What is it with Big Mamma's recipe names?
Egg Sheeran? Daft Punch? Ceviche Guevara? Here’s why the ebullient restaurant group goes big on menu puns
Which of the following do you think is more fun? Ordering sea bream ceviche with mango, or asking for Ceviche Guevara? Which would amuse your dining partner more, a dish of ricotta and anchovy cream, or an order of Dipsy Winky? Is it more fun to share a plate of tagliolini with broccoli and anchovy cream, or chronically green Snoop Dogg Pasta? If you’ve gone for the latter rather than the former, then you’ll probably enjoy dining at Big Mamma’s restaurants.
Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux, founders of the Italian restaurant group currently wowing the London and Paris restaurant scenes, might be French, but they also borrow a little from US vernacular. While their stated ambition was to “recreate a place full of warmth and generosity that can be found in the small, out-of-the-way trattorias,” they also amp up their approach with a great American motto: ‘go big or go home’.
This informs potion size – witness the pasta cacio e pepe, served at the table directly from a pecorino wheel – as well as the welcoming zeal of the staff, but more importantly also the fun to be had when choosing your dish from the restarant menu selections.
As kids we were possibly taken to a charming Italian restaurant where they named a pizza after Dean Martin, however, Big Mamma’s places turn this all up to 11, with a wide array of surprising, pun-heavy dishes.
Consider Egg Sheeran, a dish of poached eggs with cress cream (thankfully not topped off with ginger); Daft Punch, a multi-fruit punch, (an actually quite a sensible choice for summer parties); and Like a Virgin, a non-alcoholic lemon, strawberry and blackberry cocktail (alcoholics can add vodka, gin, or white rum).
Though the puns are in English, a few, such as Big Mamma’s rum baba, Eat Me Baba One More Time, might actually work a little better in a Continental, European accent. In every instance though, they add a whole lot more fun to the dining experience.
And there’s no reason why you can’t introduce these appellations into your domestic repertoire, as they all feature in our new cookbook, Big Mamma Cucina Popolare. “Make these dishes for your next dinner party with friends, for a wonderful family lunch, for the second date you really don’t want to go wrong, “ advises the book, “or simply when you’re on your own at home tonight, because there’s no reason not to enjoy them.” And remember, that enjoyment extends beyond gastronomic enjoyment, out into a fun, linguistic playfulness.
To learn how to make them all, and much more besides, order a copy of Big Mamma Cucina Popolare here. The book puts a clever contemporary spin on tradition, with more than 120 delicious, easy-to-prepare, imaginative recipes.
The dishes in this vibrant and accessible book include true classics such as Risotto alla Milanese and Tiramisù, while others reflect the most creative Italian food today, with such intriguingly named dishes as Burrata Flower Power and Double Choco Love. The one thing that unites them all is that everything enjoys a fresh and modern twist - making this the perfect collection of recipes for a new generation of food lovers and Italophiles. Find out more here.