Little old lady

The June brief

It has been a while since I’ve done a brief, so with a shivering cold bottle of Armand de Brignac being poured over your head, here is the best of June.

The culinary companion of June is:

A little old lady. As I don’t have a rich cultural heritage to draw upon, I have begun to source little old ladies from around the world to teach me their culinary tradition.

Great borscht, Alex

My бабушка handed it down to me, I’m thinking of including it in my cookbook, far more authentic than the one in Culinaria

This conversation can be applied across cultures and publishers, I’ve even found that the culinary traditions of little old ladies are held in much higher esteem than Phaidon books. Ferran Adrià and Andoni Aduriz have got nothing on abuelita; René Redzepi cannot compete with grootmoeder. I have both.

The flavor of June is:

Luxury bogan food, like: Waffles, see Cumulus Up; Toasties, see the Lui Bar at Vue De Monde and feature in June Gourmet Traveller; Hamburgers, see Rockpool Wagyu Burger and Lobster roll at Golden Fields; Hotdogs, see Hihou dog at Hihou.

The beverage of June is:

Anything drunk at a speakeasy. Traditionally, a speakeasy is a bar where alcoholic drinks are illegally sold. The name comes from instructions to customers to ‘be quiet and speak easy’ about the illegal service, that is, not advertising it in Gourmet Traveler. This is no longer the case, every bar serving gin in a teacup is described as a speakeasy. However, traditional speakeasies still exist, I recently visited one just outside of a wet market in Hong Kong, the single malt was cheap and there was not a teacup in sight.

The must-have item of June is:

Something you acquired in your travels, the more cumbersome to bring back the better. Large Thai granite mortar and pestles are good, an entire giant jamón ibérico de bellota is better. However, nothing beats a little old lady.

The top stories of June are:

  • Alex – Alex’s biography!
  • Ask Alex number one – Your questions answered by Alex.
  • Guilty falafel pleasures – Alex contemplates the Association of Lebanese Industrialists action against the state of Israel for misappropriating this traditional Lebanese delicacy.

Again, thank-you for all the comments, re-tweets and likes. Don’t forget the new feature, Alex interprets, submit a dish for Alex to interpret, make, style and photograph. I’m also looking for a guest blogger, send me your submissions.

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Thanks to Spyros Papaspyropoulos for making his beautiful photo of the little old lady available under creative commons.