Panisse and the senses

In this workshop, artist-chef Leo Burtin will share his tips and tricks for cooking new dishes without recipes, using all five of your senses to guide you. You will experiment with coming up with meal ideas which celebrate not just taste but your other senses also. Inspired by Leo’s love of combining food and storytelling, this workshop will combine a cooking demonstration with short creative writing activities inspired by sensory writing from chefs, novelists and poets.

This session will be suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and will pay homage to the flavours, sights, smells and textures of this late summer.

No previous experience is required. You will receive a list of ingredients prior to the workshop should you wish to cook along during Leo’s demonstration.


150 grams – Besan or Gram flour, which is also known as chickpea flour (whatever the name, it is all the same thing)
Although this ingredient may seem unusual to some of you, I don’t think you will have any trouble finding it.

The brand KTC sells it in bright yellow packets in most supermarkets, sometimes in the world foods section, or where they might keep Indian cooking ingredients.

Tesco’s stock the Koh-I-Noor brand as Besan, look out for big red writing.

Posher shops might stock the Doves Farm version with their gluten free ingredients. It looks like their regular flour packets.

You are likely to find the cheapest in any local Indian stores/Asian supermarkets around you. You can usually find it for less than £3/kg.

1 clove garlic
1 small shallot
1 lemon
A bunch of fresh herbs of your choice (whatever you have in/around will be fine. I will likely use chives, mint and curly leaf parsley because they’re all in my garden)
100 gr Greek Yogurt (Or vegan alternative – just make sure it is unsweetened!)
1 egg (Aquafaba: Water from a tin of chickpeas for the vegan alternative)
250 ml min. of oil of your choice (I will be using olive but a neutral alternative would also work – avoid nut oils)
White wine vinegar (if you do not normally use it, do not go out of your way to buy it – any other vinegar, or indeed lemon juice will work too!)
Dijon mustard (another kind of mustard will be fine if that’s what you have in, but Dijon is much nicer in taste for what we will be making)
Optional: A generous pinch of Pul Biber – also known as Aleppo flakes – this is a very mild and oily kind of chili which I recommend you try if you have not already. Alternatively, regular chili flakes or even a pinch of paprika or lots of freshly ground black pepper will produce a similar effect.

If you are planning on cooking along and eating the main food we will be preparing, you are likely to want to accompany it with a salad. I will be making/demonstrating a kind of “cold ratatouille” which contains:

Courgette, basil, aubergine, sun ripened tomatoes, and mixed toasted seeds

Of course, you can use any other ingredients you have handy or make your own favourite salad instead.

A sauce pan, a measuring jug, a mixing bowl, a small roasting tray, a griddle or frying pan (if you’re going to make the salad), a whisk (electric or not) or hand blender if you’re planning on making the vegan alternative. Our main dish can be shallow fried, deep fried or baked – feel free to plan according to your preference.

Eagle, T. 2018, First, Catch. London: Quadrille 

The thing to do is just begin; the question, of course, is where. We think of recipes as more-or-less scientific sets of instructions, little closed systems that start with an onion and finish ‘at once’, when in fact they are more like short stories – about history, about politics and about love, with obscure morals – told in a curious imperative. Every order given, to dice this or simmer that, has within it a memory – I diced this so that we could eat together; I simmered that to keep away the cold. 

Tandoh, R. 2020, Your hands are your greatest kitchen utensil. Heated. Online. 3rd June 2020. [Accessed 11/09/20] Available from: 

When I cook with my hands, my senses stretch back out along the length of my arm and into my fingers as I rub olive oil into kale, pluck parsley leaves from their stems, and smear butter and spices across chicken skin. It’s something like mindfulness — a feeling of being in your body and fully inhabiting your senses — but less precious, maybe, and messier.

Morisson, T. 1970 The Bluest Eye. E-Book, n.p. 

The object of the walk was a wild vineyard where the muscadine grew. Too new, too tight to have much sugar, they were eaten anyway. None of them wanted—not then—the grape’s relinquishing of all its dark juice. The restraint, the holding off, the promise of sweetness that had yet to unfold, excited them more than full ripeness would have done. At last their teeth were on edge, and the boys diverted themselves by pelting the girls with the grapes. Their slim black boy wrists made G clefs in the air as they executed the tosses. The chase took Cholly and Darlene away from the lip of the gully and when they paused for breath, Jake and Suky were nowhere in sight. Darlene’s white cotton dress was stained with juice. Her big blue hair bow had come undone, and the sundown breeze was picking it up and flittering it about her head. They were out of breath and sank down in the green-and-purple grass on the edge of the pine woods. Cholly lay on his back panting. His mouth full of the taste of muscadine, listening to the pine needles rustling loudly in their anticipation of rain.

Proust, M. 1922-1931 (for original English publication)  In Search of Lost Time. E-book. N.p. 

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

Greenspan, D. 2020 The Particular Texture and Joy of Homemade Ice Cream. New York Times Magazine. Online. 12/08/2020 [Accessed 11/09/2020] Available from: 

The ice cream I make has a lovely, almost velvety texture, and a softness that is surprising, since I don’t start with an egg custard. […] My new recipe was good for every kind of ice cream, including those with berries. Berries can be ice cream’s nemesis: The juice that makes them delectable in almost any other dessert makes them intractable in ice cream. But the trinity of powdered milk, honey and alcohol, especially the alcohol, changed that. Whether I used fresh or frozen berries, the ice cream’s texture was still luxurious, and for me, so much of ice cream is about texture — about the way it melts. A languorous melt is a perfect one. The slower the melt, the more flavor you get. […]

As confinement continued, and even as D.Q. opened, I kept churning our family’s favorites, most of them involving my latest version of chocolate chips made with that magic shell mixture of dark chocolate melted with a little coconut oil. Just when the ice cream is almost ready, when the rhythm of the churn has slowed and the ice cream starts to fold and ripple as it spins, I drizzle in the melted chocolate, which firms and forms flakes — some small, some slender, some thick. I save the rest of the chocolate to spoon over scoops. Shiny and lavalike at first, the chocolate dulls and hardens, coating and capping the ice cream, so that it shatters with the tap of a spoon. Soft ice cream, snappy shell and the here-and-there crunch and melt of the chocolate flakes. So many good flavors. So many good textures. Everything I’ve always loved about ice cream, minus the itsy bits of ice.

Nosrat, S. 2020. Gardening Made Me Happier. It will work for you too. New York Times Magazine. Online. 15/07/2020 [Accessed 11/09/2020]. Available from: 

When shelter-in-place orders were imposed in Oakland, I began planting seeds. As days and dates became increasingly meaningless, I learned to measure the passage of time by counting the number of leaves on a seedling, watching the sunlight hours extend little by little or noticing the growth of rhubarb stalks as they cracked through the winter soil. As observing the garden became both my watch and calendar, I felt my mood improving.

I wasn’t imagining things — gardening was improving my sense of well-being. According to a study by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Minnesota, gardening at home is a source of contentment for people across racial boundaries, with women and lower-income gardeners in particular reporting the highest levels of happiness. Gardening — especially vegetable gardening — makes us happy. Beyond the physical activity and the satisfaction of cooking with and eating the crops that our work yields, gardening gives us access to sensory experiences we don’t typically have in modern urban life. When you brush against a French lavender or lemon verbena plant as you walk by, you instantly experience calming aromatherapy. When you pick a sage leaf, you can feel your nervous system relax as you rub its soft velvet between your thumb and forefinger. Wind rustling through leaves is more meaningful when you planted the seed that bore those leaves.

And of course there are the countless ways a garden offers us flavors we might not otherwise have a chance to taste. Some foods are too delicate to withstand the extended transport that most of the produce in this country undergoes in getting to market: Squash blossoms tear and bruise, elderflowers wilt and lose their precious Muscat aroma, mulberries implode and rot before anyone can taste their sweet-tart perfection. Others, like tiny, impossibly fragrant Alpine strawberries, grow on low-yielding plants that make little economic sense for most farmers to cultivate.

I love planting my garden full of things I can’t readily find at the store or market, and while I geek out on rare varieties as much as the next horticultural nerd, my favorite garden flavor is neither delicate nor esoteric. Green coriander seed — the fresh seed of the cilantro plant — is the most special thing I grow and something many others view as a mistake. “Cilantro can be hard to grow,” says Leslie Wiser, founder of Radical Family Farms in Sebastopol, Calif., “because it bolts easily.” When a plant bolts, or prematurely goes to seed, its flavor changes. Gardeners dread bolting, but when it comes to cilantro, I actively pray for it, because nothing is as welcome in my kitchen as the intensely aromatic, slightly citrusy, mildly cilantro-ish flavor of the plant’s fresh green seeds.

Blini Cook Up

Blinis (adapted from – makes around 40


Dry ingredients

70g buckwheat flour

35g plain flour

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Wet ingredients

200g milk

50g yoghurt

1 large egg yolk

1 large egg white – keep separated at first

15g melted butter, cooled slightly

5g vegetable oil (½ tbsp)


Blinis (adapted from – makes around 40

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix evenly, ensure there are no clumps and to introduce a bit of air into the mix.

In a second bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – except the egg white.

In a third bowl, whip the egg white until it holds stiff peaks. If you have it, you can put half a tsp of vinegar or a pinch of cream of tartar in with the egg white before whipping to aid with the foaming.

Mix the wet ingredients, except the egg white, into the dry ingredients to form a batter. Once combined, carefully fold in the whipped egg white into the batter, trying not to lose all of the air the white will incorporate.

Use the batter as soon as possible to make the blinis to conserve the air in the mix. Heat a non-stick pan until medium-hot, then very lightly grease it with vegetable oil. Spoon the mixture into the pan in amounts of a scant dessert spoon. Cook over a medium-high heat, looking out for small holes to appear in the upper surface of the blini as it cooks. Once these have formed and the underside has taken on a little colour (around 2 minutes), flip the blinis and cook for another 2 minutes to finish.

Top the blinis with your preferred garnishes. In our session we had lumpfish roe with creme fraiche and chives. We also had hot-smoked trout flaked into a little yoghurt, seasoned with cider vinegar and black pepper and garnished with dill.

Smoked salmon, sour cream or cream cheese, pickles, onion and other herbs such as chervil or parsley would all be good. For vegetarian options, smoky slow-cooked aubergine, chopped roasted red pepper or coarse mushroom pates would all be good.

Chocolate and mint dessert – makes 4


Mint essence swiss meringue (makes several extra meringues):

2 large egg whites (or just use 1 and keep the other for another use, you will need 2 yolks for the chocolate pot)

Golden caster sugar

Mint essence

Green food colouring

Fresh mint cream:

200g double cream

10 sprigs of mint, washed, stalks included

Golden caster sugar

Chocolate pot (adapted from Felicity Cloake in the Guardian):

75g chocolate with very high cocoa solids, 80-100%

2 large egg yolks

20g golden caster or light brown soft sugar

Small pinch of salt

100g milk

75g double cream

Four tumbler glasses


Dark cocoa powder

Small mint leaves

Method (minimum time before assembling the dessert 3 ½ hours, can be begun the day before)

Preheat your oven to 100C.

In a heatproof bowl (which could be the bowl of your stand mixer if appropriate), weigh the egg whites. Multiply the weight of the whites by 1.5 and add this quantity of caster sugar, so if the eggs weigh 80g, add 120g sugar. Set the egg white and sugar over a gently simmering pan of water (make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl) and stir with a spatula to dissolve the sugar. Keep heating and stirring until the mixture has reached a temperature of 80C.* Once at this temperature, begin to whip the mixture, ideally in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk. Once a foam has begun to form, add mint flavouring and green colouring to your personal taste. Keep whipping until you have made a meringue texture – voluminous and very glossy. This type of meringue (Swiss meringue) is very stable and is now cooked and ready to eat, but we are also going to bake it gently to make it crunchy.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spoon the whipped meringue onto the parchment in little blobs around the size of a large walnut. You will probably have around 20 if you have used both egg whites. You only need 4 for the chocolate pots, so you can keep the other meringues for another recipe or eat them on their own. Bake the meringues in the 100C oven for 90 minutes, then turn off the oven, leaving the meringues inside. Leave the meringues in the cooling oven for at least another 90 minutes or up to overnight. Reserve in airtight containers until you want to assemble the chocolate desserts.

To make the fresh mint cream, heat the cream gently in a non-stick saucepan until just below the boil, then take off the heat and add the mint sprigs. Keep the mint in the cream as it cools, for a minimum of 1 hr or up to overnight in the fridge. Once the mint has infused, strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the mint from the cream. Discard the mint. Reserve the infused cream in the fridge.

To make the chocolate pot, first whip the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until pale and voluminous.

Chop the chocolate up into small pieces – no bigger than a little fingernail.

