My taste adventures

Cambannenberg_profile

I believe that simple things bring us the greatest pleasure. And when it comes to food, that means authentic recipes, trusted techniques and good ingredients.

I’ve travelled the world to find, eat and cook great food. Now I’m going to tell you how you can enjoy it yourself.

Cam Bannenberg

Los Angeles

There is a lot to be said for visiting California and in particular LA, blue skies and sun, stunning beaches, beautiful scenery to name a few. In my opinion Lifestyle is pretty high up the list along with great choice of wonderful food and coffee places.

I thought I'd make a few suggestions of places one must go.

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Cafe Gratitude Rose Avenue, Venice.

This is an incredible vegetarian and raw food Cafe. Upscale vegan and vegetarian food served in a fabulous setting by happy people. The menu is extensive and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The photo shows gluten free,dairy free Chia seed and buckwheat pancakes, served with cashew nut butter and maple syrup. Sublime and inspired!

Coffee

It was around seven years ago that a nice chap, namely Gwilym Davies, made for me a delicious cup of coffee.

This was to be a life changing event – much more than I realised at the time – and it introduced my senses to what a proper cup of coffee should taste like. Soon on a Sunday morning I was driving across London at the crack of dawn to buy bunches of Parrot Tulips at Columbia Road Flower Market, and to wait patiently in a snaking queue of bleary eyed punters at a coffee cart for that seriously needed caffeine hit.

Little did I realise that this delicious flat white was prepared by a World Barista Champion using the ubiquitous Square Mile beans on a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia coffee machine. Welcome to the world of proper coffee – using seasonal specialist beans, prepared on the best equipment money can buy, by talented individuals obsessed by the need for a near perfect balance of taste and consistency. I'm very grateful to Gwilym for his intro and for making some memorable cups of coffee.

Forward to the present moment, the coffee industry is a big global business and within it operates a niche for artisan specialist coffee shops, not satisfied with mass turnover but rather quality over quantity. Many with kitchens preparing inventive and exciting food offerings.

I still love my coffee but my needs and tastes have developed considerably. Now I like to experience many different types of brewing methods including V60, AeroPress, filter, cold brew and espressos, and enjoy visiting different coffee shops all over the world.

I live in London and therefore have a few places I like to frequent as they consistently prepare what I deem to be a very good brew. It's not just about the coffee itself but also atmosphere, barista, beans and perhaps most importantly consistency!

Finally, I should point out that all the places I have suggested use coffee beans from different roasters, I think it's important to experiment and try brews from a variety of coffee roasters, not just from the UK, as each roaster has a different profile.

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Embassy East, 285 Hoxton St, N1 5JX
They serve Assembly coffee, I had a delicious El Ortez from Nicaragua in the form of Flat White. I also thought their food offerings were some the best in London – their Eastern Eggs were amazing and with an interesting twist.

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Milk Bar, 3 Bateman Street, W1D 4AG
This coffee shop was one of the first to appear over 6 years ago. The atmosphere is very relaxed and Drop is one of my favourite coffee roasters, generally their beans have a very clean taste with refined aromas. Kim, one of the baristas who works here is very good.

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Sharps Coffee Bar, 9 Windmill Street, W1T 2JF
This place is little hidden gem. It's simple with great design, modern and clean. It's laid back but with great coffee and the added bonus of some serious 'people watching' courtesy of the barber shop attached to the café. They are currently using coffee beans from The Barn, a very experienced roaster which has several trendy coffee shops in the centre of Berlin. Vivien is very friendly and happy to discuss the various options.

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Mothers Milk, 12 Little Portland Street, W1W 8BJ
Mothers Milk is tiny but don’t be fooled this place serves very good coffee, just don’t expect Bonsoy or skimmed milk. They have a beautiful Athena Leva coffee machine and Will is well skilled at preparing either a V60 or espresso. This is purist coffee spot, no food just coffee and good conversation. The coffee is by Munich roaster JB Kaffee, I had their El Cucho from Colombia a few months ago, an award winner at the Cup of Excellence, it was spectacular.