Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Bring Back the Allotment and Chicken Coop!

Bonsoir mes sorbets blancs scrumptious de chocolat!

A little nostalgia for you this evening. This wondrous Bank Holiday has had me thinking of traditional grub. Good, wholesome and home-cooked. The type of food your Grandma would rustle up of an evening...Egg and Chips, Shepard's Pie, Toad in the Hole and even Cheese on Toast. Every single dish being served up 'en masse'! Gargantuan portions of Mashed Potato, proper Chips, homegrown vegetables and not to mention vasts amounts of Meat and Fish. Back then there was no talk of 'haute cuisine' or 'al a carte' food. So tonight, I think it is time to delve into the depths of 'Home' Cuisine! A tribute to the unsung heroes of our heritage and a comparison to today's 'nouvelle' and 'fusion' cuisine that we are becoming to accustomed to. Let the battle commence!

Lets begin with the most recent and utterly over-produced program 'The Great British Menu'. The winners of this 'made for TV' travesty will cook a homecoming meal for around 100-200 soldiers selected from the three armed forces returning from Afghanistan. (I completely support the return of our extremely valued Troops). I will ask this one question though as we approach the final of this ludicrous competition...Are the extravagant and contemporary dishes the Chefs are cooking what our Troops really would enjoy? Are the rations that are supplied, and the cookhouses, really producing such meager meals that the Armed Forces will actually enjoy something the size a Gnats penis after there Tour of Duty?

In my honest opinion, I don't think they would and I will stress at this point that the Chefs feeding all these Troops on the front line and in various areas around the world have a harder job than the likes of Chef Ramsay, Chef Blumenthall and any other Chef that feels they produce the worlds best food, because these guys that feed thousands of hungry soldiers have their work cut out for them...and if they get it wrong, lets be honest, its not a detrimental comment card or harsh word...it could be a whole lot worse!!!

So, what would an 'Honest Tommy' require after returning home to Blighty? A good honest and wholesome meal the size of the latest M.P scandal? Or a jumped up, culinary enhanced, 18 flavoured, tweaked and twatted version which insults the integrity of British cooks all over the country? Answers on a postcard!!!

We have lost our way in this contemporary world of extravagant food and molecular gastronomy...is it not time to return to the British way of thinking? Time to return to the recipes our Grandmothers taught us all those years ago? When food was scarce and there was no talk of buying local, as it was all local...our ancestors were doing that trend way before the current 'goody two shoes' chefs were! Are they bringing back a lost tradition?....NO...they ain't, because there are hundreds of thousands of people who have carried on the traditions of home cooking and local produce even when the recent 'Chef of the day' was having his nappy changed.

One item of information I have managed to work out myself...There are no 'new' recipes, but old ones re-vamped and that has been the answer for most celebrity Chefs for the last decade! Pick a loved traditional dish, make it smaller, smooth the nooks and crannys and produce a dish that wouldn't cover a small water biscuit...and apparently that constitutes a meal...I say its time to stop this nou-nouvelle cuisine and return to the dishes that made Britain great and to through in a little indication of the way we should be cooking I quote a Master of British Cuisine, Chef Marco Pierre White, "When I'm making Mashed Potato in the morning, I give myself a fistful. Not a finger, a fistful!". This is how we should be cooking...Cavalier Style, tasting each dish like it was your last, if only our over-zealous Chefs would spend more time letting go and start dolloping the vast quantities of food onto the plate rather than condensing, enhancing and f*****g around with our food and just present it in its 'homemade' state then we could at least hold onto our British food (unlike our Car companies, Water producers and Airports) and start to make Britain a Nation again. Lets be honest, the Government ain't really got a chance now, so I think its time a Chef got into Number 10...couldn't do any worse!!!

SO where does that leave us? At a solution that this radical style of cookery permeating and choking our traditional British values is the way forward? Or does it leave us open to make a choice? A choice to begin again. To devote our average, mediocre or less-than-adequate cookery skills to search the annals of our food history...our inheritance, and start to cook, braise, poach, grill or baste our way to victory?

I think its time to begin again my short crusted steak and kidney puds! Follow the hearts of our predecessors and bring back the dishes that made Britain a force to be reckoned with...hit em with both barrels...show the rest of the world what our cookery was made of...hard graft, home grown, non-chemical and heart felt. In other words, lets here it for our older generation because if the current state of affairs in this country are anything to go by...we are screwed in the foodie stakes! Bring back British! Its what we live for.

On that patriotic note...the News...

Heston's Little Chef menu is to be rolled out nationwide although it is only in principle at the current moment.

Blumenthal’s revamped menu, which he created during the Channel 4 documentary Big Chef Little Chef, has been trialled at the Little Chef branch in Popham, Hampshire, for more than six months.

The menu, which includes dishes such as braised ox cheeks, coq au vin and Hereford steak and Abbot Ale pie, has been well received by truck drivers and travelling salesman according to Little Chef managing director Ian Pegler.

If anyone has actually been and tasted the new menu, been happy with the delightful flavours that have apparently been enjoyed then please email me...I have had no indication from anyone I know that has actually been to the Little Chef in Popham and I would love to hear any comments on the recent developments...

Dining trends in the US are changing as a result of the financial downturn and restaurants are responding by putting on a variety of special deals, it has emerged.

Starters served as main courses and shared platters, take out meals for free and even courses for the dog are among the promotions being served up by Stateside food service operators, according to food service consultancy Horizon’s managing director Peter Backman.

About bloody time...how the high and mighty have fallen! Forgive me the veritable chuckle...hee hee hee!

On that career ending note its goodbye from me and a "would your dog like a cool, tepid, warm, iced with an undertone of mild, half tap half distilled moderately heated, shaken not stirred water bowl?"...from the Barista's of your local Starbucks!

Rêves doux mes tartlets succulents de poireau et d'emmental

Le Chef Grincheux

1 comment:

parfitt said...

I am in total agreement with all you have said in this post, Grumpychef. All power to you and keep up the excellent work.