Category: Food

5 Great Food-Based Films

With the release of the animated comedy Sausage Party (definitely not for kids), film and food lover Harry Casey-Woodward discusses five movies based on things we love to eat.

Ratatouille (2007) 

image

When I first saw this in the cinema, I thought this was one of Pixar’s best. The story is charming enough, with a rat fulfilling his dream to be a chef in one of the most esteemed restaurants in Paris. However, the film also invited us to share in his passion for food and cooking, even the simple dish of the title. Let’s just forget the fact that everyone in Paris has American accents.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 

image

I’m not a huge fan of this movie, but it’s such a celebration of our food lust I couldn’t afford to miss it off the list. An ambitious young scientist, trapped in a small town where all there is to eat is sardines, achieves surely everybody’s greatest wish and invents a machine that makes food rain from the sky. The film goes one step further, showing yet again how such a fantastic scientific achievement can get dangerous very quickly.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 

image

In honour of the late, great Gene Wilder this musical chocolate banquet surely earns a place here. Based on one of Roald Dahl‘s most imaginative and celebrated children’s books, the film follows a little blond angel named Charlie who wins one of the fabled golden tickets to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although I’m sickened slightly by the Americanised sappiness thrust into the story, the filmmakers did a great job of recreating Wonka’s factory with the finest of 70s effects, as well as keeping Dahl’s dark streak of humour intact.

Chocolat (2000) 

image

Let’s keep up the literary-inspired choc fests shall we? Based on the novel by Joanne Harris, a mysterious woman arrives in a small French town during Lent and promptly sets up a chocolate shop. When she starts awakening the townspeoples’ repressed desires, this does not sit well with the local priest and he and the woman begin a battle of ideologies. This is an exploration of the emotional power of food and Johnny Depp is dishy as a guitar-playing gypsy pirate.

Delicatessen (1991)  

image

Let’s stay in France, except we’ll travel into the future a bit. From visionary director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Alien: Resurrection) came this dystopian romantic comedy about an ex-circus performer moving into a flat. Unfortunately, in post-apocalyptic France food is scarce and the landlord, who happens to be a butcher, is eyeing up his tenant. But his daughter is nice. Cue a lot of comic action about human desperation for food, including some vegetarian revolutionaries.

Images from themovieman, amazon, space538.org, snoskred.org and fact.co.uk.

Careers: Tattooed Operations Manager

We chat to Lauren who works as the Operations Manager of Twisted Burger Co in Sheffield about a day in the life managing a developing food franchise and her growing collection of beautiful tattoos… 

How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I got my first tattoo when I was 18 so it’s not like I’ve got this underage story of a shit tattoo, even though it is a bit. I don’t think I’ll ever get it covered because I like that it’s my first tattoo, I like the back story. It was done in some dodgy tattoo shop in Rotherham and I got it because I wanted to know what a tattoo felt like. It’s just below my ankle and it’s ever so tiny, just a little daisy with some really shitty swirly stuff around it and I think it cost a tenner. I was bit worried that my foot was going to drop off but at the time I thought that it was the shit, like the bees knees, that I was so cool and took loads of pictures to put on the internet like ‘look at my new tattoo’ but I do still love it.

What drew you to tattoos, did anyone influence you?

Richard Lazenby from Crooked Claw Tattoo who is doing my right arm sleeve. His stye is very traditional, thick lines and bright colours that’s the kind of style that I like. There’s also someone I like called Filip Henningsson who works at Red Dragon tattoo in Sweden who I religiously follow – he is incredible. One day I want to go to Sweden just to get tattooed by him, he does really cool flash as well as a lot of necks and hands because obviously he is that good. And then my friend Alexandra Bawn her tattooing is incredible it is so intricate but she’s really versatile and changes. She also just got engaged to Matt Webb who is also a tattooist and I love his style and insanely bright colours. I usually just wear black so I kinda like my bright tattoos.

By Richard Lazenby at Crooked Claw Tattoo

Can you tell us about some your tattoos?

I have these three party dots on my hands, which I have matching with Anthony Allen from Skull & Bones Boys Club. We actually tattooed each other at 3am when we were absolutely hammered in my kitchen. We decided whilst drunk that we were ready for our party dots. So we bleached down the kitchen, got a sewing needle and some biro ink and put these black dots on each others hands. It was very silly but they’ve sort of grown as our friendship group has now got them too.

