mes tians savoureux de tomate, de basilic et d'avacado...mes pains belges succulents..mes goujons gastronomiques de morue…
When I embarked on my culinary journey, I pledged an oath. An oath of great magnitude that I still uphold to this day. A vow so colossal that I have struggled many a time to bite my tongue so that the perpetrators of vile deeds need not incur the wrath of my otherwise calm and gentile demeanor.
I took this oath well over a decade ago and until this day I have followed it to the letter. I have never strayed from my sacred words of wisdom...until now! The aforementioned statement reads thus...
"I, The Grumpy Chef, do solemnly swear never to gripe, groan, grumble, 'put down', 'tear to shreds', deconstruct, 'rip apart' or moan about any dish I eat when visiting a food establishment as a paying customer or regular patron. Nor will I demoralize any 'moron' about said dishes or subject them to ridicule over said dishes. This includes, but is certainly not limited to Managers, Bar Staff and Owners. In the event of a bad meal I will quietly pay my bill and leave calmly via the nearest exit. I will never name or bad mouth the establishment. Nor will I use telephonic communications, hand written letters or verbal speech to indicate my dislike for said establishment. This is my oath...mine and mine alone!"
Shame I never updated it to include Blogging...Oh well...God bless modern technology!
To begin with my Chicken Liver Pate, which seemed to be housed in the same type of receptacle that was used for ashtrays in the gardens, was overly coarse, contained bits of rubbery sinew and was finished on top with an unclarified butter. All of this resulted in the fact that the Pate had not been passed correctly (possibly the remnants from the Chef's last Donor Kebab with Chilli Sauce), it was over salted and was as warm as my nether regions after a busy Dinner Service.
Unperturbed by this ramekin of rubbery crap, I hunkered down and braced myself for the main course...a Beef Fillet Steak, cooked Blue, with full Garni, Homemade Chips and a succulent Pepper Sauce. I think I should have braced myself a little harder than I did. What followed was a Culinary injustice...a meal so detrimental to gastronomy itself that Escoffier must have been turning in his grave.
My Steak was Medium-rare one end and Rare at the other (a Culinary Feat!), the Onion Rings were bought in from a mass-market Giant, the Mushrooms had been sitting in a Bain Marie so long you could taste the stainless steel, the whole Tomato had been microwaved and then introduced to the grill for a fleeting moment before being plated, the Homemade Chips I don't think had ever seen a Homegrown Potato in their manufactured life and as for the Pepper Sauce, well, I think it was more of a sweet Gravy with lumps of Onion and White Peppercorns in. No sign of any dairy product what so ever...maybe he had used Milk to carry on his obvious talent of saving money for his G.P but producing s**t for his customers!
By now I had all but given up and persuaded myself to give this cretinous cook one last shot of the proverbial dice. Dessert was the final course and I waited with bated breath as it appeared on the horizon, awkwardly making its way to the table carried by an inept 'moron'. One look told me that the idiot had failed and failed with such magnitude that I had been stretched to breaking point. My White Chocolate and Baileys Cheesecake was actually a gelatinous and sickly piece of a Brakes-Own catastrophe! Even worse though, a Chocolate sauce that had obviously come from an Ice-cream Van, a rosette of 'Aerosol Cream' and 'the crowning turd in the water pipe'...a solitary piece of Physallis. The 90's answer to the 80's Cocktail Umbrella or the 70's Fondue!
So, in retrospect, the Cook needs to go back to Culinary School! My main worry is that this isn't an isolated incident. I have still to find a restaurant or even a Public House where I have enjoyed eating in the county of Cheshire. Don't get me wrong, there are a few extremely excellent eateries and for that reason I will name them...The Cottage Restaurant and Lodge in Knutsford, The Bridge Inn in Audlem and for good wholesome British grub, The Barbridge Inn in Barbridge. Yet in a county that is approximately 600,000 Acres in size and is home to over a million people, surely there must be more than just three decent establishments! There just has to be.
On that Culinary note...The News...
Following on from last week, We see that Chef Blumenthal has been overlooked by Mr Pegler, Chief Exec of Little Chef and didn't even consult him on the proposed Nationwide roll out of Heston's Menu. Come on Heston, I'm sure Mr Pegler will soon consult with you once he has a Halibut shoved up his bottom and a few New Zealand Green Lip Mussels coaxed up his nasal passages...Where's your 'kahonas', Chef? Probably in his latest weird and wacky molecular masterpiece!
Voyez-vous bientôt mes ramiers merveilleux bourrés de la substance. Ayez une semaine fantastique
Le Chef Grincheux