March 2, 2010

blog moved to

Filed under: food, life..., projects, psyche..., social economy 101, social finance — benmetz @ 2:06 pm

I’ve moved my blog over to my own hosting.  You can find me at  Everything should be working as before.  If not then please let me know.

If you RSS this blog you’ll have to update your feed to this link.

Thanks to Amanda at Red Button Design for keeping me on the straight and narrow during this process.


February 27, 2010

Ben Greeno at The Loft

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 6:32 pm

Earlier this week I attended The Loft which up until recently was Chef Nuno Mendes’ hybrid between private supper club and culinary laboratory.  Nuno has recently stepped out of the day to day running of The Loft, well technically the three nights a week running of it, to get new restaurant Viajante started in the old Bethnal Green town hall.  He handed the first guest appearance to chef Ben Greeno from Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant rated third in the world.

And what an enjoyable evening it was.  16 covers in a sparse open plan apartment and a decent sized but pretty much home kitted out kitchen was the venue for some inspired eating.  Cheese soup with raw mushroom and caramelised walnuts, duck hearts in a lettuce emulsion, beef onglet cooked to perfection.  But the cherry on top had to be the salmon confit.  Inspiring use of a sous vide (water bath) had a wedge of salmon cooked to perfection, melting in my mouth and the entire table stunned into silence.  The trick?  Vacuum pack the salmon along with a little rape seed oil (so that technically it’s a confit) and cook for 12 minutes at 42 degrees C.  I left the meal inspired to restart the supper club I kicked off back in 2007 and to, of course, go out and buy myself a sous vide !  Watch this space…

October 14, 2009

pinchito tapas

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 7:36 am

a welcome addition to eating in london is pinchito tapas just south of old street.  authentic and funky, pinchito does classic spanish tapas with ease and informality.  pimientos de padron, chorizo stewed in cider and a fantastic fillet steak, cooked rare, were highlights…  only lowlight is this darn hangover – picked up thanks to knocking back soberano, that sweet ridiculously drinkable and horribly rough spanish brandy!  oh gosh – never again, until next time!


September 24, 2009

konstam, hot damn!!!

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 2:08 pm

absolutely one of my recent culinary highlights was dinner at konstam this week.  it is simply fantastic.  phenomenal. inspiring…

the decor is surreal and distracts, in a freakily-chainmail-pleasing kind of way, from the awe inspiring menu.

konstam was set up by oliver, the owner and chef, to source ingredients as locally as possible.  an amazing 80% of products used come from within the M25!  i was skeptical when i arrived but blown away from the first mouthful.  this is an inspired use of first class ingredients and top notch cooking and presentation.

and all contained within a sourcing framework that will have you eating the finest mersea caught mackerel, chervil packed herb salad and damson fool.

this place is not just first class – it is world class!  go!  now!  then go again, tomorrow!


September 14, 2009

la trompette – all the starters!

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 10:25 am

back in london.  la trompette sunday evening…  off piste – all the starters!  world class – omg!

la trompette 2

September 8, 2009

san francisco – i think i love you!

Filed under: food, life... — benmetz @ 4:08 pm

i can’t quite get over the incredible diversity and quality that pervades the food scene, or scenes, throughout san francisco.  so it seems appropriate to jot down a few words as i’m getting set to leave – in honour of a great city and in memory of some great food.

one of the highlights was a running meal, with each course in a different, and completely exceptional, restaurant.  made all the better by the company of audrey selian and jeff tuller from social markets we kicked off at la mar, the infamous peruvian cebicheria.  cebiche of the finest and freshest quality blew our minds and left us reeling as we headed from pier 1.5 to the ferry building and into the slanted door.  the selection of vietnamese fusion, made famous by a visit from bill clinton a while back, was world class (though they could learn a thing or two from the summer rolls in cay tre on old street in london!) and topped off with labor day fireworks over the water.  then on to epic for a caramel salted chocolate pudding that left us all on the floor, dribbling…  where else in the world will you find three world class places to eat, all within five minutes walk of each other?  it pains me to say it but san francisco knocks the spots off london as a city of food…

other phenomenal places to eat include flour and water.  way south and in an industrial backwater it’s on par with the best osterias you’ll find in italy.  phenomenal. (dear mayra – thanks – and see you next year!)

then there’s a16, another world class italian that left us (me and the nexii team) reeling from the quality and simpicity  of the food.

and yuzu, a small sushi bar down a side street serving mindblowingly fresh fish.

dont forget tataki, the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant, serving equally fresh and guilt free marine produce.

plus there is a wealth of street food – well close to street food – to savour.  top of these is el farolito, right down in mission and as good as being in mexico city.  also not to be missed are the multiple dim sum joints in china town – serving world class dim sum from early morning through to lunch.  there’s no better way to start the day than to share a table with an 85 year old noodle slurping local giving you recommendations of what to eat and how…

in fact – what am i doing here???  breakfast calls!!!

August 30, 2009

Zazie and The Future of Fish…

Filed under: food, projects, social finance — benmetz @ 4:49 am

Brunch at Zazie with Cheryl Dahle who is working on a fantastic project – The Future of Fish.  And while it’s certainly worth mentioning the classic San Francisco brunch (avocado omlette, blueberry pancakes, that great extra thin crispy American bacon) Cheryl’s work gets the bandwidth over a plate of food any time!

Working through Central, a design innovation company, with Ashoka and funded by The Packard Foundation Cheryl has been leading a project exploring how to revolutionise supply chains right across the fishing industry.  The interim report is pretty mind blowing stuff.  She’s identified 120 innovative approaches to transforming the fishing industry, at all points, into a completely different beast – sustainable, viable and environmentally beneficial from hatchery through to plate!

Cheryl’s work is a rich vein of inspiration and opportunity, of particular interest to me as I start to discuss with Technoserve, a DC based emerging markets value chain development NGO, the possibilities of developing a marine entrepreneurship initiative.  The idea, in it’s infancy, is to build on the work of Blue Ventures to test and bring to market environmentally beneficial entrepreneurial approaches that deliver sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities in the developing world.  At first take there are probably six to ten additional initiatives in the Future of Fish report that could fit the bill for this potential project with Technoserve…

Which is why a blog post that started with the aim of describing a great omlette turned into a rant about Cheryl and The Future of Fish….

August 29, 2009

clam chowder at fisherman’s wharf…

Filed under: food, life... — benmetz @ 5:18 pm

first meal in san francisco?  well it had to be clam chowder from one of the seafood stands at fisherman’s wharf!  thick and rich and served in a bowl made from a  scooped out loaf of sourdough bread.  fantastic!!!  and eaten to the tunes of a great jazz saxophonist while watching a woman dancing the “i’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic” friday night boogie!  with early evening temperatures in the high 20’s i could be mistaken for being in new orleans!!!

clam chowder

August 9, 2009

royal china – queensway

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 5:46 pm

made it for lunch to royal china on queensway in west london again last week.  i’m a complete sucker for good dim sum and royal china is a classic.  fantastic all round – don’t miss the cheng fung and the turnip cakes.  cheap as chips too!  canary wharf doesn’t impress as well as queensway though…

royal china

June 18, 2009

wild honey

Filed under: food — benmetz @ 4:18 pm

lunch at wild honey with francesca from prospect-us.  there’s nothing quite as good as being taken to a ‘proper’ restaurant when someone else is paying.  and wild honey, like its sister arbutus is a ‘proper’ restaurant!  simple, fine food, locally sourced in many cases and luxurious.  clipped and attentive service but not so clipped as to be sharp. an excellent mid-english channel approach to dishes.  fantastic shin of veal and a great rissoto.  and in an unlikely turn of events i strayed onto the pudding menu.  the apricot clafoutis reminded me of everything i do wrong when i attempt this french classic.  go – but ideally only when someone else is paying!!!

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