Get ready for some Edible Experiementation at The Restaurant Show

As a leading chef and food blogger who’s championing edible insects, Sebby Holmes is no stranger to cutting edge cuisine. At The Restaurant Show stage on Tuesday, you can watch him cook up an experimental menu set to whet the appetite of trend-hungry millennials.

But before that happens, here’s some edible recipes to get those taste buds going from Eat Grub Director, Neil Whippey.


Roasted tomato and pancetta pizza with cricket flour dough

Cricket flour is fast becoming one of my favourite insect-based ingredients to cook with. It’s such a versatile product, and this rosemary pizza dough is a prime example of why. It’s super-easy to make, and the mixture rises fast so you’ll have a slice in hand well before any home-delivered alternative.

Serves 2–3


• 250g/9oz/scant 2¼ cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
• 125g/4oz/scant 2/3 cup cricket flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
• 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
• 7g/¼ oz fast action dried (active dry) yeast
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 225ml/8fl oz/1 cup warm water, about 45oC/113oF

For the topping
• 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 3 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
• 6 rashers (slices) of pancetta, chopped
• 200g/7oz/1¾ cups mozzarella cheese, torn up
• 8 vine cherry tomatoes, on the vine
• a handful of rocket (arugula)

1. First, make the dough. Combine the flours, salt, sugar, rosemary and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in the oil and warm water, then knead together with your hands until everything is combined and the dough is not sticky but soft to the touch. Place the dough in a bowl and wrap in clingfilm, then leave in a warm place for 20–30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Place the rested dough on a lightly floured surface (use cricket flour) and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large circular shape, about 5mm/ ¼ inch thick, then spread it out on a large pizza pan or tray.

3. Now let’s make the topping. Using a food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and tomato puree until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly over the pizza dough then arrange the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes on top.

4. Bake in the hot oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve garnished with rocket. This pizza is best eaten straight away. Don’t make it too far in advance as the pizza dough will continue to rise if not used at once.

Grilled bananas with ants, sesame, tamarind and palm sugar caramel

This is a quick and simple recipe that uses the natural citrussy flavour of ants to great effect. Alongside the tamarind, they strike a balance with the sweet stickiness of the caramel and banana, while the salt brings it all together. For best results grill the banana over a barbecue (although a grill pan will do).

Serves 2


• heaped ½ tsp sesame seeds
• 2 bananas, unpeeled
• 100ml /3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup tamarind water (from Asian grocery stores)
• 50g/1¾ oz/¼ cup palm sugar, or soft brown sugar will do too
• 1 tsp wood ants (Formica rufa), these are best sourced from an experienced forager and should be frozen as soon as they’re collected. Defrost and use without further preparation

1. First, toast the sesame seeds. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Spread the sesame seeds out on a baking sheet and toast them in the hot oven for 15–20 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure that they don’t burn. Take them out of the oven as soon as they turn a light golden brown colour and allow to cool.

2. Heat a stovetop grill pan or barbecue over a high heat. Slice the bananas lengthways and place on the hot grill pan or barbecue, skinside up. Grill for 2–3 minutes until the bananas turn golden brown.

3. At the same time, bring the tamarind water and palm sugar to the boil in a saucepan and heat to 115°C/239°F, or until it begins to thicken, then take off the heat.

4. Place the grilled bananas on a plate, cover with the palm sugar and tamarind caramel then sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and the ants. This dish should taste sweet and sour, and serving it with vanilla ice cream is inspired.

Recipe from Eat Grub: The Ultimate Insect Cookbook by Shami Radia and Neil Whippey. Recipes by Sebastian Holmes. Food photography © Mowie Kay 2016. Published by Frances Lincoln (£20).