Sarah Ali Choudhury

Sarah Ali Choudhury is an award-winning Indian food expert, TV chef and food columnist. Sarah is passionate about sharing the joys of Indian cuisine – whether through TV, radio or print media, live cooking demonstrations, social media or bespoke teaching.
 
Named the youngest Asian woman to run a restaurant at the age of just 20, Sarah has gone on to capture the delights of Indian cuisine through her recipes which have featured in print and online publications locally, nationally and internationally including The Sun and The Independent. 
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Brand Ambassador for UK Nepal Friendship Society, Asian Restaurant Owners Network and Venus Awards, Sarah was headhunted to Judge The World Food Innovation Awards 2019 which will take place at ExCel, London in March. 
 
Last week we caught up at The Cosy Club in Bournemouth to talk about the local gems in the area as well as food!
 
Sarah. what is your best loved local ingredient?
Best loved local ingredient is crab claws!
Living on the beautiful south coast we are extremely lucky to get hold of high quality shellfish at local farmers markets, food festivals and events locally.
How do you use this at home?
One of my favourite dishes is a curry made with crab claws.  Slow cooked with an array of spices that allows the sauce to have depth and flavour, it’s very spicy but has a dash of coconut milk which takes the edge off. It has kick but it’s moorish! It’s messy to eat though but so worth it!
 
What is your first choice dish to cook and also to eat?
More recently I’ve been trying to eat less meat.
I keep finding myself cooking okra (aka Ladies fingers) finely chopped and cooked with onions and garlic and spices with a touch dry toasted shrimp to be my absolute favourite. It is quick and easy to cook and it’s so healthy too! It’s delicious with lentils (aka dall) and fluffy basmati rice.
Okra is an exotic medicinal vegetable and can be found in abundance around the beginning of autumn.  It’s known for its powerhouse superiority in vitamins and minerals and in my opinion it’s a nutrition hero!
 
Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?
My favourite spot on South Coast is the North Haven Lake area of Sandbanks. I love the drive there,  the ambiance,  the luxurious properties. I always feel as though we don’t really need to go on holiday when we live to close to somewhere so delightful. I’m very grateful to be living on the stunning South coast but can’t wait to move to Sandbanks one day!
Thank you for your time Sarah, you can follow Sarah on Instagram at @sarahalichoudhury
Thanks for reading!