Then I’ve got ‘CFTHY’ which stands for Cult For The Haggard Youth which is an album by Dead Harts. I think there are now 14 or 15 people with this now in different places which is incredible. Next to that I have my brotat with Dom from Dead Harts as it was Friday the thirteenth and Niall Shannon was doing £13 flash so we got matching ones.

By Niall Shannon at Forgiven Tattoo

My baby is this one on my forearm, which is my late grandad. He passed away in February 2014, and I’ve got his nickname Sonny and my late grandma’s name Joan as well. I gave the task to Richard Lazenby and said here’s a picture of him do it in your traditional style. He did this beautiful traditional portrait of him but it’s not realistic but still a likeness of him in Richard’s style. I was originally going to get him on my leg but I changed my mind once I saw the design and I had him on my forearm, so it is definitely my all time favourite. Then I have a butterfly for one sister, a horse shoe for my other sister and some of my sleeve was paid for by family members. I’m building up bits and bobs like that and I’m getting some for my mum and dad further up my arm.

How did you get into your current role?

I actually started working for The Harley (flagship Twisted Burger Co venue) in October 2013 as the assistant manager of The Harley not Twisted Burger Company and within the space of a couple of months I moved up to being general manager, running the building, the club nights, managing all the staff and everything like that. From that my boss, Dave Healy saw something a little bit more in me, saw my ambition, saw my passion for food and my work ethic. I have always worked really hard all my life and he said right I don’t want you to be general manager anymore I want you to be the operations manager of Twisted Burger Company they need someone and I think you are the right person. I’d never been an operations manager before, I had no clue what I was doing and he said not to worry he’d teach me. So as well as the operations manager my role also entails being the area manager, the brand manager and I do all the marketing.

Did you have to get qualifications or did you work your way up?

I’ve been in the hospitality industry since I was 14, waitressing and working my way up. I also did some other management jobs before I was at The Harley but at the same time I went to university and got a degree in media studies and got a couple of NVQ’s in hospitality and catering so I got my qualifications as well. I originally wanted to go into radio but my career in hospitality just took over and I kept getting promoted. I’ve never had a company that has pushed me to be so creative and it’s definitely brought out the best in me.

Dead Twisted Vegan Sauces

What is a typical day like?

I’ll just describe what has been happening in March and that may just show you how crazy my career actually is! We’d planned to release our sauce range with Drop Dead, a new menu and a unit at the Moor Market in Sheffield City Centre. But originally these were all spaced out in our business plan for the year. Various things happened and it all ended up dropping into March. So in the space of like five weeks we launched the unit at the market, we launched a sauce range and we launched a brand new menu across all our franchises. So it has just been a really crazy past few weeks. But obviously everything that we’ve done with the sauces, from designing the labels with Tom J Newell, to coming up with the right recipes to the names on the new menu has just been mad.

It is just myself and Alex Malins who do all the day to day working for Twisted Burger Company, he is the executive chef but he has a lot more involvement than just the cooking- we do a lot together. It’s a very fun job, hard work but very rewarding.

Sweet Potato Fries from Twisted Burger Co

How do you dress for work? Do you show off your tattoos?

We dress however we want, most offices have a dress down Friday but usually I do dress up Fridays but just on my own because I do like to wear smart clothes and dress up a bit! If I’ve got meetings with future franchieses and I’m doing a sales pitch I will always dress up a little bit.

Do you find in hospitality people react more to your tattoos? 

I actually worked for Wetherspoons before I worked here and as soon as I got my first visible tattoo my boss sort of said  ‘you’re covering that up’ and they wouldn’t let me have my nose ring in either. Here there is a lot more freedom and it took me quite a while to get used to it after having to dress so smart all of the time. So coming to Twisted Burger Co and letting myself go was a bit of a weight off of my shoulders in a strange kind of way. But when I was working behind the bar, customer facing you do get a lot of comments or people touching you are grabbing where your tattoos are. But you just kind of get on with it.

The new Twisted Burger Menu

Do you have any advice to other people considering their careers when getting tattooed?

