The Sussex food scene is ever changing and here Nick Mosley looks at just two of the latest developments to look forward to…
UP IN SMOKE
Though the art of smoking food dates back to the days of primitive man, the cooking technique is only now experiencing a resurgence across Sussex. With restaurants, pop-ups and street vendors beginning to use this method, the beneficial effects of smoke and fire on food become obvious – and delicious – from its tenderizing effects to its flavouring along with its preservation.
Local restaurants such as The Set in Brighton and Hove’s The Stoneham have recently invested in the trend, smoking everything including meat, cheese, fish and vegetables as well as investing in the wood they burn.
“The reason behind our smoking is our fascination of new, exciting flavors,” says Neil Parker, The Stoneham’s creative director. “Our friendly tree surgeon Jake makes our smoker unique, as he sorts us out some nice chunky, moist, oak, maple, beech chips, so we can experiment. And, really, even though the smoker is regulated, you will never find two smokes the same, as nature takes us wayward.
“Although it has been around for years, smoking as a skill is now becoming ever more popular and we are looking forward to pushing a few boundaries. It’s a great way of preserving food, and also intensifying a fresh flavor into a smoky cooked delight with a sweet, sharp or hot flavour; it will be such a taste explosion.”
THE WONDERFUL WEINER
Dirty, greasy, messy, sloppy, filthy; not necessarily words that should be enticing when it comes to food but following the burger trend there is no doubt that gourmet fast-food is on everyone’s lips.
However, there is a new king in town – the humble hot dog. From restaurants to street food stands, this modest meal is gradually making its way to the top of Britain’s favourite fast food feasts and has now reached Sussex, with The Windmill in Brighton serving top-notch dogs.
“Although it’s very easy to become immersed in the interesting and varied food culture we are lucky enough to have here in the South East of England, the vast majority of people just want simple, familiar food that is tasty,” explains Keiron James, Beach BBQ at The Windmill chef.
“I thought we could bring this revolution down to Brighton and create a similar idea here but with our Beach BBQ twist at The Windmill, with our old faithful friend, the humble hot dog.
“We are now accepting as customers to allow food businesses to gentrify the simplest of what would otherwise be just a fast food. It becomes fun, non-pretentious and very accessible. This is just the beginning for the designer dog. The dog days are far from over!”
As food festivals director and awards co-ordinator Nick writes occasional columns for Title Sussex Magazine focusing on the freshest and finest cuisine from across the county. He can be found Tweeting @BrightonNick