MY constant search for fresh ingredients has become even more important to me this week as my new Food Boutique / Cookery School, aptly named FOSH FOOD' is opening its doors today.

As we will be serving fresh sandwiches, salads, and other to-go delights I have been actively scouring the local food markets for lovely fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and anything that appeals to my appetite.

Discovering new products at the markets is a very difficult task, as most vendors seem to carry the same products each and every day. The real challenge lies not in trying to find new and never seen before products but finding every day ingredients at their optimum freshness.

The autumn and winter months give us an absolutely fantastic selection of wild mushrooms, from beautiful chanterelles, to black trumpets, to my absolute favourite, ceps. Ceps are lovely, extremely meaty, robust mushrooms that are in their prime from October to December. Ceps are perfect additions to Italian risottos, polentas, game meats, and roasts. Try grilling some ceps with a bit of fresh parsley, garlic and olive oil. In our FOSH FOOD, to-go deli counter, we will be serving an Italian style polenta flavoured with fresh seasonal ceps, truffles, and a delicious ‘salsa verde'. It's a perfect vegetarian supper dish or it could also be served as an accompaniment with grilled chicken or lamb. On the markets this week, red cabbage is a good choice; a member of the brassica family, red cabbage has been cultivated since the middle Ages. It can be eaten raw, shredded in salads and is particularly good when dressed in sweet and sour-style vinaigrette. If you are going to cook red cabbage, it benefits from long, slow cooking. The best method is to shred the cabbage finely and braise it for two to three hours with the addition of a little olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, vinegar, red wine, apple juice and brown sugar to achieve a glazed, slightly caramelized finish. This rich braised cabbage is a traditional accompaniment to game dishes, roast pork and duck. *Calle Blanquerna no.6

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