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society donor
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  1. You know, I've been reading this thread, and really, I have no choice. I just have to agree. I really am brilliant. Right. You can all carry on now.
  2. Oh, you knew eventually I wouldn't be able to resist. Thanks for the kind words. Gary, the white oval side dish of over-cooked vegetables is still a curse. @sped98 - you are of course entitled to dislike me. But I do have to ask a) did you watch this series of Masterchef Pro - and hear what I said about some of the contestants? Hell, I offered to marry Ollie his cooking was so good. b) I don't want to sound patronising so I'll just assume you understand that we film each of those for six hours and then the editors take over. They grab the faces - just as they do Monica's during the skills test - because that's what telly does. @Harters - not sure what you mean about us being paid to act out a script. We are given no direction whatsoever. As to the 'going up to Yorkshire' line, you know full well that charge can't be levelled at me. Indeed, my second review of 2012 will be from Leeds. And it ain't the Flinn's new ribs venture. But for all the other nice words, thank you
  3. It's a lot of fun. I'll be doing an event on the Saturday, 5pm... the joys of the bad restaurant review. Advert over.
  4. @TORRES - the last time I dined outside London? Last Tuesday. And the last time before that was the Monday before. Read my column and you'd know the answer. It's just a list, people. Does it claim to be the final word? Absolutely not: we gather 800 people from around the world and ask them to nominate their top 5 restaurants. we throw in a couple of criteria - at least two must be outside their own region, they must have eaten there in the last 18 months, we don't insult them by asking for receipts - then we add up the votes and reveal the list. Personally from my experience of eating internationally I'd say three out of 50 for Britain is about right. I'd have loved to see a couple of other places on there - le champignon sauvage perhaps, the sportsman in Kent - but I don't think their absence means the list is laughable. And if other people agreed with me and had voted for them they would have been there. It's a list. Which means that once a year lots of people talk about restaurants as if they matter. That has to be a good thing.
  5. Happy to take credit for the sudden bump in offal content on the menu. You can see why on the One show tomorrow night - though obviously we wentn to film Rob because he is a terribly offal man (see what I did there, Thom?)
  6. For those in the UK, season one of Top Chef Masters starts screening on the Good Food Channel at 8pm, tomorrow, January 4.
  7. Lord God, I sat through the real thing often enough. A dvd of that would count as cruel and unusual punishment. Count me out.
  8. No insight to offer, I'm afraid. Each of these series is shot some time in advance (this one, back in March). When we get there for each day's shoot we have no prior knowledge of who has done what, nor are we told who actually does go home as a result of what we've said, let alone who eventually wins (indeed, competitors sign agreements promising not to reveal anything). So essentially what you saw was what we got: four cooks, three courses each, staggered serving over the course of three to four hours. The clear winners on the days I did itn were Marianne Lumb - her rhubarb tarte tatin was extraordinary, a technical as well as gastronomic triumph - and ludo. His pear and roquefort souffle was masterful. Compared to those two the others were also rans. and that's all I have for you Jay
  9. There were a bunch of different situations. Some of them required staggered start times, the lost meal for example, and the re-engineered signature dishes. So the issues with Suzanne's cold fish was hers not the shows. Things like the canapes cocktail party and the buffet challenge was designed in such way so that the food should have been at its best whenever we ate it. That was part of the challenge. And we made a point of eating dishes in an order us judges afreed on, starting with mildets to strongest so a subtle dish wasn't destroyed by the force of the one preceeding it. At no point did the demands of the show work to the detriment of the food.
  10. Hope you don't mind me putting you on the spot, Jay, and pardon this question if it's a bit silly and meaningless... but if you had to pick one dish from the entire TCM show, which one would you choose? ← Hmm. A good question. Michael's shortrib really does stick out, but... I'll go for three, if that's okay: Michael's shortrib, anita's original dish of scallops with sea urchins and rick's final pork.
  11. This is all exceptionally silly. I know that no offense was taken. He thought it was hillarious. REMEMBER: I WAS THERE.
  12. Right. The two professional critics rated him a full star higher, and Oseland, in his minimal explanation of his rating of MC's food said something about the seasoning of the polenta. ← Get real people. James scored it as he saw it. No vendetta. No rage. No argument. To be honest, I wasn't even aware there was any issue until the show went out, and I spent 14 hour days with all these people. Oh, and of course it's not objective. i'm not bloody objective. neither's Gael. We are experienced eaters who were required to back up our scores with a reasonable explanation for why we gave them. That's all. For what it's worth Chiarello's low point, his fish, was an awful lot lower than rick's, the seafood stew/ 'air' combo. Michael's short rib was spectacular, possibly the bets single thing we ate during that meal, but putting the three good dishes side by side - Rick's quail, pork and mole; Michael's Gnocchi, potted dish and short rib - Rick came out on top. simple as that. And that's why he won.
  13. Good on you naebody. It is indeed one of those. My excuse: as I read it back on proof I thought maybe I should attribute. But I realised it would just make a great gag look horribly pretentious. Better to lose it, then do that and I didn't want to lose it. This - getting my apology in first, to the only audience which might give a damn - seemed a better solution.
  14. Just off on holiday but wanted to say, before I go, that in a review, which may run while I'm away, I half-inch one of Calvin Trillin's better jokes without attribution. Shameful behaviour. But I'm owning up here. Now, when I receive emails screaming j'accuse, I can point 'em here. Ithankyou. Of course, now no one will spot it.
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