Heat the milk and cream (not the reserved mint cream) gently in a non-stick pan until just below the boil. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir briefly to coat the chocolate then leave for two minutes. After this time, stir the mixture to fully combine the melted chocolate into the dairy. If it still looks slightly grainy, heat the mixture on the lowest heat possible, stirring all the time to finish melting the chocolate into the dairy. If the mixture is heated too much, the fats can split out of the mixture.

Once the chocolate is evenly melted into the dairy, pour the warm mixture into the whipped egg yolk whilst continuing to whip it, combining fully. Divide between four tumbler glasses and allow to cool, then chill in the fridge for a minimum of an hour.

Soon before you are ready to assemble the desserts, weigh the amount of mint-infused cream you have reserved and add 1/10th of its weight in sugar. Whip, preferably with a hand whisk until the cream just holds very soft peaks. If whipped until too thick, it can be hard to layer on top of the chocolate pot and makes for a less pleasant texture.

To assemble, take the reserved chocolate pots and layer the mint cream on top of them. Break up one or two of the small meringues per dessert into small pieces and arrange on top of the cream. Using a tea strainer, dust a very light dusting of cocoa powder over the meringue pieces. Garnish with a few small mint leaves.

* If you don’t have a probe thermometer that can read the temperature of the egg-sugar mix, make the meringue as a French meringue instead, whipping the room temperature egg whites and sugar, along with the flavour and colour, until you have a voluminous and glossy meringue, then follow the instructions above to bake.

Foraging Fact Files

The lovely Jon Tyler of has produced these informative and inspiring Foraging Fact Files, for you to take out with you on your daily walks.

Each has an image, description and details of a common plant that you can find out and about this spring, alongside a delicious recipe you can use to turn your foraged bounty into a feast!

Happy foraging!

Foraging Guide

If you are new to foraging, you might want to start with Jon’s Foraging Guide.

Foraging Fact Files



St George’s Mushroom

Wild Garlic


Wild Rose

Wild Rasberry

Lime Flower

Elder Flower

Foraging cook up

Wild Raspberry & Elderflower Griddle-scones

9 oz (250g) self-raising flour, sieved
4 oz (100g) unsalted butter
2 or 3 oz (50 or 75g) caster sugar
Pinch of salt
4 oz (100g) Wild Raspberries (about a good handful)
3 teaspoons of Elderflower
1 egg

Begin by stripping the individual flowers off the elderflower heads with a fork into a small bowl.
In a large bowl mix together the sieved flour and salt; cut the butter into cubes and then using finger tips
crumb into the flour mixture until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the sugar, raspberries, elderflower
and then the egg; mix together to form a ball of dough. If the mixture is sticky add some more flour.
Roll out the pastry until it is about ¼ in (6mm) thick and cut into rounds with a cutter of your choice. Any
size is OK as long as the pastry is not too thick.

You will now need a bake-stone or heavy iron griddle; If not a heavy based frying pan will do or they can
be cooked it the oven as scones.

If using a griddle or frying pan, rub the surface with a little butter then place on to a hob and wait until
the butter begins to sizzle. Place the drop-scones on to the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes until the
underside is golden brown, then flip them over to cook the other side.

Remove from the griddle and place somewhere warm while you cook the second batch. Serve just as
they are with a cup of tea or split the scones and spread with jam for a real tea time treat.
Once they have cooled down the griddle scones can be frozen for up to 3 months. Fresh they are best
eaten within 2 days.

(Makes about 16 scones)

Around the Table Focaccia Cook Up


1kg Plain flour plus extra for dusting
10g Salt
30g Fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast
550ml Tepid water
50ml Olive oil
Pinch sea salt for topping
Olive oil for topping
Herbs of choice (hard herb such as thyme/rosemary/oregano are best)


  1. Dust a large flat baking tray with flour.
  2. Put the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and yeast, then add the olive oil, plus enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough. The dough should feel quite loose and not tight and difficult to knead. If the whole amount is added it may appear that the dough is beyond repair, but gently kneading by way of scooping up the dough, scraping any sticky bits on the surface and slapping it back down again for a few minutes will see the dough begin to become ‘pillowy’ and more manageable. The more water that can be added (the full 550ml is great) then the lighter the bread will be. But it can take some perseverance. Also resist the temptation to add more flour as it will make the dough too heavy.
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured work surface or for five minutes if using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough will feel stretchy when pulled. To test if it is ready, make a ball with the dough then, using a well-floured finger, prod a shallow indent in the side (no more than ¾cm/¼in). If the indent disappears by way of the dough springing back then it is ready to shape. If the indent stays, knead for a few minutes longer.
  4. Shape the dough into an oval and place it on the prepared baking tray. Flatten it out to about 30cm/12in long and 20cm/8in wide. Cover the dough loosely with oiled clingfilm, making sure it is airtight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  6. Leave the dough in a warm place for about an hour, or until it has almost doubled in size. With a floured index finger press holes in the dough at regular intervals, about 4cm/1½in apart in rows across the dough, pressing right down to the bottom. Cut 3cm/1¼in sprigs of the rosemary and push them into the holes. Sprinkle some sea salt over the dough and place in the top third of the oven. Bake for about 25–30 minutes, or until the bread is well risen, pale golden-brown and feels hollow when tapped underneath.
  7. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and leave to cool on the baking tray.

Around the Table Calling From the Back of Your Cupboard

“Calling from the Back of your Cupboard!” is a response to the unprecedented times we are living. This creative project seeks to reflect on some of the difficulties we are currently facing, through recycling, story telling, cooking and photographing.

“Mike, Kasia and I were disappointed not to be able to meet in person for the originally planned workshop in which we would have created dishes and photographs together…but this phone chain has been a lovely thing to initiate.

It was great to have a chat and fascinating to discover the very special ingredients we keep secret in our cupboards!” – artist Caroline Gervay

We had 3 groups – Lowestoft, Claydon and Bury St Edmunds.

Each member of the group called another member from their group with the first phone call setting the instructions to be passed on. These were the questions that were discussed:

What secret ingredient did you discover or rediscover at the back of your cupboard?
Is it something you had forgotten about?
Is it something you don’t know how to cook?
Have you ever cooked it?
Would it go nicely with another ingredient?
Have you forgotten what it is?
Is it decanted into a jar or is it in its original packaging?
Is it out of date?
Do you remember how it ended up there and why it’s still there?

Each group ended up with a list of ingredients, click each ingredient below to see suggested uses.

Some mysterious plum sauce

A Joe Wicks inspired tamarind paste jar

How to make savoury muffins and sweet muffins

Bran Muffins – makes 6-9 muffins depending on the size of your tins/cases
Wet ingredients
1 large egg
50g oil or 60g butter, melted and cooled
75g grated vegetables or apples/pears
150g yoghurt or 90g milk

Dry ingredients
75g white self-raising flour
50g bran (if you don’t have bran, substitute with more flour)
50g sugar (if you are making sweet muffins)
1 tsp spice if using
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarb
50g – 75g inclusions such as nuts, dried fruit, cheese

Preheat your fan oven to 190C (210C without the fan, Gas Mark 6-7).

Sift the flour and mix well with the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the other wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine using a spatula until they are only just combined. It’s crucial not to over-mix, even the odd streak of uncombined flour is fine.

Line your muffin tin with muffin cases, spoon the mix into the cases (no higher than the top of the case) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 190C. The muffins should brown a little on top and you can check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle, which should come out clean rather than being coated in wet, uncooked mix.

• For the savoury muffins, we had carrot, coriander, lime pickle, feta, made with butter and yoghurt

• For the sweet muffins we had date, raisin, cinnamon, pear, made with sunflower oil and milk

Some ideas for modifications

• For the fruit/veg element – apples, courgettes, parsnips, celeriac, beetroot

• For the spices – cumin, smoked paprika, clove, allspice, ground ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, caraway, sumac, dried herbs

• For the flours (use along with some wheat flour) – buckwheat, barley, rye, oat, chickpea, yellow pea, rice

• For the inclusions – hard cheeses, tofu, pickles, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate pieces

• For the yoghurt or milk: buttermilk, cheese whey, sour cream, creme fraiche, plant-based milks – be aware that you may need to alter the amount you use of these ingredients, depending on how thick or thin they are.

• For the neutral oil or butter: olive oil, lard, toasted sesame oil (use a bit less and top up with neutral oil), pumpkin seed oil, nut oils

• You could brown the butter in the recipe (cook in pan until the solids in the butter caramelise) for a nutty, toasted flavour

• The sweet muffins could be topped with nuts, buttercream, or a sauce such as butterscotch

Here are some of the delicious muffins that have been made since …..