Samuel Muston

Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He also writes a weekly food column

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Alain and the chocolate factory: How a celebrated French chef became an unlikely Willy Wonka

What does a chef do once he's conquered the globe? When it's Alain Ducasse, become a chocolatier...

The author suspects the ribs on sale at Casa Negra may have been extracted from some sort of pre-historic monster

Broccoli might be good for you, but you won't catch me munching on those miniature green trees

You will look in vain for an ode to broccoli. And that is because broccoli is rubbish

Founder Hamdi Ulukaya

Americans love a bit of culture - will the UK fall for Chobani yoghurt too?

The best-selling Chobani yoghurt – and its cool cafés – made its founder a billionaire in just six years

Heston Blumenthal claims it takes two and a half hours and 17 separate ingredients to make the perfect cheeseburger

On the menu: Heston Blumenthal's burgers; Ysabel Regina; Wight Salad Nursery; Grub Club; Balthazar

This week I've been eating... Heston's ultimate cheeseburger

On the menu: Chia pods; chocolate; Butler's Wharf; Bistro Bruno Loubet; Govino's glasses

This week I've been eating... Chia pods

Neil Hilborn set the twitterverse aflame

So, art never goes viral? The OCD poet who won over the web

There are many unwritten rules of the internet but the greatest of them is this: art never goes viral. It just doesn’t. If you want something to travel round the world like a particularly virulent strain of glandular fever, it must showcase something “cute” (has ever a word been as freighted as “cute”?), or contain gratuitous violence. Them’s the rules and no mistake.

Built to last: the new Christchurch Cathedral by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban

Divine inspiration: The cardboard cathedral in Christchurch

When the gothic spire of Christchurch Cathedral toppled during the earthquake of 2011,  the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was one of the first to submit a plan for its replacement. Inventive and eco-friendly, Ban said that if chosen he wanted his building to do one thing above all else: “Stay in the minds of people forever.”

Ikea furniture has featured in hardcore porn films

Oh my, look at the size of that shelf unit... Ikea furniture in hardcore porn films

We all know Ikea has taken over the world (and have the flat-pack furniture to prove it), but a new tumblr has reiterated the fact that in a rather eye-opening way.

One Leicester Street

On the Menu: Sweetbreads at One Leicester Street; hummus; Quintessentially vodka; East End Feast; Urban Night Feast

This week I've been eating...sweetbreads at One Leicester Street

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there