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Tim Hayward

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Everything posted by Tim Hayward

  1. Fish and chip cognescenti believe the secret is the use of beef fat as the frying medium. Sadly this sort of thing is now difficult to find in the effete South. Most London shops use vegetable oil and, for all I know, serve a crisp side-salad. A pox on them all My grandmother used to run a chippie and remembers fat being delivered in huge newspaper-wrapped blocks.
  2. Started smuggling it in a couple of weeks ago
  3. Exactly the same as mine. Exactly the same as each other's
  4. I'm probably a year out of date but I really enjoyed The Black Pig in Rock, last summer. For what it's worth, I found Steins a complete waste of time. The food was average and expensive and the place was chokker with neighing City blokes with their revolting families. The only redeeming point of an otherwise grim 'tasting menu' was my first experience of a truly 'comedy course'. The 'Mackerel rechado' was a pilchard-sized fish that appeared to have been spatchcocked, dipped in curry powder and tied to a stick for grilling. It looked like it had been crucified. It's the only time I've ever seen a course served that made everyone laugh the minute it hit the table. As an Australian I was dining with pointed out, 'They could have given the poor little fucker a chance". It kind of summed the place up though. I love Stein, particularly his curmudgeonly insistence on simple stuff, simply cooked. He's made his name by explaining how a fresh fish cooked on a shovel over a seaweed fire is infinitely better than anything you'd get in a poncy restaurant then he puts his name to some of the most up-itself, ponced-about-with nonsense I've ever seen done to fish. As part of his ever expanding empire he should open a little wooden shack where he's forced, at harpoon-point, to yank fish out of the sea and cook it over a gas ring for tuppence. Actually, I think he'd secretly prefer it.
  5. ...comprising 18 minutes of original material endlessly recapped.
  6. Oh Yes! Now you've got me going.... Boil-in-the-bag cod steaks. Bland fish, in white sauce, in a plastic pouch. Dear God, could anything have been more utterly revolting. It looked, when hot, like recently used horse condom. My Granny (peace be upon her) used to hang the bag from a knittting needle into the kettle thus procuring those two delights of elderly ladies, 'a nice cup of tea' and 'a nice bit of fish', simultaneously. For those Hyacinth Bucket characters with pretensions to suburban grandeur, there was a more sophisticated 'parsley sauce' version, enhanced by tasteless green flecks. All were served with the ubiquitous frozen pea (eGs passim) or the awful frozen 'vegetable medley' which seemed to comprise the solid elements of puke in an easy-to-serve, Kwik-heat pellet. In a calculated act of child abuse, my school used to combine the frozen vegetable medley with the white sauce to create a 'vegetable macedoine'. So named, we supposed, because it looked and tasted like it had recently passed through a Macedonian. David Kilgore, the Ganymede of the Lower Sixth, once languidly observed that, 'If Alexander the Great had been forced to consume this stuff, it was little wonder he'd laid waste to half of Europe'. Such wit. Such Beauty. He's an overweight, bald mobile phone salesman now.
  7. Dear God, Man! And they let you cook food? For innocent people?
  8. Back in the day I was unfortunate enough to be involved in research for an unnameable company which supplies 'Noodles' in 'Pots'. Part of the result was the odd finding that men are turned off food most easily by 'textural issues' whereas women were most affected by smell. Pointless, but somehow useful to know. Anyroad, in my book those five are nowhere near unspeakable enough. I'd nominate.... 5. Heinz 'Toast Toppers'. Particularly the chicken and mushroom flavour. Little tins of gloop you were supposed to spead on toast before slipping under the grill to produce something that glued to the roof of your mouth like napalm. 4. Canned chile con carne from the machine at Stokewood Rd swimming baths, Bournemouth, circa 1979. Someone must have come up with a cheap experimental substitute for TVP. This stuff tasted like crumbled packing chips in curry sauce. 3. 'Mince'. The idea of serving ground meat as the protein in a main course, without attempting to form it into something or flavour it can only be some sort of joyless throwback to rationing. Guaranteed to choke a goat. 2. Knorr Spring Vegetable Soup. The tomato pieces never successfully reconstituted, leaving tiny chips of scarlet plastic floating in the scum on top of the soup. This was a blessing as it was the only way to distinguish the product from a steaming mug of hot vomit. In spite of the risk of exposure, frozen half to death and feet bleeding, young cadet Corporal Hayward was entirely unable to drink this crap on the top of the eighth of the Ten Tors 1. Butterscotch Angel Delight. A petrochemical by-product which uncannily pre-dated 'Molecular Gastronomy's' foams by at least two decades. Utterly, utterly revolting. Capable of clinging to the teeth and ruining meals for the next two weeks. That feels better.
