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July 19, 2014

Dining Al Fresco: Scott Hallsworth

Ahead of His Stint at Wilderness Festival, the Kurobuta Chef on Barbecuing to Stay Cool

I’ll barbecue in any weather; I’ve even done it in the Alps in winter. It’s probably to do with my upbringing because I’m from Western Australia where we had to barbecue a lot. I say ‘had to’ because I grew up in a little town that got stinking hot in summer, and our house had no air con. We only had a really old-fashioned combustion stove, which meant we had to build a fire to cook. If you wanted a hot dinner and the stove was lit, no one could bear to be inside; honestly, the house turned into a sauna. So instead, mum would prep a salad out of something growing in the garden, and we’d sit outside and light the barbecue. It was a bit more caveman than I’d like, but it was a case of do or die.

My Wilderness Festival menu is made up of dishes that started off as ideas and have evolved over time. I thought they’d be good ones to use for the festival because I’ve done food in so many weird locations around the world, and I think it’s a very cool thing to bring Japanese cuisine, or my version of it, to that kind of setting. For Wilderness, it’s really all down to the preparation: we’ll do all the hard work back at the restaurant, like the slow cooking and the marinating, so that when it comes to serving, it’ll just be a matter of doing a couple of bits and pieces, and bang, it’s gone.

The chef's Wilderness menu

Roasted scallops with yuzu truffle egg sauce and yuzu tobiko
BBQ pork belly in steamed buns with spicy peanut soy
Nasu dengaku sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts
Black pepper soft shell crab tempura
Flamed edamame with sake, lemon, butter and maldon salt
Yellowtail sashimi with kizami wasabi salsa and yuzu soy

Scott Hallsworth will be at the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, UK, on Friday August 8.

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Nordic Food Lab x Pestival

Six-Legged Delicacies Tantalize Foodies at London's Wellcome Collection

Moth mousse whipped with hazelnut milk, cricket broth with a side of grasshopper garum sauce and a liquorice-glazed ant stick reveal their unexpectedly delicious side in this still-life series by photographer Joss McKinley. Served up by cutting-edge culinary research institute Nordic Food Lab, the experimental menu is part of the Wellcome Collection's Who’s the Pest? season, a collaboration with a mobile arts “Pestival” in celebration of all things six-legged. Paving the way for a new ethical - and aesthetic - code for food, the Copenhagen-based kitchen-cum-laboratory is the brainchild of Noma super-chef René Redzepi, and sits in a houseboat across the harbor from his two Michelin-starred sensation. Born out of Redzepi’s quest to tap into more local and underused ingredients, it is a forum in which chefs meet scientists, chemists and academics on a shared mission to explore the 1,400 untapped wholesome crawling creatures that are edible to man. “Roasted grasshoppers are a great place to start,” says Ben Reade, head of research and development, of introducing the food's full-bodied natural flavors to more squeamish Western palates. "They're simple to make and are an excellent beer snack served with mayonnaise." It may not be long before we see them filtering into the kitchens of world-renowned restaurants, either, with Noma making waves by serving a bed of ants at their pop-up at London's Claridge’s last year. “I think in 2023," adds Reade, “we’ll be asking ourselves why we didn’t eat more insects in 2013.”

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Swallow: Mexico City

The “Anti-Foodie Food Magazine” Presents Sought-After Recipes from the Vibrant Central American Metropolis

Hearty pork stew, Veracruz-style snapper and a fresh take on the ultimate Mexican comfort food sopa de fideo seco are some of the first recipes ever to be published in Swallow Magazine, the gastronomy title with an aversion to all that is predictable in food coverage, and a taste for all that is avant-garde and under-documented. The dishes featured in this special preview from the latest Mexico City-themed issue pay homage to the inimitable flavor and energy of the Distrito Federal’s culinary microcosm. “The city itself is a glorious combination of both the high and the low, the old and the new,” says Swallow Creative Director James Casey. “On one hand you have rarefied beaux art mansions and streets that look like turn of the century Vienna, and on the other you have a city full of chaos, color and clashing sensibilities.” Casey highlights the acclaimed fish restaurant Contramar which "serves some of the most amazing seafood I’ve encountered. It’s all super simple, with light Mexican flavoring—lots of lime, chilies, amazing tortillas all washed down with bottles of white wine.”

Ceviche Contramar

Serves four

½ small red onion, thinly sliced
Juice of 4 limes plus juice of 15 additional for the mackerel
½ cup white wine vinegar
4 skinned fillets of mackerel, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 serrano chilies
2 tablespoons coriander
1 habanero chili, thinly sliced

Marinate sliced red onion in lime juice and white vinegar for about three hours to lightly pickle. Set aside then combine mackerel, serrano chilies, celery, and coriander in a large bowl and mix well. Add the lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the pickled red onion and top with rounds of habanero chilies. 

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