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FREE 27 January 2022 PART-TIME PETS How sharing furry friends has become a new trend p41 ANDREWWONG Pioneering chef on his journey to the top table p10 SLOW COOKERS Why the kitchen classic has made a comeback p9 Make the most of citrus season withMartha Collison’s zingy recipes, p21 Zest for life OFFERS 25% o selected products for the ultimate roast p46

2 27 J ANUARY 202 2 NEWS&VIEWS WhenHenry Dimbleby talks to people about the future of food, he oftenmentions the innovative ways wemight source protein by eating algae or growingmeat in labs. Not everyone warms to these ideas. “At COP26, there was lots of discussion about vertical growing systems, alternative protein sources and rewilding traditional farmland,” says the Leon restaurant chain co-founder, who has spent the last three years researching and writing the government’s National Food Strategy, the first major review of our food system in 75 years. “It’s quite a high-tech vision, and that’s deeply exciting to some, but it also threatens traditional ideas of how our countryside should look and the purpose it should serve.” According toHenry, we’re a long way from the kind of dramatic rural changes that some people worry about. “We will definitely find more e ective ways to grow protein, but this doesn’t mean we are going to end up transforming the countryside,” he says. “The best farms I’ve seen have blended old ideas with new. They have an inspiring combination of science, such as drones that count crops, and old wisdoms, such as crop rotation and using animal manure to improve soil health.” But beyond farming, Henry does believe that huge change is on the horizon. In fact, he is passionate about making sure the government commits to a radical reset of our food system that will transform the environment, food education and diet inequalities along the way. In his two-part National Food Strategy, One man’s plan to radically reset the way we eat As Henry Dimbleby awaits the government response to the National Food Strategy – his vision to overhaul the UK industry – he tells Anna Shepard how we can all act for the good of ourselves and the environment commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural A airs (Defra) in 2019, he laid out the nuts and bolts of how tomake this happen, calling our food system both “amiracle and a disaster”. “Since the SecondWorldWar, we have managed to adapt in a way that has enabled us to feed eight billion people – that’s the miracle – but in doing so it has caused catastrophic biodiversity loss, pollution, climate change and the destruction of our oceans. It has made us and our planet sick, and it cannot go on,” he says. It’s a gloomy assessment, but Henry believes there is every reason to be hopeful. Timing is in our favour and we have reached a point where there is acceptance of the need for change. “Many of the problems I address in the report are now viewed as mainstream,” he says. “Not long ago, worrying about what children ate in schools or the possibility of environmental collapse were thought of as wishy-washy. Now these are centre stage.” Having co-written the School Food Plan in 2013 to investigate the role of cooking and food in schools, Henry finds it heartening to see children’s nutritional needs being takenmore seriously. Covid has brought to the surfacemany problems, such as rising obesity and food inequality, that can no longer be kicked down the road. “Poor diet is the country’s biggest source of preventable disease and that has to change,” he says. In the review, he calls for taxes on sugar and salt, designed to forcemanufacturers to reduce the amounts in their products, to break the junk food cycle. PrimeMinister Boris Johnson initially rejected this idea, but Henry stands by it, as part of a wider strategy that includes Eat &Learn programmes, promoting food education in schools, and increased government support to help people transition to healthier habits. “I’ve been told it’s a nanny state approach, STRIVING FOR A BETTER FUTURE Henry Dimbleby (main); a large vertical farm contained inside a greenhouse (above left); a drone flying over a field of crops (above); baked carrots, beets, courgette and yam with houmous ( left) ‘Poor diet is the country’s biggest source of preventable disease and that has to change’ Cover Photography: Simon Reed, Jutta Klee

3 27 J ANUARY 202 2 but in the cases where we have implemented things like free school meals, free vegetables and cooking classes, it has directly improved people’s diets,” he says. “There is this idea that eating healthily is amiddle class concern, but I have not found this to be the case. I have found people at every level of wealth to be extremely engaged with what they eat and how this a ects their health and particularly their children’s health.” Another of his recommendations is to reduce our meat intake by a third, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and bolster food security. He supportsWaitrose’s strategy of expanding plant-based ranges and promoting vegetarian alternatives. “The reality is that we’ve all got to reduce our meat consumption, and that is singularly themost significant thing that anyone can do, whether it’s by eatingmore vegetables and legumes or finding alternative forms of protein,” he says. Our countryside is not going to be taken over by protein-producing robots anytime soon, but wemay have to refresh our eating habits and become comfortable with a di erent approach to food production. WHO IS HENRY DIMBLEBY? Born in May 1970, Henry is the son of broadcaster David Dimbleby and cookery writer Josceline Dimbleby Aged 14 he played Tom Dudgeon in the BBC production of Swallows and Amazons Forever! After studying at Oxford University, he followed his mother into the food world, working as a commis chef under Michelin-starred Bruno Loubet He worked as a gossip columnist for The Telegraph, before a stint as a management consultant, where he met John Vincent. With John and chef Allegra McEvedy, he launched healthfocused fast food chain Leon in 2004 In 2009 he co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which led him to co-writing the government’s School Food Plan in 2013 to help improve children’s relationship with food FUN WITH FLORA Fans of BBC’s The Green Planet will be able to step into a world of åuttering butteråies and åoating seeds at an augmented reality experience that brings the TV series to life. A virtual Sir David Attenborough (below) will take visitors through the secret kingdom of plants and äve digitally enhanced biomes, from desert to saltwater. The Green Planet AR Experience by EE 5G is free and runs in London from 11 February to 9 March, with tickets at thegreenplanetexperience.co.uk. SUPER SPUD A New Zealand couple has laid claim to growing the world’s largest potato. Nicknamed ‘Doug’, the 7.8kg (17lb 3oz) monster spud is