Friday, August 26, 2011

Leluu & Fernandez

By Leluu from
Photo By Guilherme Zauith
When Simon Fernandez gate crashed a dinner party of mine, that day changed both our lives. I fell in love with Simon, his contagious giggles and his ability to have endless fun. One year later, we set up Fernandez & Leluu (we couldn't think of another name) and we had the most amazing time cooking, playing with food and actually have people come and eat it.

I had the apartment, the props and all the bits. We both put in £200 to buy extras. We started for fun, we both love cooking and I generally have people around for dinner all the time, throwing big feasts. We had no idea that it would explode into such a huge success with word getting mouthed, blog posts and reviews making us bigger than we had anticipated. It was amazing and a real buzz and we both made many friends along the way and did things we never expected to do.

We both threw so much love into the project and it became bigger than us. Not long into it, our relationship suffered more and more, this wasn't a fairy tale and it was not all glory like it appeared. We were real people who had their own sets of problems and it clashed with each other. Holding supper clubs are extremely hard work - at first anyway, when you are not trained chefs and just figuring it out - it was stressful. Click Here To Read More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ferdiesfoodlab - first review

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab
When I put the menu together for the test run opening, there were a number of things I was bearing in mind, first and foremost was that the only working equipment in the kitchen was a 6 ring burner and and oven. The next thing was that it may be a total disaster!

I certainly don't advocate thinking like that, but you cant help those little moments, when you're exhausted - partly because you've been so busy you've forgotten to eat and partly because 16 hours in front of a computer or stove will do that to you - and then one of those sneaky doubts creep in, I certainly find it's when I'm most tired!

So it might be the only one I do so I'm going to put some things on the menu I'll possible never get another chance to cook with again, question is what!?

I remember sitting down in the restaurant at the hotel I was staying in in New York, and a friend of mine who'd stayed in the same hotel recommended I try the King Crab, he said it was the biggest crab he'd very seen! Well, I had my doubts, but I tried it anyway - I'd had a good day in the office and decided I could do with a reward : )

In typical American style, it was also the biggest crab I'd ever sean, I couldn't possibly ; ) eat a whole one!! Really quite beautiful to behold, and a delicate sweet tasting meat . . . hmmm!

As I reminisced, I thought, that's got to go on! Later . .  fek it's expensive! Sod it, it's the first and possibly only run, I'm putting it on! Can't pic that up in the super market I can tell you . . . 

Anyway needless to say I put my heart and soul into creating ferdiesfoodlab.

This is what the London Foodie thought of it. . . .

I don't know what to say, except thank you Luiz.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sweet & Sour Pork

By Leluu from
Without fail, sweet and sour pork would be ordered when my friends and I eat out at a Chinese restaurant. Its something about it that is completely addictive and satisfying. Often enough though, it is a goo of florescent orange and you can't really see which is pork and which is veg. When you do find a  piece of pork, you are then wondering if you are eating pork or pork substitute or just plain old batter. Still, we order it!

For Seewoo, I have decided to recreate this favourite in the kitchen, with fresh vegetables and pork belly and pork ribs. (You can use chicken instead). I am not sure how it is done in a typical Chinese kitchen but this is how I did it. Read More Here

Seared Tuna Steak With Dark Soy, Ginger & Shallots

By Leluu from
I can be the most laziest person when it comes to cooking for myself and so it really suits that I love the most simple foods. This is a great recipe to cook for one or two and its still impressive because of the amazing ingredients.

To continue reading my series of Chinese recipes for See Woo: here
Other Chinese recipes to enjoy:
Fresh Egg Noodles With Kai Lan
Baked Seabass With Soy, Ginger & Spring Onions

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe: ferdiesfoodlab - building a new supper club from scratch

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab)

I've spent the last month creating ferdiesfoodlab and it's been a very, very, busy month I can tell you. There's been a lot of hecticness (it's a real word), and a fair amount of, is this really going to work? Anyway, here's the recipe. . .  

