Eat What? An evening of unfamiliar food at China Exchange, London

Head to China Exchange in the heart of London’s Chinatown for an evening dedicated to understanding foods that may less familiar. Insects, duck tongues, cheese and fermented foods will all be on the menu.

With 40 tonnes of insects to every human, could tucking into bugs at breakfast provide a solution to the global food crisis and reduce the impact of meat farming on the environment? And what DO they taste like? Saiphin Moore, founder of Rosa’s Thai Café and Lao Café and author of the Rosa’s Thai Café cookbook, will make the case for enjoying insects as a regular part of our diets.

A staple of many a Chinatown menu, food writer and Chinese food specialist Fuchsia Dunlop will lead on a guided duck tongue tasting. Yes, ducks have tongues! Tongues with bones! And the structure of these morsels is mostly tasty fat. Understand more about Chinese ideas on nose to tail eating and give a duck tongue a try!

Simply called “Old Milk” in Chinese, the European passion for cheese has not spread so easily to China. In fact, for many Mainlanders, the idea of cheese is just plain weird. Led by Neal’s Yard Dairy, hear the cream of the crop of dairy production and decide if you want to be a big cheese.

James, the fermenter in chief at Kim Kong Kimchi – a specialist pickle producer in London’s Harringey that supplies some of London’s most discerning food emporia – will talk about the science of fermentation and the role it plays in creating the distinctive flavours in many cuisines including Korean and Sichuan dishes.

Due to the nature of the event, China Exchange cannot offer alternative options for those with dietary requirements. All are welcome to attend and opt out of tastings if preferred.

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About the speakers:

Saiphin Moore, Head Chef and Co-Owner of Rosa’s Thai Cafe & Lao Café, London

Saiphin’s career as a chef began over 20 years ago, when she opened up a grocery store in Phetchabun when she was still in secondary school. It was a huge success and became known by most, if not all, of those living in the area. From this, Saiphin decided to open a small restaurant that offered locals a number of her homemade favourites.

In 2001, Saiphin travelled to Hong Kong; it was here that Saiphin met her husband‐to-be and also business partner, Alex and they launched their first Thai restaurant. In 2006, the couple sold it and moved to London. A humble street stall on Brick Lane, offering a takeaway service of home-cooked Thai food, led to the purchase of an archetypal British “caff” in Spitalfields, where Rosa’s Thai Cafe was officially launched, June 2008. Demand naturally led to 10 sites today. In late 2016, Saiphin launched Lao Café offering authentic and exciting dishes from this lesser- known culinary region.

Fuchsia Dunlop, cook and food-writer specialising in Chinese cuisine

Fuchsia Dunlop s the author of the award-winning Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China (a collection of recipes from the Jiangnan or Lower Yangtze Region in eastern
China), Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking; Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet- Sour Memoir of Eating in China, an account of her adventures in exploring Chinese food culture; and two other critically-acclaimed Chinese cookery books, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, and Sichuan Cookery (published in the US as Land of Plenty).

Fuchsia’s work has appeared in publications including The Financial Times, Lucky Peach, Saveur, The New Yorker, Observer Food Monthly and Gourmet. She is a regular guest on radio and television, and has appeared on shows including Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (2016), CNN’s On
China, Gordon Ramsay’s The F-Word, NPR’s All Things Considered and The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4.

She is a consultant to the popular Barshu Sichuanese restaurant in London, as well as its sister restaurants Bashan and Baozi Inn, and has also consulted and taught Chinese cookery for companies including Williams Sonoma, Sharwoods and Marks and Spencer.

Srdja Mastilovic, Neal’s Yard Dairy’s Wholesale Manager

Currently working at Neal’s Yard Dairy as Wholesale Manager, Srdja has been with company since 2003, learning about the art of cheese making and mongering. Srdja represented Britain at the 2009 Casseus Awards, the Cheese Olympics in Lyon and came home with a bronze medal. Last year he won the Cheesemonger Invitational and the chance to represent British Cheesemongers in the

US. He is a geek for all things fermented.

James Read, Founder Kim Kong Kimchee

James runs Kim Kong Kimchi, where’s he’s been making unpasteurised, vegan, baechu-style kimchi for the last 18 months. He began experimenting with recipes for kimchi for his pop-up restaurant ArtForEating while trying to make ‘zombie brains’ from fermented cauliflower. Since then, he got kind of obsessed with foods that fizz. He swapped the cauliflower for a crockpot and a clipboard, and kept experimenting to try and make the very best kimchi he could. Along the way, he found that by switching out fish products for aged miso, he could create something really delicious that was also ‘accidentally’ vegan. At this point he had way too much kimchi to eat by himself, so he posted about the finished product on a couple of local Facebook groups in Harringay, and thus Kim Kong Kimchi was born. Now you can find it all the way from Whitstable to Glasgow, corner stores, grocers and discerning supermarkets. Most recently James was thrilled to hear that Kim Kong Kimchi been recognised with a star from the Great Taste awards.

About China Exchange:

China Exchange is a charity based in the heart of London’s Chinatown, running a dynamic programme of events inspiring people to learn more about China and its impact on the world.

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