Children Required for CiTV Cooking Show

I couldn’t eat a whole one… Children Required for CiTV Cooking Show : no not to be cooked, but to cook!

I wondered if you might be able to help me in my quest to find children to take part in the next series of the hugely popular Saturday morning cooking show, ‘The Munch Box’ which is going to be filming in London during the Autumn. The show features a mix of cookery challenges alongside fun food-related games and the chance for the children to learn from a celebrity chef.

I’m looking for children aged 9-12 who love cooking, can do it on their own, and who have the confidence to come into a TV studio with two friends (who can help them out) to cook their favourite food in front of the cameras. In addition, I’d also like to speak to children of that age-range who are very vocal and have a great love of food to potentially be our ‘Masterchef’-style judges, telling the chefs what they think of their cooking! In both cases, we’re not looking for children who can sing, dance and have a background in TV performance, just children who can speak confidently and are able to cook or talk about amazing food.

I was hoping that you might be able to perhaps put something online.

As well as being fun, the children who took part in the filming last year benefitted hugely from the experience. Not only did it encourage their love of cooking, but one child became determined to improve his reading because he wanted to learn how to read complicated recipes. It really is a great experience for them so any help you can provide is hugely appreciated.

The Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea

Gentlemens Afternoon TeaA brand new and innovative Afternoon Tea menu is now available at the Athenaeum Hotel, specifically designed for the modern Gentleman, but of course available to everyone!

The Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea is a new take on the traditional afternoon tea, but without a cucumber sandwich in sight. Instead we are giving it a manly twist, serving wild boar sausage rolls, miniature steak and ale pies, cave-aged mature cheddar and bacon scones, and these are just a few of the delicious savouries on offer.

The menu is specially prepared to match with the intense flavour of single malt whisky; working with Ivo Silva (The Athenaeum’s resident whisky sommelier) we have created the perfect pairing. During the afternoon tea our waiters are available to offer advice and tasting notes to keen whisky-drinking patrons.

•Reservations must be made beforehand.
•Available from 12pm till 7pm
•Only available until 31st August 2014

The Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea at the Athenaeum costs £34.50 MENU PDF

The Dorchester exclusive Old Tom Gin

dorchester old tom ginDorchester Collection’s iconic British London hotel, The Dorchester, has revived the historical recipe for ‘Old Tom’ gin to create a new blend. Perfected by the hotel’s legendary bar manager and expert alchemist Giuliano Morandin, the gin has been distilled exclusively for The Bar at The Dorchester by The City of London Distillery, and will be available about now.

This is the second time Giuliano has re-introduced Old Tom Gin to the UK drinks market, the first being in 2006 after a 30 year absence.

Each bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom gin features a black wax seal and a hand signed label with its bespoke batch number authenticating it as an original. The gin, which will be available in 220 litre batches to ensure that the quality of the flavour is maintained, is available to purchase by the glass or 700ml/500ml/25ml bottles at The Bar at The Dorchester. Giuliano and his team have been closely involved in tailoring the blend, enhancing its taste with a special balance of botanicals such as juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cassia bark, cardamom and fresh lemon and orange peel.

There are many tales which recount how Old Tom Gin purportedly got its name, many of which revolve around the unusual and secret dispensing methods used by London gin houses in the 18th century, all of which involved the imagery of a tom cat.

To celebrate the launch, Giuliano has created the Old Tom Cobbler cocktail, the perfect summer drink including ingredients such as coriander, fresh lemongrass, elderflower and Old Tom Gin. This cocktail will be on offer alongside the Ramos Fizz and iconic Martinez which inspired Giuliano to revive the production of the gin.

Giuliano has been leading the team at The Bar at The Dorchester for 30 years and is highly regarded amongst leading drink connoisseurs. Throughout his career Giuliano has achieved a number of accolades within the industry and named amongst the world’s best bartenders. Commenting on the introduction of The Dorchester Old Tom gin, Giuliano said;

“This is an extremely exciting time for my team, the hotel and I. We have been working hard to make this new take on the original 18th century recipe stand next to other leading gins, and we welcome London’s bar cognoscenti to come and experience the result. The Dorchester Old Tom gin reflects the style and history of the hotel whilst encompassing a modern fusion of flavours.”

