Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Gluttony is good for you

The Guardian

By Zoe Williams, columnist

Eat up. The fatter you are, the less likely you are to get depressed and commit suicide.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The rising price of gastropub food gives Ronay a case of indigestion

The Independent

By Thair Shaikh

Egon Ronay recently celebrated British gastropubs by comparing their food and service favourably with more expensive restaurants and claiming that they were often better than traditional French bistros.
He even defended British cuisine against the acerbic opinions of France's President Jacques Chirac, and flew the flag for British mutton, still an unfashionable cut of meat.
But now, only a few weeks after praising them, the doyen of food critics has criticised gastropubs for being too expensive.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yorkshire pud seduces Italians

The Telegraph

By Richard Alleyne

When it comes to food, the traffic between Italy and England has been one way for centuries. But for the first time the Italians have developed a taste for British cuisine.

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Simon Hopkinson: You Ask The Questions

The Independent

Born and raised in Lancashire, Simon Hopkinson was 17 when he got his first kitchen job at La Normandie restaurant in Birtle. There he worked under the tutelage of Yves Champeau, before moving to London to set up Bibendum (right) in Kensington with Sir Terence Conran. He left in 1995 to concentrate on being a food writer (he was an award-winning columnist for The Independent), and his book, Roast Chicken and Other Stories, was recently voted, by a panel of food experts in Waitrose Food Illustrated, "the most useful recipe book ever written".

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Black pudding meets white truffle as Yorkshire chef's recipes sweep Italy

The Independent

By Ian Herbert, North of England Correspondent

Britain's enthusiasm for Italian cuisine has made celebrities out of chefs such as Antonio Carluccio and Giorgio Locatelli, who have travelled to these shores in the hope of making a modest living. But now it seems that British cuisine has something to offer the Italians, too.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

I ate all the pies

The Guardian

By Paul Lewis

As a struggling vegetarian who eats organic bran flakes for breakfast, I was hardly the most likely contender for yesterday's World Pie-Eating Championship. Yet there I was at Harry's Bar in Wigan, pitted against the world's top pie- eaters in the ultimate test of chomping endurance.

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An unsavoury online guide to restaurant kitchens

The Independent

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

What really goes on in the kitchens of restaurants has long been a matter of conjecture to the customers waiting for their food. Now diners in one provincial city can check the cleanliness and safety of their local restaurants before they book a table.
In what is believed to be the first scheme of its kind in Britain, Norwich city council is publishing reports from its environmental health inspections on its website. The council has given a one to five star rating for all of the city's 217 food outlets.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

First sitting: The world's hot tables

The Independent

He's eaten his way around the world - and in all the best restaurants. The Indepenednt's food critic Terry Durack reveals the coolest places to unfurl your napkin.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

The sceptic: Diets

The Guardian

By Druin Burch

There's no bullshit like dietary advice. It starts off with a dumb observation that someone hasn't bothered to think through or an experiment so badly designed that it never stood a chance of revealing anything reliable. Then people who don't understand it - or who won't take the trouble to try - puff it up and it ends up getting spewed out as though it were an accepted truth. But today it's my excuse for being cheerful, for offering you at least a little bit of good news.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

2005 reasons to eat out

The Independent

After 12 long months of intensive research, reigning Restaurant Critic of the Year Terry Durack picks the big winners - and losers - from the British culinary scene.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Hormone raises hope of victory in war on obesity

The Guardian

By Alok Jha, science correspondent

Scientists have discovered a hormone that suppresses appetite, raising hopes of new treatments in the fight against obesity, according to a study published today.
The hormone, named obestatin, halved food intake in rats and resulted in the animals losing a fifth of their body weight.

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

I have seen the future, and it's pork

The Guardian

By Martin Wainwright

We have finally outgrown the traditional sausage. Those sad little tubes of fat have been replaced by 'premium' bangers, crammed to bursting with real meat and fresh herbs. One in three comes from a little-known Yorkshire company, without which this revolution might never have happened.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Tutankhamen 's top tipple

The Guardian

By Andrew Catchpole

No one knows if the ancient Egyptians had a problem with binge-drinking revellers in the taverns of the Nile but those old Pharaohs certainly liked their wine. Take the wonderfully named King Scorpion the First. In 3500BC (give or take a few years), his royal cadaver was entombed with 700 amphorae of resin-infused grog to help ease his journey into the afterlife. This hooch probably resembled today's retsina from Greece - all the rage in Scorpion's era -and would have been considered a worthy send-off for a royal.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The politics of sausages

BBC News Magazine

By Megan Lane

Just as the Italians and French embrace local dishes as part of their cultural identity, so too is that most British of foods, the sausage, enjoying a renaissance in the UK.
Just five years ago, with the traditional cooked breakfast in decline, it looked as if Britons were falling out of love with the banger. Today, the sizzle is back, with consumption up 17%. Forecasters say the nation will eat 189,000 tonnes this year, the equivalent of 140 sausages each.