INGREDIENTS (serves 28)
1 passionate ferdie (with an idea and nowhere to do it)
1 passionate organisation (with a venue and nothing to do with it)
some willing friends in the kitchen and front of house (Albert, Jo, Marc)
2 extra chefs (Jen aka Cook School Cat & Robbie of NoReservations)
2 photographers (Jo Maynard, Steve Berryman)
1 wine connoisseur (Nathan Nolan of Mr Drink n Eat)
1 bar of self belief (broken into chunks and snorked at regular intervals)
a pinch of doubt (to keep it real)
a small dose or terror
      (again to keep it real - you can substitute with fear but doesn't keep it as real)
as much luck as you can get hold of (very scarce ingredient, seems to come in packs of 3)
1 surprise concert pianist
1 table of guests (not the grumpy sort - good quality ingredients are critical!
      (including London Foodie & Claudia of Whiteroom Supperclub)
small hoard of unknown quantities (these are a bit like luck and really add to the depth of flavour)
I'm sure I've forgotten something . . .  : ? oh yes, a menu!

1 6 ring burner
1 convection oven
1 blender
10 baking trays
sharp chefs knives
various kitchen utensils
white board pen (not permanent!!)

Be invited by passionate organisation (in this case Toynbee Hall) to use their venue. Go to look at venue and meet the passionate custodians of the hall.

Be blown away by the venue, and spend the weekend cooking for friends at their engagement party and talking about it.

Return to Hereford (or other homely sunny place), and get some sunshine on your face. I remember one time a very long time ago, a friend of mine told me, "If you stand facing the sun all the shadows fall behind you". I love the sun on my face it always puts me in such a good mood!

I love you sunshine! Please don't take my sunshine away!!
Facing the sun! You're not doing it right!

Now use those positive thoughts to work some ferdie magic and go and find some cool things that would create a nice atmosphere in the venue.
Harry Copper! : ) Ferdie magic! Get it? - I couldn't help myself
Once you've found them get to work restoring them so they're all nice and shiney!

A bit of elbow grease, a drill and some rotary sand paper.
It didn't look much in the reclaim yard. . . .
We served 5hr "will you marry me" slow roast lamb in it  -  Photography by Steve Berryman

to be continued . . .             
don't forget, upcoming dates Fri 9th Sep, and Fri 23rd Sep 
near Aldgate East.

in the next episode . . . .

Barents Sea King Crab - Stunning Ingredient
A really lovely crowd came to help test run : ) Photography by Jo Maynard (Artist)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fresh Egg Noodles & Kai Lan

By Leluu from
I've been asked to write a few recipes for SeeWoo of which I will also post here as a series. Last one was Seabass With Ginger, Spring Onion Soy Sauce & Fennel. It is certainly a pleasure to be playing around with Cantonese cuisine and I get to revisit some of my favourite things that I always order in a Chinese restaurant.

The best meals are the ones that are the most simple. Nothing beats a simple plate of food and it whats even better is that it hardly takes any effort or time to prepare. Read Recipe Here

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baked Seabass With Soy Sauce, Spring Onions & Fennel

By Leluu from
Soy sauce is made from fermenting soy beans in water - I've much to learn about the technique and process. I often find myself asking what is the difference between dark and light soy sauce. Dark soy has been fermented for much longer and has a thicker texture and is richer in taste. It is great for marinading red meats and making sauces as it has a caramel richness to it. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier and is used to season and flavour dishes, similar to using salt. You can read more about soy sauce here on waiyeehong

Based on the famous and my favourite Hong Kong dish - Steamed Fish With Soy, Ginger & Spring Onion, I've developed this quick and easy recipe because my steamer wasn't big enough to fit the fish - I decided to put it in the oven and it works perfectly. Read More here

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fishing For Summer Rolls

By Leluu from

My family, they love going fishing. When I was in The OC, we went fishing in Newport Beach, there is a pier and at night, all the families get together and fish. Eat ice-cream and fish.
We caught lots of mackerel and sardines. We had to have it everyday, in one way or another to eat it up. One afternoon, we had a mackerel summer rolls. The table was set with rice paper, herbs and salad, a water bowl and everyone would make their own summer rolls at the table.

