April food news: editor's picks

Spaghetti Metre by Studio Leivito
(Image credit: Studio Leivito)

Spaghetti Metre by Studio Leivito

Getting spaghetti quantities spot on is tough. Amateur chefs invariably panic-cook too much rather than too little, throwing in the predictable extra handful of pasta. Spaghetti measurers might not be new, but they rarely come as stylish as this. The kitchen-top worthy creation - which is more sculpture than gadget - is from Italian designers Studio Lievito, and has been carved from a block of white Carrara marble. Making its debut at Salone del Mobile earlier this month as part of the studio's Spaghetti Rouge collection, the Spaghetti Metre features different sections that are carved out to measure appropriate portions of spaghetti for one to four people - making over-feeding a thing of the past.

www.studiolievito.com (opens in new tab)

Writer: Romy van den Broeke

Spaghetti Rouge collection

(Image credit: Studio Leivito)

Trill Farm Flour and Barley

Neal's Yard Remedies founder Romy Fraser has been focusing her attention - for the past five years - on a new project, Trill Farm. The Devonshire family-run farm - where Fraser now resides - harvests a range of organic products, all available for purchase, including soap, blankets, and barley flour. The barley flour and pearl barley are packaged in aesthetically pleasing printed-paper sealed with green oversized Trill Farm stickers. The packaging offers recipes and serving suggestions, including 'Trill Lemon Barley Biscuits' to be made using the barley flour, and Trill Barley Risotto with chilli, shallots and thyme, using the lightly pearled barley - which tastes just as good as it sounds.

£2, www.trillfarm.co.uk (opens in new tab)

Writer: Romy van den Broeke

Trill Farm Flour and Barley

(Image credit: press)

Trill Farm Flour and Barley

(Image credit: press)

'Focus on Water' tasting menu by Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm, Sweden

In a bid to challenge and evolve the skills of his staff, as well as himself, Swedish two-star Michelin chef Mathias Dahlgren regularly creates thematic menus at his eponymous Stockholm restaurant. Currently the menu is riffing on water. 'Focus on Water', a five-course tasting menu that takes dinner guests on a plunge into the Nordic seas, will be served until 10 September. Aside from fish and seafood preparations, a collaboration with growers at Rosendals Trädgård allows for the introduction of wild vegetation (such as celery and sea kale) that has grown in close proximity to or right at the edge of the sea. Five percent of revenues from the menu are donated to WWF's project to save the Baltic Sea from poor health.

Mathias Dahlgren, Grand Hôtel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6, Stockholm; tel: 46.8 679 35 84; www.mathiasdahlgren.com (opens in new tab)

Photography: Magnus Skoglöf
Writer: Micha van Dinther

'Focus on Water' tasting menu by Mathias Dahlgren

(Image credit: Magnus Skoglöf)

tasting menu by Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm, Sweden

(Image credit: Magnus Skoglöf)

Unpackaged, London, UK 

Eco-build Unpackaged is a new canteen-inspired eatery in London's ever-cool Hackney. Opening its doors earlier this month, the cafe-cum-grocery seats visitors amongst the shelves of its produce. The name of the restaurant sums up its philosophy, with all purchasable food coming wrap-free. A homage to the old-school groceries that have become near extinct, the store prides itself on a dedication to fresh produce, minimal wastage and unbranded products. The space is what initially drew our gaze - designed by London-based design studio, Multistorey - its marmoleum black and white tiled flooring, skeletal black seating, and muted red, yellow, pink and green countertops provide a stylishly simple setting that reflects the restaurant's overall concept. 197 Richmond Road, London, E8 3NJ: 020 8986 7933: www.beunpackaged.com

Writer: Romy van den Broeke

canteen inspired eatery in London's ever-cool Hackney

(Image credit: press)

design studio, Multistorey - its marmoleum black and white tiled flooring

(Image credit: press)

the cafe cum grocery

(Image credit: press)

Workshop Coffee Company online shop

We don't need an excuse to advocate quality coffee consumption, but we have extra reason this month - UK Coffee Week stretches from the 23 to the 29 April. Our current pick is East London-based roasters, Workshop Coffee Co. Since launching two years ago, the small artisan roasters have unveiled their new online shop, which means that people across the breadth of the UK can sip on some truly superb brews. We can recommend the Irupana roast with macadamia nut and milk chocolate flavours.

