Welcome to the Pickled Fork Blog

Keeping you up to date with what's in seasons, current food trends, our recipes and general information and advice.

August 9, 2014

Brixton Village Pop Up

Hi Fork Fans,

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend eating some delicious food! 

Firstly I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be in Brixton Village  http://brixtonmarket.net/brixton-village/ every Tuesday for the next month at least. I will be setting up shop in Cornercopia brixtoncornercopia.co.uk collaborating with  http://www.bythehorns.co.uk/ in matching real ales with food. It would be great to see everyone there to show there support and help to make this one of concept a great success. Any bookings can be made directly through the website http://www.thepickledfork.com/ alternatively you can just walk in, sit down and get fed.

Secondly I will be hosting my Grime-dining dinners every Friday night at Barmouth Kitchen http://www.barmouthkitchen.co.uk/ throughout the rest of the year. Monthly menus, 4 courses plus canapes and cocktails, BYOB along with a prize draw at the end of each night all for just £35. Again bookings can be made directly through the websitehttp://www.thepickledfork.com/.

Last but not least I would like to remind everyone that I am also available for private hire. Tonight I will be cooking for a group of  8 people in Clapham who have requested a bespoke menu to suit the history of how the host couple met. I have devised a special 3 course menu including canapes, cocktail, fresh bread and butter all for just £45/head. If you have an event coming up and you would like to hire me as your Private Chef to take the stress out of your night please don't hesitate to contact me directly alex@thepickledfork.com

I look forward to seeing you all soon at one of my upcoming events soon or maybe even your own kitchen!


July 21, 2014

#Grimedining Recipes- June menu

Tregothnan Cornish Tea & Manuka Smoked Mackerel
Serves 6
Prep 15 minutes, plus overnight brining, plus 20 minutes smoking

6 Mackerel fillets

Special Equipment
1 large rectangle tin
1 cake rack
For the brine*
4lts water
400g salt
250g brown sugar
75ml cider vinegar
1tbs garlic powder
1tbs onion powder
1tbs allspice
1 star anise
2tsp white pepper

  1. Gently heat all ingredients in a non reactive saucepan until brine comes to the boil and the sugar and salt has dissolved.
  2. Pour the hot brine into a plastic container place in fridge until completely chilled.
  3. Add the Mackerel fillets to the chilled brine. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours
  4. Remove from brine after 12 hours and let the Mackerel dry on J-cloth for 1 hour in fridge.
  For the smoking mix*
50g Cornish tea leaves
50g Manuka tree wood chips
50g Pearl barley
50g Dark brown sugar
  1. Line the base of your smoking pan with foil.
  2. Mix all of the smoking mix together and place in small mounds on top of the foil where the burners will be situated.
  3. Place another layer of foil on top, followed by an old cake rack.
  4. Place your dry Mackerel skin side down on to the rack then cover the whole dish with a double layer of foil making sure all edges are firmly secured.
  5. Smoke for 20 minutes on the lowest gas setting.
  6. After 20 minutes remove Mackerel from the smoker and chill down straight away in fridge.

*The brine can be kept for up to 1 month in the fridge and reused during this time.
* If you can't get a hold of Cornish tea leaves or Manuka wood chips dried tea leaves and oak chips wood be acceptable.
*The smoked Mackerel freezes well and and can be kept for up to 2 months.

June 15, 2014

#Grimedining Recipes-May Menu

#Grimedining recipe May Menu @astonandmagill

Homemade Yogurt & Wimbledon Honey Ice Cream.
-Serves 10
-Prep 10 minutes, plus 8 hours (fermentation), plus overnight freezing
-Gluten free

For the Yogurt-
500ml organic milk
3 tbs milk powder
2 tbs organic yogurt

  1. Place the yogurt into a large, sterilized bowl and let it come to room temperature
  2. Warm the milk slowly to approx 47 degrees then whisk in milk powder
  3. Pour the milk into the bowl with the yogurt and gently mix together until fully incorporated.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for at least 8 hours in a warm draft free place
 For the Ice Cream-
200ml organic double cream
150ml condensed milk
4 tbs honey
  1. Semi whip the cream, fold in the condensed milk and the honey
  2. Once the yogurt has set carefully fold into the cream mix until smooth
  3. Pour mixture into a plastic tub and freeze for 4 hours
  4. Remove from freezer and blend in food processor until smooth
  5. Pour back into container and freeze overnight before serving.

