Review: Pizzaface, Brighton



Well now. It seems Mr Graphic Foodie is a secret frequent visitor to Pizzaface. Knowing how I feel about take-aways, he has done well to stash the boxes out of view. Tsk. But Pizzaface really isn't your usual pizza take-away.

The lamb prosciutto and wild boar salami found here are not your usual take-away toppings. You will happily not find the likes of a "stuffed crust meat feast" or "Peking duck" but instead some excellent combinations like the ones we ordered such as The Johno; red onions, olives, peppers, sautéed mushrooms, Parmesan and fresh chillies, The Bore; Pork and wild boar salami with sliced red onions and mushroom and The Pecora; A "strong and unique" lamb Prosciutto topped with sautéed mushrooms. Priced slightly less than the pizza take-away bad boys at around £9 and oh, so much better, you can now top up your order with gelato from my favourite Boho (Sea Salt caramel, Mojito Sorbet, Chocolate and blood orange sorbet) and wines from the fantastic Butlers Wine Cellar - this place is a mini celebration of Brighton independents.



Also happy to report that the bases, whilst still no Franco Manca, have considerably improved since my last review and are arguably the best you are going to get in Brighton. I would love to see them using a wood burning oven in the future.

Also worth noting is that they offer vegan options and gluten and wheat free bases (using Doves Farm organic flour). So very, very Brighton.

Good work Pizzaface and Mr Graphic Foodie, no need to hide the boxes any more!

Pizzaface
35 St George's Road, Kemptown
Brighton Bn2 1ED
01273 699082

EVENT: Brighton Japan Festival, 18-26 June 2011



Crikey, we've had the Brighton Spring Food, Brighton Fringe and Official Brighton Festival already over and done with but next up is the Brighton Japan Festival which runs between the 18th and 26th June. Focused on Japanese food, art, culture and film, this festival is founded by the city's well-loved Japanese restaurant Moshi Moshi (the first conveyor-belt sushi bar in Europe!), which will be a hive for most of the activity.

Below are my picks, obviously the majority are food related but have a look at the listings for many other events.

Moshi Matsuri, The Hub (outside Moshi Moshi), 18 & 19th June 11am-6pm, Free
The Moshi Matsuri is a celebration of traditional Japanese food and culture. Bartholomew Square will be transformed into an explosion of colour, with family friendly activities, shitamachi-style decorations and 30 stalls selling Japanese food, kimono and gifts.

Nikka Whiskey Tasting, Hotel Du Vin, 23 June 7pm, £15pp
Whiskey tasting with a difference. These are from both the Yoichi Distillery and the Miyagikyo Distillery as well as a blend of the two, giving an opportunity to identify the differences in whiskey produced in the two Nikka Distilleries. Interesting.

Children’s Sushi Making Masterclass 21 & 22 June 4.30 - 5.15pm , Moshi Moshi, £5pp
These special masterclasses will teach children the basics of sushi making, whilst teaching them about the importance of fish conservation.

Exclusive Screening of Lost In Translation, with Live Music Performances, The Hub (outside Moshi Moshi), 22nd June 7.30-11pm, £8adv/£9 on the door
I loved Lost In Translation and in association with the wonderful Duke of York Picturehouse, the festival will be screening this movie with live music and Sky-Lounge waiter service.

Paper performance art at Brighton Dome 24, 25 & 26 June
Brighton Dome will be showing some fantastic, charming performance art based around paper. My favourite seems to be The Confetti Maker, about a day in the life of a full-time confetti factory worker. "Cutting, perforating, shredding – all day, every day – he pursues his profession full of optimism. But he also has ambitions, dreams and fears far beyond the factory life: romance … love … family…" Also showing is The Rock Charmer and The Paper Washi Wish (one for the kiddies). See full listings for more details.

I'll also be catching the
exhibition of Japanese posters from the 1960s and 1970s at the Jubilee Library too but there are tons more events which you can see at www.brightonjapan.com

REVIEW: L'Eglise, Hove

UPDATE. Unfortunately L'Eglise has now closed as the owners have moved back to the South of France. They will be opening a restaurant there though! 



Finding myself in the neck of the Hove woods for the launch of Small Batch Coffee Co's new shop, I decided to pay a (long overdue) visit to L'Eglise, a locally well regarded French restaurant. I suppose it's tucked away but inviting from the outside and as soon as you walk through the door, the heady aromas of classic French cooking temptingly surround you. After a few new openings in Brighton, with some jazzy interiors and big concepts, it was actually nice to be somewhere clearly, and proudly, celebrating the classic.



