Spoon HQ

Friday, June 18, 2010

Laura Santtini wins Guild of Food Writers BEST FIRST BOOK Award

Laura Santtini picks up Best First Book Award for Easy Tasty Italian

Last night, at this year’s Guild of Food Writers Awards at London's Design Museum, Laura Santtini won the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book for her Easy Tasty Italian published by Quadrille. Other shortlisted titles were Pascal Aussignac’s Cuisinier Gascon: Meals from a Gascon Chef (Absolute Press) and José Pizarro with Vicky Bennison’s Seasonal Spanish Food (Kyle Cathie).

Laura’s Easy Tasty Italian was published in 2009 bringing a whole new dimension to Italian cookery writing. A brave first book, this contemporary and empowering study into transformational cooking was a complete departure for the cooking genre and earned her instant critical claim, becoming The Telegraph’s Book of the Week on the week of its release and being praised by Italy’s culinary royalty, Anna Del Conte and Giorgio Locatelli.

This sense of innovation and originality was highlighted in the judges’ citation at the Awards:
“This book made the judges feel they were discovering something new. The recipes were clearly written and the layout, though novel, really worked.”

Easy Tasty Italian is about making everyday cooking taste sensational. In it Laura reveals the secrets of umami and other magical ingredients and shows how the simplest flavour combinations add magic to everyday cooking. In the first part of the book, Laura reveals the secret ingredients of her larder and gives recipes for her intense flavour combinations – the marinades such as red wine, porcini and anchovy, rubs such as pink peppercorn, rose petal and salt, and pastes like parmesan and prosciutto – that give her food sparkle. She also shows how procedures such as pounding, chopping, slicing and beating yield mouth-watering extras that can be used to transform dishes. Finally, cooking methods are described under Air, Water, Fire and Earth and, with each one, Laura gives a treasury of delectable recipes. Throughout, suggestions are given for transforming basic recipes – so a carbonara sauce might be uplifted with artichoke and saffron or a smooth vegetable soup might have scorched almonds stirred through.

Jane O’Shea, Publishing Director at Quadrille, says
“Laura is a talented breath of fresh air; we are proud to have published her first book”.

In 2009, to coincide with the publication of Easy Tasty Italian, Laura launched a range of transformational cooking preparations – Laura Santtini Spellbinding Flavours - in Selfridges Food Halls. Laura’s innovative range includes the groundbreaking product, Taste No.5™ Umami Paste, which since being snapped up by Waitrose in February 2010, has become a world-wide culinary phenomenon. Laura is set to launch the range in the US later this year when the American edition of her book also comes out.

The Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book was won in 2009 by Riverford's Guy Watson and Jane Baxter and has previously been won by Rowley Leigh and Fuchsia Dunlop. The Guild of Food Writers Awards were established in 1996, to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in any area in which food writers work and have influence. They remain the only awards judged entirely by professional food writers, journalists and editors.

Praise for Easy Tasty Italian;

“It’s quite unlike other books on Italian cooking I’ve come across. It’s witty, quirky, yet earthy and practical with a scholarly undertone.”
Darina Allen

“This is quite unlike any other book on Italian cooking I've ever come across. It's like a box of delights - quirky, witty, and full of passion backed by earthy practicality. It makes you want to get into the kitchen and start cooking, in fact.”
Matthew Fort

“In her first book Laura Santtini approaches traditional Italian cooking from a new angle. A book which is fun and inspirational.”
Anna Del Conte

“The influence of three prestigious generations of Italians comes alive through the eyes of a modern British woman, with original concise recipes, all the while holding on to her roots.”
Giorgio Locatelli


Press Contact
Sarah Canet
Spoon PR
Telephone: +44 207 610 9821
Email: sarah@spoon-pr.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An evening of live music, author readings, poetry, & more

Eve Ferret, Anne Peile, Paul Lyalls

An evening of live music, author readings, poetry, & more
hosted by Guy Sangster Adams, editor of Plectrum – The Cultural Pick

Wednesday 23rd June 2010
The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1
behind Russell Square tube station

Doors 7.30pm Show 8pm

Tickets £5
Ticket reservations: guy@theculturalpick.com

On sale on the night:
Issue 5 of the print edition of Plectrum - The Cultural Pick
Performers’ books, at special prices, which they will be happy to sign


Monday, June 14, 2010

Outsider Tart at Foodies Festival

After accompanying Laura Santtini to a fair few food shows of late, we have become well accustomed to zipping through aisles to keep up with the eager-eyed food expert. Apart from having her own range of phenomenal products, Mrs Santtini is also a food consultant to both Waitrose and Selfridges and has a knack for predicting culinary trends (this is the woman that brought umami to the high street after all) We chased her to the Outsider Tart stall at the Hampton Court Foodies Festival, and were wowed by psychedelic crispy pies, crates of chocolate whoopee-pies and the best cup of coffee of the day.

Our favourite producer at the fair by far, the guys at Outsider Tart charmed us further by sneaking Ms Santtini (Laura’s 12 year old whoopee-pie connoisseur daughter) one of their famous chocolate treats. We are hooked and can’t wait to get down to their store in Chiswick, where we hear they also serve up delicacies for pampered pooches- puppy granola and pup cakes no less.

