Word is, we’ve reached peak burger. And probably peak everything USA, as the proliferation of (hot) dog joints, burger shacks, waffle vans and diners continues across the country. Every chef, everywhere, is attempting their own individual gourmet take on these ur-fast foods, enhancing the quality of the bun, the meat, the sauce, the cheese, the cooking technique to ensure you have your “perfect” burger and so on without having to resort to the old sweet-sharp-sour pull of some of the more famous fast food chains. Read full post
Restaurants these days are having to find more and more ingenious ways to turn a profit. Due to soaring food costs, increased competition, boom-and-bust society, capricious eating trends and that most wily, unpredictable beast of all – the customer – they are always on the lookout, naturally, for the failsafe method of putting bums on seats. Read full post
Would you ever eat alone in a restaurant? There – the golden $64000 question, right there. Would you ever have the guts to saunter casually up to the hippest joint in town and casually demand a table for one – and not feel the need to excuse yourself or make inarticulate mutterings about “expecting a friend”? Not many of us would admit to it and, let’s face it, the majority of restaurants still seem to be – if not actually antagonistic – heavily ambivalent towards the solo diner. Read full post
The season’s changing and as it does, so does our taste in food. Suddenly we need something more substantial than a slice of watermelon and a probiotic kale smoothie for lunch; suddenly we need smoke and salt and sugar and substance. So what should you be looking out for this Autumn and Winter? Read full post
Table manners are a funny thing, no? Once regarded as the epitome of a good upbringing, they seem – according to recent surveys – to have fallen by the wayside somewhat, with more and more of us committing an etiquette-related faux pas – and then not really caring about it. They’re sort of seen as really old-fashioned, uptight, not at all loose like we are in the 21st century. Word is, we’re quickly devolving into some kind of urchin Neanderthal species but with better technology.
Oh dear, le pauvre French. They do get their pantalons in a twist, non? In a panic-driven, typically reactionary fashion they’ve invented a new law – “Fait maison” – to help regulate the 135,000 nationwide restaurants who make a habit of reheating industrially-prepared food instead of cooking à la maman, which – as you know – is how all we tourists long to eat when we are ON THE CONTINENT. The little saucepan logo is meant to reassure the customer that there has been “no major modification” to the food on-site, ie, it’s all been freshly prepared and cooked by proper chefs. Unfortunately, the law is so desperate to please simply everyone, it’s laughably nonsensical: Vegetables can be prepared off-site, apart from potatoes; Frozen, smoked and vacuum-sealed food can also be considered home-made. Read full post
It’s long been noted amongst those who note such things that the more cookery shows there are on TV and the more cookbooks proliferate, the less we seem to be able to find our way into that strange and fantastic land known as “The Kitchen” to prepare a simple repast (Yes. Repast. Get over it.) for ourselves and our families. It’s cooking by vicarious means, if you like, as we sit stuffing things that are distinctly not part of our seven-a-day into the gaping national maw. Happily, being the resourceful species that we are, we seem to have found a solution. Read full post