We recently visited Maltby Street to experience The Seasons at Lassco, a four-part series of workshops and dinners curated by Hackney local, Lucy Franks. Set in the Lassco Ropewalk arches, ‘Spring’, the first event, brought together independent artisan producers and makers from around the UK for an afternoon spent carving wooden spoons, followed by dinner. The afternoon kicked off with a workshop delivered by Grain and Knot. Ozone Coffee were on hand pouring espressos that ensured everyone stayed wide-eyed and focused while we got our introduction to technique and how best to hold razor sharp carving tools.
I checked my shaking hands – my body was still battling out last night’s hangover. As I took my seat around the communal tables, I resigned myself to the possibility I was about to lose a finger. During the workshop we were served small bites of peach and rabbit terrine, smoked trout and samphire, house cured pancetta with carta di musica bread, and a pea sformato, a kind of soufflé / custard baked dish served with horseradish, all of which formed a very good start to the session.
I managed to make it through the workshop with all digits still attached to my body; however my hand-carved spoon looked a lot more like a hand-carved spatula. We were ushered out to the dining table, set under arches housing stacks of Lassco-reclaimed Victorian and Georgian floorboards, towering up to the ceiling. What followed was a feast prepared by chef Morgwn Preston Jones, with wines matched by Mario Sposito, both from of Bedales of Borough.
To say it was a feast is an understatement. Starters included house-made nduja with barbequed sardines and yoghurt, served with huge bowls of cucumber and tomato panzanella salad and pickled radishes. I went too hard too early on the salad – it was just too good.
Mains were equally as ample with Welsh lamb served as chops, shoulder and merguez, charred asparagus with artichokes and lemon, clams roasted over the hot coals with aioli and even huger side dishes of spring bean succotash and grilled flatbread, just in case you needed to fill up.
Sommelier Giuseppe De Cesare was never more than what seemed like a few feet from us (and our almost empty glasses) to talk us through the European wines on offer, while throughout the meal we enjoyed the musical musings of Johnny Holliday strumming tunes.
Dessert was the simple but sublime concept of salted almond Florentine, with vanilla ice cream and extra virgin olive oil. Overall a long, but very enjoyable, day. I’ve since learned that they have broken up future events into two separate elements, for those not wanting to do both sessions in one day.
‘Summer’, the next event, will take place on 29 August.
Tickets are now available from The Seasons at Lassco website.
Food and wine 5/5
My carving skills 2/5