!

J x

 

Tips and Tricks of ‘Instagramming’ Dinner!

We live in an age where everyone wants to share everything! who they are, what they are doing, who they are doing it with, what they think of something, and most importantly WHAT THEY ARE EATING!

you know the type, you go out for some food and it arrives looking great, and out comes the phone! “oooh hang on, let me take a picture!” “I’ve got to Instagram this!” “that looks awesome, i’m gonna take a picture! Don’t eat it yet!!”  I know this type all too well, because I am this person. Much to the embarrassment of all my friends and family, it there is food, I will probably take a picture of it!!

Of course, now I have this blog, I can justify it in the name of research… kinda.

So I am going to write you a little ‘How To’ Guide to Instagramming (or just generally taking pictures) of your true love.. FOOD!

Tip #1 – Get The right angle

I like a close up, especially if you can get some little detail in there. Birdseye view is always good when you have more than one of something to show off like with this Sushi or a slightly “angled to the side – view”. I’m not sure what the technical term is but it looks great! eg – Gooey Brie Drool..

 

Tip #2 – Background is everything

This is important and may take some time to get used to, but background is everything! try not to take pictures of some amazing food with dirty dishes in the background or someone picking their nose!! NO ONE WANTS THAT!

wood is always lovely to use as a background, or classic white to make colors pop!

I also enjoy the odd clip of a person sharing the experience with you, I HAVE FRIENDS YA KNOW!

Tip #3 Lighting

One way to make your pictures look more professional is to make sure you have good lighting, just like anything, light makes a photo look crisp and clear. Your photos will stand out from a cloud of muggy, filtered, dull photos. It can be the difference between eye grabbing and not!

 

Tip #4 Editing and filters

If you must do it, do it well. i use editing apps on my phone and tablet to make food stand out and the enhance elements of the photo. For me, an app can bring all of the above to a photo after it has been taken, which is great if like me you take pictures of everything even if you are in a rush! I use FOTOR, NOCROP and FACETUNE for my after snap editing but there are loads of great apps and online tools. Of course, there is Photoshop.. I’m just rubbish with that!

 

Anyway, they are my first few tips for photographing your food. Have fun with it, be imaginative and send me your finished pics! The only thing i love more than taking pictures of food is looking at pictures of food!

I’m Hungry now. 

Jx

Street food – A.K.A the reason I will never be skinny!

Friday night marked the end of my ‘so called’ diet. I was doing well, i had been eating soup all week and drinking lemon water to try and cut a couple of inches off my waistline. I was determined. This time I was doing a diet I was gonna stick to, nothing too extreme, no ‘low carb crazy cut out everything you love’ diet.

We left work, got on a boat and had a beer in the sunshine! perfection! Then we had a cheeky pasty, not the healthiest of options but it was a Friday and i had been good so i thought why not. we arrived in Falmouth for the River Fal Festival and it was in full swing (as Falmouth usually is) drinking and music and people being happy and jolly and enjoying the beginning of their bank holiday weekend..

And then I saw it..

Event Square. Filled with a Marque and stand after stand of STREET-FOOD. Naughty, beautiful, aromatic street food.

Nachos, Tacos, Churros, Curries, Indian, Thai, Burritos, Paella, Pancakes. LITERALLY EVERYTHING!

What is it about Street food that makes me lose my mind? Is it fear of missing out on Untitled collageincredible flavors? the joy of eating out of cardboard trays with your fingers? roughing it?

Is it finding people with enough passion to stand in the same spot for hours on end, dealing with drunk people? is it that i just love the diversity?

 

 

 

Maybe its just the thought of standing with a beer in one hand and some massive portion of food in the other, shoving in my face without judgement… yeah, that sounds like it. They are the real heroes of festivals!  They keep fueling us so we can carry on drinking! As any chef will tell you, Chefs wear capes too, they just tie them around the front!!

 

And obviously, i only eat so much, so that i can write about it? right? #inthenameofresearch

I’m gonna get so fat and I don’t even care – because I Bloody love Street food.

 

 

Sunday Lunch – The British Essential.

Easter has come and gone and we have all returned back to work after our long weekends. I have those now.

I did however take a moment to think about all of my chef friends or anyone stuck in hospitality this weekend. Roast after roast, booked up, slammed, tired and testy.

I sat in the sun. with gin.

I did however make everyone sit down  for the obligatory Easter Sunday roast. “ITS TRADITION”,  i shouted at my neighbor as she implied that it was much more bbq weather than roast weather.

i am not religious.. i am not scared of bbqs (well maybe a little bit) but i am a traditionalist and i do believe in having a roast when your meant to!!

It is, as the title suggests, an essential.

The roast for me symbolizes family, togetherness and pure happiness. What do you have at Christmas? A ROAST. what do you have at Easter? A ROAST. What comes to your mind when i say the words comfort food? A ROAST.

Its probably one of the only meals that people don’t chop and change, its perfect.

meat. veg, gravy. potatoes. ALWAYS YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS!

Come rain or shine, i will have a roast dinner everyday.

have a click on on the Instagram feed ——–> to see my roast lamb from Easter Sunday.

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FYI

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