In the day we are in now I don’t think it matters as much as it used to but obviously with things like face or hand tattoos you’ve got to be quite discreet unless you know for the rest of your working life that you are going to be in a company that doesn’t mind you having those. But even with that sometimes when I have business meetings with future Twisted Burger franchisees I do cover up just to look a bit more professional rather than risk that judgement.

Even as a tattooed person I have that opinion that to look smarter you should cover your tattoos up – it depends entirely on who you are with and what you are doing. I don’t want to risk a bad decision for this business but then sometimes that is the quirk of Twisted Burger Company in that we can dress and look how we want. A few of us are tattooed and Alex Mallins my colleague has his eyebrow pierced so he is a bit of a goth as well. So if we turn up to a business meeting I bet sometimes people think God what have we let ourselves in for and then we sell our product and they think it’s a great product and a great brand. We’re so proud of TBC so its really easy to say great things about it because we love it as well.

We just want to grow in Yorkshire and keep getting bigger. It’s a lot of work to do but I love working here and I love my job!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

After we spoke to Lauren we then had the pleasure of checking out Twisted Burger Co’s new menu.  

From the ‘Return of The Mac’ burger with a pesto and mac and cheese combo to the incredible ‘Bury me in Smoked Sausage’ their new menu did not disappoint. If you’re into your chicken burgers but fancy something a bit different it’s well worth it for the creole mayo and smoked sausage topping.

Return of the Mac Burger

Bury me in Smoked Sausage Burger

But it was the ‘Drop Dead Twisted Barbecue Burger’ that really raised the stakes with a double vegan ‘meat’ patty, vegan ‘cheese’ slice and bbq jackfruit in the new Dead Twisted sauce which made this carnivore think twice before she orders another TBC burger.

Drop Dead Twisted Barbecue Burger

But if you aren’t in the mood for burgers Twisted’s ‘Jalapeño Business Fries’ hit the mark along side more amazing new sides to the menu. The incredible ‘Highway to Falaf-hell’ with coconut and coriander drip and ‘Hang up the chick habit’ consisting of a basket of confit chicken wings has an unbelievable blue cheese dip and will fill you up as much as any burger!


Pig Pimpin’ Fries

Crack ‘n’ Cheese

Highway to Falaf-hell

Jalapeño Business Fries

Next time be sure to check Twisted Burger Co at one of their venues across the North.

THE INKSIDERS – CHEF SERIES: GIZZI ERSKINE & MO COPPOLETTA – FIRST SITTING

THE INKSIDERS – CHEF SERIES: GIZZI ERSKINE & MO COPPOLETTA – FIRST SITTING

Three episodes. Three months. Three incredible chefs. The link? A true love for tattoos.

poster Gizzi

Inksider is a new platform in the tattoo industry. They believe that tattoo is a form of art and that getting inked is an affordable way to have an artwork using your body as a canvas and having your personal diary on skin. Their goal is to give people all the right tools to make a conscious choice, without regretting their tattoo in the future. They handpick the most talented artists to provide you with only quality art.

And for the first in the Chef Series, Inksider has teamed up with Tabl to present huge tattoo fan and celebrity TV chef Gizzi Erskine and internationally renowned artist and designer Mo Coppoletta, owner of the Family Business Tattoo Parlour.

Mo Coppoletta Mo Coppoletta

 

Gizzi Erskine has crafted an incredible three-course dinner menu, accompanied by a welcome drink made with the fabulous Brighton Gin and red and white wines by Bottle Apostle.

Experience a night where art meets food and listen to Gizzi and Mo, interviewed by Alice Snape from Things & Ink magazine. Hosted in Mark Hix’s CNB Gallery, the evening will explore the connections between food and tattoos, and how both define our personalities. And if that’s not enough, Inksider will be there to give guests all the right tools to make a conscious tattoo choice and inspire your personalised work of art.

Gizzi Erskine Gizzi Erskine

 

The first sitting is on Thursday 25 February at 6:15pm, seats are limited, check out Tabl for info. And the second sitting is at 9pm on the same day, again check out Tabl for more information.

 

 

Puddings in Film

Our guest blogger is hobbyist film and TV series reviewer and writer Harry Casey-Woodward

The Great British Bake Off is ensnaring everyone in its doughy tendrils and in spirit of all things cake, I’ve been thinking about some of the best scenes in cinematic history involving puds. So in no particular order of preference, here are my choices. I apologise in advance for Matilda not making the list.

