For last weekend's Serpentine Gallery's 7th annual Marathon, anothermag.com hosted a brunch in collaboration with Clerkenwell restaurant The Modern Pantry. Founder and chef Anna Hansen MBE used the Marathon's theme of 'memory' to inspire her menu which comprised of passion fruit and raspberry and rose smoothies alongside sweet and savoury scones – a chedder cheese & spring onion scone with goats curd cream and a matcha green tea scone with gooseberry & vanilla compote and clotted cream. Both scone recipes are twists on old Kiwi classic scone recipes from the Edmonds Cook Book that she cooked from as a child in New Zealand.
It was of course Marcel Proust who first coined the term Involuntary Memory in his novel In Search of Lost Time. He describes an incident where he was eating a tea-soaked madeleine with his aunt on a Sunday morning and a childhood memory was “revealed” to him. From this memory, he then proceeded to be reminded of the childhood home he was in, and even the town itself. Scones are the British equivalent of the French madeleine, enjoyed by all ages. Hailing from Scotland, the small quick bread often causes confusion in regards to its pronunciation: s-con or sc-own.
"Hansen's culinary philosophy is driven by the desire to please and excite the palate by renewing everyday cooking with ingredients found in the modern pantry and global inspiration"
Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Anna trained under Fergus Henderson and opened The Modern Pantry in 2008. Her culinary philosophy is driven by the desire to please and excite the palate by renewing everyday cooking with ingredients found in the modern pantry and global inspiration. Here Hansen reveals to AnOther her childhood memories of food.
"I've always loved eating; I'm a little greedy. I have clear memories of going to parties as child and eating fairy cakes, scones and sausage rolls. My mother, who was Danish, was a brilliant cook but she was never much of a baker; I always enjoyed visiting my friend's houses when their mum had baked a fresh batch of scones. My grandmother, also Danish, was a fantastic cook too – she made everything from scratch. We would eat brilliantly exotic food such as pickled herrings and cod roe (unusual food in New Zealand). My dad used to bring maple syrup from Canada when he visited; and my aunts would bring salted liquorice from Denmark. My grandparents lived on a dairy farm with an orchard and a big vegetable garden. It was pretty amazing; I was very lucky. A few years ago we started doing afternoon teas at The Modern Pantry. I love sandwiches and scones."
Text by Laura Bradley