  9. Surely you don't listen to any of those silly restaurant reviewers, do you? I see you're after Dejan Sudjic's job then
  10. It's 'Konstam at Prince Albert'. The cafe's been running for a couple of years but the programme is about setting up his restaurant in a pub a couple of doors away. I interviewed him there, yesterday. Unbelievable interior by Thomas Heatherwick (his brother-in-law). He came across as a really pleasant bloke, trained at Moro, a bit of a food nerd in the nicest possible way, really intense about food, food lore and food history. There seems to be a bit of a 'Clerkenwell Axis' developing. Quality Chop and the Eagle have a long history but Moro, the weird place that used to be a butchers and now the Ambassador and Konstam are all v.good. All very quiet, non-celebby, all related in a sort of restaurant version of a 'rock family tree'. All seem to be private startups with 'angel' style financing. (This should really be in another thread about Clerkenwell but I no longer have the power to merge them) I really think this is the most exciting area in town for restaurants at the moment. Oliver Rowe has had some shitty reviews which is a great pity because I like the idea of what he's doing, the place he's doing it and the low-key nature of his approach. I certainly intend to give him the benefit of the doubt while he shakes the place down.
  11. Judging by the recent wafflings of our government's think tanks the UK doesn't have a cohesive enough idea of "British" to allow useful definitions. T
  12. It's not just the same sentence - it's the same Americans. Theres an underground facility at the embassy in Grosvenor Square where they train a crack team of 24 extrovert Tennessee hog callers. Then they issue them with chemical warfare 'ceegars' and a series of scripted jokes about how the Brits have third-world plumbing and pre-enlightenment orthodontistry and dispatch them to postings in London's finest restaurants. The US takes its responsibility for providing national stereotypes extremely seriously - as indeed does the UK. Our public schools continue to turn out dim, braying, breadroll-chucking fops and shrieking, nymphomaniac gold-diggers at a level which frankly staggers the mind while the Cambridge Footlights are, even now, honing cruelty into weapons-grade sarcasm. I'm proud to say that sitting next to a table of well-trained, special-forces British Toffs can be every bit as ghastly an experience as anything the Yanks can devise. And if we don't get them at the table, the crack troops of our new 'Surly Fascist Cab Driver' training facility in deepest Essex will mop them up on their way back to their ludicrously overpriced hotel. Bung Ho T
  13. After his conspicuous failure to win the Royal seies of 'Big Cook Little Cook', I personally feel that the Rhodes concept should travel as far as possible. Apparently there's a place called Poonwhacket Stump, 500 miles NE of Alice Springs where they all have strange, mullety hair, where none of the local foodies would have any problem at all with sponsorship from Tate and Lyle or Sodexho and no-one will find anything remotely pervy about the way he croons the word 'Flavours'.
  14. Thanks everyone, Loads to go on here. Still can't track down that bloody sandwich thing though.
  15. Arse biscuits!!!! Well I hope whoever wins does something with loads of garlic in it. So what about the story of the Sleb Chef with the cocaine and rent boy problem? I suppose this means I have to treat that with a pinch of salt too.
  16. Was at a press event today with a chef/contestant and one of the food stylists from the show who ruefully confirmed that Gary will indeed win, by royal command, as predicted by Popbitch (and our own ChampagneSadie) over a month a ago. Makes you wonder why they bother really. ← Perhaps they bother because not everyone believes every rumour they hear? FYI, Gary lost his heat despite having two dishes the judges thought were outstanding, Atul goes through to the final: he may not have hit quite the same heights, but the judges reckoned he did better all round. ← Am I to understand that Rhodes got knocked out?
