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Tim Hayward

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Everything posted by Tim Hayward

  1. I should be more accurate. I noticed initially that Jamie was mentioning 'New Season Olive Oil' several times in a programme, which was not a designation I'd particularly heard before going into Saino's and finding shelves full of it*. I'm now getting a degree of small minded entertainment out of spotting other references to, or shots of, products that are particular to Sainsbury. There was a certain amount of excitement in the marketing press many years ago when St. Delia specified a particular diameter of baking tin in a programme, something strangely random like 10.5 inches that was miraculously only available from one source. This was seen as a clever bypassing of product placement rules. Of course, we are much more sophisticated now and would never fall for such sneaky marketing tricks. *Given that the 'Delia Effect' is reputedly sufficient to wipe out entire national crops, it seems reasonable to assume that an uptick in sales for a particular product line after a Jamie show is worth striving for. For me it's no longer a question of 'if' product placement is taking place, it's the sport of spotting where and to what extent....But, again, perhaps I'm too cynical ETA: In case I sound curmudgeonly, I'm also loving the recipes this season. As always, in my book he's a brilliant cook and communicator. It just makes sense to remind myself who he works for.
  2. She's hardly alone in her acumen. Nigella's current vile series seems based entirely on the blinding consumer insight that 'people are too busy to cook' and Jamie's new series, in spite of the bucolic set (incorrectly billed as 'home) and the large garden of fresh veg seems to use a quite staggering number of packaged goods - coincidentally available from a particular major grocer near you. Both have quietly relinquished their former stances on ingredient sourcing and quality and are playing down organics and food miles. There seems to be a very coherent message here. It all seems to be about losing our guilt and feeling OK about going back to the supermarkets who really aren't so bad after all. ...or am I just a cynic?
  3. Rhetoric was never my strong point but it does seem that those ethical appeals here, based on personal experience of HB's food lack the requisite authority to carry the argument , while the pathetic appeals are based in a kind of laudable jingoism for the British food resurgence - but I'm not seeing a logical appeal.
  4. Surely he must lie awake at night wondering when he is going to be exposed. ← Either that or he's following the well worn path of Derren Brown, Paul McKenna and the rest of the half-baked charlatans from NLP into the magic circle. I seem to remember Mr Chuckles pulling the 'Magic Bottle' effect at a recent party for four year olds. They were delighted to be able to chose between orange and cranberry juice and if it worked for them it should go down a storm at the fat duck. If fact, if my experience was anything to go by, they'll be so excited some of them may wee. ETA: After a bit of a scout about - possibly a variation on the wonderfully named "Arsy-Varsy Bottle"? FETA: Or perhaps this "Miraculous vessel of the Greeks" (scroll up and down for many more fascinating vessels)
  5. Fish and Chips come in newspaper not finger-mimed quotation marks
  6. Is it really 'shite-awful', or is this just Hayward-hyperbole? ← Shite-average?
  7. Maybe it's just me but I'm absolutely staggered by the amount of coverage Aikens shite-awful chippie is getting. From the amount of PR activity you'd almost imagine they were looking for a scaleable model for a wider rollout. What are we going to moan about when there's no room left on our High Streets for McDs and KFCs because they're too full of Ramsay gastropubs, Carluccios delis and Aikens bloody chippies?
  8. Chiswick? Have you run mad? That's the bloody burbs. You'll be seriously suggesting I venture south of the river next.
  9. I should have made clear in my previous post that Bas is above reproach. Several of us are, in fact, considering chartering a plane to flee the metropolis and to head for Padders - it's always worth a 600 mile round trip to eat at Margots but V Day makes it a must The fact is that Margots is the sworn secret of discerning diners seeking a fine meal on the 14th - and of course, now Bas has blown the gaff we're all screwed.
