COME ON IN… to my website.

IT IS CUSTOMARY for most websites to start with a short manifesto explaining just what kind of site you have stumbled across… but let’s not get too philosophical about this. I am in favour of hospitable restaurants; inventive chefs; local ingredients; eating fresh food; shopping carefully. I am against over elaborate presentation on the plate; dumbed down food television; blunt knives; and anybody who takes photographs of everything they eat. I don’t much like those dim sum chickens feet. I am a great fan of sweetbreads and pork scratchings. I think that beer gets a raw deal in the context of gastronomy. I usually side with comfort rather than style. This site is mainly about food and restaurants but it also touches on trends and books. I hope that it can be dipped into and that it reads like a magazine rather than a diary - I make a great effort to avoid just writing down where I have been and what I have eaten. Please feel free to use the “Contact” page to send brickbats, bouquets, corrections and comments. Welcome aboard, and as our American cousins would have it…Enjoy!

Hot Picks

tabasco

IMAGINE THAT YOU were an ambitious chef and that the devil took you up to a high place … to cut a long story down to size the Prince of darkness will happily make any chef who’s interested a deal, the cook gets a favourable rent and a very well equipped, often brand new, kitchen, but he also has to put up with setting up his restaurant within the bowels of a hotel. Before the chef has written his first menu the feel, standards and style of the host hotel will have leached into the atmosphere. That’s when having a separate entrance becomes so very important. Sixtyone restaurant at the Montcalm is part of the Searcy’s group and yes, it does have its own front door. Read More...

Questions of Taste

Tio Pepe

NEXT TIME YOU step into a tube carriage, glance around you... the majority of passengers will have their noses pressed to some kind of electronic gadget and it would be easy to infer that books were becoming an endangered species. But for folk of a certain age only the crisp, clean pages of a new book are the real deal. The Oxford Literary Festival (now under the aegis of the FT Weekend section) celebrates all that is good about bookishness. Furthermore, by striking an alliance with Oxford Gastronomica (part of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University) the Lit Fest gives due weight to food and drink and their role in society and culture. Read More...

Six of the best tandoori chops

  • Five hot Chillies
  • Tayyabs
  • Mirch Masala
  • Amaya
  • The Brilliant
  • Sitaraay