Kitchen Musings…

Things have been a little quiet in the Cross kitchen of late. Can you really blame me?  The sun’s been shining and to avoid having to pack up our lives before we depart to the big smoke, we’ve taken advantage of such a rare opportunity to go boat tripping, ice cream eating, Easter egg hunting, generally gallivanting here there and everywhere and the wedding season kicks off this weekend.

But elsewhere on the food and drink scene there are a lot of exciting things happening, which are worth taking note of.

With Real Bread Maker Week fast approaching, one of the masters of baking bread Andrew Whitley is set to launch a new book on May 1, titled, Do Sourdough.  A baker for over 30 years Andrew and his wife Veronica run a series of bread making courses, Bread Matters, in the Scottish Borders. And although he champions real bread he also recognises not everyone has buckets of spare time to bake bread from scratch in their own homes.

However his new book, which he‘ll be unveiling at an event in Edinburgh’s Fruit Market Gallery on Wednesday 7 May at 6.30pm, will share with readers his simple method of making exceptional and flavoursome bread and he promises you’ll  still have time to spare to get on with life.

Fans of matching beer with food will definitely want to book a table at The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry on Monday 12 May at 7pm for their chance to taste a range of delicious local beers by de Brus,  matched with chef and owner Craig Wood’s own fabulous food. Craig has developed an array of mouth-watering “wee tasting dishes” using local, seasonal produce, which will be matched with each brew, guaranteed to ignite your taste buds.

The evening will be hosted by Craig as well as the creator of the Dunfermline based de Brus brand David Austin, and brewer Douglas Ross. Tickets cost £30 and to book call 01383 616263.

For those living on the south side of the capital, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear about the latest new kid on Edinburgh’s restaurant block. Aizle, located on St Lenoard Street, is a Scottish Neo – Bistro run by Chef Stuart and Mixolgist Krystal. The pair has packaged up their very own concept, bringing it to Edinburgh via London, NYC and the Caribbean, guaranteeing an exciting dining experience like no other.

With no traditional menu and therefore with no restrictions holding them back, Stuart and Krystal are free to use the very best produce from farms and suppliers locally.  Everything served on your plate is guaranteed to be fresh and in season, making it very much in vogue with diners.

Finally, calling all budding bakers!  Have you ever dreamed about creating your very own biscuit which would be available to buy along with the rest of your groceries? Well now is your chance. The Lanark based biscuit company and Scotland favourite, Border Biscuits has launched the Borders Biscuit Big Baking Bonanza, teaming up with TV chef Dean Edwards and leading supermarket Asda.

They’re on the search for the best biscuit recipe in Britain. If you have what it takes, to be in with a chance of winning £2000, a place on a baking course and for your recipe to be created and sold as a limited edition biscuit in Asda, submit your recipe online here. You have until 8th June 2014. But I for one am keeping my recipe under wraps. Good luck!



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