Edible Archives Project Aims To Revive Hundreds Of Vanishing Indian Rice Strains : The Salt : NPR
Edible Archives Project Aims To Revive Hundreds Of Vanishing Indian Rice Strains : The Salt : NPR
Enlarge this image Some of the 20 different types of rice used during the three-month festival Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. Chefs served two varieties of rice every day, along with multiple dishes of vegetables and meat or seafood. Salam Olattayil/for NPR Salam Olattayil/for NPR Some of the 20 different types of rice used during the three-month festival Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. Chefs served two varieties of rice every day, along with multiple dishes of vegetables and meat or seafood.
Salam Olattayil/for NPR Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar fondly remembers her father’s love for rice — and his insistence on having specific kinds of rice — with each special meat or fish dish cooked in their kitchen.
She even has memories of him making long road trips from their home in Kolkata, India, to other parts of the state of West Bengal to buy local rice. What motivated him, she says, was not just his interest in food but also nostalgia for his childhood.
Edible Archives was born partly from this recollection, with chef Anurima Ghosh Dastidar as curator, along with chef Prima Kurien and two food writers who were also invited to cook.
India is known to have cultivated thousands of varieties of rice, and references to rice — also combined with vegetables and meat, an ancient precursor to biryani, which came from Persia — have been found in Sangam literature from the 5th century B.C. Even a century ago, communities across India grew their own strains of rice, and consumed them according to the needs of the season or the cuisine.
During the Green Revolution in the 1960s, when machinery replaced manual work and “high-yield variety” seeds were promoted, agricultural output increased dramatically, but a few hybrid rice strains took over from hundreds of indigenous ones.
The Edible Archives Project aims to showcase the sheer range of rice varieties grown in India, and throw the spotlight specifically on those which have almost vanished from the country’s foodscape or are grown only in small communities.
Enlarge this image Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar scoops Kattuyanam (a red rice from Tamil Nadu), into bowls at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. She is instrumental in both rice research and cooking for the Edible Archives project. Courtesy of Edible Archives Courtesy of Edible Archives Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar scoops Kattuyanam (a red rice from Tamil Nadu), into bowls at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. She is instrumental in both rice research and cooking for the Edible Archives project.
Courtesy of Edible Archives “We don’t document anything in India, so most of the old rice strains are gone, and the expert knowledge about them too,” says Jayanthi Somasundaram, whose Spirit of the Earth collective sources and sells several varieties of organic heritage rice, including a few for this project.
Edible Archives formally opened at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale , an art festival that ran from Dec. 12 through March 29 in the south Indian city of Kochi, currently in its fourth edition. At the event, the chefs served two varieties of rice every day, along with multiple dishes of vegetables and meat or seafood. All of this was in what Dastidar calls “homestyle cooking” (as opposed to what is passed off in restaurants, especially outside India, as classic Indian cuisine, like butter chicken), using local vegetables such as drumstick ( moringa in vegetable form) and gourds. Writer-chef Priya Bala adds that the idea was also to present not just rice in all its glory, but preserve the dwindling knowledge about cooking methods, as well as revive lost recipes.
To spice things up, the chefs also played with fusion presentations, such as a Korean marinated egg over the aromatic Tulaipanji rice from West Bengal (a hit combination, as it turned out) and the Chicken Pepian, a Guatemalan Maya dish paired with the white, sweetish Chini Atap rice, also from the same Indian state, to complement the robust smokiness of the meat. “Most importantly, the chefs also explained how pairing works, so as to balance all flavors and fragrances,” Somasundaram says.
The Salt A Warming Planet Could Zap Nutrition From Rice That Feeds The World In three months, the team cooked with nearly 40 rice varieties from all over India, many of them not familiar to anyone outside the region of cultivation — like the Bahurupi from the state of Odisha or the Kattuyanam from Tamil Nadu. The rice of the day was described on a board at the venue, and on the social media pages of Edible Archives.
Drawing from her own nostalgia, Dastidar says that most Indians have “an archive of rice memories, which we wanted to bring together.” In the midst of all the cooking and eating, there was also a two-day workshop called “Recipes of Rice and Remembrance” that included talks, cooking demonstrations, reminiscences and even songs related to rice.
Speaking of the latter, Bala points out that rice has found a place in Indian culture and literature over the ages, from a Bengali lullaby asking the angel aunties to come and put the baby to sleep, promising them delicious food in return — including three types of rice — to devotional songs from the state of Tamil Nadu that equate rice with prosperity.
The Salt Nepalese Rice Farmers Boost Yields By Sowing Fewer Plants And Cutting Water Indeed, rice has been an important, exceptional part of Indian rituals — from the ceremony during which a baby is first fed mashed rice as solid food , to the turmeric-infused yellow rice showered as blessing at weddings, to the final journey, where rice is an offering to the departed soul. Even the sick are fed kanji or khichuri (loose rice porridge, with or without lentils) as comfort food.
Dastidar has trained in Italian, Japanese and Thai cuisines, and learned how chefs in those countries tend to focus on grains from their own microregions. Much before the Edible Archives idea took shape, Dastidar was experimenting with rice varieties; think Manipuri Black Rice Risotto (a grain with starch content similar to Arborio) at New Delhi’s popular restaurant Diva, where she was sous chef for many years.
The Salt In Southern India, The Spirit Of Ramadan Is Served In A Bowl Of Porridge With this experience, she traveled across the country to source the rice for Edible Archives — all of it was bought directly from small farmers or through agriculture collectives and non-governmental organizations who worked with cultivators. The exploratory phase included inputs from experts such as Dr. Debal Deb, who has researched and grown 1,300 varieties of rice at his farm Basudha in Odisha, and organic farmer Syed Ghani Khan, who established a rice museum in Karnataka that is home to more than 850 varieties.
Enlarge this image One of the rice bowls served at the festival, this dish contains Kattuyanam, along with roasted pumpkin, cauliflower, ridge gourd, mango, dal, and cucumber salad and mustard microgreens. Courtesy of Edible Archives Courtesy of Edible Archives One of the rice bowls served at the festival, this dish contains Kattuyanam, along with roasted pumpkin, cauliflower, ridge gourd, mango, dal, and cucumber salad and mustard microgreens.
