A Pop Up Restaurant: Summer Feasting at Twelve Triangles
If you have ever seen cheese being made you will have seen the massive amounts of whey that gets left behind. But what to do with it if you don’t want to just throw it down the sink? David Levi at his restaurant Vinland, in Portland, uses whey instead of lemons to add that acidic bite – the restaurant uses local produce only. On Wednesday I learnt it can be used to brine chicken to produce a wonderfully succulent roast at a pop up restaurant
I had the pleasure of eating this delicious chicken at a pop up restaurant in a vast bakery kitchen in Edinburgh. This being the kitchen of Lovecrumbs and Twelve Triangles, as famous for not serving bacon rolls as they are for selling the most exquisite cakes you will see anywhere. Emily Frances is their head baker and has been doing the cooking for their wonderful pop up restaurant.
I had never been to a pop up restaurant before and to be honest I was quite apprehensive about going. Just the thought of those potential awkward silences. But boy am I glad I went. A completely different experience to eating in a restaurant, where people stare at other tables and gossip. Instead a pop up restaurant forces you to interact with people you have never met before, as you are seated at one large table, and this is the most wonderful thing. People are kind. People are interesting.
The food came out in enormous bowls and splendid platters, glowing in amongst candles that glittered down the whole length of the table. Everything was served with such generosity and abundance it gave a real sense of celebration. For me the highlight was all the beautiful vegetable dishes. The reason for the whey was that Emily had made her own ricotta to go into a dish of fresh peas and broad beans. What a beautiful approach to cooking. Not only does it reduce wastage, but to use a by-product to your advantage and enhance other ingredients within the same meal. How satisfying.
There was also a wonderful salad of chicory and grapefruit. The grapefruit had been caramelised, so you had sweet, bitter, crunchy and sour. There was also a potato dish which was outstanding – bashed and mixed with almonds and capers and herbs. This is the kind of food you always dream of getting in a restaurant; but never actually get in a restaurant. Follow the ladybakers so you know when the next pop up restaurant is and go.