El Gringo and the Chief Chowzters eat our way through London
While in London, nearly fifty Chief Chowzters from around the globe toured and ate at the city’s fabled foodie hotspots. Upon arrival to Shoreditch’s trendy Hoxton Hotel Friday night, El Gringo enjoyed welcome drinks and mingled with blogger, writer and photographer peers, also getting to know the founders and staff at Chowzter better (Fantastic folks. Planning, coordinating and transporting fifty foodies around London was a Herculean task!).
Check out a video of the Chowzter Welcome Reception below. And see if you can spot El Gringo “bombing” Simon Leong, Sydney Chief Chowster and videographer!
Video: Simon Leong, Simon Food Favourites
On Saturday morning we were split into two groups, and our group headed toward the Broadway Street Market in a classic, red double-decker (the others rolled into Burroughs Market by the Thames). El Gringo enjoyed a lot of great food, including my first Scotch egg, smoked salmon, wild boar sausage and even a fish taco (prepared by a guy living in London who used to live in LA). What El Gringo did NOT enjoy was cold jellied eel. The slices of salty eel suspended in a gelatin made of chicken stock was pure British. I’ll take my Baja mariscos any day! The market appeared to attract London’s hipsters and we soaked in the atmosphere, street music, graffiti and mural art.
Global Steak Symposium: Choosing the world’s greatest cut
Saturday evening, Charlie Carroll and Flat Iron Steak in Soho hosted the “Global Steak Emporium”. Led by Mark Shatzker, author of the book aptly titled “Steak”. El Gringo and his fellow Chief Chowzters would be blind taste testing and then judging 6 of the world’s most renowned cuts of beef, including a Fattened 6 Year Old British Cow, a New Zealand Grassfed Wagyu, a legendary Angus Mackay Highland and an A5 Japanese Wagyu of questionable legal import (but don’t worry, we devoured the evidence). The Angus Mackay Highland was our pick, and Farmer Charles Ashbridge was on hand to accept the award.
It really IS a brain food! Chief Chowzters strategize and share best practices at London’s Fish Central
Sunday morning, El Gringo rolled down to the Thames to do some self touring, never having been to London before. Strolling along the “Queen’s Walk”, I took in the Tower Bridge, Hays Galleria, the Old Globe, Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and Saint Paul’s….phew! I was taken aback when I heard someone say “SCOTT!” on the bridge in an unfamiliar city. It was Bangkok Chief Chowzter Mark Wiens and his wife, also touring about. We Chowzters get around!
I took a fast black back to the Hoxton just in time to clean up and meet the group in the lobby for a walk to one of London’s BEST fish and chips, Fish Central. Chowzter Founder and Chairman Jeffrey Merrihue led the group on a brainstorming exercise regarding Chowzter’s web strategy and other projects. Charleston Chief Chowzter Scott Wink shared his findings based on a survey he’d created for us in regard to blogging best practices. The survey unveiled that we all shared some common traits as bloggers…We are hungry, adventurous, able to document, desire to share, have a sense of style and are definitely opinionated! Both presentations sparked so much discussion, we were still buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas on the way back to the hotel. The fish and chips were AWESOME, BTW. Stop by Fish Central if you’re ever in London’s East End!
Adieu, Adios, Goodbye…Until we meet again!
Most of the Chief Chowzters parted ways Monday after the awards ceremony Sunday. El Gringo hung around for a day, hooking up with an old friend at Rules, London’s oldest restaurant (est. 1795), but more on that in another post, perhaps. The events surrounding the 2014 Chowzter Tastiest Fast Feast Awards were a brilliant (as the Brits say) opportunity for working food writers and bloggers to meet, share ideas and inspiration and enjoy some good food and drink together. El Gringo is already looking forward to next year’s awards. Stay tuned for more!
Your Gringo in…London,