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  1. UK members will probably have seen the BBC TV series 'Masterchef', featuring ultra-competitive would-be chefs who are driven to produce perfection in an atmosphere filled with tension. Like this ...
  2. Rayner is a mixture of the balanced and erudite (for example, his book A Greedy Man in a Hungry World) and the purveyor of humour which is - to be charitable - an acquired taste! His latest review, of the Oxfordshire (UK) Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is, I think, most enjoyable. I didn't know it was probably the most expensive restaurant in Britain. Is that true? It's here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/15/le-manoir-aux-quat-saisons-restaurant-review
  3. We often eat at the Cote restaurant in St. Martin's Lane (next door to the Coliseum opera house), but there are other locations, as here: http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/Location_London.html The pre-theatre menu is excellent value: last week three of us had three courses plus wine, coffee and cognac. The total bill was about £88 - say £60 without the alcohol. We haven't yet eaten from the a la carte, but it looks good value. Food quality and service are fine. The staff are French and the food basic French but not idiosyncratic. Theatregoers fill the place between about 5:00 and 7:00 - it quietens off after seven.
  4. To agree with ThayerG: Curry powder is useful for devilled eggs. It is ironically mostly useless for any attempts at Indian food. OK for Kedgeree, too - but that's not Indian, of course. (British Raj maybe!) And I'd endorse others who have suggested using individual spices. You can use lots, or just a few. Whatever else, I'd suggest fresh root ginger, garlic and toasted crushed cumin as the base. The ginger in particular gives a depth of flavour. Here in the UK I find it hard to get hold of another essential: curry leaves (Murraya koenigii) unless dried. Living in an area with a big Asian community, that's unfortunate.
  5. Is this connected to the microwave culture? Here in the UK one can buy part-baked "baguettes", ciabattas, etc. which often have microwave instructions on the pack. Maybe that gives some the impression they are eating freshly-baked bread?
  6. I seem to be resurrecting this after a year, but my excuse: I'm new here. A restaurant reviewer who particularly irks me is Matthew Norman in the (UK) Daily Telegraph. When he gets to the meal itself, he's to the point, but that's generally more than half way through the review! Because he also writes about sport, music and politics, his reviews are too widely spread. But the Telegraph does have some excellent food writers: Victoria Wood on wine and Xanthe Clay on just about anything gastronomic.
  7. Hello Peter. I don't know how typical I am, but when I cook lunch I need to think of the wine which will go with it. As already pointed out, this is personal and often hit-miss. However, I've found: • Tomatoey dishes tend to go with light, uncomplicated Italian reds. I think dishes such as 'The Imam Swooned' do, as well. • Dishes with a strong olive/ lemony zing - try Greek Retsina (if you can still get it). • Orientals (with ginger, soy sauce, etc.) German or Alsace medium dry acidic wines. • High spice dishes (eg. vegan chilli, Moroccan tagine) I stick to beer - light Belgian 'blonde' for instance. The range of vegan dishes you can cook is really wide, and we eat them often because we like them. Because I'm not vegan, though, I can't add anything to the advice about authentically vegan wine.
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