The phrase “British cuisine” rarely incites salivation. One summer weekend in late July, HD and I ended up simultaneously in London and spent our time exploring places and consuming meals that defied this conventional wisdom.
Gathering inspiration for our GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER series, Hannah and I sought out experiences that essentialized collaboration between art, food, and community.
The first stop on a foggy Friday afternoon: Borough Market. Located beneath the railway viaducts between the river Thames and Borough High Street in South East London, the Market is a maze of streets, twisting around gourmet wine shops, teeming with 130 wooden stands offering the finest and freshest British meat, bread, and produce.
A promising food enterprise start-up, Angela Malik, caught our attention with their spicy Indian pesto and banners advertising Southeast Asian cooking classes.
Another interesting take-away—Eat What You See/Eat the Real Borough Market at a restaurant around the corner. The premise: You purchase products at the Market, bring it to the kitchen Saturday night, and for 10 pounds, The Banana Store, will prepare a meal for you and your fellow diners. Talk about farm to table.
Later on Friday, we returned to Peckham Rye to feast at Frank’s Café and Campari Bar. With exclusivity built into this pop-up restaurant, intern HD secured reservations weeks in advance. Getting to the space proved more challenging than expected as I followed HD up the six story parking garage turned gallery/eatery. Read more about the show here.
The menu generally offered simple local fare, sparsely seasoned and cooked on the makeshift grill. Baked aubergines and black beans with fresh cream and basil paired nicely with a chargrilled mackerel. The meal at Frank’s, with its palpable focus on whole food, mixed communal eating, and provocative art capsulated the inspiration behind GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER and served as a visual starting line for the first HD + E.DEO collab.
- Elisabeth Deogracias
Deogracias is an eco-critic, enviro-expert, and official MAKESHIFT affiliate currently doing work with Sustainable Flatbush.