Honey & Co: At Home
Honey & Co is a small, busy and much beloved Middle Eastern restaurant on Warren Street, London.
Its success led to the opening of Honey & Spice, a delicatessen, and Honey & Smoke, a bustling Middle Eastern grill on Great Portland Street. Regulars to these popular places have been seduced by the passion and integrity of the duo behind them, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, a married couple who came to London from Israel in 2004. They brought with them a great knowledge and a love of Middle Eastern food, which they have since shared so generously. As well as their restaurants, they also record a podcast at Honey & Spice, where they invite the people they most admire from the food world - cooks, waiters, writers, drinkers - to share some food and wine, and tales of their lives in food. Here, in their new book, the couple tell their own story, letting us into the secrets of what they cook in their own home.
From Israeli street food - salty and sweet, crisp and tender - though tagines and stews, to honeyed cakes and sweets.
Working tirelessly all day in their kitchens, with smoke and noise and heat, you may think that food would not be the first thing on their minds when they finally close their front door behind them. But their enthusiasm for good food is what brought them together, and this book demonstrates that what they cook at home for the people they love - for guests, for each other – is just as important, if not more so, than their creations at work.
It turns out that what they want at the end of a long day is food to nourish and soothe, calm and restore. It is welcoming and generous, full of bright flavours and gentle warmth. On these pages you will find tahini, chilli and lemon; aubergines, parsley and pistachios; saffron, orange blossom and plums; bright green herbs, smoke and spice. From Israeli street food - salty and sweet, crisp and tender - though tagines and stews, to honeyed cakes and sweets.
Most of the recipes are written with an eye to the home cook, tired and hungry, seeking a fast route to something simple but interesting. But there are also a few longer, more complicated recipes here, too - such as Royal mansaf, a celebratory dish of lamb and saffron, with Persian limes and whole spices. This may appear too much to attempt at home, but then again, what better place to tackle an ambitious dish than in your own kitchen, with music on, a glass of something nearby, having your hand held along the way by such instructive, gentle and entertaining teachers as these two.
This book is like a welcoming hug. The couple have flung open their doors and invited us into their home.
This book is like a welcoming hug. The couple have flung open their doors and invited us into their home. And it’s a place we certainly would like to be - with its cupboards stocked with spice mixes and pickles, the smell of a feast being conjured from the kitchen to be shared and enjoyed with friends. And if our kitchen doesn’t yet resemble such an aromatic haven, then we can at least read this book and plan and dream. In the meantime, we will be cooking their chicken in plums and sweet spice this weekend. How could we possibly resist?