Courtesy of Edible Archives Along with creating a record of cultural connotations and memories, Edible Archives also shared nutritional information about the rice of the day, trying to dispel the myth that rice is just a “bad carb.” Case in point are two varieties from Tamil Nadu, where rice is the staple: Kattuyanam and Seeraga Samba, the former with a low glycemic index that makes it ideal for diabetics, and the latter highly fibrous and rich in selenium to fight colon and intestinal cancers. The chefs gleaned this information from scientific articles and agricultural journals, as well as from Basudha’s in-house magazine.
The Salt ‘Khichuri’: An Ancient Indian Comfort Dish With A Global Influence In the future, Edible Archives plans to hold pop-up events across the country and eventually abroad. There have already been a few in Indian cities, and one in Paris coming up in June that will focus on cuisine from India’s seven northeast states, which are still largely under-explored in terms of tourism, culture and cuisine. The chefs say they mean to keep the dialogue going with talks and lectures “wherever food and culture meet.”
As Bala puts it, “we need to continue the celebration of a grain that is sustenance, comfort, nutrition and auspiciousness all at once.”
Charukesi Ramadurai is a freelance journalist from India, writing about travel, food, art and culture for BBC Travel, The Guardian, Forbes and National Geographic Traveller (India), among others. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @charukesi
Sky Lounge Bar restaurant
Went there in the late evening for dinner .Find north Indian delicious food .Chef is Punjabi from Kolkata .Great expierence .If u r travelling Chennai and fond of North Indian cuisine then must visit ..
An Odyssey on India’s Ganges River
With its magic trinity of rich history, diverse culture and exceptional riverside scenery, much different from rest of modern India, the 8-day odyssey on the River Ganges from teeming Kolkata to historic Murshidabad abroad luxury vessel Ganges Voyager 1 can be deemed by SANDIP HOR as a journey of a lifetime .
Surely it was like that for me considering the trip’s indulging on board experience combined with stimulating off shore excursions to several riverside locations, rarely visited by world travellers.
One of the world’s most revered waterways since mythical time, River Ganges, locally called Ganga, originates up north in the Himalayas and empties into the Bay of Bengal after flowing for almost 2500 km through Indian plains. Since time immemorial it has been a silent witness of many episodes of the land’s volatile history, religious turn arounds and cultural expressions. So a week-long raw encounter with this legendary river and its edging land is nothing less than a lifetime sensation. The comforts and luxury of the boat adds to this exotic feeling.
Delhi based Exotic Heritage Group built this 56m long vessel in 2015 as an epitome of luxury on water. There are 28 tastefully decorated, high-ceilinged and fully carpeted suites of five categories to choose from to accommodate 56 guests. Crafted with hand-painted murals, each of the suites include almost everything that comes to mind when thinking of top end plush and stylish accommodation.
In addition to featuring a floor to ceiling French balcony to enjoy the outside passing parade, even the entry-level suite includes a large double or twin beds with soft linen and generous pillow selection, bedside drawers, dressing table, two lounge chairs with a centre table plus all modern amenities from in-room safe and minibar to iPod docks, alarm clock, international electrical plugs and a flat screen television. While the spacious wardrobe includes comfy bath robes and slippers, the private bathroom is nicely done up with a rain shower, hairdryer & premium quality toiletries.
The vessel has three decks. While the lower two accommodates the suites, the top one features the sun deck fitted with comfortable seating for lazing around and to enjoy the passing scenery, the gym and the spa to stay well and fit and the Governor’s Lounge to socialise. Fitted with comfortable seating, this lounge is a very popular hub for the guests not just because of the well-stocked bar but also being the usual venue for lectures, after dinner movies and making new friends.
Food is always an important part of any travel and here it can be summed up as a gastronomical delight presented by an incredible mix of tasty and healthy Indian, other Asian and continental cuisine. Sumptuous meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the East India Dining Room located on the lower deck.
Our itinerary began and ended at the 350-year-old, teeming city of Kolkata, earlier called Calcutta. We stayed two nights on board there and glanced through many of its iconic sites which are mostly the products of the British Raj which ruled India until 1947. This includes the majestic Victoria Memorial, a white marbled edifice built in 1921 in memory of Queen Victoria who after annexing India to her British Realm in 1858 directed building of this city on the Ganges like London on the Thames. She lovingly referred to this city, which was the capital of British-India until 1911, as the second city of her kingdom. While in Kolkata we also visited Mother Teresa’s home.
Every day there were halts at riverside locations of historical, artistic or religious significance for shore sorties.
While the 19th century temple architecture of Hindu temples at Kalna and Baranagar or the Islamic art inside the Imambara shrine in Hooghly impressed us, we were soaked in the vastness of the Hare Krishna temple complex in Mayapur and got immersed in history of power, greed and treachery at Murshidabad, now a shabby little township but a bustling settlement 250 years ago when it was he capital of the Bengal Province. It was here the infamous “Battle of Plassey” was fought in 1757 where British commander Robert Clive overpowered Nawab Siraj Ud Dullah, the 27-year-old Muslim ruler by traitorous means bribing his senior minister Mir Zafar and flagged off the journey of a long colonial rule in the subcontinent for the next 200 years.
Overall it was a rejuvenating journey for all of us. When disembarking I noticed a kind of bliss on everyone’s face. Perhaps that was the parting gift from the holy river.
Getting there –. Singapore Airlines ( www.singaporeair.com ) operates daily flights from Australia to Singapore from where, as per current schedule ,they fly to Kolkata, four days ( Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat) of the week; other days Singapore to Kolkata flights are operated by their regional carrier Silk Air ( www.silkair.com ).
Kolkata Accommodation –Taj Bengal Hotel ( www.tajhotels.com ) very reminiscent of British India
Cruise Info – The cruise runs from September until March. For departure dates and reservation refer to www.exoticheritagegroup.com
Visa – Australia passport holders will need a valid visa to enter India. For more info on how to obtain a visa please see www.vfsglobal.com .
Words and images: Sandip Hor
Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au
1. Ganges Voyager 1
2. Lounge area
3. Victoria Memorial
5. Krinhna Temple
COOK AND CHEF REQUIRED | Chef & Cook Moorabool Area – Bacchus Marsh | 1215628519
An established Indian Restaurant, is looking for an experienced Chef De Partie to
operate the cuisine section.
One Chef is able to prepare and service this 40 seater restaurant.
Why would you choose to work here?
