Monday, 30 May 2011

I like my badges...

So, my regular readers might be wondering about the appearance of those badges on the right of this blog, what do they mean? Where did they come from? Who was that masked man? Etc..

Well firstly, the Staff Canteen is a truly awesome website for chefs and foodies – It started as a forum a few years ago and has evolved into an amazing resource of recipes, industry news (and gossip) and the monthly ‘featured chef’ interviews which give industry-level access into greats such as Sat Bains, Simon Rogan and Andrew Fairlie.

There are awesome competitions (I won a trip to Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles), jobs for those in the industry and insight and access to suppliers that we home cooks struggle to identify; but most of all there’s the forum, where geeks and amateurs like me are welcomed and knowledge is shared, from how to play with hydrocolloids to deep-frying bĂ©arnaise and thoughts on Masterchef and Great British Menu.

Have a look at the site, join the forum (it’s free) and get involved; you can also follow both the site and Mark who’s the guy who made it all happen on Twitter..

Onto Prepped! I’m guessing the “recipe tester” statement is pretty self-explanatory, but to explain the background.

One fine day a short while ago, the gorgeous Vanessa Kimbell decided to duck out of the rat-race and gave herself a year to follow her passion and write and publish a recipe book; she blogged her progress and, working without the budget of Big Sweary, called on other food bloggers (and tweeters) to help her (that’s where I got involved).

Happily the book has just been published and is currently enjoying a too-large (in my biased view) discount on Amazon; Prepped! itself is a treasure, it almost codifies a chef’s Mise en Place for the house, using store-cupboard ingredients and other building blocks to deliver fresh and interesting food for all the family in minimal time and with minimal hassle – great for working parents.

So, to sum up, join the Staff Canteen and buy Prepped! – or I’ll think less of you.

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