June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
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November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
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  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
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May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
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  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
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Everything you need to know about French wine regions, part 1: Burgundy, Bordeaux and Languedoc

Eve O'Sullivan
13 May, 2016

When it comes to improving your wine knowledge, learning more about regions, flavour profiles and perfect pairings can seem like an overwhelming task. We asked Mike Best from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust to talk us through three French wine regions to get to grips with the basics.


Which grapes? Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; you may be surprised to hear that the great wines of Chablis and Meursault are made with Chardonnay grapes. Oak scared a lot of people away from Chardonnay, but used correctly, it is a match made in heaven and in Burgundy its judicious use from none to just enough is one of its great appeals. Pinot Noir is a grape notoriously difficult to grow, but exceptional when it works. You can expect a light-bodied wine, but good examples have beautiful finesse and freshness, as well as prices to match.

What to eat Chablis is at the northern extremity of Burgundy; it’s a cool climate so expect wines with high levels of natural acidity. This pairs very well with other acidic foods, for example, a goat’s cheese salad. Riper wines from southern Burgundy would stand up more to something more substantial, like roasted pork with apples, the fruity flavours complement one another and the intensity of flavours pair well. A red Burgundy classic is ‘coq au vin’ and will likely pair better with more rustic tasting red Burgundy as the salt in the dish softens the wine and increases the fruity flavour.


Which grapes? Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc. Almost all Bordeaux wines are blends of different grapes. ‘Blends’ are neither good nor bad, there are cheap blends and there are expensive blends. Cabernet Sauvignon is a gutsy, powerful wine, with lots of tannin and flavour. Merlot is mellower, smooth and only medium bodied. On the west of the Gironde estuary you find more Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blends. On the east of the Gironde estuary the blends are more Merlot dominant. Sauvignon Blanc is grown throughout Bordeaux and produces a dry, fresh, zippy style of wine. In the best examples, oak ageing adds an interesting complexity. Sauvignon Blanc will also be used in the blend of other white grapes to make ‘Sauternes’ and other sweet wines of the area.

What to eat Great Britain has had a long history with Bordeaux and so a traditional match is roast beef and a glass of Claret (red Bordeaux). The salt softens the tannins and the intensity of flavour of the wine stands up to the roasted meat. The dry Sauvignon Blancs will work best with simple salads and especially well with oily fish like mackerel. The sweet wines such as Sauternes from Bordeaux will pair happily with most things with sweetness in - my personal favourite a simple, homemade lemon tart.


Which grapes? Grenache, Syrah, Marsanne, Roussanne; the Languedoc- Roussillon is the French wine industries engine room. The largest grape growing region in the world, it produces around 2 billion bottles, which is more than all of Australia. Its wines can be broken down into two categories. Firstly those with a distinct place, for example Corbieres or Picpoul de Pinet. Here you will find a wide variety of styles. You will always find a good amount of ripe fruit flavour in the wines, however, the region is drenched in sunshine so expect resulting styles to match. Secondly, the region grows a lot of international varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These are mostly inexpensive table wines, simple and fruity. Grenache is a star in this region, it’s a grape that enjoys the heat and is used to make pale, fruity rosé or as gutsy, full bodied, high alcohol red wine – the best examples are exceptional.

What to eat The French dish cassoulet is a great match for the red wines grown in this part of the world. The intensity of flavour pairs very well with the pronounced flavour of the wines. Marsanne and Roussanne (often blended) produce rich, oily textured, dry white wines. Food-wise, they match perfectly with the classic French fish stew – bouillabaisse. Lighter wines such as Picpoul de Pinet will pair exceptionally with grilled white fish or oysters if you’re feeling extravagant.

As part of this year’s Festival of Learning, leading wine education body, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), will be hosting a series of food and wine pairing taster sessions at Côte Brasseries around the country in June. The taster sessions will take place in six UK cities, inviting wine lovers to brush up on their knowledge over a glass or two. Priced at £15, tickets are available now from Billetto; find out more information about WSET here, or to enter our competition to win tickets to the event, go to our Twitter page.

Feeling inspired? Then cook from the books

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