Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lost in the Karaoke Bar


SEOUL 2003

Both these shot were taking with a very primitive digi camera and are the only ones to survive. South Korea is a fucking strange place, and I was there to set up an animation studio for a TV show I was directing at the time. It was strange as the place was packed with cars and it took 2 hours to cross town, and then at night everyone got completely pissed on over-priced Johnny Walker ($250 per bottle) and tried to belt out some karaoke. I was on the wagon by then and this sent the people I was working with over there into a state of confusion. Which then turned to anger once they were drunk. Why you no drink? This in turn wound me up and there was one incident in a traditional Korean restaurant  when the CEO of a large TV station decided to taunt me for my sobriety and I offered him out. The producers on both sides dropped whatever they were eating and tried to stop us actually coming to blows, but it wouldn't have amounted to much as he was so pissed and I was well and truly jacked up on endless cans of coke... Even his kung-fu skills (if he had any) would not have been enough to fight through the alcoholic haze that he was in and land a blow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The God of Drug Deals


I used to drive here to buy weed in the bad old days. Me and a guy from the ad agency I was working at would drive to a shopping mall in Co-Op city and wait in his bright red jeep for our connection to show. How obvious can you get? Two white guys sat in a jeep with connecticut plates sat waiting to score. But we lucked out or the god of drug deals was looking over us and nothing bad ever happened except the weed was never that good but it was cheap for New York, so what did we really expect?


I don't think I ever went in here but this sign always reminded me of the old America, before it went all cosmopolitan and diverse (well, parts of it anyway!) I'd always drive past this sign on route 117 past the shitty strip malls that seemed stuck in the 60s, through the time-warp that is Mount Kisco, on my way to Shoprite to do the food shopping. When moved to New York I couldn't believe how limited the range of foods in the supermarket. You'd expect that they would have everything on offer, but no...

Somewhere outside of the US tomorrow, promise.

Monday, August 23, 2010


(DON'T) LOOK BACK IN ANGER (John Osborne reference not Quoasis)

Starting next month, I'm off to some mental places for my new book 'A** **** ** *** ****' (all will be revealed) and so I'd thought it would be nice (for me) if I had a look back at some of the place/faces/walls etc I'd written about/shot since I began this journey in 2003. I'm gonna (try) and dig out at least one a day and shove it up here.


I was in New York writing the Urban Cookbook, and was staying at my mates spot on 1st & 1st. One sunday morning I was walking somewhere to meet someone and this guy was sat at a table in a pavement cafe on Bowery. I loved the fucked-up juxtaposition of the sleeved arm and the New York Times, so I snuck up behing the oke and let it off. I think I only took one shot (checking roll now) and this was it. For me this said it all about the lower part of Manhattan. I mean why the fuck would you want to go above 14th street now that the Shake Shack is so popular?


The L.E.S. is a-changing. They’ve stuck a big glass hotel in the middle of it ($400 a night). Get there before the magic is gone completely, before it’s gentrified. Plan your own route, and check out everything that’s happening; But most of all check the Bowery Bums and listen to their stories. These are the real historians, the real tour guides. Buy one a beer and they’ll give you a guided tour of all their spots, if they can still walk.
You will find many casualties of the war on drugs. Most are in their 50-s and so in the 1980’s they would have been at their peak, sniffing, snorting, freebasing their respective lives away. The result can be seen on the street, most of them are slumped in wheelchairs, still displaying the hospital wristbands from their last visit. Some want to talk, some want to be somewhere else. Talk to everyone, live for real. 

And then I walked around the corner and spotted this flyposter. I fucking love New Yorkers!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Strawberry Jelly+ Custard Tart

Okay, pudding and sweet stuff are not my strong point (what the fuck is??!!) but today I took the idea of strawberry jelly and custard and fucked with it to make a tart. It went okay, but my boy reckoned the custard was a bit 'eggy'. I made the pastry cases but next time I'm not gonna bother, as the bought ones won't taste like a fucking biscuit, and take ages to bake blind etc...

100ml Double Cream
50g Caster Sugar
1 Egg

Strawberry + Strawberry Jelly.

Buy some tart bases.
Whisk together the custard ingredients, then pour and bake in the tart cases for 15mins and then let cool. Make up half a pack of jelly with 150ml boiling water. Add chopped strawberries and then add to the top of the custard tarts. Shove in the fridge and then serve with more cream...

King Adz @ PYMCA

Recently I've joined PYMCA.Com (The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive) which is a total honour for me as they have the best archive of street and youth culture from Teds to Acid Teds to Nu Rave to whatever is going down right now and I'm too old to know about it.

What is col is that they've collected all my shit together (films, Pdfs) and presented them on a single page.

Click here for PYMCA

Click here for my pages (you might have to sign in)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Steak Kebab

This is a steak kebab that I marinated and cooked on the braai today. It was well lekker is downtown downtown, forget uptown - but I'll be thinking about how to take it there.

I'll upload the recipe when I've recovered.

Here's another photo:

1-2-1-2 This is just a test...

This is what I'm talking about... Above is a new interpretation of the Jamaican classic staple, Jerk Chicken, Rice & Peas, with Hot Pepper Gravy, but as a starter. Recipe below. Now this is taking the downtown uptown, with a swift kick in the maître ds balls...

Rice & Peas

300g/10 1/2oz/1 3/4 cups Basmati rice 

1 bunch spring onions (or just a regular onion), chopped 

1 tin kidney beans 

4 teaspoons allspice 

4 tablespoons soy sauce 

4 cloves garlic, chopped (or 4 teaspoons garlic paste from a jar) 

1 chicken stock cube 

1 x 200g block creamed coconut 

Wash the rice and cover with water to about 3cm above the top of the rice. Mix the onion into the rice and water. Open the tin of kidney beans and pour into the rice, brine and all. Add the allspice, soy sauce, garlic and stock cube. Chop the coconut block into pieces and add to the mixture. 
Mix thoroughly and then cover the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes on a very low heat without taking off the lid. 

Turn off the heat and allow to the pan stand for 10 minutes before serving with jerk chicken and hot pepper gravy (see the following recipe). 

Jerk chicken with hot pepper gravy 

8 chicken portions (thighs and drumsticks) 
Jerk seasoning (Encona or similar) 

1 large pot yoghurt 

juice of 1 lime 

Wash the chicken pieces and score each piece deeply with a sharp knife three or four times. 

In a large bowl mix 1–4 teaspoons  jerk seasoning (depending on how hot you want it!) with the yoghurt and lime juice, and then add all the chicken pieces, one by one, coating each piece with the mixture. Marinate for as long as possible (overnight is best). 
Bake in the oven at 200°C/400ºF/Gas 6 for 60 minutes, or cook on a BBQ for 30 minutes. 

Hot pepper gravy  

2 teaspoons ground allspice 

1 teaspoon jerk seasoning 

1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 450ml/16fl oz/2 cups water 

1 tablespoon soy sauce 

2 teaspoons chopped garlic  

1 teaspoon chopped fresh root ginger 

Mix all the above ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil.  
Simmer for 10 minutes. 

Serve the jerk chicken with rice and peas and hot pepper gravy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Taking Downtown, Uptown!

Bob Marley always went on about how he took downtown uptown when he moved into 54 Hope Road, Kingston, which was a larney suburb that he moved his people into and filled with smoke and footy. One of the projects I'm currently working on is how to take some serious street food staples and make them into killer cuisine. I love the way street food is served (and eaten) but it comes to a point where you want to take things to another level, so this is where I'm at right now, trying to develop what I know into something else, at the same time as launching my new book, working on the next book and trying to juggle shit shit, food and travel. Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lekker Lamb and Butternut Hot Pot

This was born on the streets of Madchester and mutated into something via the Cape Flats. Rural old school English food twisted out of boredom and then blasted into the 21st centaury with a couple of new ingredients. It’s not very summery but I’m fucking bored of the usual…

Garlic (chopped)
Onion (chopped)
4 large Lamb steaks
300g potatoes (sliced into thick crisps)
150g carrots (sliced)
½ Butternut squash (cubed)
salt & pepper
2 tsps Chilli
Fresh Thyme
1lt Lamb Stock
Red wine
1 tbspn Corn flour (mixed with 4 tbspns water to make thick paste)

In a big casserole fry the onions and garlic in the oil for a coupla mins and then add the lamb.
Brown the meat and then add the wine, stock, salt, pepper, chilli and Thyme & Rosemary.
Cook for atleast 2 hours and then add the carrots and butternut with the lid on at all times.
Thicken gravy with corn flour and then lay the sliced potatoes on the top. It doesn’t matter if they sink…
Cook for 20 mins with lid on and then 20 mins with lid off of to brown the potato.
Serve with something green.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Must Be Just Like Living in Paradise...

I’m food shopping in a small place called Heckmondwike. No I’m not making this up, as I sometimes wish I was. I’m in a chain of supermarket (aren’t I always) buying some half-decent beef for the Sunday roast and the checkout guy starts talking to me.
‘Baking?’ he says, looking at the plain flour I’m buying.
‘Yorkshire puddings: Sunday Roast.’ I tell him.
‘Ah, but can you get them to rise?’ he asks with a smile.
‘Yes mate. And I’m not even from Yorkshire!’
‘Where are you from? Where were you born?’
‘Oh! Me too, which part?
‘I was born in Brent. Quite near to you! We must have done something in our previous lives to upset the gods, to end up in a place like this!’
And that’s verbatim. You couldn't make shit like this up (well, I couldn't).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hot and Sour Fish with Stir-Fried Veg Noodles

Hot and Sour Fish with Stir-Fried Veg Noodles

Here you go something to warm and tangy – a definite break from the norm. This takes 15 mins max to make and tastes fucking wicked. I had to go back for more (would you believe).

Hot and Sour Fish
2 large filets of white fish (Tilapia, River Cobbler are good and cheap)
Groundnut oil
2 teasp Chilli bean Sauce (or Nandos/hot sauce)
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 teasp Chinese Rice Vinegar (or normal stuff you put on your chips)
2 tbsp Sweet Sherry (or Chinese rice wine if you're posh)
4 tbsp Soy
Sesame Oil
300ml Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
Corn Flour
Sir fried Veg Noodles
Pack of Medium Noodles
Spring Onions (shredded)
Mushrooms (chopped)
Broccoli (chopped into small trees)
Garlic (chopped)
Sesame Oil
Sweet Sherry (or Chinese rice wine)
In a low wide pan, put: Chilli bean Sauce, Tomato Puree, Chinese Rice Vinegar, Sweet Sherry, Soy, Chicken Stock, Salt & Pepper and heat slowly.
Chop the fish filets in half and then coat with Corn flour + Salt & Pepper.
In a medium sized pan boil some water, then cook broccoli trees for 5 mins. Remove and then using the same water, cook the noodles for 4 mins. Remove noodles. Chuck water.
In a wok heat a decent amount of groundnut oil (150ml).
Fry the fish for 3mins each side. 
Then remove and place fish on kitchen roll to dry.
Empty wok of 99% of the oil. 
Add Sesame oil. Heat for a min.
Add Spring Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Noodles and stir fry for 4 mins.
Add splash more Sesame oil and Soy sauce and give it another min.
Place fish pieces in pan with sauce. Heat gently, covering the fish with sauce.
Dish up veg+noodles,  putting a couple of pieces of fish ontop and then some sauce… 
Done and dusted.
All amounts are for guide only and should be added according to taste. I used more chilli and sesame…

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ad Killaz R Loose

Started work on my 5th book - a complete guide to global creativity - and had to put together a PDF portfolio of all my advertising work as a creative/director. Why did I choose an image of the devil for the cover? I hear you ask, perhaps it's to do with having already sold my soul way back inna day when I was working in advertising 24/7. Or maybe I'm just taking the piss and saying that it is indeed a dark art. Whatever way I cut it, advertising - like film - is something that I can't seem to shake. Okay, so the money is often too good to ignore, and the work has taken me to some fucking wicked spots around the globe - Cape Town, Jozi, Mali, Rwanda, NY, SF, Seoul, TLV - but I often find myself justifying the fact that part of me is forever advertising. What the fuck? Why does this matter? Seeing that I sold out years ago, long before any of the books, the films, the TeeVee, it doesn't make any sense. Am I worried what anyone else thinks? I hope not, but deep down I guess it's just that I've been conditioned to think poor artist = good and advertising + cash = bad. But I say fuck all that. Creativity rules. End of Story, see you in the Groucho, motherfucker!