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Lord Michael Lewis

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Everything posted by Lord Michael Lewis

  1. A classical and comprehensive book is Guria: cocina vascongada, ISBN: 84-221-0322-2
  2. When John Mariani wrote in 2000, He wasn't talking about Martin Berasategui. Rather, his subject was Heston Blumenthal, a man whose reputation was, arguably, built on purloining dishes from the then internationally obscure Spanish culinary vanguardia. Now, it seems, Spaniards are 'excited' about Mr Blumenthal's prescence at this gastro-summit. The question is, why?
  3. Well said! Now all that remains is to create a logical connection between this fascinating view of culinary scholarships, and the acceptability of Ginger-Chef's public bad-mouthing of his host, and you'll have an argument.
  4. Forgive me, but I was foolishly labouring under the impression that he had won, or been awarded, it, and thus it was for him. I now see clearly that his participation on eGullet has been part of a wider publicity campaign, and thus, the potential risks of bad-mouthing his current host for our entertainment are far outweighed by the potential benefits to the Roux brothers. Thanks for clearing this up.
  5. I hope for his own sake, that he does. Ginger-Chef, God bless him, has imprudently allowed himself to be drawn on certain topics that would have been better dealt with more discretely. As Fat Guy never tires of telling us, eGullet is teeming with important and influential industry figures and 'professionals'. Clearly, then, word could get back to M.B.; and, while fascinating it may be, Ginger-Chef's stage is for the benefit of Ginger-Chef alone, and was not specifically conceived for wider entertainment purposes.
  6. I would add Pedro Arregui's Elkano, in Getaria to this list.
  7. That would kind of suck, wouldn't it? Hopefully, the thought to do that would never cross anyone's mind here. I genuinely hope not, but if it did, Ginger-Chef would, frustratingly, have no one to blame but himself.
  8. All things created by the chef/owner (in this case anyway) giving the Stagiaire ample cause to think of the proprieter a a "git". You just don't get it, do you? There's a significant difference between calling one's mentor a 'git' in public and in private. Ginger-Chef is at present doing a stage at M.B. It's not beyond the realm of possibilty that someone pick up the telephone and inform M.B. that the British Roux Scholarship stagiare is slagging him off on a public discussion forum. Or do you think this is okay for either party?
  9. Does 'git' = jerk? yeah - but more pathetic It's a Britishism, right? I had to look it up in the dictionary, they say foolish or worthless person. I kind of knew it from context, I believe from Nick Hornby books. It's always too bad to hear that about a chef that has risen to the top. What does Martin Berasategui's personality have to do with his food? I don't like to hear a stagier calling his mentor a 'git'. Especially since the stagier will no doubt return home and cook Chef's dishes and use Chef's name as a significant career building block. Why should he be expected to have 'presence'? To expect a chef to have presence is more to do with an excess of viewing Food TV programmes than anything he might be capable of in the kitchen.
  10. No. You assume this. So the Michelin inspectors haven't made many recent visits to the restaurant? How long ago do you think it received its third star? 1950? Or are you saying you think Victor, Bux, Pedro, and Marina haven't visited and that their opinions are not valid? In the above list of assumptions, what am I assuming that every rational person in the world shouldn't agree with as a matter of the obvious? I think you're imagining a conversation in which nobody is participating but you. Might you be surprised to realize that I am in opposition to one of our Webzine's writers on this issue? It is probably pointless to even post this, but: First of all I've had some exceptional meals at M.B., but not recently. Secondly, I don't see Victor coming out in favour of M.B. Thirdly, whether or not M.B. is capable of producing sublime food seems irrelevant when discussing whether or not he is currently doing so. This discussion is bound to the present state of M.B., which is declension. Although your argument is clear, I fail to understand why you take this position with respect to a restaurant you're not familiar with. Why do feel that you must re-present the various opinions in your own image? Aren't readers able to come to their own conclusions?
  11. No. You assume this. Lunch after lunch, dinner after dinner Martin Berasategui is serving 'diners'. Not writers not moderators not 'destination restaurant' seekers. These are the people that keep a restaurant in business, and just because they don't post or have their own 'webzine', it doesn't follow, and I think even you will have to agree here, that their opinion is any the less valid. I think you're overestimating the authoritative value of your own website, which at best represents a tiny, and randomly informed, fraction of the dining public. Regarding the Michelin guide -- try speaking to a three-star chef next time you're in Europe -- it may be the hardest star to achieve, but is also the hardest to lose.
