The history of the Besfords

Dr Besford’s Aubergine Pickle

Dr Besford’s Aubergine Pickle is a condiment which was developed by chef Cyrus Todiwala MBE and named in honour of one of his regular customers.

“Gently spiced, flavoured with nigella and brown onion, this pickle was created to match the character of the famous prosthodontist and orthodontist, and a regular customer at our restaurant, Dr Besford.”

“Bold in character, loud in composition, an investment in time to prepare, yet gentle in its spicing and slick in form, with just that little bit of extra oil needed to tame the beast in the aubergine. A hugely successful pickle!”

Cyrus Todiwala

Foodchain Magazine Online in its Jan/Feb 2006 issue describes the story of the pickle in an interview with Cyrus Todiwala, who runs two restaurants, including Café Spice Namaste, the base from where his other ventures are launched.

“…from the beginning I started making chutneys and pickles for the restaurant, because there are such lovely vegetables and fruits here that you can make them with. Some of our guests started pushing us to sell the products, because they can’t find such products anywhere else, but I resisted.

“One of our most insistent guests, Dr John Besford, happened to fax me about bottling some aubergine pickle at the same time as I was being interviewed by the food critic Charles Campion. The whole story then unfolded in The Times Sunday Supplement and from there we started bottling a small amount of pickle to make it available to our guests. We started this about eight years ago, and our present range includes over 28 chutneys and pickles and this includes some Indian non-vegetarian pickles, such as venison and prawn.”

This was the first of the handmade pickle range to be sold by the jar. They have grabbed the attention of food critics, with two recipes winning gold and silver medals in the prestigious Great Taste Awards.

Mr Todiwala’s Aubergine Pickle is available from Mr Todiwala’s online shop.

Cafe Spice pickle jars
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6 responses to “Dr Besford’s Aubergine Pickle”

  1. Hi… I wonder if you know that Dr Besford of pickling fame is the son of the swimmer, my uncle John. He has the Hitler Trophy, I believe, on the mantle in his Harley Street Office.

  2. Although Dr Besford's pickle obviously has the best name, having tried both this and Cyrus Todiwala's Wild Boar Vindaloo Pickle, I have to say I much prefer the Wild Boar. This won the silver award at the Great Taste Award. It's made with diced wild boar meat and Goan red masala, ground in palm vinegar. Highly recommended!

  3. I heard about Dr Besford's Aubergine Pickle on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme today ('Charles Campion: A Life Through Food'). I am intrigued and must try some!

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