Natural wine – a natural fit in Tokyo

Takeda

This is the slightly extended version of an article I wrote for the Japan Times and can be viewed online here

The natural wine movement is spreading like a virus in Tokyo and my immunity is becoming susceptible. Everywhere I look neighbourhood wine bars are popping up, small bistros boasting all natural wine lists unavoidable. So why does natural wine have such an organic fit in Japan? Continue reading

Tokyo | It’s all about the beans

Coffeestand

The Japanese have a knack for embracing international trends, mastering them, and then reincarnating them back in the motherland, except doing it ten times better. This is no truer for the bourgeoning coffee scene in Tokyo. Whole in the wall coffee stands are at every corner, complete with a hipster barrister tending to your single origin beans and asking if you would like it drip brewed or espresso today. Continue reading

Triple ginger and rhubarb cheesecake

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This is a fail proof, no bake, extremely delicious cheesecake which always receives a great reception. It can be made the day before and is best refrigerated overnight. I think it is the most delicious topped with rhubarb as it compliments the ginger so well however if you can’t get your hands on rhubarb then other seasonal fruit such as berries or stone fruit will make a good substitute.

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An ode to Piedmont

Piedmont

This post has been a long time coming, mainly due to sheer laziness. But I wanted to document just some of the amazing of places I ate whilst living in northern Italy for 12 months. After six months of reflection, to say that it was the best year of my life is an understatement, and to try and express what a magical region Piedmont is, also impossible. Continue reading

Crostata di frutta with crema pasticcera

Crostata

Crostata with Fresh Cream and Custard
Many birthdays and cakes have passed amongst my Masters class, and I am slowly getting around to posting them. This birthday bake was for Andrea, my Italian classmate from Turin. He requested this creation, apparently a favourite Italian summertime dessert. Having never made it before I was a little apprehensive. And although it looked and tasted amazing, serving it to 25 classmates was a disaster. The gooey custard cream filling runs away as soon as you attempt to slice it. Perhaps better made as individual tarts or just eaten with 25 spoons. Continue reading

When in LA

There was something about LA that immediately had me seeking out a green smoothie, massaging kale and reaching for a coconut water. Amongst all the concrete, SUV’s and Hollywood glitz, these self conscious Californian’s know what’s good for them. I was surrounded by tasty salads, abundant seafood, hipster coffee and sleek restaurants. And I’m not going to lie, I also managed to exceeded my body weight in freaking good Mexican.

TheIvy

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Olive oil, rosemary and chocolate cake

Some habits never die. I have always loved birthdays, not only my own which I ensure is a month long festival each year, but I love celebrating others. And I firmly believe that every birthday deserves cake. So began the self nominated tradition of me baking for family, friends, and work colleagues every time a birthday came around.

Now that I am back at University it would seem I have brought this honor with me to Italy. Only this time I have 25 birthdays to cater for! With five already down I thought I better start posting my birthday bakes, I might be struggling to come up with something original by the 25th. Continue reading