It turns out I know nothing about cooking. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

All the dinners I’ve cooked for people where they have nodded and smiled are a lie: the cooking competition I won in January a clear falsehood. My social media might give the impression that I am competent, but put me in a professional kitchen and I can’t even crack an egg. I know, I’ve tried.

The reasoning behind Jamie letting me behind the counter of Harborne Kitchen eludes me. I spend money in his restaurant; hell, I’d even go so far as saying we’re mates. But his kitchen, whilst his team are prepping for service behind us. He must be mental. He suggests deboning a chicken, then filleting a whole salmon. Too tough, I say. We settle on making pasta. We’re both a bit Italian, you can see it in the bulge of our giant pepper grinders in our pockets. This’ll be easy.


It’s not. Two hours later and there’s raw dough on the floor, flour across the paunch of my apron, and Dave the sous chef is telling me off for the egg white dripping off the edge and on the stainless steel drawers below. I’ve messed it up. More than England at every World Cup since the sixties. More than the oven ready Brexit deal. More than the ending of Game of Thrones. RIP the illusion of my talent (2017-2020).

Jamie makes it look easy. Of course he does, he’s the chef patron of one of Birmingham’s best restaurants. He kneads and rolls, shifting through the gears of the pasta machine like an F1 driver in a rush to get home. He makes tagliatelle and corrects my pronunciation, then wagyu ravioli because by now he’s showing off. He learnt to make this pasta at one of Ramsay’s better gaffs, not the eggless stuff his nonna makes. Eggs, flour, salt. It’s a breeze to him. There’s a video below of the recipe here if can take your eyes off our bellies. Never trust a skinny cook.

Harborne Kitchen 

'the ‘best’ restaurant in the world'

175-179 High St, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9QE 

GET 10% OFF///
Harborne Kitchen and Staffordshire Distillery have teamed up, two teams committed to producing the best; this fig leaf, vapour distilled gin.

Creamy, fragrant, almost coconut-like. It’s sensational.

Enter code MEATANDONEVEG10 for 10% discount
Order your bottle online →



Not content with rewriting the rules on how we view bars of chocolate, local cacao magicians WNDR have gone all Christmassy and created a drinking chocolate for those cold wintery nights at home maintaining government guidelines. 

Promising flavours of almond, maple, and brownie, £14 not only gets you five servings of the high-grade stuff, but a swanky reusable German mustard jar. Get it here and make December 25th even better. 

Order online for £14 →


Osteria Francescana

'the ‘best’ restaurant in the world'

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'Quite possibly Brum's first 2* restaurant'

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Each week I'll be sharing an insight into my food and drink highlights. 

Made a pie with Pietantic. Ate a pie from Pietantic. It's called Meat and One Veg because it contains, err, meat and one veg. It's delicious. 

Get your own pie →
Nog - Couch 

So good they only need 50% of the name, Couch have reimagined eggnog to godly levels, using, of all things, mince pie cordial. No way is this being shared with Santa; he can collect his own. 

Order online →
Rocher Patisserie 

Cakes so pretty I don’t know whether to eat them or elope with them. I went with eat, apart from the faux apple which I’m now having an affair with. Can confirm he also makes very nice birthday cakes. 

Order online →
Buddha Belly

It turns out eating six curries in less than a week is very easily done. I can never decide what's better; the yellow curry or the panang. And for those fighting the beef massaman corner, don’t worry, you’re also right.

Find your favourite →
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