Normal? Festival of the Brain

East Cliff Kitchen will be the official festival pop-up for the whole of Normal? Festival of the Brain at Folkestone Quarterhouse. We will be serving a menu of Brain Food and Multisensory Cocktails throughout the festival in The Clearing (you don’t need to pay for a festival pass to come and eat with us!). You can find us there at the following times:

Thursday 10th May:

6.45pm (45 mins) FREE. Join co-curators Folkestone Fringe, Living Words and the Creative Foundation to celebrate the launch of Normal? Festival with ‘brain food’ and multi sensory cocktails provided by festival pop-up East Cliff Kitchen.

Friday 11th May:

5pm-10pm. East Cliff Kitchen will be serving extraordinary eating experiences, in the form of seasonal, and locally produced, ‘brain food’.  We’ve put together a whole menu based on ways of improving your brain health.  The first of those is ‘be happy’ – so all our dishes are designed to be upliftingly delicious!

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May:

10am-midday. As our brunches have demonstrated, we take morning meals very seriously! Join us for the most important meal of the day

1pm – 10pm. East Cliff Kitchen will be serving extraordinary eating experiences, in the form of seasonal, and locally produced, ‘brain food’. We’ve put together a whole menu based on ways of improving your brain health.  The first of those is ‘be happy’ – so all our dishes are designed to be upliftingly delicious!

Normal? Festival of the Brain brings science and art together over four days to delve into and question the brain. This year, we’re looking at rest and sleep, grief and loss, love and perception and exploring ways to pay attention, delight in difference and make ourselves more resilient.

Normal? Festival of the Brain is co-curated by Living Words, Folkestone Quarterhouse and Folkestone Fringe with input from the local community.

Please click here to download this year’s programme

Popping Up in SPACE

On 1st and 2nd May, we will be at the awesome Space Bar and Gallery. We have designed a 5 course menu (with Pescatarian and Plant-based options) based around the very best of this (the year’s most sumptuous) season. The menu includes luscious seafood, vivid vegetables, foraged fruits and intense flavours of fresh herbs grown in our own allotment by the sea!

£35 per person – to book, email Sam with your choice of pescatarian or plant based menu: spacewoman@spaceseven.co.uk

 

 

 

Spring has sprung

Spring is here at last and our menu for the next pop-up at Space Bar & Gallery is a celebration of all the lovely new stuff! We’re also pickling and fermenting the winter root veggies and getting excited about leaves and buds.  In the fermenting jars at the moment, we have chard root and swede (rutabaga) with sea lettuce and chilli and cauliflower with ginger, whilst pickling away in the corner is a selection of lovely beetroot and pink blush shallots with herbs.

In the meantime, we just got a delivery of Rowan shoots and Birch sap from Forager – one of our favourite suppliers.  We forage ourselves where we can, but these guys have so much knowledge and skill.  The ethics of foraging are complex, it’s about respecting the environment as much as the landowner because wild food isn’t cultivated so you have to be sure you are not damaging it and preventing it from regenerating.  That’s why I turn to the professionals if I’m in any doubt. The Rowan shoots have an intensely almond-y flavour, so I and going to try to create an infused syrup to use in cocktails for the launch party of Normal Festival. The Birch sap is currently fermenting with a few raisins in the bottom as a catalyst.  I’ll keep tasting it and when it reaches a good point, i’ll pop in some lemon juice and freeze it till I need it.

Rhubarb and Dark Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

I made this dessert first for a Nordic Supper Club at The Good Shed in Canterbury with Cockles and it was a huge success.  Beautiful local rhubarb has just come into season and the delicate bright pink stems are just so beautiful. Layer cakes are a bit of a thing in Sweden, sponge and fruit and tons of whipped cream, so here was a perfect excuse.  I tweaked the recipe, made a vegan version of the sponge and created a coconut cream option for our Mothers Day Lunch and I can honestly say that the vegan version is better.  Here’s the recipe.

Serves 8

Orange and Polenta Sponge:

  • 3/4 cup. polenta / 120g
  • 3/4 cup. ground almonds / 90g
  • 3/4 cup. gluten-free plain flour / 140g
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup. unsweetened almond milk / 180ml
  • 1/2 cup. melted coconut oil / 120ml
  • 1/2 cup. caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup. orange juice / 60ml

Pre-heat oven to 180 centigrade

Grease and line 2 x 20cm cake tins

Mix the dry ingredients together in 1 bowl and the wet ingredients in another, then whisk to combine the two.

Pour half the mixture into each cake tin and bake for approx 15-20 minutes into a skewer comes out clean.

Rhubarb and dark chocolate layer cake

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 120ml almond milk
  • 100g soft brown sugar

Break up chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl

Stir sugar and milk together in a pan over a low heat until sugar has dissolved, bring to a boil and then immediately remove from the heat.

Pour sugar/milk over chocolate/coconut oil and leave to stand for one minute.

