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London Stars Zoe Adjonyoh and Nigella Lawson Shared the Mic for a Global Instagram Project

Dr. Lezli Levene Harvell’s #sharethemicfoodandbev is a demonstration of allyship that has tangible effects

Nigella Lawson and Zoe Adjonyoh, who “shared the mic” on Instagram
Nigella Lawson and Zoe Adjonyoh
Composite: Eater London

Update: Friday 24 July @ 4:11 p.m.: This article has been corrected to fully credit Dr. Lezli Levene Harvell, creator of The Iconoclast Dinner Experience, as the creator and curator of #sharethemicfoodandbev.

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter stings a bit.

News of the week

It has been an extraordinary few months for Instagram, which started the year as a social media site primarily focused on sharing pretty pictures and enters its second half a central pillar of the protest movements sweeping the US and UK. At such a singular political moment, the question of allyship has seldom been so important.

It is encouraging, then, to see global initiatives like creator and curator Dr. Lezli Levene Harvell’s #sharethemicfoodandbev: a series of Instagram takeovers in which twenty-six women have taken part, offering a path ahead for high-profile figures seeking to share the limelight with those typically excluded from it. To see Zoe Adjonyoh use Nigella Lawson’s Instagram profile to wax lyrical about Western African ingredients, demand justice for Breonna Taylor, and promote the work of other women of colour was a reminder of the platform’s immediate power — and, as a photo posted on Adjonyoh’s own account the next day suggested, it has a tangible effect, too.

Pivots of the week

In the future, many words will doubtless cause us to shudder involuntarily and recall the first half of this annus horribilis: “quarantine”, “lockdown”, “Hancock”. But is there any worse than the dreaded “pivot”? A term previously only used by Silicon Valley douche-bros has perforce become the one on everyone’s lips, as operators have fought tooth-and-nail to find ways to survive in a world turned upside down. Several businesses are now on their second or even third pivots, having moved from selling groceries to takeaway offerings to a socially distanced al fresco table service model. It’s exhausting to think about, let alone oversee – so here’s to the ingenuity and tenacity of everyone involved in trying to make things work in the face of unimaginable odds.

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Best of the best @bratrestaurant

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Breakfast will never be the same again

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Unlikely celebrity of the week

Just as that brown butter banana bread took over feeds during the neurotic first few weeks of self-isolation, the Quo Vadis Tomato has become a surprising hit on restaurant-gram during the past month. There’s nothing especially complex about it — let’s be real, at heart it’s basically the same salad you’d find in any Spanish grill house worth its salt — but there is something about the additional care required to peel and meticulously slice one’s tomatoes that makes it feel peculiarly appropriate for a moment in which many people’s circadian rhythms are different, finding it easier to take pleasure in the meditative acts of blanching, peeling, slicing and garnishing — and eating.

“Wait, this is a thing now?” of the week

Important: is the spoon used for a spoon cake the same spoon as the spoon used for a spoon salad?

Caption of the week

The occasionally frustrating, occasionally wonderful podcast Reply All has a regular segment called “Yes Yes No,” in which the show’s two hosts (the Yeses) explain some weird piece of internet arcana to their bewildered producer (the No), in the hope that by the end of the episode they, too, will be at Yes. Historians looking back at this image (and, more particularly, its caption) will doubtless be stuck very much at ‘No’. This might help clear things up.

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HE’S A CAKE SHEEPLE

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Seasonal produce of the week

Sure, restaurant supplier par excellence Natoora might be available to the general public now, but the Four Legs team know what’s what: Budgens is where it’s at.

Productive lockdown of the week

“So, what have you spent the past four months doing?”

“Oh, not much, just perfecting my art form to the point where I can now sculpt elaborate Mexican-style calaveras in pie crust, you?”

“Uh, same?”

Technique of the week

From the warped geniuses that brought you Will It Blend? comes a new eye-opening documentary: “Can You Deep Fry It?”

The answer is always yes.

Dish of the week

Prawn or lobster? Both, probably.

Shot of the week

Triple Frontier (Netflix, 2019)

Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean Street, , England W1D 3LL 020 7437 9585 Visit Website

Four Legs

4 Compton Avenue, , England N1 2XD 020 7354 8473 Visit Website

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