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Forget the bacon stotty, Newcastle is culinary paradise

The Independent

By Cahal Milmo

Geordieland was yesterday proclaimed Britain's new hotspot of emerging culinary talent after it dominated an award for newly-opened restaurants. Newcastle took two of the top places in the Restaurant Remy awards.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

'Overnight change doesn't work'

The Guardian

By Felicity Lawrence

Dinner lady Jeanette Orrey was one of the catalysts for the campaign led by Jamie Oliver over school food. She had transformed meals at her school, St Peter's primary in Nottinghamshire, in 2000, replacing processed food with freshly cooked meals.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

'All I want for my children is a balanced, nourishing meal'

The Guardian

Parent Loan Tran has always endeavoured to provide healthy meals for her family at home, but recently she has been motivated to join the campaign for better meals at school. Here, she talks about a conference held last week for parents who want to help.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

How to eat out in style

The Telegraph

Why do some people always seem to get the best table at the finest restaurant without any fuss? And why do the rest of us get stuck behind a pillar where we are ritually abused by the waiters - if we're lucky? Jan Moir finds out the secrets of dining like a pro - from a pro

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Jamie's food fight goes on

The Guardian

Comment by Felicity Lawrence

School dinners have never been so hot or glamorous a subject before, and few would deny that Jamie Oliver performed a great public service by making his TV series last spring. But the trouble with star makeover treatments is they never seem quite the same when you try them at home, or at your local primary school.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

A taste for gastro-tourism

BBC News Magazine

By Megan Lane

'Tis harvest time, the traditional season of plenty, and today the time for culinary festivals. With British cuisine no longer a national joke, food tourism is booming.
Foodies, rejoice. This weekend sees a smorgasbord of food festivals, in which the bountiful produce of Yorkshire, south Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will be celebrated. These are but a taster for British Food Fortnight, which starts the following weekend.

Read more…

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Eat my blog

The Observer

She's a petite thirtysomething from Bangkok but 10,000 people a week want to know what she had for lunch. Jay Rayner meets a culinary explorer whose online diaries have won her a cult following among foodies the world over.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

The big Mac story

The Guardian, Commentary

From limpets in Kidnapped onwards, Ian Jack reflects on diet in his homeland.

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Hot stuff

The Guardian, Review

By Kevin Rushby

Review of "The Spice Route: A History" by John Keay

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Foodies flock to organic festival

BBC News

Celebrity chefs have been in Bristol demonstrating how to cook 'real' fast food with fresh, organic ingredients.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Sophie Grigson were among those at the Soil Association's Organic Food Festival.
The events included a performance by the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra whose carrot and cucumber instruments were later made into soup for the audience.
Ben Cull, from the sponsors, Yeo Valley Organic, said the idea was to educate as well as entertain.
"One of our aims is to increase awareness of the benefits of organic farming, food production and consumption," he said.

Read the original article

Friday, September 02, 2005

'I always wanted to be a butcher'

The Telegraph

By Colin Randall

GĂ©rard Depardieu, France's most famous actor and bon viveur, has joined the massed ranks of celebrity chefs.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Minced tuna, caviar and raw shrimps - quite a catch at £200

The Guardian

By Audrey Gillan

London's top-end restaurants are flourishing thanks to the wealthy appetites of the city's affluent young.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pick of the blogs: Chocolate&Zucchini

BBC News

By Darren Waters, BBC News entertainment reporter

Blogs and blogging have become buzzwords in the last 18 months, with millions of people setting up their own web logs to record their lives, comment on world events or share news.
There are almost as many different types of blogs as there are bloggers. Some are highly professional while others are simple online diaries. We pick out six of the best.

Among these six: Chocolate & Zucchini: "Paris-based Clotilde is a software engineer with a love of food and aspirations to become a food writer."

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?

The Observer Food Magazine

What does chiefly animate Japanese soups and broths is an amino acid called glutamate. In the best ramen shops it's made naturally from boiling dried kombu seaweed; it can also come from dried shrimp or bonito flakes, or from fermented soy. More cheaply and easily, you get it from a tin, where it is stabilised with ordinary salt and is thus monosodium glutamate.
This last fact is of little interest to the Japanese - like most Asians, they have no fear of MSG. And there lies one of the world's great food scare conundrums. If MSG is bad for you - as Jeffrey Steingarten, the great American Vogue food writer once put it - why doesn't everyone in China have a headache?

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Feast fit even for a fastidious president

The Telegraph

By Auslan Cramb

The Queen welcomed the world leaders to Scotland last night with a banquet fit even for the refined palate of a French president.


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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

'Chirac? He didn't seem interested in food at all'

The Telegraph

By Jan Moir

Rick Stein has more reason than most to be aggrieved over Jacques Chirac's claim that the British are terrible cooks.

