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Table Talk

AA Gill

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Went to a dinner party with friends where food was so bad he sent it back ("I can't eat this"). Hostess agreed it was awful so all wound up in kitchen cooking omelettes. That was 10 years ago and has had desired effect - no-one has asked him to dinner since.

Doesn't object to fussy food, but objects to the over-long gaps between courses caused by chefs spending too much time arranging stuff on plate.

Restaurants forget they're meant to be a hospitality service - think they're just there to sell food.

Can divide world into wheat eaters and rice eaters. Rice will support more mouths per hectare, but it is so labour intensive that it needs all those mouths (hands) to cultivate it. Whereas wheat supports a smaller popn, but takes less effort, so popn has yime to develop a social system and tech that ends up colonising the rice eaters.

few skilled chefs around now. Most people in kitchen are artisan-level assemblers. Catering wholesalers deliver ingredients at different skill levels, from competent to Irish barman.

The English Breakfast - how many fatty, oinky bits can you get on one plate?

"He moved his little glass as if he'd personally knitted Yorkshire."

Crit English cooking using Italian recipes bc food is actually different: English tomatoes, forced under glass, taste completely insipid vs tomatoes grown in hot Med climate. Basil, which grows like a weed in Italy, is so dear in England that cooks use only a few scraps.

Fr or It cooks don't work out of cookbooks - they don't have kit porn on shelves - they plan their evening meal around what is available that day in the market.

You get good by cooking the same thing 20 times, not 20 things once.

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