Meet Restaurants Brighton Reviewer & Filmmaker Ed Hamilton
I’d love to say I’ve always been passionate about food, but the truth is I used to be an incredibly fussy eater. I learned to cook from a very young age but up until I was about 15, I could barely go near a vegetable.
How things have changed.
These days I can’t wait to try something new. I love everything about food – from discovering a new dish to eating out with mates or cooking for my wife and kids at home. I love the stories around food too – the history of a particular cuisine, for example, or the idea behind a new restaurant.
Most of all, I love sharing the enjoyment of food. That sometimes means going out to a great restaurant, but it can also be something beautifully simple like putting together a tasty sandwich using yesterday’s roast.
I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to be an expert to be a “foodie” (that word has always made me feel uncomfortable). I’m just as interested to hear about someone’s homemade sausage stew as I am to read about a new Michelin-starred restaurant. And writing as someone who used to be afraid of carrots, I understand better than anybody that anyone can love food.
Which is your favourite restaurant in the Brighton area and why?
Tough one to open with! So many great little restaurants have popped up in Brighton over the last few years, but I think I’m going to have to say the original Fatto a Mano on London road. Their pizza menu is so simple but so authentic, with inventive specials that change all the time and a Neapolitan-style dough that’s perfectly light and pillowy. They do a lovely range of beers too, as well as great coffee and some amazing desserts (don’t go without trying their Affogato). Last but not least, they offer a free kids’ menu with every adult order, which means eating out with three children has finally become affordable.
Which is your favourite food dish or genre of cuisine and why?
Street food. It’s become such a popular style of eating and I just love the way you get these dedicated chefs delivering really great food from tiny little trucks and stalls. It’s so varied too – you can get anything from traditional fish & chips to specialities from around the world (I think my favourite is a Vietnamese banh mi – a baguette filled with spicy meat and pickled vegetables).
Street food in the UK has come so far since the days of dodgy fairground hamburgers, and I love that people are now eating all these amazing dishes instead of settling for supermarket sandwiches on their lunch break.
Which is your favourite well-known chef ?
I’ve always been a big fan of Anthony Bourdain. For me, good food is all about the enjoyment people get from eating it – be that a Michelin-starred dessert or a plate of chips from their favourite pub. Bourdain communicates this brilliantly in his writing and his TV shows. I love that he champions a huge variety of food as well, and that despite having worked as a top chef himself, he never comes across as elitist or pretentious about the dishes he prepares or enjoys.
I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous of him. He basically travels the world eating amazing street food for a living!
What has inspired you to become a food reviewer – or how did it the opportunity come about?
I’ve worked as a writer in advertising and marketing for the last 15 years. I’m also a videographer and make films about food (among other things). Reviewing restaurants is a great way for me to combine my professional experience with what has become my biggest passion – food and drink.