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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
  • Who is the Craven Maven..?

  • Be a Locavore – what’s in Season?

    Locavore App for Iphone
    Download the Locavore App for iPhone to find out what produce is currently in season in your region. (created by enjoymentland).

3Sixteen’s Singularities

3sixteen singularities

A screenshot from 3sixteen’s “Singularities” video

A few weeks ago I waxed lyrical about a drool inducing video clip from a project called Singularities by clothing brand 3sixteen. Singularities highlights some of the unique and creative individuals who wear 3Sixteen clothing and have rather nifty endeavours of their own.

My favourite video by far features an interview with Norman Mui and Wilson Park, roasters and purveyors of *The Coffee Foundry located in the West Village. These guys clearly have a passion for coffee and have created a business that reflects their coffee ethic. A great video, with some seriously delicious coffee shots. Check out the full three minute, twenty-two second video here.

* I couldn’t help but pop into The Coffee Foundry today..the pour over Bolivian coffee was rather nifty and the music…absolutely wicked.

screengrab from 3sixteen

3Sixteen’s Singularities video clip totally feeds into my coffee addiction

3sixteen singularities

A screenshot from 3sixteen’s “Singularities” video

Who doesn’t love coffee? I used to be an ‘addict’ { 5-6 espresso’s a day } but since i’ve recovered I am down to 1-2 good cups of the high octane brew. That being said, of late i’ve been talking about and looking into making my morning coffee experience that much more rewarding. The search for the perfect bean, grind and brew method is hence in progress.

Menswear clothing label 3sixteen added fuel to my addiction via the promo clip of their new video project ‘Singularities’. Singularities is a new series of videos that highlight some of the unique and creative individuals who wear 3Sixteen clothing. It goes without saying that anyone who wears such a dapper indie brand would have a personal aesthetic that exudes attention to detail and a commitment to quality when it comes to what they do.

The video shows clips of several creatives such as a tattoo artist and a drummer but it is the guy talking with a passion about the way to experience a good cup of coffee that piqued my interest. Who is he and why do I love him already? Only time will tell. Singularities is set to debut in early 2011 – keep your eyes peeled here.

screengrab from 3sixteen

Food to Fragrance: Marc Jacobs Pear Splash meets Pear Infused Gin

mj pear splash gin accord and peargin / pear

What I love most about the seasons is how it affects people’s attitude towards food. Lately, I have seen so many { non foodies } asking for recipes, trying new ingredients and making the most of this current season that forces us to hunker down in our homes and keep warm.

However, no meal would be complete without a good libation. Alcohol not only warms the cockles, it provides us with a compliment to our meal and relaxes us. A good fragrance can do the same: compliment our attire, our mood and create in us a relaxed and inviting attitude.

A few years ago the Marc Jacobs brand started releasing a series of ‘splashes’. A limited edition fragrance in a 10oz bottle reminiscent of the after bath splashes of yesteryear with a trendy twist that smacks of ‘Marc’. One of my most favourite was the complex Pear splash released in 2007 for the summer sorbet inspired collection.

The fragrance has a very fresh fruity note to it – in large part due to the pear ingredient, the freshness though, can also be attributed to a lovely gin accord that runs through the heart of the fragrance. This gin accord gives a sophisticated alcoholic headiness to the fragrance without a boozy feel. The fragrance is then grounded and given a sensual air and longevity through the amber and musk notes that linger longer on your skin.

mj splash and pear gin cocktail

The Fragrance: Marc Jacobs Pear Splash, a unisex scent with notes of ripe pear, bergamot and lemon zest. A heart of juniper, gin accord, and freesia, finished with Musk, teakwood, and soft amber. Don’t let those warm sensual notes of amber, musk and teakwood deceive you into thinking this is a sultry evening fragrance; the scales tip in favour of the pear note and gin accord making this a very reliable light and breezy day to day fragrance especially on a bright summers day.

The Dish: Actually…the drink! A literal translation of pear infused gin is a very fitting replica of this fragrance. I paticularly liked this ‘Pearfect Times‘ pear/gin cocktail by your bella wedding.

Why it works: The fragrance has a pear-like alcohol freshness to it that gives it a distinct gender ambiguous signature that is unlike most fruity fragrances you will smell. The gin-accord note creates in me an emotional response – the feel of being in a bar, dimly lit, very New York and with plush fixtures.

The pear infused gin cocktail suits this perfectly. Not only are both the key ingredients very prevalent in this libation as they are in the fragrance, but one can imagine the environment in which you would drink this. The drink in a martini glass – chilled to the point of condensation on the outside of the glass, forcing you to hold the rim carefully for fear of it slipping out of your hand. The coolness chilling the tips of your fingers. The idea of a bar is a fitting translation of the soft amber note that is sensual and a bit dark.

Fragrance Tip: Not many people wear watches nowadays, but if you do or if you have a favourite bracelet or wristband that you wear daily it WILL affect the way your skin smells in that area. Remove it and see how your skin looks different under there from your ‘exposed’ skin. Now sniff…smells different right? Spraying fragrance on there will also make it smell ‘different’ and not necessarily in a good way. My advice, if you have to wear a watch or bracelet every day remove it as soon as you get home and don’t put it on until you are about to step out. Or better still, don’t wear it at all. Not if you want all of your skin to smell it’s best that is!

Food tip: I can be a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to choosing what I like. Brands of alcohol are no exception. There are a plethora of gin’s out there. Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire,Hendricks to name but a few. Before you commit to a bottle for your home liquor cabinet, find a great bar and try them all on for size. Ask the bartender for brand recommendations, it’s a great social excuse to ‘try a brand on for size’, your home bar will thank you for doing so.

mj splash image via conde nast, pear gin image by andre doyon.
hendricks image via esper magazine and pear image via here.

Creamy Cup

Creamy cup

I smell a new obsession…these gorgeous white and gold teacups that appear to melt into the saucer. Elegant, functional and convo-worthy. I want!

the creamy cup by polyhedre

Abergavenny Food Festival

AFF A variety of events at the AFF

This past weekend, the Abergavenny Food Festival (AFF), took place in Wales. While food festivals are nothing new, I really wish I could have gone to this one. Wales is a beautiful country and as a child I found myself there during many Spring holidays, hiking through fields and forests. It was green, lush and refreshing – full of welcoming people and wildlife that was foreign to a city kid like me.

AFFteeming market stalls and rude health soapbox rants

Imagine that as a backdrop for a food festival boasting over eighty events from Masterclasses to Tutored Tastings to Talks to Debates and oh yes, food!
One feature that sounded paticularly interesting was the lecture ‘Molecular Gastronomy: The Science of Taste and Flavour’ by Peter Barham, who with Heston Blumenthal, explains how his laboratory techniques evoke extraordinary experiences for the palette. Laboratory made flavours have always piqued my interest, though not my desire and I have always wanted to sit down with a flavourist and learn the in’s and out’s of what they do. (Though I used to know a guy who was a flavourist..of chocolate no less!).

Speaking of Chocolate, on Saturday Paul Young, author of Adventures with Chocolate and owner of a host of chocolate shops across London presented a tutored tasting. I wonder if his Sea-salted chocolate and pecan tart was available for a taste ::swoon::

Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains was on hand to feature winning products from the 2009 Great Taste Awards in his ‘Great Taste’ demonstration. As well as Aussie Bill Granger one of my favourite Cooking Channel hosts, to discuss his quintessential Australian approach to home cooking.

Fire and KnivesFire and Knives, issue #1

Not to be neglected, Food Lit was also well represented at the fest. Fire & Knives (the quarterly anthology of food and writing) provided four sessions with leading food writers discussing their favourite classic food and cookery books – including Tim Hayward on Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Bill Granger and others also participated in book signings and chat.
Oh and did I mention there is a Castle? Well there is. Doubling as a location for a variety of soapbox rants from passionate food writers and chefs talking about the latest and greatest food issues that are out there.