Experienced Chef’s training you. Rare exposure to both discipline and Cuisine. Would suit a true food lover. Everything made in house from scratch. An excellent production schedule and system. All the planning and production schedule has been streamlined, allowing for a stress-free work routine. You are working solo most of the time with a menu that is designed to make this easy and efficient. A team of 6 at front of house. You get to produce and serve all the dishes. 80% Regular clientele so you are the star and the customers respect and enjoy the show and what you produce.
All products are made inhouse from scratch with tested recipes that work.
This is “not” a line cook position, where you are producing the same 5 items every day. Your ability to organise, produce and prepare a wide variety of dishes is essential as there is only 2 Chef / Cook in cuisine.
The successful applicant will:
•Know how to cook all types of Indian dishes. (Experience 2 years)
•demonstrate love of food and an attention to detail.
•be artistic and enjoy presenting food well
•be presentable clean and take pride in their appearance as a professional.
•have excellent organisational skills and cleanliness as you will be working in an open kitchen that is on show to everyone.
•be able to follow tested operational procedures that are in place
•have input into further Menu development and weekly specials.
Feel free to drop your resume into
190 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh Victoria 3340
#150DifferentDessertsIn2019: Trying out ruby chocolate and mochi, and getting joy from cheesecake and churros
The second month of the #150DifferentDessertsIn2019 expedition ( what’s this? ) was just as eventful as the first, combining a few traditional favorites with some new ones.
Here’s a look at dessert numbers 13 through 27 of the expedition: 13. Mochi set at Japan Travel Cafe Azuki, Bangalore
Japan Travel Cafe Azuki is the coziest of cozy cafes, and has the added advantage of being devoted to a cuisine not easy to find in most Indian cities: rustic Japanese.
When I say ‘rustic Japanese’, I mean rustic from the perspective of someone like me, who has only ever eaten popular Japanese dishes that you get in the regular pan-Asian restaurants.
The menu at Japan Travel Cafe doesn’t just have the same old sushi or miso soup or udon. It also has authentic day-to-day Japanese dishes, most of which I’d never heard the names of before, such as kakiage don and kakiage domburi.
I had mixed feelings about my first sampling of mochi, the traditional Japanese sweet made of glutinous rice. We ordered the ankoro mochi (which was topped with red bean paste) and kinako mochi (topped with roasted soyabean flour), and the fact that there was red bean paste in pretty much everything we had ordered until then made me like the soyabean one much more.
I wasn’t a fan of the sticky, stretchy texture of mochi, but at least I know now what to imagine when I see all those Instagram videos showcasing the visual attractiveness of the confection.
The Dessert Route rating: 4/10 14. Tachi bana at Japan Travel Cafe Azuki, Bangalore
This dessert was more up my alley. It consisted of white pastry stuffed with kimian or white bean paste (thank God for the relief from red bean paste!) and a custard made of egg yolks.
The dish may not look like much, but it was intense and rich with its flavour. The custard had a dry, almost crumbly feel to it, but it combined well with the crispness of the pastry to create a satisfying mouth-feel.
The Dessert Route rating: 7/10 15. Red velvet cake at Tea Brew, Bangalore
Yes, I know red velvet cake is one of the most tired desserts out there. But there’s no escaping the dish whichever cafe/bakery you visit, so I thought I might as well get it out of the way at the start of this expedition.
The version at Tea Brew was pretty much the standard red velvet, with a soft cake sandwiched with layers of cream cheese frosting. I liked the fact that they were a little restrained with their use of cream cheese; overall, it wasn’t a bad dish.
But red velvet will never be among my favorite desserts. It’s just a little too pretentious, and borderline dishonest (did you know that deceit is the only reason why a modern red velvet cake is red in colour ?), for my liking.
The Dessert Route rating: 5/10 16. Eclairs at Monet’s Bistro, Bangalore
Eclairs are among the easiest and safest desserts you can get anywhere, and since Monet’s Bistro specializes in them, I thought I’d choose this place to tick eclairs off my list for 2019.
The two variants I chose were lime-and-coconut and Bavarian chocolate, and you can probably guess why. Coconut is one of my favorite things in the world, with lime/lemon being perhaps the one thing that goes better than any other with it. And chocolate is, well, chocolate; you can’t judge an eclair without sampling its chocolate version.
I liked both these eclairs, even if the pastry could have been a little softer. The fillings were very good in both, with the coconut shavings in the first one making me particularly happy.
The Dessert Route rating: 7/10 17. Almond and honey tart from The Waverly, at LBB’s Dessert Bazaar Bangalore
The LBB Dessert Bazaar has become an eagerly anticipated annual event in most big cities. I for one had bookmarked the date more than a month before, and kept counting down the days as it got nearer.
There was just one problem with the Bangalore festival this time: it was held all the way away in Whitefield, at VR Mall. But for the best dessert experiences you’ve gotta do what you gotta do, so the tiresome trek was done anyway.
Unfortunately however, the festival this year wasn’t exactly the ‘best’ dessert experience. There wasn’t as much variety in the desserts on offer – too many of the stalls had regular staples like cupcakes and cookies and brownies – and not much of the stuff was particularly memorable.
The almond and honey tart from The Waverly (a hotel in Whitefield) was one of the best of the lot. It was the right mix of crunchy and gooey, and the use of both almonds and honey was pleasantly generous.
The Dessert Route rating: 7.5/10 18. Chiffon pie from Sweet Mystery, at LBB’s Dessert Bazaar Bangalore
A chiffon pie is a mousse-like pie made of meringue, and this version from Sweet Mystery was surprisingly eggless. That in itself was enough to pique my curiosity, but unfortunately the dish was nothing special.
It was fairly silky and soft with its texture, and was loaded with milk chocolate flavor. However, the sweetness of the filling was a little too heavy on the palate; I would’ve liked a LOT more of the biscuit crust to balance out the richness.
The Dessert Route rating: 4/10 19. Cronuts at Marzipan Cafe, Bangalore
Cronuts have taken a while to come to Bangalore, but better late than never, right? And the fact that it was Marzipan – one of my favorite places in the city – that introduced the now-famous hybrid dessert, made the potential for success even greater.
As expected, the cronuts tasted (and looked) great. I tried the lemon and chocolate flavors, and they were both delicious – the lemon one in particular.
The texture was a little more like doughnuts than croissants (as compared to the original from Dominique Ansel in New York), but anything that combines the goodness of doughnuts and croissants in a single dish is a win in my book.