May 31, 2014

#Grimedining South West Style

Welcome back to the Blog spot for The Pickled Fork. This week saw us have our busiest #Grimedining event to date. A good sign that word is spreading around the #Wimbledon area that your Wednesday night should be spent with us!! It also marks the coming of the new June menu which will launch next week at 2 venues. The first on Wednesday at the same beautiful cafe that is @astonandmagill and the other on a Friday night @Barmouthkitchen. Menus will be the same in each location, the only difference is that Friday night will see an extra course make an appearance. All this week I have been trialing and testing each and every recipe to make sure they are perfect for the guests on each day. Today I spent peeling and slicing 25kg of onions ready for pickling to be served with the British Charcuiterie and Cheese platter that will be available @barmouthkitchen everyday starting next week. I have also made a Rhubarb relish to serve along side of the platter to bring all the incredible flavours that the British Isles have to offer together. Tomorrow will be spent making the Horseradish Ketchup and bottling it. Yes I know what your thinking....mix horseradish with ketchup and you're done? WRONG! This will be done completely from scratch and if you thought it was bad enough with the onions today try peeling and grating 5kg of Horseradish without having a minor melt down.

Next week I will be posting a recipe from May's #Grimedining menu so stay tuned for that and hope to see you all at one of our up coming events!

May 22, 2014

#Grimedining South West London Style


Three weeks down @astonandmagill in Wimbledon and all is well! Numbers have been increasing every week with next week looking to push 20!! Last night saw a group of 8 lovely ladies, 3 appreciative couples and two people from Prague looking to start up a restaurant of their own. One of the two people I had met before about 3 years ago in an airport bar in Dubai during a 5 hour stop over on my way back to Oz. During our time in this bar we chatted over a few cold ones and discussed all our plans and how we would change the world and that we would stay in touch no matter what! When Viktor contacted me earlier this month and told me he wanted me to be his head chef at his new restaurant in Prague I had no idea of who this guy was and thought it was some sort of Hostel game set up! It then dawned on me that it was not that at all in any way! Seeing Viktor and his missus last night at my Pop up was slightly surreal but at the same time refreshing to know that just a brief conversation can dictate someones decisions later on down the line. What a fantastic couple they are!! Well done! I have now agreed to help them out with their new project in Prague and may even spend a few days there a month while they get going. Who knows we might even host a #Grimedining event in the new place!!  Look out for #Grimedining Czech Republic

March 6, 2014

The Brixton Diner Menu


‘Barrier Block’ Buffalo Wings served with 4 British Sauces
Vegetarian: Ale Crisped Seasonal Vegetables

@ManorFarmVeg Iceberg & Celery Salad
Pickled Parliament Sauce
Shropshire Blue
SW9 Mayo Dressing
South Devon Chilli Sauce


Brixton Brisket Bap
Vegetarian: Sweet Potato, Maple & Pecan Bap

Wild Garlic Slaw
Keens Cheddar Crisp
Fried Pickles
Corn on the Cob
Fries with Cheddar Salt


Coldharbour Lane Banana & Clotted Cream Pie
Hob Nob Base with Peanut Butter & London Honey Cream

February 26, 2014

History of a Buffalo Wing!

There are several different claims about how Buffalo wings were created.
One of the more prevalent claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo by Teressa Bellissimo. who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. Several versions of the story have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others:
  • Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her hungry guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of fried chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.
  • Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa's son) told a media reporter in 1980: "It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly local patrons would be able to eat meat again." He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.
  • There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's tomato sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.
However, a long article about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper in 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings.
Another claim is that a man named John Young served chicken wings in a special "mambo sauce" at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. His wings were breaded. Young had registered the name of his eatery, John Young's Wings 'n Things, at the courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.