Little did I imagine when launching The Covent Gardener that Issue 10 would be watercress-themed… It all started when food historian Regula Ysewijn told me the extraordinary story of Covent Garden's very own watercress impresaria Eliza James, who became the world's biggest watercress producer. Regula also shares one of her mouth-watering recipes, while her husband, Bruno Vergauwen, is the artist behind our stunning cover!
Next item on the watercress menu comes courtesy of QI founder (and my neighbour!) John Lloyd with a hilarious set of indispensable watercress facts. In honour of our cover girl, Robert Reid, Executive Chef at Balthazar, has created 'Eliza's raw watercress gazpacho', available at Balthazar until
20 April if you mention the code-word: 'TheCoventGardener'.
Another curious Covent Garden import we explore is rhubarb. Once upon a time, 200 tons of the stuff was delivered from Yorkshire every day on the so-called 'Rhubarb Express'. We also dropped by The Savoy to meet Luc Bigeard, whose favourite rhubarb recipe (see p. 12) features on their afternoon tea menu – read on to bag two vouchers worth £140!
Elsewhere another prominent local pastry chef, Regis Negrier of The Delaunay, tells us about a scheme to teach local school children about food. Look out on Instagram @TheCoventGardener for a fabulous video and drawings of him being given five Michelin stars for his class!
We are thrilled to welcome Kinky Boots star Jane Milligan, daughter of legendary Goon Spike, with her top West End tips, as well as Olivier Awards producer Julian Bird. Plus we have a £200 theatre voucher up for grabs – just tell us via Instagram which show you're keen to see…
History buffs should turn straight to pages 24-25, where Lucie Skeaping and Adam Dant have created a hilarious modern-day take on the broadside ballad. Obviously it's Covent Garden-themed, but be warned: it's rather rude!
Head to Instagram for other great prizes, including a £150 Atelier Cologne perfume set and Tom Davies sunglasses for £300… Finally, I urge you to keep visiting Covent Garden – the beating heart of our brilliant capital.
Follow us on Instagram @thecoventgardener to keep up with our latest offers and amazing competitions.
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