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Guest blog – a day out at the Waitrose Cookery School

Waitrose Cookery SchoolThis week we hear from Sue Mitchell (picture below left) – winner of an unearthed® competition about her visit to the Waitrose Cookery School

“Back in September 2013 I entered a San Daniele competition with unearthed® and Waitrose and won a pair of tickets for the Waitrose Cookery School. I decided to take along my daughter Lilley (pictured right below) as she is a keen cook as well.

I looked through all the courses available and you’re spoilt for choice, really, but the Summer Michelin Menu Course with matching wines looked really interesting. I thought it would be great to learn how to cook those special, intricate dishes that chefs in Michelin Starred restaurants design and present to their customers. Also, eating food in season is important to me. I was, therefore, looking forward to eating some great summer food.

Waitrose Cookery School

This was the menu which we cooked & the appropriate matching:

  • Gazpacho jelly, dressed crab and avocado.
    Wine: Avigue Solutre Rock Macon-Solutre 2012 (Burgundy). An elegant Burgundy with fruit and mineral notes.
  • Roast Scallops with gnocchi & truffle emulsion.
    Wine: Cave de Beblenheim Grafenreben Riesling 2009/10 (Alsace). A dry, but aromatic white wine, with citrus fruit and crisp finish.
  • Herb-crusted veal with polenta fries, olive purée and sauce vierge.
    Wine: Les Dauphins 2013 Cotes du Rhone-Villages. (Cotes du Rhone). A soft red wine, with abundant fruit and notes of chocolate, pepper and spice.
  • Orange cake, marmalade cream and Cointreu caviar.
  • Wine: Brown Brothers Special Late-Harvested Orange Muscat & Flora 2012 (Victoria, Australia). A sweet wine, with orange blossom & honey aromas & honeyed fruit on the palate.

The highlight of the day was sitting down to eat the wonderful dishes that we’d made, with the other people on the course, and drinking a glass of wine to complement the food!

I got some really good tips – the best one was that it’s best to sharpen your knives every time you use them, not just now and again. They will stay really sharp. The Cookery School did theirs first thing in the morning – we them doing it, when we arrived.

Something new I learnt was that a squeeze of lemon juice on cooked scallops, will stop them cooking further and toughening up! And I didn’t know that when making dishes with gelatine in, you will need to use extra seasoning.

A truly enjoyable day – thanks a lot unearthed®”

We also asked Sue about her foodie favourites

  • My most memorable meal was lunch with my family at one of the best restaurants in France, called ‘Le Vieux Logis’ at Tremolat in the Dordogne. Wonderful meal, in the most beautiful, outdoor setting. A real memory.
  • I would most like to eat at ‘Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee’ in Paris. The restaurant has just reopened at the newly-refurbished Plaza Athenee Hotel. His restaurant will now focus on fish, shellfish, cereals and vegetables (largely organically-grown), and presented in an exceptional way. There will be some meat on the menu, however.
  • Asking me about my favourite unearthed® product is a tough one! There are so many, that it’s difficult to choose just one. Our family really likes the delicious ham, Prosciutto Cotto (my daughter says that it is the most delicious ham she has ever tasted!). We also like the Garlic Prawns very much. We always have your range of olives on a regular basis (in fact, the fridge is never without one or the other). So many delicious things to eat –we’re spoilt for choice.”


  • If you’re interested in cooking classes at the Waitrose Cookery School visit the site to find out more

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Q&A with unearthed® ‘food in film’ finalist Adam Craig

Adam Craig's Tin Can Ice Cream -3rd place - unearthed food in film non-documentary winner of the unearthed food in film award 2014Adam Craig was our 3rd place non-documentary winner of the unearthed® food in film award 2014 – a category of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014.
His film with animated elements ‘Tin Can Ice Cream’ (scroll down to watch) was produced to accompany the original recipe in The Kid’s Only Cookbook and is full of fun and perfectly pitched for kids. He took some time from his schedule to tell us how he got into food film-making and how food that’s made with love is what it’s all about for him!

How long have you been working in the industry, what is your background?
I’ve been working in TV as a freelance lighting cameraman since 1996 and before that I worked in the kit room of a London facilities firm, prepping kits for other people’s shoots

What did you study at college/university?
I studied Psychology at Aston University and then did a City & Guilds course in TV & Video Production at Westminster College and it went onto become my main job

When did you first get into film?
I’ve always loved films ever since I discovered Abbott and Costello movies

How did the film come about?
My wife wanted a video as a marketing tool for her Kids Only Cookbook

What was your inspiration?
The Kids Only Cookbook; Tex Avery/Fred Quimby cartoons

How long did the film take to make?
We shot the film over a weekend and then I had 3 days to edit it

