Sunday, 10 April 2011

Cheer up Rowley… it’s already happened - food writing course Part 2


so, part two of our day of food writing and we’ve been relocated to Le Café Anglais in Bayswater for lunch and further discussion with Rowley Leigh, the English Literary teacher of British chef’s… to say there is a stark contrast between this morning and this afternoon’s sessions is an understatement of the highest order… but this is not necessarily a bad thing… as I think what I’ve learnt today is that we are without doubt ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ and however much we harp on about the Giles Corens and AA Gill’s of the world… they were NOT the first and most definitely wont be the last…

… without the prosaic bitchiness of Elizabeth David or the acerbic wit of Jonathan Meades we wouldn’t have Jay Rayner and his colic bitterness…

and it seems that dear Mr Leigh may have left a part of his heart back in that past where prose and punctuation were once, more important than speed and exposure… sensuality over sensationalism


the highlight of lunch, parmesan custard with anchovy toast

don’t get me wrong… in the words of Rowely Leigh… ‘our scallops were good’ but a little like the milk served with our after dinner coffee, perhaps Rowley has curdled…

… he met us at the door in his friendly grandfatherly fashion and sat with us through lunch… talked with us about his business, his cooking, his thoughts on the modern style of food writing ...but I think perhaps I put up the defences because when I talked about being passionate about food, he told me he didn’t believe in passion…that 'passion' was a word too over-used it had no meaning... I discussed the growth and trend in locally sourced British produce, the stuff I am surrounded by at home, but he told me he didn’t really think there was very much in it and that we’re not the great producers we claim to be… it upset me a little and I didn’t know where to look… 


... it was as though he’d given up… 




... and the shame of it was, that after lunch he read a series of reviews to us with such a beautiful voice and such obvious love for not only his craft but also the English language that it reminded me of glorious childhood days at my own grandfathers house where he would read Hans Christian Anderson to me and comfort me with love and care and… passion.

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails