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The best of June on Great British Chefs

The best of June on Great British Chefs

by Great British Chefs 04 July 2016

We look back over the best features, recipes and food news from the month of June. Using the awful weather (and equally stormy political climate) as an excuse, we revelled in some fantastic comfort food dishes this month, as well as welcoming two new Italian chefs to the site, visiting a farm or two and preparing the perfect feasts to see us through the summer's sporting tournaments.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Summer surprised us

The June climate across the UK has been stormy to say the least, both in the meteorological and metaphorical sense. Fortunately, just when we we were all in desperate need of a little comfort, our fantastic chefs and bloggers came up trumps with a few hearty new offerings. Louise Robinson's fiercely seasonal Gooseberry pie with apple and elderflower made hiding indoors from the rain significantly more bearable, while Francesco Mazzei's Tartufo di Pizzo, a chocolate and hazelnut ice cream bomb, provided comfort in perfect proportions. For bigger appetites Victoria Glass' Cheddar stovies recipe was enough to drag our attention away from BBC News for five minutes, Steven Doherty's Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with bacon-fried peas (served on a mound of minted mash) had us actively looking forward to bad weather weekends and Peter Joseph brought the heat to our dinner tables that was so sadly lacking in most UK weather reports with his spicy Keralan chicken curry recipe. We loved this dish so much we were keen to know more, and luckily the chef was willing to take us on a journey to Kerala with him to explore the region's way of cooking.

Triumph and Disaster

Any excuse, eh? Yes, with the Euros dominating our screens in pubs, living rooms and sneakily-minimised-so-your-boss-won't-notice browser tabs across the country we turned our attention to the very best way to snack our way through the all consuming football tournament. Danny Kingston came up with a Euro 2016 snacking guide, offering beer pairings for such Eurocentric treats as Galette-saucisse (a favourite among host nation France's football fans) and Spice bags, the post-pub institution popular in Ireland.

Before the tears could dry on the cheeks of disappointed (but, let's face it, not exactly surprised) England fans another sporting institution began to help distract our minds and keep our cupboards well stocked with crisps. Wimbledon, with its starched whites and distinct lack of vuvuzelas, calls for an altogether different kind of spread, and we've gathered some wonderfully British snacks to see you through any extended sets. Karen Burns Booth's Pimm's strawberry jam recipe, served with fruit scones and cream, is a charming spin on the classic Wimbledon fare, while her savoury cream tea with cheese scones, tomato relish and herby cream cheese meant even those who don't consider themselves sweet toothed could join in the fun.

 
 

Palate hung with starlight

Over on Great Italian Chefs we welcomed Francesco Apreda and Antonia Klugmann to the family this month. The latter, hailing from the Italian-Slovenian border, celebrates the diversity of these country's cuisines (alongside a love of homegrown herbs) in dishes such as Sage risotto, Chicory ravioli and Soft polenta with sclopit. Francesco Apreda, too, is a fascinating chef whose recipes, including Caprese salad with dashi broth, Tandoori duck breast and Sake-glazed pollock, demonstrate his contribution to the growing Italian fusion movement.

On the subject of fusion cooking, culinary wizard Peter Gordon gave us some fascinating insight into his signature Pesto beef recipe, and we explored the small but perfectly formed twelve acre farm run by Simon Rogan to keep his restaurants fully stocked in unusual herbs and specialist vegetables (now that's commitment to quality). Making good use of his wellies, Hugh Thomas also visited the snail farm in Dorset which supplies a number of the country's top restaurants with plump and juicy gourmet gastropods.

Elsewhere in the world of food there was plenty of excitement this month with the announcement of the World's 50 Best Restaurants (congratulations, Massimo Bottura!) and Taste of London descending on Regent's Park. This year we got our hands dirty (and our shoes, as it turned out), running our own Taste of Britain stand with Adam Gray, Andy McLeish and André Garrett serving up colourful plates of some of their favourite signature dishes. Izzy Burton took a look at the best Italian cookbooks published this year and shared her predictions for Great British Menu, swiftly followed by a breakdown of this year's competing chefs.

 
 
 

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