NEW YORK NEW YORK


June 2014, was my first visit to New York and it won’t be the last. 

It was a last minute decision, after finding out Ben's film had been accepted only a month before the festival. This last minute decision meant that we'd see the Premiere of Ben’s first ever film being screened at The Bicycle Film Festival, New York! How can you say no to that?




I’d been introduced to The Bicycle Film Festival at the Barbican in London, a few years previously by Ben. The festival is over a week showing different genres of films that are all related to bicycles in some way or another. It is no wonder Ben already knew so much of BFF before he’s even considered entering it as he has such a strong interest in bikes.

The barbican had been great but New York, was on another level. That was probably down to the fact that NY is the original birth place of the BFF plus the home town of the founder, Brent Barber. Showcasing so many fantastic genres of films but also included alley cat race, an incredible group art show called “Joyride,” at Marlborough Gallery’s Broome Street location that ran throughout the festival and obviously a party every evening. 

All the films were shown at the Anthology Film Archives, a location which in itself holds a lot of nostalgia for film buffs. It reminded me of the Ghost Busters!



Brendt Barbur,  the founder, launched the festival back in 2001 in New York after he was hit by a bus in NY whilst riding his bike. Instead of backing away from cycling he wanted to celebrate cycling. So the BFF became the catalyst for the Urban bike movement 

 “One of the most powerful & culturally relevant forces of the last decade”.


The Coldest March, Ben's film, is a documentary style film about two friends who try to cycle from John O’Groat’s to Lands End on the same bike. Cycling 75miles in 6 hour stints each none stop for three days. Whilst one cycles the other sleeps in the support crew camper van. 

Deciding that warm spring weather would be ideal for the event they decided that March would be the right time to go. March 2013 turned out to the coldest March for 50 years with temperatures plummeting to sub zero temperatures, flash floods and snow blizzards. Ben captures the journey, camaraderie and a sense of the united kingdom scenic landscape. Watch the trailer HERE

Photo taken from 'The Coldest March' by Ben Pickett
The festival now travels to over 50 international locations including Brazil, Hawaii, Russia, Canada, Spain … to name a few. Which also means that Ben’s film may also be travelling to these locations as well!

Lucas Brunelle arriving at BFF
Lucas Brunelle - a fantastically interesting guy and cyclist, arrived along with one of Alley cat races for the premiere of his film at the BFF. If you don't know this man is have a watch of the trailer for one of his better known films' Line of Sight' . This will give you an insight to a world of cycling you may have never seen before.
I was pretty much at the edge of my seat the entire time I watch this film and now have a true respect for any NY bike courier!!


Whilst in New York we were given some tips on places to visit by my old School friend Sophie Richards. One of the places on her list was Fette Sau which is based in Williamsburg, across the Brooklyn Bridge. FETTE SAU meaning FAT SOW in German or best known as FAT PIG has been remarked to be one of the best New York's BBQ scene. 



This place reminded me a lot of Shoreditch, housed in a converted garage and served spectacular smoked meats by the pound. Ben was in heaven!

The menu was the following:
Pulled pork shoulder ($16/lb), 
Loin chops ($20/lb)
Boneless beef ribs ($4.75-$19). 
The brisket ($16/lb)
Burnt End Baked Beans  ($5.25 for a small, $8 for a large) retty meaty themselves, so consider yourself forewarned.
Broccoli Salad ( $5.25 ) Was cold slightly overcooked marinaded stems. I ordered this to help lighten the weight of the overall but didn’t really work.

There's no sitdown service at Fette Sau, food is eaten at shared tables, after waiting in a typically long que to place your order. Told you it was like Shoreditch!

Fette Sau is located at 354 Metropolitan Ave between North 4th and Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-3404, fettesaubbq.com). If you like meat, you will love this place!


HOW TO EAT 7+ PORTIONS OF FRUIT & VEG


As a rather big treat to myself, I bought a Vitamix for my birthday. This wasn't a rash decision by any means, I've been wanting one for over three years after been mesmerised after seeing it at a food show demonstration. If you've never heard about them before, they are an incredibly powerful blender that has a price tag to match. But it isn't just a blender! It can blend raw veg and turn it into soup in minutes. A blender that can peanuts into peanut butter, Frozen fruit into ice cream and of course whizz up fantastic smoothies in seconds! Yes seconds!! The fact in does it in such a short space of time supposedly means the vitamin and nutrient content stay high, thus the name, vita-mix...


Not a day has passed since getting this crazy blender that I haven't used it!

The 'Green Smoothie' - A smoothie of both fruit and green vegetables, is another food trend that is currently going crazy. British Vogue even did an article about it in their recent issues. However I can't say that I've jumped at trying one, they look like that concoction you'd make in the school canteen which you were the dared to drink!!! That said now I have vitamix, any excuse I can find to use it the better! Plus what with the recent change in 'healthy diet guidelines' to increase our vegetable intake, it also seems to be the sensible thing to do.

At this point I just want to mention I am NOT a nutritionist. I am merely an eager vegetable loving blogger and the information on this post is from a selection of sources that I have read and heard about but is purely my opinion. So don't take things I say as gospel! Best to do some research yourself too.

So, last month it was announced that the previous guidelines by the World Health Organisation that were backed by the Government and NHS of eating 5 portions of fruit and veg should be increased to 7. A 12 year study taken at the College of London found that 5 portions was not adequate and that people who ate several portions of fruit and vegetables had a lowered risk of premature death by 42%.

Researchers also evaluated that canned and frozen fruit actually increased the risk of mortality by 17% and drinking fruit juice had no significant benefit. I personally am quite surprised at this, considering I buy fresh bananas that I then chop up and then freeze. I can not understand how a banana can go from being good for me to buy a 'risk' by freezing it. Obviously the Frozen food manufactures were up in arms about this statement and highlighted how the report itself had stated that frozen fruit is 'held to be equivalent' to fresh fruit. As well condemning the study for putting frozen fruit into the same group as canned fruit, which tends to contain higher sugar levels. If you have any thoughts on why frozen fruit could be classed as bad, please do let me know...

Another interesting point from this study was that they also acknowledged the beneficial differences between vegetables and fruit.  Each piece or portion of fruit consumed lowered the chance of death by 4%, whilst each portion of vegetables lowered the risk of death by 16%. 

What is classed a s a portion!? The NHS created a downloadable PDF with a 'rough' list describing amounts that class as a portion. For a portion you'd be looking at a cereal bowl full of raw spinach or 7 cherry tomatoes or half an avocado. Have a look at the list for the rest.

So with a standard three meals a day you'd need to be having 2 portions at each mealtime and a snack of fruit or carrot sticks. For someone like me who craves beetroot and gets excited about sweet potatoes and butternut squash, it isn't something I'd have an issue fulfilling. 


Spinach & Kale used in my Blueberry Banana Smoothie this morning that I'll blog about soon. This smoothie contains four portions of your fruit and veg for the day!?!

However 2 portions of veg in the morning with a cuppa tea?? Hmm even I thought that could be difficult, and that is where GREEN SMOOTHIES come into their own! By whizzing up this in a morning, not only am managing to consume two portions of veg but also 1 if not 2 portions of fruit to boot! So that four portions of fruit and veg and I haven't even left the flat!!

Here is one of the many smoothies that I'm currently loving!! 

AVOCADO SPINACH BANANA SMOOTHIE 
Serves 2 - Equals 2.5 Portions of fruit and veg per serving!

1 Avocado
2 Large handfuls of spinach
1 large Banana (I chop these up and freeze the night before)
2 tbs Plain Probiotic Yoghurt
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
2 tsp Honey
1 tsp Matcha Green Tea (Have another post coming soon about this impressive powder!)
1 1/2 cups Oatly Milk, but you could also use Normal Milk, Almond Milk, Soya Milk, Coconut Water etc..

Put into your blender and whizz. Alternatively you could use a hand bender and put the ingredients into a jug and carefully whizz.




Lastly as much as jam jars work well you could always get yourself a insulated plastic cup. I got mine online from Starbucks but you can also get them in places like TK Maxx or from ebay. I'll be back with the Blueberry and banana smoothie soon.



Happy Blending!

THE CAMBERWELL KITCHEN // LONDON



The Camberwell Kitchen originated over in Sydenham as The Gluten Free Rosie Supperclub. Last summer I had the pleasure of dining at the Gluten Free Rosie Supperclub (you can read about it here) and thought it was fantastic! Six supper-clubs later, at a new location The Camberwell Kitchen was born and I managed to get myself some tickets and the chance for a second visit.


Camberwell Kitchen - Ant Saunt Rosie Norman 

Rosie, AKA, Gluten Free Rosie, is a trainee Dietitian/Nutritionist, coeliac, gluten-free cook & food blogger. Rosie’s interests are in plant-based nutrition & mindful eating.
Ant Saunt, the second half of Camberwell Kitchen, is passionate about cooking, eating & discovering the new restaurants London has to offer. He is also happens to be Rosie's boyfriend.

I went along with, Ellie and Lara, my companions for the evening. We somehow managed to be the first to arrive, which was by no means any hardship as we were warmly welcomed. Soon to find a delicious blood orange, gin & rosemary cocktail in our hand. What with all the excitement I didn’t manage to take a photo before drinking it all!? Sorry about that.

The cocktails were served in jam jars with crushed ice and a sprig of rosemary. These were partnered with a little ‘bite’ to keep us going whilst the other guests arrived for the evening. This was salmon sashimi with wasabi mayo,crispy seaweed & toasted sesame seeds. A delicious punch of heat and and fresh fish.


As the rest of the guests bundled in, we all made our introductions, with a very impressive help from Rosie who was managing to nearly name each person as they arrived!? The cosy Camberwell flat managed to squeeze 14 people along the single long table. 

As everyone settled into their seats, the first course was brought out. 

Purple sprouting broccoli with sirloin steak & hazelnut pesto. This was very tasty but I was a little surprised the see red meat on the menu for both starter and main, not that I'm complaining it was lovely but I am a huge lover of veg! I loved how last time at GFR the starter had been vegetable based. Now all the guys that were there, would probably disagree with me completely but hey that's just my opinion.... ;)


Organic slow roasted lamb shoulder with cauliflower couscous, sweet potato mash & wilted spinach. The cauliflower couscous was fantastic! I was informed it literally is a whole cauliflower whizzed up in the food processor and then had spices and fresh herbs added. The lamb and sweet potato melted off the fork and the combination of flavours were fantastic. 


Finished off with chocolate almond cake with rosemary + olive oil ice cream and salted caramel sauce. This disappeared rather quickly! The olive ice cream gave refreshing & slightly earthy balance to the sweetness of the caramel sauce and richness of the chocolate cake.


It was wonderful catching up with Rosie and finding out what she’d been up too since I’d last seen her. You may have come across her via a few interviews from Ideal Magazine , The Debrief , The Guardian , Absolutely South East (on page 47) to name a few... Rosie had been busy! It was also a great chance to finally meet the second half of The Camberwell Kitchen, Ant Suant. 

Aware that Ant and Rosie would be a little hectic this evening I asked them a few questions before my visit on the 29th to get an insight into their setup. Here is what I found out...


AntHi!
Have you ever been to a Supperclub yourself other than CK, if so which ones and what were they like?
Yes, I’ve been to a couple. I’ve been to James Ramsden’s Secret Larder a couple of times, I also went to this New Orleans one in Bethnal Green too (can’t remember the name). I have been to a few ‘Forza Win’ events- although not really a Supper Club I guess. I enjoyed all of them, there always seems to be such a great atmosphere.
What do you do? Is it linked with food / nutrition or cooking?
I am in data analytics in a client facing role- basically I travel around England talking to government departments helping them to use data more effectively as part of their decision-making processes etc.. So absolutely nothing to do with food unfortunately!
Rosie is a coeliac, since dating have you found your diet has changed? 
Probably yes. Not when I’m not with her but undoubtedly I eat fewer gluten based meals when we’re both around especially since we moved in together around 18 months ago.
Do you eat healthy recipes 24/7? What are your food weaknesses, the ones you can't live without?
No, I don’t eat healthy recipes all the time. I try and eat a varied diet but probably eat too much meat and too big a meal in the evening. At this stage in my life I think I can get away with not being too obsessive with my diet as I do quite a bit of exercise. For me, the most important part of eating is to enjoy it, if you spend your whole time worrying about calories, sugar and salt content etc it takes the fun away and can actually be quite harmful to the mind. I do (luckily) enjoy healthy food though. My weakness would be burgers- especially when Rosie isn’t around!
I can imagine that running a Supperclub can be stressful. How does it work that you are a couple, is it a hindrance or blessing?
It can be stressful as we’re both pretty busy but we really enjoy it on the day and whenever either of us is feeling the pressure the other one will support and help them so it’s definitely a blessing.
The Supperclub is a team effort, Rosie can link the Supperclub with her studying and blog. What do get from doing the Supperclub?
I think eventually we want to do something in the food industry so for me it’s more of a long game but in the short term I love the positive feedback and enjoyment our guests get.

