Tom Waits Ice Cream

The piano has been drinking
My necktie is asleep 
And the combo went back to New York
The jukebox has to take a leak



“Can you design a custom ice cream flavour for my friend?”
“Sure – what does he like?”
“Scotch whisky, black coffee, bitter chocolate, Dunhill cigarettes and the music of Tom Waits.”


Tom Waits’ voice, which do I love, even though it sounds like a sack full of rusty cats being dragged up a gravel driveway, was the inspiration for this ice cream. Evocative in its smoky rasp, its boozy complexity, its caffeinated bitterness, it should be served with a walnut biscuit, a pounding hangover and a lit cigarette.

Continue reading “Tom Waits Ice Cream”

Jack’s Original Fried Chicken Recipe

My idea of “taking it easy” in the run up to Christmas is doing fried chicken for 72 people. I you’d like to be one of them, go here to book your seat at the table.


This is my master fried chicken recipe, and because it requires no lengthy marinading process, no exotic ingredients and only one step of cooking. As I’m lucky enough to have a deep fryer at home, I can throw it together if I happen to decide I want fried chicken because it’s Wednesday/I’m bored/need a quick breakfast.




Jack’s Original Fried Chicken Recipe

Feeds 4



6-8 chicken thighs, boneless with skin on
1-2L sunflower oil for fryer


1 thumb sized piece of ginger
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
Juice of 1 lime
30ml sunflower oil


Seasoned gram flour coating
250g Gram flour
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
Generous pinch of black pepper
Generous pinch of salt




Cut the thighs into 2 or 3 pieces (depending on size).


In a food processor or pestle and mortar, blitz the garlic, ginger, paprika, salt into a paste. Add lime juice and oil and stir well to combine. Pour over the chicken and leave for 5 mins to overnight.


Preheat the oil in fryer to 190C.


Sieve the gram flour, spices and salt together into a mixing bowl or tupperware container with a lid. With a pair of tongs, lift out 3 or 4 pieces of chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Toss chicken pieces liberally in the seasoned gram flour.


Shake off any excess flour and fry the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy all over and no longer pink in the middle (6-10 mins depending on batch size and thickness of chicken pieces).


Serve immediately with your favourite sides and sauces.


Smoke and Thyme Fried Chicken and Beer Tasting Night

Well, that’s it! All dates in November are now sold out, before the month has even begun. We’re so grateful to everyone who’s helped spread the word and made our Autumn pop-up a resounding success. We still might have some cancellations, so anyone who wants a chance to try the November menu, please email us and we’ll add you to the wait list and let you know if any spots become available.
Worry not, though, fair foodies! For we have a little Xmas surprise for you.
We know you can be overwhelmed by the endless parade of seasonal delights and festivities at Christmas. Just as I do, you crave the simple, hearty decadence of a mountain of crispy skin and succulent meat, with just a few impeccably crafted beverages to quaff it down.
This festive season, come join us at Smoke & Thyme’s Alternative Xmas Party, a fried chicken and beer tasting night! Sample three of Chef Jack’s award-deserving fried chicken recipes, meet like-minded poultry aficionados around our communal river table, and try a selection of fine nectars direct from the ale architects at Tap Social Movement.
Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.
£25 gets you 3 types of fried chicken to sample, plus 3 beers from Tap Social and unlimited sides.

November Menu – Sneak Peek 2

Another sneak peek at the November menu with three more dishes to lure you in.
The spaces for November are four-fifths gone – if you wait til after Halloween to book, you’re setting yourself up for a frightful disappointment. (Book now)

Fish Tasting Plate: Beetroot Cured Salmon


I never believed in love at first sight until I first made my beetroot-cured salmon. Call me shallow if you like, but I fell for the colours in this fish even before I had my first bite.

Of course, the colour is much more than just skin deep. I’m not only talking about how the beetroot cure seeping slowly into the flesh of the salmon leaves every opalescent slice with a crimson aura that fades into the salmon pink like a sunset over the sea. No – almost every ingredient in that we add to this salmon is marked by its relationship to a colour. The beetroot, infamous for its vibrant stain, is matched with zest of an orange – the fruit that takes such bold pride in its hue that they named the shade after it. The cure -BROWN sugar, BLACK peppercorns. (The dill, fresh and bright and grass-green though it may be, may be the exception that proves the rule). Continue reading “November Menu – Sneak Peek 2”

November Menu: Sneak Peek

As I write this, we’re only at the half-way point of the Autumn Pop-Up run, but it seems like its already time to think about endings. I spent a lot time selecting the dishes I wanted to wrap up this run with – hoarding a few of my most delectable, delightful and delicious for Autumn’s last bite.

Pork belly with celeriac puree and Rainbow coleslaw


In almost all cultures, the darkest part of winter is marked by some sort of festival that revolves around a meat-laden feast. A big practical reason for this is that, historically, surplus livestock needed to be slaughtered while they were still fat from the autumn harvest in order to save having to feed them with the dwindling winter stores. And when you’ve got a whole pig or a whole cow that needs eating, might as well invite the neighbours round to give you a hand and make a party out of it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that shortly after all the good food is eaten and gone comes the date for making resolutions to eat less. Continue reading “November Menu: Sneak Peek”

One month down!

Well we’ve survived a month and still have our heads screwed on and a smile on our faces. We’ve loved sharing our September menu with so many lovely people and we’re even more excited to let you try what we have in store for this month.


We know we enjoy it, but it’s been amazing to hear how much you love what we do. Here are some lovely things you guys had to say about Smoke and Thyme.

‘Thank you for a wonderful meal. Every single course was lovely but I was particularly surprised/amazed by the gorgonzola cheesecake. I chose it as I was feeling a bit adventurous, but I was absolutely impressed. It was amazing!’ – Ruby Continue reading “One month down!”

October Sneak Peek: Part Two

Here’s another sneak peek at even more of the dishes that are coming up on the October Menu at Smoke and Thyme. See last week’s October preview here, or click here to check out what dates are still available – most Saturdays are fully booked already so don’t delay.


Sundried tomatoes, pesto and cows curd



If there was one clear winner from the two weeks I spent playing with my new dehydrator, it was the cherry tomatoes. Sliced in half and sprinkled with herbs and freshly ground pepper, I was making 8 tray batches and still running out before the week was done – they go so well on or with just about anything and friends were prone to begging for some to take home with them. I knew I wanted to feature them in their own dish on my October menu, so I came up with this bruschetta that pairs the tomatoes’ balance of concentrated sweetness and umami with creamy homemade cows curd and a vibrant, vegetal pesto.

Continue reading “October Sneak Peek: Part Two”

October Menu Sneak Peek

With September already half gone and just a few spots left at the remaining dates (book now), I thought it was about time to tease a couple of the new  dishes I’ve got coming up for the October menu. Some of my all time favourites have been reserved for this month. Here’s three of them:


Smoked eel with celeriac puree and black pudding


This dish is so pretty it’s everywhere, on website banner and my business cards. Eel is one of the kings of the seafood world – right up there with lobster, scallops and monkfish, and smoked eel is so delicate, subtle and complex its like a precious gemstone that needs the right setting to set it off. A creamy puree of celeriac, along with little crumbs of black pudding and tiny glistening cubes of poached pear works beautifully to this effect.

Continue reading “October Menu Sneak Peek”