the size of a small dog, and was discovered by Colin and Donna Craig-Brown at their veg patch in Hamilton, North Island. Doug awaits ofäcial veriäcation that it’s a genuine potato before receiving the Guinness World Record title, which currently belongs to a 5kg specimen grown in Britain in 2011. ACTIVE INCENTIVE Community organisations can apply for grants of £300 to £10,000 for new projects that use sport and physical activity to bring people together and tackle inequalities. Sport England has launched a £5 million fund to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with a focus on disadvantaged areas. BUN’S THE WORD To mark the Lunar New Year, London’s Bao restaurants will give one customer a year of bao buns on the house. Famed for its pillowy-soft Taiwanese steamed buns, the chain is gifting all eat-in and takeaway diners bright red envelopes älled with prizes from 28 January to 13 February to wish them happiness and prosperity. THE GOOD NEWS GUIDE A weekly round-up of heartwarming stories WEEKEND SNAPSHOT Be a citizen scientist The number of sparrows in the UK has declined by 58% over the past 42 years, according to the RSPB. But they were still the most-seen bird during last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch, in which more than a million Brits took part. The 2022 event is this weekend (28-30 January) – spend an hour recording the birds that land in your garden, balcony or park to help the charity learn how our feathered friends are faring. Sign up at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch. Renowned for their ability tomemorise the London street map, the city’s black cab drivers are having their brains scanned to help learnmore about Alzheimer’s disease. Would be licensed taxi drivers are required to complete ‘the knowledge’, which requires them to commit 26,000 streets and 100,000 landmarks tomemory. The cabbies have been found to have a larger than average hippocampus – the area of the brain key tomemory – which continues to grow the longer they work. “We know the hippocampus shrinks in people living with themost common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease,” explains Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Problems with coordination and getting lost can be one of the first symptoms. “Studying London taxi drivers provides a unique opportunity to understand these changes, with the hope of improving early detection and diagnosis in future.” Led by Hugo Spiers, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, the Taxi Brains study sees volunteer drivers undergoMRI scans while working out the fastest routes to destinations. Results will be shared with Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Diseases like Alzheimer’s can start in the brain up to two decades before symptoms show, so understanding how to identify those at risk early could help researchers to deliver life-changing preventions and treatments in the years ahead,” Laura says. Alice Ryan Study of cab drivers’ brains could help combat dementia GREENEST GROCER Waitrose has topped a Which? review of the UK’s greenest supermarkets. The retailer came joint ärst in the consumer magazine’s report on sustainability, winning praise for its low level of food waste, and for using the least amount of plastic of all the 11 supermarkets reviewed. Photography: Getty Images, Alamy Stock Photo, Ray Kennedy / RSPB

XX XXXXX 202 2 4 a ll & With delicious, nutritionist-designed recipe boxes in partnership with Mindful Chef ENJOY A FRESH START TO THE YEAR SAVE £10 ON EACH OF YOUR F IRST TWO ORDERS WAITROSE .MINDFULCHEF.COM We’ve partnered with Mindful Chef, the UK’s highest rated recipe box*, to bring you delicious, nutritionist-designed recipe boxes delivered to your door. Choose between two and äve recipes a week, full of fresh, nutritious vegetables, high quality protein and wholesome carbs. Ingredients and cooking instructions are in the recipe box, along with something extra from the Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients range. Mindful Chef Ltd is a recurring delivery service. When you sign up to order products, you are signing up for a rolling weekly contract. You can cancel at any time. One discount code per household. Discount codes may only be applied to future orders and cannot be exchanged or refunded for cash. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please check if there are time limits to discount codes as you may only have a limited period to use them. Mindful Chef Ltd reserves the right to cancel discount codes at any time and also to reject discount codes if fraud is suspected. For full terms and conditions visit waitrose.mindfulchef.com * Based on Trustpilot reviews. uk.trustpilot.com

5 27 J ANUARY 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS Illustration: Amelia Flower/Folioart My year of living sustainably ANNA SHEPARD MY WEEK Jenny Eclair Illustration: Olivia Waller/Folioart WEEK 4: EXTINGUISHING MY DESIRE FOR A WOODBURNER There’s nothing cosier than hunkering down in front of a fire. Our last house had a woodburner and it’s one of the things wemiss most sincemoving. But can we install one without trashing our green credentials? Sadly, that cosy image of flickering firelight conceals some uncomfortable truths. Despite wood being a renewable resource, burning it, particularly in an open fire, creates high levels of pollution particles inside and outside the home. Even the latest woodburning stoves, billed as more ecofriendly, were found in a recent analysis fromDenmark to emit 750 times more tiny particle pollution than amodernHGV truck. The good news is the government has put in controls. InMay 2020, the sale of wood withmore than 20%moisture content was banned, due to the pollution it creates and only stoves that meet eco design standards can now be sold. Since we are in a smoke control area, we’d have to pick a Defra-exempt stove, which meets the criteria for low emission levels, or burn authorised fuel, such as smokeless coal – a clear win, as it emits 80% less smoke than normal coal and 25% less carbon dioxide. Co ee logs, made fromused grounds, have a lighter carbon footprint than smokeless coal, but you cannot burn them in a smoke control area, even in a Defra-exempt stove. In truth, a woodburner is unlikely to be greener than central heating, especially if you live in a smoke control area and have swapped to a 100% renewables supplier. The greenest option? Put on an extra jumper. See smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk On the weekly podcast Older andWider, which I copresent withmy oldmate and Grumpy OldWomen TV producer Judith Holder, is a regular feature we call ‘hypochondria corner’. This is when we discuss lighthearted health issues, conditions and ailments, that might be concerning us. And right now, nothing is o limits, as long as it’s not anything serious. Listeners are