  10. If I might humbly point you in this direction. Agree with all the above. This year, for another article, I spent some time researching availability. Half a dozen restaurants are now, without a hint of irony, offering 'special deals' (read, set menu and double price) 'throughout Valentines week'. Honestly... in London, fuhgeddaboutit.
  11. St John? ETA: Ooops. Not UK. The other old country.
  12. Was initially thinking American, but then Granny wouldn't have made an apple "tart". So possibly somewhere in Provence. Bistrot d'Eygalières? ← Not sure that 'tart' necessarily precludes America particularly on the West Coast. Also it's referred to as 'Chestnut Leaf Wrapped Goat's Cheese' rather that 'Banons' or whatever it is in France. The clue about 'simplicity' implies that it might be an older menu. I'd go for USA, post Paula Wolfert's re-launch of seven hour lamb but not as recently as that sexy little pork belly salad might lead us to believe. Chez Panisse? About five years ago?
  13. If we can play to Mornington Crescent rules
  14. Ah... now, you see... this, I like. When a large bald man, walks into your restaurant, sits down alone, whips out slim volume of critical essays, downs two bottles of excellent red and a couple of martinis and then reels toward the door, leering at the waitresses and threatening to vomit on fellow diners in a loud, slurring baritone... how can you have anything but respect for him? This has been my theory of dining alone for many years now. If I can't frighten them with a Moleskine or fascinate them with a script personally annotated by Brecht, I merely drink through the uneasiness - mine and theirs - and as there may be quite a lot of unease involved, I usually find the need to drink in some quantity. This makes me feel much more relaxed. So relaxed, indeed, that sometimes I have to have a little lie-down on the pavement outside.
  15. To be honest, the poor bloody photographer is the only one I have any sympathy for. He's probably used to trying to get upskirt shots of minor royalty outside Bouji's rather than this utter toot. By the look of it he turned up and tried to do a food shoot with a bag full of papping gear. At least he took the flash off the camera but it doesn't look like he could get either a diffuser or a reflector on his bike. The ham looks sweaty, the espresso's been standing around for days and everything else has the pale blue/greenish cast of overfierce Frankenstein flash. God help the poor bastard. I feel his pain. They're happy to hand out £1000 of free nosh to the 'consumer affairs editor' but bythe time the poor sweaty smudger turns up he gets three minutes with the leftovers and a bad-tempered waiter. Were it not already apparent for the whole awful idea - the PR should have been quietly shot in the head for this.
  16. Utter cock With the financial world in meltdown, a tenth rate piece of self promotion like this is as criminally ill-judged as it is tasteless. How can the phrase... ...make any Londoner feel other than sick with shame and embarrassment. Thanks a bunch Ms Neleen Strauss and "Chef" Robert Staegemann. If there were any justice in the world, arsepipes like you would end up with your heads on fucking pikes at the gates of the City. ETA: Jonathan Prynn, "Consumer Affairs Editor" and the Evening Fucking Standard also deserve special mention for passing on such a steaming pile of horseshit without irony or even adverse comment.
  17. In a previous life I used to travel the country a lot on business. I always found eating alone in a new town a completely lovely experience. On the other hand, almost anything would have been better than getting arsholed with the rest of the team in the hotel bar, spending the evening talking about work then morally corrupting myself with a workmate in a soulless 'executive' room. Personally, I can't offer any advice beyond 'take a good book', but a girl I used to work with swore that a Moleskine on the table would convince any restaurant with pretensions to quality that she was reviewing them. In the bottom of my travel bag I keep a prosthetic latex Michael Winner mask and a fat suit for the same purpose.
