We are a small, but might staff here at FOUR. Over the course of the year we try, sample, travel and experience a wide range of food related things, ideas, places and concepts. We’ve put together FOUR highlights from each of us to give you an idea of who we are and some insight into just how far food reaches into the cultural atmosphere and day-to-day life of us.
Kerry |Editor in Chief : FOUR International, USA, Asia
Book:Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyondis my favourite cookbook of 2014. Paying homage to Middle Eastern cuisine,this book is full of delicious recipes by the talented chefSabrina Ghayour and has become a staple of my kitchen in recent months.
Food:I discoveredCutter and Squidge’ssea salted caramelthis year. It’s made usingMaldon sea salt, English butter and organic double cream. The butterscotch flavour is incredible and I have to admit, I have taken spoon to jar on more than one occasion!cutterandsquidge.com
Drink:Alain Ducasse’s hot chocolate(from hisLa Manufacture De Chocolat in Paris)at London’sBulgari hotelis incredible. Unfortunately, it is only available for a short period while the hotel hostsa pop-up hot chocolate bar in its Spirit Room. I tried an espresso-sized cup while taking a break from Christmas shopping (followed by a glass of Ruinart!), which was just the right size. Not usually one for hot chocolate, this silky-smooth drink, made from freshly grated dark chocolate, has changed my opinion.Witha percentage of each hot chocolate donated to Save The Children, it is well worth the shopping break.
Cookery:I discoveredGreen Pan’samazing saucepans this year and although I was grateful to have found them, I was questioning why I hadn’t invested in one earlier! I have theVenice Skillet, which is just incredible for searing, frying, sautéing and more. Try frying an egg without oil or butter in the pan – the result is incredible!
Sophie | Assistant Editor: FOUR International, USA, Asia
Chefs:MeetingJuan Marí ArzakatAmetsa, and being utterly flattered by his flirting. As he says “The day that you stop thinking like a child, you leave creativity behind.”
Cocktails:A wonderful amount of Clover Club cocktails in the Portobello Star: I could drink them forever (and may have done on occasion). A Gin-based raspberry, lemon and egg foamy delight.
Cookery:An orange Le Creuset pot, brought into my life when I recently moved house with two great friends.
Film:The Hundred Foot Journey, which I watched it with my mum, and it brought tears of culinary joy to my eyes. A wonderful, festive film!
Eva | Editor in Chief : FOUR Germany
Trip:Travelling on a gourmet trip through Portugal was one of this year’s highlights for me. Organised by Taste Portugal, an initiative to make Portuguese food more well-known, it was a real treat to enjoy Portuguese produce interpreted by the country’s best chefs in a modern and sometimes avant-garde way. The highlight was definitely Belcanto in Lisbon where chefjust received his second star.
Dish:the most surprising and delicious dish I’ve had this year was in Osnabrück at restaurant . In between courses,served a palate cleanser consisting of potato foam on pumpkin-curry-ice cream. I never thought that potatoes and curry could be that mind-blowingly delicious. And that was only a palate cleanser – just imagine what the regular courses were like…!
Film:The Hundred-Foot Journey was a gorgeous film with Helen Mirren about a young Indian chef who is opening a restaurant in France opposite Helen Mirren’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant. The battle is on, as are two beautiful love stories and it also gives a fantastic insight into what it means to fight for stars year in year out. One of my favourite films of the year on both a professional and personal level.
Book:Reading Dan Barber’s bookThe Third Place, published this summer, was a revelation. He tells engaging stories about food growing in America and on his travels and thinks about the future of food: How we can stop exploiting the ecology and make our food more delicious and nutritious. This is how food should be! – you want to cry out. And also: why isn’t every chef more like him? An absolute must-read for everyone interested in what’s on their plate.
Jesse | Online Editor
Breakfast:This summer while on holiday in Sicily, I had the most amazing, simple and Sicilian breakfast at a traditional café in the city of Noto aptly called Café Sicilia. Almond granite, brioche & espresso: it doesn’t get any better.
Dinner:In Rome visiting some friends many of us took our time at one of the longest, most leisurely lunches I’ve had the pleasure of eating. At Cesare al Casaletto, which is probablyoneof – if not the best – trattorias in Rome. Classic dishes, great service and atmosphere with a wine list that set’s it apart.
Wine:Have you had wine from the Jura? If not, and are looking for something interesting, try anything you find. This year I was lucky enough to have had a bottle or two of Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Trousseau Le Ginglet. This wine is just outstandingly unique and delicious with notes of balsamic strawberries and an earthy aftertaste.
Trip:Another highlight of my year was a trip to Copenhagen in the early summer. The days were long and the city is just an amazing place, full of life, youth and some outstanding food options, not to mention some of the best coffee I’ve had anywhere.
Daisy | PR Manager
Spirit:My favourite spirit that I drank in 2014 simply has to be Mahon gin. The flavour in a G&T is divine and so easy on the palate. It really is the best gin I have ever tried. Every time I drink this gin, I have strong feelings of nostalgia for trips to Menorca when I was younger…heady fiesta nights, drinking gin from plastic bottles with lemon Fanta….
Dinner:The freshest tuna bought from La Boqueria market in Barcelona served as a tuna tartare. This dish was sublime, jam-packed with freshest avocado. For ultimate enjoyment, I recommend that this is eaten over-looking the port in Barcelona, just as the sun sets.
Book:Following the chance to recently interview Margarita Carillo Arronte, her book – Mexico: The Cookbook – has entered my list of all-time favourites! My interview with Margarita gave me such insight into the unique and lovely Margarita and the love and passion behind the creation of her book, making it so special. The pages of the book reflect such a depth of passion and personality.
Trip:Another highlight of my year which has forever forged a love of all kinds of beans is being on safari in East Africa. We spent the evenings drinking Uganda’s favourite drink, Stoney’s ginger beer, and eating beans, beans and more beans…