Scanning the menu you will find a list of chacuterie (from Roches Blanches in Normandy) which I believe is something that can never be turned down. You can order a few individually (£3.50-£8.50) with a glass of wine for a nice lunch or a smaller mixed tasting board (£5.00 per person) for a pre-dinner nibble as menus are perused. We tried some air dried beef fillet, smoked pork fillet, chorizo Iberco and 30 month aged ham to name a few, served with homemade pickles. So impressed with the quality and variety, I was close to cancelling dinner altogether and ordering another board or two which would have amounted to a feast in itself. Really highly recommended.



Although not the most adventurous choice, French Onion Soup (£5.50) will always have a place in my heart as myself and Mr. GF went to Paris all those moons ago on our first trip abroad and ate a divine version of this, which I can remember the taste to this day. However, we then spent all night downing liters of water to counterbalance the sack of salt in it - no wonder it tasted so good! L'Eglise's version thankfully didn't call for litres of re-hydration, but was as delicious as that first taste, very dense and rich. Moorish to the last spoon.



Clearly on a carnivorous bender, I chose the Pate De Campagne, £5.25, a course, tightly compressed and chunky pate, simply seasoned, which allowed the meat to be the star. Barely spreadable, I resolved this by alternating chomps of meat and sourdough with the odd pickle. Lovely.



Mains were tricky to choose from as all the classics were represented such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Cassoulet, Onglet, Entrecote and Cote de Boeuf. I was almost swayed by Navarin D’agneau, a slow braised lamb in white wine and tomato sauce but finally opted for the Coq Au Vin, £12.50. Chicken, wine, bacon, garlic and slow, slow cooking, the vegetables soaking up all of that beautiful sauce. This didn't disappoint and is really my kind of dish; hearty, comforting and filling. Mr. GF's fillet steak, chosen from the handful of specials (top pic) was as beautiful as it was tasty.

Ordering dessert would have been greedy so that's exactly what we did. A shared slab of refreshing, wibbly Tarte Au Citron, £6.50, created the perfect end of the meal washed down with a glass of sweet, floral Saussignac Vendanges D’autrefois (from the restaurant owners region) which I wholeheartedly recommend.



It's obvious that a lot of thought an attention goes into this restaurant. The produce is from good sources, brought over from France on market trips, or foraged. Also wine can be ordered by the bottle or glass and some are available by carafe and even 75ml tasters.

The friendly staff dot around attentively and looking around at the mixed bag of diners it is clear that this is a really good, no great, family run, neighborhood restaurant. With the increasing chains, pop ups and johnny-come-latelies, a good independent neighborhood restaurant is a real gem. An true asset to the community. I only wish there were more of them around. Also, there are plenty of events held here, special French regional nights, wine pairing and live music which I guess is also why people keep coming back.

Nice. Go there. It's only round the corner and the quickest journey to France money can buy.

L'Eglise
196 Church Road
Hove, East Sussex
BN3 2DJ

Lighthouse Bakery School: Italian bread course, Robertsbridge, East Sussex



A lot of cynical people think that I purchased Mr Graphic Foodie's birthday gift this year as a purely selfish act. But that couldn't be further from the truth as he loves a bit of bread baking and a place on the Italian bread course at The Lighthouse Bakery school was a very thoughtful gift I say. But, I mean, it would have been a rubbish present had I just shipped him off alone to it. I had to go really. You know, for company.

Anyway, off we both went to Bodium to the fully operational bakery for the Italian bread day-course. Although we had attempted, with a degree of success, focaccia and pizza at home, our full sized loaves have always been a bit on the dumpy side.

I can't recommend The Lighthouse Bakery enough really. The course, although just of a single day, was a thorough foundation for baking real Italian artisan breads. Without sounding too hysterical, it really has changed our lives, even in the months since we attended.



On the day we leaned how to make:

The Pugliese loaf, a big, peasant style loaf.



Ciabatta loaves, rolls and dipping sticks (a very hard dough to handle!):



Pane Lariano di Genzano, a half white, half wholemeal loaf given pretty pattern in the proving baskets and a real house favourite of ours:



and a sweet Pane al Cioccolata:



We also made pizza for our lunch.

