About Time You Met: The Canape Queen, Milli TaylorBy Kathleen Fleming
Milli Taylor is one seriously amazing cook. Since setting up and then selling her own café back in 2007, Milli has spent the last few years catering for some pretty glamorous events, hosting Spanish supper clubs, publishing her finger food recipe book Perfect Party Bites and creating show stopping animal-themed cakes (quite awesome for someone who isn’t even 30). Milli splits her time between London and Andalucia where she picks up inspiration and fresh ingredients for her supper clubs and has perfected her paella. In January she made paella for 1300 people using a rowing oar in place of a spoon (no, not a joke).
What sparked your love for finger food?
I love eating and cooking food, but most of all I love sharing food. Finger food is perfect for getting people together. A plate of yummy canapes makes for easy conversation among strangers – about food, obviously!
Nibbly finger food is popular right now, where is your favourite spot to share small plates in London?
Pedler, in Peckham. It’s a fairly new neighbourhood eatery serving only nibbles and small plates. The menu changes every day but the frizzle chicken with attitude sauce is a permanent fixture, and for good reason! It’s a warm and friendly place with gorgeous decor and a killer all gin cocktail list.
Other than the above, what are your favourite foodie haunts in London?
If I’m in town solo, I can’t help but tuck into a bowl of ramen at Bone Daddies or Kanada-ya. For a casual catch up dinner with friends, I’ll grab a seat at the bar of Eat Tokyo in Notting Hill for great value Japanese, and for something more special but not stuffy in the slightest A Wong serves beautiful Chinese food.
You spend a lot of time in Spain which inspires your amazing Spanish Supper Clubs. Tell us a bit about what we can eat when we visit you?
I can’t help but bring back half of the markets in my suitcase and so it only makes sense to introduce supper clubbers to some fantastic local produce. I can be picking lemons and figs at the beginning of the week and be back in London a few days later, cooking up the flavours of Andalucia with them. I keep things quite traditional on the supper club menus – they change every time but expect never ending tapas, followed by beautiful seafood paella made from my neighbour Rosa’s recipe, and then a choice of puds. That’s where I like to mix things up a bit – pudding can include anything from Malaga wine macerated prune and chocolate mousse to almond cake with blood oranges.
And if we can’t get into your supper clubs, what’s London’s next best for Spanish food?
Photo Credit: Paul Winch-Furness
My personal favourite is Jose Pizarro’s tapas bar and restaurant in Bermondsey. When we go out to eat in Spain, it is the owners of the bars that I look forward to seeing that evening, as much as the food. That’s what you get here, you get Jose in person, not just a name above the door. I only wish he would open a restaurant closer to my flat!
Lastly you are pretty good at creating animal cakes (notably a rhino and a pug!). What creature can we expect to see next from Milli’s kitchen?
I would love to create something mythical but it all depends on what my clients order! I have a background in design so love any opportunity to create something with my hands.
At the end of October, Milli is hosting a fortnight-long pop-up at The Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho. She will be showcasing her favourite Spanish dishes and will be open for lunch and dinner. You can drool over her food photos and find out more via her blog, Millis Kitchen.