The Dessert Route rating: 8/10 20. Gulab jamun cheesecake at Double Decker, Bangalore
You don’t expect a pub/lounge to have the best desserts (or the best food of any kind, really), as I have stated many times before. But Double Decker managed to surprise me with its gulab jamun cheesecake – an impressive fusion dish that hit all the right notes.
The gulab jamun here was placed inside the cheesecake itself rather than merely used as a topping, which made it refreshingly different and delicious.
If there’s one Indian dessert I can’t get enough of, it is gulab jamun. And if there’s one Western dessert I can’t get enough of, it is cheesecake. So surely a dish that combines the two in the best possible way has to be a runaway success?
The Dessert Route rating: 9/10 21. Fried Oreos at BTDT (Been There Done That), Bangalore
Oreos have become so prevalent as a core dessert ingredient that at times there is nowhere to hide from them. BTDT is a fun little cafe in a quiet corner of the city, but it didn’t have too many dessert options apart from this, so I decided to give it a go.
The Oreos had a very thick coating of batter, which made them almost doughnut-like in taste and texture. Now deep-fried sweet batter is not something that I’ll often complain about, but I did feel they could’ve been a little more creative with the use of Oreos rather than just have it as a mass-appealing element in the centre.
The Dessert Route rating: 5/10 22. ‘Berry spiral’ at Cinammon, Renaissance Bangalore
Cinnamon is the pastry shop housed within Rensaissance Hotel, and it makes for quite the spectacle. It’s hard to take your eyes away from the decadent display window that has beautifully decorated desserts one on top of another.
The berry spiral looked particularly enticing, and consisted of a biscuit-like base topped with a berry cremeux and sandwiched between white chocolate discs. It was a little too sweet for my liking (maybe it was that presence of that evil white chocolate), but the cremeux was nice enough in taste.
The Dessert Route rating: 6/10 23. Nutty glaze brownie at Cinnamon, Renaissance Bangalore
The brownie at Cinnamon again looked spectacular, but this was quite disappointing in taste. The texture of the brownie was too coarse; it may have been a little stale.
The nutty glaze and cream-fruit toppings were nice, but that can’t cover up the deficiencies in the central element itself.
The Dessert Route rating: 3/10 24. Churros at Teal Door Cafe, Bangalore
Crunchy, sweet, golden brown, chocolatey – can you really go wrong with churros? Teal Door Cafe whips up a mean version of the classic Spanish/Mexican treat, to the extent that it would’ve tasted good even without the cream and chocolate sauce accompaniments.
Special hat tip to the cafe for including a maple (or faux-maple, at any rate) syrup too as one of the sauces. Being spoiled for choice with sauces is not really a thing, is it?
The Dessert Route rating: 8/10 25. ‘Passionately ruby’ at Smoor, Bangalore
So ruby chocolate was a bit of a thing in Bangalore (and India overall) last month. This was the first time ruby was being introduced in the country, and the select few chocolatiers that were launching it (Smoor and Fabelle were among the more prominent ones in Bangalore) went all out in marketing the ‘brand new’ variant of chocolate.
I tried the individual ruby chocolate chunks that Smoor was offering, and also this pistachio-chocolate pastry that caught my attention with its vivid pink hue.
How does ruby chocolate taste? A bit like a combination of chocolate and raspberry if you ask me. I can’t say I’m a big fan of it considering it is more tart than sweet, but in tandem with pistachio pastry it didn’t taste half-bad.
Definitely more hype than substance though.
The Dessert Route rating: 5/10 26. Blueberry and cream cheese crepes at D’Hide Cafe, Bangalore
There was some debate (among me and me friends) about whether crepes qualified as a dessert. There were arguments in favor of both sides, but ultimately I decided to include these crepes in my list considering the dollops of sugar and cream cheese that they were covered with.
As far as crepes go this was fairly decent, but it also reminded me why I’ve never been too fond of what I like to call poor man’s pancakes. The thinness of crepes just doesn’t add enough body to each mouthful, and even though the blueberry jam tasted nice in combination with the cream cheese, overall the dish left me feeling a little underwhelmed – as crepes usually do.
The Dessert Route rating: 4/10 27. Galaxy roti bun at Bun Town Cafe, Bangalore
I’ve been waiting quite a while for Papparoti to start its operations in Bangalore, but there’s been no luck on that front so far. So I decided to try out the local cafe that served ‘roti buns’ instead – and I wasn’t disappointed.
Roti buns are basically sweet buns made with roti-like dough and topped with a variety of frostings. The one that I chose had Galaxy chocolate chunks as the topping, and it tasted quite nice.
The bun can get chewy and dry if there’s not enough moisture on top, but fortunately that was prevented by the liberal addition of chocolate sauce.
The Dessert Route rating: 6/10
So that’s 27 desserts down, 123 to go. I’ll be back next month with the next bunch, hopefully with some new perspectives on the dessert world. Until then, let us eat and drink and live and sleep, and not have a care in the world.
But mostly eat.
Quote: : » @SueSueDio thank you! Great post! I def crave my Italian food and my naan for my Indian cuisine! I will try to stop consuming carbs when I have the right mindset and test the waters to see if this diet works for me. Thanks again friend!
Why would you try and stop consuming carbs? April 14, 2019 11:52AM
SEE Learning Launch
This hotel was beautiful. The grounds are impeccable, the pool refreshing, the spa was outstanding; The spa was truly one of the best I have experienced. The staff were helpful and kind. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet with assortments of food for those appreciating Indian and European cuisine.
Review of the reviews
When in Edinburgh Jay Rayner for The Observer always heads to Ondine, and its “pitch-perfect seafood”; you can imagine how delighted he was to discover a sibling restaurant, “a collaboration between Ondine chef Roy Brett and his long-time suppliers Welch Fishmongers,” on the docks at Newhaven.
At Fishmarket there’s a “classic metal takeaway counter” with “a simple dining room” beyond, “walls tiled in jade green and white”. No “view down the Royal Mile here,” just the “glitter and ripple of the harbour waters at night”.
The takeaway does “standard chippy” fare, but in the dining room, “the menu is more expansive,” but it’s “not quite Ondine in trainers”. The prices are “too punchy for that, but then the good stuff still costs”.
Crab claws made for a “satisfying plateful”; langoustine and “spoon-coatingly thick” smoked haddock chowder followed: “this is butch farmhouse cooking, pursued with acute attention to detail”. It all “bears the fat thumbprints of Ondine… seafood cookery of the first order, executed by a kitchen which understands that timing is everything”.
