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Expert Interview Series: Fiona Maclean of London-Unattached About Food and Travel

Food and travel
Fiona Maclean is a serial entrepreneur and businesswoman with a love of food and travel. We caught up with her recently to hear more about her favorite dining spots in London and around the world.

Why did you decide to create London-Unattached?

I am a marketing consultant by background, working in telecoms and online. I started London-Unattached to get a “hands-on” understanding of how blogging and social media worked, and then discovered how much I liked writing.

During your travels around the world throughout your life, what did you learn about sampling and enjoying all kinds of exotic cuisine from faraway places?

Try everything, even if you think you won’t like it. A good example is my own bĂȘte noire: eggs. A lot of the dishes I was served in the Basque country came with an eggy garnish and it would have been churlish to try picking it off. I ended up enjoying them all (though I had to close my eyes to begin with). In contrast, I did try, but really couldn’t face, runny eggs with soya and sweet coconut jam toast (breakfast in Singapore).

Was there a particular country or city that you visited where you were surprised how much you liked the food you had?

Singapore – everything from street food and hawker stalls through to the fine dining experiences.

For people who haven’t been to London, what’s an off-the-beaten path attraction or activity that they should enjoy while visiting?

There are several. I’m a big fan of the Geffrye museum in Shoreditch. It’s a beautiful building that houses “period rooms” and gardens. And, the advantage of going over there is that you also get the chance to eat some fabulous food. I’d head for the Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland road.

There’s a section of your blog called Foodie London. What might foodies expect when they visit the British capital city?

An eclectic and cosmopolitan mixture of food from some of the world’s top chefs, as well as great British food in traditional restaurants like Rules and some of the city’s best gastro-pubs.

Finish this sentence: “If I could only eat at one London restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be…”

…quite unimaginable. There isn’t one place that does “everything” for me. I love the variety of London and the opportunity to eat a different style of food each day.

There are quite a few recipes on your site. Where did you get your love of cooking, and what inspires you in the kitchen?

My mum hated cooking, but did a lot of entertaining. I started by helping her. Then when I went to university, my friends and I ran a cooking collective, so every week I cooked a meal for 6 people. I’m inspired by beautifully written cookery books (such as Claudia Roden and Elizabeth David) and by my own travels.

Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share with us that is always lauded when you prepare it?

My favorite dessert is made with an eating apple, a bit of butter, some brandy, and a spoonful of sugar.

  • Slice the apple into very thin segments and remove the core.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan and add the sugar. Stir until it is all dissolved, then add the apples and continue to cook till the apple slices are translucent. Pour the brandy over it and, if you like, flambe the mixture.
  • Serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

Looking for some exotic desserts? Check out Cilantro’s selection today!