Never eat anything bigger than your head
Cookery Quote
We should all be eating less meat and better meat
Whenever you see crossed chives you are in trouble


For a variety of rather dull reasons this website has been sleeping for nearly a year, so it is time to wake up, shake a leg and smell the coffee. Welcome to October 2015. You would have thought that the mighty engine that is the food, drink and restaurant business would have thrown out sheaves of brilliant new ideas in a twelvemonth but the year’s crop seems remarkably predictable. Unsurprisingly,my view of it all doesn't seem to have changed much. I am still averse to dishes presented on square bits of slate. I curse foams, soils, microherbs and sauce blobs so small that you cannot taste them. I respect craft. I like local foods. I like fresh food. I think that everyone should learn to shop. When talking food and drink, simple is still much better than complicated. Beer deserves a better deal, it goes so well with food. Some of the continually proliferating roster of telly chefs deserve compliments while others should get back in the kitchen and learn to cook.
In this new incarnation of my website I have to gird my loins and embrace the social media…I may even end up taking pictures at the dining table. Please feel free to use the “contact” page to send bouquets , corrections and comments, feedback is always helpful. Tuck in.


We do get some compensations for growing old and knobbly. Only live long enough and there comes a time when a good many of the stories in the media strike familiar chords and realisation dawns that there is less original writing out there as we are led to believe. But it’s good to meet with old friends, this week there is an article about pasties which rehashed (perhaps that should be refreshed?) a good deal of pasty lore. There’s the story that pasties were strong enough to withstand being dropped down a mineshaft.

Good to see Nigella looking so well.

Nigella was described in a recent interview for the Daily Telegraph as “Slimmed down celebrity cook launches her new TV show and book with lighter recipes” all under a headline that proclaimed “Why the latest food fads are off the menu for Nigella”. The ex-Mrs Saatchi was asked about “clean eating” and “healthy food” (allegedly these are the latest, next big things)…. but what kind of a world is it where healthy eating has become a specialist fad? “Life is about balance, it’s not about being smug” says Nigella.

Beware, a new idea!

What an interesting idea. Why do cookery books have to look like cookery books? As one of my books slid down the sales chart to a level that really upset both me and my publisher (with sales that were euphemistically described as “slow”), one of the “comments” on the web was a rant about how silly we were to produce a cookbook without glossy pictures. Cookbooks are all shoe-horned into a format – they look like cookbooks, they read like cookbooks, they are illustrated like cookbooks. But hang on, this year’s autumn list has something genuinely new and it’s coming to a shelf near you.

Something old, something new: Café Spice and Gymkhana

Over the years Cyrus Todiwala has set the gold standard for Indian restaurants in London. For decades he has been promoting authentic dishes from the Indian regions and gradually he has been joined by a handful of restaurants with similar ambitions - Amaya, Tamarind, Benares, Rasoi, Chor Bizarre... But sophisticated Indian food is still the exception rather than the rule. Recently a newcomer – Gymkhana – was voted the best restaurant in Britain in the National Restaurant Awards, leaving a long list of famous names trailing in its wake.

It's all about the taste

Each year the Great Taste Awards grows a little larger. In 2014 10,000 products were tasted and assessed during nearly fifty tasting days. For the record this was the year of meat and a succession of magnificent ribs of beef, legs of lamb and joints of pork were brought out for the judges to ponder. The selection of beers has grown. The array of ciders is larger. As readers of these musings may have noticed that this was the year when the awards went to Belfast. At the end of the day devoted to selecting the Supreme Champion, forty of us went to dinner at the White Post.

Food and Beer

If there is a ”Festival Season” it is now! Following the success of the Droitwich Food Festival – a magnificent gala dinner devised by Mark Hix using the best local produce on Friday 20th of June and then the town centre roads closed on the Saturday morning with over 100 food stalls selling everything from pies to beer and Indian food. This weekend (Saturday 28th June) the emphasis shifted to the FAB Festival on the meadows at Upton on Severn.

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