Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Olia Hercules at Carousel, London

Last year, my parents phoned me telling me that neighbours of ours were opening up a supper club. My dad (being the crazy old neighbour he is) even knocked on neighbour Ollie's door to put him on the phone to me so I could talk to him about their supper club.  Our neighbour told me that they were always keen to grow their foodie network and I should pop in (get the pun) to a pop up when I was back popping. 

I typed "carousel" into Google and have been following their updates on social media for a little while, so I decided to finally pop along. The event I booked was hosted by Olia Hercules, a Ukrainian born chef and food writer. 

Funnily enough, on my way to London from Paris, I opened up the Eurostar magazine to the foodie page and found an interview with Olia Hercules in "My life in Food."  Sometimes coincidences are just too weird. 

 On attending Carousel, we were welcomed very openly by the staff and invited to get a drink and sit in the beer garden which was filled with a group of fellow food explorers. 

Olia gave a welcoming speech just before the dinner started about the menu, which was called "The Wild East," she had created and the inspirations she had from her Ukranian heritage. 

The dinner started with a shot of vodka, designed to accompany the plate of toasted rye bread served with Ukranian Salo, and fermented tomato. The idea was to take a bite of the rye bread with Salo, a sip of vodka followed by the fermented tomato. It was an explosion of flavours, a great way to start the dinner. 

The course that followed was Ukranian Green Borsch, Pulled duck with sorrel, spring onions, quail's egg and dill, served with homemade crusty sourdough bread. 

We then had Steamed pork belly manty. Absolutely delicious.

The main course was Georgian Poussin Tabaka with an assortment of different fresh salads: vegetable caviar, picked carrots, Ukranian grilled aubergines, onion, herb and pomegranate salad and tamarind, beetroot, walnut and prune salad. 

The last but obviously not least (and if anyone knows me I eat dinner just to have dessert) was "Verguny and two sauces." The pastry was served with chocolate and caramel sauce. 

A huge thanks to Olia Hercules and the Carousel team for such a brilliant supper club! 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Poem: One Art

One Art by Abigail Scheuer


The art of dining is not hard to master,
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be dined that their sugar may not be caster.

Eat something every day.  Accept the fluster 
of eaten cornflakes, that hour badly spent.
The art of dining is not hard to master.

Then practice eating farther, eating faster:
creams, and chocolate, and what it was you meant
 to taste.  None of this will bring disaster. 

I ate my mothers cake! And look, my last, or
next-to-last of three loved truffles went.
The art of dining is not hard to master.

I ate two cookies, delicious ones.  And vaster,
some brownies I devoured, some tarts, a whole pie.
I ate them, but it wasn't a disaster.

Even eating everything (the crumbly pastry, a taste I love
I shan't have lied.  It's evident 
the art of dining is not too hard to master,
though it may look like (Write it!) like caster.


One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster