Saturday, 11 November 2017

Instagram Masterclass with Matt Inwood

I'm very proud to announce my very first event of 2018 will see me take a step back from the kitchen and curate a few events based around areas of interest. This is the first of many events like this that will look at different skills and aspects of the food world that I find very interesting and I hope you will too. 

"The photograph you take with your camera is the imagination you want to create in reality" - Scott Lorenzo

It comes as no surprise that the first event should focus on something that is so at the heart of modern society. Social media and photographs. These have become a part of every day life for a vast number of the worlds population and the ability to share aspects of ones life though these channels is ever increasing. 

Especially when it comes to the world of Instagram. 800 million users engaging the with service at least once a month and 500 million on a daily basis (try several times in an hour for some of us!). It's growth shows no sign of slowing down and is dwarfed only by FaceBook.

I find it fascinating, addictive and an amazing way to get across what I am up to especially when it comes to food!

This is where Matt Inwood comes in. Matt is an art director and designer with a great passion for Instagram and phone photography. He has worked with some of the country’s best chefs, foodies and food photographers during his working life. He understands both the power of Instagram as a marketing and communication tool, but also loves the way that the app enhances how people think and create in the world of food. He has worked with many brands and individuals to create content exclusively for their Instagram accounts and 100% believes in the power of the app to help organically build and develop a brand or business with passion and integrity.

I could not agree more with Matt on this and if you think like us and want to know more about the world of Instagram then this is for you. 

I hasten to add this is not just about food but the skills you will pick up and learn will not  only help with taking and producing better images of what ever it is you want to share on the app but also how to use Instagram more effectively. It would also be suitable of those new to Instagram.

I'm very honoured to have Matt at this event his very first in Wales. His workshops around the UK are highly regarded and massively popular so I urge you to book as soon as you can!

For tickets and more information please click on the following link!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Indian Summer - Look Back

The last two months for me have been another eventful chapter in my little food adventure. I feel I've turned a corner and am stepping out from under the MasterChef umbrella. Doing my own thing and loving it. September saw the start of my Indian Summer campaign, my new branding and putting my own style of food out there for people to try. The whole aim of Indian Summer was to show the vibrancy of Indian food and how it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. It was also very important to me that I start to forge my own style and show how my food is evolving and hopefully improving. 

It all started way up high on the roof terrace of Jacobs Market with the brilliant Lost Lands Cinema and the fantastic food film 'Chef'. The food was my take on the classic kebab! My version of this national treasure used the very best Welsh PGI lamb shoulder slowly roasted over night, shredded and then crisped up. This sat on top of a fluffy home made naan bread, mint yogurt spiked with cumin, topped with my signature chilli sauce, pickled onions and coriander. For the vegetarian version I crisped up slabs of paneer until golden in a spiced coating then served exactly the same as the lamb kebab.

The dessert was my first collab with the brilliant Pettigrew Bakeries. We recreated the New Orleans classic beignets (little doughnut style morsels of heaven) served with a rich Green & Blacks dark chocolate sauce. David who is the mastermind behind the Pettigrew empire is a real inspiration to me and has become a great friend and mentor over the last year. 

I've been a big fan of the roof top cinema since it started and I'd like thank Ian who runs Lost Lands cinema for inviting me up there and sorting it all out! Thanks for all the help dude much appreciated! Also to Meat Promotion Wales for the backing, Oriel Jones for the lamb and the saint like John and Ceri Cook from Arbennig for letting me use their amazing ovens (again!). I had a blast doing this and was the perfect start to Indian Summer!

I was also lucky enough to take my Indian Summer vibes to Abergavenny Food Festival this year and I had to pinch myself a little to believe it actually happened. This for me was dream come true! I've been a fan of this festival for a number of years but to actually be there showing off my food and what I am all about was for me incredible. There was mango lassis and spiced roasted peach for the masses! Thank you Abergavenny I hope to see you all again soon!

The business end of Indian Summer came in the form of my supper clubs at Pettigrew Tea Rooms. I put so much effort into devising this menu and really trying to showcase what I can do. This was my heart and soul, this is what it is all about and this is what I was most anxious about. To say I pushed myself is an understatement but I am so pleased with the outcome! Smiling faces and full stomachs are what I'm trying to achieve! Sometimes when we are busily working away downstairs at the supper club and I catch the hubbub of conversation in the air from the dining room full of people having a good time that for me is the best feeling. Thank you to all that came to the supper clubs, I really appreciate the support. 

