Nothing says friendship like piling into a tent, huddling around a fire and holding the torch for your friend as he tries to relieve himself without contracting Lyme disease. Just ask the Taste Cadets – three “heavyweight swag lords” (their words), who we sent off into the Great British Wilderness in our new film to see how their globetrotting culinary tastes fared when transplanted to a world more commonly associated with instant noodles, water purifying tablets and life-threateningly undercooked processed meat.
Made up of best friends Allan “Seapa” Mustafa – better known as Grindah from BBC’s People Just Do Nothing – Kieran Cavanagh and Marcus Adams, Taste Cadets have been touring the world since 2017 shoving everything in their greedy gobs from sushi in Tokyo to tacos in Mexico City and documenting their adventures along the way.
“Taste Cadets is about three mates travelling the world, trying out new food and learning about different cultures,” says Seapa. “We’re all from different places – Kurdistan and Czech Republic, Jamaica, and Scotland, and all live in London which is a big melting pot. It has always been something that has brought us together.”
Arriving in Kent, leaving behind their phones, Deliveroo and the cosmopolitan ease of the capital, necessary survival skills include learning how to butcher an ox heart – with the help of Black Axe Mangal’s Lee Tiernan – stacking some hay and digging a hole for a makeshift bog. “We took things back to basics and appreciated the little things, which I guess is what Corona has taught us in a sense,” Seapa says. “A bit of human contact, cooking, eating… that’s what keeps us alive and brings us the most pleasure.” But before you have a look at Taste Cadet’s intensive Guide to Camping, here’s some food for thought, from a man who’s just spent several hours hacking up a large ruminant’s major organ to survive.
“Respect the land,” Seapa says. “Be sly, be clever, but respect the land.”
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Find a sly spot and go with people that can do some of the shit for you. Kieran’s good to go with because he can start a fire and loves all that shit and Marcus and Kieran are good at putting up tents, which I like to oversee while I keep a lookout incase there are any intruders or wild animals I can shoo away. Teamwork.
Find the right patch to camp on and brush away any stones or hard bits of wood, otherwise, it’s going to be a nightmare to sleep on. Also, make sure you’re not on a hill so you aren’t rolling down the side of your tent all night. A lesson learnt the hard way many a time when arriving late at festivals and all the good spaces are gone.
Remember: camping in the wild isn’t a festival. You’ll always find a good space.
Bring a fold-away spade and a metal grill. Dig a hole, fill it with dry wood, put the metal grill on top and you’ve got yourself a wild BBQ ready to cook any culinary delight you desire.
Research the area and visit a local farm or farm shop, and get your ingredients there. The produce will be amazing and you’re also supporting the locals. If you’re going to go invade their area at least give something back, for god’s sake.
Bring some tarpaulin and rope. If it starts raining you can fashion this into a shelter by tying it to some trees at an angle, then you can put your fire underneath and carry on cooking without it going out.
LIGHTER. Don’t forget a fucking lighter.
A head torch is essential for the 30 pisses you’ll inevitably need in the night after a little drink up by the fire.
CLEAN YOUR SHIT UP! Wild camping is fine as long as you go in covert, keep the noise down and leave no trace when you leave. Don’t be a dickhead, basically.
RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES
When it comes to wild cooking it’s important to think ahead and prep the right ingredients to bring along.
MARKY’S JERK CHICKEN MARINADE
Taste Cadet’s tip: This is a good base to bring with you to get yourself some free-range chicken at the local farm. Marinade your meat then cook the shit out of it on the BBQ. No worries.
1⁄4 cup lime juice
1⁄4 cup dark soy sauce
1⁄4 cup vinegar
2 tbsp of roughly chopped ginger
8 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1⁄2 red onion chopped
3 spring onion bulbs
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1 tsp pimento berries
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1⁄4 tsp clove powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
Bang all of this in a blender and you are good to go.
SEAPA’S WILD KEBABS
Taste Cadet’s tip: This recipe is best eaten sat around the fire staring into the flames in pure silence. This is a form of culinary mediation that helps feed not only your stomach but also your soul. You’re welcome.
Meat of your choice
Bread (preferably flatbread)
Take your chosen meat from the local farm shop and marinate it in cumin, oregano, ground coriander, paprika, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Stick the meat on a skewer alongside some onions and peppers and cook the skewers on your DIY BBQ*
Once they are cooked throughout, grab your bread and wrap around the skewers and slide the meat into the wrap.
Add some chilli sauce and you are good to go.
(*see top tips section)
KIERAN’S ELOTE-STYLE BBQ CORN
Taste Cadet’s tip: For the corn, it should be easy to find it with husks on from most local farm shops. The husks are basically nature’s tinfoil.
6 locally-sourced corn cobs with husks on
1⁄4 block of butter
2 tsp. of chilli powder
1⁄2 tsp. of cayenne powder
Juice from 1⁄2 lime
Salt and pepper
Mayonnaise and cheese optional
Place the corn in a fire with the husks on for around 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and once the corn is done, push a skewer into the bottom of the corn (this is easier to do with the husks on).
Then, peel off the husks and roll the corn in the butter mix.
Place the corn on the grill close to the coal – don’t be scared to char the fuck out of them.
When it is nicely charred, sprinkle with some salt, a squeeze of lime and some more chilli powder, or you could also go the whole way and do it with mayo and cheese.
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MEN’S FELLMASTER GORE-TEX WATERPROOF JACKET
Something like this naughty Berghaus works perfectly because you can leave London blending in like the certy G’s that you (we) are, but also arrive in the country and blend in like a fucking local hiker with the locals none the wiser. Also good to go with dark colours so you can blend in the forest when wild camping without getting spotted.
NIKE AIR MAX 95 SNEAKERBOOT IN BLACK
The perfect waterproof crep. You won’t catch us wearing wellies (unless you’re Marcus with the pink Asda ones). These are perfect for keeping your swag and foot dryness intact in the wild.
NIKE HUARACHE ELITE GLOVES
If you grew up in the ends in London (or anywhere in the UK) you may be familiar with the Nike Huarache Elite Glove. Perfect for protecting your hands for collecting firewood and other outdoor activities.
THE HATED X ON TICK COLLAB HOODY
While camping you will need a warm, comfy hoodie and there is no better than the pink On tick x The Hated hoodie worn by Seapa on our camping trip.
THE HATED OG SIDE BAG
Bring a speaker for good vibes and make sure you bring a portable charger just incase. Secure all the goods in this The Hated bum bag and you can’t go wrong.
You are going to need a cool bag to keep your ingredients and your natural wine selection nice and chilled. Nothing too spenny, just cop a basic one from Amazon.
This is very important if you are wild camping in a treacherous location. Pop down some selco and grab a tarpaulin – you can fashion yourself a bivouac for emergency shelter. That’s right, a bivouac. Google it.
Director: Marcus McSweeney
Producer: Rosanna Gouldman
Executive Producer, The Face: Jennifer Byrne
Executive Producer, Third Channel: Dorothea Gibbs
Director of Photography: Ed Hubert
Editor: Federico Barni
Allan “Seapa” Mustafa
1st AD: Gabriel O’Donohoe
Production Manager: Katherine Bampton
Production Assistant: Millie Gray
Production Assistant: Dubheasa Lanipekun
Production Assistant: Timi Akindele-Ajani
Runner : Grace Snellock
Researcher: Georgie Done
Camera Op: Max Dos Santos
Camera Assistant: Juan Minotta
Camera Assistant: Cameron Hall
Drone Operator: Barney Clark
Sound Op: Lubos Jurik
Sound Op: Richard Two
DIT: Millie Gray
Post Production Co-ordinator: Millie Gray
Grade: Jon Dobson @ The Wash
Grade Producer: Mikael Nakkas @ The Wash
Sound Design: Rob Szeliga
Original Music: Shane Connolly & Louis Souyave
Music Supervision: Oliver Pearson @ OPM
Special Thanks: Andy Clarke of Park Farm Butchers, Kate Tiernan, Joris van Wijk, Maisie Plumsted, Brad Finlay, Charissa Saverio, Julian Palmer, Giulia Ferrazzi, Jake Shears, Maria Lane, Charlene McManus, Debi Allen, Ruth Morrison, Jessica Lax
Original Music by Shane Connolly & Louis Souyave
Music Supervision by Oliver Pearson @ OPMA Third Channel & The Face Production