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Home Cook, more than 300 delicious, fuss-free recipes.

Our very own Thomasina Miers has been a busy bee lately. Having just released her new cook book Home Cook, a collection of recipes from her much loved Saturday column the Guardian’s Weekend Cook.

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It includes all Tommi’s kitchen essentials and secrets and is an inspiring guide for the home cook looking to enjoy good food any day of the week. Having collected the most loved recipes that she’s fed her friends and family at her always busy kitchen table, it’s a book full of family classics and food inspired by her travels, favourite food writers and chefs.

With a sprinkling of recipes inspired by trips to Mexico to keep you Wahaca fans happy, there’s also a great range of dishes from the UK and other favourite corners of the world, for those who fancy perfecting their roast chicken, (whilst of course not forgetting to keep a keen eye on Mexican date night).

 

Grab yours here!

 

Let Tommi ‘Spark your city’

This Friday 4th of December from 8am to 9pm, Tommi will be joining Spark your City with a giant greenhouse on the Southbank.

Kipling’s Spark Your City supports women in creating sparks of happiness in the cities they love and this year,Tommi, will spark an infectious message of happiness by unvealing a giant 12 metre multi-coloured greenhouse on London’s Southbank. Thomasina will be harnessing her passion for educating people on the journey of food. The greenhouse will literally bring food for thought to commuters and passers by, as well as the
trademark Kipling message of happiness.
“I want to tell people about the joy of vegetable gardens and growing your own food. This truly sparks happiness into your
ordinary everyday meal.”

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On the first day of the event Thomasina will be handing out a selection of seeds inspired by the colourful herbs in the
greenhouse to anyone who passes by. The public will then have the opportunity to choose a recipe card providing interesting,
quirky tips on how to incorporate their chosen greens into dishes at home. The cards will include twists on Christmas recipes
and instructions on how to spice up meals by integrating home grown flavours during the festive season.
Inspired by Thomasina’s commitment to educating the younger generations on where food comes from and how to grow
your own, Kipling will be donating five fruit trees from the greenhouse to ARK Franklin school following the spark. Giving
pupils the special opportunity to watch the trees grow, care for them and learn about produce along the way.

DATE Friday 4th December 8am – 9pm
Meet and chat with Thomasina from 8am – 11am.
LOCATION London Southbank – In front of The London Television Centre, SE1 9LT

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2015: The year of Mexico in the UK

Hola 2015, the year we celebrate The Year of Mexico in the UK and the UK in Mexico, which was announced by our countries’ respective Governments as a pairing up in celebration of the diversity, talent and cultural heritage of our two nations.

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During the year, Mexico and Great Britain will be hosting a huge programme of events in the arts and many other disciplines like innovation, tourism and education, showcasing the best both countries have to offer.

At Wahaca, we are planning to celebrate the huge diversity of Mexican cuisine, (named by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World) so we’re starting the year with the exciting news of a series of Supper Clubs at our Covent Garden restaurant, where Mexico’s top chefs will be cooking regional dishes with our very own Thomasina Miers, taking us on a culinary trip across Mexico.  Chefs like Alejandro Ruiz from Casa Oaxaca, Roberto Solis from Nectar and Enrique Olvera from Pujol, Pujol being  20 on the list of 2014’s World’s 50 best restaurants.

The variety of ingredients and dishes, originating and being served up in Mexico often comes as a surprise, but the diversity is vast, meaning there’s always something new and mouthwatering to discover. To have a peek at the variety of cuisines found across Mexico, and to give you a taste of what’s coming, take a look a this video:

As well as our supper club nights, we’ll be collaborating with the Mexican Embassy throughout the year on events that showcase the fun, vibrant culture of Mexico. As part of the fun, our van will also take to the roads across the UK, bringing the wonders of Mexican street food to new places near you, so keep an eye on Twitter for where we’ll be parked up next.

First announcements include the Ballet Folclorico de Amalia Hernandez: Mexico’s National Ballet Company’s week long residency at the London Coliseum, The Mexican Morrissey Project UK tour and our very own Day of the Dead Festival, the biggest seen in this country, set to captivate thousands.

To make sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up to our database here.

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Thomasina’s Supper Club at Fortnum and Mason

For the very first in their new series of Supper Clubs, those purveyors of incredibly fine things, Fortnum & Mason have invited our very own Thomasina Miers to head down the road to their Piccadilly store and cook up a Mexican storm for just one evening on Thursday 3 July.

Tommi in the kitchen

Held in the elegant environs of their Fountain Restaurant, Tommi’s supper club will showcase the freshest Mexican leaves and flowers in amongst some chilli salsas and sauces.

Her menu includes a Mezcal cocktail to whet your whistle, whilst you tuck into stuffed Hoja Santa leaves, courgette flower quesadillas and crab tostadas.  Our pals from Amathus will also be giving customers a swift journey through the differences between Mezcal and Tequila.

