Food Glorious Food

Food Glorious Food

Meet the young British Foodies busy putting a party on our plates.

Food is the new rock & roll. Fact. Now we are as likely to queue up for hirata buns at a street food market as we are to see a new band. And knowing the difference between Dorset Blue Vinny and Cornish Yarg is as vital as having an opinion on Rihanna's latest haircut. Leading the charge of this new creative food movement is the Young British Foodies (YBFs), a foundation celebrating the next generation of gastronomes. The YBFs was born out of a desire to shine a spotlight on Britain's grassroots talent,' says food journalist Chloe Scott, who established the YBFs in 2012 with baker Lily Jones and PR director Amy Thorne. '

There are so many bold, brave and passionate people out there creating beautiful things and breaking boundaries.

The YBFs have hosted two annual award ceremonies, popped up in a Selfridges window and caused culinary anarchy with their 'carnival marquee' at Camp Bestival. 'What's most satisfying though is collaborating with the YBFs and being part of their achievements,' she adds. Whether itsa mixologist inventing new brews or a salmon fanatic with a smokehouse in the back garden, the YBFs are all about the artisans revolutionising the way we eat using only the most ethical ingredients and methods.

So far so tasty but what has sparked off this new foodie army? 'The world wars and the rise of supermarkets diminished our food culture. It's taken 50 years to get past frozen and processed foods and back to fresh produce. Britain has amazing culinary traditions that chefs are now reviving,' Scott explains. 'Good food used to be seen as elitist but now it's democratised. People are not afraid to try new foods from around the world and we want to know the provenance of what's on our plates too. It's exciting to grow your own chillies, keep bees or seek out the next food thrill – try drinking raw (unpasturised) milk or becoming a vegivore!

Here's our pick of some of this year's crop of YBFs.


The Bakers
Step aside macarons, cake pops and cupcakes because bakers Alex Hoffler and Stacey O'Gorman have decreed that meringues are now the most fashionable sweet treat in town. The Meringue Girls Cookbook (£15, Square Peg) shows you how to make Rainbow Kisses and Pavlovas. 'Unlike the chalky ones you get in supermarkets, our meringues are mallowy in the middle and melt in the mouth,' promises Stacey. 'We enjoy experimenting with unusual flavours such as Gin & Tonic and Lemongrass & Ginger. We're trying to make savoury meringues next but so far our attempts have been disgusting!

The Carver
Master jamón carvers Zac Fingal-Rock Innes and Chuse Valero preside over Tozino a new Spanish bodega in a South London railway arch with 100 hams hanging from the ceiling. ‘We serve meats, cheeses and tapas, very simply. Customers warm to the no-frills approach,’ says Zac. ‘Hand-carved jamón is the main event. We have five choices on the menu, listed by region, producer and vintage. You have to have knowledge of the product and a great skill with the knife.’

The Barista
Architects Hoi Chi Ng and Matthias Suchert's adventures as Coffee include Coffenade (adding nitrous oxide to milk to create frothy iced coffee) and designing a mirrored coffee bar for the Milan Furniture Fair, serving single origin shots from a 1950s espresso machine. 'We are not trained baristas but we love to experiment with every aspect that affects the final drink from water, grinder, brew methods and roasting styles through to customer service and design,' says Hoi Chi

  • Words: Helen Jennings