Their website is just as delicious

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Petersham House Concerts for the Petersham Festival

17th, 19th & 20th June 2010

Gael & Francesco Boglione better known as the owners of Petersham Nurseries are hosting three exceptional, intimate and unique events at their private residence Petersham House on the 17th, 19th and 20th June. On each of these summer’s evenings there will be a performance in the beautiful Georgian ballroom by renowned musicians of outstanding quality, followed by a seasonal summer feast in the enchanting private gardens.

SHOW OF HANDS on 17th June 2010
Since their first gigs in 1992, Show of Hands have toured constantly to cement their position as the UK’s premier roots/acoustic act. Steve Knightley’s incisive song writing and Phil Beer’s consummate musicianship have combined and intertwined to produce a record of contemporary Britain that also resonates with the folk tradition. Recent winners of the 2010 Radio 2 Folk awards for Best Song and Best Duo, they have played the length and breadth of the land (including three sell-out concerts at the Albert Hall) and as far away as Canada and India.

JOHNNY MARS BAND on 19th June 2010
From humble beginnings in North Carolina, Johnny found himself in upstate New York just as the psychedelic Sixties were getting under way and started his own band. He shared bills with Jimi Hendrix but his preferred instrument was always the harmonica, and now he is recognised worldwide as one of the greatest Blues harp players anywhere. Guitarist Ray Fenwick, who also worked with Spencer Davis and Ian Gillan, leads his band and their live set is a celebration of all that makes the Blues great.

URBAN SOUL ORCHESTRA on 20th June 2010
Led by Guildhall graduate Stephen Hussey, the USO is living proof that music now transcends all barriers and genres. Today’s generation of classical musicians have all sorts of tracks on their iPods and their set spans Vivaldi to the Verve. The string octet will perform with bass, percussion and feature guest vocalists, spanning Baroque, Classical, Jazz, Soul and many shades between.

All three concerts will be introduced and presented by Musical Director and ex-Rolling Stones keyboard player Matt Clifford.

Doors open at 6.30pm when guests are invited to come and enjoy pre-concert drinks on the lawn, a tranquil oasis in the most idyllic of surroundings.

Each unique performance will commence at 7.20pm and will take place in the elegant ballroom of Gael and Francesco Boglione's private residence.

The performances will finish at 9pm, inclusive of an interval with further refreshments.

Dinner will be a lavish alfresco feast prepared by Petersham Nurseries’ chef Skye Gyngell (there is a wet weather plan). Beautiful zinc topped tables will be laden with a selection of generous seasonal dishes, carafes of wine and jugs of homemade Amalfi lemonade.

All guests are kindly requested to leave promptly and quietly at 11.00pm

Petersham House, Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AG

The Petersham Festival
Petersham Festival was set up as a registered charity (No1121498) & limited company in 2007 to advance the education of the public in music and the arts particularly in Petersham. They put on and promote concerts and events by top internationally acclaimed artists and local talented people, in as many of the wonderful local venues as possible, with the aim of increasing people’s enjoyment of music and the arts particularly in this very special and historic village. They aim to have as wide a variety of genres as possible, so that most people’s tastes and pockets can be accommodated in some way and hopefully to encourage people to experience musical and artistic events they would not normally think to attend, by providing them on their doorsteps.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Easy Tasty Italian Nominated for Guild of Food Writers Best First Book Award

On Thursday 17 June, the Guild of Food Writers Awards will be announced at London's Design Museum, and we are delighted to announce that our very own Laura Santtini has been nominated for the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book.

The Award was won in 2009 by Riverford's Guy Watson and Jane Baxter and has previously been won by Rowley Leigh and Vicky Bhogal.

The shortlist for the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book;

Easy Tasty Italian by Laura Santtini (published by Quadrille)

Cuisinier Gascon: Meals from a Gascon Chef by Pascal Aussignac (published by Absolute Press)

Seasonal Spanish Food by José Pizarro with Vicky Bennison (published by Kyle Cathie)

There are twelve categories, each judged by a panel of five judges, with stringent criteria that reflect the Guild’s own very high standards. On the shortlists are some well known names such as Darina Allen, Tom Parker Bowles, Nigel Slater and Phil Vickery and some new names including Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra and our very own Laura Santtini.


The Guild of Food Writers Awards were established in 1996, to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in any area in which food writers work and have influence. The awards are the only ones judged entirely by professional food writers, journalists and editors. There are twelve awards; the full list of categories is:

The Cookery Book of the Year Award

The Derek Cooper Award for Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing or Broadcasting

The Evelyn Rose Award for Cookery Journalist of the Year

The Food Book of the Year Award

The Food Broadcast of the Year Award

The Food Journalist of the Year Award

The Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book

The Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel

The Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food

The Miriam Polunin Award for Work on Healthy Eating

The New Media of the Year Award

The Restaurant Reviewer of the Year Award


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Laura Santtini at the Foodies Festival Hampton Court

On Bank holiday Monday Spoon HQ followed the Santtini's to the Foodies fair at Hampton Court with a quick pit stop around the famous maze. A jet lagged Laura, recently back from her adventures in Tokyo, gave an Umami demonstaation using her Taste No.5 to a pact audience...