When the four SK chefs got together earlier in the year to plan our blogs for 2020, it’s fair to say the world was a very different place.

You could still pop to the pub, eat a meal in a restaurant, watch a football game, take in the latest movie at the cinema, take your child to school and, well, you get the drift…..

So, having decided to theme our June blogs around picnics, we felt quite smug when the easing of the lock-down restrictions enabled groups of up to six people to meet each other outside, whilst observing the appropriate social distancing of course.

And we felt even more proud of ourselves (sorry we don’t get out much, quite literally at the moment) having has enjoyed the most glorious sunshine in recent weeks.

Then, just as we prepared our first picnic-themed blog, the weather, predictably, changed. Last weekend the temperatures rose to the mid-20s (even Up North) and this weekend we are facing highs of 12 degrees with ‘light rain showers and a fresh breeze’ according to the BBC.

So, not the weather most conducive for a picnic.

However, if we’re anything in the SK kitchen, it’s stubborn, so picnic-themed blogs are what you are still going to get, our reasoning being that come rain or shine, people are do desperate to get out and about at the moment, then if it takes wrapping up and bringing an umbrella to have a picnic, then after what we have all experienced over the last few months, that’s not a hardship.

Plus, it wouldn’t be Britain if it rained once in a while in the summer!
Something which could well find it’s way in your picnic baskets, whether it’s the authentic wicker ones with a gingham cover, or just your Tesco bag for life, is falafel.

That’s because they are a perfect size to carry, can be eaten hot or cold and, well, because on Friday 12th June it’s International Falafel Day and you know we are never one to pass on a food awareness day.

Did you say there is a day dedicated to falafels we hear you say? Yes, dear reader there is, and the world is a better place for it in our view, after all what’s not to love about these chickpea-filled pleasures?

Chickpeas may be the main ingredient but there’s loads of other things you can add to them, such as herbs, spices, vegetables and even cheese.

In our version, we’re using red pepper and some chipotle so give our falafel a bit of kick; just make sure it doesn’t go soggy in the rain.

Red Pepper and Chipotle Falafels


  • 8 oz of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing


  1. Put the garlic, onion, red pepper and chipotle peppers in food processor and blend.
  2. Add the spices, salt and baking powder and form into small balls.
  3. Pour oil into a pan and on a medium heat cook the falafel in batches, turning regularly until they go deep brown and crisp, roughly 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to paper towels to drain and rest.
  5. Serve with hummus, tzatziki and pita bread if you wish.
Oliver Parkinson
About Oliver Parkinson
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.