also encouraged to email in with their weird and not so wonderful symptoms. Possibly the biggest reaction we’ve had was to the topic of constipation caused by taking painkillers. This brought a flurry of emails describing scenes of a graphic (yet oddly hilarious) nature, none of which I can repeat here. Sometimes, we just chat about ganglions, which are small gristly lumps – often on the wrist. They were known as ‘Bible cysts’, as a common folk remedy was to hit themwith the Good Book to get rid of them, something health professionals say you should definitely not do, as it could break your wrist. Warts and verrucae (yes, that’s the correct plural) have also been discussed. Currently, Judith is su ering froma bra-related injury and has been prescribed special silicone gel pads to slip under the bra straps to ease the pressure that her enviable bosom is putting on her shoulders. Meanwhile, I’m recovering froman operation, having been under the surgeon’s knife last month. This was in order to shave down a disc inmy neck that was pressing down on a nerve and a ectingmovement inmy left armand hand, not tomention leavingme writhing in agony. Obviously, my operation trumps the silicone gel bra pads, but I’ve realised as the weeks go by that I’m in danger of becoming an operation bore, so I promise this is the last you’ll hear of it. Due to the stress caused by Covid to the NHS, and the need to get back to work asap, I paid for the operation myself. This meant I was in a private roomwithmy own telly. I also had one of those brilliant state-of-the-art beds that could bemoved with the press of a button into any position I liked. The last time I felt so cosseted was when I was flown business class to do a comedy festival in Australia. Hence, most of my post-op dreams involved flying, semi-reclined, over the ocean en route to somewhere exotic. Duringmy waking hours, I listened to a book on Audible. It was a good book, long-listed for the 2021 Booker Prize, but it did contain some saucy passages and, sadly, these seemed to coincide with every time the nurse came in to takemy blood pressure. When this happened for about the third time, I found myself defending the novel: “It’s a NewYork Times bestseller,” I promised. “Honestly, it’s not all filth.” I don’t think she was convinced, especially when, a few hours later, she came in to findme watching a 1989 episode of Top of the Pops. “See him?” I pointed to a floppy-haired young man, miming into amicrophone. “I snogged him.” The nurse looked at the pretty youngman on the screen and then at the 61-year-old wreckmumbling in the bed, wearing seaweed-coloured surgical tights and gaveme a sympathetic look as if to say: “Poor old dear, not content with listening to soft porn on her iPad, she’s now fantasising about getting o with randompop stars.” I didn’t see her again – I think she asked if she could swap shifts. Anything rather than being faced with the rambling, sleazy old lady in room 12. Su ered a bra-related injury? Talk to us and get it o your chest

6 27 J ANUARY 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS IN MY OPINION Fi Glover The Radio 4 journalist airs her views IN MY OPINION i lover j l A very obvious joke is there to bemade by every journalist writing about a recent interviewby Bono. U2’s frontman is having a bout of self-loathing and confessed to switching o the radio when his songs come on. He says he doesn’t like his voice, he thinks a lot of his lyrics are pants and if he had his time again he wouldn’t even call the bandU2. On the Awards Chatter podcast he goes on to say that he thinks U2 – one of themost successful bands in the world ever – operates at the boundaries of embarrassment. Bono – for heaven’s sake, mate – it’s gone quite well! We can dig a bit deeper if wemust. Let’s focus on the lyrics. Don’t a lot of song lyrics fall short of a PhD in poetry? Not everyone can be a BobDylan or a Paul Simon. I looked up the UK’s highest-selling single of this century and it’s Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which has this as the opening verse: It might seem crazy what I’m ‘bout to say Sunshine she’s here you can take a break I’ma hot air balloon that could go into space With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way Similarly, I’ve got no idea why I sing Who’s going to ride your wild horses? with 60,000 people at a U2 gig, but do I care? Andmany of us love the rasp in your voice, Bono. It’s somuch better than the autotunemulch often laid out for our ears – like tangy Cheddar versus processed cheese. It’s easy to pour scorn on the travails of the rich and successful. As sure as waves on the beach, whatever you put out there will wash back in eventually and youwon’t always feel the accompanying warmbreeze of gratitude. That’s a pretentious lyric itself when all I’m trying to say is that anyone can feel queasy about their back catalogue, no matter howmuch others love it. Maybe Bono has the January feeling too. It’s themonth of self-loathing. You can’t move for people telling you this is the year you can performbetter, eat less, eat more, gym up and calmdown. It’s themonthwhen everyone promises that if you look hard enough a clearer vision of yourself is out there. I admire Bono for admitting that, despite all the castles, the harmonies, the accolades and the platinum albums he still hasn’t foundwhat he’s looking for. That was the joke. If you had already got it well done. Move straight to February with a spring in your step. Fortunately…with Fi and Jane and The Listening Project are on BBC Sounds @fifiglover ‘I admire Bono for admitting that, despite all the accolades, he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for’ In late summer, picking blackberries fromhedgerows comes as part of the appeal of a long country walk. The berries can be heated into jamor scattered on yogurt once home. But foraging isn’t limited to the warmermonths of the year. Wrap up and explore your inner huntergatherer inmidwinter and you’ll discover an abundance of plants, herbs and roots. And foraging can be integral to howwe source and cook food all year around. “Amidwinter walk can be a beautiful and rewarding way to connect with nature and seek out edible treats,” says HelenKeating fromTheWoodland Trust, an organisationwith a 12-month foraging calendar and clear sustainable guidelines on its website. “FromFebruary, green leafy growth starts to emerge and shoots appear. ByMarch the woods and hedgerows are bursting with spring greens such as young nettles, chickweed, goosegrass, hawthorn, garlicmustard andwild garlic, that will all boost salads, sauces and stews.” Foraging is free and taps into the growing consciousness to know where food comes fromand to eat seasonally. “Midwinter is a better time to forage – there’smore to look out for,” says Helen. But before picking your first dandelion, she advises that you acquaint yourself with the UK’s sustainable foraging rules: “Themain thing is tomake sure you have the permission of the landowner, and take nomore than you plan to consume.” The Association of Foragers has an online directory of foraging teachers and principles to promote “safe, considerate, sustainable” practices, which is great for beginners. But an easy and reliable place to start is by booking a guided foraging walk. Forage London o ers guidedwild foodwalks in London, Dorset Finding winter’s food treasures Foraging isn’t just about plucking berries in summer – the colder months can be equally bountiful for edible plants, writes Judy Cogan pick of the crop Crab apple tarte tatin