All in all the over 180 stalls participate in the festival teeming with local produce; kids are encouraged to be ‘gardeners of the future’, parties, music and a firework finale abound amongst many many other things.

Maybe next year I will make it. If you are in or around Wales, I encourage you to seriously consider being present too!

images from the abergavenny food festival site and fire and knives

The Little Mule Company: Bikes? Coffee?

Little Mule CompanyOutside the Little Mule Company Cafe and Workshop

I am beginning to see a pattern here..remember when I wrote about London Cafe – Bar- Bike Workshop Look Mum no hands? I had to give them ‘mad props’ for being a creative idea executed well. A bike workshop meets cafe that served up mean treats and had an atmosphere nothing short of a relaxed vibe. Well this week I occasioned upon another coffee bike lovers cafe, this time in Melbourne Australia.

Formed from a love of coffee and bicycles, The Little Mule Company actually BUILD custom bicycles while offering a spot for you to kick back and sip on a flat white to your hearts delight.

Inside the Little Mule CompanyInside the Little Mule Company

Patrons can choose between The Colt or Pepe the Little Mule bike models or if they already own a bicycle, there are a wealth of cycling paraphanalia to purcahse. From pedals to saddles to saddle bags to track grips to the super hot looking Japanese made tsuchinoko bars. Or, if you just fancy coffee. You can have coffee.

The PepeThe Pepe

As of now they are not serving food, but very soon you can expect a menu peppered with Museli, Banana Bread and Egg and Bacon Sanga’s for the morning or the Mixed Mule platter for later in the day – a medly of olives, salami, cheeses and nuts. YUM!

So if you are in or around Melb, please check it out!! The Little Mule Co. 19 Somerset Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000 (Currently open Saturdays only from 9a-330p).

images from the little mule co

Drinks that make the summer say “ahhhh…”

ice mint tea

Oh summer. How I’ve learned to love thee.

I used to hate summer, until I moved to New York and was ‘schooled’ on what Winter is really all about. It made me long for the break of 3 months or so where the sun washed over my skin and engulfed me in its reassuring warmth. Now it’s crawling up my list of favourite seasons,(beaten out only by Autumn because I LOVE to layer my clothing in Autumn..best fashion season EVER!).

Another reason I love summer, is that it’s the time I experiment with home made libations. This summer I just can’t stop making Ginger Mint tea – bottling it in an ikea SLOM bottle, and serving it to my friends or self when thirsty.

It’s very simple to make:

Ingredients

30 fl oz of water
1/4 of ginger root ( About 2 oz )
4 tablespoons of homemade simple syrup
a handful of mint leaves
a tetley tea bag
ice

Directions

1. Bring the water to the boil while you peel and chop the ginger.
2. Add the ginger to the hot water and boil for about 5-10 minutes..depending on how gingery you want this brew to be.
3. In the last five minutes turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the mint leaves.
4. In the last two minutes add the *tea bag.
4. Turn of the heat, remove the tea bag and add simple syrup one spoon at a time while stirring the mixture. (I don’t like my drinks very sweet, if you do – just add more syrup..but it will lose that ‘refreshing’ quality).
5. Add a couple handfuls of ice and allow the mixture to cool (about 20 minutes).
6. Strain the mixture to get rid of the ginger chunks and mint leaves and then using a funnel, pour the tea mix into your bottle and store in the fridge to cool completely.
7. When chilled serve with lots of ice and fresh mint leaves.

* the tea bag step is OPTIONAL. Sometimes I omit it if I am laying off the caffine..if you like looseleaf tea you can substitute with a teaspoon of that at this point.

The sharpness of the ginger is breathtaking not to mention the menthol of the mint. Yum!

Have a great weekend dear hearts!

image via real simple