  18. Completely off topic, it my imagination or do Ramsay's female chefs all look very similar? The one now at RHR, the Foxtrot Oscar lady, the one he nicked from the Kitchen Nightmares veggie place in France who ended up working at Boxwood ... All mid-20s, dark hair and wan skin, slightly startled-rabbit look. Not suggesting anything here. Just saying. ← ...what? A little like boys in drag? I'd say that was bang on topic
  19. That's the spin, certainly. But doesn't it all look a little too PR-caressed for an elephantine corporate beast like GRH? ... It doesn't take a genius to work out that the group lacks a D-grade brand - a place on the high street to soak up after-work birthdays, weekday lunches with the man from head office, etc. Foxtrot Oscar looks to be his first stab towards the market currently ruled over by Carluccios, Balans etc. (Of course, by the time the brand reaches Slough High Street, it's unlikely that the chef making your Ceasar salad will have done two years at Guy Savoy.) By the way, I think I was wrong further up the thread. I'd now guess that the business will be floated in its an entirity - posh restaurants as well as pleb ones. Foxtrot, assuming it works, is there to complete the Powerpoint slide titled "Group brands - A to E". "Sentimental value"? You're kidding, right? ← Bloody brilliant analysis as always... someone should be paying you for this. It's interesting how much of the coverage of FO has stressed things like 'hangout', 'after hours', 'off-duty' etc. Of all the things you could say in relaunching a vile, unreconstructed Sloane Ranger shitehole like FO, one would have to say that 'it was Ramses after-work favourite' is carefully selected.
  20. You might want to think about Poole. Still a few reasonably active fishing boats there. You could also venture west, deeper into Dorset and rootle around Weymouth (couple of commercial boats) or even Bridport (9 million posh foodies down for the weekend and one bewildered old git with a lobster pot). I grew up in Bournemouth and rarely found decent fish without catching it myself. It's too near town so anything good gets chucked onto ice, into the back of the van and straight up to here where they know what to do with it. Unless things have really changed, the place on Mudeford Quay gets most of its stuff frozen, has a boat pull up every Sunday to please the tourists and mainly sells cups of IQF prawns and bait for the kids crabbing. I'd avoid it. Beandork's right. If you want mongering skills go to Fishworks unless you fancy ending up in a shed on an industrial estate in Hamworthy with 20 illegal East Europeans, gutting Atlantic bycatch for the US cat food market. I've learned more on dayboats than I have on land. Most of the captains are pretty good at the rudiments of gutting and filleting and there are some amazing fish to be had all along the coast. If it was me, I'd pack HFW's new fish book as bedtime reading, wrap up warm and hire a dayboat out of Poole or Mudeford. Bass, conger, some bloody huge skate, gurnard and, of course, millions of mackerel depending on season. What they won't tell you is that, for the really big stuff, when they don't have punters aboard, they tend to chum near the ends of the sewage outfall pipes. The big fish love the sandeels and the sandeels love the shit.
  21. What a vilely xenophobic and thoroughly unpleasant thing to say. Wish I'd thought of it first
  22. I know it sound counterintuitive but....pizza. It's food they recognise, it's fun to make and it gives you an opportunity to talk about how it's a healthy, well balanced meal when home made and vile colon clogging crap when miked in a bag from the supermarket. Whenever I've done school stuff, there's always been the assumption that healthy food is somehow punishing and different from what they really want to eat. I reckon there's a lot of mileage in teaching a better understanding of what they actually enjoy.
  23. in re that particular item... Can anyone tell me what an "Executive Sous Chef" is?
  24. ...to the point of undermining the entire ridiculous farrago. ← Pray, why no recognition for St John? Can anyone explain it to those of us across the pond? ← Occasionally Michelin come across something entirely outside of their frame of reference that food lovers are inconveniently making a fuss about. They have two responses. They can either do what they did with Heston and throw stars without really thinking where it's all going or they can do what they've done with Fergus.... ignore it and hope it goes away. There isn't a person who knows anything about food in the UK that wouldn't put St John right at the top of any list of influences. The fact that Michelin can't deal with this tells you all you need to know about their relevance. The fact that Fergus Henderson clearly couldn't give a fuck tells you all you need to know about his. "Cry 'God for Harry, England and Saint John!'" Huzzah!
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