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GEMMA BELL AND COMPANY HENRIETTA LOVELL news image

#INSPIREDBY HENRIETTA LOVELL,

THE 'RARE TEA LADY'

24/04/20

Henrietta Lovell, aka the 'Rare Tea Lady', is founder of the Rare Tea Company. She works tirelessly on the advancement, education and distribution of tea production, working closely with chefs and sommeliers across the globe. More recently, she has set up Rare Tea Charity, supporting young people within tea producing communities access to education. Her book Infused - Adventures in Tea is published by Faber & Faber and is out now.


What was one of the very first dishes you remember eating? 

Goodness I think it was served dish-less. An orange with a sugar cube squashed into a small incision in the top. This was a rare treat just for children and we were sent to the garden to eat it. You squeezed and squashed the orange through the skin and sucked the juice out through the hole in the top as the sugar dissolved. I remember getting filthy and sticky. It was pure elation.

 

Who is your food hero?

Jose Andres. Because he is tirelessly committed to changing the world for the better. No matter what the odds and everyone saying it can’t be done, he proves love and determination and humour and more love will find a way.  

 

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?

Pickled Onion Monster Munch. 

 

Which restaurant to you long to return to?

Above all other? Shit, impossible! I love food and restaurants and my friends who work in them - how can I pick one? But lately I have been dreaming about a tamale from a fragrant bundle unwrapped by a lady at a bus-stop in The Yucatan, Mexico.  

 

What would be your last meal?

Tea and toast with butter. What tea? Any leaf tea grown and harvested and crafted with love for exquisite flavour that enriches the community that make it, just not something produced by an industrial machine for faceless shareholders to profit. As Ferran Adria said - if you look for great flavour in your ingredients, you will find great people behind them. 

 

What dish do you cook the most at home? 

Sunday roast with my extended family. 

 

What restaurant T-shirt would you wear?

Hart Bageri – the best bakery in the world. It’s in Copenhagen but its run by Richard, a Londoner who I love very dearly. 

 

Favourite vegetable? 

New potatoes straight from the earth.    

 

Most-used condiment? 

Chili salsa (macha) from Hija de Sanchez.

 

Most over-rated dish?

Lobster. There is more flavour in a crab. 

 

Favourite restaurant not in the UK?

Superiority Burger in New York. It's vegetarian but not in a wholesome, worthy, virtuous way, its dirty and delicious the way a burger should be, all the right textures and deep rich flavours. It’s run by Brooks Headley who is just the right kind of revolutionary - fiercely committed to making things fucking yummy and changing perceptions but never takes himself too seriously. 

 

Favourite fast food joint?

Berlin kebab shops.

 

QUICK FIRE

Breakfast in bed or hotel restaurant? 

Bed

English Breakfast Tea or Long Black coffee?

Tea

Martini with Gin or Vodka?

Gin

Ketchup or Mayo? 

Home-made mayo

Stella or Boli?

Gin!!!

London or New York

London

City break or Hideaway

Anywhere that is not these 4 walls. I have such ants in my pants!

 

https://www.instagram.com/raretealady

https://www.instagram.com/RareCharity

https://www.instagram.com/RareTeaCompany

 

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