Who was on the team?
My wife, my kids and my dog

What was the hardest/most difficult part about making the film?
We wanted a bright sunny day so we were at the mercy of the ever changeable British weather

Do you need any special equipment to make food films
I’m lucky enough to have a very good rental house near me with whom I’ve built up a good working relationship over the years. So they were very accommodating in providing me with camera kit. I used a Sony EX3 – a basic level TV camera

What gadget can you not do without when you’re photographing/filming?
Probably my iPhone as i’s loaded with many different cinematography apps that I use

unearthed® food in film
I heard about the competition from my wife and winning the award has helped because it’s always good to be able to show success in film making competitions on your CV or website

Some foodie questions now
What is your favourite dish?
I’m not sure I could ever have one favourite dish but my most favourite type of food is definitely Italian

What’s your most memorable meal
Eating at The Fat Duck when it first opened. I thought I was going to hate everything about it but absolutely loved every course

Where in the world would you most like to eat?
With my job I’ve been lucky enough to eat in various places around the world. From Michelin starred restaurants in great cities to Bedouin camps in the middle of the desert. As long as the food is made with love and I’m with good company, then anywhere in the world will do.

To find out more about Adam visit his website or follow him on Twitter @AdamCraig

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Q&A with Moe Kafer – unearthed® food in film finalist

Moe Kafer's Chapati at Golden Temple Kitchens -2nd place - unearthed food in film documentary winner of the unearthed food in film award 2014Moe Kafer was our 2nd place documentary winner of the unearthed food in film award 2014 – a category of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014.
Her wonderful film ‘Chapati at Golden Temple Kitchens’ (scroll down to watch) filmed in India, is full of colour and detail. She took some time out of her busy scedule to tell us how she got into food film-making and how taking time to see the bigger picture and detail, is essential when it comes to documentary food film making.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Canadian-born, but living in the UK for the past 15 years.

How long have you been working in the industry, what’s your background?
I’ve always been interested in photography and film, studying multi-media (film, television, photography, graphic design & journalism) in Vancouver. I then went on to work as a newspaper journalist for 6 years and felt I needed to go somewhere bigger like London in order to open up my options.
I managed a photographic agency in London for 4 years when I got here and worked with some amazing photographers whilst learning the business side of things and developing myself creative vision. I have now been freelance for the past 11 years.

When did you first get into film?
I’ve always loved the medium of film and worked as a stills photographer on a few films & TV shows. I love the production of how films get made. In my job at the agency I directed a lot of corporate video shoots and when DSLRs offered a more accessible and affordable segue into film for us stills shooters, I jumped at the opportunity.

Is film your main job or a hobby?
I’m primarily a photographer but now the demand to provide ‘moving image’ as we call it, is very high. It’s a valuable tool to have and really helps diversify your offering as a commercial photographer. And besides that, it’s an amazing medium – especially for food.

How did the film come about?
I was working on a TV program about curries and was shooting the book to go with it. We were a very small crew so I also worked as second camera on the show. We went to this amazing temple in Amritsar, India and in the back they have the kitchen which is in my film (see below). It was like being in a candy shop – stunning colours, steam rising, smiling faces – it was begging to be filmed!

How long did the film take to make?
I shot the film relatively quickly. We only had the day there and we had a program to shoot and I had to cover the whole place photographically. But I had a bit of free time while the camera crew went off to do some interviews and shot it then. I shot and edited the whole thing myself. Just me – go team!

What was the hardest/most difficult part about making the film?
I have to say, the hardest thing about making this film was stopping filming. The location and subject matter were so beautiful I could have shot there for days. Maybe I’ll go back one day. (go to the bottom to see more images from the shoot)

Do you need any special equipment to make food films
The only special equipment you need to make food films really is a knowledge of food – as a foundation really. Food offers it’s own challenges and without knowledge of how to get around things like an awkward aubergine or a dusty chocolate, you’re pretty much stuffed.
The other thing that is very helpful, especially in the documentary genre, is a keen eye. You can look at a scene from a broad sense and not really get anything from it – but take some time and watch what’s going on, look a little closer at all the details and your film will really come alive.
That and amazing daylight! Food really lends itself to being shot in daylight.

What gadget can you not do without when you’re photographing/filming?
A tripod is pretty much mandatory especially when shooting food with a DSLR. A rig is great when you’re doing wide stuff or action but when you want to get beautiful hero shots of food they must be still or it can be unnerving.

Where did you hear about unearthed® food in film?
I think I saw the competition through social media and have entered every year. Last year I had a finalist image and a couple of honourable mentions.

How has winning the competition helped your career?
Winning this competition has given me a great marketing tool and has definitely brought me a bigger audience. Plus I love having the logo on my email signature!

