When it is time to move on......could I go back to uk?

When we sell and slow right down could I go back to uk?

Where to?

What for?

Would you go back?

France is teaching the English to deal with Alzhimas and all these awful

problems relating to disorientation and memory tangles.

Many of us will experience illness of some kind as we journey through

the years but to loose contact, understanding is deverstating and to be loved and wanted

is almost everything.

Clear communication enables us to express ourselves and reach out towards


That is exactly what happens on here.

Just as an example....

So, perhaps go back to the chunky chips on the Southend beach and the buy one get one free

a tin or packet of preservatives....

I fear that those addicted to the doctors surgery and the constant attention to all things

me and my body.....without knowing the function of the organs and the interest in others ....

UK is not the place to be. Here we can toddle down the cobbles and seek attention.

I was in India after all, not a Soho restaurant. I had serious doubts but the sauce worked. I would never try to make it myself though.

I have a couple of Peter Gordon's books and have tried a fair bit out. Fantastic stuff indeed. Anyway, I remember in the introduction of one book he said he left his native New Zealand in 1989. Kai Thai Fusion by London Bridge opened well before then. I think he made it popular in the UK rather than 'invent' or introduce it. He certainly doesn't say so in his books.

It's a lovely area around the Essex/Suffolk border. I was lucky enough to spend most of my childhood holidays in that area

Ok, thanks for the info Shirley, I knew it was well over to the east somewhere ! The food seemed ver 'heavy' if you know what I mean ? Food for a cold climate maybe ?

Nowt wrong with Maurice, my mum had two hearthtrobs (neither was my dad !) Robert Mitchum and Slasher...

YES as J said Peter Gordon brought fusion cooking from OZ to England

and has written several books on the subject.

J said that the Haggis and Baj is confusion not Fusion c ooking.

Well Brian, perhaps I was not being a puritan of fusion but as much as I like Haggis

and a good onion bhajee in the right setting.....and I can do without whisky sauce at all

times and with all dishes.

I remember Peter Gordon and his compositions like roasted mango, and pan fried

chicken with ginger slivers and coconut served aubergine cakes and pilloa rice....

whereabouts.....THIS would work.

Not just French and Asian please. I have had West African and Spanish fusion, was eating I-Thai as long ago as the late 80s and Indian with Scots (!!) was weird but great. Hot spiced haggis, with onion bhajees, saffron rice and a whisky based curry sauce (I joke not) in Bangalore at one of the city's top restaurants owned by one of the brothers of our host at the conference I was presenting at. Fusion is limitless, some is astounding and some of it, yukkkkk!

Ah Dedham, Dedham Mill on the Stour. Memories indeed. I used to teach one day a week at that big campus type place in Wivenhoe for a year and stayed overnight the day before so that I was there for 0900. The friends I taught on the course for lived just near Dedham and back then, early 90s, there was already good food thereabouts.

Not had a roast since I left home. Sunday was the worst torture of the week. My mother was definitely, no other contenders possible,the worst cook in the world. She could turn a large piece of beef into something black the size of a tennis ball without trying. She was the reason I took up cooking, even before I left actually. I vowed never to be subjected to such terrible food day in, day out ever again in my life.

I had my 50th treat at Le Gav! My by then two months ex was in the UK for a few weeks, still had a room at my house so put me in my car, drove us to Saffrom Walden, on the train and me still wondering what was going on. I knew it would be a treat. When we got there we were expected, a bottle of Cristal de Roederer was brought to table in a cooler and I just sat and was served what was pre-ordered, all favourites that she knew, in silence and eating. I have no idea what the bill was but I believe the bubbles was around £200 alone! No matter what happens to my memory nothing will erase that one.

Fusion food is a marriage of Asian influence and French cuisine...

often uniting flavours and textures which are not an obvious match made

in heaven but the flavours usually work really well for a well travelled palat.

Just got back from a good restaurant

at st Pey de Castets

amuse bouche of a light ravioli and boudin blanc

a tiny herring and prawn cocktail

a small carrot soup>>>VERY HOT

starter tempura of Dublin bay prawns....excellent quality

some scollops which sat in a rissotto well flavoured with parmesan

and a little fish sauce like a bouloubesque.

then a very tender stake

garnished with toasted foie gras

gratin dauphinoise with bacon

sauce of truffle VERY light and not too much

Dessert a little crumble of golden delicious and rhubarb

served with some vanilla ice cream and something pink and creamy.

I liked Table Leo but it is 2 HRS FROM me.

There is an interesting one in Agen .....

Fusion is the mix between different cuisines...so an element of Asian ingredients in an Italian dish....or an African dish jazzed up with Thai seasoning...some of it works....some of it is an experiment that shouldnt have happened!

Your comments on macaroni cheese, one of my favourites..but have you tried it the new way as recommended by Heston Blumenthal? the cheese sauce is made in a completely new way...if you have time on your hands and want to try something quite different...http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/heston-blumenthal/macaroni-cheese-recipe let me know how it turns out.

Re: steam ovens. I love them! am waiting for our next house which we hope to remodel from an old shell. The list of requirements for the kitchen includes a bread oven and a steam oven. Steam ovens will be the next big thing Im sure, and bread made in a steam oven is something else entirely. We used to buy our bread from the steam oven bakers in Brighton, twice the size due to the steam action and light as a feather.

I think the Roux collection of restaurants are doing very well.....as is Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons if the waiting lists are anything to go by. There will always be a place for classics.

I find the new methods of cooking, be that following the molecular gastronomy method or Fusion foods exciting though, and given the choice, I will choose new menu's and different choices. We have never been the 'joint on Sunday, cold on Monday etc' type of people. Maybe the fact our UK cuisine was so dire at one time, we had nothing holding us back to get out there and experiment as we had little to lose.