The results we are achieving at home (well Mr GF's baking really) over the four months since we attended this course have been fantastic and on Sunday's our home is scented with freshly baked loaves to feed us, family members and any visitors we may have that week. We haven't purchased a single store loaf since returning from the class. You can't get more rewarding that that. Yes, it is a bit of work but we've fitted bread making into out lives quite easily, making the bigas/starters the night before and proving and baking around 6 loaves at a time which freeze fantastically.



The alchemy and chemistry of breadmaking is so vital that I think it needs to be taught by an expert as they will be able to describe how a dough should feel and look at any stage of the bread creation process. A baking book could never do this, no matter how good the pictures are. It also gave us confidence in handling very wet, unruly dough mixture.



Elizabeth Weisberg is a former art historian turned baker who deliveres a humerous, passionate and professsional teaching method and is a weath of bread knowledge. Amazing delivery and attention seeing as she would have already done a day's work baking the bread in the dead of night before the morning class started. She taught us about flours, processes, Italian bread culture, sayings and sciences even before we got our aprons on. It was a thorough journey and unusually I managed to absorb it all.

Mr GF expressed an interest in sour dough so they even gave him some of their starter, which we christened Norris, to make pizza and breads with. We love our Norris and we have alarms set up to remind us to feed him.

The biggest change is that we now create a biga the day before, a type of pre-ferment that is used exclusively in Italian breadmaking. The result is better flavour and light, airy, open texture to the bread.



We also purchased a few key items that have helped create better breads: good electronic scales, large metal bowls, large tuppaware boxes that we use for proving, some cane banneton's, baking stones for the oven, a peel, some scrapers and dough cutters. There's a ton more other stuff we could buy but this has really set us on our way.

Courses at The Lighthouse Bakery cost £175 and you can choose a variety of bread types from American, European, seasonal breads or the more traditional day-to-day breads. Price includes extensive course notes (which have been really handy), a branded apron, lunch and of course all the produce you make on the day.



We even picked up this beautiful letterpress print, designed especially for The Lighthouse Bakery with all of their sayings by Aardvark on Sea which hangs proudly in our kitchen.

You owe it to yourself to eat good bread. Yup.

www.lighthousebakery.co.uk
Ockham, Dagg Lane, Ewhurst Green, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5RD

JOB: Packaging Designer, Daylesford Organic

For all my design foodie followers, this is a fantastic opportunity for a packaging designer to lead a major rebrand across 700 of Dalesford Organic's (already beautiful in my opinion) packaging. All the details are below.



Daylesford are looking for an experienced Packaging Designer to join their Marketing Team reporting to the in-house Head of creative. This is an opportunity for a talented creative thinker to join an incredibly innovative and passionate business as it grows.

You will be the lead designer on a major packaging rebrand across our 700 food and drinks products over the next 12-18 months, as well as being expected to chip in on all the other things that in-house teams can sink their teeth into ­ marketing materials, POS, event support, BTL, photography and anything else you can cast your design eye over at a brand with a very keen eye for detail and quality. This also goes for Bamford, our sister brand, who you will also get the opportunity to work on.

You will need;
  • Minimum 6 years experience in the design industry with a portfolio focussed mainly on packaging design (preferably FMCG).
  • Absolutely at home in Adobe Creative Suite and sending files to print.
  • To be reasonably autonomous in a very small creative team. As happy to take responsibility for running your own creative projects, as taking direction from the Head of Creative and working collaboratively when the occasion arises.
  • To be passionate about food, because we all are.
  • To work 3 days a week for 12 months at £25k.
To apply, please send your portfolio and CV to kat.linger@daylesfordorganic.com

EVENT: Naked Wine Tasting, 26th June 2011, Brighton

No, no, no not a "naked" wine event (although I can see similarity between the fig and grape leaf) but a wine tasting and buying event at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton on Sunday 26th June (6.30pm til 9pm) hosted by Naked Wines.



Naked Wines invest in independent winemakers from around the world, in return for exclusive wines at preferential prices.

Over 15 winemakers will be showcasing their wines in Brighton including Arabella, Lorca, Castillo de Tafalla, Plunkett Fowles and Villevois.

Tickets are £10 and there will be over 100 wines to try. And if you order on the night, you will also get your ticket money back. Can't say fairer than that.

Tickets are available from www.nakedwines.com/tastingtour

The Hilton Metropole Hotel, Kings Road East, Sussex, Brighton, BN1 2FU.