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Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides is a World traveler, a connoisseur of lifestyle and a perceiver of situations. He has the charisma of seeing through things but seeing things coming in the future as trends although often creating trends! He is an extremely creative person capable of putting things together in a unique manner and has a way to present simple things in a stunning way. He is highly communicative and a people’s person thus a good trainer. He is flexible and adaptable coming from being a gypsy and an aristocrat the same time. His trade is being a consultant on food/drink and music, design and atmosphere, organization and management, personality coaching and…concepts, concepts, concepts!

Website URL: http://www.parischristofides.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is Kingfisher a 'ginnolier' - By Stanna Wieclawska-Kyriakou

Kingfisher Pink Gin – A Proustian Gin 

Stanna Wieclawska Kyiakou 

 

 

Fortunately for me and other ‘ginnoliers’, the gin craze shows no sign of stopping, as across the world, the alcohol industry experiences a ‘ginnaissance’. With a significant increase in gin sales over the last few years, it is believed that gin sales will increase by 37% by 2021. So, like most growing industries, the landscape of gin is always evolving, with new trends emerging every year.  

 

For gin trends, UK brands are always at the forefront of this evolution, however, we saw the influence of gins from faraway lands last year, including specialist brands from Japan such as V and Sakurao, and there has also been an influx of flavoured gins. Finally, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus made its way into this specialist market and the Lionspirit Distillery of the Lambouri Winery, has leapt into the fray with three astounding gins. 

Kingfisher, a fresh aromatic gin; Tastes exceptional over ice neat or with cucumber and/or watermelon tonics 

Iris Blue, a contemporary neutral grain spirit of Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, Lemon and Orange botanicals 

and their latest, 

Kingfisher Pink,  

 

 

These gins have been individually distilled with juniper, and a selection of 28 indigenous Cypriot botanicals, reflecting Cyprus’s warm climate and relaxed ‘siga siga’ easy lifestyle. The King fisher bottles feature the glorious birds found around the sea, dams or rivers and seeking to chase a fish or reptile. 

 

 

Made by Lionspirit Distillers based in Platres, in the heart of the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, the small Eastern Mediterranean island is known as the 'Jewel of the Mediterranean' and legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. Famed for its ancient Chypre (Copper), its historical links to King Richard the Lionheart, and the island of Bitter Lemons by the novelist and Lawrence Durrell, it has sat at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East for eons and as such has played its part in the trade routes, wars and mishmash of culture, heritage and ethnicity. 

 

The distillery developed within the famous Lambouri Winery, and began as a husband and wife team of Roland and Anna Wig, ably assisted by their friend and Master Distiller, Hubertus Vallendar.  The winery has been producing outstanding wines since 1989 and now stands tall for its Seaside Dream, a dry white wine made exclusively from Xinisteri, Apollonia, its sweet and perfectly balanced Commandaria, and its unique Kosher wine, Ya'in Kafrisin

 

The Lionspirit gins are a result of sampling over 75 famous and boutique gins from around the world, noting exactly what they liked about each particular gin, collecting all the herbs and fruits available in Cyprus and starting with small, crafted batches. 

 

The 28 herbs used are distilled separately, a process that requires ample dedication, time and love, and this care of detail to the independent, handcrafted distillation exhibits itself in both in the long lasting aroma and flavour of all three gins. The unique flavours and the consistent results, also represent Cyprus in all its diverse aspects; the fresh summer taste, the soft tones of the Troodos herbs and the smell of summer and autumn fruits, but none more so than the Kingfisher Pink. 

 

Kingfisher Pink Gin is very soft, light and yet exceptionally fragrant gin. A gentle pink to the eye, the aroma explodes like a showering of freshly picked rose petals, evoking childhood memories of the sweet Triantafilla syrup (Thirty petals – Greek for Rose) from Yiayia (Grandmother) and Mahalepi and Rodostema, (www.kopiaste.org/2008/10/mahalebi-and-rose-water/). Its fragrance is so dominant that you would be excused for thinking the gin had been steeped in rose petals, as in days of old, when they were first dried and the petals placed in airtight pithari (vases) and opened only in exceptional cases.  As Homer says in the Iliad, even Achilles’ shield was decorated with roses.  

