THE CURSE OF CANDY FLOSS

There is an impure magic about candy floss. The smell, warm, cosseting, familiar, sweet, pink, marshmallow tells you this is wicked, a forbidden substance, bad for your teeth, a delicious delight. And then there’s the alchemy of transformation, so much more impressive that changing base metals into gold. A spoonful of sugar is tossed into […]

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ZUCCHINI SUPREME

Romanesco – the finest of all zucchini in my view. It has the most distinctive of flavours, fresh, nutty and delicately sweet. Best of all it stays firm when cooked instead of turning to watery mush. The only possible contender is the trombetta d’Albenga, which is more suitable for certain dishes (eg stews), but on […]

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INSALATA DI BACCALA`

This started life as Insalata di Stoccafisso in a small trattoria on a back street by the harbour in Messina, but as it’s tricky to lay hands on stoccafisso – usually haddock or cod that’s been wind-dried – in Gloucestershire, I use baccalà – salted cod. Occasionally I salt my own cod  (cover cod loin in […]

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DRINK UP

I’d like to draw your attention to a fascinating article that appeared in the Financial Times Life & Arts section Saturday last (12th August). It was written by evolutionary psychologist and anthropologist, Robin Dunbar. He’s currently head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, winner […]

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CHEESY TIGER

  16/20 Quite possibly the finest ‘toasted’ ( or’grilled’) cheese sandwich in the world.  There are times when only a ‘toasted’ cheese sandwich will do, when soul and stomach call out for that divine combination of creamy, molten dairy and dry, plosive toasted crunch and soothing, piquant richness and the sharper note of wheaten austerity. […]

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THE FINEST MEAL OF MY LIFE

Joel Robuchon, who died a few days ago, was generally recognised as one of the finest chefs of the last fifty years. I had the pleasure on eating his food when he was in his prime at Jamin in the Rue de Longchamps only once. In 1987 I was given a brief by the Financial […]

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