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Blogger Bites

Here, food bloggers reign supreme

Published on July 18th 2011.

Blogger Bites

HELEN Graves first started writing about food on her blog Food Stories back in July 2007. Graves also writes a recipe column for AOL Lifestyle that focuses on simple recipes that can be cooked mid-week. She lives in Peckham (and is very proud of it!), which has had a big influence on her cooking style; you'll find Middle Eastern and Caribbean ingredients popping up often in her recipes. One day she'd like to buy a van, learn to drive it (quite important that bit) and take it around the world selling jerk chicken and ice cream.

Where and what did you eat last night?

I ate smoked, glazed baby back pork ribs with deep fried okra and spicy coleslaw from The Rye Pub in Peckham, which is hosting the now very famous Meatwagon until September. Get down there while you can. They’re serving Meatwagon burgers plus different specials like the mushroom double swiss and smoked beef carpaccio.

If you like Weetabix, try fried insects, you’ll love them. I also tried to eat a testicle in Egypt but when I put my knife in to cut it the thing was like rubber and it pinged off across the restaurant.

Are there any food trends that you are currently obsessed with?
Well, I’m currently obsessed with American BBQ. I don’t know what everyone else is obsessed with… I tend to go my own way to be honest.

If you could choose to be the guest at any chef’s dinner party who would it be and why?

Well, it’s got to be Brett Graham of The Ledbury as his food is so fantastic and, very importantly unpretentious. I love it when people just quietly get on with doing something really well rather than banging on about it the whole time. His food is so inventive and, most of all, fun. I’d very much like to know what he eats on his night off… probably cheese on toast. Fuchsia Dunlop would be another obvious choice; I bet she cooks up a mean Sichuan spread. Oh, and Simon Hopkinson. I love the simplicity of his food. 

What’s your signature dish?

Either jerk chicken or piri piri chicken. I get equal amounts of requests for both when I go to BBQs.

What kind of eater are you?

Er, constant!

The Kitchen At Parson's Green

When you are not eating, blogging or thinking about where you are going to eat and blog about next, what do you like to do?
Well, I devour books like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve been told in the past that it’s rather frightening. I work in psychology research during the day time; our department specialises in diabetes and mental health. I’m a bit of a collector too – plates and crockery have become a bit of a problem and my boyfriend makes me keep most of it in the spare room. I also collect decorative Victorian tiles. Yes, that’s quite weird.  

What’s the strangest thing you have ever eaten in a foreign country?

In Iceland they really like to eat dried fish with butter spread on top of it – that was pretty unusual, but actually really nice. I ate whale in Iceland too, which I didn’t mean to do; I just didn’t realise what it was. I’ve tried fried insects before as well and I don’t get the point of those at all, it’s pretty much like eating sawdust. If you like Weetabix, try fried insects, you’ll love them. I also tried to eat a testicle in Egypt but when I put my knife in to cut it the thing was like rubber and it pinged off across the restaurant. The waiter had to crawl under a table to retrieve it – bit embarrassing.

Is there anything that you will not try on a menu?

No. Although I’m not a massive fan of brains – the texture is horrible and I don’t think they have much flavour either.

Have you ever tried any extreme diets?

I tried Atkins about ten years ago until someone told me about the horrible side effects. I believe I lasted two days. Pathetic! Dieting is never a good idea in my opinion – just exercise more instead. It’s simple really.

Which food blogs do you follow religiously?

Other than my friends’ blogs (Cheese and Biscuits and Hollow Legs), I really like Kerstin Rodgers’ (a.k.a Ms Marmite Lover) blogs – The English Can Cook and The English Can Eat. The woman really can cook, as she’s shown through her supper club, The Underground Restaurant. I actually read tons of blogs, but hers are particular favourites.

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