Former Roganic chef to launch three-month 'punk tapas' pop-up

Ben Spalding Roganic chef pop-up three-month street food

Chef Ben Spalding, former chef at Simon Rogan’s Roganic and executive chef at Aqua Shard, is to launch a “punk tapas” pop-up, at The Last Days of Shoreditch street food festival.

The pop-up, Small Plates Sessions, which has been created with Spalding’s food consultancy business Puzzle Projects, will run from 25 May to 26 August, and serve food at the Hoxton event from 5-11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Entry will be ticketed to all but a few walk-ins.

There will be two dining areas, comprising a 50-cover mezzanine, and a no-reservations terrace and bar, serving charcoal-oven-cooked dishes.

The mezzanine’s menu will include dishes such as Gressingham duck breast cooked in a chocolate salt crust, the chicken skin sandwich, and black cod ceviche with ice kaffir lime. Typical desserts will be the enigmatically-named ‘Lemongrass vs Ginger’, or the ‘Cookie Dough Milkshake on a Shovel’.

The terrace and bar will have a different menu, serving options such as the ‘Barbecue Crack Rib’ for two; Cornish monkfish roasted on the bone; charred lamb minute steak cooked rare with crispy garlic.

Dessert options will include the equally-unusually-named ‘Silky Charcoal Holy F*ck Fudge’ drenched in rum, which is then set on fire.

As well as a range of wines and cocktails, there will also be beer from the Gypsy Hill Brewery.

Tickets for the pop-up will be available online from 10 May, at £28 each for any four dishes. The dishes can be bought individually too, from £4 to £12 per dish.

The site will also play host to a range of visiting artists, including Paris-based painter Christopher Hibbert, who will exhibit in the restaurant; a live feed AV show from audiovisuals team Acorn AV; and filming from PuzzleProjects’ own filmmaker, Jamie Maxwell.

Spalding will also curate the music line-up on multiple dates, welcoming a series of DJs.

Spalding is best known for his time at Roganic, the London pop-up from Simon Rogan of two-Michelin-starred L’enclume. He has also worked at The Fat Duck, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Per Se, the Ledbury, Bagatelle, and L’enclume, as well as 28+ Restaurant in Gothenburg, and as executive chef at the Aqua Shard group.

The Last Days of Shoreditch is a three-month festival of street food, art, music, and ‘adventure games’ held in east London’s Hoxton. Alongside food traders and street food-inspired venues, it will also offer DJs, outdoors games, artwork, and an urban beach with palm trees and decking.

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