Inglorious Basterds (2009) Apple Strudel

appple

Apple Strudel

Who wouldn’t accept an invitation to eat apple strudel? Perhaps not if the invitation came from the “Jewhunter” or Nazi Colonel Hans Landa played by Christoph Waltz and not if you were a French Jewish woman named Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), whose family Hans Landa had slaughtered. As much as you want to hate him, Hans has all the charm and vocal fluency of a true Frenchman as he politely interrogates Shosanna about her cinema and her background. He also orders her some apple strudel and a glass of milk, which is what he was drinking when he rooted her family out. When the strudel arrives, he realises he forgot the cream. He orders Shosanna in French to wait for the cream in such an absurd comical manner it’s kind of scary. When the cream arrives, there is a hush and an intimate close up of the cream being spooned onto the strudel. This moment gives me goose bumps, not just because it makes me drool but for the quiet moment in such a tense scene. The same thing happens when Hans takes a moment to chew and the sound of his teeth working on the soft flaky pastry is so crisp and clear it makes my hair stand up. Pudding can cause tension.

The Shining (1980) Chocolate ice cream

Shining03

Ice Cream

One of the spookiest yet most touching scenes involving a dessert, or dessert residue as the bowls the characters talk over look empty. Young Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), whose dad has just started the caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel for the winter, has been invited to have ice cream with the hotel chef Mr. Hallorann (Scatman Crothers). The only thing sinister about this is that Mr. Hallorann invited Danny with his mind (probably the scariest invite for ice cream on film). Hallorann then goes on to explain that they can communicate mentally thanks to the special psychic gift they both possess. Danny says it comes from a little boy called Tony who lives inside his mouth. Thus begins a rather delicate conversation in which Mr. Hallorann attempts to explain in child’s words the hotel’s dark past that clings to its walls much as the ice cream residue clings to their bowls, before giving a stern warning not to visit a certain room. The audience, having already been informed of the hotel’s violent history, is given a fresh curiosity. Heavy stuff to discuss over ice cream. What increases the impact of this scene is, like in Inglorious Basterds, there is a lack of soundtrack and background noise, so the softness and menace of the atmosphere is heightened.

Jurassic Park (1993) Jelly

jpjell

Jelly

Remember, if you’re ever scoffing puddings with your sister/companion and they’re eating jelly, keep an eye on them in case they stare suddenly over your shoulder and start shaking so much the jelly wobbles on their spoon like an overweight belly dancer. Then would be a good time to scarper as they may have just seen a dinosaur’s silhouette, or a shadow-saurus.

Natural Born Killers (1994) Key lime pie

key-lime-pie-natural-born-killers

Key lime pie 

The opening scene of this carnage fest sees our star-crossed psychopathic lovers Mickey and Mallory (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) stop off at a diner on their cross-country murder spree. Mickey orders key lime pie while Mallory dances to the juke box. She is harassed by two hot-blooded rednecks and the scene explodes in violent hallucinogenic mayhem, ending in Mallory playing eeny-miny-mo with the two remaining survivors, and it all started with a slice of pie. This scene sets the mood for the rest of the film, as does the sharp but sweet, squishy and sickly green nature of the key lime pie.

Chocolat (2000)… Chocolate, of course

ccc

Chocolate 

It is night in a sleepy French town, and a Catholic priest played by Alfred Molina freaks out during Lent and sabotages the delicious window display of his most hated chocolaterie. In the midst of his chocolate-smashing frenzy, a fragment brushes his lips and within seconds he’s cramming every chocolate sculpture between his teeth, consumed by a lust for sweetness as if he’s fallen into the lap of some chocolaty prostitute, before breaking down in tears and falling asleep. He is woken in the morning, smothered in brown residue amongst the wreckage, by the concerned chocolatier. We feel for you Father, we feel for you.

Cakes and Tattoos

Anmar Odendal is a  pastry chef, wedding cake baker and social media addict from Aldeburgh in Suffolk. We chatted to her about her tattoo inspired cakes and cake inspired tattoos as well as her new book venture. 