7 27 J ANUARY 202 2 seashore foraging trips and Hampshiremushroom forays every month of the year, and spaces fill up quickly. Forage London guide and wild food consultant KenGreenway says that people don’t realise the abundance of wild food available in the coldermonths. “Plenty of roots are best dug up in the winter,” he says. “Dandelion root can be dry roasted and ground to make a ca eine-free co ee; burdock root can be fermented into a drink or cooked like a jacket potato. Andwith garlicmustard, the leaves are an onion/garlic alternative and the roots taste like radish. All delicious.” Ken says nettles, dandelions and daisies are foraging ‘gateway’ plants, as they’re familiar and easily recognised. “Daisies bloomall year, and you canmake wonderful teas or add the flowers to sandwiches. They taste like celery with a hint of liquorice.” But mushrooms, he says, should be treatedwith caution. “One of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett, said: ‘All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once.’ Don’t forage with the attitude that if it’s wild, it’s good for you.” Ken recommends the free app iNaturalist. “You can take photos and it gives you ID suggestions, which is really helpful.” The health benefits of winter foraging are plentiful and diverse, ‘Foraging is a fantastic thing for anybody to do. It’s free, fascinating and extremely good for the mind and body’ says GemmaHindi, founder of Earthwild tours in South London. “The weather in the UK isn’t always kind, but going outside on a cold, blustery wet day will leave you so exhilarated and energised.” Gemma grewup in the UK, has been foraging for 20 years and draws inspiration fromher British-Iraqi heritage to experiment withwild ingredients while alsomanaging her health. She says: “My aunt Faiza used to post me huge boxes of homemade kleicha [traditional Iraqi biscuits] which I loved to dunk inmilk. But aged 13 I was diagnosedwith an autoimmune condition and now I can’t eat gluten, dairy or refined sugar. Thismeant themost delicious Iraqi foods like kubba, dolma and baklawa were out of bounds.” Foraging has opened her up to natural substitutes in Iraqi recipes. She creates flour fromwild nuts and grinds roots for spice. For her, the proof is in the (wild) pudding. “Once I started to eat wild foods regularly, I felt healthier, more energetic and happier. The combination of spending time outdoors plus eating wild nutrients really works forme.” Wross Lawrence, who co-authored The Urban Forager: How to Find and CookWild Food in the City and foraged professionally forMichelin-starred restaurants, breweries and supermarkets, agrees. “Wild edibles are available all year round and o er a variety of di erent vitamins and minerals,” he says. In his book, Wross identifies 32 easy-to-find plants in cities. At this time of year these include threecornered leeks, spruce shoots, mallow, chickweed and hawthorn blossom. “Foraging is a fantastic thing for anybody to do. It’s free, fascinating, extremely good for the mind and body, and it’s ingrained in our DNA fromhunter-gatherer times. Youwill soon start spotting plants, berries and flowers involuntarily.” Gemma says not to underestimate its power. “I feel there is a longing to reconnect with the wild, to slow down, to nourish ourselves. The act of foraging does that. When you slow down you become rooted in the present. Foraging will change your life, if you let it.” WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Wross Lawrence ( left); Gemma Hindi (below); Ken Greenway (right); leaves and flowers of wild garlic (below right) 7 QUESTIONS WITH… CHIZZY AKUDOLU 1 Why did you decide to take part in this year’s Celebrity Hunted for Stand Up For Cancer? My aunt passed away from cancer last year. I thought it would be good to mark her passing and her äght. 2 What inspired you to become an actor? Seeing really strong women characters like Sigourney Weaver in Alien and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in the Terminator älms. 3 You played surgeon Mo Effanga in Holby City for äve years. Favourite medical procedures? I loved doing CPR on a dummy, and also heart and lung transplants. I don’t think I’ll ever get to put those skills to use though! 4 Are you doing Veganuary? No, I love chicken far too much! My ärst job was in a fried chicken shop, which is probably where my addiction to it comes from. 5 You were a contestant on Strictly in 2017. Did you keeeeep dancing? Not really, but I do keep meaning to go to ballroom dancing classes – when I get the time! 6 Other than a family member, which woman has had the most inåuence on you? Oprah Winfrey. She was from a poor background with a difäcult childhood, but she turned her life around and built her own empire. I änd her a massive inspiration – the way she has blossomed into a superstar. 7 Where in the world would you like to wake up this weekend? Barbados, for the beaches, the food and the people. For me, Barbados means total relaxation. The actor on Oprah, Barbados – and why she’s not been doing Veganuary Celebrity Hunted starts Sunday (30 January) at 9pm on Channel 4. Interview: Nick Neads Photography: Marco Kessler, Catherine Frawley, Getty Images Never pick or consume wild plants or fungi unless you are 100% certain what they are – they could be protected, inedible or even poisonous. For guidelines on foraging safely and responsibly, see woodlandtrust.org.uk

9 27 J ANUARY 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS A tasty blast from the past They save you time, are cheap to run and will transform unloved cuts of meat into tender stews – it’s little wonder that slow cookers are back in fashion, writes Anna Shepard When I recently turned to a couple of friends for culinary inspiration, I foundmyself excluded from their enthusiastic chat about the lentil soups, goulash and Thai curries they were cooking. Their recipes revolved around using a slow cooker and I was the only person without one. Mymumonce o eredme her ancient Crockpot, but I didn’t want it cluttering upmy kitchen counter. I didn’t think this outdated 70s appliance, best known for creating stew, hadmuch to o er me in the age of Ottolenghi-style plates and eating the rainbow. But it seems I’ve got this wrong. This all-in-one electric pot that cooks food slowly using very little energy has made a comeback. At John Lewis, slow cooker sales are up by 20%over the past year and, when Google released its top five trending recipe terms of 2021, Crockpot chicken was at number four. A slow cooker provides an easy way tomake a healthymeal on a budget, while also costing very little to run – a big win at a time when energy prices are expected to double by April. According to Olivia Sibony, who set up the Grub Club supper club, the best thing is the way a slow cooker transforms cheap cuts of meat into tender stews. This encourages a noseto-tail approach tomeat, which is more sustainable than eating prime cuts. “The o -cuts and bones tend to have stronger flavours that can bemade themost of in a slow cooker,” she says. “When you put in other ingredients, like potatoes, onions and beans, they ‘The o -cuts and bones tend to have stronger flavours that can be made the most of in a slow cooker’ absorb these flavours, too, so you don’t needmuchmeat.” Thanks to her slow cooker, Olivia can cook supper for friends on a weeknight by chucking everything in the pot the night before. “I might use a piece of oxtail with some red wine, vegetables and spices. I’ll put it on the low setting for 24 hours tomake sure everything breaks down, then serve my guests the following evening, with no stress or last-minute prep required.” Another favourite is herMexican pork dish, using pork shoulder, chipotle paste and canned tomatoes. “Everyone assembles tacos in themiddle of the table,” she says. It’s not onlymeat-eaters loving their slow cookers. My vegetarian friend raves about how easily you canmake soup, throwing in red lentils, veggies and stock. “You go out for a few hours and come back to a delicioussmelling house and a nutritious soup,” he says. “We serve this at least once a week with cheese quesadillas to dip in the soup – the kids love it.” Although they were invented in 1940, slow cookers only became popular in the UK in the 70s, whenmore women were entering the workforce while still being expected to produce familymeals every evening. By the 80s, microwaves were taking over, but slow cookers still remained a staple in British kitchens. In the US and Canada, slow cookers have always been popular, helped by promotion by lifestyle guruMartha Stewart and, more recently, chef Hugh Acheson, a judge on American reality TV cooking show Top Chef, and author of The Chef and the The SlowCooker. TV host Trisha Goddard, presenter of Channel 5’s You Are What You Eat, is another convert. “I swear by slow cookers,” she told the Daily Record. “Whenmy kids went to university, I bought themboth a slow cooker so they had a hot stew waiting when they got home.” Her endorsement shows how these e cient cookers – that use around the same amount of energy as a traditional light bulb, according to price comparison site USwitch – are crossing the generational divide. They are as popular with students on a budget as the older generation, brought up to be frugal in the kitchen. And if you still suspect they only create brown stew, check out the thousands of TikTok videos showing a young crowd using theirs tomake cheesecake, pasta dishes and chicken tacos, and sharing hacks such as searingmeat first for extra flavour. “Even when I’mnot entertaining, I canmake something to freeze in portions for quick weeknight suppers,” Olivia adds. “Their ability to adapt to your schedule and budget is what keeps slow cookers relevant.” take it slow Masala chicken with potatoes ( left); a 19th-century ad for Musgrave’s (below); Crockpot is a bestseller at John Lewis (bottom) cooker converts Presenter Trisha Goddard and chef Hugh Acheson are fans of slow cookers Photography: © StockFood, Getty Images

27 J ANUARY 202 2 10 NEWS&VI EWS STAYING THE COURSE AndrewWong’s London restaurant is globally renowned, but his talent would have been lost to the industry if he’d stuck with academia. His legions of fans are happy he didn’t. By Tessa Allingham

27 J ANUARY 202 2 11 In Chengdu, there was a time when street vendors would sell dishes of silken tofu frombaskets balanced on a bamboo pole across their shoulders. One basket would have pots of chilli oil, soy sauce, peanuts, salad onion and the other warm tofu. Vendors would spoon the tofu into a bowl, add the other ingredients, hand over the palate-tingling food andmove on. In Xinjiang, a largelyMuslimpopulation eats lamb and goat meat, not the pork that’s prevalent elsewhere. The influence of neighbouring countries is evident. In port cities such as Qingdao, buns are favoured because, back in the day, rice didn’t travel well by ship. In Guangdong Province, bordering Hong Kong, you find the proudest chefs because imperial palace cooks were traditionally from there. In Pimlico, London, the stories of cultural and culinary context flow. A glass bowl of delicate tofu arrives, with peanuts for crunch, soy for umami savouriness, salad onions for pep. “That dish is dedicated to those street vendors in Chengdu,” says AndrewWong. A pulled lamb ‘burger’, spiced with cumin, sesame and chilli flakes, remembers the crossborder merging of tastes that happened as silk route traders travelled through Xinjiang. Andrew is sitting on the covered pavement terrace (a Covid build) at A. Wong, the restaurant he runs with his wife, Nathalie. Lunch service is imminent, but there’s still time for stories, all delivered withwarmth and humour. It’s calm in the open kitchen before, if not a storm, then certainly lightning quick activity. Orders will be taken and dishes created in under aminute, seasoned, steamed or wok-fried with pinpoint accuracy. Come the evening’s end, some 600-700 plates will have been served to 80 or so guests. Simple steamers, cleavers and inexpensive steel woks place the kitchen, Andrew jokes, “one step away from caveman,” but the skill of his dim sum chefs is a di erent matter. Theymake 18 precise pleats on every translucent Shanghai steamed dumpling, working with the o -the-scale precision of the most sophisticated pastry chefs. The pastrymust be strong enough to be picked up with chopsticks without bursting, delicate enough to let theminced pork in its flavour bomb broth explode at the right moment. Most lunchtime guests choose dim sum from the Touching the Heart (it’s the literal translation of ‘dim sum’) menu that has established Andrew as one of the UK’s most progressive chefs, and A. Wong as a globally renowned restaurant. To eat there is to learn something about China’s 4,000-year culinary history, and the di erent traditions of its 1.4 billion people, from those living on high plateaus north of the Himalayas, to those in tropical Guangdong and Yunnan provinces and everything in between. It is to see how cultures blur and blend, inevitably in a country with 14 international borders. “China is the biggest sponge of other