My first ever memory of a truly amazing loaf of bread is of a hazelnut and raisin loaf from Clarke’s. I was living around the corner from Sally Clarke’s restaurant and food shop at the time and loved to make a habit of enjoying one of the best cappuccinos in town (long before the rise of the decent coffee bar) and buying a good loaf of bread.
I also applied for a job there, went for an interview with Sally herself, who told me to come back and apply again once I had some experience under my belt. I was still studying professional cookery at Westminster college and had no practical kitchen experience at that point. Why didn’t I go back and try again? If only I could answer that question.
Sally Clarke was and still is a kitchen heroine of mine. Her no choice set restaurant menu using the best of what the seasons have to offer, her influences from working at Chez Panisse, her attention to detail, high standards and strong work ethic brought her success and recognition at a time when there were far fewer female chefs than there are today. She was a huge inspiration to me so I thought I would make a loaf of bread which reminds me of my first visit to Sally’s shop of wonders.
This loaf will be my entry into One Ingredient (Walnuts) hosted by me and Franglais Kitchen on alternate months.