Safia Shakarchi is a pastry chef turned food writer and photographer and she recently launched Another Pantry, an online platform celebrating food, design and community.
Thanks to a rich program of collaborations with writers, recipe developers, chefs, and creatives the intention is to bridge the gap between the food industry and the home cook.
Earlier this month we were happy to supply the wines for the opening of Another Pantry’s grocery store pop-up at Coal Drops Yard and we took the opportunity to ask a few questions about the wines she enjoys drinking.
Look to see if there is a skin contact or an orange, although that makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about!! I am definitely not the most adventurous or knowledgeable on the wine front at all. I do find that skin contacts aren’t as intimidating as reds and whites can be though. I feel like they invite you to be adventurous and learn more which I love, and they’ve gotten me more into wine generally.
I don’t drink very often and I often save having a glass of wine for an occasion or a nice evening out, so to me the sign of a good wine is that I’m not thinking about it too much, that drinking it just feels natural. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to finish a glass of wine you’re not enjoying!
There isn’t actually a word in Arabic for broccoli — probably testament to the fact that it doesn’t really feature in Middle Eastern food! I’m not sure it even grows in the region.
My dad. He loves his wine — always red of course. There’s nothing more cosy to me than seeing my dad on the sofa with a glass of red wine in hand and jazz playing in the background. I remember as soon as he could introduce me to his favourite wines he did — it definitely took me a little bit of time to get into it so I think he was probably a bit disappointed at first but now I love seeing him light up when he’s cracked open a bottle and I say I want a glass!
A tiny little tucked away wine bar that not many people know about — just a few tables, dim lights, candles and very chilled music.
A small menu with a few great seasonal sharing plates. It would have to start with very good sourdough, and it would end with just one great dessert. Dessert wines aren’t my thing but I love finishing off whatever I’ve been drinking throughout the meal with a good dessert.
The really light insanely good red you guys served at our preview night! Please ask James for the name of it 🙈
Planque ran the bar at the preview night for Another Pantry’s pop-up grocery store in Coal Drops Yard earlier this month, and that red was one of the wines there. The format of the night was that only two bottles of wine were open at one time and once they’d finished, we moved onto the next so everyone got to try a range of wines over the course of the evening. It was a lot of fun, and such a good way to get people chatting and asking questions — I feel like that’s exactly what tasting wines should be like!
Exactly what or who you want to spend the evening with after a long day or a busy week.
No pressure — if you’re feeling it start with a glass and see where it takes you, but if you’re not up for it that night then that’s totally okay.
I think I probably should! It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on all the time but I think there’s so much more value in just taking it easy, listening to ourselves and seeing where things go. I’m definitely working on approaching things like that more often.
A Lebanese wine would be very cool. We went to a vineyard in Beirut years ago — we tried some really delicious wines and ate lunch in a beautiful setting next to the vines. I’m Arab but I grew up here in London, so I’d love to learn more about wine from Middle East — I don’t think there’s too much from the region but there definitely are things happening there.
Starting from this summer our opening times are changing. From Tuesday 1st August onwards, our restaurant will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, and for lunch on Saturday as usual.
Our last day open before the holidays is Saturday 5th August. We will be back as usual from Tuesday 15th August.