Foodie Things in London: January Edition

January for me is always a refresher. I loathe to say a new start as my mid-year-motivation seems to always occur around October so I'm in full swing of a couple of new habits by January but it is still a wonderfully rejuvenating time. Not least because the days are ever so slightly getting longer but the city seems to be brighter with its gritty determination of just getting on with it, as we do so well. 

Although it seems like food festivities would be slowing down after all that fun in December, I've found a few lovely little things that'll keep your tummies going for the next few weeks at least!

New Opening: Kricket, Soho (5th)

A selection of Kricket's finest... www.kricket.co.uk

A selection of Kricket's finest... www.kricket.co.uk

After all that meat and ten veg business, it will be wonderful to try something new in January and the opening of Brixton stalwart Kricket in Soho will be most welcomed indeed. Using the best of British ingredients fused with their knowledge and history of working in Mumbai and all flavours that India has to offer, Soho is lucky indeed to get them here! Their first permanent location the menu is already up online so you can pick what you'd like before you even get there - top tip - get everything. In particular, the samphire pakoras and the sulla venison rump with burnt onion raita look incredible but what really stands out to me is the Espresso Chaitini... You all know how fond I am of the Martini version and indeed of Dishoom's chai so this has certainly got everything I'm looking for in a drink. I'll be heading down as soon after the 5th as I can and hope to see you all there...

Bread Ahead Courses

Ready for a lesson! @breadaheadboroughmarket

Ready for a lesson! @breadaheadboroughmarket

Rather than get specific about which one to sign yourself up for I'd say close your eyes, point at the calendar and head to that! Whatever you learn at Bread Ahead will stay with you for life and with tips and tricks they use themselves, you will be well on your way to baking brilliance. They've recently opened another location for the school so if you're a Westie, the Sloane Square branch means you needn't have to travel so far to get your pillowy doughnut and bakery knowledge fix. The New York lesson with bagels & pretzels (7th or 13th x 2) and the Croissant Workshop (4th, 26th or 27th) are two really good ones. Getting specific and nailing one technique is something I find invaluable when having a professional in front of me giving me all the pointers I may need. The calendar is chock a block for choice so log on to www.breadahead.com/courses to check them out and book yourself on!

The Elmore Jam with Ryan Smith (12th)

The Elmore Jam is father and daughter team Nick and Ro who really know what makes a good night. Fusing an amazing roster of chefs with brilliant live music, they create an atmosphere any dinner party host would envy. This month, it's the turn of New York chef, Ryan Smith, to create a midwinter special menu. Fresh from his executive chef position at NYC's Vintners, Smith is using London as his base for the next year while staging across Europe. For only £66 on the 'Hackney side of Islington', you can sample his 5 courses including wonderful wine pairing throughout with things such as warm bone marrow and house made truffle and porcini ravioli on the menu. To buy tickets and to see the full menu, head to Nick and Ro's GrubClub page here.

La Fromagerie's Burns Night Supper (25th)

At my current 'Place of the Month', it's time to celebrate the famous poet, Robert Burns with a wonderful menu of all these Scottish including a whisky-spiked Cock-a-Leekie soup, haggis two ways and of course some Typsy Laird to finish! With whisky drams and wines included for only £65 this is truly a bargain, not least to sample some of La Fromagerie's own oatcakes and cheeses that'll be sandwiched in there somewhere. Grab your tickets by giving the Marylebone store a call 020 7935 0341 and prepare to address the haggis! 

Things That Make My Life Easier: Baking Edition

This is a new series all about the tools and gadgets I have in my kitchen to make my life easier! I am a lover of course of the classics and for some things, no modern invention will compare but for others it is just foolish in my opinion, to not accept help when it has been so brilliantly designed! This baking edition features my top 3 things I can't go a recipe without so I do hope they make your baking lives easier too. 

Microplane Grater

I'm not going to tell you over and over to go and get one of these but my lord you have to. You know those slightly old lemons that are soft to the touch and so barely grate on a normal box grater? They'll be shaved to perfection with this dude and it makes light work of mincing garlic and ginger too- perfect for savoury cooking as well as sweet. 

Silicone Spatula

There's many spatulas out there but even the supposed professional red handled ones from Nisbets cannot compare to the usefulness of one like this. The end is wonderful and thin with proper corners so you can actually get the last of the mix out with no effort whatsoever! They're super easy to clean and I just hang them straight up to dry after use.  

Disposable Piping Bags

These little guys are so useful! Not only are they are dream for all the classic uses such as icings and macarons, they are also my key to making things look more professional. Piping cheesecake mix into jars for example or even putting my base layer of frosting on a cake - all made super easy and even with a piping bag, even if it doesn't have a nozzle in! A snip off the end does just the same!