The Crafty Cow

If you are stuck with ideas for Christmas gifting this year or are yet to discover the winning combo of a good beer and delicious cheese then this weeks blog is just for you!
We’re talking to Mike and Jules from The Crafty Cow in Penn Hill, a small but perfectly formed bottle shop that has more to offer then you would first think….
What can people expect when they come to Crafty Cow?
When people come into The Crafty Cow, they will receive a friendly smile and someone always ready to help (Normally me, and my face) or one of our equally smiley crafty cow’ers. Once inside The Crafty Cow if you think Bottleshop/Deli/Bar in a cosy & relaxed atmosphere they will be on the right track.
We have a choice of ever changing craft beer from UK based small batch breweries, especially local to Dorset and the surrounding area, accompanied by a selection of Wine and what we think pairs best with both Wine and Beer is Cheese! So we have a selection of unique cheeses again from the local area and UK, but no cheese pairing would be complete without some cured meats, chutneys and crackers so we have again a section of locally produced products to build the perfect night – everything we have in shop is to be taken away, however to help people get to know their beer styles and choice we have 4 beers on tap which are here for people to drink not to be drunk… and for growler fills (1.8L glass bottles which can be refilled from our taps anytime to take to party/BBQ’s/down the beach or just to enjoy at home).
So… what can people expect… we like to think a completely different experience then your normal supermarket/convenience store.
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What inspired you guys to open Crafty Cow?
We have taken inspiration from several areas of the world and our lives, we have always enjoyed a drink.. especially good quality drink… and from traveling the UK visiting different breweries, distilleries and vineyards in aid of finding interesting and different drinks for our mobile bar we have run for the last couple years and always receiving great feedback from people enjoying the different selection of drinks we provide in comparison to standard bars we always had the question “Where can I get this from?” and we always had to say sorry we just deal direct with the Brewery/Distillery/Vineyard… and we genuinely didn’t know where you could easily access what we provided…. So from there the idea sparked, from our travels we knew of various Bottleshops and bars across the UK specialising in craft beer but it wasn’t until our trip the the USA did we find a Bottleshop and Tasting Room which specialised in craft beer and cheese – from then we were hooked… what a combo!
Since then plans were put in motion to find the location we can begin our Crafty Cow journey (Crafty – for the craft beers and produce, Cow – for the Cheese…although we do have goats as well but Crafty Cow & Goat just didn’t have the same ring to it). Both me and Jules are pretty impatient, so we jumped straight in and thought the best way to learn is by “doing” so here we are learning – seeing what works and what doesn’t, listening to our customers and trying to work on the feedback and we are loving every moment of it!
As well as popping in for some great beer and wine you also host some fantastic events!
We do indeed, as you can see our Bottleshop is… cosy.. but a perfect fit for a selection of people to enjoy something a bit different! As we mentioned everything we get in we try and source those hard to find and not in the supermarket items which in turn it does mean sometimes people don’t even know what it is, let alone tastes like… especially when we start talking about pairing cheese with a beer!
We are still young so have not had chance for many events so far, but the Crafty Cow has now seen a couple of Birthday parties, a corporate event and a stag party and more booked in for next year, although we will be holding more public events too, we recently held a Craft Beer and Chocolate pairing event! Which everyone loved, we talked about the different beer styles and tastes which then followed by the hand made chocolate to pair and I mean, what more can you want then chocolate and drink!?
We will be running all different types of events so something different for everyone, from Cheese and Wine/Beer pairing through to Cured meats tasting and Artisan spirits – all of these will be advertised in shop and on our social pages so keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for dates!
Can you tell us more about your amazing hampers?
I can! We keep wanting to spread the knowledge of independent products and I know there are a lot of people who are like me and when it comes to gift buying I am useless!!! Let alone the wrapping side of things! So what we have offered from the day of opening is gift cards for people to then use in shop but also mixed cases for gifts but following feed back we have been asked to put together hampers for gifts.
So now we have the option for customers to come in and put together a bespoke hamper or they can choose one of our pre-packaged options, all presented in our “Crafty Cow” theme so no wicker hampers, ours are in what we like to think is a cool sleek black and white presentation box perfect as a him or her gift – with Christmas around the corner we are going to be really building our selection ready for customers to run in and collect or bespoke for their lucky someone. Our selection of hampers are available both in our shop and at “On The Green Interiors” in Ashley Cross where mulled wine and cheese will also be available on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.
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I think you’ll all agree that everyone would be delighted with one of these hampers for Christmas and when you pop in to pick yours up don’t forget to treat yourself at the same time!
Thanks for reading and happy shopping,
Emma

New Autumn Menu at Neo

After the glorious summer we have enjoyed it’s now time for a change in season with a chill in the air and the nights drawing in and it’s a change we welcome.

There’s also a change at well-loved restaurant Neo with not only the launch of their delicious Autumn menu but also the introduction of afternoon tea. I was invited along to meet new Head Chef Daniel Turner to try out some of the new dishes and discover the inspiration behind them!

Daniel has cooked in Michelin star and rosette restaurants, as well as working alongside Heston Blumenthal as his sous chef. By utilising innovative cooking techniques and taking inspiration from our surroundings, Daniel has created a menu which is unlike anything we have seen at Neo before.

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Hi Daniel, can you tell us more about the changes can you see yourself making at NEO?

I have changed all of the menus. We’re trying to incorporate seafood a little more, especially as the suppliers are so great around here. We want to go down the extravagant route, I’m aiming for the wow factor here. I have also introduced afternoon tea, which I think will go down really well.

