Markets’ secrets are dished up in online cookbook

‘A Taste of Westminster’ features recipes from Tachbrook Street, Berwick Street, Church Street, Strutton Ground and Maida Hill markets

Thursday, 24th December 2020 — By Tom Foot

Ian McLaren

Ian McLaren… apple crumble recipe

FROM classic fish pie to vegan moussaka, secrets of Westminster’s market food stalls are revealed in an online cookbook published just in time for Christmas.

The A Taste of Westminster e-book boasts a range of recipes for eclectic meals dished out day-to-day in Tachbrook Street, Berwick Street, Church Street, Strutton Ground and Maida Hill markets.

Rum sticky toffee pudding, seafood stew and “what’s in the fridge risotto” are among the recipes that could help anyone stuck at home tomorrow (Friday) who is in need of some culinary inspiration.

Laila Shurman… grilled fish dish

Laila Shurman, who runs Laila’s Creole Soul Food in Church Street market, submitted a grilled fish recipe for the book.

She said: “I have been asked a few times about my flavours and style of cooking so I decided it would be a great way for people to try and cook it for themselves. I feel that a lot of people are afraid to cook fish, it’s out of their comfort zone, so I thought a simple fish recipe would be nice.”

Lockdown significantly affected street market stall-holders by taking away the lunchtime work crowd.

“This year has been very challenging, we rely a lot on the offices around the area so without them coming to us during lunchtime we are really struggling”, said Ms Shurman.

Zoya Bako… chicken with stew choice

But the pandemic has also made people appreciate the better quality of fruit and veg sold by market stalls rather than supermarket giants.

Tachbrook Street fruit and veg trader Ian McLaren, who chose apple crumble for the e-book, said: “The best thing about being on the market is getting to know the locals. Lockdown has helped us, as people have realised fruit and veg bought from our stall is a lot tastier than the stuff the supermarkets supply.”

Zoya Bako, who runs a hot foods stall with her eldest daughter Dayana in Strutton Ground, St James’s Park, submitted a chicken with stew recipe for the book. The pair also help support homeless shelters nearby.

The cookbook is funded and put together by Westminster Council.

“We are what we eat,” said lead councillor Matthew Green, “and the diversity of the food that we love reflects the diversity of our community. I am delighted so many of our cherished market traders have submitted recipes for this free online cookbook.”

A pdf of A Taste of Westminster can be found at:

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