Read More here
Vietnamese food and culture and Leluu featured in London Confidential. You can read about dinner etiquette and the way the Vietnamese eat here:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's your beef!!?

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab), in partnership with East London Steak Co for The Jamie Oliver Foundation

Introduction to East London Steak Co:  The East London Steak Co. is a new online delivery concept launched by acclaimed chef Richard Turner and butcher James George. This new venture offers the finest naturally reared beef from selected rare breeds to customers within the M25 area.

The East London Steak Co. source the highest quality beef from British farms. Every animal is hand-picked and selected using strict criteria, which ensures all cattle are grass fed, have been traditionally farmed and reared in an environment which meets the highest standards of welfare.

The East London Steak Co. only use five main rare breeds of beef, including Dexter, Galloway, Longhorn, Shorthorn. The beef is dry-aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days or longer on request.

Richard Turner, director of the East London Steak Co. is a restaurateur and chef who has worked with renowned chefs including Michel Roux Jnr, Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White.  James George, also director of the company, has worked as a butcher for over 10 years; their professional background brings a unique partnership to the business, as they both understand first-hand the necessary components needed to enhance the quality and taste of the beef.

The Experience
I was expecting delivery of the meat in between 5am and 8am. At around seven I received a text msg to inform me that my meat was 20 mins away, and delivery was imminent.

Got up, had a shower and got a coffee on the go . . .  and waited with baited breath.

It arrived in a very cute van! And I don't mean that it was a nice colour or anything like that. It was a micro van, and clearly with green credentials.

A very polite - and frankly, for that time of the morning, quite cheerful guy handed over a couple of boxes: nicely packed, and in tact - had clearly been treated with care.

It's nice to know where your meat is from, the type of animal it came from and it's provenance, how it's been reared and butchered.

Types of steak that we used - before I go any further it's important to note that East London Steak Co sponsored the event and the beef, both for some of the test runs and on the night were contributed by them. The quality and taste of the beef was the amongst  the highest I've ever encountered, the marbling and fat content of the fillet and the forerib gave them both astonishing flavour and tenderness.

For the test run I picked cuts that I've been meaning to use but just haven't had occasion or time to - things like ox cheek, hanger steak (onglet), forerib and bone marrow.

Here are some of the things I tried out:

Ideas, recipes and ingredients tested for supper club - posts to follow
Liquorice "Smoke Cured" Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak, Chips and Ginger Carrots w/ Tarragon Sauce and Horseradish Sauce

Fore rib with to be served w/ roast potatoes and ginger carrots

Ox Cheek - and Garlic
Braised Ox Cheek

Roast Bone Marrow

Briased Oxtails w/ Onions & Green Beans

Fillet Roulette - something I came up with in the Alps at Christmas thought I'd share!

Recipes for each one to follow . . . . . look out for the Jamie Oliver Foundation fundraiser series. 8 fab recipes!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A London Riot 8th August 2011

By Leluu from

This morning, I decided to wear my I love London T shirt. I didn't know that today London would be under attack by ill mannered little kids.

I followed the news and a few  twitter streams because I heard the riots were coming to Hackney and indeed they did. The footage were live on BBC News and it was all just a stones throw from my home. I decided to move my car which was parked right in front of The Carhart outlet because I had a feeling that this was where these kids would want to loot. This is where you can get over sized jeans and hoodies innit!

Just as the helicopter went to get fuel and we can no longer see the live images, the rioters came running down my street. READ MORE

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


By Leluu
I posted about Roganic. Go to to read further
I splashed out and went to Roganic in the posh Marylebone area! Could've had the 10 course for £80 but opted for 6 courses for £55. You can get 3 courses for £29 but then, why would you come here and only have 3 little plates? Read more...


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