Action Against Hunger Artichoke Sourdough

Nieves partners with The Bread Factory to create Barrafina Artichoke Sourdough

The limited edition bread is on sale now, with all profits going to Action Against Hunger.

By Action Against Hunger

Jan 30 2017

Following on from the hugely successful Eat Bake Love event—which saw a top-line up of British-based chefs cook up bakery-themed dishes and raise over £13,000 for Action Against Hunger—The Bread Factory has been working with Nieves Barragán Mohacho, Executive Chef at Michelin-Star restaurant Barrafina, to develop her own Artichoke Sourdough. The bread is set to continue the legacy of Eat Bake Love with all profits to be donated to Action Against Hunger.

We recently caught up with Nieves to talk about her inspiration behind the bread and hear about some of the exiting plans she has instore for 2017.

Your sourdough collaboration came off the back of the Bread Factory’s Eat, Bake, Love event.  Could you tell me a bit about the event and why it went so well?

It was the first time I have taken part in Eat Bake Love and I absolutely loved it! The event had such a friendly, happy vibe, with a real sense of comradery amongst the chefs taking part. The evening saw us each cook up bakery-themed dishes, which were then presented to a packed room full of diners.  Up for grabs, was the opportunity to develop a bespoke bread collaboration with The Bread Factory, with all profits from its sale going towards Action Against Hunger. I decided to create cuttlefish croqueta, inspired by a similar dish on the menu at Barrafina and to my amazement it won first prize! The crowd were really lovely and the best part of the evening was raising an incredible £13,000 for Action Against Hunger.

Nieves tests the dough at The Bread Factory

The artichoke sourdough collaboration with The Bread Factory tastes absolutely delicious. What were your main inspirations behind making this bread? 

Seasonality of ingredients was a big consideration.  Knowing that the bread would be on sale until March this year, I wanted to choose an ingredient that is available at this time of year, and one that also reflects my culinary heritage. When I first came to London, many years ago, I remember trying Jerusalem artichokes and have been using them ever since!

I also really enjoyed the time and thought that went into developing the recipe.  For example, the ‘mother dough’ which is used as a ‘starter’ for each loaf, has been fermenting for over 20 years! After several months and many tasting sessions, we finally came up with a recipe that we’re really pleased with.  Thankfully it takes a lot less time for you to enjoy the bread – try baking it for 3-4 minutes in the oven before serving!

As Executive Chef at Barrafina you must have a really hectic schedule. Have you got any other exciting projects in the pipeline? 

We have just moved the original Barrafina restaurant from its Frith Street location to a new site on Dean Street, which took a lot of planning.  I am also in the middle of writing a book which will be published in the summer.  It will include a collection of recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking, when I was growing up in Bilbao.  There will be lots of friendly, comforting home-style recipes, showcasing the simple, honest flavours of the Basque country.

The artichoke sourdough is one of many examples of your support for Action Against Hunger’s work. What attracts you to supporting the organisation?

I think we all have a duty to look out for and care for one another. When I was young I used to volunteer for a charity at the weekend. It was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to give something back to those who were less fortunate. 

Supporting Action Against Hunger allows me to continue this, and combine my passion for cooking, whilst helping children around the world gain a better start in life.  I also love the staff and the commitment they have for the work they do – we’re like one big family!

In March you will be embarking on a trek to Nepal with a team of other chefs and food industry colleagues. What are you most looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to seeing up close the work being done in the field.  I want to see it with my own eyes and meet the communities Action Against Hunger is helping to support. I cycled through Myanmar in 2015 with Action Against Hunger and a group of chefs, and the experience really inspired me to continue raising awareness. It was really hard work and the trek to Nepal will present a similar challenge, but I’m really looking forward to experiencing a new culture and working as a team to take us one step closer towards ending child hunger.

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