Giuliano and his team will also offer private and bespoke Cocktail Master Classes showcasing the techniques and flavours used to compliment The Dorchester Old Tom Gin within the new signature cocktails. Cocktail Master Classes can be booked for individuals or private parties of up to ten guests, subject to availability. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact +44 (0) 20 7629 8888 or email

A 700ml bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom Gin is priced at £65 and is available at The Bar at The Dorchester or by visiting .Signature cocktails including the Old Tom Cobbler start from £16.

NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally

NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturallyNATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally published in July

“A really inspiring book. Isabelle writes beautifully
and it’s given me a lot to think about” – Olly Smith

Over the last 50 years, winemaking has become ever-more processed, controlled and unnatural, from the use of blanket crop-spraying in vineyards to the over-use of sulphites and other additives in winemaking. This over-manipulation and lack of transparency has lead more and more people to turn to what is known as natural wine – wine made as nature intended with grapes that are farmed organically or biodynamically and with minimum intervention in the winery. Wine that is basically good old-fashioned fermented grape juice.

And there’s no one that knows them better than their standard bearer, Isabelle Legeron MW, who is at the forefront of this growth in awareness.

As crusader for the natural wine movement, she has presented her own show on the Travel Channel, acts as adviser to several leading restaurants and has set-up the hugely successful annual natural wine fair – RAW. Just as the craft beer movement has taken off across the globe, the demand for natural wine has exploded over the last couple of years, and looks set to go from strength to strength.

Isabelle says ‘I’m incredibly excited about releasing a book on natural wine. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about them, since it is the only wine I drink now. I want people to know about the rubbish that goes into making so many of the wines on our shelves, but even more than that I want them to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are amazing wines out there that are so, so much better in every way.’

The book is split into three parts. Part one examines the definition of natural wine, looking at The Vineyard, The Cellar, Taste, Misconceptions and Health. Part two explores the Who, Where and When, providing details of the Artisans, the Origins of the Movement and where you can find and buy natural wine. Finally, part three is about discovering natural wine for yourself, with information and tasting notes on a large variety of natural wines divided into Bubbles, Whites, Oranges, Pinks, Reds and Off-dry and sweets.

Isabelle Legeron, who lives in London, was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, and was named Wine Woman of the Year 2009 in Paris. She runs the highly successful RAW fair in May in London, and advises various restaurants on their wine lists, including the Michelin 2* Hibiscus. She contributes to Decanter magazine, and organises conferences and tastings to spread the word about proper, natural wine.

Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally will be available from July priced at £16.99.

Rioja Tapas Fantasticas


Rioja Tapas Fantasticas is a free two day London based festival celebrating Rioja wine, Spanish food and lifestyle, taking place Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th June at Potters Field Park adjacent to Tower Bridge. Now in its seventh year, Rioja Tapas Fantastic is the place to experience and taste a sensational range of red, white and rosé wines from some of Rioja’s most famous vineyards and sample authentic Spanish cuisine from some of London’s best Spanish restaurants and street food venders (including Bar Tozino, Jose, Bravas Tapas, Bar Esteban, Camino, Donastia Social Club ). On arrival visitors can purchase a tasting glass for £3.50 and receive four tokens to exchange for Rioja wines (wine is served by the glass).

There will be live Spanish music, cookery demonstrations from chef José Pizarro plus wine tasting workshops and 30 minute wine walks from wine experts Olly Smith and Susy Atkins (tickets for workshops and tours can be purchased online) plus a brand new interactive food and wine matching dining experience to entertain visitors over the weekend.

Now in its seventh year, the ever popular festival takes inspiration from Calle Laurel, the renowned tapas crawl in the heart of Rioja; Spain’s best loved wine region and gastronomic capital. Every weekend, Calle Laurel sees people wandering from bar to bar, enjoying a different tapa accompanied by a glass of Rioja. At Rioja Tapas Fantasticas you can recreate this experience on London’s Southbank; why not try your own Spanish-style tapas crawl with seared scallops with Spanish ratatouille and green chilli sauce from Donostia Social Club, deliciously matched with a glass of oaked white Rioja, then move onto a tapas dish of chiccarones de candiz (slow cooked pork belly with cumin and lemon) from Morito with an intense and spicy Rioja Reserva or lamp chops with rosemary alioli from Bravas Tapas, equally well matched with an intense and silky Gran Reserva.