Eating in season: Brooksby’s Walk
In the first of our profiles on local businesses who promote seasonal eating in Hackney we caught up with Budgie Montoya, Head Chef at Brooksby’s Walk.
Brooksby’s Walk is a bar and restaurant in Homerton, in a converted 1930’s public convenience building with a brilliant roof terrace. With Jim behind the bar and Budgie manning the pans in the kitchen their food is flavourful and exciting with seasonal and Asian influences served alongside unique, tasty and honest cocktails.
1. How does seasonal food influence your menu?
Seasonality forms the basis of any menu related conversations here be it bar or kitchen. Not only do we look at what’s coming into season but we always look at ways we can preserve and prolong, we have a dish on the menu right now that uses a seasonal ingredient (cauliflower) with last year’s elderberries which have been pickled.
2. What are your main motivations for cooking with seasonal produce?
For me it’s knowing you are using what is at its peak in freshness & taste. It’s also often more affordable and keeps me on my toes. But there are so many benefits, be it environmental, nutritional, economical etc. Ultimately it just makes a whole lot of sense.
3. What food do you look forward to coming into season the most?
My favourite meat is lamb so naturally spring lamb is something that I always look forward to & everything that spring has to offer. What is great about seasonality is that often the foods that compliment each other are also seasonally connected. I also love wild mushrooms, nothing like cooking them with a little bit of garlic and a generous amount of butter served simply on toasted sourdough with a fried egg on top.
4. How conscious do you think Hackney residents are of seasonal eating?
I think that with Hackney being one of the last bastions of natural parklands and waterways in London, it almost feels like seasonality here is the norm and has always been & is not a trend. You only need to look at the fantastic markets that have been going on for well beyond my time in the East End of London to appreciate great seasonal produce.
5. Do you have a top tip for buying seasonal produce in Hackney?
Don’t be afraid to chat to the market stall traders, I’ve never come across one that isn’t passionate about their produce, they’re more than happy to tell you what’s best in season
6. What British alternative (if any!) would you like to see rival avocado on toast?
Broad beans on toast definitely could hold its own.
Brooksby’s Walk, 77 Brooksby’s Walk, Hackney, E9 6DA 0208 985 5303 or 07555 229 870
If you are a local business/community scheme who promotes seasonal eating and would like to be featured please drop us an email at email@example.com.