 

With an exceptionally long ‘earthy nose’, the gin then cascades onto the palate with the classic gin botanical, Juniper. Piney and citrusy, the flavours evoke the fresh aromas of Troodos pines and high altitude lemon groves. Coriander seed, and cardamom pay homage to Eastern Mediterranean spices while the myriad of other botanicals complement the palate with a freshness and almost breezy ‘Welcome’!  

 

This is a ‘familiar’ gin to those of us accustomed to the Mediterranean diet, and yet the addition of a rhubarb or pomegranate led tonics instantly evoke taste bud memories to the most ardent diet restricted gin heathen. Its sweetness is natural, unforced. No artificial sweeteners in this gin, just filtered pure Troodos spring waters and the very essence of natural island flavours. Drunk neat, it’s very long on the palate, however, beware when drinking with ice and tonics, this light and flavousome gin packs a punch.  

 

I taste a lot of gin, it’s one of the benefits of being a ginnolier, and I truly believe this is a perfect craft gin to represent the abundant mountain rose gardens of Troodos. It is a very Cypriot gin and I look forward to others of its calibre.  

 

So, why not cast aside your artificial Strawberry Candy Floss fake gins and herald the authentic explosion of aroma and taste from Lionspirit Kingfisher Pink Gin. You won’t regret it. I am sure Homer and Achilles would agree with me! 

 

 

Best enjoyed with rose lemonade as a mixer or with a light tonic and cucumber twist!

 

Spicy Jack Fruit Burgers

Ingredients

 

Amazonia Tender Jack

1/3 cup chick pea flour

1/2 cup finely chopped red onions

1 tbsp. grated ginger

1/4 cup fresh coriander

1/2 tbsp. curry powder

1/2 tbsp. cumin powder

1/2 tbsp. paprika

Salt, pepper

2 tablespoon olive oil

 

 

Method

 

Boil the Jack fruit for a few minutes till soft and drain. Then finely chop with a knife or lightly blend. Mix in a bowl with all the ingredients till a smooth and even mixture. Form the burgers according to the size of your buns and fry, grill or bake on ovenproof paper.

 

Assemble however you fancy i.e. spread vegan mayo on your bun, add salad leaves, add the burger and top up with tomatoes and cucumbers. Use any condiment you may like from a non-dairy minty yoghurt, ketchup, plant based mayo, guacamole etc.

 

Here we spread a sauce with ketchup and savora mustard on the bun, salad leaves with tomatoes and topped the spicy burger with onion, avocado slices and more sauce to cool down the spicy kick but then again served with mild pickled chilies or Jalapenos! Enjoy it in many ways!

 

 

Kolokasi / Taro With Jack Fruit

Here is a version of a Traditional Cypriot dish where Taro is casseroled in a thick tomato sauce with pieces of pork meat. Instead we have treated jack fruit exactly how we would do with the meat.

 

Ingredients

 

Amazonia Tender Jack

500 gr Kolokasi/Taro, cleaned and cut in pieces

1 large onion roughly chopped

2 carrots, chopped 1 inch thick

2 celery sticks, chopped 1 inch thick

70 gr tomato paste

1.5 lt of vegetable stock

2-3 Bay leaves

2-3 Cinnamon sticks

1/2 lemon juice

Salt/pepper

Frying oil

Olive oil (optional)

 

 

Method

 

(Peel the kolokasi/taro carefully and do not wash it, just wipe it with some kitchen paper. Hold it with a paper or kitchen serviette not to slide off your hands and just slide the knife in the vegetable and lift so that you crack out a piece. It is like you get uneven pieces from it.)

 

In a casserole, heat the oil and fry the pieces of Jack fruit till soft and brown and drain aside. Then fry the Kolokasi/Taro pieces till soft and brown and set aside.

