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7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Lots to report on.  First, I had not looked at the Ox Grill link that you provided @Braai-Q.  Their grills look really good.  I had not thought about the wind and the rain until you mentioned it.  Our old Argentinian grill was actually covered and neither Solus nor Ox Grill appear to offer a covered grill.  Having said that, it was the cover and casing that was forever needing a re-paint.  I have finally realised that I what I am looking for is an Argentinian grill, with a cover, built by Dennis.

I think you're right although having seen the Ox Grills, they are well made and better than Solus. The welds and refinement in the finish are what distinguish it. Ox Grills will do whatever you want so if you had a design for a cover or a point of reference, they could fabricate it. Other than a bit of novelty and alternate grill surface, I think I'd rather put my money into a 32" KK and I think they're a bit further ahead on the convenience factor.

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Books.  What can I say?  First things first.  If you are a cookbook addict then you need eatyourbooks.com.  

Oh no. What have you introduced me to! 😁 I think I have an account already but have stayed away from temptation. 

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Japanese go-to books are easy to identify.  Hashi, written by my teacher Reiko Hashimoto.  Interesting modern twists.  The Japanese Grill, same as you picked out and great for simple but very tasty grilling.  Donabe - lots of variety across the various donabe cooking techniques and lots of opportunities to improvise.  Finally a book that opened my eyes to the beauty of Japanese vegetable cookery - The Enlightened Kitchen.

Have Hashi. Enlightened Kitchen is new to me and looks very appealing. Donabe looks interesting but I'm not sure I would embrace it. 

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Italian books are a bit more difficult.  Italian food is so much about simplicity and ingredients.  Warm burrata and sliced tomatoes with oil and basil in a New York loft is an experience that will be hard to beat.  The books that I love are less about what they contain and more about what they mean to me:

Agree with you on the Italian ingredients and simplicity. I struggle with Tomatoes at certain times of the year and find the best place is The Tomato Stall when you want to make some of Ursula's recipes. Funny how places or situations evoke certain food experiences.

I also rate Angela Hartnett and her book 'Cucina'. A number of recipes in the book were on the menu at 'Merchant's Tavern' in Shoreditch which was right on our doorstep so it's quite nice to have a point of reference in knowing how the dish should taste. Research. That's my excuse. 😛

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Truly Italian by Ursula Ferrigno.  This vegetarian book was given to this rabid carnivore by her vegetarian sock and sandal wearing boss when I was leaving my job on a rail electrification project with Railtrack.  It opened my eyes to what you can do with boring old veg.  I have since bought a pile of cheap second hand books by Ursula from different sellers on Amazon and I love them all.  

I rate Ursula along with Hazan. I use the same technique although I've started using Amazon Prime as a rental library and only keep the books that I've road tested properly. I'll go through a few recipes and if they're well written and work, then I'll keep it. Too many books that have poor recipe construction or forget steps on complex recipes or what have you. 

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Polpo.  A celebrity restaurant cookbook that I chose to take with me on holiday to Italy.  It makes us laugh to this day.  We ate street food for most of the holiday but I set my heart on trying a recipe for cotechino, lentils and mostarda.  We wandered round the market in Padova trying to find the ingredients, only to be met with incomprehension.  Who were these strange people, trying to buy cotechino and lenticchie in May?  We learned that "seasonality" is not just a word to the Italians, it is a way of life.  We returned in December to find gorgonzola al cucchiaio AND all the ingredients for the cotechino recipe, at the right time of year for ingredients that would have spoiled in the pre-refridgeration heat of the summer.  

I used to spend a lot of time in Farringdon - I had a client there whose office was next to Polpo. I worked their menu over five years and did a number of client lunches there. I always judged whether the clients were worth taking to a good restaurant based on their response to the food at Polpo. I don't know if you have seen Russell's later book - 'Venice - Four Seasons of Home Cooking'. It's excellent as well. But you're right, seasonality is central to the best result and in some ways, I'm not a fan of food miles all year round availability. It's lovely to look forward to local ingredients.

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Ratio by Ruhlman.  Not an Italian cookbook but it was meant to free me from the tyranny of cookbooks by teaching me the formulae that underpin a lot of the food we eat.  Using it at the moment to try out different types of fresh pasta.

I must check that out. In the same spirit of that book, I'd recommend 'Egg', also by Ruhlman. 'Salt, acid, fat, heat' by Samin Nosrat is also very good if you're looking at the underlying recipe construction and food science. I have a deep section on the shelves around science, technique and method. Salt, acid, fat heat was recommended by a client who was a colleague of hers at Chez Panisse and it didn't disappoint. She also did a Netflix series a few years after the book came out and while entertaining, the value is in the book.

I'd like to make a recommendation and I'll stand you to the cost of the book if you disagree but Mary Contini produced a little book called 'The Sausage Bible'. There is a recipe in it which is Tagliatelle with Luganega Sausage, mushroom and cream. Luganega is a Northern Italian pork sausage and it's slightly sweet flavoured with garlic. We like it with fennel and you can get from Delicatezza

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Anything River Cafe.  I thought this was just a chi chi restaurant until we took two ten year old boys there to celebrate getting into their secondary school of choice.  We have been there for every milestone since and are hoping, in August, to take T back to celebrate getting his law degree from Oxford.  The deal is that he pays for our milestone meals once he starts earning money as a hotshot lawyer. 

Funny, it's a blind spot for me. I think it came to the height of its fame peak Jamie Oliver. Rightly or wrongly. I've never been. I hope you enjoy your meal in August. 😎 Sounds like a lovely tradition to establish with those milestone meals, we do similar things as a family. 

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

I am moving into reference books but am not quite there yet.  I have not yet got into The Essentials of Italian Cookery by Marcella Hazan but it comes highly recommended.  I am also waiting for my copy of The Silver Spoon, in Italian, to arrive and force me to improve both my cookery and my vocabulary.  What fun.  

I admire your commitment to getting SS in Italian. Silver Spoon is excellent but I have often wondered how well the translation worked from the original. You'll have to tell me how you get on. I think I'd have to be pretty confident to ensure I wasn't confusing cucchiaio with cucchiaino and everything else in measurement! Even now having typed that, I'm trying to remember which one is the teaspoon and have to think 'Bambino' to remember.  🤪

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16 hours ago, Braai-Q said:
Quote

If you are a cookbook addict then you need eatyourbooks.com.  

Oh no. What have you introduced me to! 😁 I think I have an account already but have stayed away from temptation. 

Ya'll are killing me! It's not like I don't spend enough time on the damn internet now! 

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1 hour ago, tony b said:

Ya'll are killing me! It's not like I don't spend enough time on the damn internet now! 

Sorry Tony. Enthusiasm is contagious. You could divide time between the KK and the Internet? That seems reasonable? 🤪

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Tony, Alex, eatyourbooks is a time saver and value add and not a drain.  You tell it what cookbooks you have and then it is a breeze to search online for the recipes in your books that contain ingredients x, y an z or to find a recipe you love but can't remember which book it was in.  I use recipes from the net but I like using the ones from my books because knowing the author and the book is a good way of determining whether you trust that the recipe will be good, or not.

I like Alex's story about testing clients by taking them to Polpo.  It reminds me of going to a dive of a sushi bar in Brewer Street that a uni friend and I loved, Kulu Kulu.  He introduced me to what we called "heaven in a handroll" - a deep fried prawn rolled up in rice and nori with sliced avocado and raw salmon.  A mutual friend who had moved to Washington to work for the World Bank was back in the UK for a visit some years ago.  We thought she was very important and wondered if she could/would still be our friend.  We decided the test would be whether or not she liked the hand roll.  We ordered one and watched her anxiously.  She finished the roll and immediately ordered another.  We breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed her back. 

If you are in the Farringdon area you must have/must go to Fergus Henderson's place, St Johns.  My true friends love it and eat stuff that even I baulk at - squirrel, spleen and hare.  My favourite is lamb's kidney's on toast but there is always something good and tasty to eat there.  I meant to recommend the cookbook Oklava.  Small but perfectly formed Turkish inspired restaurant within walking distance of Liverpool St station and great book.  

I do like Angela Hartnett so will look into your recommendation.  I love her Welsh back story and the fact that there is a strong Welsh Italian tradition.  I work in Cardiff regularly at the moment and have had the pleasure of a couple of good Italian meals there. Must try more.  Will also look into the Sausage Bible.  Thanks, I like a guarantee.  :-)

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@tekobo my challenge would be to sort through the literal hundreds of cookbooks that I have to decide which ones to add to the account, which obviously means that I'd have to upgrade to the premium membership. Granted 2/3's of them are boxed away and seldom, if ever, consulted; but still, that remaining 1/3 would still constitute dozens of books to enter into the database. Plus, I'm sure that many of the more obscure ones wouldn't be in there anyway. 

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12 hours ago, tekobo said:

Tony, Alex, eatyourbooks is a time saver and value add and not a drain.  You tell it what cookbooks you have and then it is a breeze to search online for the recipes in your books that contain ingredients x, y an z or to find a recipe you love but can't remember which book it was in.  I use recipes from the net but I like using the ones from my books because knowing the author and the book is a good way of determining whether you trust that the recipe will be good, or not.

I can see the value in it. The user experience of most cook books speaks of salesmanship though and not user experience. Very few cookbooks consider the use of the book by the end user and only go as far as presentation to sell it. I can think of 2 that have actually thought about user experience - On the Side by Ed Smith and Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian by Sat Bains. Both are excellent books BTW. Recipes are arranged by season, course, are visually well laid out and the recipes have been written with insight on construction and timing. I get so tired of the claims of many recipes - unreasonable prep times - some are so ridiculous, they're clearly made up and not even a well rehearsed brigade of 10 could achieve some of the prep times. If you've ever made pumpkin risotto where they quote 10 minutes prep and have peeled a large pumpkin from scratch, you'll know that 10 minutes is the breather you need after wrestling it! 😃

12 hours ago, tekobo said:

I like Alex's story about testing clients by taking them to Polpo.  It reminds me of going to a dive of a sushi bar in Brewer Street that a uni friend and I loved, Kulu Kulu.  He introduced me to what we called "heaven in a handroll" - a deep fried prawn rolled up in rice and nori with sliced avocado and raw salmon.  A mutual friend who had moved to Washington to work for the World Bank was back in the UK for a visit some years ago.  We thought she was very important and wondered if she could/would still be our friend.  We decided the test would be whether or not she liked the hand roll.  We ordered one and watched her anxiously.  She finished the roll and immediately ordered another.  We breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed her back. 

I know Kulu Kulu. They do a soft shell crab roll with an ungodly amount of Kewpie which was lovely as I recall. Been there forever and it's still there I think. We used to get take out from there if we were pulling lates before the days of Deliveroo and Uber Eats. 

12 hours ago, tekobo said:

If you are in the Farringdon area you must have/must go to Fergus Henderson's place, St Johns.  My true friends love it and eat stuff that even I baulk at - squirrel, spleen and hare.  My favourite is lamb's kidney's on toast but there is always something good and tasty to eat there.  I meant to recommend the cookbook Oklava.  Small but perfectly formed Turkish inspired restaurant within walking distance of Liverpool St station and great book.  

I spent nearly 10 years drinking at St Johns on a Friday night and had a fair few meals in the place over the years. Offal not my bag and even less so Mrs Braai-Q but it's the only place that I'll do 'Nose to Tail'. Rochelle Canteen run by Fergus' wife is also very good if you don't know it and they regularly bring over different takes on similar ingredients and of course have a similar ethos. 

Oklava on the book shelf already! Agree on the recommendation. I followed Selin on IG from Great British Menu as I liked her food and ordered the book. Despite the restaurant being a short walk from where we used to live, I could never get a table unless I booked way in advance so unfortunately never tried it. Funnily enough, I'll be based in the same road as the restaurant on Monday! I bet I won't get a table even if I call now but you've inspired a thought.

12 hours ago, tekobo said:

I do like Angela Hartnett so will look into your recommendation.  I love her Welsh back story and the fact that there is a strong Welsh Italian tradition.  I work in Cardiff regularly at the moment and have had the pleasure of a couple of good Italian meals there. Must try more.  Will also look into the Sausage Bible.  Thanks, I like a guarantee.  :-)

Mary Contini who wrote the Sausage Bible has a similar connection except Scottish. If you like Italian, Cucina won't disappoint. 

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On 5/7/2019 at 9:17 PM, tony b said:

@tekobo my challenge would be to sort through the literal hundreds of cookbooks that I have to decide which ones to add to the account, which obviously means that I'd have to upgrade to the premium membership. Granted 2/3's of them are boxed away and seldom, if ever, consulted; but still, that remaining 1/3 would still constitute dozens of books to enter into the database. Plus, I'm sure that many of the more obscure ones wouldn't be in there anyway. 

I laughed when I read this Tony.  I am sure that, if I search, there will be record of a similar conversation between you and me.  I think I finished it with an acerbic comment about not understanding why you have all those books if you don't plan to use them.  I won't repeat rude self here.  At $30 a year, eat your books works great for me.  

Edited by tekobo

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6 hours ago, Braai-Q said:

Funnily enough, I'll be based in the same road as the restaurant on Monday! I bet I won't get a table even if I call now but you've inspired a thought.

You're right.  You won't get a table.  It is shut on Mondays.  Tee hee.  I haven't had much trouble booking online at relatively short notice and have also been to her new restaurant, Kyseri.  Yes, I had heard of Heston's wife restaurant but I have not made it there yet.  I am not in London very often these days but I do try to eat somewhere good when I go.  Will be heading to Hix's in Soho soon.  They do a to die for rhubarb tart when it is in season.  My best friend and I usually have it at the bar with cocktails so no need for a reservation.  Two reasons to recommend the Ox Club in Leeds if you are ever up there.  Four reasons, actually.  The food is awesome, great grill, your telling me about the Ox Grill company and it was their chef who gave me the recommendation re: Rochelle Canteen.  Karma.  You must go. But not on a Monday.

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9 hours ago, tekobo said:

You're right.  You won't get a table.  It is shut on Mondays.  Tee hee.  I haven't had much trouble booking online at relatively short notice and have also been to her new restaurant, Kyseri.  Yes, I had heard of Heston's wife restaurant but I have not made it there yet.  I am not in London very often these days but I do try to eat somewhere good when I go.  Will be heading to Hix's in Soho soon.  They do a to die for rhubarb tart when it is in season.  My best friend and I usually have it at the bar with cocktails so no need for a reservation.  Two reasons to recommend the Ox Club in Leeds if you are ever up there.  Four reasons, actually.  The food is awesome, great grill, your telling me about the Ox Grill company and it was their chef who gave me the recommendation re: Rochelle Canteen.  Karma.  You must go. But not on a Monday.

Typical it's closed on Monday! 🤬🤦‍♂️ I will make a note of those recommendations. Never been to Leeds, gone through it a million times on my way to somewhere else. Mangal Ockabasi on Arcola Street will have to remain my favourite Turkish in London. They've never turned me away and they're open Monday. 🤣  

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22 hours ago, tekobo said:

I laughed when I read this Tony.  I am sure that, if I search, there will be record of a similar conversation between you and me.  I think I finished it with an acerbic comment about not understanding why you have all those books if you don't plan to use them.  I won't repeat rude self here.  At $30 a year, eat your books works great for me.  

I do seem to recall us chatting about this before. Deja vu all over again! :smt043

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Hey @Braai-Q.  So, I have followed up on a couple of your recommendations.  Your warranty on the sausage book is safe.  I bought it for £0.01 plus postage off Amazon and I like it very much.  I also realise that I already have a book by Mary Contini called "Dear Francesca" and it is my go to for her pesto recipe and method.  I was in London today and called ahead to see if Hix Soho had the rhubarb tart on the menu.  The lady on bookings was very kind and undertook to check with the kitchen.  Unfortunately this was not the week for rhubarb tart.  So...I went to the Rochelle Canteen at the ICA for dinner.  My friend and I really enjoyed it.  The icing on the cake was seeing Fergus Henderson arrive for a quick drink before service started in earnest.  He is a hero of mine.  Awesome.  Thanks.  

