the lab taste festival

Mackerel tartare with caviar, beetroot and horseradish by Dan Loflin of Kensington Place

From the 25th-27th April a brand new event, brought to us by the creators of Taste Festivals and sponsored by AEG, took over Tobacco Dock: The Lab. Welcome to foodie heaven.

Over those three evenings guests of The Lab were able to visit the docks and indulge in experiences led by some of the greatest chefs in the world. Based around the idea of wild experimentation (the X Factor for many of the chefs in attendance) and preparation techniques, the likes of Alex Atala (Chef-Patron of D.O.M), Massimo Bottura (Chef-Patron of the world’s 5th best restaurant, Osteria Francescana), and Ashley Palmer-Watts (Head Chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) were just a few of the heavy-hitters headlining the event.

Though my schedule only allowed me to spend the first night there in full, it worked in my favour as many of my must-sees took to The Lab that very evening. Kicking off with Alejandro Diaz of Bubble Food taking on the Experimental stage, I was finally (FINALLY!) able to sample some of Bubble Food’s wonderfully insane culinary concoctions (bubblegum popcorn paste, anyone?).

Teased by tasters, I wandered around armed with a paper bag full of colour-coded casino chips that entitled each attendee to champagne, a Rekorderlig cocktail, three ‘Dishes’ (the best of which was Dan Loflin’s tartare, above) and an ‘experimental’ dish. Bubble Food, unsurprisingly, reigned supreme. In addition to trialling their liquid nitrogen poached mousse and creating molecular caviar, I almost stole an entire tray packed with demonstrations of their “spherification technique” (these guys are turning olives into liquid, injecting them into a bath of calcium to form into a bubble, and then letting them pop on the tongue). Mind BLOWN.

Before I could grab a second/third/fourth/whoscounting cocktail, my date and I traipsed into the ‘Noma Flavour Test’ to spend half an hour in a experimental tutorial with Lars Williams (Noma’s head of research and development) and create our very own Noma-worthy dish.

I cannot wait to see where The Lab goes from here…

the lab taste festival
the lab taste festival
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My Zenergy
If you follow me on Instagram (@lelalondon), you were likely to have seen me upload much more food porn than usual this past week. The explanation? I have been more than pleased (and visually inspired, it seems) by a five day trial of the Zenergy meal plan service.

Zenergy is simple; a great choice for those who are too busy, too unhealthy, or too inadequate in the kitchen (ahem), Zenergy delivers healthy, fresh and nutrient-packed meals in a carefully customised and calorie-controlled plan. Offering a satisfaction guarantee, you receive a hamper early each morning with your full day’s temperature-controlled meal boxes. You are, respectively, encouraged to ‘recycle’ the hampers at your door each succedent morning. (High five, eco goddesses!)

Every meal was delicious. They suggest you pace each ‘box’ roughly three hours apart, but my schedule means some stretches of time reached over five hours. Remarkably, I was not hungry. Their head nutritionist, Sara Mehrabdi, truly has a handle on the oft-debated balance between protein, carbohydrates, and feeling full. More than that, she creates food that I happily devour when I am not ravenous, because I know it is ‘fueling’ me. Now four days past my trial, I have noticed an unexpected but positive shift in my eating habits that has me craving more green-coloured food than the hypnotic chocolate-coloured offerings of yesterdays. For that alone, I think Zenergy would be a fantastic, painless detox for absolutely anyone.

So here we go, what you’ve all been waiting for, last week’s food diary (minus the glass of water between every ‘course’).
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creme brulee vaseline
Vaseline is one of those ‘magic products’ that cure almost any beauty ailment. Make-up remover, lip moisturizer, highlighter, night cream (when heated), eyebrow tamer, eyelash conditoner, the list goes on and on!

The smell, though? Nothing to write home about. Until now. As a complete creme brulee addict, I was thrilled to find out that after their Aloe Vera and Rosy tint releases, the brand has now released a limited edition Creme Brulee scent! Limited edition at Selfridges (also online) only, for just £2.99.

Food porn, for your time…

creme brulee