  12. Martin Bertasategui has gone downhill. Amongst people who've eaten there regularly, it's a fact rather than a suspicion. So I don't understand why people who have never eaten there begrudge this position. What is being said here -- that we have to wait until one of the board's 'professionals' has eaten there to give credibility to our opinions? Everyone is aware of the danger of absolute statements; this is not something that's just been discovered. Nevertheless, life is short, Martin Berasategui is expensive, and the US/UK is a long way away. So, in order that no one wastes their time and cash unnecessarily, I think we can dispense with such guarded language. Indeed, if what is being recommended is that every write up of disappointing meal is tempered with -- but it was probably an off night, and we wouldn't want to put anyone off, etc., then we might as well not bother.
  13. I was in Barcelona a few days ago, and I saw that the top the top of La Rambla there is a Starbucks. I'm sure the locals will be overjoyed -- finally, somewhere that serves shit coffee.
  14. Grieg's Grill, Bruton St. Mayfair. Well done! Thoroughly recommendable, by the way, and an antidote to London's trendy chef-wankers.
  15. 'X's English salad with Cheddar, tomato, ham and boiled-egg. Mixed grill (lamb-cutlet, steak, sausage, kidney, and bacon). 'Y' Lady - vanilla ice cream with cream and chocolate sauce.
  16. If you're serious about cooking you will certainly find a range very limiting. Go modern, go industrial. Electric convection oven with steam option, and and a 'heavy' gas oven for roasting etc. Gas hob with six burners with the option of a small removable cast iron plaque on one of them. Counter sunk deep fat fryer. Industrial kitchen machinery is streets ahead of its poncey domestic offspring, and is available is sizes perfectly suited to domestic kitchens, and all in brushed steel.
  17. Absolutely. Why not? I've had it made with Trapittu, a great extra virgin oil from Sicily, and it was sensational. After all, the only thing that's Basque in this dish is Basque culinary genius (which ain't hay, of course). All the ingredients are non-Basque: the olive oil is from Andalusia, Catalonia or La Mancha... or Sicily; the garlic is from las Pedroñeras, in La Mancha (the famed 'purple garlic'); and the salted codfish is from... Norway, usually. Culinary nationalism holds no interest to me. The only reason I write more about Spanish food and cuisine than about other cuisines is because I know it better than other cuisines and it's less well-known than other cuisines, so maybe what I have to say is a bit more interesting to other people than if I were to pontificate on the proper blanquette de veau... But I never forget that most cuisines are the result of some sort of fusion, be it recent or old. And I do love the great olive oils from Italy, whose quality levels are what ambitious Spanish oil producers have as their goal nowadays. Victor, don't be surprised if you see this quoted in the Spanish press.
  18. It is exceptionally low for Spanish olive oils, and I doubt you are suggesting the use of Italian olive oils for pil-pil. Besides which, 1º acidity is desirable in bacalao al pil-pil for the reason already stated. If being 'technically right' is the same as being correct, then I agree with you. However, I felt, amongst such illustrious company, little need to overtly state the blindingly obvious role of water in an oil based emulsion.
  19. I've had the best of both types of asparagus and fresh is by far superior. Nevertheless, I will admit that other conservas, like piquillo peppers, bonito de norte, anchovies are fantastic. Indeed, in the case of bonito del norte and anchovies the process of preserving can be considered an elaborate and unique form of preparation. It is said that bonito del norte preserved in olive oil shouldn't be eaten until at least a year after preserving. Leeks and Asparagus, on the other hand, don't lend themselves as well to the process and end up tasting of the liquid they were preserved in; a frustrating reminder of how good these can taste when fresh. In more general terms, preserved foods are of primal importance in regional eating around the globe, and the many examples of which are often the highlights of cuisines. I would be mistrustful of anyone who preferred fresh pork to the hams of Montanchez, or Alsace bacon. However in the spectrum of food preservation, I would posit that boiled and brined leeks and aparagus are an anomaly.
  20. To be fair (to me) I'm not recommending high acidity, rather 1º acidity which is common for cold pressed olive oils. I say 'relatively' high acidity because the current vogue in the U.K. is for oils, D.O. Baena for example, which have exceptionally low 0.3-4º acidity. I genuinely believe this to be true, and concede that bacalao al pil-pil is way over my head, give me the robustness of a la vizcaina any day. It is amazing because, unlike alioli, the garlic in the sofrito is not the emulsifying agent in pil-pil, but rather, as anyone who has ever made will know, it is the milky white gelatinous serum exuded when the bacalao reaches a certain temperature. Thank you for so eloquently re-stating this for me, although in the original I specifically stated that piri-piri was African because, well, it is Kiswahili for cayenne (or something similar). It arrived in Portugal via the latter's former African colonies in Mozambique. Nevertheless, I stand amended.
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