The subject under discussion this month was “Celebrity Chefs”.
Geoff opened the afternoon with several interesting snippets from the newspapers.
Eileen introduced us to the authors of a various cookery books, starting in the 19th century when Isabella Beaton wrote her book Household Management.
During the second world war Marguerite Patten suggested nourishing and inventive recipes using rationed food. She presented her first TV cookery programme in 1946. Other early TV chefs included Philip Harben and Fanny Craddock. In 1969 the first live cookery demonstration with an audience was given by the Galloping Gourmet – Graham Kerr – who appeared to sip a glass of wine throughout the programme. In actual fact he did not drink at all.
In 1999 Jamie Oliver came on the scene with his best-selling book The Naked Chef. Gordon Ramsay opened a restaurant in London and in 1984 Le Manoir de Quatre Seasons was opened by Raymond Blanc. 1995 The Fat Duck restaurant was opened in Bray by Heston Blumenthal. Tom Kerridge now has a restaurant in Marlow.
Avril told us about Gary Rhodes who worked at the Dorchester in London in the 1990s and was awarded an OBE for British Cooking. Avril gave us a recipe for pea soup made using ingredients from our store cupboards and freezer.
Elaine talked about Nancy Spain who was a great niece of Isabella Beaton. A group of her students was invited to the Fanny Craddock programme and they reported that Fanny was a messy cook and the food, when tasted, was abysmal. She also met Brian Turner who had a restaurant behind Harrods in London.
In 2000 the Food and Wine Group toured Raymond Blanc’s Manoir Gardens followed by coffee. Two of the members stayed for lunch and said the meal was awful. ( I must say that when my husband and I had lunch there we enjoyed an excellent meal)
When we broke for refreshments the tasters at tea/coffee time were the pea soup mentioned by Avril, a left-over chicken dish with couscous and a very light Victoria sponge.
The subject to be discussed at our meeting in May will be Wine Grape Varieties.