Monday, December 04, 2006

A night of eating dangerously

I love my photograph of the Blueprint Café kitchen; the stacks of bowls particulary intrigue me! And the orange gratin dishes provide a wonderful contrast.

Tonight is the first in a week of fine food, festivities and full-on fun. The 'f' season is upon us!

I'm starting with the next much anticipated foodie event/cookbook club at Blueprint Café . This time it's the turn of Tom Parker-Bowles and his book 'The year of eating dangerously'. Now as the fabulous Jeremy Lee always bases his menu on the book it was anyone's guess what we may be treated to. A casual flick through Tom's dangerous culinary adventures and your eyes catch mention of silk worm pupae and snakes so it was with some trepidation that I climbed the stairs to Blueprint Cafe. However I needn’t have worried my little self as Jeremy had been left a free rein with the menu and had chosen a delightful seasonal menu with ne'er a snake in sight!

We started with Champagne and some wonderful little canapés (or as many seem to take bizarre exception the word) appetizers or amuse bouches of Baked salisfy and Parmesan. Who knew salsify was so good? Though I'm sure the Parmesan helped here! We then had a really tasty bowl of Smoked haddock & leek soup (Cullen skink if you will) followed by Featherblade of beef, lentils and green sauce with roasted new potatoes and greens. I assure you the beef tasted so much better than the picture looks, it's not a pretty dish but good hearty fare on a December night. We finished off with some tangy Montgomery Cheddar and membrillo. There was no dessert this time though Jeremy said afterwards that he wished he'd made one. However there were the finest melt in the mouth cubes of the richest chocolate so I got my chocolate hit. Tom Parker Bowles made a little speech (albeit slightly reluctantly) which was rather sweet and self depreciating. I got a chance to tell Simon Hopkinson how inspired I was by his Roast Chicken... books and said that I'd raved about them on my blog. I'm sure he wasn't interested but gave me a big kiss anyway!

I would the theme of the night amongst the foodie set was “Heston Blumenthal – genius or is it a case of emperor’s new clothes?” I was sat near Rose Prince and she urged me to try Fat Duck for myself, not that I need little urging! I was sat opposite Rowley Leigh who cooking has always interested me. He is commencing a new gourmet adventure in West London so that may be worth investigating. He didn’t seem the most cheerful of souls, maybe he didn’t approve of his dining companion! Though I recall him well from Nigel Slater’s Real Food show that Rowley was sharing a flat with Alastair Little and there was a touch of grumpy old man about them both! Jeremy was his usual ebullient self and seemed to be fully recovered form the accident he’d endured when I last saw him. The next event in for Burn’s Night on 25th January and we will be eating from Sue Lawrence’s book "A Cook's Tour of Scotland" and Jeremy has threatened to delight us with his grey kilt and chefs’ whites combo. There’s even talk of a piper! Plenty of Scottish treats I’m sure!

I thought Tom was very sweet and was quite relieved that we didn’t partake in silkworm pupae, I’m sure they’re not seasonal!

No comments: