Qin Xie

Qin Xie

I’m a journalist who is madly in love with every last morsel of food. I like to cook it, eat it and sometimes write about it too. My mad ramblings are generally in pursuit of the stories behind the food. And when I'm not cooking, eating or writing about food, I am probably thinking about it. There have been occasions when yoga sessions were consumed by thoughts on the best way to make chicken stock and surfing was all about the post-surf sandwich.

I enjoy my fair share of accompaniments too, everything from tea and coffee to wines and cocktails.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is my food hero. I love his passion and his approach to food, which is rather unfortunate for my parents' garden. It always gets plundered at the end of an episode of River Cottage. But one day I will have a Rangemaster and chickens to call my own.

  • Road-testing Jamie's 30 minute meals by Jamie Oliver

    Sunday November 28th, 2010

    As the book that accompanies Jamie Oliver's Channel Four series of the same title, Jamie's 30 minute meals has received a lot of publicity. Lots of people have tried cooking along with the show, and failed. Qin Xie too has watched in awe as Oliver apparently peeled and chopped an entire tray of fruit in about two minutes, gawping at the impossibility of the task at hand. And yet here she is testing out the paper version.

  • Willie's Chocolate Bible by Willie Harcourt Cooze

    Saturday November 27th, 2010

    When Willie Harcourt-Cooze first burst on to our TV screens in 2008, immersed in a bath of chocolate, it was the stuff of children's books. This was a man so passionate about chocolate that at the start of his journey, he sold his home in London and moved to Venezuela where he bought a cacao farm – Hacienda El Tesoro. Qin Xie reviews his latest book.

  • Willie's Chocolate Recipes

    Saturday November 27th, 2010

    Recipes taken from Willie’s Chocolate Bible, published by Hodder & Stoughton (£25)

  • Dining with Bisol Prosecco

    Friday November 26th, 2010

    When Harrods officially opened the doors to the new Wine Shop on the 16th of November, Bisol threw a little celebratory dinner party to celebrate its new display in the champagne section. Qin Xie attended the celebrations and rather enjoyed the proseccos.

  • The long road to Mother's Ruin

    Wednesday November 24th, 2010

    Behind one nondescript blue door on a quiet residential street in Hammersmith, a single garage is the home of the microdistillery producing award-winning spirits. Located on the site of a former microbrewery, Sipsmiths is the brain-child of Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall. Taking advantage of a little wintry sunshine, Qin Xie went to meet the makers to learn a little more.

  • Porter Party at Sambrook's

    Monday November 15th, 2010

    Duncan Sambrook threw a little party to celebrate the arrival of the new Sambrook's porter. Qin Xie went to investigate the latest offering from the London brewery.

  • Absolute Taste Masterclass

    Tuesday November 9th, 2010

    Last week I was invited to try my hand at making a few “F1 quality” nibbles at Absolute Taste at Harvey Nichols. The F1 quality is not to blow my own horn of course but rather because Absolute Taste started out as a hospitality company catering to the VIP guests of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes around the world.

  • Adam Byatt - How to eat in

    Tuesday November 9th, 2010

    Overall, 'how to eat in' has been very inspiring. It serves as more of a guide to cooking restaurant quality food at home than a day-to-day cook book. But if you love to cook and you love good food, this book would be perfect.

  • Ron Zacapa, the story behind the rum

    Saturday October 30th, 2010

    “When you make rum just to make rum, you make Ron Zacapa.”Those would be famous last words if they weren't the first thing that Master Blender Lorena Vasquez tells Qin Xie about Ron Zacapa, the Guatemalan rum brand established in 1976 to celebrate the centenary of the city of Zacapa. Qin Xie met Lorena at Rumfest to learn more about the rum, which although hasn't officially been launched in the UK, has been growing in popularity amongst bartenders and now the public.

  • Foodie things for Halloween weekend

    Thursday October 28th, 2010

    With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, there's a whole weekend of ghoulish foodie events to attend. we've picked a couple just to get you started.

  • Chocolate Week Event Guide

    Monday October 11th, 2010

    Hey chocolate lover, Foodepedia knows that Chocolate Week is like Christmas for you. So for Chocolate Week this year (11-17th October), we've put together a few other things that you could do to celebrate.

  • Foodepedia's pick of Chocolate Week Treats

    Monday October 11th, 2010

    Many of you chocolate lovers will know that Chocolate Week is coming up. From the 11th of October, Britain will be whipped into a chocolate consumption frenzy, ending with Chocolate Unwrapped at the Vinopolis on 16th and 17th of October. To help with the indulgence, the Foodepedia team (and a few lucky volunteers) gathered around the office to try out some truly delicious chocolates to give you our pick of Chocolate Week consumables.

  • Truffle making with William Curley

    Sunday October 10th, 2010

    Every year, when the weather turns wintry and Christmas is on the horizon, I would start my search for the perfect dark chocolate truffle for the season. So when I heard about William Curley's chocolate making masterclass, I thought to myself "what a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon".

  • Cloudy Bay Chef's Table at The Montagu, Hyatt Regency

    Wednesday October 6th, 2010

    Qin Xie was invited to The Montagu at Hyatt Regency, London, to sample a rather special meal. The meal was special in that the entire menu had been created to complement a small portfolio of six New Zealand wines rather than the usual method of matching wine to food. It's also special because these new world wines are almost exclusive to The Montagu restaurant at the Hyatt Regency since so few cases have been imported into the UK.

  • Trinity, Clapham

    Tuesday September 21st, 2010

    Trinity is the second Clapham restaurant of chef patron Adam Byatt, with the first being the now defunct Thyme, and it works very hard to amalgamate fine dining with its friendly neighbourhood restaurant ethos. Soft lighting gently framed the windows with only a small discreet plaque revealing the restaurant within, Trinity.

  • A potted tale of Canteen

    Thursday September 16th, 2010

    On the 19th of October 2005, Canteen was opened to the public at Old Spitalfields Market where it was welcomed with open arms. Fast forward to today, Canteen remains a firm favourite of critics and customers alike and continues to serve traditional dishes like devilled kidneys, potted duck, fish and chips and treacle tart. And it seems that everyone who is anyone on the food scene has eaten there, liked it and written about it; everyone from A A Gill to Fay Maschler.

  • Bel Canto

    Monday September 13th, 2010

    Intense. That is probably the best way to describe the experience at Bel Canto. You see, at Bel Canto, guests are served by waiters who perform opera at regular intervals. And in the relatively small room of the restaurant, that's quite a lot of reverberations to take in.

  • A three course meal courtesy of Prince Charles, sort of.

    Monday September 13th, 2010

    You may remember that back in September 2009, Waitrose and Duchy Originals joined forces in a partnership deal which gave Waitrose exclusive rights to manufacture, distribute and sell Duchy Originals products. A year later, Duchy Originals from Waitrose has finally hit the shelves so Qin Xie got hold of a couple of products and tried to make an easy meal out of it.

  • A hop and a skip to malt at Sambrook's

    Tuesday September 7th, 2010

    Reinvention has certainly suited Sambrook's. Since its first cask was tapped in November 2008, over one million pints have been served to thirsty punters across London. Junction, one of its two permanent ales has even won Beer of the Festival at this year's Battersea Beer Festival. So on a sunny Saturday afternoon, Qin Xie headed down to Sambrook's to see what the fuss is all about.

  • Home Bake by Eric Lanlard

    Sunday September 5th, 2010

    Eric Lanlard's new book 'Home Bake' looks too good. So good in fact, it's almost obscene. That's the conclusion Qin Xie has come to after some two weeks of picking it up, flipping through and mulling over her thoughts.