According to Victoria Stewart, whether it is fennel or beetroot, the coolest London restaurants just cannot get enough of brining. To be honest, many might find the idea of nibbling on some raw vegetables that have been marinading is a mixture of salt, vinegar, sugar and spice may seem somewhat alien but you cannot ignore the fact that everyone is at it.
More and more chefs are starting to pickle anything and everything. From turnips and Chanterelle Mushrooms to fennel and beetroot, and it looks as if it could be possibly the time to stop chomping on bread and nuts and start to crunch on this healthier alternative as, quite frankly, London is all of a pickle.
Catherine Hanly, the editor of Hot-Dinners.com, the news website dedicated to London food, has said that they are seeing more and more pickles popping up on menus across the capital and her personal favourites are Pitt Cue Co’s pickled shiitake mushrooms, and the pickled plums chef Jeremy Lee produces at Quo Vardis.
She added that when you think about it, pickling is the next natural step forwards from the previous fascination everyone had with foraging and the pickling of seasonal fruit and vegetables lets restaurants make the most of the local food when its in season and still be able to offer it when the season is over.
At the Hawksmoor new Air Street restaurant you will find mushrooms, cauliflower and carrots on their seasonal pickles menu which changes four times a year and at Knightsbridge’s Mari Vanna you can opt for button and shiitake mushrooms marinated in dill, garlic, vinegar and allspice from a page in a menu that is full of preserves and pickles.
The newly opened Disco Bistro in E4 has Carl Clarke as its head chef, and he has begun experimenting with pickled green tomatoes, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and even sea beets.