Then it’s headfirst into a four course menu taking in pasilla de Oaxaca chillies stuffed with hibiscus flowers and cheese, duck breast with mole oaxaqueno and an icy raspberry granita. It’s going to be off the scale.

 

We head to check out the competition at #TacoWars2

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We head to check out the competition at #TacoWars2

Tacos, those little parcels of tasty happiness so typical of Mexico, have inspired London’s chefs to create some out-of-this-world fillings ready to blow your mind. And the place to worship the humble taco for the second year running is Tweat Up’s Taco Wars.

Here, 8 of London’s finest street food and café contenders go head to head to come up with the most innovative and tasty taco… ever and this year our very own Thomasina Miers was invited along to crown the winning taco-ista.

Tommi at Taco Wars

Walking down Broadway Market, we watched the folk eating brunch with pity, we were taco-bound, hungry and thirsty.  A very smoky Hawker House welcomed us with the merry Mariachi band playing in the corner. No special Mexican occasion is complete without a Mariachi of course, and this could only be followed with tequila, a blood orange Margarita.

And so the expedition began, the voting card told us who was who and in which direction we should head:

Oh Bob oh Bob! You makes us dream of your lobster roll, and then you kick up a pinxo style taco. A crispy Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna taco with wasabi guacamole, chipotle crema, Asian slaw and sesame seeds in a crispy wonton shell finished off by their own Mexican chef from Baja. This taco was crispy and fresh, you could close your eyes and instantly be chilling by the beach, delicious.

Next stop, the one and only Kimchinary, a beer braised pork belly, pickled mustard seeds, Korean pear salsa, oyster kimchi, gochujang and pig crunch on a smoked pork fat and sesame tortilla. What a winning combination, the sour punch on the salsa finished with those pork scratchings were absolutely heavenly, fresh and clean tasting.

The cool Breddo’s boys were feeling so at home just down the road from their usual taco shack, you could feel their confidence. A tequila and chilliback combo warmed the pallet while our chipotle and bone marrow roasted short rib taco, barbecue Guinness brisket and smoked cherry marmalade in a homemade beef dripping tortilla was being dressed. This was a great size taco with succulent meat slightly on the sweet side, but with good consistency.

Rita’s Café was brave, they kicked up a Pigs Head, Belly and Trotter, burnt spring onion crema and blood orange pico taco, their while-you-wait handmade tortilla was to die for, the flavours well balanced and the pico salsa gave it the perfect kick, grand…

After a little rest and a couple of beers, we were ready for more, so we headed for the Benito’s Hat party. Felipe and his crew were having a blast and it was contagious. We were told about Felipe’s family salsa recipe and were served a pork belly, crispy chicharrón, shaved fennel, lime, roasted apple and habanero salsa in a homemade corn tortilla. We were waiting for the Coyoacan market carnitas hit but it was a little bit far from it, the crispy crackling was a nice touch and the salsa had a nice punch.

Next was the wonder kid from Mexico via NY, Edson from Santo Remedio and his Chargrilled Octopus marinated in Pasilla de Oaxaca chillies with black beans, yerba santa and serrano in a blue corn tortilla taco. The octopus was so succulent and the pasilla chilli so delicate, we just wished we could’ve had a few more.

And so we were nearly there, and as the lines stretched all the way to the bar, the banter flowed with other taco lovers, discussing their nay and yay choices. Last year’s winners Luardos was next. High expectations as we waited for their minimalistic taco – a mouthful of Argentina, grilled skirt steak drenched in chimichurri salsa and soft avocado, delicious.

Feeling pretty full up, we ended the day with the most innovative taco in the house, a hickory smoked peanut butter jelly pork belly, popcorn pudding, pineapple salsa, Dr. Pepper gel and pickle sour cream in a 100% pork loin tortilla, aka a pork taco with nutty flavours inside out, insanely full of amazing flavours.

To wrap things up, after a day full of amazing flavours our very own Thomasina Miers crowned Breddo’s Tacos the winners, just in time for their residency at Tripspace in Haggerston.

And as the party went on, we came to the conclusion that tacos as we know them, will never be the same again.

 

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The Pig Idea takes over Trafalgar Square

In November, we took Wahaca to Trafalgar Square along with a handful of other amazing restaurants and guest chefs for a lunchtime of free pork pibil tacos, made using the meat from pigs which were entirely fed on waste food, which would have otherwise gone to landfill. It was all part of our Food Waste Campaign, The Pig Idea set up by Thomasina Miers and Tristram Stuart.

Our tacos fed over 2,000 people that day and in total over 5,000 people had a free lunch courtesy of 6 of the campaign’s pigs, raised in Stepney City Farm. As well as being an amazingly tasty piece of recycling, it also helped to get a serious message across. Here’s a short video to explain a little more about the campaign.