Rosie:
What is your main goal? Nutritionist? Food writer, chef? Restauranteur? Or all three! ;)
Setting up a restaurant is deceptively tough, I don't think I'd be able to handle that! In short, I think my main aim is to make delicious food, and healthy messages, inspiring. As a young female, I particularly relate to the crazy amount of confusing health messages girls are faced with in our day-to-day lives. As a trainee dietitian, I'm being taught to critically analyse the evidence base behind nutritional science and I hope to be able to use this knowledge to dispel health claims commonly seen on social media and in the press. In about 1 year's time I will be a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. I love to keep busy so I think I’d like to combine various aspect of nutrition together by working as a dietitian within the NHS and continuing to cook blog and write on the side. 
Any future plans? What is in the pipe line - Cookbook? TV Appearance? Vlogs? (short videos on ur blog) 
Vlogs are definitely something I’m interested in. We’ll have to see what happens this summer! 
Time keeping; How do you manage to juggle studying, blogging, running a Supperclub and on top of that keeping a healthy lifestyle, fitness?
I was lucky enough to get an i-pad from Ant two Christmas’s ago which has really helped keep me organised as I can easily access different e-mail accounts, calendars, social media platforms, science journals and news articles on a big screen, on-the-go.
I try to do what I enjoy doing to keep fit otherwise I won’t do it at all. I really like using resistance bands and body weight exercises for strength training. If I’m in a rush, I can literally just do 10 minutes of this in my fat in the morning. I also enjoy walking so if I’m travelling somewhere which can be reached by foot, I’ll try to take this route instead of public transport.

Timeout is important. How do you like to relax chill out?
I’ve just done a course in mindfulness which involves meditation. This really helps me to zone out and rationalise when I’m stressed.
I love your recipes you have on the blog. Is there any piece of equipment in the kitchen you can't live without or desperately would love to have?
 Thank you so much! I have a magimix which I use almost daily to make pesto, soup, nut butters, fresh pasta, cakes...so much!   
Starting the blog at the end of 2013 you have gained an impressive following and coverage in a short period of time. What do you put this down too?
I think people are naturally very interested in health and wellness which has helped, although I ‘m still a long way from where I want to be! Perhaps due to me having coeliac disease and training to be a dietitian my blog deals with gluten-free diet from a personal level and professional level which is a fairly interesting concept. The gluten-free industry is also growing rapidly so people are often looking for recipes and advice within this field.
Eating whole foods and fresh fruit and veg is something you push on your blog and could be said to be your mantra. But what is your secret guilty pleasure that you like to indulge in when no one is looking? ;) Go on tell all! ;)
I don’t really have any ‘guilty’ pleasures as such since no food is intrinsically good or bad and all foods can be healthy or unhealthy in different quantities and situations. Weirdly if I’m feeling a bit worse for wear, I always crave sushi which is considered to be pretty healthy! However if I’m feeling really indulgent I’d choose to eat slow cooked pork belly followed by salted caramel ice-cream.
In recent times social media has had an influx of bad press what with 'trolls' and nasty comments. Have you ever experienced any of this and if so how have you dealt with it?
I haven’t personally experienced trolling, but I’ve conversed with people who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about nutritionally. I’m no expert myself, however I do have some science grounding, and nutrition-based social media platforms can do more harm than good in the wrong hands because science is often very complex. Einstein said: “The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know”. After three years studying nutrition full-time with one more to go, I realise that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this complicated science! It infuriates me when I see high-profile people in the nutrition industry with barely any official nutrition training (e.g. not a degree) advocating people cut out food groups such as dairy without any robust scientific evidence. Some people almost treat food like a religion so when you try to tell people they are fooling themselves (e.g via following a fad diet), they react as if a foundational belief has been violated.
You are an inspiring person and blogger. Who do you find inspiring and what blogs do you follow?
So many people! I find lots of science academics who speak out in the media inspiring; Professor Tom Sanders has a no-nonsense approach to nutrition which I admire. Dr Ben Goldacre wrote a fantastic book called ‘Bad Science’ where he takes on misleading health claims in the nutrition industry. I did a bit of research and found that he’d done a TED talk, what here to get more of an insight. I enjoy following the dietitian Catherine Collins (@RD_Catherine) on twitter who is fanatical at critically analysing nutrition research. And in terms of cooking – Diana Henry’s balance approach to healthy eating in ‘A Change of Appetite’ is currently at the top of my list.  
You can fit 14 people into your supperclub. As a rough estimate, out of the 14 people, how many are usually coeliacs?
 Surprisingly not that many – perhaps 1 or 2! I have been pleasantly surprised by how many people have come because they simply want to enjoy good food. We do have quite a few guests coming with intolerances and allergies other than gluten: dairy, refined sugars and FODMAPs to name a few. This is something Ant and I make clear we’re really happy to accommodate.
Have you been to many supperclubs? And as a coeliac which have been your favourites?
No as many as I would like as being gluten-free makes it tricky. James Ramsden’s Secret Larder did a gluten-free theme at his supper club which was amazing. I really want to go to one in Brixton soon called Saltoun

The Camberwell Kitchen, seriously tasty food that happens to be gluten-free!
Well worth pressing that refresh button several times to get yourself a ticket to go! (Last time they went in 3 minutes!)

Price: £30, a cocktail & 3 course meal will be provided (BYOB). 
www.glutenfreerosie.com