Friday, December 22, 2006

A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine

I really enjoyed reading this straight through, cover to cover. Jay McInereney writes beautifully and shares his personal taste (and insights) on the subject of wine in a delightfully charming and under stated manner.

Despite the fact that I probably have similar tastes and views as the author on the subject matter this should not deter a prospective reader with interest and empathy for the greatest intoxicant - Wine !

McInereney has demonstrated in this book why wine provides intellectual as well as sensual pleasure that leads us into the realms of " geology, botany, metreology , history aesthetics aand literature "

Best of 2006

Here are my best for 2006 (London)

Best Italian Restaurant : Enoteca Turi

Best Indian : Vama

Best Chinese : Hunan

Best Japanese : Nobu , Park Lane

Best French : Gordon Ramsey , Royal Hospital Road

Best Fish/Seafood : J Sheekey

Best Gastro Pub : Anchor & Hope

Best Wine Bar : El Vino , Fleet Street

Best Brasserie : Le Caprice

Most overated : The Wolsey and River Cafe

Best Butcher : Lidgate , Holland Park

Best Baker : Baker & Spice , Chelsea

Best Fishmonger : The Chelsea Fishmonger (Rex Glodsmith),Chelsea Green

Best Wine Merchants : Berry Brothers & Rudd , St James's

Best Fruit & Veg : Andreas Georghiou , Turnham Green Terrace

Sunday, October 15, 2006

3-5-2 or was it 5-3-2

Steve Mclaren was obviously playing the latter because Gary Neville only passed the ball forward once in the entire match - he does not have the skill or pace to be a wing back whilst Cole saw how slow Jamie Carragher was in a bck 3 that he was in shock for most of the game neither wing back or left back !

In defence of the manager and players they did not have much of a chance to win but could have sneaked a draw. Without Gerrard, Hargreaves and Joe Cole they had little chance of beating a team that has never lost a home international match and easily dealt with Crouch who continues to refuse to jump because he thinks at 6 ft 7 in he does not need too !

The team and manager are now being slaughtered mainly because of crazy expectations . when will fans and media realise England are a tier 2 footballing nation not even knocking on the door of tier 1 to join Brazil , Germany,Argentina and Italy - well behind France and the Netherlands...........

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A webserver on your phone

Wow seems this Nokia project could have massive implications when MNO's sort out their charges for data and realise they are competing with broadband !

(Click on title to go to Nokia )

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Advertising 2.0

A must read for those in Advertising , Marketing and Media. Paul Beelen gives a brilliant summary and analysis on how technology is empowering the consumer and disrupting the traditional advertising and broadcast models !

(Click on the title of this post to download the White Paper )

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Perfect Spaghetti Al Pomodoro E Basilico

This is a simple dish but it is amazing how many people over complicate it or make a total hash of it.

With any recipe it's good quality ingredients , 25% execution and cooking technique.

So if you are making this dish in winter or live in a country where good sun ripened tomatoes are not easy to find then use a good brand of tinned San Marzano tomatoes like Analissa , avoid the Cirio brand who ruin the tomatoes by pasturisation. Choose a decent Italian virgin olive oil , good fresh garlic (my preference is for L'Ail Rose de Lautrec)fresh basil again with a provenance from a hot sunny country rather than northern EuropeAn greenhouse varieties.

Also choose a good brand of 'artisanal" orindustrial Spaghetti ( forget fresh pasta - this should only be homemade using the best durum wheat flour and fresh farm eggs and suitable for certain types of shapes/dishes Tagliatelle, Parpadelle, Tortelli, Ravioli etc.( why millions of Brits buy chilled fresh pasta from supermarkets I really don't know) I recommend Spaghetti Giueseppe Cocco or better still one of the top Gragnano pastas like Gentile , Di Nola , Di Martino etc..

Four 4

500g of Pasta
800g of ripe Italian San Marzano Tomatoes or 900g or a top DOP tinned product
4 Table Spoons of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 full heaped tea spoon of tomato concentrate
4 cloves of garlic
6-8 Basil Leaves
2 tea spoons of good sea salt
pinch of sugar
Pepper to taste

For Sauce
Heat oil in large frying pan and add garlic chopped
Before garlic turns brown add peeled and de seeded tomatoes
Add sugar and concentrate salt and pepper
Keep heat on full and help tomato flesh break up
Cook on full for 2-3 minutes then on low for 5 minutes then push on the tomatoes a bit more with a woden spoon to bing the sauce so it looks like a lumpy sauce

For Pasta
Bring water in a large pan to the boil add two or 3 tea spoons of sea salt
Add pasta and cook til al dente
Drain the pasta and throw into the frying pan with sauce tear half the basil by hand and mix in
Serve the pasta in deep dishes and decorate each plate with the remaing Basil

Serve with or without (mimimum) 24 month old King of the Cheeses - Parmigiano Regaino !