cultures,” Andrew says. Curiosity, and a “grappling with culture” fuel him. “It comes frommy own ignorance. Navigating Chinese culture is complex, especially for someone likemyself froma second generation background.” It’s a navigation he embarks on fortnightly with friend, mentor, and food anthropologist DrMukta Das (both are research associates at the Soas, University of London) on their lively podcast, XO Soused. “Mukta knows more about Chinese history than I do. My knowledge is from randommovies and reading, or things I’ve picked up from childhood or going to China or talking tomy grandparents. I want to find the stories that link China to the rest of the world and tell them throughmy dim sum. I want to tell the stories of people travelling fromPersia into China along the silk routes, throughmouthfuls of food.” As for Andrew’s own story, there is no nostalgia-laden ‘learning at my grandmother’s apron strings’ narrative. He didn’t develop a desire to cook while perched, wide-eyed, on a countertop. In fact, he was dead set on avoiding the kitchen of Kym’s, the restaurant his parents Annie and Albert opened in 1985 on the current site of A. Wong. It was a traditional Chinese restaurant with anglicised dishes – lemon chicken, sizzling beef, pineapple fritters – to please local customers. Academia was Andrew’s ticket out of hospitality. He did his teenage share of washing up and waiting tables, but a parental approach of ‘unless you’re studying, you work in the restaurant’ kept himat his books. FromCity of London School he went to the University of Oxford to study chemistry, quickly switching to the London School of Economics (LSE) and social anthropology. It was in 2003, while Andrewwas at LSE, that his father died. Dutifully, he helped out at Kym’s, alongside his studies. An interest was pricked. He enrolled atWestminster Kingsway catering college to learn practical skills, then decided that to understand Chinese cooking and techniques better he needed to go there. Aged 22, he packed his bags, forgoing a place at law school. “I got to Temple on the first day [of law school] and I saw people with empty suitcases. I thought: ‘Sod this, anywhere that needs an empty suitcase to hold books isn’t for me.’ I took the Tube back to Victoria. Mumwas not happy.” He found his way – it is famously remote – to the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine outside Chengdu. “There was a noodle shop outside the school. Everymorning I’d go there. Lunch was 20p. An order would come, and they’d pull the noodles like it was the easiest thing ever, and throw them TOUCH OF CLASS Scallops served at A. Wong (below) Photography: Jutta Klee, David Cotsworth

27 J ANUARY 202 2 12 NEWS&VI EWS into the water,” he says, gesturing the wide-armed action of twisting, looping, stretching and pulling the pliable dough eventually to create strands. “I went twice a day for weeks. Eventually they taught me how to do it. I stayed another few weeks to learn properly. It’s incredible to watch – nomachine can replicate it. It’s so humble, there’s none of the ‘look at me’ stu you get from some chefs nowadays who think they’re changing the world.” Kitchen jobs in Sichuan Province, in the port city of Qingdao and Beijing followed. The inspiration of this time in China is evident – stories pour out. In 2015’s A. Wong: The Cookbook (Mitchell Beazley), Andrew recalls becoming aware of the gulf between anglicised Chinese food and what he was eating inHong Kong: “I was being served stir fried celery with lily bulbs and goji berries, and poached pork ears with chilli oil. But it was all so damned delicious! Why were none of these dishes available in London?” Andrew observed, worked, listened, questioned and took notes. He learnt how seasoning levels and the use of chillies vary by region and climate. He learnt the intuitive control of a pan of boiling water, and ferocious heat under a wok. “I was learning how they treat dried tangerine and star anise and fermented broad bean paste. Does a Sichuanese chef add garlic to the wok first, or salad onion?When do they add the vinegar, and does it go into themiddle of the wok or on the sides so it evaporates before hitting the other ingredients?” Andrew took over Kym’s in 2012. He refurbished it, renamed it, and o eredmodernised Cantonese food inspired by his travels. (The A of A. Wong isn’t self-referencing, but an homage to his parents, as was Kym’s that Andrew opened in London’s Bloomberg Arcade in September 2018, only for it to fall victim to the pandemic.) The earlymonths were ‘really rough’. “I had somany ideas but didn’t have themanagement skills tomake thema reality,” he says. “At one point, I rewrote the entiremenu five times in two weeks – 40 dishes! I remember mum coming in one afternoon. It was all going pear-shaped. She said: ‘Andrew, stopmessing around, just make 15 really delicious sauces, because that will save you a lot of headache.’ It worked.” No dim sum? “Yes, but it wasn’t very good!” A. Wong 10 years on is very di erent. “I don’t mind people saying our dim sum isn’t traditional. In some ways, that’s a compliment because it means we are continuously evolving,” Andrew says. He wants to constantly push the boundaries. “Look how sushi has become a global phenomenon. That’s happened not just because of what it is gastronomically, but because of social, political, economic factors. China is now at that stage.” He notes the ‘huge’ interest in Chinese cooking from forward-thinking peers. “Avant-garde chefs of our era, people like Ferran Adrià, talked about new techniques, but now there aren’t any, so you have to look backwards. The kitchen that chefs have yet to tap into is the Chinese one. Once they do, they’ll realise what treasure there is – as I have over 20 years.” Accolades have sprinkled A. Wong with gold dust. A Michelin star in 2017 was followed by a top 50 place in The Good Food Guide 2018, and winning the GFG’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2019. In 2021 Andrewwas named Chef of the Year at two separate industry awards, and the restaurant received a secondMichelin star. “All that during a pandemic!” Andrew jokes, rolling his eyes. The achievements are remarkable, but they don’t turn Andrew’s head, and he’s not one for the black-tie palaver of ceremonies. “My first reaction isn’t: ‘Wow, congratulations tome andmy team,’ because next year another chef or restaurant will win. I value what we domore for the di erence we canmake than the awards we win. “I’d like to think that 15, 20 years down the line, people won’t think: ‘Oh, [Chinese food] is what we order in on a Friday night when we’re half cut.’ If people see Chinese food di erently, we will have achieved what I want.” As the Chinese Year of the Tiger begins on 1 February, anticipation and hopefulness balance the inevitable reflection on an impossibly di cult time for restaurants. New year is the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar, one during whichmillions of people return to home towns and villages in a humanmigration so vast and dense that satellites can detect themovement. Houses are cleaned, sweeping away the previous year’s bad luck, new clothes are bought, reunions happen, food is shared. Red envelopes containingmoney are given to children and unmarried adults with wishes for good fortune and prosperity. Will the Year of the Tiger be a good one? “Haven’t a clue! Depends which website you read,” he laughs. Is another generation of Wong restaurateurs on the cards? “I love this industry, I love the opportunities it’s givenme and my family. But my only goal has been to givemy kids a better life.” Dynasty holds no interest. He’s perhaps only half-joking that he’d like to see his seven-year-old daughter make it as a kung fumovie star – “she’s great at beating her brother up” – and his five-year-old son become a doctor “to look after his ailing father”. But Andrew does hope his children will be proud. “I hope one day they’ll look at what we’ve done and say: ‘My parents did something interesting and di erent.’ If they can say: ‘My dad’s pretty cool,’ that’s all right.” ‘The kitchen that chefs have yet to tap into is the Chinese one. Once they do, they’ll realise what treasure there is’ SIDE ORDER Andrew’s wife Nathalie is an integral part of the business. “She looks after the front of house, is incredible with guests and has a photographic memory, so remembers the little things that make a difference to the guest experience.” “Be bold, be brave and good luck!” Andrew asked four semi-änalists in MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 to create their own dim sum following a masterclass in pork-älled Shanghai dumplings and har gau. The intricacies of rolling, älling and pleating dough made this one of the show’s toughest challenges. “It’s about celebrating the cultural pastime and history of imperial banqueting, especially through the Qing Dynasty,” says Andrew of the restaurant’s new banqueting menu. Multiple dishes are spread across äve ‘movements’, including seared black lamb with chilli and peanuts, and cherry-smoked memories of Peking duck, plum, caviar and smoked wrap. on a mission Andrew and wife Nathalie (top); the interior of A. Wong in London’s Pimlico (below) Season two of the XO Soused podcast with AndrewWong and DrMukta Das is available now. awong.co.uk Photography: David Harrison / eyevine, Jutta Klee, Murray Wilson

27 J ANUARY 202 2 13 FOOD&DRINK Making waves The family firm bringing us Craster kippers since 1906 p16 Four stars Diana Henry reveals the key ingredients she can’t do without p17 The zing factor Martha Collison’s recipes are a celebration of citrus p21 Photography: Simon Reed Food Styling: Joss Herd Props Styling: Lucy Attwater

27 J ANUARY 202 2 14 To make delicious and nutritious choices, look for our Good Health label FOOD&DRINK Egg recipes containing raw or semi-cooked egg are not suitable for pregnant women, elderly people, or those with weak immune systems. For information on nutrition and health, visit waitrose.com/nutrition. V vegetarian. Healthy Every Day When it comes to seasonal treats, this time of year can seem a bit empty – it feels like a long wait until we start seeing homegrown asparagus, new potatoes and berries on the shelves. But it’s the best time of year for citrus fruit, and this week, Martha’s come up with recipes (p21) using oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit that are a real burst of sunshine – exactly what we need in these cold, grey days. I love her idea of roasting citrus fruit with honey, and I plan to cook up a batch this weekend, ready to cheer up my breakfast porridge all next week. ALISON OAKERVEE Partner & food and drink editor Gnocchi with wild rice, chilli & cavolo nero Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 35 minutes 100g Tilda Giant Wild Rice 500g pack Essential Gnocchi 1 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, chopped 4 cloves garlic, crushed 200g pack cavolo nero, thinly sliced ½ tsp chilli åakes 1 tbsp cornåour 300ml oat milk 300ml vegan stock ½ x 25g pack coriander, änely chopped 1 Cook the rice in boiling water for 30 minutes, or until tender. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil ready to cook the gnocchi. 2 Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the garlic, cavolo nero and chilli åakes and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Cook the gnocchi in the water for 3 minutes. Drain the rice and gnocchi and add to the pan. 3 Blend the cornåour in a jug with a little of the oat milk. Add the remaining oat milk and stock to the pan with most of the coriander. Bring to the boil, stirring for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Serve spooned into shallow bowls with the rest of the coriander on top. V Per serving 1823kJ/432kcals/7g fat/1.3g saturated fat/76g carbs/9.3g sugars/9.3g äbre/12g protein/1.3g salt/ 1 of your 5 a day/vegan Source of äbre Salmon fillet with bubble & squeak Serves 4 Prepare 15 minutes Cook 25 minutes 480g pack 4 Scottish salmon ällets 25g butter 500g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks 100g Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced 225g Essential Pea & Bean Mix 100g Essential Bramley Apple Sauce 2 tsp Maille Traditional Dijon Mustard Several sprigs tarragon, leaves only 2 tsp clear honey 1 Preheat the grill to high. Line a baking tray with foil and lay the salmon ällets on it, skinside up, and dot with 5g of the butter. Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling, lightly salted water for 12-15 minutes until tender. Add the Brussels sprouts and pea and bean mix and cook for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly, return to the pan and mash with another 10g of the butter. 2 Meanwhile, grill the salmon for 10 minutes, turning the ällets halfway through, until cooked through and opaque. Combine the apple sauce, mustard, tarragon and honey in a small bowl. 3 Melt the remaining butter in a nonstick frying pan, add the mashed bubble and squeak mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once with a äsh slice when the potatoes are slightly crisped on the underside. Spoon onto plates and top with the salmon. Serve with the apple sauce. Per serving 1737kJ/415kcals/18g fat/5.4g saturated fat/33g carbs/9.4g sugars/5.9g äbre/28g protein/1g salt/ 1355mg omega 3/1 of your 5 a day/ gluten free High in omega 3 Cook’s tip Cavolo nero has a robust, slightly bitter åavour and slender, very dark leaves that can add a touch of visual drama to any dish. For a milder åavoured alternative use pointed spring cabbage or baby leaf greens. Cook’s tip This recipe also works well using most other äsh, particularly oily varieties such as mackerel or even ready-cooked smoked mackerel ällets. Follow the pack instructions for cooking.