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A SELECTION OF THE TEMPTING NEO NIBBLES!

What has been your inspiration for the new dishes?

Our location – the sea and the beach!

What would be your favourite dish on the new menu? What have you enjoyed about creating this new menu?

I’ve got one of my classics on here: Sand, sea, scallops and seaweed. This is a bit of a Heston inspiration. The sand is breadcrumbs fried in fish oil, seaweed being samphire, scallops being scallops, but then we take the roe off, dry it out so that we make coral, which goes on the plate as well. Then we have a seafood foam, which is the sea. It’s very funky!

We’ve also made a simple ham hock terrine, and then we’re going to smoke it to order, then the waitresses are going to wave it around the table so it’s going to add a little bit of theatre to the restaurant.

What is your favourite dish to create and also to eat?

Pork belly – favourite cut of meat which can be underrated, slow roasted, you can’t get anything better than that!

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WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO w PARMESAN CRISP & TRUFFLE OIL

Which chef do you most admire?

It’s got to be Heston Blumenthal. He is just incredible and working alongside him was an honour. He does exactly what he wants and rightly so, he has won the award for best restaurant in the world! I just love his creativity and the influence he has on the culinary world, including myself and this new menu.

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SENSATIONAL VANILLA PANNA COTTA!

How would you describe your style of cooking?I’ve been in the AA and a variety of different papers who have described my style of cooking as ‘modern eclectic,’ which is a mish-mash of everything. I like my oriental stuff, I like my English stuff, I like the classic French stuff. I just love to combine different national cuisines.

 

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THE NEW DESSERTS MENU – MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE ROOM!

Daniel thank you so much for your time – everyone can check out the new menu by clicking here and also the new afternoon tea menu here.

To book your table at Neo you can call 01202 203610 and to celebrate the new afternoon tea menu we have kindly been given an amazing discount code for any bookings made before the 23rd September to be used before 31st October. You can quote ‘SCRUMPTIOUS‘ for an amazing 25% off your afternoon tea!

Enjoy!

Emma

Food photography with Nose 2 Tail

The summer season is well and truly upon us and we’re enjoying all the al fresco eating and drinking we were dreaming about when the weather was awful earlier in the year (like 5 months ago when it snowed!). You only have to own a log in for any social platform to know one how popular it is to post photos of our food, like photos from our favourite chefs and comment on our friends weekend brunch snaps.

So, with this way of eating with our eyes we took the opportunity to host a tweet chat with talented food photographer Kris Hall from Nose 2 Tail photography. Here are some of the highlights…..

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Why do you think there seems to be a fascination with food photography?

 Great question! I think ultimately, we live in a time where social media is a great revenue source for restaurants and food enthusiasts! Instagram and Twitter are more and more popular for promoting their meals!

What has been your favourite food shoot that you have done?

Most recently it has to be the shoot at Abbots Court with the amazing Alex and Mike. The food is next level and shot in a domestic kitchen. Most of the ingredients were grown on site by the team. All of this added to the flavours placed beautifully on each plate.

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Is there a certain app or filter you use when taking a photo on your phone?

When taking photos on the phone one app I find useful is Snapseed. Great app for gently touching up. You need to check out an amazing iPhone photographer on Instagram called Matt Inwood. He runs photography masterclasses and only uses Instagram!

Do you have any tips for us amateurs trying to show off our food with a photo?

Great question. Two main things… It doesn’t matter what camera or phone you use, it’s all about lighting (natural if possible) and colours! It’s worth looking at the “colour wheel” and specifically the colour square!

Thanks so much to Kris for his time during our tweet chat, if you would like to be involved in the next one please let us know!

You can find Nose 2 Tail on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as recognising the fantastic shots on many of the local restaurant feeds you love!

Thanks for reading,

Emma

Ojo Rojo new children’s menu!

You will all know we are fans of family eating here at Scrumptious South Coast and when we find somewhere that we can go as a family and all enjoy our meals we are keen beans to shout about it as much as we can.