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5 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Hey @Braai-Q.  So, I have followed up on a couple of your recommendations.  Your warranty on the sausage book is safe.  I bought it for £0.01 plus postage off Amazon and I like it very much.  I also realise that I already have a book by Mary Contini called "Dear Francesca" and it is my go to for her pesto recipe and method.  I was in London today and called ahead to see if Hix Soho had the rhubarb tart on the menu.  The lady on bookings was very kind and undertook to check with the kitchen.  Unfortunately this was not the week for rhubarb tart.  So...I went to the Rochelle Canteen at the ICA for dinner.  My friend and I really enjoyed it.  The icing on the cake was seeing Fergus Henderson arrive for a quick drink before service started in earnest.  He is a hero of mine.  Awesome.  Thanks.  

Greetings @tekobo

To be honest, I knew I wouldn't be paying out on that warranty based on indications of your taste. Will need a report on my recipe recommendation though when you have tried it. 😃

Pleased that RC worked out, I have not been to the ICA which is their newer site. My hangout was the Arnold Circus restaurant so I'm pleased that it met your standards. I pride myself on not giving poor recommendations and always like to know if people agree with my assessment. 

Just got back from London this afternoon myself. La Fromagerie on Moxon Street was my only dalliance with food of any standard and my wife is actually at Polpo tonight with a number of her clients. Life is too short for bad food. 

Alex

 

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Off to Italy soon.  We don't usually buy sausage but will take the book to inform any buying decisions.  Promise to report back on results.  Agree re: life being too short for bad food.  En route back to Cardiff.  We like to wind up the Italians by taking them presents of cheese that we like.  Off to the market in Cardiff tomorrow lunchtime to find some good stuff to take on our journeys. Welsh cheese to confound the Italians.  Loving it.  

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1 minute ago, tekobo said:

Off to Italy soon.  We don't usually buy sausage but will take the book to inform any buying decisions.  Promise to report back on results.  Agree re: life being too short for bad food.  En route back to Cardiff.  We like to wind up the Italians by taking them presents of cheese that we like.  Off to the market in Cardiff tomorrow lunchtime to find some good stuff to take on our journeys. Welsh cheese to confound the Italians.  Loving it.  

TBH, it's not sausage per se. It's more the filling used as a flavoured mince.

Cheese from the Valleys *puts on Welsh accent* 🙂 

If there is anything that you'd recommend, I'm all ears. The Italians I know appreciate good food, wherever it's from but don't ever say it's better than theirs and you'll be fine. 😎

I get the sense that we must have been passing each other on motorways over the past few days - I've been in Bath visiting friends this past weekend with a stopover back through London. 

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29 minutes ago, Braai-Q said:

TBH, it's not sausage per se. It's more the filling used as a flavoured mince.

Not so sure.  Sausage skin is a special thing to be celebrated.  Gonna try to bring some fresh links back to cook up on the KK.  

Cheese what we have taken to Italy to date is our favourite, Lancashire Bomb.  Buy two it from Shorrocks.  Eat one when it arrives and store the second for a month or two or three.  Delish.  Planning to take Isle of Wight Blue this time and whatever I pick out at the Cardiff market tomorrow.  Will be accompanied on shopping trip by cheese mad Indian friend who can't remember the names of the cheeses she likes but will know when she sees them.  Fingers crossed, the Italians will be happy.  One of our Italian friends shares the cheese with his friends in the bar so we can't fail him. 

Bath.  Booked in to Menu Gordon Jones in July.  Have you tried it?  No passing on motorways.  Not in any fit state to be driving here.  Train all the way.   Just have to stay awake and get off at Cardiff Central.  Going all the way to Swansea would not be a good outcome.

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3 hours ago, tekobo said:

 No passing on motorways.  Not in any fit state to be driving here.  Train all the way.   Just have to stay awake and get off at Cardiff Central.  Going all the way to Swansea would not be a good outcome.

That would not be a good outcome. :shock:

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9 hours ago, tekobo said:

Not so sure.  Sausage skin is a special thing to be celebrated.  Gonna try to bring some fresh links back to cook up on the KK.  

Delicatezza do excellent luganega - get the fennel. It has a ** Taste Award as well if you need to be persuaded by multiple endorsements of quality. 

One of my favourite sausages is Boerorwors - a South African sausage - it translates from Afrikaans as 'farmer sausage'. It's a blend of beef / pork and spiced coriander, cloves and nutmeg together with salt / pepper and many put bacon in. There is a lot of poor imitation Boerorwors and derivations which incorporate cheese, garlic, chilli and so on which when done well are good and have their place but as a point of departure, start with the classic. The classic on the KK, dropped hot into a soft fresh roll slathered in unsalted butter and then with a bit of ground salt on top. It's an antidote to most things.

9 hours ago, tekobo said:

Cheese what we have taken to Italy to date is our favourite, Lancashire Bomb.  Buy two it from Shorrocks.  Eat one when it arrives and store the second for a month or two or three.  Delish.  Planning to take Isle of Wight Blue this time and whatever I pick out at the Cardiff market tomorrow.  Will be accompanied on shopping trip by cheese mad Indian friend who can't remember the names of the cheeses she likes but will know when she sees them.  Fingers crossed, the Italians will be happy.  One of our Italian friends shares the cheese with his friends in the bar so we can't fail him. 

I read into your earlier message that there was a thriving cheese scene in Cardiff, one that I did not know much about.  I thought cave aged Wookey Hole Cheddar would have some appeal as an export? One of my French/Italian friends has a real love of it. He is usually my accomplice at La Fromagerie 

9 hours ago, tekobo said:

Bath.  Booked in to Menu Gordon Jones in July.  Have you tried it?  

Went Friday night, local friends booked. I hate surprises so it's unsurprising that I hated the concept and format. Some of the food was very good, some of it, well, you could see what they were trying to do. Would I make the effort to go back? No. 

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Mac, outcome was good.  Made it to Cardiff safely and bought my cheese today.  Chose some interesting Welsh cheeses but can't comment on taste yet because I picked nicely packed rinded soft cheeses for ease of portability.  Fingers crossed, they will taste as good as predicted.  

Alex, if you have a recommendation for a South African butcher I would be keen to know.  There used to be a truly awesome South African butcher in Leeds market but he has ceased trading.  He did boerewors and loads of different sausages.  Our favourite was pork and cheese - weird but wonderfully delicious.   I was once called to baggage security at Leeds airport because they were suspicious of my suitcase.  It was packed solid with eight of his chakalaka and piri piri marinated flatties.  Apparently a suitcase full of eight raw chickens had a similar chemical signature to some form of explosive.  Or maybe they just felt like pulling my case.  Anyway, v keen for any recommendations of where to buy good South African prepared meat.  

Shame about your experience at Menu Gordon Jones.  I like surprises.  Just hope the food lives up to expectations when we go.  

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1 minute ago, tekobo said:

Alex, if you have a recommendation for a South African butcher I would be keen to know.  There used to be a truly awesome South African butcher in Leeds market but he has ceased trading.  He did boerewors and loads of different sausages.  Our favourite was pork and cheese - weird but wonderfully delicious.   I was once called to baggage security at Leeds airport because they were suspicious of my suitcase.  It was packed solid with eight of his chakalaka and piri piri marinated flatties.  Apparently a suitcase full of eight raw chickens had a similar chemical signature to some form of explosive.  Or maybe they just felt like pulling my case.  Anyway, v keen for any recommendations of where to buy good South African prepared meat.  

My local butcher in Suffolk produces Boerorwors to my recipe so I can recommend him but he hasn't branched out into pork and cheese although he does do excellent sausages. I don't know if he'd mail order and can ask if you'd like. I know that friends are fans of Gavin's Homemade Biltong but it doesn't come with my endorsement as I've not tried it. 

Good work on the chicken, I think you're an honorary African for that level of commitment. And they say chickens don't fly.

1 minute ago, tekobo said:

Shame about your experience at Menu Gordon Jones.  I like surprises.  Just hope the food lives up to expectations when we go.  

It's ingredient and seasonally driven so I suspect you will have an entirely different meal to me when you go. Post match report after please... 

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