I actually agree with you carol. French chefs are still the thing for the 'establishment' though and a few Blancs and Roux do try to make the mark. But who are we to eat at the Carlton, Dorchester, Ritz or Savoy and Alain Ducasse still has the most Michelin stars in the world (? I think) from his Dorchester base.

But yes, the one thing I miss about London, even Cambridge or Swansea at that, is the variety. You must have tried eating variety in or near Bergerac. The Indian is mediocre, Chinese are nothing much to shout about, both Japanese and Vietnamese are sad, North African food sadly nothing like in North Africa and then there are a few half way decent Italian, but too much modified to French tastes so lacking regional variety, then all the pizzas, Big Macs and steakhouses imaginable.

I miss things like 10 years ago going down to London for a Mongolian (really), finding regional Indian food rather than the uniform curry, Madras, Vindaloo, Kofta stuff. The range of Chinese is stunning, a Japanese friend who lives in Holland goes to London regularly for good Japanese food, real Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Nepali or Peruvian. On and on. Because I have travelled a lot I have tasted a bit of a lot and lost any remaining appetite for bog standard food long ago. Choice is what I like.

A lot of French food is too similar. As you say, duck or duck here in the Dordogne but then duck or perhaps even duck in many other parts of France. All prepared regionally, most of it coming out the same. Too many restaurants have tiny menus which means they should change often, but they do not. There is stunning food here, Le Salvetat you probably know, perhaps the newish La Table de Léo and a few others. At the latter a cassoulet is a dream, other places it can be a quite nasty greasy soup rather than the real thing. It is, however, the variety that lacks. Mind you, tastes are changing and perhaps, just perhaps, I live in hope.

As for the French chefs in London, well my ex and I used to go to Gavroche when there was a Roux actually on the premises and it was great. It declined and I suspect lives partly on reputation. I think a lot of other expensive French restaurants are similar over there now. I can't eat reputation!

Have to say I recognise what you are saying Brian, but what you describe was 20 or even 30 years ago. French chefs no longer command the instant respect they once did in the UK. The food has changed beyond recognition here, the average UK high street offers food from all corners of the world. Ive mentioned before, even in a relatively small market town such as Newbury, we now have 4 Chinese restaurants (all offering really good food for good prices....meal for two for under £20), 7 Curry houses, including Indian, Pakistani, Thai and Nepalese. A couple of Italian restaurants, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, French and four pubs that offer very good English pub food.

Thats not counting the 7 coffee shops, 3 of which are high street chains, the others independents. 3 Tea shops, one a speciality shop that offers such delights as Bubble Tea and 60 other varieties. In our French town we have the choice of 7 restaurants. 1 Italian which is the favourite and has anything up to 50 queueing for a meal in the summer, 1 Indian and 1 Chinese, (not great and both expensive) and 4 traditional French.

The opportunity to eat different food every night is something I love. Its not just the restaurants, I have great food choices in the shops, markets and supermarkets. I think the difference, food wise, between France and the UK is that the UK is constantly changing, updating and looking for the next good idea food wise. France is more traditional. I can have some lovely meals both in and out of restaurants in France, but I have less food choices (lets face it, in the Dordogne we get a hell of a lot of Duck) and it costs more.

In London yesterday, our meal was New York burgers cooked on an open charcoal flame (on offer, Beef, Lamb, Chicken and Veggie) lots of options for add ons, pickles, salad, chips etc. gorgeous meat, lovely ambience and with drinks £24, and that was central London.

Ah, Vic, but not many know that he was France's top jazz guitar player before he went singing.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MicJH5N0HEo (this is with John Lewis, a whole album, in 1956)


I remember "Slasher" Distel . My sister used to rave over him. Still, she never had much taste. You only have to see the bloke she married to realise that!!

As indicated by Brian....or perhaps an interpitiation by me......that it is all money and

not so much substance.

For my part in the educational history of peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream

will remain less excotic than a great pavlova which not only looks like a delicate tou tou

[spelt it wrong for sure] but filled with Chantilly, ouzing with passion fruit, raspberries and

banana if the meringue is crisp on the outside and noughty from there on......it is a treat

well received.

OOHPS forgot Christien Dieltel who opened Arelquin in Queenstown road

one star Michelin and he now lives near Bayonne and does what I do.

French chefs in England became the big thing at the end of the 19th century, Escoffier and the Swiss king of hoteliers César Ritz were invited by Richard D'Oyly Carte to bring their skills to his new Savoy Hotel in London. Escoffier recruited a small army of French cooks and completely reorganised the kitchens and menus. It was more or less an immediate success, attracted the very wealthy and noble punters including the Prince of Wales. Even aristocratic women, who had previously not eaten out in public used both restaurants at the hotel. French food became 'the thing' and has remained the 'classy' cuisine since.

Now it seems that any French chef in London with an 'Allo 'Allo accent and a bad temper is considered a genius. The UK has enough of its own, even then many of them quite often 'imitate' French style cookery.

So what did Escoffier invent or introduce that was so new? Pêche Melba is probably most famous (as bought in tesco, etc in plastic pots nowadays), Melba toast as well, because Nelly Melba ate there, then what? Bombe Néro, Salad Réjane, suprêmes de volailles Jeannette (umpteen versions of which are ubiquitous hereabouts and quite boring), baisers de Vierge and fraises à la Sarah Bernhardt none of which are all that special but are the 'ancestors' of Anglo-French cuisine today. The people today seem not even as inventive as him and as you say, seem to be a whole lot of Sacha Distels, churning out quite mediocre French regional specialities that are often neither as regional as is made out nor all that good to begin with.