This week I've been eating... The Electric’s Doughnuts
Consider the doughnut: an everyman food, light in the fingers but heavy on the waistline, beloved of Americans and created, supposedly, in the Netherlands. It is a winning snack. Just ask Daniel Doherty, chef at London's Duck & Waffle, who has transmogrified it into a vehicle for spicy ox cheek, or Heston Blumenthal, who indulged diners with "exploding potato doughnuts" on his latest TV show.
A versatile little thing, then. But at their peak, I think, when "au naturel", with sugar and cinnamon, which is how they're served up at the new Electric Donuts on London's Portobello Road.
But then it is a partnership between Soho House's Nick Jones and American chef Brendan Sodikoff, who is known, among other things, for his Doughnut Vault diner – so they know their onions.
Buy one (£1.50) and wallow in that slight bite on the outside, soft dough, and hint of cinnamon. Best I can remember. theelectric.com
The big guns
Oh to have been a fly on the wall, if not a pheasant in the air, at the Dashwood estate on 1 October when Dom Pérignon took a very Michelin-starry group of chefs shooting. A gang including Brett Graham (The Ledbury), Mark Edwards (Nobu), Eric Chavot (soon at Brasserie Chavot), Anthony Demetre (Wild Honey and Arbutus) is not, I wager, without a competitiveness. How else do you collect seven stars between you? Still, they all survived and are now serving special game dishes matched with a glass of Dom Pérignon Rosé 2000, a drink you usually get only by the bottle in their restaurants.
It’s a keeper
Paxton and Whitfield has indulged in a spot of retro futurism with its Christmas products. The royal cheesemonger, victualling the gentry since the days of the Regency, is now selling preserved cheese. There are Cheddar Rarebit and Stilton and Tawny Port versions – both are very fine. It's an old technique from the days when blue or territorial cheese was much in need of preservation, costing as it did an arm and a leg. The softened cheese is sealed into a ceramic pot with clarified butter and can be used to stuff chicken breasts or as a base for a sauce or on crusty bread. £5.95, paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk
It is easy to sneer when a large supermarket pairs off with a small foodie name, as Asda has done with Leiths since Christmas 2011. One assumes it's a marriage of convenience. The Asda brand gets a bit of Leiths' gold dust and the cookery school gets the extra publicity. But stuff my mouth with mince pies if the stuff is not actually pretty superb, especially given the price. The chocs are a delight and the all-butter Christmas trees are a thing you could get hooked on. asda.com
In a stew
The New York Soup Company seems to have trouble grasping when a soup becomes a stew – or so it seems with its "fully loaded" barbecue pulled-pork and bean soup. Not one to relish – it lies, brick-like, in the stomach. If you want a lighter warmer, go for the chunky lentils or the chilli chicken instead.