Tuesday 13 March 2007
Great News! Jack O'Shea has been asked to be regular supplier of meat to The Fat Duck - which is good news for his other customers, as it means that the business is stable. I suppose it might also mean more regular deliveries, and so less of the unevenness in supply that I've griped about in the past. I think he must be telepathic, as it was just as I was asking him for a piece of pork belly that he imparted the news - the coincidence being that the recipe for the pork belly is actually a loose adaptation of a Heston Blumenthal method........cook at a moderate temperature for many hours in a tightly covered pot, with generous quantities of garlic and star anise, and savour the aroma as you do so. Indescribable!
It seems O'Shea got his break on the back of an enthusiastic article about him by Rose Prince in The Telegraph Magazine, and - presumably feeling that one good turn deserves another - he was extolling to me the virtues of her new book all about how to shop sensibly. Something to do with how you read marks on packets in supermarkets, to get the best from the experience. I wasn't convinced, I'm afraid.
Much post-fire discussion since we returned, with all sorts of unexpected conversations with practical strangers about whether they'd suffered much damage, and what they'd done on the day itself. It turns out that half of the building was surreptitiously occupied during the night that we stayed in and kept schtum........all the people who didn't feel like leaving seem to have been moving around as quietly as they could, with the lights out! The smell of smoke is still intense, until you get close to the damaged area, where the smell of damp pretty much overwhelms it; apparently the firemen were pouring water into the building at the rate of a thousand gallons a minute for more than ten hours!
Hot Parfait of Chicken Livers, with Hollandaise Sauce
Flash Fried Beef, marinated in Soy Sauce and Honey, with Broccoli Puree