Michael Quinn obituary

My brother-in-law, Michael Quinn, who has died aged 71, was the first British head chef at the Ritz hotel in London. He improved the reputation of the nation’s food and helped put British cooking on the map.Born in Leeds, the youngest of six children of Frank Quinn, a gardener, and his wife, Agnes (nee Conboy), he left Corpus Christi secondary modern, Leeds, at 15, becoming an apprentice chef at the Queens hotel. He won national awards and prestigious posts from the beginning of his career. After working his way up to head chef at various hotels, in 1974, following divorce from his wife, Sheila, he became a single parent. He moved to Accrington to be near his eldest sister and her family, qualified as a teacher, then taught catering students at Accrington FE College. Continue...

Anna Jones’s recipe for late summer sweetcorn and tomato curry | The modern cook

Throw the last of the summer harvest into a sweetcorn and tomato curry spiked with chilli, alongside a tower of quick homemade chapatisMy summer was far too short and I’m not ready to let go just yet. I’m wishing with everything I have for another few weeks of sunshine, dinners outside, feet on grass, iced coffees. I don’t yet feel the lure of crisp autumn leaves, knitwear and bowls of soup ... it will come, I know, but for now I’m hell‑bent on keeping summer going as long as I can.So, this week I am doing all I can to encourage an Indian summer, throwing the final spoils of warm weather into a quick curry with some soft chapatis. My kitchen is still cheerful with bowls of tomatoes, citrus, squash and ears of corn. Late corn, less sweet than its earlier renditions, still in paper husks, is all the better for a gentle braise with some spice and a few tomatoes, easy chapati breads as a sidekick, which are even quite meditative to make. Continue...

Nigel Slater’s autumn fruit and nut recipes

New apples, the last summer squash, early walnuts, late berries, and wild mushrooms – it’s a brilliant time to be in the kitchenSweet young mussels, crisp new season’s nuts, wild mushrooms, early apples and late berries – could there be a better time of the year to shop for food? This month’s recipes make the most of the early nuts – the fat cobnuts and sweet walnuts – and the last of the green-fleshed summer squashes. Wild mushrooms are cooked with sweet-flesh young birds and there are berries to use too – the late blackberries and autumn raspberries for adding to roast and sautéed meat and tucking into little homemade pies and tarts. The best ingredients of the season, splendidly yet simply, on a plate. Continue...

The origins of clean eating

Why the fashion for restricted diets has been around longer than we might thinkPeople talk about orthorexia, an eating disorder that takes the form of an obsession with healthy food, as if it were a new thing – or, at least, an illness that has broken cover recently, encouraged by those who spend their days posting pictures of their fantastical beet- and cashew-based diets on Instagram. But as Laura Shapiro reveals in her new book, What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food that Tells Their Stories, the condition has been with us for decades – sometimes in plain sight. It was back in 1959 that Helen Gurley Brown, future editor of Cosmopolitan and bestselling author of Sex and the Single Girl, first walked into the Los Angeles health-food store on whose shelves she saw the (terrifying) future.Gurley Brown was then feeling rather glum: David Brown, her movie executive boyfriend, was refusing to marry her, and she had just finished an assignment at the Miss Universe Pageant at Long Beach, which had done her ego no good at all (all those younger, prettier girls). Needing a pick-me-up, she swung by a place she’d heard people raving about, Lindberg Nutrition, and by the time she left, she was a convert: to vitamin supplements, to soy-flour pancakes and to the Serenity Cocktail, which comprised, among other things, pineapple chunks, calcium lactate, vanilla, powdered milk and brewer’s yeast. Continue...

The oat milk invasion: how off-licences became the frontline of gentrification

In Hackney corner shops, craft beers do battle with Polish brands, crispbreads squeeze out biscuits and goji berries are everywhere. But as controversy swirls over the role of the convenience store, could these late-night grottos of essential items hold the key to greater integration?The first thing you see when you walk into Hackney Food Center on Well Street, London, is a large display of oat milk.Amid the tobacco, cheesy Wotsits and Haribo sweets you expect to find in London’s innumerable corner shops, this new addition seems rather odd. But the shop’s owner, Kenan Yildrim, says that 20-30% of his sales these days come from organic, healthy or niche brands that appeal to a certain kind of customer. Continue...