ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Monday, August 8, 2011

London's Burning (but dinner's OK)

Last week's beery adventures at the GBBF became hard work after a while, but it will go down as one of the greatest beer festivals of all time - I just needed a weekend to recover and take it easy on the alcohol front.

Well you would too if you'd spend four successive days relentlessly downing pint after pint, especially big Transatlantic fuckers like Clipper City Big DIPA (10%) and Amnesia Wonka Porter (?%).

But now it's back to normal - although a 'normal' where rioters are mindlessly setting fire to the capital so they can steal trainers - and I have to start cooking my own food rather than just picking up a tub of olives or a 20 inch bratwurst or a pork and stilton pie when I feel like it. 

Your starter for ten. Minutes.
The other day somebody pointed out that I rarely do recipes for starters, so to shut them the fuck up, here's a starter. Nah nah na-nah nah. You're wrong, WRONG I say. Go and loot Bejams or something, Sonny Jim. And relax...

What can I say about it? Well, it's quick, simple and packed full of flavour. The saltiness of the haloumi contrasts with the natural sweetness of the tomatoes to create a perfect light Summer starter.


Pan-fried Haloumi with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients - per serving

Halloumi cheese, two or three slices
Cherry Tomatoes on the vine, a few
Herbes de Provence
Black pepper
Olive oil


Place the 'vines' of tomatoes on a baking tray, sprinkling a little black pepper and a pinch of herbs over them, before drizzling with a little olive oil.

Whack these into an oven at about 200 degrees until they just start to burst or split, which will take around ten minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly coat a frying pan with oil and when it's very hot, whack on your haloumi slices, cooking for maybe two-three minutes per side, until they are mostly brown with a little charring.

And that's it! Whack a couple of slices of the rubbery cheese on a plate with your tomatoes, and you've got a tasty first course.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What you actually want to do is chop the tomatoes in half and add a decent amount of freshly chopped basil then marinate it all together in 1 part balsamic vinegar to 2 parts olive oil. The server the haloumi on a bed of the marinated toms and basil. Extra tasty!


Comments are always welcomed and encouraged, especially interesting, thought-provoking contributions and outrageous suggestions.