Author Archives: Nicola

And now the weather, brought to you by Tesco

As any self-respecting locavore can tell you, many of us have forgotten how to eat seasonally, at least in the developed world. Nonetheless, the weather still exercises a huge effect on the food we choose to buy and eat. As British supermarket giant Tesco has discovered, “a rise of 10ºC, for example, led to a […]

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Day Out | The Mushroom Tunnel

As Geoff has already mentioned on BLDGBLOG, we spent our last full day in Australia touring the Li-Sun Exotic Mushroom Farm with its founder and owner, Dr. Noel Arrold. Three weeks earlier at a Sydney farmers’ market, we were buying handfuls of his delicious shimeji and chestnut mushrooms to make a risotto, when the vendor told us that they had been grown in a disused railway tunnel in Mittagong.

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Publishing Food

Food publishing is a curious business: cookbook sales boom in lockstep with the rise of ready-meals, testifying to a fascination with food that elides the act of actually preparing it. Nonetheless, most follow a proven formula, leavening glossy photos of gorgeously styled food with a sprinkling of concise instructions, titillating sensory details, and hackneyed personal […]

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The Nutritional Impossibility of Australia

As early as the first century A.D., Western cartographers and geographers began to speculate that there must be a large continent in the southern hemisphere, to act as a counterbalance to the large known landmasses of the north. Beginning with Magellan, explorers sailed out into the vast expanse of the Pacific hoping to find and […]

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Landscapes of Quarantine: Call for Applications

I’m very excited to announce my husband (Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG) and I will be hosting a design studio called Landscapes of Quarantine in New York City this autumn – with the resulting projects to be displayed in a public exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in early 2010. […]

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Cupcake Gentrification

The unstoppable rise of the cupcake over the past five years has been analysed in terms of retro-food chic and nostalgia, the infantilisation of Western civilization, the triumph of appearance over substance, and even American political culture. After all, a cupcake is both democratic (one equally-sized cupcake each) and libertarian (there is no imperative to […]

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Secret Meat

I first saw sot l’y laisse on a restaurant menu as a teenager, somewhere in south west France. I risked appearing the fool by asking the waiter what on earth they were, and even though I couldn’t quite follow his explanation, ordered them rather than make matters worse. […]

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Digest | London Yields, Harvested

London’s Building Center hosted a daylong seminar at the end of May called London Yields: Getting Urban Agriculture off the Ground. The speakers covered a lot of terrain—so, instead of a full recap of the event, the following list simply explores some of the broader ideas, responses, and questions about urban agriculture that stood out […]

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Atmospheric Intoxication

A former boutique storefront in London has become the temporary home for a pop-up bar with a twist: 2 Ganton Street is currently the U.K.’s “first walk in cocktail.” Created by Bompas & Parr (known for their earlier experiments with glow-in-the-dark jelly […]

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The Water Menu

The concept of terroir has its origins in French winemaking, as a means to describe the effect of geographic origin on taste. As a shorthand marker for both provenance and flavour, and as a sign of its burgeoning conceptual popularity, it has spread to encompass Kobe beef, […]

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