Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why can't I be proud about British food?

The Independent

By Iqbal Wahhab

I was born in Bangladesh and sell a British food experience. So what? Get over it.
Last year I opened a restaurant called Roast. It serves classic British dishes like potted shrimps, steak and kidney pudding and rhubarb crumble with custard, and our cooks prepare them using the best of British seasonal produce sourced from Borough Market, where we are based. As New Yorkers say, what's not to like? Yet in that very British way, we were mercilessly torn apart by the critics. Not in the fair comment, "Not so good, must do better" kind of way, but in a vicious and violent way.
OK, so I was born in Bangladesh and now I am selling a British food and drink experience. So what? Get over it. It's not relevant - or so I thought. Perhaps it takes someone initially from another culture to step back and say that British food can be great.

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