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Everything posted by PS

  1. We were there last month and had a very good meal again - it didn't seem as memorable as our first visit, but then your first time is also that little bit special, eh? There wasn't a single dish on the Intermediate menu that we'd had the year before and while it was a shame to see some great dishes go, the menu's evolution was both interesting and impressive, and the food was just as good (I don't know how chef Rogan has time for cooking all that food and developing the menu). I'd dig out the menu we had, but based on the pace of development of the kitchen I wouldn't be surprised if it's evolved again. A sample, and reasonably up to date, menu is available on the L'Enclume website. Anyway, I think I'd have to go for the Introduction menu if I were visiting at lunch time for the first time, although I haven't tried the conventional 3 course menu. I don't think you'll get the Cubism in foie gras, two cold, one hot as Mr Rogan had moved on to an equally tasty and entertaining Foie gras cubism to realism with, I think, lemon cake. You may have to let them know in advance if you want the Introductory menu though. Mind you, when we there they were also doing what seemed an excellent value table d'hote 3 courser for (again, don't quote me on this) I think £20. I'm definitely going to get back there again this year, maybe to try the summer menu. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Cheers, Philip
  2. I'm in the calm before the storm of selling my flat and (I hope) buying a rundown place with plenty of potential for a large dining-kitchen, so my mind is turning to all things kitchen, central to which is a range cooker. Has anyone any experience of the Cannon 1000 Professional cooker? At anything from £900, it seems to be remarkably good value, but I have no knowledge of Cannon at all. John Burton Race is fronting their campaign, claims to have one at home and has a suitably doesn't-suffer-fools-gladly image to suggest that he wouldn't put his name to any old piece of crap, but that'll be exactly what Cannon want you to think. Any comments?
  3. Some do, but most don't - or at least don't advertise it. However, those that don't explicitly advertise themselves as BYOB may be open to persuasion if you call up in advance. In Edinburgh the ones that do say they're BYOB tend to be at the cheaper (student) end of the market. It's been a while since I've been to one, but I think corkage used to be £2 or £3, or thereabouts.
  4. PS

    L'Os A Moelle

    L'Os is one of those places that I've been meaning to go to for years but never seem to quite manage it - either I've tried to book but they're full or we've ended up going to familiar and trusted places like La Regalade or Chez Michel. How busy was the restaurant the night you were there? Did you have to book far in advance?
  5. Is there a season for snakes? I've only been to Hong Kong in the summer and have never seen snake available. I'm going to be there in March this year though, so maybe I can get lucky this time...
  6. My annual (well I went there at the same time last year) trip to L'Enclume is lined up for February. I wouldn't mind a trip to Northcote as well - went to a wedding reception there a couple of years ago and the food was very good considering the numbers involved.
  7. Good work, John. Making a cassoulet is right up there on my list of top dishes to attempt (I just need to rope in a few hearty-appetited types to assist with its disposal) so I look forward to the rest of your foodblog. I'm also a big fan of Sillfield Farm produce. Last I heard, they were planning to open a shop in Windermere - if it's up and running in Feb I'll be in there for lots of pig when I'm down in Cumbria next. Farmer Sharp's mutton is A1 as well.
  8. An outbreak of common sense as Ofcom, the UK's broadcasting watchdog, in response to 57 complaints from memebrs of the public, has ruled that Ramsay and Jamie "sheepkiller" Oliver slitting a lamb's throat in his Jamie's Great Escape series treated the issue of animal slaughter in a "responsible" way and had not breached TV guidelines. The regulator noted that it was clear that Jamie O found the killing "emotionally difficult". Re Oliver's sheep-slaying: "There were no graphic distressing scenes and the programme sought to reflect a tradition that has been going on throughout the world, and in that particular part of Italy, for thousands of years." Re Ramsay's turkey-topping: "While the procedure itself was shown in full, there were no unduly distressing scenes."
  9. HFW's website RiverCottage has a high-level what's in season now section, which can be useful if you're away from your cookbook library but near a computer, but the RC Year has a good deal more detail in it.
  10. Looks like Keller's done well out of Christmas - I got a copy of Bouchon as well. Also: Thierry Breton's De Terre et De Mer - recettes de Chez Michel (I'm going to have to work on my french cooking vocab again) Larousse Cocktails Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany And a bottle of Tomintoul Glenlivet 12 year old, which must have been in my dad's cupboard for 20 years at least - the bottle design is straight out of the 70's - it looks like an enormous bottle of aftershave... Also, as a present to self, Hugh Johnson's Wine, A Life Uncorked
  11. Just thinking of the number of times I set off our smoke alarm when roasting meat (from browning rather than burning the meat, I should point out), are there certain dishes that you simply can't cook in a sub due to alarm systems etc that are integral to the security of the vessel?
  12. That's been my theory for a long time. I work 9am-5.30pm. If I get away from work sharp, then I can get to the butchers (Crombies) just before they close (at 6pm), but I've got no chance of getting to a fishmonger, with the result that I only have fish on a Saturday, if ever. In so many other countries the shops open later and close later, so you can do your shopping after work. In Edinburgh, the town centre can be deserted after 6pm - although I'm sure there was something in the Evening News recently that a number of shops (the likes of Harvery Nichols) were supporting an intiative to stay open later during the Festival - hopefully, if that is a success they'll extend it throughout the year and maybe, just maybe some of the food stores might stay open... Anyway, back to markets: I'd like to shop in a market, but really struggle to get to the farmers market on a Saturday morning because I'm playing sport on Saturdays. I went to the Leith market a couple of times on a Sunday, but the range wasn't great and it's since died out due to wrangles over its site, which was a bit hidden away.
  13. I'd third Chez Michel - never had a less than good meal there in something like 8 or 9 visits. Not sure about websites, but if you're concerned about booking in French over the phone I wouldn't worry - the staff there speak English.
  14. I've never had a cafetiere/french press where the filter mesh goes all the way down to the bottom of the flask - they've always stopped one or two cm from the bottom, so there's always a liquid and grounds mix at the bottom. I don't think they've all been Bodums either.
  15. PS

    The F Word!

    On the whole, I enjoyed it. It made a better stab at the format than Full On Food anyway (I know a lot of people will say that wasn't difficult, but there you go). And it may just improve as it gets into its stride. I thought the cooking sections were fine - It's not a traditional dish-by-dish recipe show. I suppose there's an argument that if he's trying to encourage people (sorry, women) to cook then he should be doing simple stuff and doing it step by step, but, really, who tries to cook straight from the TV show? I'd feel pretty comfortable trying to recreate any of those dishes and if I really needed a recipe I could buy the book that has no doubt been released in time for Christmas. The turkey section was overlong, but I'm not sure why it was "off-putting" for Nicolai. I couldn't care less about what goes into kebabs, but it's of interest to some. Hopefully they'll manage something a bit more interesting/substantial next time. No problem with Giles Coren as GR's stooge. He may even grow into the TV role. And, yes, get rid of the "celebs" (what purpose does the revelation that Martine McC "doesn't know how to switch on her oven" serve, beyond being a role model for people who don't cook? And who were the two columnists?). Finally, does GR have a clause in his contract that every show he does for C4 must include a shot of his chest?
  16. PS

    Women Can't Cook

    They don't even have to be cooking to get that shout, just in the vicinity of the fridge
  17. PS

    Women Can't Cook

    Extending the quote from GR I made in my earlier post, you can see that he is saying that the same standard does appear to apply to young men: "Seriously, there are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives, whereas men are finding their way into the kitchen in ever growing numbers." I'd agree with that as well - all the friends of my generation who are most into cooking are men.
  18. PS

    Women Can't Cook

    Ah, the usual pre-series TV chef “controversy”. What next? The Welsh can’t cook? Left-handers can’t cook? To be fair to Gogsy, though, the press have done their usual wrong end of the stick thing by padding out the “story” with chat about the likes of Rose Gray, Ruth Rogers and Angela Hartnett. The quote from where all this hoo-ha appears to be coming from is “there are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives”, which hardly equates to the blanket “women can’t cook” headlines. In my experience, he’s got a point though. My gran or mum would never have claimed to be great cooks, but everything they prepare(d) was from the base ingredients, not out of tins, jars etc. (although, obviously, ready meals were not as prominent back then and it could be argued being able to cook was more of a necessity). Now, a lot of the girls of my generation either don’t know how or aren’t prepared to cook meals from scratch. Some are “too busy” (though my full time employment doesn’t stop me preparing my own meals), some actually claim to like ready meals, saying they are better than what they can make themselves (which confirms GR’s point), while others seemed to avoid learning these skills as some kind of feminist gesture (“a woman’s place is not in the kitchen”). Some can and do cook, but they do seem to be in the minority.
  19. Judging by the number of seasonal specials on offer at Chez Michel on Monday, Thierry Breton has got his hands on a considerable quantity of game. I'd tell you what it was, but I'm afraid my game vocab wasn't up to the task.
  20. Thanks everyone - some interesting suggestions there. It will certainly be an opportunity to try something new - who knows, on a pleasant evening stroll we may find one of those small scale local bistros that I keep hearing about!
  21. Staying in the Latin Quarter. near the Sorbonne. I'm eyeing up Le Comptoir for lunch on Saturday, which should take care of my gastronomic concerns for one day at least... In the past I've managed to drop in to a few local bistros with good results. I'm just wondering there are any of the bigger bistro draws that one can be reasonably sure of not needing a reservation.
  22. I'm visiting Paris over the weekend, but have managed to fail to plan (yes, for all you management gurus, I have therefore planned to fail... ). I have bagged a table at an old favourite Chez Michel on the Monday night, but I fear I've left it too late to book something for Saturday or Sunday (tried Aux Lyonnais earlier, but they're fully booked). So, the question here is, can anyone recommend an establishment that is: a) open for Saturday and/or Sunday evening; and b) will take hungry eaters without reservations from off the street? Au Pied du Cochon springs to mind, but any advice will be gratefully received. Merci bien, Philip
  23. We had a really good 30 euro lunch menu there back in June. From the menu: L'amuse bouche du jour Tartare de saumon a l'huile parfumee et Brousse de brebis aux herbes, Tuile au pavot Faux filet "Boeuf femier de l'Aubrac" grille avec Aligot de Montagne Giboulee de Cerises en chaud-froid a la glace Pistache et ses Jesuites tiedes It's been a while, but I seem to remember the perfumed oil with the salmon being delicious, the steak and aligot was magnificent - simply and perfectly done. The dessert was also splendid - again, simply done but a great mix of flavours. (I took a phot of the menu, hence the better recollection of the menu names than the actual dishes) All in all, we thought it was excellent value and fortified us sufficiently to go and spend 300 euros on some superb Laguiole knives...
  24. Just had a look at Shuns on t'internet and they do look decent. How do they compare price-wise? Cheers, Philip
  25. Got one from Pots and Pans in St Andrews today, so it must be a nationwide offer. I'd agree it's a good 'un. Can't say I've ever had any trouble with Global knives, fisherman - judicious use of the ceramic steel keeps them sharp enough for my unsuspecting father-in-law to cut himself when he'd cutting tomatoes.
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