A few weeks ago we headed to Ojo Rojo in Bournemouth with the smallest member of the Scrumptious South Coast team to check out their lunch. Not only was our mini critic entertained for the entire time we were there she ate ALL of her lunch (no mean feat!) which meant we enjoyed our delicious food and drink more too! Winner, winner Mexican dinner!

We caught up with El Capitan Trevor to find out more about how Ojo Rojo is keeping their small fans very happy.

Ojo Rojo has seen a recent launch of it’s new children’s menu, what can we expect to see on there?

Yes, we are very happy with our new children’s menu. We have tried to take on board as much feedback and advice as possible and added dishes such as ‘Build You Own Tacos’, some healthy options such as carrot sticks and dips, simple chicken/fish strips and even mini versions of dishes from the adult menu. We actually had a lot of fun coming up with some of the dishes.

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Was there anything in particular that motivated this move?

Well, we [Ojo Rojo] have had various incarnations of our menu but only really 1 of the children’s menu. I felt that it was a little uninspiring, compared to the rest of products we offer here. So we set it in motion to build the best kids menu we could.

How did you decide on the final menu? There must have been lots of choices!

Yes we had lots of ideas but, essentially, we realised that we needed the ideas and recommendations from those who will be eating it and those who will be bringing the children in so we utilised social media. We asked for advice and were inundated with hundreds of recommendations and comments. We filtered through them and did our best to come up with a list of dishes that took as much on as possible from the thread. We then put on a event where we laid on the food for free to anyone who turned up in order to get feedback from the children and the parents. It was a massive success and we had quite the turnout! The forms people filled out that day were the final elements that allowed us to make the decision on the new menu. We are very proud of it.
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Do you feel that it’s important to enjoy a meal as a family?

Of course! My parents always made sure we ate as a family growing up. Ojo Rojo is a social form of dining and we have always made the largest effort to ensure that all types of eaters and all preferences are catered for (vegan, gluten free etc) and now we can also say that children of all ages are catered for to the best of our ability too.

Have you got any special events coming up over the summer?

We have been proudly invited to host a take over of a bar in London as part of London Mezcal Week on 18th & 19th August. We also have a night of Latin music within the venue on 30th August and anyone who enjoys a quiz, we host one every Wednesday and it is so much fun! The hosts are Punch Entertainment and they are brilliant. It gets busy though so ensure you book. 😉

If you want to book a table to find out more you can find Ojo Rojo’s website by clicking here.

Trevor thank you so much for your time!

Thanks for reading,

Emma

 

Assembelly

A few months ago whilst happily roaming Christchurch Food Festival I discovered Assembelly and it’s creator Toby Bradley-Watson. With a bacon and scallop roll on the menu we couldn’t resist and could not believe not only how delicious it was but also how it was the first time we had seen this on any menu!

Before setting up Assembelly, Toby worked at restaurants around the world. His last position was a two-year stint as head chef at Rick Stein at Bannisters just outside Sydney, in Australia where he won a Hat!

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Toby has also worked with top-name chefs including Pierre Koffemann, Mark Edwards, Marcus Wareing, Tom Kitchen, Tom Aitken and Rick Stein.

In October 2017 Toby bought a Richardson horse trailer from his home country of Wales and spent six months converting it into the home of Assembelly.

The menu will be ever-changing, keeping to Toby’s strengths in seafood and game, and reflecting the flavours, produce and culture of the local area. He has also for the past year been studying fermentation, and its vast range of health benefits, which will run as a strong theme through the menu.
With a winning menu and such an impressive history we couldn’t resist but to ask Toby to feature on our blog…..

Toby, what is your best-loved local ingredients?

It depends on the season in the summer it would have to be crab but in the winter and autumn it has to be New Forest venison

How would you use this at home?

Crab meat is very versatile but and can be used in a multitude of ways but my summer favourite would be a crab linguini with cherry tomatoes and lots of lemon.