And now a bit about food
What’s your favourite dish?
Difficult to say what my favourite dish is as I love food – hence the food filming & photography. However, I fell in love with Pho while I was travelling in Vietnam. I ate it every day for a month, from street vendors. It’s so fantastically flavourful and hearty whilst being light and refreshing. I still eat it regularly – luckily Vietnamese food is de rigure these days so it’s not hard to find.

What’s your most memorable meal
It was in Luang Prabang, Laos. There’s an amazing street food market there and they do these incredible whole fish in this tamarind marinade. The cook them whole on a grill on bamboo sticks. You eat them like a lolly – off the stick whilst browsing all the culinary delights. And for afters there is a woman who cooks these little coconut rice cakes in these wrought-iron dishes with tiny holes in them. They are crispy on the outside and when you bite into them this creamy coconut goodness pours out. Absolute heaven!

Chapatis cooking at Golden Temple, AmritsarMaking chapatis in the kitchen at Golden Temple, AmritsarCoconut cakes being made in Luang Prabang, LaosCoconut cakes cooking in Luang Prabang, LaosStreet food at its finest - coconut cakesMoe's memorable meal - coconut cakes in Luang Prabang, Laos
Chapatis cooking at Golden Temple, Amritsar
Making chapatis in the kitchen at Golden Temple, Amritsar
Coconut cakes being made in Luang Prabang, Laos
Coconut cakes cooking in Luang Prabang, Laos
Street food at its finest - coconut cakes
Moe's memorable meal - coconut cakes in Luang Prabang, Laos

Where in the world would you most like to eat?
I would have loved to have the opportunity to eat at El Bulli in Spain but unfortunately I would have to travel back in time as it is sadly now closed.

To see more of Moe’s work visit her website

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unearthed® hits France

Oo là là! Mixed olives with sun dried tomatoes - unearthed France

As part of our plan to expand internationally, we’ve taken unearthed® to France with the launch of three new olive lines in a new partnership with French retailer Système U.

The three lines, which include Olives with Lemon and Coriander, Mixed Olives with Feta and Olives with Sun Dried Tomatoes, are being launched this week and we hope they’ll shake up the chilled olive and antipasti category – which is a little bit uninspired at the moment.

Our Simon, founder of the brand says, “We’ve always wanted to take unearthed® into new countries. We currently export to a handful of international destinations, but this new arrangement with Système U is big for us. The UK olive and antipasti category is experiencing strong growth and we don’t want to limit this success to the UK market only. We’re really excited about working with Système U and taking the unearthed® brand to new places. We will carry on supporting Action Against Hunger with 1 euro cent from each export pack sold going to the charity.”

To see more product details, visit the unearthed France products page on our unearthed® website.

Today France, tomorrow the world! #keepdiscovering

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New limited edition sliced meats

Once again, we’ve made some changes to our sliced meat range and we thought we’d give you some great new limited edition flavours to experience. We know that a lot of you were sad to lose some of our old meats (no we’ve not got the Hungarian Pepperoni back, sorry). So this month, some good news – the Italian Roast pork loin is back and even better, along with some other new lines. But hurry, these are only on sale until the beginning of November:

new unearthed sliced meats

  • Roast Prosciutto Cotto – Cotto in Italian means cooked. This ham is cooked and then roasted for a richer flavour. We feel a continental ploughmans with focaccia, artichokes and gorgonzola coming on.
  • French Pyrenees Ham – This is the same ham that’s in our popular French Selection pack. It’s produced in the beautiful foothills of the Pyrenees – hence the name. We like it wrapped around large field mushrooms and baked with garlic [recipe].
  • Calabrian Selection Pack – Calabria is in the toe of the boot of Italy. With this selection pack we give you 3 traditional meats from the area, with lots of traditional peppers. Any of these meats go perfectly with with a tomato and rocket pesto ciabatta bruschetta
  • Bresaola Della Valtellina PGI* – this special cured beef is from Valtellina, in Italy, famed for its Bresaola. You can eat it just like normal cured ham and it goes well with rocket and parmesan.
  • Italian Roast Pork Loin – This is a favourite from our very first range! Bigger pack, but just as good. This is Italian roasted pork loin rubbed with a herb mix for a lovely flavour. We favour this in an Italian bagel alongside fresh basil and mozzarella.
  • Speck Alto Adige PGI* – A distinctly flavoured smoked ham from the mountainous South Tyrol – In Alto Adige, Italy’s most northern province. As well as a PGI* it also has a much more delicate flavour than other smoked hams [recipe].

They are all on sale at Waitrose, in our 2 for £5 deal, so that makes them even more tasty.

Sadly we’ve said goodbye to our Prosciutto di San Daniele and our Red Hot Piri Piri olives, but who knows, they might be back?

* PGI – the title ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ means that of the products are authentic and can’t be imitated by others. Of the production, processing or preparation at least one of these must take place in a specific place in order for the product to use a geographical name in the title.

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