Head to www.thepigidea.org to pledge your commitment to reducing food waste and to help us get food waste back on the menu for pigs.

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Tommi gets to the heart of why The Pig Idea matters to Wahaca

Together with our very own Thomasina Miers and food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart, we’re fighting to get food waste back on the diet for our pigs.

You can join us in Trafalgar Square on Thursday 21st November from midday until 4pm for a free feast to celebrate and raise awareness of these issues. We’ll be serving up our signature pork pibil tacos using pork raised on legally permissible food waste from our Pig Idea pigs in Stepney City Farm. It’s first come, first served, so get there early to jump the queues and make sure you get a free lunch!

Here’s Tommi to explain how the whole idea came about and why The Pig Idea is important to Wahaca and all restaurants.

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Come swine with us in Trafalgar Square

On Thursday 21st November, we’ll be joining Tommi, Tristram and the rest of The Pig Idea team down in Trafalgar Square from 12 – 4pm for a FREE culinary feast, featuring our famous pork pibil tacos. We’d love you to trot along and join us.

Come swine with us
We’ll be cooking alongside our partner restaurants and serving up porky treats using the meat which we’ve been raising on legally permissible food waste in Stepney City Farm this summer. Make sure you come over to the Wahaca tent and try our most environmentally friendly pork pibil tacos ever (or our vegetarian alternative), but be there early as it’s first come, first served.

As well as a free lunch for a good cause, our very own Thomasina Miers will be heading onto the main stage with Radio 2’s Sara Cox to cook up a dish suggested by you. To be in with a chance to have your recipe made, plus win a meal for 4 at Wahaca, head to the pig idea website and take part in The People’s Pig competition.

As well as Tommi and Sara, The Pig Idea stage will play host to porky cooking demos from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Valentine Warner, Stevie Parle and a Bruno Loubet and Giles Coren double act, so there will be loads to keep you entertained. There will be activities for kids of all sizes and the chance to find out more about food waste issues from the campaign’s supporting organisations. There’s surely no better way to spend your lunch break.

The feast will be the culmination of the campaign which is aiming to raise awareness of ways to tackle the food waste problems we face and to fight to get food waste back on the menu for Pigs. To read more about the campaign, check out our article here, or pick up a copy of our latest ‘Ola magazine in our restaurants.

To show your support for The Pig Idea head over and take the pledge, or search them out on twitter.

 

Cracking Crackling

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Cracking Crackling

Pork scratchings with guacamole are probably the most popular snack in Mexico, especially when accompanied with an ice-cold beer and they’ve been a feature of our menu ever since we opened. Tommi’s a massive fan, as you might have noticed…

In the last few months we decided our recipe was up for a refresh. We use specially selected cuts of back rind from outdoor reared British pigs which are slow cooked for four hours, then cooked twice more for that soft, but lighter crunch. Our new scratchings are finished off with a fennel seed dusting which we LOVE! It gives a subtle and earthy anise flavour. The saltiness of the pork is a wonderful foil for the creamy avocado, whilst the vibrant flavours of guacamole (fresh lime, chilli, fresh coriander) adds a delicious seasoning to the pork. All in all, it’s winning flavour combo.

Fennel dusted scratchings with guacamole

Mexican style pork scratchings are on the up these days. So good are they that Rene Redzepi of Noma fame put a rendition of the pork scratching on his world beating tasting menu after he’d done a month cooking in Mexico. He’s clearly onto something that guy.

So, next time you’re in and thinking of starting things off with your regular guac and chips, ring the changes and give our new fennel dusted pork scratchings a try. You may never look back.

If you’ve given them a try, we’d love to know what you think – you can let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Bloggers cook-along at Wahaca Stratford

Check out this great video of our bloggers cook-along event that we held in Wahaca Stratford last week. Tommi cooked up 3 dishes from the new Wahaca book (Did we mention that we had a new book?) and then 9 willing blogger volunteers valiantly had a go themselves. All in less than 30 minutes to add a little bit of extra fun to the proceedings.

We were all very impressed with the bloggers who pretty much took the whole thing in their stride and created some beautiful looking recreations, so Tommi had better watch out!

If you like the look of these dishes, then you can get your hands on a copy of our book, Wahaca, Mexican food at home in any of our restaurants or they’re just a click away. You might also see the Beetroot salad cropping up on the new specials menu at The Wahaca Southbank Experiment from July 4th.

Thank you so much to all of the lovely guys from HJonesyFeeds, Cherrapeno, Mintcustard, Crumpeats, Humbugs & Handbags, Hot & Chilli, Robert Giorgione, Roswensian, and Pukkapaki for making it such a great event.