And then the fish and chips arrived, and things turned “a bit weird”: “because the Fishmarket is the love child of Ondine I want to dribble and rave and cheer. But I can’t”. The fish was “just fine” (“given the lineage and the price, you need to be able to… leap to your feet and applaud”) and the chips were “pale and uninteresting… just disappointment, fashioned from dry matter”. They were “a promise, broken. If you’re going to eat chips, you need to feel that the calories are worth it”.
Great desserts almost saved the day, but couldn’t erase the memory of those chips. Fishmarket “weirdly misfired on the most important bit. If it’s possible for a restaurant to be both hugely enjoyable and utterly baffling all at once, then this really is the place.” Xier and XR, London W1
Jimi Famuwera for The Evening Standard felt “intrigued admiration” for Xier and XR before he visited – in this climate “it feels as though it is difficult to open one restaurant, let alone two” (especially with a name that sounds like a “provincial escape room”).
Jimi tried the “more casual, modern European XR” rather than the £90+ “taster menu-only, Michelin star-baiting Xier” upstairs; his midweek lunch was “capable but only briefly spectacular”, and his “lasting impression was of imaginative cooking shackled somewhat by a compromised, overly finicky set-up”.
“Terrific” sourdough and oddly Nordic canapes started the meal, followed by “oozy, unctuous” enoki mushroom and truffle arancini, mains that were “not bad necessarily. Just a bit of a slog” and “an amazing corpse-reviver of a coffee ice cream”.
Naples-born head chef Carlo Scotto describes Xier as “the story of his travels from Naples to Scandinavia and Japan”– Jimi imagines that “this upstairs chef’s table represents a purer manifestation of Scotto’s vision”, while XR “feels authentically personal but hazily rendered”. (6/10) Mollie’s Motel & Diner, Oxfordshire
“Why has Soho House opened a Happy Eater-meets-Crossroads motel 16 miles from Swindon?” Grace Dent for The Guardian is looking for answers. She stayed at Mollie’s hotel while reviewing restaurants across the Cotswolds, and stopped in at the diner three times. Despite it being “all a bit weird”– there was ” literally nothing” to do apart from visit the BP garage – she’d stay again. “The biggest customer gripe I noted… was that it’s so popular, it is almost impossible to get in.”
“Mollie’s is a cool blast of fresh air” for regular travellers, families and locals alike; the menu is “thoughtful, modern and slightly glamorous, and the food decent”. The “bartender will make you a very good old fashioned or even an espresso martini,” too (good enough that you won’t notice you’re sitting in the lobby).
Her meals at Mollie’s included a buttermilk chicken sandwich with chipotle mayo that was “hot, fresh and alluring” and “waffles… the sweetest, crispest and freshest I have ever tasted”.
It’s “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a soft, sweet burger bun” on “the road to nowhere”. But it’s by Nick Jones, and “there is clearly a method in this madness”. (23/30) The Clunie Dining Room, Braemar
Marina O’Loughlin for The Sunday Times was “darkly cheerful” at The Fife Arms, a luxury Cairngorms hotel that’s been bought and gothically refurbished by “super-gallerists” Hauser & Wirth. “From outside, the hotel may look like the typical Victorian pile”– inside, it’s “possessed of an altogether more subversive agenda”.
Picasso and Lucien Freud artworks decorate the walls, a drawing room “ceiling is painted in loud, dreamlike swirls by Zhang Enli”, “stairwells sprout taxidermy” and “in the back garden looms a Bourgeois spider”.
The food in The Clunie Dining Room was “quite odd too”; there were “Scottish-isms on the menu, as you’d expect” but “the chef has clearly travelled beyond the Highland confines and is going all nouveau-northern: fermented kohlrabi, celeriac purée and shaved raw cauliflower with the langoustines, poor things”. One deer dish is “a curious mash-up between Neapolitan ragu and Sunday roast”– Marina detected “little care whether individual ingredients sing to each other or just squabble… Perhaps it’s art”?
It doesn’t help that the food was “probably the least interesting thing about the Clunie Dining Room”– there’s a whole stuffed stag watching you eat, a mesmeric hand-painted mural painted on the walls with a “vast original Brueghel”.
“The Fife Arms is perfectly absurd and I love it — even if the cooking doesn’t quite live up to the surroundings.” VIVI , Baptist Grill at L’Oscar , Master Wei (all London W1)
Giles Coren for The Times clearly wishes he was still in New York, so much so that instead of moaning about Midtown NYC restaurants, he created an entire article around the fact that he’d never head of the Midtown minker for London’s Holborn/Bloomsbury area (“the concrete basin between the City and the West End”).
Giles was “wowed by the huge bright space and the views and all the light and colour” of VIVI, at Centre Point (in Midtown), but didn’t enjoy the ” retrospective menu… dishes were not only visibly drawn from the old days but were every bit as nasty as they used to be, too”. “Terrific wine list, though.” (6/10)
He didn’t fare any better at Baptist Grill: “it’s not nice… loud 1980s disco music from the bar downstairs,” with lighting “too dark to let you see the menu” and “little green cheese and onion macarons served up unbidden that taste like wet sugary Pringles” made for a bad start. He described the cuisine as “that style of fancy things concocted on paper by an offsite executive chef… just phoning this one in”. “Fancified starters…were a waste of time,” and the English veal T-bone “had a sweet fillet but was tough as a boxer’s elbow on the sirloin side”. With no wine, there was not much change from £200 for two – and far too much “flapdoodle”. (6/10)
Luckily for his mood, Midtown also boasts Master Wei, where “the wonderful Guirong Wei” and her husband serve “indescribably perfect little plates of Chinese food”. He’s a huge fan of their other place, X’ian Impression (“I’ve never taken anyone there or written about it. It’s cheap, quick, unlicensed and far, far too good to share.”)
Here, there’s also alcohol to help wash down the “excellent pot stickers… sour and spicy pork dumplings in soup, or those wide, seemingly endless belt noodles Xinjiang-style”. Master Wei has a “fun and local feel” with “relaxed and jolly” staff and food that’s “as fresh, homemade and refreshingly different as ever”.
“I love Master Wei. I truly don’t know what Midtown thinks it has done to deserve it.” (8/10) Momo, London W1
Fay Maschler returned to The Evening Standard after a few weeks away with a review of the refurbished, refreshed and re-opened Momo (and a few mentions of all the famous people she was with).
