I’m not talking about the annual restaurant festival in Regent’s Park, but a project by an art student called Junior Monney (awesome name), who’s studying graphic design at The University of The Arts. The idea of the project is that Junior visits Londoners in their own homes and they cook him a meal and have a little chat about their own food history. He therefore builds up a picture of the stories behind food choices. This of course encompasses culture, personal experience, individual taste and the practical and emotional. He said he had some difficulty with the project as most people were wary of letting a stranger into their home. Me being a person who meets people ‘off the internet’ all the time however, invited him right in without question and crossed my fingers he wasn’t an axe murderer.
Turned out he was just a really lovely bloke. Phew. I’d decided to make him some of my salt fish fritters; they’re simple, Peckham-themed and – being finger food – dodge the major problem that is me not having a dining table. What a right royal pain in the rear that is. I also had another motive though, which was to update the recipe with an accompanying sweetcorn salsa.
I served them with a spicy tomato sauce last time, which was nice, but no match for those juicy sweet kernels. Mint, coriander and lime juice kept it fresh. Junior seemed to enjoy them anyway, and even took one home for his mum. I told you he was a lovely bloke.
We had fun cooking, eating, filming, drinking beer and taking pictures of each other taking pictures. If you want to see the films that Junior made then go here – there’s a woman cooking some frankly rather massive rhubarb; beef bourguinon with a Caribbean twist; some interesting photos of Vaisakhi celebrations in Southall and a vegan guy cooking Trinidadian oxtail soup for his family.
The film about my fritters is on that home page too. Personally, I can’t bear to watch it because I think I look and sound weird, which bodes well for my upcoming film updates for my Big Peckham Lunch. The flipcam has arrived, and I’m ready to roll. These things can only get easier, I assume. Even if you feel the need to mute my rambling though, there’s some footage of Peckham Rye on there which is worth a gander. Did I mention I love Peckham?* Oh right.
An excellent idea for a project I think you’ll agree; I’m very pleased to have been able to help out with it. People and food are surely the two best things to be interested in and I’m filled with confidence that Junior will breeze through that degree and then some. I wish him the very best of luck.
Sweetcorn Salsa to go with Salt Fish Fritters
I er, didn’t write anything down. I used a large tin of sweetcorn, which I drained and heated in a dry pan first, until the liquid cooked off and it started to toast and colour; a small handful each coriander and mint leaves, chopped; 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced; 1/2 a red chilli, chopped and the juice of 1 lime. Mix it all together. Oh and salt and pepper. I think that’s it. Taste and adjust, that’s the way to do it.
* I was very pleased to see my love of Peckham in print in The Times last week – see crumpled piece of paper below.