Stir it all together until all the oil and chocolate has melted.

Use a whisk to drip the chocolate over the cooled sponges and leave to set

 

Rhubarb:

  • 400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 6cm lengths
  • 170g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180 centigrade

Lay rhubarb on a baking tray, sprinkle sugar over

Put in oven for approx 10 mins, till just soft

 

Cream:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod

Scrape vanilla pod into cream and whisk till it forms firm peaks

 

Assembling cake:

Put one layer of sponge on plate

Spoon rhubarb onto sponge and also spoon some of the syrup over the sponge

Pipe or spoon the cream on top of the rhubarb

Gently lay the top layer of sponge on top

 

Garnishes:

We like to sprinkle bee pollen (not vegan!) and lingonberry powder over the cake for some honey tones and sharpness – but it is delicious without any fancy additions!

ENJOY

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers’ Day

East Cliff Kitchen had a particular reason for celebrating Mothers Day.  Cherry started the award-winning Paramour Pie Club (our previous incarnation) when she became a mother herself and she suddenly developed a hankering to feed the world! But before any of that, she was taught how to cook by her own mother – an epic chef in her own right (and one half of Truluck & Heaven).  Jenny Truluck was responsible for the fish pie recipe on our menu and was the inspiration and consultant for everything else.  She is awesome.

We had such a lovely day celebrating all the wonderful women in our lives with delicious food and drink, including a couple of Pie Club specials!

 

Dates for your Diary

Popping up in March

Thank you so much to all of you who have supported us in February, It has been a beautiful experience for us to open up our home to you all and share the food we love. At yesterday’s brunch we were full to capacity and it was absolutely joyful.

We have a busy month coming up – I am cheffing at the Cockles Supper Club at the Goods Shed in Canterbury on 26th Feb and I’ll be cooking up a forest feast for tree planters working with the Ash project in early March. After that we are planning more pop-ups of our own. The first is a special Mothers Day lunch on 11th March and then a weekend of Brunches on 24th and 25th March.

MOTHERS’ DAY LUNCH  11.03.18
Bring your mother, bring a picture of your mother, bring a friend who is a mother, bring a friend who mothers everyone, bring your laptop and Skype your mother (you can borrow our wifi!), bring yourself if you are a mother, bring yourself and dress like your mother… whatever you do, we will be cooking up a storm in honour of awesome people who do mothering.
Bring Your Own Booze. Pescatarian and Plant-based menus (below).  £30 per adult. £8 per child, £10 deposit payable in advance on adult tickets.
Book for Mothers’ Day Lunch

BRUNCH  25.03.18

Tickets will go on sale soon for our first brunch outside our East Cliff HQ! On 24th March we’ll be the first event of the Harbour Arm’s 2018 season.  Booking details coming soon. Due to popular demand, we will also be brunching on the Sunday (25th) back in East Cliff.  As usual, we will have tea-infused cocktails, tea pairings and three courses of beautiful locally-sourced food. Join us!Due to popular demand, we will be brunching on a Sunday this time.  As usual, we will have tea-infused cocktails, tea pairings and three courses of beautiful locally-sourced food. Join us!

Book for Brunch

Well that went well!

Another full house for brunch on Saturday, we love the atmosphere when everyone arrives!

Our take on Omelette Arnold Bennett! Potato souffles topped with Bechamel, smoked haddock and Ramsey sheeps cheese

New season rhubarb pierogi, rose scented rice cream, flaked almonds and rosehip syrup, with a sprinkling of beetroot powder

We were so busy cooking that we didn’t get photos of everything, but luckily the lovely folk from Vegan Folkestone were among our guests and put these lovely pics on their instagram afterwards:

These were our Alexander canapés, oatcakes spiced with alexander seeds and topped with alexander leaf and walnut pesto, braised alexander stems and gorse flowers

Winter vegetable rostis (beetroot & thyme, swede & nutmeg, potato & herb), smoked celeriac emulsion, pickled damsons

Slow-cooked cavalo nero (the pescatarians had razor clams), Folkestone laverbread, fermented kohl rabi, fresh apple, roast onion stock.

Eating Locally

We’ve been chuntering on about eating local food, sourcing sustainable ingredients etc for years now, so I thought it might be a good time to explain why I think this is such a big deal.  All the food that comes out of East Cliff Kitchen (including our brunch club this weekend!) is sourced as locally as possible for a whole load of reasons – some proper science-y ones and some which are a bit more poetic so I’m going to try to cover both.

 

I am really fascinated by place/location – it’s been a bit of a thing for me since I studied architecture (careful, if you let me go on about this stuff for too long, I’ll start dusting off my De Certeau and Walter Benjamin texts and forget all about the food!).  I’ll try to tell you why.  Space is one thing – in fact it’s everything, and having enough of it for ourselves is intensely political – but PLACE… place is how we define the space that IS ours or that relates to us – to our bodies, to our histories And location is how places relate to other places and that is community…. But location is also about locale and localness – the understanding of the characteristics of a place and it’s heritage, it’s special significance.  Now this is not to say that we should get all patriotic and inward-looking, because there are other places too that are just as special and are connected to ours in multiple ways – but here we are now, in whichever place we are in and we should connect to that, celebrate it and really examine it.