Not only that but if it wasn't for the phenomenal team at Pettigrew this would not be possible. I don't ever really want to do a supper club without them.

By no means was everything all plain sailing and Instagram photos of having fun, but I am not the finished article. I am learning all the time, I am improving all the time and I am loving every minute of it. Even when I wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole, it did not deter me. Which can only mean that I am meant to do this. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'm just getting started.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Indian Summer Supper Club

I have been working hard over the last month to bring together an idea I have had for some time, Indian Summer. I want to showcase and highlight how my food and ideas about food are changing and evolving as I carry on my adventure. Having completed a season of sell out supper clubs I wanted to return with something that was exciting for diners and for myself!
The aim of Indian Summer is to keep that feel good summer vibe going well into autumn (well one can only hope!) and I will be trying to achieve just that at the supper clubs.

The food will still be drawing heavily on my cultural background but influenced also by my own particular taste in food, styles and experiences. The result is vibrant plates of food which pack a punch in terms of flavour. Here I am very much stepping away from what I did on MasterChef and am very much trying to establish my own style:

Indian Summer supper club will be held in the stunning and handsome West Lodge building in Bute Park, home to the equally magnificent Pettigrew Tea Rooms. The setting and venue only just surpassed by the amazing team there that support me during the supper clubs. I am over the moon to be returning to Pettigrew Tea Rooms to what is quickly beginning to feel like home.

But the supper clubs are just one part of Indian Summer with a couple of surprises and special announcements to be made over the next couple of months!

This series of supper clubs will run until the end of October (when British Summer Time ends!) and will be chargeable at £40 per person via the links below:

For Saturday the 23rd of September: SOLD OUT

For Saturday the 7th of October: SOLD OUT

For Saturday the 21st of October: Click here

For Saturday the 28th of October: SOLD OUT

Fantastic food in an informal environment is my idea of a great night out and I hope to deliver just that for you!

Worth noting:
  • The menu is set and there are no alternative menu options, I can cater for some dietary requirements but not all - please contact if you have any questions on this.
  • It is BYO with corkage charges 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Indian Summer

I've had a blast over the last few months doing as much as I possibly can to make the most of the amazing opportunities I've had since finishing on MasterChef. What I've lost in sleep I've gained in sheer excitement and realisation that I'm doing things that make me so very happy. In a word I feel alive! It's been a steep learning curve and at times I've felt a bit beaten up, but my journey is just in its infancy and there is still so much to do.

I'm very proud with what I have achieved with my first sold out series of supper clubs HOME. In total we raised £800 for worthy causes and the feed back from guests at the supper clubs has been brilliant! Not to mention some great reviews from the likes of Hungry City Hippy, Munchies & Munchkins and Soliciting Flavours. I'm so very thankful to my folks, my wife and the entire team at Pettigrew Tea Rooms for helping me make this happen, I could have not done it without them!

In between supper clubs I managed to sneak in a pop up at what I like to call my happy place Dusty Knuckle! Here I debuted my take on the much loved kebab! 

My take on this national treasure used the very best Welsh PGI Lamb Shoulder slowly roasted over night, shredded then crisped up in Dusty Knuckle's wood burning oven! This sat on top of a fluffy home made naan bread, mint yogurt spiked with cumin, topped with my signature chilli sauce, pickled onions and coriander! For the vegetarian version I crisped up slabs of paneer until golden in a spiced coating then served exactly the same as the lamb kebab.

Again a huge thanks here to Dusty Knuckle for letting me take over the place, Meat Promotion Wales for their backing, Martin Player for the lamb, Arbennig for letting me use their amazing ovens and Pettigrew Bakery for letting me use their facilities to make all my naans and for their help! I feel truly humbled to have such great support from some amazing people that I look up to. Thank you.

This brings us nicely to Indian Summer! Starting from September I plan to keep the summer vibe going well into October with a series of pop ups, supper clubs and events! All with the aim of bringing the heat and showcasing how my food is evolving and I'd love for you to be a part of it!

I'm very proud to announce that I will be kicking off my Indian Summer Series with Lost Lands Cinema on the roof of Jacobs market! I will be popping up there on the the 2nd of September serving up my lamb and paneer kebabs! 

The movie will be the almost cult status, feel good foodie film 'Chef'! A movie that I adore! The lead character's passion for food and the effect that social media can have are so relatable! I have to thank Lee aka Fuud Blog for lending me the DVD (ask your parents kids) way back when! I'm so glad he did as fast forward 18 months or so and here I am serving food at a screening of this brilliant movie! Crazy!

