RIP Rose Gray
The week got off to a sombre start with news of the death of Rose Gray. Her impact on modern British cookery cannot be underestimated. Along with Ruth Rogers, she not only played a fundamental role in the growth of Italian cookery in the UK beyond pizza and pasta, but, more importantly, was a forerunner in the concept of local, seasonal cookery. She showed home cooks that you don’t need technical wizardry, nor clever gadgets to create a dish of beauty and taste. It’s an ethos that the likes of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, both alumni of Gray’s River Cafe, live by today. True kitchen alchemy isn’t about foams and smears and chlorophyll and carrot wallpaper, but about taking something very simple and, with the minimum of flourishes, turning it into something special. We have Rose Gray to thank for always reminding us of this.
Raymond Blanc breaks his leg
On Monday Raymond Blanc, chef patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, took a tumble at his home and landed in the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, having broken his leg and ankle in five places. The chef, whose new TV show Raymond Blanc: Kitchen Secrets gives us an insight into how refined French cookery is perfectly doable in the home, seemed in good spirits as he blogged from his hospital bed. Garbed in a “very sexy robe (you know, the one which opens at the back)”, he joked that he had “two gorgeous nurses…holding my hands and singing lullabies”. We wish Raymond a full, speedy, and of course cossetted recovery.
The UK throws bananas
We’ve all been there. They sit in the fruit bowl like some grotesquely distorted claw, turning from yellow, to yellowish, to dappled brown, to black. And then to the bin. Well, it turns out bananas are the most wasted foodstuff in this country according to business intelligence company Retail Active, and that young men aged 25-35 in the South East are the biggest culprits. There is, however, one man doing his bit to make up for the bananas that fall by the wayside. Gordon Brown, reports the Daily Mail, eats up to nine bananas a day in an effort to wean himself off the Kitkats that he is so fond of. For those who aren’t such rabid fruitarians, there are two solutions to the banana wastage problem. If the fruits are turning and you fear for their over-ripeness, they freeze very well, and you can then make some lovely banana bread next time you’re baking. The other solution is simpler – if you’re not going to eat them, don’t buy them.
Jamie Oliver to be a dad again
Jamie Oliver appeared overjoyed when he announced on Thursday that he and his wife Jools were expecting their fourth child. The 34-year-old chef broke the news on Twitter, saying he was “very happy” that he was going to be a father again. But it’s not going to be easy for the wee infant – not only will it have three older sisters to contend with but, following Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, and Petal Blossom Rainbow, it will most probably have a daft name too.
Kavey Favelle wins the food debate
On Friday night Kavey ‘the cracker’ Favelle reigned victorious in the much-hyped Food Debate in the Westbridge Draft House. Fighting the battle for cheese, Favelle was a deserving champion. She celebrated by riding this unicorn off into the sunset. There will be a full report of the debate on Monday.
What other nuggets of news have interested you this week? What would you do to help stop food wastage? What do you think Jamie is going to call his fourth child?