« July 2008 | Main | September 2008 »

6 posts from August 2008

20 August 2008

Housekeeping - the clean up

As I previously flagged, things have now changed around here. The main changes are to the layout of the columns on the left and right of my posts.

Now accessible via the navigation in the left hand column are:

  • Date and category archives: click ARCHIVES
  • The full list of the food blogs I read: click BLOGS
  • My cookbook collection: click BOOKS

I've reduced the number of posts on the front page, but with my swanky new pagination at the bottom of the page, together with my lijit search over there on the left and the re-ordered archives, everything should be easier to find. It should also mean the site is a bit quicker to load.

You may also notice that towards the end of each post on the front page there is a little button saying Buzz Up! This is a vain attempt on my part to spread the love that is Silverbrow on Food, through the wonders of Yahoo's Buzz. You might want to read this to understand why I'm quite excited by it. Then again, if it ends up being a flop, I'll be deleting those pesky buttons.

If you've got any tips or hints, please let me know.

18 August 2008

Square Mile Coffee Roasters opens for business

Just the thought of my daily hit of Monmouth espresso blend, served through the medium of a latte, is enough to get me crawling out of bed.  I love the ritual of it all, the smell of the shop, the beautiful layout of the pastries, the staff calling out my order.  And the best bit: my first sip, usually drunk somewhere close to Seven Dials.

I'm even setup for my Monmouth hit on the weekend.  I've got the grinder, the espresso machine and most importantly, a 250g bag of Monmouth espresso blend.  (I don't always have the milk, but I blame Silverbrowess for that.)  This is all a rather long-winded way of saying I really love Monmouth.

I admit it though, I've dabbled in the past with other coffees.  I turn my nose up at most of the crap that is on offer, but every once in a while I hit upon somewhere decent and enjoy what they have to offer.  Except they use Monmouth's espresso blend as well.  I can't escape the stuff.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm bored with Monmouth, heaven forfend, but I am loose with my patronage and I want to know what else is out there.

For sometime I've read James "World Champion Barista" Hoffman's blog, Jim Seven.  His obsession with the bean is impressive, as is his hold on the WBC title.  He eulogises about coffee the way some people do about wine.  I've never got it to that point of coffee obsession, I think it's because I can't help myself sniggering about cupping.   But I do admire him because I admire all other obsessives, or at least I feel a common bond.

I was intrigued when James recently announced the launch of Square Mile Coffee Roasters and today they have launched their online shop.  I haven't yet tried any of his gear, but will order some once I have drunk my current stash of Monmouth.  I'm guessing given his pedigree it's going to be good stuff.  I'd be interested to hear about any coffee aficionados out there who can verify that.

12 August 2008

If you like Heston, you'll love 40% off

The much vaunted - by me at least - The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is currently on pre-sale at Amazon.co.uk at £60. That's a pretty decent reduction of 40% on the cover price. I've no idea how long it will last.

Yes, it means you're giving your hard earned cash to Amazon ages before you receive the book, but if you're going to get it anyway, it makes sense. One other tip, take up the option of the free one month trial of Amazon Prime and cancel before you're tied in for a year. I think - don't quote me on this - you'll find you can get the book delivered without paying P&P.

Whilst we're on books, Joel Robuchon and Thomas Keller both have new books out in October as well as all the other goodies available that month.

08 August 2008

Can Brits learn from US religious perspective on food ethics?

Interesting thoughts in The New York Times on the importance of ethics in kosher food, but from a religious perspective.

Rabbi Herzfeld might be referring in this instance to the problems at Agriprocessors, but I think his argument holds true for the consumption of all kosher meat. As we head into the Fast of Av, it's mental nourishment for those of us in the UK that are complicit in putting up with - or should that read encourage? - bad practices.

I'd like to see a British Orthodox rabbi come out with some equally trenchant views.

05 August 2008

New book from Hervé This and Pierre Gagnaire

Title page of

Image via Wikipedia

There's yet another must buy book due out this October.

First there was The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, then came the Alinea Cookbook, then came A Day at elBulli and now there's the latest tome from Hervé This and Pierre Gagnaire: Cooking, The Quintissential Art.

The book is an imprint from the California Studies in Food and Culture: "The series seeks to broaden the audience for serious scholarship as well as to celebrate food as a means of understanding the world."

The book sets itself some lofty aspirations.  According to the publisher's blurb: "From its intriguing opening question--"How can we reasonably judge a meal?"--to its rewarding conclusion, this beautiful book picks up where Brillat-Savarin left off."

You can also find what looks like a comprehensive contents here.

Hat-tip: blog.khymos.org

03 August 2008


The eagle eyed may have noticed some changes to the blog.

You may notice some of the content in the far left and right columns has been swapped.

I've added better syndication options in individual posts. You'll see two links at the bottom of every post that say 'Email this' and 'Add this!'. When you click on them, it's fairly self explanatory what happens next. I've included some pagination, that hopefully should make it even easier to navigate around the site.

As part of this tidying-up process I have culled my blog roll on the left hand side. There were too many blogs listed that I never read, so it seemed ripe for pruning. I may be cutting back further in the coming days.

Many thanks to the team at Six Apart Services for recommending many of the changes and helping me implement much of this - and my apologies to them for buggering-up some of their hard work that they' have to rectify.

If you spot any kinks, let me know and I'll try to iron them out.