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Food Anthropologist and Personal Chef

Tag: Gordon Ramsay

Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, Gordon Ramsay and his Shepherd’s Pie recipe

Ye Olde Kings Head

The most popular British restaurant in Los Angeles is ‘Ye Olde Kings Head’ in Santa Monica. Whenever I feel nostalgic for home, a quick visit to the restaurant for a chicken and mushroom pie with extra gravy on the side, makes me feel content and satisfied. The restaurant is divided into several rooms that are covered with British artwork and a history of photos containing photos of the famous people who have come through their doors over the years. I have lived in Los Angeles for 21 years and the restaurant has always been a part of my life.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is popular on British and American television. I watch his british show ‘The F Word’ on You Tube. Not only does he create interesting dishes for the customers, made by non cooks, he also rears his own sheep, cows and pigs etc for eating. The show is informative because he goes to different regions where a certain food is farmed and shows himself catching the food and how to prepare it. I love the show. I also appreciate the fact that I can watch the whole season on You Tube because I don’t have BBC America.

shepherds pie

Bill MacDonald is my friend Louisa Spring’s husband. He is American and she is British. I cooked bangers and mash for them on Thursday. This set in a craving for British cuisine. I jokingly demanded that Bill make a Shepherds pie if he wanted to be certain of a place in his wife’s good books. He has never had Shepherds Pie, so I emailed him a Gordon Ramsay recipe. The end result he produced on Sunday night was delicious. One of the best Shepherds Pies I have ever tasted. New Zealand lamb is currently in season and abundant in Whole Foods. Here is Ramsay’s recipe, served with pan roasted carrots:

Serves 4


Shepherd’s pie
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g minced lean lamb
1 large onion, finely grated
1 large carrot, finely grated
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 sprig of rosemary, needles chopped
250ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
2 egg yolks
Parmesan, for grating
Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pan-roasted carrots
2 sprigs of rosemary
Small handful of thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove
500g medium sized carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Few knobs of butter

Method: How to make shepherd’s pie
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4 -and get prepped by watching Gordon prepare this shepherd’s pie.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the mince and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir the onions and carrot into the mince then grate the garlic in as well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain then return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly. Pass them through a potato ricer then beat in the egg yolks, followed by about 2 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning
4. Spoon the mince into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Grate some extra Parmesan over and season. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown
5. For the carrots bring a pan of water to the boil with the rosemary, thyme and garlic. Boil the carrots in the water for 3 minutes to soften slightly, then drain and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan then add the carrots and some seasoning. Brown the carrots all over until just tender, adding the butter towards the end of cooking


Thyme Cafe and Market, Maire Byrne, Triple Berry Shortcake and Crepe Suzette recipe

Breakfast at Thyme Cafe

I live in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica. The neighborhood is what I would call middle class families. Until late last year, we didn’t have a restaurant or cafe in our area that served fresh, organic produce. That has changed with the arrival of Thyme Cafe and Market place. The decor is similar to ‘Jones on Third’ and the atmosphere is mostly the ladies doing lunch crowd, except for at lunchtimes when all the offices in the area descend on our jewel. Also on a Saturday, Thyme is packed with families enjoying the wholesome food.

Maire Byrne

Maire Byrne is Thyme’s chef. She trained at CIA, which is the top culinary training ground in America. She went on to work at Chez Panisse under the fabulous Alice Waters. Obviously this explains her fresh produce. Maire grew up locally in the Brentwood area and we are very excited that she decided to settle on our side of town.

Triple Berry Shortcake

Sweet Lady Jane's baker prepping some Triple Berry cakes

Yesterday I went to a baby shower tea. There were cakes. This inspired me to write about my favorite cake in Los Angeles. Triple Berry Shortcake from ‘Sweet Lady Jane’. It is absolutely divine and and must for any Angeleno. The frosting and inside are filled with fresh cream. It is an explosion from paradise. I would love to include the recipe, but it isn’t available online. I will include Gordon Ramsay’s Crepe Suzette recipe, a 1970’s british desert favorite

Gordon Ramsay's Crepes Suzettes

Serves 4
For the crêpes:
125g plain flour
¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tbsp melted butter
300ml milk
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (see below)
For the sauce:
3 large oranges – for zest, segmenting and juice
50g caster sugar
100ml Grand Marnier or Cointreau

To cook the crêpes:
Few knobs of unsalted butter
Method: How to make crêpes suzette
1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Tip in the beaten eggs, butter, milk and orange zest. Whisk the ingredients just enough to combine into a smooth batter but try not to overwork the batter. Leave to rest while you prepare the oranges.
2. To segment the oranges use a small sharp knife to slice off the top and bottom of the fruit. Stand the orange firmly on the chopping board, cut along the curved sides of the fruit to remove the remaining peel and pith. Holding the orange with one hand over a sieve set on top of a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes to release the segments. Let each segment fall into the sieve as you continue segmenting. Remove any membrane or pips left on the segments. Reserve the orange juice.
Gordon video: The perfect caramel
3. Slowly heat the sugar in a heavy-based pan, stirring a little to help the sugar dissolve. Simmer until the syrup forms a light caramel. Carefully add the Grand Marnier and stand back as it will spit. Tip the pan slightly to flambé the alcohol, if you wish. Pour in the orange juice and boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat, tip in the orange segments and keep warm.
4. Heat a non-stick crêpe pan with a knob of butter over medium heat. Swirl the butter to evenly coat the pan, then add a small ladleful of batter and swirl again to evenly coat the base of the pan with a thin layer of batter. Cook for about 1½ minutes until the batter is set and golden brown underneath. Flip over to cook the other side for a minute. Transfer to a warm plate, keep wrapped in a tea towel and repeat with the rest of the batter.
5. For each individual serving, fold two crêpes into quarters. Spoon over a little of the orange sauce making sure to include some segments. Serve immediately.