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Regent’s Park: Suddenly the park is a frenzy of fine food

World’s best chefs on their way for Taste of London, annual event that showcases new trends

01 June, 2018 — By Tom Moggach

The great gastronomic outdoors: Regent’s Park’s feast of food

STROLLING through Regent’s Park, it’s hard to imagine the food frenzy that’s just around the corner.

From June 13-17, the world’s best chefs will set up camp for Taste of London, an annual event that showcases new trends in food.

A decade or so ago, molecular gastronomy was all the rage. Now there’s a vogue for rediscovering the timeless art of cooking over raw flames.

A chef called Niklas Ekstedt is jetting in from Sweden. Back in Stockholm, he’s ditched gas and electricity for a fire pit, wood stove and “the stone-age equivalent of a microwave oven”.

His dishes at the event include ember -cooked leek, ash crème, vendace roe and dried reindeer.

Not to be outdone, compatriot Magnus Nilsson is emerging from the forests of Jämtland. He’ll be cooking bird’s liver custard with malted cabbage and gooseberries – a combination not for the faint-hearted.

Homegrown talent also gets star billing. Nearly 40 of London’s stellar restaurants are installing field kitchens spanning every conceivable global cuisine.

Ikoyi, for example, is a new restaurant in St James’s that offers a modern twist on seafood cooking from West Africa. Their chefs use unfamiliar ingredients such as tigernut or uda, a Nigerian pepper. Dishes at Taste include razor clam, kohlrabi and pink peppercorn (£5).

Hoppers, which has just opened a second branch on Wigmore Street, dishes up the street food of Sri Lanka and will be filling rolls with spiced mutton or Colombo black pork with pineapple and a sawtooth coriander sambol sauce (£6-8).

The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell always pushes boundaries. Their Taste menu stars a chocolate liquorice mousse with blackcurrant jelly, cocoa & Urfa chilli wafer and cream (£5).

Barbecue fiends should visit The Fire Pit, a new installation where they can learn tricks from chefs such as Josh Katz from Berber & Q in Haggerston and Lee Tiernan from Black Axe Mangal near Highbury and Islington.

Drinks are a highlight, too. Sign up for mixology masterclasses or prop up a plethora of bars serving wine and fizz. Hop heads will flock to the Craft Beer Tent, with brews from Fourpure in Bermondsey, Welsh micro-brewery Monty’s and Brewgooder, who use their profits to fund clean water projects in Malawi.

Bring a shopping bag, too, for stalls from artisan producers such as Kin, who import stunning kitchen knives from Japan, or Seedlip, a drinks company making waves with the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits – ideal if you want to cut down.

As you will have gathered, it’s best to approach Taste of London with an open mind, voracious appetite and sense of fun.

It’s a heavily sponsored event, but you can zone out the corporate logos. Entrance tickets start at £17 if you book online.

Taste of London will be at Regent’s Park from June 13-17
Family Day is Sunday, June 17


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