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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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Spotlight

Mediterranean in Manhattan

Melia Marden Invites Us Over for Her Greek Island-Inspired Home Cooking

Photographer Stefan Ruiz visited the sun-drenched apartment of Melia Marden, chef at New York City’s hipster culinary mecca The Smile, and her DJ husband Frank Sisti Jr. for today’s color-happy culinary portrait. The couple’s downtown home is infused with delectable smells such as onions being sauteed for a fanciful frittata, and brims with trinkets and ephemera. “We collect elephants and giraffes… and crustaceans, ducks, anything polar, peanuts, books—we just collect,” Marden says of her quirky décor. In addition to helming the kitchens of The Smile and The Smile To Go, the 32-year-old chef also runs the catering at fashion photography headquarters Milk Studios. Her first cookbook, Modern Mediterranean, is due out this week. It’s a culinary scrapbook of Marden’s favorite recipes, many of which derive from summers spent with her family on Hydra—her father is artist Brice Marden and her sister Mirabelle is a photographer. The old world Greek island is void of vehicles but rich with local fish and produce, and Marden cites the environment’s clean flavors and simple cooking techniques as huge influences on her approach at the stove. “It’s not super layered and complicated, so you really taste the ingredients. I want my recipe to be the simplest version of itself that it can be,” she explains.

Sausage, Red Repper and Onion Frittata

Serves four

Ingredients

  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red ball pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 ounces spiced pork sausage meat, removed from casing
Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and ½ teaspoon of the salt and whisk vigorously until completely blended.
  3. In a well-seasoned 10-inch ovenproof (preferably cast-iron) frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion, pepper, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about four minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and cook breaking it up with a spoon, until completely cooked through, two to three minutes.
  5. Add the mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as you would with scrambled eggs. Cook until the eggs are just beginning to set, about two minutes.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the frittata is puffed up and firm, about 10 minutes.
  7. Let it cool slightly. The frittata will deflate and the edges will shrink away from the sides of the pan. I like to bring the whole thing to the table and slice it into wedges directly into the pan. Use a spatula to lift out each piece and serve.

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