An Intentional Sunday: The spirit of culinary experimentation

Words by Saer RichardsPhotography by Jelito de Leon

On a Sunday it feels like the world takes a deep breath. Harried midweek commuters and Saturday shoppers put the brakes on their rush and life slows to a stroll.

The day is a permissive one. Allowing you to relax the psyche and do something the unremitting weekly predecessors didn’t allow. Sunday’s are thus by nature exceptional and a generous gift for having made it through yet another week.

Making the most of this day is a masterful feat, with the temptation to ‘just get a little shut eye for an hour or five’ being somewhat overpowering. But how about dedicating a slice of your time to the spirit of experimentation?

In no way am I negating the oft true parental caution to ‘not play with your food’, rather I am encouraging you play with intent. To use this time to focus on honing your culinary muscles through pairing the common with the unusual.

A word of warning, a seven-year-old me once concocted a Peanut Butter and Honey cake which my cake-loving dad gobbled down quite heartily, but yours truly could barely stomach – Dads eh?!

That being said, one of my favourite yet simple experiments fast proved to be a crowd pleasing treat for impromptu movie marathons during the winter:



Salt n Vinegar Popcorn



Popping Corn
Kosher Salt
Sarson’s Malt Vinegar: Spray Bottle


Start with a healthy handful of popping corn (I like to pick up a jar from the local farmers market), and place kernels in a brown paper bag.

Place in a microwave and pop for 2-3 minutes on high.  (This varies by individual microwave, rule of thumb is to listen out for when there are about 5 seconds between pops and remove the bag from the microwave).

Be careful to let the bag cool slightly before opening.

Toss in a knob of butter and shake the bag to ensure a reasonable amount of coverage.

Pour popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. (or to your saltiness preference).

Spray vinegar over popcorn and gently toss bowl while spraying in order to cover as evenly as possible. Do not saturate the popcorn!

Re-salt according to your own taste.

Serve in a large bowl.

A perfect way to offset the tart and salt of the popcorn is to pair it with something decadent and sweet.

Vegan Hot Chocolate



1 Can of Coconut Milk
1 Cup Almond Milk
6 oz  (150 grams) of Semisweet Chocolate (be sure it doesn’t contain milkfats if you want true vegan).


Empty the can of coconut milk into a heavy bottom pan and gently heat to a simmers – reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling.

Add 1 cup of almond milk and continue to heat.

Roughly chop the chocolate with a serrated knife.

Slowly add the chocolate, carefully stirring the whole time with a wooden spoon.

The warm chocolatey milk will start to thicken as the chocolate melts. (If you are a bonafide chocoholic, add an extra 3 oz (75 grams) of chocolate.)

Continually stir to avoid scorching.

When all chocolate melts stir for another 30 seconds then remove the pot from the heat.

Serve immediately in small cups – this thick and creamy hot chocolate is potently rich and reminiscent of Italian Cioccolata.

So take to the kitchen this Sunday with a view to taking your favourite snack or dish and making it just that little bit different. The results can be surprising and a new signature recipe to add to your repertoire.

An Intentional Sunday: The spirit of culinary experimentation was created by Food&_ community members:

Saer Richards

Saer Richards


Jelito de Leon

Jelito de Leon