Irupana, £10.50; www.workshopcoffee.com (opens in new tab)

Writer: Romy van den Broeke

Workshop Coffee Company

(Image credit: press)

Manufacture de Chocolat Alain Ducasse, Paris, France

Chef Alain Ducasses's admiration for chocolate-making dates back to the 1970s, when he worked as an apprentice for Lyon-based maitre chocolatier Maurice Bernachon. Over forty years later and after working with the world's best chocolatiers in his restaurants, he has decided to launch his own brand, working alongside longtime collaborator Nicolas Berger.

An inquisitive approach to chocolate-making forms the modus operandi of the chef, who acts as artistic director, selecting and sophisticating flavours, with Berger's expertise employed to refine them into the finished product. Ducasse's desire to explore the craft of chocolate can be experienced at Manufacture, his chocolate boutique housed in a former garage in Paris' Rue de la Roquette, where the chocolate-making process comes to life. The space is an 'ode to craftsmanship', with second-hand furniture (including steel gates from a former french bank and lamps previously hanging in a 1930s ship) and old machinery recovered from all over Europe. The products include over forty flavours of chocolate bars, ganaches and pralines, extracted from cocoa beans sourced all over the world and enriched with classic and unexpected ingredients.

40 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris: www.lechocolat-alainducasse.com (opens in new tab)

Writer: Rosa Bertoli

Manufacture de Chocolate Alain Ducasse

(Image credit: press)

chocolate boutique

(Image credit: press)

Manufacture de Chocolat Alain Ducasse

(Image credit: press)

chocolate bars, ganaches

(Image credit: press)

Dinner with James Lowe at The Rooftop Cafe, London, UK

James Lowe is one of the dream team that is the Young Turks, a collective of well-traveled, well-apprenticed chefs who are highly rated individually and en masse on their home turf, but who are still relatively itinerant. Perhaps the elusiveness of having no permanent digs is what keeps them hot. Dinner places at The Rooftop Café in London Bridge where Lowe is popping up this coming Saturday to Monday are currently disappearing at a rate of knots. With experience at Noma, WD-50, The River Café, The Fat Duck and a long stint at St John Bread and Wine under his belt, a cracking menu is assured, leaning heavily on Lowe's hefty knowledge of rare local, seasonal, produce, and a bent for clean flavours and fuss-free presentation. The East London company Tutto Wines, which specialises in niche Italian terroir-based offerings, are sharing the residency, providing precise liquid pairings for each of the four dishes.

James Lowe will be at The Rooftop Cafe in London Bridge on the 20, 21 and 22 April. Tickets are available via Eventbrite (opens in new tab) and are £55, which buys four courses and a selection of wines.

Writer: Emma Moore

The Rooftop Cafe

(Image credit: press)

Dinner places at The Rooftop Café

(Image credit: press)

Dinner with James Lowe at The Rooftop Cafe

(Image credit: press)

Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman

Leafing through the 224 pages of the Modern Art Dessert cookbook shows just what an art form baking can be. A self-taught baker and resident pastry chef at Blue Bottle Coffee (opens in new tab), Caitlin Freeman (whose spouse James Freeman founded the Californian coffee chain in 2002) takes inspiration from works of art by Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Wayne Thiebaud in the step-by-step recipes. Alongside these, images of the original artwork as well as curator's notes by Janet Bishop of SFMOMA are featured.

Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art is published by Ten Speed Press (opens in new tab), $ 25

Photography: Lichtenstein cake, inspired by Roy Lichtenstein's Rouen Cathedral Set V
Writer: Micha van Dinther

Modern Art Desserts


(Image credit: Lichtenstein cake, inspired by Roy Lichtenstein's Rouen Cathedral Set V)

Dessert

(Image credit: Dijkstra Icebox cake, inspired by photographer Rineke Dijkstra's De Panne, Belgium, August 7, 1992.)

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms