There are certain people you meet in life that just impress you. When two of them are married to eachother then you’re pretty sure they’ll have achieved something pretty special over the years. That’s definitely true of Roger and Sue Jones, and last week I was lucky enough to be there as they celebrated 20 years of their Michelin Star restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, with friends and family. And there were some mighty wines to help us on the way…
Great news this last week that my friend Guillaume Dunos has been selected in the final of the UK’s Young Chef of the Year competition!! Massive!
A mate of mine who lives out in Barcelona is a shit hot chef. Joel Serra Bevin is the man behind the Papalosophy brand, and his cookbook is worth getting hold of if you like your Catalan cooking. It’s also probably the most incredibly photographed cook book I’ve ever seen. Really stonking publishing quality, check out the link below. Anyway enough of that, Joel’s got a great idea for you if you’ve got some game in the kitchen…
Yesterday we checked out of San Fransisco, boarded the party bus, and headed out into wine country. As much as this was the first day of work it was a Sunday, so it was a nice ease-in job, with a good slug of time at the wonderful Ram’s Gate Winery at the mouth of Sonoma County. We’ve started well, with some lovely wines, ticking off some tourist boxes, and witnessing some glorious facial fungus.
Well we’ve all made it safe and sound. The California trip has started and the long hours in the plane out to San Fransisco are nearly out of all our systems. There’s a group of about 12 of us, which is enough to make me a little bit nervous and self-conscious, but sod it, the nervous “just keep talking” has kicked in and I don’t think I’ve annoyed too many of them yet 🙂
When I left uni over ten years ago there didn’t feel much of a choice. You were pre-programmed to go for a graduate job and go work for a big company somewhere. You were going to work your arse off but they were going to pay you pretty well. The risk/reward for going out on your own in any kind of industry didn’t seem to be right. Well a world financial crisis later and all of a sudden life’s a bit too short isn’t it? Thousands of entrepreneurs are shunning the oppressiveness of corporate life to start up their dreams, and food and booze seems a popular destination.
I’ve got a wine tasting session coming up next Thursday night for Villa Maria wines. I’m doing it alongside the amazing Mel who runs NZ Wine Cellar in POP Brixton, one of the coolest places for a foodie to hang out in the whole of London. Our job yesterday was to wander round the different stalls and pair up the two wines we’re going to be focusing on with the food on offer. But where do you start pairing food to a particular wine?
You need to kind of imagine the scene. I’m in the downstairs room of a wine bar in the fancy part of central London surrounded by Masters Of Wine and the great the good of the UK wine writing scene. We’re tasting our way through 20 vintages of Disznoko Tokaji, one of the most beautiful sweet wines produced in the world. Oh, and we’re getting fed a lovely lunch in a bit. All I could think was that it wasn’t the worst Monday morning I’d ever had!
One of the best ways to get my wines from 20h33 across to people is to get them in a room, crack open a few bottles, and throw some food them. The wine dinners have been really successful, and a great laugh, pretty much from the first one. So I decided it’d be a good idea to find new restaurants around London to do them at. That, ladies and gentlemen, has been a lot of hassle for not much reward!
The other 5 bloggers and I were in Bordeaux because we’d written something good about wine at some point. I have to admit that reading everyone else’s entries kind of made me shrink a bit, but that’s just my English inadequacy shining through once again. Obviously we were all there to get stuck into the great wines of the region, taking our photos and making our tasting notes as we went around. From my point of view though, one of the best things about wine is that it’s unescapedly linked with food. Me oh my, the food that week was amazing!