The “newly beauteous space” has been “designed as an idealised glittering oasis”, the staff are “still attractively laid-back and keen to serve”, and there’s also a new menu (Mourad Mazouz has brought over Hervé Deville, the head chef from his ‘other place’, Sketch) in which the “North African inspiration is honoured” with “cohesion and an awareness of tradition that comes as a blessing and relief in the current flourishing of culinary gobbledegook”.
Starting perfectly with harira, the “hauntingly spiced lamb and lentil broth” Fay’s meal included “classic Momo couscous… pale, feathery, seductive, a basic elevated to a high level of sophistication” and a lamb tagine to “revel” in. (****) The Dining Room, Beaverbrook, Surrey
William Sitwell for The Telegraph was at Beaverbrook, “a hotel that nestles in 470 acres of beautiful Surrey countryside,” a little confused by the homely decor of the Japanese grill restaurant (until he found out it’s also where breakfast is served). This made it already “a few chopsticks short of authentic” in his mind – which only “put more pressure on the food”.
The hotel, named for former owner Lord Beaverbrook, has had an “exquisite facelift” to the tune of some £90million. Overall, William decided that the food did not match the lavish surroundings in more than one way – it was just “not good enough”; ‘yellowtail tiradito’ was served with a “distracting yuzu foam” (“a beautiful piece of fish covered in washing-up lather”) while his monkfish was just “featureless bits of fish hidden in slimy mushrooms” and the sashimi selection “was not as good as a respectable local lunchtime sushi bar… memorable only for how many you had to get through”.
A few nice dishes aside, the meal was mostly rescued by former Annabel’s sommelier Giovanni Tallu (“a more charming, entertaining and helpful sommelier you will be hard-pressed to find”) who “delicately, nimbly, unobtrusively, wisely… brought us a fabulous selection of wine and sake”. (***) The High Dive, Edinburgh
Gaby Soutar for The Scotsman visited The High Dive for “full flavour pizza and maximal decor”. Formerly The Maltings pub, “this place has changed an awful lot” and is now run by the team behind Edinburgh’s Civerinos.
It sounds like a sensory overload, from the interior design that’s “the antithesis of the pared back pale wood aesthetic” to the pizza ‘pies’ with “original” toppings (“if the bases are a canvas, think magical realism, rather than a boring still life of flowers in a vase”).
Her “sloppy and satisfying” pizza was accompanied by a “massive portion” of cheesy fries, and washed down with an equally huge portion of hot zeppole doughnuts.(85%) And also… The Royal Oak, Whatcote
Tom Parker Bowles for The Mail on Sunday doled out another four-star rating to The Royal Oak, a Cotswolds pub now run by Richard and Solanche Craven, previously at The Chef’s Dozen in Chipping Campden.
TPB included The Royal Oak in his Christmas 2018 round-up of top pubs, so he’s clearly been before. Maybe he couldn’t bothered to research somewhere new? We’d be happy to offer up a few suggestions. (Amusingly, he used the phrase “hopeless sense of déjà vu” in this article, referring not to The Royal Oak, but to most gastropub food – and unwittingly also his reviewing style?)
Anyway, this place is “a cut above the norm”, with a stripped-back room that’s always “bathed in natural light”.
Starters ranged from “lusty farmyard fat” to “Nordic purity”: a “masterclass in simplicity and restraint”. Main courses had flavours that were “big and bold”– pig’s head and black pudding lasagne was “a symphony of softness” with a “sharply sweet cider reduction… a discreet, elegant, beautifully thought-out dish”– and side dishes added “stellar support”.
“Richard… is a chef of true talent. Forget pub grub. This is cooking to dazzle and delight.” (****)
In The Financial Times , Tim Hayward was at Credo in Trondheim, “a cathedral to hospitality… at no point does any course — and there are 20 — drop below exceptional”.
Emma Elgee on Bristol Live reported on the opening of south American BBQ specialists Low and Slow and also Woky Ko in Bristol’s “iconic” foodie St Nicholas Market. Woky Ko (which already has three outlets in the city) replaces the troubled Grillstock (RIP), and will serve up robata sticks as well as other Asian fare.
Emma Ryan in The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on the sad closure of Leeds veggie Indian stalwart, Hansa’s: Hansa and Kishor Dabhi “are retiring after 33 years at the helm of what is thought to be the city’s longest running independent Indian restaurant”. After closing the restaurant with a party, they “are looking forward to a night out of their own”. Fans should note that they “can still have a taste of Hansa’s cuisine as she will continue with her cookery schools as her retirement activity”.
The Yorkshire Evening Post also reviewed The Swine that Dines , which was soundly praised for its ‘Pie Sundays, “dedicated to the deliciousness that is pie”, its “very welcoming and attentive host”, “heavenly” aligot (cheesy, herby mash), “amazing gravy” and “one of the best pies I’ve ever eaten”, all topped off with great desserts and a “charming, cosy and pleasant” atmosphere. More from Hardens
United Kingdom: Stottie Cake (Stotty)
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In the United Kingdom , especially at breakfast, no one would give up their slice of bread and preferably a freshly baked bread. The choice is very rich, going from cereal to soft white bread. Today, we are talking about stottie cake or stotty . English cuisine
Paella Valenciena from Spain, sauerkraut from Germany, biryani from India, bacalhau from Portugal, boeuf bourguignon from France. It is not necessary to be an expert in gastronomy to know at least one of these mouthwatering dishes that are representative of each country.
And what about English cuisine? When it comes to English cuisine, it often leads to humorous notes.
George Mikes, a British writer born in Hungary, especially famous for his humorous comments on various countries and their citizens, wrote in the mid-twentieth century: “on the continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners”.
Some will say that there is no English cuisine and others, more cautious, will highlight fish and chips as a representative dish.
British cuisine has never achieved major international recognition, even though it is full of typical and traditional products.
It has always been multicultural, a result of the continuous contaminations that Anglo-Saxon culture has undergone during its long history. For example, the British adopted the tradition of tea from China , and the curry from India .
Despite the ever-increasing popularity of fast food or ethnic restaurants, the English culinary tradition still exists in Great Britain. It is mainly composed of roasts and stews made from meat and vegetables, but also desserts, many of which are famous and appreciated around the world.
According to tradition, each region of England offers different variations depending on the meat used: beef, lamb, pork, chicken. Generally, the meat is accompanied by inevitable vegetables and in particular potatoes.
