« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

12 posts from September 2006

12 September 2006

Trig blogs

I just came across an interesting blog from Aidan 'Trig' Brooks, a London-based trainee chef with the decent ambition of becoming "a top-class, world-famous chef."  I hope his nickname doesn't suggest any similarities with his Only Fools and Horses namesake.  If it does, those he's cooking for might be in for an interesting meal.

Nonetheless, Aidan has got a great writing style and seems to have some good experience in a variety of restaurants, with a particularly strong showing of Asian influences including Providores and Cafe Spice Namaste.  Go read.

Hat-tip: Food blog blog

08 September 2006

Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism

I know it is breaking blogging law #1 to post about something other than the main topic of your blog, but every so often I like to throw caution to the wind.

To me, the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism (pdf), that has just come out of the House of Commons is significant enough to post about.  The recent rise in anti-semitism in the UK is deeply disturbing but it is positive that Parliament is recognising the problem.  The most insidious and dangerous form this is taking is anti-semitism as received wisdom, as Norm points out.

I haven't had a chance to read the whole document but it does seem to address the main manifestations of anti-semitism in the UK today.  I'd particularly draw your attention to the sections on the media (pg 34) and the problems in our universities (pg 38).  Although the report makes for depressing reading, it is good news that it has been written.  Unfortunately, these All-Party reports rarely lead to a torrent of action.  Nonetheless, there has been some press press interest and it stands as a matter of record.  At the very least, it will raise awareness of an issue that is concerning me and lots of people I care about.

06 September 2006

Keep 'em coming

I'm still taking suggestions for my Dan Lepard podcast.   Most people seem to prefer email rather than comments which is fine by me.  And before you think I'm getting desperate at the prospect of my first podcast I'm not, I'm just a jolly nice chap who is helping to jog your memory.  Honest.

New York Times on Gordon Ramsay

Food bloggers beware, unless you want the AA Gill treatment, do not start taking photos of your meal at Gordon Ramsay at the London.  In an interview with Michael Ruhlman in the New York Times, Ramsay says the food will be "very natural" and "very proper".  Err, what does proper means when it comes to food?  Anyway, he is explicit that "We're not going to stand there and gawk".  That's told us then.

The Ruhlman piece gives some interesting insight into Ramsay's financial backing.  I was aware of the important role played by his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, but I was unaware of Blackstone's involvement.  It is interesting that a private equity house is involved, especially as it is the real estate arm of Blackstone.  Private equity firms have a lot of money to invest and are usually savvy managers.  But, they are always looking for a way to exit the business so they can make a large return on their investment.  Often, these sorts of companies look to hold their investments for up to five years.  I wonder what Blackstone's game-plan is for the Ramsay empire.  Maybe this is someone's toy, they're investing for the love (and free meals and kudos), but private equity firms are not known for their romanticism or their love of free lunches.  Could a stock-market flotation of Gordon Ramsay Holdings be on the cards?

05 September 2006

Cooking the school books

Matthew Fort is as compelling as ever in his criticism of foolish Government policy.  How can it be wrong learning what is good for you and how you can cook it?