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A feast of Scottish delicacies awaits Chirac

The Independent

By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor

"Jacques Chirac may be forced to eat humble pie when he joins the G8 Summit leaders at a glittering dinner tonight hosted by the Queen at Gleneagles.
The French President ignited a simmering row after being overheard lambasting British food and pouring scorn on Scotland's "unappetising" national dish, but M. Chirac will be reassured to learn that Andrew Fairlie, head chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant at Gleneagles, learnt his trade in south-west France with Michel Guerard."

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Chirac: 'The only thing the British have ever given European farming is mad cow'

The Telegraph

By Toby Helm and Henry Samuel

Anglo-French tensions heightened last night after Jacques Chirac delivered a series of insults to Britain as London and Paris fought to secure the 2012 Olympic Games and faced fresh disagreement at the G8 summit.
The president, chatting to the German and Russian leaders in a Russian cafe, said: "The only thing [the British] have ever given European farming is mad cow." Then, like generations of French people before him, he also poked fun at British cuisine.
"You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," he said. "After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fat Ducks, farts, foaming green tea and the man from Die Zeit

The Guardian

By Luke Harding in Berlin

It has been hailed as the world's best restaurant. Its dishes of snail porridge and sardine on toast sorbet have been acknowledged as pushing back the boundaries of modern cooking.
But the Fat Duck was clearly not to the taste of Germany's most famous restaurant critic.
In an excoriating review, Wolfram Siebeck railed against the service and the food. He described one dish as a "fart of nothingness".
Siebeck flew to Britain to eat at the Fat Duck after reading about the restaurant and its chef, Heston Blumenthal, in the Guardian.
After being ushered inside and warned not to bang his head on the low ceilings, Siebeck complained that he had to wait for 40 minutes before anyone brought him anything to eat. He also could not understand the waiters.
"If the Fat Duck is the best restaurant in the world, it has the worst service ... In places of this quality, the guest should not have to wait more than half an hour for bread and wine and would prefer not to be spoken to in an incomprehensible dialect."


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Monday, April 11, 2005

Just why do we demonise McDonald's with such relish?

The Times, Opinion

By Richard Morrison

Brace yourself for a shock. You are about to read the most controversial sentence of the year. Indeed, I doubt whether I will get as far as typing the full-stop before I am hurled to the ground and gagged by a snatch-squad of eco-warriors, vegans and Guardian columnists. But here goes. The awful truth is, I feel sorry for McDonald’s.
Ouch! Get off my face right now, Polly Toynbee, and let me explain.

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Like Oliver, children want more

The Guardian

Comment by Rodney Bickerstaffe

Even at 50p, we'll still be spending less on school meals than in 1980.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

School meals around the world

The Guardian

As the government announces an extra £220m for school meals in England, we look at how other countries feed their pupils.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Learn to cook in northern Europe

The Independent, 19 March 2005

Take a walk on the wild side and prepare reindeer, elk and bear in Helsinki - or develop a flair in Clare for Irish soda bread. Jenni Muir discovers cooking courses to suit every taste.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

The true flavour of the islands

The Telegraph

By Andrew Purvis

Real Caribbean cuisine, long neglected in favour of blander tastes, is trying to make a comeback.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Platonic ideal of a cheese sandwich realised in Britain

The Telegraph

By Richard Alleyne

When the legendary American food writer Ruth Reichl brought her team of restaurant reviewers to Britain, they were bowled over by the fare on offer.
They were so impressed that they pronounced London to be the best place on Earth to eat and dedicated a whole issue of the million selling food bible, Gourmet magazine, to the city.
Bill Oglethorpe with his world-famous sandwich
But while top restaurants like Gordon Ramsay and the Fat Duck at Bray, both of which have three Michelin stars, inspired her admiration, it was a £3 toasted cheese and onion sandwich from a market stall that most blew her away.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Foodies aim for a slice of the pie

The Guardian

With the launch this week of a new award site, Graham Holliday argues that food blogs are not a flash in the pan.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Human rights court finds in favour of McLibel Two

The Times

By Chris Johnston, Times Online

The British Government has been ordered to pay nearly £57,000 in compensation to the 'McLibel' campaigners involved in a 15-year legal wrangle against the fast food giant McDonald's.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the pair should have been given legal aid by the British Government for their David-and-Goliath struggle, when McDonald's decided to sue them for libel.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Think fruit, buy fruit – then throw it in the bin

The Telegraph

By David Derbyshire, Consumer Affairs Editor

Millions of shoppers are buying their weekly quota of fresh fruit, piling it high in the fruit bowl and then watching it go off, according to research.
A poll of 500 families has found that more than half of all households throw away unused fruit and vegetables every week.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Olive oil acid 'cuts cancer risk'

BBC News

Scientists in Chicago say they have uncovered why a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil seems to cut the risk of developing breast cancer.
The key is an ingredient of olive oil called oleic acid, they say.

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