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Jonathan Meades on British Food


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Meades always was a pompous wanker. His restaurant reviews were opaque. I'd read them, re-read them, ponder one or two of the jokes, sigh, and wonder what the restaurant was like. His replacement, Giles Coren, is loads better, IMO.

Each to their own, I suppose, but I always found Meades' restaurant reviews very entertaining and informative. I also found his opinion on the various restaurants that I'd also eaten in/I went to subsequently to be spot on. His reviews usually had enough detail on the establishment in question for me to get a good (and accurate, based on the ones I visited) idea of what the restaurant (and often the surrounding area) was like. IMO, obviously.

PS

Edinburgh

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Tough Cookies is a very good read.

The Evening Standard describes Tough Cookies as 'surely the most obsequious book on chefs that has ever been published.'

And at the launch party, Gordon Ramsay made Jonathan Meades look positively compassionate, with his sensitive evaluation of the book's main drawback, 'The only trouble is that 90 per cent of chefs can't read."

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A few points from Sunny Cornwall. And in no particular order.

Meades always was a pompous wanker. His restaurant reviews were opaque. I'd read them, re-read them, ponder one or two of the jokes, sigh, and wonder what the restaurant was like.

I like Meades writing style. It amuses and challenges me. I think we review restaurants as we eat at them personally. The review can only ever be a guide.

I also enjoy his point about anticipation being better than savouring. Our imaginations are surely the most lively part of our minds, so is not the savouring inevitably disappointing?

I still believe that there is far too much of the Emperor's New Clothes about the 'pinnacle' of today's restaurateurism. Granted, I am not one to afford these clothes, but all the same common sense reviewing is all too often lacking, and I'm afraid that common sense includes a respect for education.

"One is reminded (Oh, is one?) of sportspeople whose devotion to one pusuit (sic) at the expense of all others renders them inarticulate... insouciant - as though the price of success has been a sort of eletive autism." (For one's information, apart from poor spelling (which the sub-editor should have caught) he's making up words here - "eletive" is in no part of the Oxford English Dictionary (another autistic trait, Mr. Meade - making up new words?)

I'm afraid that use of 'non'-words is to be magnificated perumptiously. Come on, how does language evolve? I have rarely misunderstood Meades and his peculiar lingo.

Finally, I really disagree with Meades' last paragraph. Utter, utter crap. But hey, let's laugh at him. He had to finish triumphantly: he just got it wrong this time.

Arrividerci, mon brave.

slacker,

Padstow, Cornwall

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Dear Best-of-all-Davids,

yes, of course it's okay to use both the first person formal 'one' and to make up words using basic grammatical rules - that's what English is (other than a conglomeration of Greek and Latin suffixes and prefixes); the loose property of an hoard of linguistic bandits. The point I was trying to make was that whilst he was being so insufferably patronising, specifically (in my opinion) about class and education, he was doing so while breaking the rules of his own supposed education, in a manner which, it seemed to me, he didn't expect to be challenged on.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I expect that JM intends to be read with less of a pinch of salt than I award him.

Both points you make are valid, but they (i.e. he not you :wink:) entertain rather than annoy me.

Edited for PS: Is not Best-of-all-Davidness a shade patronising? :) Oh bugger I've missed another joke.....

Edited by slacker (log)

slacker,

Padstow, Cornwall

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  • 3 years later...
The pleasures of ostentatiousness have nothing to do with it - as I doubt there's little which is actually pleasurable. The effect of ostentatiousness however is like the effect of publicity - bums on seats. In this Ramsay is the master. Wareing has occasionally dabbled (under the master's eye). But Blumenthal?

This comment is now seeming a little dated!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Yeah. Mea culpa. I think we can expect a hooded man on a motorbike riding up to Petrus any day now and robbing the till/stealing the reservation book etc etc.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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