Tickets will be sold on a food, film and drink option where one ticket gains you entry to watch the movie and a kebab of your choice along with a themed cocktail (El Jefe Ticket) or a film only option where food and drinks can be purchased on the night.

Tickets on sale now! Click this link: Lost Lands Cinema 

I hope to see you all there!

More announcements due very soon......

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Kitchen Take Over @DustyKnuckle

I am proud to announce that I will be taking over the kitchen at the brilliant Dusty Knuckle Pizza on the 2nd of July to bring you a very special supper club!

Dusty Knuckle have regularly been cited as one of the best pizzerias in the UK. Most notably by the Guardian Newspaper and in the definitive guide of the worlds best pizzas by Phaidon. It also happens to be my happy place!
Debs and Phill are the driving force behind it and it is their sheer determination, vision, passion and hard work that has made Dusty Knuckle a firm favourite of the Cardiff food scene.
Their pizzeria is a hidden gem in the the true sense of the word. Tucked away from the busy streets of Canton, Cardiff they have created an oasis in an urban dessert. From the minute you walk though the archway there is atmosphere, the distinctive smell of the wood burning oven and some of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. In this former non-space they have created something very special.
Ever since I finished on Master Chef and was planning my first few events I wanted to do something here and I'm so glad I got my wish as what I have in store for you in my eyes will be even better served in this amazing place.
The set price (£20) three course menu is as follows:

Baba ganoush; smoky aubergine with a killer garlic hit served up with home made flat breads to get the appetite going. Lamb kebabs; my homage to this household favourite! Welsh lamb shoulder cooked over night, shredded then crisped up in the wood burning oven! Served with mint yogurt, pickled red onions and my home made chilli sauce. For the paneer version the cheese is crisped up in a spiced semolina coating and served exactly the same as the lamb version. Lastly the papaya sorbet; part of my trio of desserts I produced in the first round of knock out week on Master Chef and inspired by my up bringing in Nairobi Kenya.
There will be local beers on tap and a range of natural wines to purchase. I will be hosting two sittings one at 5.30pm for two hours followed by another sitting at 8pm. After dinner no need to rush off as there is a chill out area to have a few more drinks and kick back (hopefully in some summer sun!).
I had a blast putting this menu together! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! It's fun but packs in the flavour! I hope you can make it!
Tickets available only via Billetto using the following links:
2nd of July at 5.30pm: click here
2nd of July at 8pm: click here

I'd also like to take this opportunity to announce I will be working with Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales at the Royal Welsh Show! How awesome is that! I will be highlighting and showcasing Welsh lamb at one of the biggest agricultural events in the UK! Hence the lamb used in the lamb kebabs will be nothing but the finest Welsh PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Lamb. 

I am honoured to be on board with HCC and can't wait for the Royal Welsh Show! More details to follow soon!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

I'm just getting started....

Last weekend was simply a dream come true! Starting from Friday afternoon where I cooked my Kheer Brulee for Eleri Sion on BBC Radio Wales! It was a hoot, she's hilarious and it was my first proper media cooking demonstration/feature. I loved it and had a laugh at the same time! They've already asked me back so I'm over the moon with that! 

Then on to the main event of the supper clubs! Two nights back to back cooking a two course menu for 20 people each night! What was I thinking! That's 20 thali's per sitting, each with five hot elements and only one cold element being plated and served all at the same time! Followed by blow torching 20 kheer puddings just before serving! 

Bonkers but amazing and fun all at the same time! I learned a lot from the two nights, even moving from night one to the following I changed and adapted things which lead to a much slicker service on night two. I'm glad to say from the feed back I received from people who attended I believe it went down really well! 

The most important lesson I learned over the two supper clubs was that I could not do this without the amazing support of my family especially my wife Carys who has encouraged me to chase my dreams and my mum and dad who worked with me tirelessly to help prepare the food. Also the support of the team I had at Pettigrew Tea Room was brilliant. On Saturday Regina, Gareth and Georgina then on Sunday Regina, Laura and Millie were all superb and I could of not done it with out them.

I'm also proud to announce that over the two nights we raised £700 for charity, that's including the corkage fees kindly and generously donated by David Le Masurier proprietor of (and all round good guy) Pettigrew Tea Room! I'm so pleased! This will be split between three charities as mention in my previous blog post
This figure was also boosted by the fact that generous folk like Tom Frost of Blaencamel Farm donated all the kale I used for the pakoras including the beautiful kale flowers and Lee Bayliss who designed and cut the wicked stencil I used to promote the event! My parents bought and donated all the Thalis too! All of which resulted in more money to charity!