Potatoes are a fundamental part of English cooking, as they complement many traditional recipes, and there are several variations and methods of preparation. In English gastronomy, you will find many nuances and influences from other cultures. For example, it is very common to find delicious Anglo-Indian dishes.
These flavors are the result of the long colonial British period in India. Many other English habits have been brought from India, and gastronomy and the fascination with Hindu flavors is part of it.
Many of the great British culinary recipes come directly from India, such as the famous Worcestershire sauce, chutneys, curries or dishes such as the delicious kedgeree : fish (usually smoked), boiled rice, eggs and butter all seasoned with curry, turmeric, coriander, and cream or yoghurt. What are the most popular dishes and meals of English cuisine?
– English breakfast, the most typical and best known meal of English cuisine. It usually consists of toasts with butter and marmalade, eggs, bacon, grilled sausage, potato pancakes, baked beans, and cooked tomato.
– Afternoon tea or tea time is England’s most famous ritual. A real daily tradition for the English, no tourist can go home without having tasted the five-hour tea. England is also full of tea rooms. The tea is accompanied by biscuits and typical cakes such as scones, Bakewell tart , Eccles cake, and sandwiches of all kinds.
– Fish and chips, a typical English takeout dish. This is perhaps the most famous dish in the UK after breakfast. Raw fish, usually cod, is dusted with flour and dipped in a batter before being fried and finally served with French fries.
– Jacket potatoes are the English version of baked potatoes, typically stuffed with a piece of melted butter and other seasonings, such as baked beans or cheddar.
– The Sunday roast, the iconic Sunday dish. English families traditionally gather every Sunday for lunch, and the meal consists of a piece of roast meat, usually beef, accompanied by potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
– The Yorkshire pudding, one of the most traditional recipes of the English cuisine, and certainly among the best known on the international scene. With a very simple preparation based on eggs, milk and flour, it is a kind of savory choux pastry. These small rolls are often served with roast beef.
– Bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), which consist of pork or beef sausages and potatoes boiled and crushed to form mashed potatoes. – Pies. With shortcrust pastry, the English prepare delicious stuffed pies, usually considered as a main dish. The shortcrust pastry is stuffed, for example, with pieces of beef and kidneys cooked in beer as in the steak and kidney pie or with chicken and mushrooms.
Shepherd’s pie , another unique dish typical of English cuisine, is made from mashed potatoes and lamb, similar to the French hachis Parmentier.
– England also offers delicious desserts such as trifle , Eton mess , sticky toffee pudding , or banoffee pie .
In short, do not be fooled by those who superficially claim that English cuisine deserves no interest! Every corner of the world has its specialties and, if you really want to say that you have visited a place, it is good practice to be conquered by the local flavors that are offered to you, overcoming the hesitations that may not align with our eating habits. the scottie cake?
Let’s go back to our stottie cake, and do not be fooled by its name because it is not a cake but a traditional bread just like English muffin .
The stotty comes from Newcastle, a city in North East England. It is an important and powerful symbol of identity for this region.
The word stottie comes from the verb “to stott” which, in vernacular geordie, means “to bounce”. The geordie dialect is native to the language spoken by Anglo-Saxon settlers in England. It also has Scottish and Irish influences and is today associated with the English who belong to the working class. The stotties are therefore very popular among the British of the working class and are said to be born of frugality. Stotty has even been described as a “pillar of the poor cuisine”.
So what is the connection between “bouncing” and the stottie cake? Traditionally, bakers dropped it on the kitchen floor to determine if the dough had a good consistency. The dough that did not bounce was thrown away.
For hygienic reasons, this practice was abandoned. The day’s failed dough was thrown and bounced in the charcoal to test the temperature in the coldest part for many hours. The stottie cake baked under an initial heat before continuing to bake while the oven was cooling. How to make stottie cake
Originally, the stottie cake was a very thick and chewy bread that was baked for a long time in the coldest part of the charcoal oven. Thanks to modern baking techniques, cakes are now much lighter.
It is made from a simple white bread dough based on simple ingredients such as flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water, but due to its quick and unique rise and slow baking, you get a fluffy, round and flat bread.
It is this slow baking method that gives the stottie cake a crispy but soft exterior, and a rather pleasant crispness, as well as this unique slightly acidic taste. Stottie cake outside of the Newcastle region
Stotty may be the name of this delicious bread in Newcastle, but similar breads, with the same ingredients and the same method of preparation, are made in other parts of the United Kingdom. They are usually called oven cakes , oven bottom cakes or bread cakes .
It does not matter what its name is and what you will fill it with when you split it. This bread is absolutely delicious!
