A Whirlwind Event

It has been an absolutely breathtaking whistle stop visit to London. The last #lovevanilla event at Madeleine’s Cake Boutique hosted by the generous and very talented owner Lisa Martini was a whirlwind event. Kathy Kordalis had vanilla tastes flying out of the kitchen while guests satisfied their vanilla curiosity with dishes both sweet and savoury. Thank you all for coming to our Vanilla Table UK! See you soon in Washington DC.





Photos by Little London Whispers

London Launch Day!

It began with a delicious jolt of espresso-resisting the idea of adding frothed green milk in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, instead choosing to wear green earrings. Checked the vanilla panna cotta shot glasses: all set beautifully! First of the season rhubarb plus fresh ginger, lime and vanilla pods for gazpacho to top the panna cotta: tick! Vanilla Sauce whisked into submission for the tartine, then to the Organic Walnut and Parmesan Shortbread Stars. Like Santa’s to do list, we checked off the array of bags, boxes, platters and the vital toolkit-off to the heart of London’s Piccadilly Circus to spread the vanilla word! Waterstones Piccadilly coordinator Mark transformed the scone and flat whites café into an elegant candlelit bistro as we set up.


Photos by Little London Whispers and Jacqui Small Publishing

With great help from fellow chef and friend Kathy Kordalis we got the tasting platters organized and Jessica set up the science of vanilla memory experiment and I extolled the virtues, science, history and my love for this power behind the throne of fragrance and flavor … VANILLA. Chef, food writer, my gorgeous friend and cheerleader PETER GORDON (who wrote the Vanilla Table foreword) sat front row with colleagues and friends from Kopapa and The Providores for the vanilla show! With glasses of Proseco we shared tastes of Rhubarb Gazpacho with Vanilla Panna Cotta, Smoked Salmon Tartine drizzled with Vanilla Seed Sauce and The Walnut Parmesan Stars. Not a bite left and every single book was sold and signed! A fantastic evening spent in London!



Photos by Little London Whispers and Jacqui Small Publishing

UK Release of Vanilla Table

Vanilla Table Cover Final UKPLC_UK_CS6.pdfVanilla Table: The essence of exquisite cooking from the world’s best chefs has now officially hit the shelves and is available to buy at all good bookshops and online at Amazon.co.uk.

With its rich and familiar scent, vanilla has a place in every cook’s kitchen.  It often evokes memories of childhood favorites cookies and cakes warm from the oven. Yet beyond these nostalgic noshes, vanilla is a versatile and surprising ingredient in an enormous array of dishes – both sweet and savory.

Teaching a Class at Leiths


Be it teaching, coaching or collaborating I always find great joy in discovering and learning something new from students, apprentices, peers and my teachers. Teaching a vanilla class at Leiths cookery school last week I asked students to think about what they would create with vanilla salt. A little voice in the fourth row stage right chirped up and said, “I use vanilla salt each morning in my porridge. I like salt and I like vanilla.” Done! A brill yet simple idea! I joyfully learned something new to do with vanilla.

Madeleine’s Cake Boutique Event

Come and join International Chef, Natasha MacAller for a delicious evening of tastings and talk about all things Vanilla! With its fragrant and captivating scent, it is a must-have in every kitchen, and the ways it can contribute to your dishes are endless and often surprising.

Vanilla Table is a culinary celebration of all things vanilla. From sweet to savoury, she will share her experiences and take you on a journey to discover the many wonders of one of the most amazingly versatile ingredients in your pantry.

Lisa Martini, Director, Madeleine's Cake Boutique

Lisa Martini, Director, Madeleine’s Cake Boutique with Natasha

Monday 23rd March6.30-8 p.m.
Madeleine’s Cake Boutique
397 Upper Richmond Road West
London, SW14 7NX

To reserve a place, please contact Lisa Martini in store or call: T: 0208 878 6194
M: 07787 600 329

Free parking is available at Waitrose opposite for a limited time period.


80 Cakes

I’m so honored to have been asked to make a cake for IACP’s “80 Cakes Tribute” to celebrate Jacques Pepin’s 80th birthday. The IACP (International Association of the Culinary Professionals) 2015 conference opening reception in Washington DC, Friday, March 27, 2015 celebrates this most iconic, talented and generous chef with a stunning visual display of cakes created by 80 pastry chefs. I’ll be donating my “Pure Vanilla Layer Cake” from Vanilla Table for the opening reception to be included in the auction for the IACP Culinary Trust. I am thrilled to be a part of the celebration and humbled by Jacques’ breathtaking quote on the cover of Vanilla Table. Beaucoup de Mercis, Jacques and Joyeux Anniversaire!

Jacques-Pepin_300px“You expect vanilla in a Hazelnut Bavarois or a Tarte Tatin, but in the Vanilla Table you discover that ingredient in Vanilla Lacquer Duck Leg and Slow-Roasted Oxtail Pot Pies. These are exotic combinations that will expand your culinary palate and titillate your taste buds in a new way. Natasha MacAller teaches us how wonderful, aromatic vanilla can take the mundane to the memorable.”
Jacques Pépin, chef, cookbook author and PBS-TV cooking show host



Waterstones Picadilly London Event

Come hear International Chef, Natasha MacAller talk about all things Vanilla! With its fragrant and captivating scent, it is a must-have in every kitchen, and the ways it can contribute to your dishes are endless and often surprising.

Vanilla Table is a culinary celebration of all things vanilla. From sweet to savoury, soup to nuts, Natasha will share stories and take you on a journey to discover the many wonders of one of the most amazingly versatile ingredients in your pantry. You will taste a few sweet and savoury treats!

Tuesday, 17th March • 6:30 p.m.
In the Mezzanine Cafe at Waterstones Piccadilly
203 – 206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

To reserve a place, please contact the store on:
020 7851 2400 or email piccadilly@waterstones.com

Vanilla Table Cover Final UKPLC_UK_CS6.pdf

Let Them Eat Cake


Gesine Bullock-Prado, one of the chefs from Vanilla Table, has just released a new book, Let Them Eat Cake: Classic, Decadent Desserts with Vegan, Gluten-Free & Healthy Variations: More Than 80 Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Ice Cream, and More! Gesine wrote this book with everyone in mind. She wanted to provide a resource for bakers who are often hamstrung when confronted by the need to modify recipes for dietary restrictions. Available for purchase at Amazon.com

Awards Season


The International Association of Culinary Professionals has announced its 2015 IACP Award Finalists, which focus on the year’s best food writing — from cookbooks to videos to journalism.  A few of the chefs from, Vanilla Table are finalists – Rose Levy BeranbaumThe Baking Bible, David Lebovitz, My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, Christine Manfield, Dessert Divas and Yotam OttolenghiPlenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi. The Winners will be announced during IACP’s 37th annual conference in Washington, DC on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Congratulations chefs!