Venison is different but for me I love to braze a shoulder with a few vegetables a bit of wine and vinegar as well as a bit of chocolate

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What is your first choice dish to create and also to eat?

This changes week in week depending what my train of thought is and what’s good that season.

Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

I do like West Dorset with the rolling hills going down to the Jurassic coast.

Where can we next find you on the South Coast?

The next one for me down here is the Lymington seafood on the 11th & 12th August.

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We can’t wait to grab another delicious roll from Toby and the Assembelly team then! 

Assembelly is available for private functions and events, both large and small. You can click here to contact them for more details.

Thanks for reading,

 

Emma

Jenkins & Sons

Well-loved Jenkins & Sons has had a bit of a menu makeover last week, moving more onto setting the scene for a local place we can all visit on the regular. Their previous menu was excellent and I can hand on my heart (as well as my Hug Club card) say it was very much a well visited place for us.

To hear more about the exciting new line up I spoke with Chloe….

Why has there been a change from the previous menu?

In essence, we wanted to create somewhere to appeal to a wider audience – where people would love to go for their parties and special occasions, but also just for their lunch. We love our pizza down at the Wood Oven and thought it would work perfectly in the lovely restaurant/ bar atmosphere that Jenkins and Sons has (as well as with the ales!)

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We’re really excited to hear about the new menu, what things can we expect to see?

In our new menu you can expect to see lots of options, again to allow all our friends whether they be vegan, gluten free etc. to come and dine with us.

We are very proud of all our plant powered options, but all the pizzas we know taste great (they are cooking with real fire!!) as we sell them down at the Wood Oven by Boscombe Beach. The owner of Urban Guild (Jenkins and Sons parent company), Mark Cribb, is even on a plant powered diet himself at the moment to see what options we can incorporate into our own menu – what the most delicious options are.

We have added additional items to the menu other than pizza, however… We have our ‘fired pots’ that are also cooked in a traditional wood fired oven and we are using a variety of British fish, locally cured meats, British cray fish and salmon etc. in our dishes.

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We of course also have some Multigrain Flat Breads and ‘Panuozzo’ (a Naples street food sandwhich) that are available noonto five which are going to be available with a range of different yummy toppings.

We also have a breakfast menu (Served 9am to 11:30 amon Saturdays and Sundays) which you can also get mini oven fired breads and Panuozz with yummy breakfast things (including vegan options) or go for a simpler cold breakfast of granola or baked breads and jams.

Are you still keeping the artisan focus on food and local suppliers?

For us the Jenkins & Sons historical roots are about artisan pride in food. The old fishmongers and butchers were proud of their produce and that will still remain! We champion British beers and local suppliers all day long – we even have our own pale ale collection called ‘Smugglers & Pioneers’, brewed right here in Dorset. Although pizzas roots are in Italy we use British fish and locally cured meats.

Food supply is complicated since coffee, wine, bananas etc travel the globe but we try and support local whenever we can and way harder than most. We love to support the ‘little guy’ – not huge money hungry corporations!

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“That’s why I love hospitality and opened a hotel and restaurants, and even learnt to grow our own produce in a field in the New Forest. Our spaces mean that the big adventure continues.” – Mark Cribb

“There’s been a huge growth in local brewing in Dorset over the last few years and we’re thrilled to be part of it. We are passionate about introducing people to real beers, both ales and lagers, made by real people – not giant international brands. There’s better choice and bigger flavours now and we want people to discover this for themselves.” – Mark Cribb

Will you guys still be running your events and themes?

We love our themed months – so in August we have Rum Month coming up and September is Harvest and Hedgerows. We are really excited about Harvest and Hedgerows as all of our venues will have special items on the menu for that month to celebrate seasonal, autumnal dishes.

I think we can all agree that will make going back to school a bit more palatable! Thank you Chloe for your time, we can’t wait to try the new menu!

For more information on Jenkins & Sons you can click right here.

Thanks for reading,

Em