Christian Barnett

Welcome to the rest of your life.

I was struck by lightning last week. On the Wednesday. I didn’t realise it had happened until today I was so dazed. It’s only just starting to sink in that life is never going to be the same again for me.

The word mana can be traced back to the Proto-Oceanic, the origin of many contemporary languages. A word for thunder, lightning, storm and great wind. The Greeks thought it was a display of god. The Israelites added another ‘n’ to describe food sent from heaven to save them. The French call it Duck Confit.

Slow roasted duck with the most crisp golden skin, lightly seared on the grill, topped with fresh grilled goat’s cheese and truffle honey. Served in a home baked brioche bun (lightly toasted on the juices of the meat), with handmade English caramelised red-onion chutney and a streak of Dijon mustard. Once these have come together, a handful of fresh rocket is placed on top of the filling and the top half of the bun falls into place.

the frenchie 4

My fate was sealed.

This twist on traditional French street food provides many an Englishman, passing through Whitecross Market of a lunchtime, with the answer to why the English have always had a grievance with the French. Gruel vs Duck Confit. The English chutney is perhaps Romain Jimenez and Nadia Halloway’s (the recipe’s artistes) way of bringing us all closer together.

the frenchie 1

One thing is certain however, The Frenchie – Fromage Charcuterie has started a revolution here. There must be other lightning bolts to be struck by, especially if I run with knife and fork pointed at the sky, and so I have decided to undertake a journey of delicious discovery around Clerkenwell and its environs.

But before that, I think I’ll be heading back to The Frenchie for lunch…

The Clerkenwell Connoisseur

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