Guava Crumble Please
Gisborne-born, London-based chef Peter Gordon writes in The Independent on Sunday that he has “a sense of a growing tide of culinary xenophobia” and that the British “love affair with home-grown ingredients is killing innovation in [UK] restaurants.” “In all honesty, what constitutes a foreign ingredient these days? We’ve been baking cakes and desserts with exotic spices for centuries, but for some reason we seem to have an aversion to introducing foreign cooking techniques and flavours in our savoury food. Also latterly, every time I hear the words ‘seasonal regional cuisine’ I cringe a little. It seems that you can’t open a Sunday supplement without seeing yet more recipes for turnips and mutton, chicken and chestnut pie, soused mackerel, blackberry crumble and custard. It’s as though the powers that be, the editors, have lost the ability to celebrate the wonderful world that we live in, the rich tapestry of Britain’s inhabitants from all around the world. We have taken the potato to our hearts, but I think we can gain even more as our British cuisine evolves by opening our pantries, even occasionally, to even more foreign foods. Pot-roast pigeon with Chinese liquorice root and star anise, or Bramley apple and guava crumble with lemongrass custard anyone …?” Gordon’s Fusion: A Culinary Journey is out now in the UK. In 2001 Gordon set up The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant on Marylebone High Street with his partner Michael McGrath. They are also co-owners of Waitaki Braids vineyard in North Otago.