The Scourge of Open Plan Kitchens

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Why I Dislike Open Plan Kitchens
I’m struggling with a bitter fate that our country is facing, a murky descent of moral decline which has been created through contentious decisions, which have the power to divide our country and remove any retained Greatness from Great Britain. And I’m not talking about Brexit, I’m talking about a far more virulent, silent disease which is sweeping through the hearts of our nation’s cities and rotting them from the inside out. What I’m talking about is open plan kitchens. I am simply unable to get my head around the proliferation of these ridiculous excuses for kitchens that have swept the property market over the last 10 years. They’re like a plague upon our country, reducing our property stock to ever more tiny little fractious blocks, equipped with mere ‘tea and coffee making facilities’ style kitchens which have barely enough workspace to prepare a few olives. The Decline of Western…

How To Write a Recipe

Gavin WrenFood Blogging, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

How To Write a Recipe
Writing a recipe is a complex proposition. You might just think it’s a list of ingredients followed by a few instructions about how you mix those ingredients together, but that’s just the shell of it, the dictionary definition of what a recipe is. To actually understand how to write a recipe, how you present that creation of yours to the world involves a deeper understanding not only of your audience, but also of yourself. What’s In a Recipe? Recipes embody different things for different people. Those who are proficient in cooking might look at a recipe simply as inspiration, rather than a specific order of construction. Their confidence and knowledge allows them to shy away from the writer’s instructions, to just take the flavours or essence of the recipe and head off to create it in their own eyes. Some chefs, such as Nigel Slater makes a point with his…

The Ritual of Coffee

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Ritual of Coffee
Today, I’m looking at the habits and rituals which make up my world of food and drink. Studying the behaviours and activities which I engage in and how they effect my mood, my day and those around me. I’m talking about the things that hold greater existential meaning than their mere outcome would suggest. First in line being the ritual of making coffee. Demonic Worship. The word ritual conjures up haunting, demonic imagery, because it harks back to my childhood memory of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where the voodoo cult leader is performing a demonic, borderline cannibalistic ritual with poor old Indy as the sacrifice. However, rituals don’t have demonic worship as a prerequisite, I have rituals that I partake in every day, and you know what? I get a little bit antsy when they don’t fall into place. Ritual number one is coffee. No longer…

My Response to The Unhealthy Truth Behind ‘Wellness’ and ‘Clean Eating’

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

This piece is a response to Ruby Tandoh’s piece on Wellness, originally published on Vice.com I find such vitriolic swipes at ‘wellness’ quite interesting to read, because there certainly is something slightly repugnant about the virginal enthusiasm with which the wellness gurus espouse their puritanical regimes. But also I feel any anger directed at them is somewhat out of proportion to the actuality of the wellness ‘movement’, if I can call it one. Generally a movement has some kind of organisation or structure to it, a defining aim, which in this case wellness doesn’t, there’s no guiding definitions or rules other than boosting Instagram’s user statistics or Chia seed sales. Clean, or not to clean? The author’s derision of the word ‘clean’ as used by wellness bloggers in reference to the foods they recommend feels borderline sanctimonious, which is ironic because it makes the whole discussion seem like a sanctimonious…

Recipes for Beginners

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, Food Techniques, The World of Food

Recipes for beginners
Recipes for Beginners. The world of recipes can be a daunting place where it’s easy to feel utterly imprisoned by the author’s written instructions, sensing that any deviation or misunderstanding could easily have catastrophic consequences on your dinner. If you’re new to cooking, cautious about it or a nervous cook it could be tempting to seek out the most simple recipes for beginners, to keep your channels of exploration locked into a tightly controlled path. But there is one important fact about making recipes which I’m going to tell you, and the sooner you learn it, the quicker you will progress as a cook. But it’s scary! As a beginner cook, the world of combining foodstuffs together and adding heat can all seem a bit daunting. Seeing all those fast moving utensils, viciously sharp knives and dangerously hot surfaces which might burn things is intimidating and the constant overwhelming spectre…

Authentic Italian Food and How to ‘Do It Right’

Gavin WrenFood Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Food Techniques, The World of Food

Authentic Italian Food and how to make sure there's passion in your cooking
An Italian Muse. Over the last few days my ongoing obsession with authentic Italian food has been stoked by working on an ultimate spelt pizza guide, a series of recipe tests that have furnished my table with some of the nicest pizzas I’ve ever had, which although sounding incredibly smug and arrogant, is true. Soon I will share the delights of these creations with you, so that you can partake in these discs of passionate glory. But there’s been one significant stumbling block along the way to getting these pieces written up, which is the apoplectic passion which my mind whisks itself into once I start talking about authentic Italian food. It practically numbs my ability to write a careful and considered blog post, instead wanting to decry huge swathes of Italian food as being heretic imitations of true Italian cuisine. As I write this, I’m 2000 words astray of…