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I only got my first tattoo in February 2013! I love the idea of being able to permanently carry with you your experiences and things that you hold special. Getting inked and discovering the world of tattoos has come at the perfect stage of my life, as I am now in a position where my both my style in my career and  personal life have become my trademark. Every tattoo I have tells a story  and means the world to me. It’s my journey, on my skin, that I take with me everywhere. My tattoos make me feel like a million bucks – and if someone doesn’t like it it doesn’t bother me at all. My skin, my way!

Who did it your first tattoo? My first tattoo was only a tiny rainbow infinity sign on my wrist. I know the infinity sign has now become one of those tattoos that every one has – but to me it means “what goes around comes around”. A really horrid relationship just confirmed how much I believed in Karma – and that is what it symbolises to me. I don’t look at it in a negative light at all – I love it and it reminds me I was the stronger one and that I came out better, and stronger on the other side.


My first real tattoo (and I say real as I mean this was designed from my own concept) was done by Dolly at Needles & Nails s in Brighton. She has since moved to Occult in Worthing and has also done my thigh piece for me. I knew she would be the perfect artist for my dream of having a tiered wedding cake tattoo! Her style is bold, mega colourful, girly and super bright. I now have a massive pink wedding cake on my forearm – and I love it. People don’t wonder about my job any more!

How do your friends and family react to your tattoos? I don’t know if anyone really honestly says what they think about tattoos. It’s clear that tattoos are still a big no-no to lots of people and I understand that.  Most reactions have been good as they suit my personality.I am South Africa and grew up on a farm over there. I do sometimes wonder what the reaction will be when I do go home, as tattoos are still very much frowned upon.  People always ask ‘what are you going to look like when you are eighty?’

Why are people so worried about what were going to look like when we are eighty? When I’m eighty my body will tell an amazing story of the live that I have lived!

Do you have any future tattoo plans? Definitely. I had one of my feet done by the amazing Jody Dawber and I still need to have the other one done! The fab Miss Dolly will be doing my other thigh – I’m not so sure what I’ll get, but I look unbalanced with one beautifully tattooed and the other bare.  I also have a space booked with the amazing Hollie West for one of her fab chubby ladies – with a baking theme of course!

When did you start baking and when did you set up your own business? I’m lucky as I come from a family of very talented bakers.  I never specialised as a pastry chef/ baker as I trained as a professional chef, but always found myself in the pastry kitchens. I always loved making cakes,but it was only once I moved to the UK with my then husband that I decided to do it full time and start my own business. I saw a gap in the market in the area for big, bold beautiful cakes and set CRUMB up in 2010.
I am very lucky as Crumb grew really fast and by 2013 I won the regional award for “best wedding cake designer” in the East of England at the National wedding industry awards in London. I am also listed in 2014’s “most incredible wedding cake bakers in the UK”.

What do you usually create? As well as running Crumb I also work as the pastry chef at a local hotel. I create anything and everything really! I always like to say- “If you can dream it, I can bake it!” At the moment my mini meringues and macarons are very popular and I’m doing numerous master classes and workshops teaching eager bakers how to make them. Food demonstrations on stage is another great passion I have – I love theatre cooking – something I never thought I’d get in to!

Do you have any favourite cakes that you have baked? There are many! One of my favourites has to be a massive black, red and white wedding cake that was topped with a life size solid white chocolate skull, red glitter encrusted red roses and black lace for one of my favourite couples ever. I made a very opulent cake for a celebrity couple that also featured in OK! Magazine last year. I love doing big over the top cakes – shows topper cakes – things that Marie Antoinette would have approved of! I also make birthday and other celebration cakes when I have the time – some of my favourites include a Mexican sugar skull cake and some cupcakes topped with designs from the jewellery brand Tatty Devine.

Do you have any future projects?  I am currently working on a new baking recipe book, with a bit of an edge. I’ve rounded up 12 of my favourite female tattoo artists who are all letting their creativity flow and designing their dream wedding/celebration cake in the style and theme of the tattoos that they create. The book will feature all 12 artists, and I will make their artwork into a real cake, with recipes, tutorials and tricks to recreate the cakes, or design your own cake. The book will also contain some amazing other recipes that are my favourites including macarons, meringues, cookies and brownies.

Follow Anmar and her book for exciting news and delicious bakes.

Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post for Anmar’s recipe on how to make a rainbow unicorn cake…