 

At this point I like to clean the casserole and add oil again preferably a little olive oil. When hot add the bay leaves and cinnamon and toss in the onion until soften and just begin to brown, add the kolokasi/Taro, the celery and carrot toss around for a couple of minutes add the tomato paste and vegetable stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Simmer for 30 minutes and then add the jack fruit to simmer for another 30 minutes at least and until the sauce thickens. When the kolokasi is soft and cooked then add the lemon juice and turn off but keep covered for all the ingredients to ‘bond’ in harmony.

 

Sometimes, as you know, heat, pots, ingredients behave different from home to home. Just make sure you end up having enough sauce to dip in lots of bread when served!

 

 

Curried Jack Fruit With Bananas

Ingredients

 

2 medium onion chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds

1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic

1/5 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoons turmeric

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon cloves

1 table spoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper

2-3 medium tomatoes finely chopped

1/2 cup coriander leaves

1.5 lt vegetable stock

200 gr coconut cream

1 fresh lime

Coconut oil

Amazonia Tender Jack

2 bananas

(daal optional)

Salt

 

 

Method

 

Boil the jack fruit for 10 minutes, drain and cut in the desirable pieces.

 

In a pan heat the oil and add the bay leaves and cardamom to toss for a minute and add the onion to become soft and almost brown at the edges, (add the optional daal at this point), then add all the spices (blend the cloves, coriander seeds and the cumin seeds to become almost powder and add too). Mix well over low heat for a couple of minutes for the spices to blend together almost into a paste. Add the tomatoes and coriander leaves and mix. Add the vegetable stock and mix well into a sauce. Then add the jack fruit pieces and simmer for a good 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally not to stick at the bottom of the pan. Then add the bananas and coconut cream and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Correct the seasoning and chop in the bananas before turning the heat off. Finally add the juice of the lime. Let the curry relax for a few minutes and serve on its own with pitta or naan bread or over crushed potatoes or some rice.

 

Sometimes we have added some pineapple chunks into the curry together with the bananas to remind us more of our travels in southern India!

 

 

Hello Jack The Fruit

With its origins in the region between the states of south India and the rainforests of Malaysia, Jack fruit trees are well suited to tropical environments, although today is farmed all over the world covering South America and Africa too. Most farms around the world help to keel the forests alive and they provide income to the local communities.

 

It boasts huge green brunches and flowers. It is the largest fruit of all trees, reaching as much as 60 kg in weight, 90 cm in length, and 50 cm in diameter, so it can be fairly big fruit.

 

A mature jack tree which takes a year or two, it may produce some 200 fruits annually. The young jack fruit, which is unripe, has a mild taste and meat-like texture that lends itself to being a versatile meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. The ripe fruit can be much sweeter and is more often used for desserts.

 

 

It is commonly used in Asian dishes whether ripe or unripe. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but used extensively in curries in South India. Today it is available internationally organic, gluten free and sustainable and in growing use by vegans and vegetarians, fresh, canned, frozen and various products derive from it i.e. chips and noodles.

 

Jackfruit is a partial solution in the dietary of developing countries. Its nutritional value is analyzed as follows. The edible pulp is 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. The carbohydrate component is primarily sugars, and is a source of dietary fiber. In a 100 grams (3.5 oz) portion, raw jackfruit provides 400 kJ (95 kcal), and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin B6 (25% DV). It contains moderate levels (10-19% DV) of vitamin C and potassium, with no other micronutrients in significant content. (Source Wikipedia).

 

 

In gastronomic expressions this versatile fruit can be flavored into taste origins like tomato and basil, pesto, smoked bbq, teriyaki, curry of any sort. It appears as meat for burgers, pulled pork, chunks in pastas and noodles and lots more!

 

One of the brands I am fund of is AMAZONIA organic which distributes jack fruit in various forms and ready to use. On sharing my training experiences and whilst presenting to a team of Asian chefs some new ideas for the menu, I was amused to be informed that they have Jack fruit trees growing into their gardens at home and that they are used to its original form in their daily diet by culture! Here I prepare a few ideas on how to use it. Enjoy!

 

CURRIED JACK FRUIT WITH BANANAS

 

KOLOKASI / TARO WITH JACK FRUIT

 

SPICY JACK FRUIT BURGERS

 

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