Welcome to June’s Observer Food Monthly


I spent a year living on the Cornish coast. In winter we battled raging wind and rain. In summer, floods of tourists. Most days, we would walk along the beach towards the fishing boats to pick up something from their catch. The fishers would gut and clean our purchase, wrap it in paper and within an hour it would be on the grill, then, barely 10 minutes later, on the table for supper.

In this issue of OFM we celebrate the food of our coastline, with a look at those professional cooks who have made it their home. We have their recipes for you too – including mussels from Strathlachlan with fino and burnt cream, Coleraine plaice with cauliflower pickle, and Pembrokeshire fish-finger butties.

We also have the ultimate coastal map for those in search of good things to eat from Margate to Mull and Portrush to Port Isaac, featuring prawn sandwiches, crab cakes and Irish black-butter ice-cream. Wherever you are headed this summer you can take us along as your guide to where to eat. Something to pull out and keep for your next trip to the sea.

There are barbecue recipes from Cue Point, the Afghan and Guyanese-British partnership whose meal kits Jay Rayner so loved during lockdown. Theirs is a story of how a delicious idea can evolve into something bigger but without compromise. Oh, and there are five recipes for summer from me, including pork with watermelon and mint, a chicken and fresh cherry salad, and a dish of baked apricots with pistachio creme fraiche.

This issue also has a special story for Father’s Day from food writer Clare Finney. “Meal by meal, mouthful by mouthful we discovered as children what many people don’t quite realise until adulthood: parents aren’t perfect.” A delightful, nostalgic read for a summer’s afternoon. There are also 20 wines for the season and we talk ice-cream with Olympian Helen Glover.