“There are a lot of areas we haven’t tapped into” – Clarence Mak on why Mars has set up Seeds of Change accelerator
The Sweet Packaged Food Report Friday, April 12, 2019 “There are a lot of areas we haven’t tapped into” – Clarence Mak on why Mars has set up Seeds of Change accelerator Mars has joined the ranks of Big Food companies using accelerators to try to improve their innovation and tap into emerging consumer and category trends. Dean Best discussed the move with Clarence Mak, Mars Food’s chief innovation officer, and a mentor on the new programme. Hardly a month goes by at the moment without one of the world’s largest packaged-food companies, facing profound change in what consumers eat and they way they shop, setting up an investment division, an accelerator or an incubator to try to invest in or pick the brains of the start-ups riding the waves in the CPG marketplace. (In fact, as just-food files this piece, Nestlé is announcing it is creating an accelerator programme, bringing together start-up enterprises, students and its own scientists to develop “innovative products and systems”). At the start of March, Mars, the privately-owned confectionery, cooking sauces and pet food behemoth unveiled its own accelerator. The Snickers chocolate and Whiskas cat food owner said its accelerator initiative would “help early-stage food-focused companies fast-track growth and live their purpose to build a healthier and more sustainable future”. Mars, which has named its accelerator after its organic-food brand Seeds of Change, is looking to select six companies in the US and four in Australia, which the company says are “among the largest markets” for its food operations. The accelerator sits squarely in the US-based giant’s Mars Food operations, although the start-ups selected will get access to select executives in areas such as, say, finance from other parts of the empire like Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Mars Petcare. The Seeds of Change isn’t Mars’ first endeavour to work with start-ups. The company has Mars Edge, through which it works with start-ups, academia and philanthropic organisations “to help improve human health”. It also has Launchpad for Mars, a programme looking at open innovation the company says is “re-inventing the way Mars brands reach, engage and convert consumers” through pilot schemes with tech start-ups. The new Seeds of Change initiative is focusing on food start-ups, companies already doing business and a minimum first year of net sales of US$250,000. The firms selected – businesses have until 31 May to apply – can already have received seed funding. “For Mars Food, we have a purpose of ‘better food today, a better world tomorrow,” Clarence Mak, Mars Food’s chief marketing, sales and innovation officer – and a mentor on the new programme – says. “We’re very interested in working with some of the more forward-looking entrepreneurs and start-ups to understand how they can help us to move up further towards that direction and, also us working with them, support them to scale their ideas.” As a privately-owned business, Mars obviously does not have the same obligations for disclosure as its publicly-listed peers. Unlike US counterparts such as Kellogg and General Mills – both of which have gone down the path of setting up in-house, venture-capital arms – it is hard to know if Mars has faced similar kinds of pressures on its sales as the owners of Special K breakfast cereal and Yoplait yogurt. However, Mak says Mars wants to get “more exposed to the more on-trend food categories”. He tells just-food: “On one hand, it’s the first step for us to be even more externally-focused to understand what’s going on in the food world. I think the second thing is really trying to learn from these start-ups how they innovate, as much as where they innovate.” Asked whether he thought Mars had not been able to tap into the new and emerging trends shaping packaged food as much the company would like, Mak, who has spent more than a decade working for first Wrigley and then Mars, says: “There will be a lot of learning both ways. That’s the beauty of this accelerator programme. Being a family owned business, we’ve been building our own business from small to scale. “We can learn a lot from them. But, at the same time, I do think that in our portfolio we’ll have some of the brands to tap into the more ‘better for you’ kind of consumer needs spaces that we see as highly relevant to consumers. We can learn from them but at the same time I still believe that we have the right portfolio to compete.” That said, there are, Mak acknowledges, “a lot of areas that we haven’t tapped into”. He says: “Food is a massive category. By using this accelerator programme, it actually helps us to have a better understanding of the wider food category, to help us have a wider view across the food ecosystem, to move our business towards the front line of the evolving trends going into the future.” After the applications come in, Mars plans to select around 15 finalists to a pitch competition in Chicago. The company says the finalists will be chosen on a range of factors but the terms and conditions on the accelerator website cites four, including: “impact and vision” – essentially whether the start-up demonstrates a business plan that convinces Mars it will make the most of a grant of up to $50,000 – and “leadership”, which the Skittles owner defines as the “strength of the leadership team and ability to execute the organisation’s long-term objectives”. Mak explains there are contrasting reasons why Mars selected the US and Australia as the first markets for the accelerator. “The core of our business is the US, the UK and Australia. Before we can extend to all continents, we want to go to a market that has a very active start-up scene like the US. There’s a lot of accelerator programmes. We wanted to learn from the best and also we wanted to be in the most active space. “But likewise, we also wanted to go to a market where accelerators are relatively new. Australia is, interestingly, not as active a market for start-ups. We thought maybe we can actually … have a first-mover advantage. Number two, we actually have a very strong position there with Masterfoods. We want to learn from both types of market situations.” With a portfolio comprising products such as Uncle Ben rice, Tasty Bite lentils and Dolmio pasta sauce, it is little surprise one area on which Mars Food wants the accelerator to focus is what Mak calls “world flavours”. That said, Mars’ ethnic cuisine stable does have a number of products centred on what could be deemed to be more mature parts of the category – such as Italian, Indian and Chinese cuisine – and it is notable Mak offers other varieties as examples that could interest the accelerator. “The intention is to keep it broad … but we feel that we see the consumers are much more experimental now, looking into new flavours, new cuisines, that might be happening outside of the packaged food category [and] already happening in restaurants, whether it’s Korean or Middle East, or Pho for Vietnamese, where there’s, relatively speaking, not as much happening in packaged goods,” he says. “We think there’s a lot of potential in the evolving or emerging world flavours. That’s why we’re interested in that space. But we are not particularly focused on any specific cuisine. We are very open.” As with many a major name in the packaged food industry, Mars is watching the rise of plant-based food closely and the category is another area of focus for the Seeds of Change accelerator. And, in common with its peers, Mars is also monitoring not just what consumers eat but how they buy food. “We’re also looking to new business models to get the products to consumers,” Mak says. “We’re open to innovative ideas. digital, direct to consumers, or if they have very strong, digital-influencer capabilities. We’re very open to that as well. Some of these territories [areas] are still very early-stage.” What, then, sets the Seeds of Change scheme apart from other accelerators open to pitches? Mak insists Mars doesn’t see its peers with similar initiatives as rivals. However, he sets out factors he believes differentiates Mars’ programme from others. “I generally feel that this is not really a competition because we also know, a lot of the start-ups, they might apply for multiple programmes over the years. I have a lot of respect for the other programmes,” he says. “But what differentiates us is the fact that we’re a family-owned business and have brands – we actually have done this ourselves as well, both whether we’ve built our own brands from small – Seeds of Change itself is a good example – or we have acquired brands when they were small. Or we are starting to work with brands that used to be small and become big, like Kind. We know what that experience looks like. And of course we have the benefits we can offer, the Mars leaders and the network, given the scale of our business and the range of the businesses that we have, not just on food, but also non-food. “And we are a highly purpose-driven company and we have a number of the purpose-driven brands, which is highly relevant, because a lot of these new start-ups are brands with a very clear purpose, with a strong story to tell. There’s a lot of alignment between who we are and the brands that we want to attract.” The accelerator lasts to the end of November. Mak says “it’s really not the core of the design” of the scheme for Mars to then look to formally invest in the participating companies. “The design is mainly offering the grant and support and interaction. Investment is not part of the programme. But, of course, we are open to looking into any other further – or continuing that mentoring relationship – if that’s what we think makes sense for the partnership.” Mak says he “would not say no” when asked if Mars would consider following in the footsteps of the likes of Kellogg and General Mills in setting up an investment division. “We wanted to prioritise the accelerator because I think it’s the first step for us to do a programme like this. We just wanted to make sure that we get it right before we consider options,” he says. “Also partly because we had already had [an accelerator] in pet care, so we had a lot of learnings.” Are there plans next year for Mars, like PepsiCo and Chobani, look to launch a second round of the accelerator? “We would very much would like to,” Mak says. “But we will make sure we execute it well first, get the learnings, and we’ll decide when and how that second round should look.”