Thank you to all that came and made it possible I am truly blow away by the support!

The fun didn't stop there! Bank Holiday Monday saw my first live cooking demonstration at Cowbridge Food Festival! I was invited to cook along side some of my food heroes Samantha Evans and Shuna Guinn from Hang Fire Southern Kitchen! This was pinch myself stuff! I've written about and followed the ladies pathway to BBQ stardom! They provided me with so much inspiration to start my journey in the world of food that I was both humbled, thrilled and a tad nervous! We had a blast (once the rain stopped)! The ladies are such pro's and great fun! I made a masala Salmon dish that we cooked on the BBQ served with a crunchy and sharp carrot and cumin salad with a scorched lime along side it! Sadly no photos but hopefully one for future supper clubs!

As debut weekends go I could have not asked for more! Just amazing! Topped off by being featured in this months Cardiff Life click here to read

A week on and I'm fully recovered and ready to go again! I'm proud to announce that I hope to make the HOME supper club a monthly event! I will also be continuing my support for the chosen charities by donating 10% of profits from these supper clubs. The supper clubs will be returning to the beautiful West Lodge in Bute Park Cardiff home to the fantastic Pettigrew Tea Rooms with the next event planned for the 17th of June. 

The menu has been inspired by food of my background, travels and time on MasterChef and will remain unchanged for the next few supper clubs.

It will comprise of a welcome cocktail (obvs didn't have this growing up!) followed by a two course set menu. The main course being a vegetarian thali,  filled to the brim with my family favourites and a few twists on the traditional. The second course will be Kheer, a spiced basmati rice pudding finished with a brulee top. 

Tickets will be sold at £25 each and can only be purchased via Billetto

For Saturday the 17th of June: SOLD OUT

For Saturday the 15th of July: Click here

For Saturday the 29th of July: Click here

These are the last dates I will cook the above MasterChef inspired menu before I change it for the next supper clubs in August! So don't hesitate and book now!

Follow updates on my TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages

I hope you can make it and thank you once again. 


Saturday, 6 May 2017

HOME Supper Club

I've been thinking for some time about hosting a supper club. I like the style of supper clubs; communal dining, new people, new conversations in an informal environment with food that expresses the hosts personality and hospitality. I was planning on launching this earlier but then along came MasterChef! It was a fantastic opportunity and experience and I am still on a high from it! MasterChef has totally changed my cooking direction. Before the show I would have very rarely have cooked food from my background and upbringing. My preferred style being modern European (whatever that is!). Since MasterChef the food I had previously avoided cooking has now became my point of difference and my inspiration for my first supper club HOME.

The food was the starting point but I wanted to do something positive with all the amazing support I had received while on the show. That lead me to the decision to donate all my profits from these supper clubs to three charities. The charities in question are The Wallich and The Huggard Centre both based in Cardiff and both aim to tackle homelessness. I am not an expert on this subject and I can only go on my own experience but it seems as if this issue is on the increase and I want to help. The third charity is UNICEF with specific regard to their Syrian refugee fund. It is hard to even understand what the people effected by the war in Syria have been though and are going through, especially the children. Many of whom have been displaced from their homes as a result and have lost their parents. I as a father am a mess when I see the reports on the news that focus on the children that have been effected by the war and again I know my contribution is minuscule in the grand scheme of things but I want to help.

What all the above charities do is aim to get the people that benefit from them one step closer to a roof over their heads and one step closer to something they may eventually be able to call HOME.

The food at the supper club will reflect food from my home, that is food of my upbringing and background and I would love it if you could join me at this event.

The menu will comprise of a welcome cocktail (obvs didn't have this growing up!) followed by a two course set menu. The main course being a vegetarian Thali,  filled to the brim with my family favourites and a few twists on the traditional. The second course will be Kheer, a spiced basmati rice pudding. 

I am lucky enough to be able to host this event in the enchanting West Lodge in Bute Park Cardiff that is home to the fantastic Pettigrew Tea Rooms. I love this place and I cannot believe that I get to host my first event in such an amazing building. 

Tickets will be sold at £25 each and can only be purchased via Billeto: Links below

For Saturday 27th of May: Click here

For Sunday 28th of May: Click here

Follow updates on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages

I hope you can make it and thank you once again.