Throughout January, London's Berber & Q Shawarma Bar will be beating back the post-festive blues with its annual guest chef collaboration series in celebration of the humble but mighty pita.
The pair behind the company, Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi are welcoming four of London’s hottest chefs to their Exmouth Market kitchen to create a pita that will run as a special on the Shawarma Bar menu for a week, before a one-off pita party on Sunday 4 February.
The line-up sees David Carter of Smokestak, Nud Dudhia of Breddos Tacos, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co and Israeli chef, Oded Oren, let their Middle Eastern creative juices run wild with each chef putting their stamp on the classic pita.
Kicking off proceedings on 8 January is David Carter with his aged gochujang pork belly, toasted sesame, cucumber, mint, and crackling pita. Nud Dudhia steps up to the plate in week two with beef short rib birria, guajillo chile adobo, burnt hispi cabbage, brined tomato salad, habañero gomashio and bone marrow mole, served alongside a beef consommé.
Pitas in the third week are courtesy of Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, with their pita stuffed with a spiced beef kofta, lemon tahini sauce and tomato and parsley salad. Last but by no means least, Oded Oren will be serving hand chopped sea bass and hake kebab, with spicy peppers and sour cream.
The collaboration will culminate in the grand-finale on Sunday 4 February, the one-off Pita Party, when all of the chefs will come together to showcase their dish. Guests will try a mini pita from all four guest chefs and a surprise dessert pita from Vicky Heafield, Head Chef at Berber & Q Shawarma Bar. From 3-5pm, guests will be seated in the restaurant, before a 6pm service when the tables will be pushed aside and the tunes will start pumping from the Shawarma soundsystem. Things are hotting up this year, as guests will now be able to vote for their favourite creation, where only one will come out on top.
Keeping everyone well hydrated, each pita will have the option to be paired with a cocktail shooter or wine flight from 6pm. Cocktail pairings include a Tequila and pomegranate sour, Cynar Boulevardier shot and Rosemary Collins, while the wine flight blinks an eye to the natural side of the wine world. The bar will be open as normal throughout the day with wines available to buy by the glass and house cocktails.
Mattia Bianchi commented, ‘Last year’s Pita Party was so much fun that we’ve decided to make it an annual event – we’ve got a great group of chefs in the line up, so it will be stiff competition’ says Josh Katz. ‘January is looking up, we've taken things up a notch this year with an all day event, cocktail pairing and voting to see whose pita will triumph!’