27 J ANUARY 202 2 15 CASHBACK ON GOOD HEALTH FOODS FOR VITALITY MEMBERS If you are a Vitality member with a myWaitrose card, you can receive up to 25% cashback onWaitrose food that carries the Good Health label – visit vitality.co.uk for details. Cook’s tip For a vegan version of this recipe, replace the cheese with any vegan hard cheese alternative, or åavour with chopped olives, capers and basil for more of a Mediterranean åavour. Cook’s tip If you’re not fond of beetroot, try other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or celeriac. The burgers also freeze well once shaped if you only need a couple for supper. Cook’s tip Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice blend containing paprika, coriander, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. For a milder åavour halve the amount used above. Tomato & pepper stew with Cheddar dumplings Serves 4 Prepare 20 minutes Cook 30 minutes 1 tbsp olive oil 3 pack mixed peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced 2 onions, thinly sliced 500g courgettes, diced 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1½ tsp dried oregano 350g tub Essential Tomato & Chilli Sauce 300g Red Choice tomatoes, roughly chopped 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste 50g self-raising åour 25g vegetable suet 25g Essential Cheddar, grated Flat leaf parsley, to garnish 1 Heat the oil in a large shallow pan and fry the peppers for 5 minutes to soften. Add the onions and courgettes and fry for a further 5 minutes, adding the garlic and oregano for the änal minute. Stir in the tomato and chilli sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and 75ml water. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 2 Combine the åour, suet and cheese in a bowl with 50ml cold water. Mix with a round-bladed knife to make a thick paste. Shape roughly into 4 small balls. 3 Lightly season the stew, then delicately place the dumpling balls on top. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, or until the dumplings puff up and cook through. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving garnished with parsley. V Per serving 1461kJ/350kcals/19g fat/6g saturated fat/32g carbs/19g sugars/9.5g äbre/8.7g protein/1g salt/ source of äbre 3 of your 5 a day Beef, beetroot & ginger burgers with sweet potato fries Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 30 minutes 400g sweet potato oven chips 100g beetroot, peeled 400g pack lean minced beef 30g ginger, peeled and grated 1 large echalion shallot, änely chopped 20g Cooks’ Ingredients Breadcrumbs 2 tsp olive oil 100g pack baby leaf and herb salad 4 tbsp Essential Low Fat Vinaigrette 1 Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Scatter the oven chips on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Grate the beetroot and pat dry between plenty of sheets of kitchen towel. 2 Thoroughly combine the beef, beetroot, ginger, shallot, breadcrumbs and a little seasoning in a bowl. Divide into 4 portions and shape each into a burger. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through, until deep golden and cooked through, juices run clear and no pink meat remains. 3 Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and spoon onto plates. Top with the burgers and chips. Per serving 1473kJ/351kcals/14g fat/3.3g saturated fat/29g carbs/16g sugars/7.6g äbre/24g protein/1g salt/ 1 of your 5 a day High in protein Chicken pilaf with mango amba sauce Serves 2 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 25 minutes 100g brown basmati rice 2 tsp olive oil 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 carrots, änely diced 2 chicken thigh ällets, (about 250g) cut into thin strips 2 tsp Bart Baharat Spice 2 cloves garlic, crushed 30g sultanas 100g petits pois 2 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Mango Amba Sauce 1 Cook the rice in boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes until pale golden. Lift half out of the pan and set aside. 2 Add the carrots and chicken to the pan with the remaining oil and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the baharat spice and garlic and fry for 1 minute more. 3 Drain the rice and add to the pan with the sultanas and petits pois. Cook for 3 minutes until the ingredients are piping hot throughout, ensuring the chicken is cooked through, juices run clear and no pink meat remains. Transfer to plates, top with the reserved onions and drizzle with the amba sauce. Per serving 2339kJ/556kcals/15g fat/ 3.7g saturated fat/60g carbs/32g sugars/12g äbre/39g protein/0.5g salt/ 2 of your 5 a day Low in saturated fat Recipes: Joanna Farrow Photography: Mowie Kay Food Styling: Joss Herd Props Styling: Wei Tang

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