Now before I lose you, let me tie this back to food.  Buying, growing, foraging and eating local food is so important because it is a fundamental statement and celebration of PLACE.  You, dear reader, might be anywhere in the world, but we are in Kent – the so-called ‘Garden of England’.  Specifically we are in East Cliff, an area of Folkestone.  We have the sea to the south of us, the white cliffs to the east and glorious countryside (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty no less!) to the north.

Stuff grows here that doesn’t grow anywhere else (I defy you to bring me a more delicious whelk or a more peppery alexander seed!), people have farmed and fished and cooked here for centuries – the knowledge of what is good (both in terms of deliciousness and health) is embedded in the rocks, so why go to Tesco?

And if that doesn’t convince you, here are some real proper bona fide science-y reasons:

    • local food is fresher and fresh food tastes better because it is still clinging on to its nutrients, so it’s better for you too – Farms who sell locally often allow fruits and veg to ripen longer on branches etc rather than picking them early because there is no concern about them spoiling during transit
    • You’ll generally find less packaging on non-supermarket foods
    • Fewer food miles = lower environmental impact (fewer vehicle emissions etc)
    • Supporting local farming/food production preserves green space & countryside, which is, you know, nice for walking and stuff.  Also it has been proven that being surrounded by greater biodiversity leads to better mental health.
    • Supporting local smaller producers means you get better variety (more heritage varieties, more flavours) because they are under less pressure to churn our vast quantities of identical products for large scale distribution.  This means historic varieties of fruit and veg and rare breeds animals can be preserved.
    • Being engaged – You can meet the people who grow/rear/make your food – and the food becomes more enjoyable just by knowing the care that went into producing it. Not only that, but you can give feedback so that the producers can work with the community to supply the stuff people want.
    • This communication with suppliers gives us amazing knowledge of the processes that go into food production and supply which puts us, as consumers, into far stronger positions to make decisions about what we put into our bodies and the effect that this has on the environment.
    • It is an incredibly valuable act to decide to support your local community and economy. It doesn’t mean you can’t leave the county ever again or that you shouldn’t enjoy food and drink from elsewhere too, but when an economy builds strength from within it attracts investment from without – so every pound you spend locally is actually worth double its value to the community as a whole. 

 

  • This is less science, more just my experience.  Shopping locally saves money.  Buying seasonal food is the most cost-effective way to shop because it is the easiest way for the farmers to operate.  Buying from as close to the source as possible reduces the effort/packaging that the supplier has to make to get your food to you – save them time/money and saving will undoubtedly be passed on.  We’ve always found that there is misconception that farmers markets and small-scale shops are really expensive – some things are pricey (usually because they are really high quality or produced in tiny batches) but seasonal fruit and veg, fish and meat is generally much better value locally than in a supermarket.

WHERE TO BUY SUPER-LOCAL AND DELICIOUS FOOD IN/NEAR FOLKESTONE:

Well first of all, did we mention you can try lots of local food at one of our pop-ups! 😉 More info here.

Folkestone Food Assembly (we especially love Walmestone Growers’ spray-free veg but it’s all good)

Roots ‘N’ Fruits (Fruit, veg, spices)

Folkestone Trawlers (always ask what is local and whether it has been frozen)

Folkestone Wholefoods

Dockers Brewery and Bakehouse (the exceptional bread is sold at Folkestone Wholefoods)

Griggs of Hythe (Fishmongers)

Nethergong Nurseries – deliver amazing veg boxes once a week, such good value and an amazing range.

Salsify and Cauliflower

Salsify and Cauliflower roasted with miso and wakame.

We got these beautiful seasonal goodies from Folkestone Food Assembly  where all the food is sourced locally and (where possible) is also organic. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower

Salsify

Miso paste

Honey or Agave Syrup

Soy Sauce

Toasted Sesame Oil

Wakame – or any dried seaweed flakes

 

There are no quantities here, because it’s such a simple dish, you can just use as much as you need or like.

  1. Slice the cauliflower into 1cm slices (I like to keep the slices as whole as possible)
  2. Peel the salsify and drop immediately into cold water
  3. Blanch the salsify by dropping it into boiling water for 3-4 mins
  4. Lay out all the veg on baking trays
  5. Mix equal parts of the Miso, Honey/Agave, Soy and Sesame Oil together
  6. Brush this marinade over the veg and stick in all in the oven at 190ºc for 10-15 mins.  The cauliflower should still have a slight bite after cooking.
  7. To serve, just sprinkle over the wakame and you’re done!
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