  17. So you're saying this forum is unmoderated? I don't think so! ← Well it is for the next 20 mins. I'm pissing off for a cuppa. You take over.
  18. (In line with user agreement, I disclose that I'm researching an article on edible flowers) I know I've seen somewhere, an old English recipe for flower petal sandwiches. Can anyone remember where or, indeed, suggest any other interesting directions.
  19. There are no moderators on eGullet, only forum hosts. ← Which is a shame really.... I rather like the idea of 'The Immoderate Moderator' as my sig. Still, "the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom" eh? ... as, indeed, the High Street of Penge leads to the Palace of Crystal.
  20. I'm intrigued that we've blessed this programme with this much discussion. It takes a subject we love and care about and reduces it to the level of early evening opiate for the slobbering addicts of the glass-fronted swill bucket. It's a calculated insult to food lovers across the country. Everything that we come to this site to talk about has been put on national television in a way that makes it look shallow, pointless and debased. I don't care for sport, but I'm fairly sure that if there was a programme going out at six every evening, seemingly forever, in which the country's top sports stars were expected to dress up as telly-tubbies and play with My Little Pony for the edification of the masses there would be revolution in the streets. There was national outcry when a politician and a feminist academic humiliated themselves on Big Brother. If we regard ourselves as lovers of cooking, restaurants, food writing, food criticism or just food, why are we not up in arms at this crap?
  21. Don't get me started on the BBC's patronising insistence on involving 'The Regions'. Admitedly anything that includes regionalism, the Royal family, an element of reality show and hour upon hour of infinitely repeatable dross is an absolute shoe-in for the BBC commissioners but I'd question, in many cases, the chefs' own commitments to their areas. There are few chefs with any profile in national media who are committed to serving their local community when they could be 'up London' and gurning onto screens nationwide. Sure, they all bang on about locally 'sourced' ingredients but only to the extent that it adds some gloss of authenticity to their schtick. 'Local ingredients' has become the knee-jerk touretting of a chef with bugger all to say and air to fill. It's only a notch more intelligent than the ever useful 'The lemon really cut's through the richness'. With, yet again, the noble exception of the Scots, there's not one of them who you don't feel would move straight to Notting Hill with the rest of the B List TV presenters if they got another show commissioned. A pox on the lot of them. I'm convinced that this show has marked the absolute nadir of the 'Chefs on Telly' craze. It's difficult to image how the whole business can do anything now but subside like an enormous, ruptured, guff-filled bladder.
  22. Was at a press event today with a chef/contestant and one of the food stylists from the show who ruefully confirmed that Gary will indeed win, by royal command, as predicted by Popbitch (and our own ChampagneSadie) over a month a ago. Makes you wonder why they bother really. Who cares what the wrinkly, scrotal old parasite gets for her tea anyway? Surely the only thing more supremely irrelevant that the monarchy is Gary Rhodes. In fact, I'm racking my brains to think of a single one of our 'celebrity' chefs who's come out of this with any distinction at all. Frankly, the entire thing might as well have been planned to show them up as the grasping, dead-eyed media whores they truly are. Maybe I shouldn't have had that last Margherita.
  23. We'll be spending a Saturday night in Nice (old town) in late June. Any restaurant recommendations would be appreciated.
  24. There's a stall at Borough, catty-corner to the Monmouth Coffee Co, next to the beer emporium with the weirdigan dressed as a Belgian monk. They do great tinned stuff cassoulet plus fantastic vac-packed landes duck confit. If you're not in London, of course, this information will be worse than useless but, hey, I tried.
  25. I always load up on the canned stuff whenever I'm in France. Canned cassoulet and corned beef are my only two tinned sins, lurking at the bottom of the larder waiting for a night when the missus is out and I can have any kind of fast, reheated ghastliness I fancy. Some canned stuff bears no resemblance to the original food but has a sort of life of its own - I'm thinking particularly about tinned peas and peaches - canned cassoulet also stands up by itself. I'm trying to pluck up enough courage to smear it on half a baguette and top it with a handful of rocket.
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