The Weekend Edition

Sadly, yet again the Hospitality is mourning the loss of another from within its ranks. The phrase ‘Food hero’ is often banded around, but very few actually live up to the billing, Reg Johnson was a true legend in this respect. Synonymous for his Goosnargh Chickens & Ducks, Reg (never Reggie) was a larger than life character whose life was dedicated to producing the best he could. Rest in Peace Reg.

Reg Johnson

Reg Johnson 1950-2015

Masterchef: The Professionals – Week 2

So we enter the second week of culinary social media cannon fodder to be served up, and oh dear, it goes from bad to worse. At least two of this week’s contestants are my ‘friends’ on Facebook, so I can read their reactions, cheers guys thanks for the material 😉

With invention tests ranging from a classic Buck rarebit to a Fruit sabayon (or a variant of the Italian classic Zabaione). Yet again, Wareing & Galetti so elequently demonstrated how the industry was failing and chef weren’t getting a full education, with Wareing saying:

One third of the menu is desserts, so why miss it from your training?

And, as usual, he has a point. Then there are the chefs who proclaim to be ‘Self taught’, much to Wareing’s amusement he enquired about the validity of this claim – so you just arrived at Exec chef?

One of the things which has really started to grate on me, is how the three judges proclaim how ‘the meat is perfectly cooked’. In this case it was Josh’s Lamb. It will be, he uses a pretty much idiot proof method of sous vide & then colours the meat in a pan to finish it. It requires far less skill than pan work, and quite frankly, if ‘Masterchef; The Professionals’ want to live up to Wallace’s catchphrase of

Cooking doesn’t get tough than this

then they should be banishing such techniques from the competition.

Most of the social media & Daily Mail vitriol has been reserved for #HoneycombGate, where two chefs thought it would be a good idea to use said pastry stable as a garnish for their main courses. Why? goodness only knows.

Whilst the internet is strewn with recipes which combine Honey & Lamb, Honeycomb it is not. With Josh claiming that Honey & Lamb was a classic combination, Galetti disagreed, saying;

I’ve been in this country 15years, & I’ve never heard of it

Well Monica, maybe try traveling outside of the M25, as the Honey & Lamb combination seems to be based in the northern part of this country, just a heads up 😉 .

As usual the critics came up with with a variety of decisions, with Sitwell clearly not understanding how things should be cooked. Twice he was owned by Campion & MacLeod, both of whom are far more respected, over carrots & risotto being al dente. For me, he’s not a restaurant critic, he’s an Editor of a Supermarket magazine, who writes about food; there is a difference.

Two weeks in and already the talent is starting to show through from the wannabes. Let’s see what next week brings.

Stories from the Inbox

Mark Gevaux (aka The Ribman) Got in touch about his pop up tomorrow at Wahleeah. The Ribman take over is from 7-11pm & costs £30 per person

Ribman logo

For full details see the: Wahleeah website


John Cotton from JCA emailed about Santini opening their new bar & dining areas.


Veal chop for two at Santini


The Butterfly bar will be perfect for those living, working locally or visiting the area to enjoy light bites, drinks, teas and coffee all day in true European bar style.

For further details: Santini bar & restaurant


Martha from Nudge PR sent me details about Bake Box, a concept which tries to narrow the gap between amateurs & professionals on a subscription based basis. For £14.99 (plus £2.99 P&P) this is what you get:

Bake Box will be the first of its kind available in the UK and includes recipe cards for 6 stunning bakes and the tools needed to transform any cake into a showstopper.

Learn the tricks of the trade and to bake like a pro with each bi-monthly delivery including:

  • At least 6 specially curated bakeware items
  • 6 full colour step-by-step recipe cards
  • Decorating kits from Rainbow Dust
  • Complimentary access to Bake Club Live

For more details: Bakebox website


Are TV cooks running out of ideas?

The Daily Mail/Metro brigade were out in force on social media this week, when Nigella Lawson served up this abomination:

nigella lettuce egg

Nigella’s Caesar salad. source: BBC via

Finally an illustration that TV cooks have officially run out of ideas, & iconic dishes to bastardise.

Full story:

Dodgy tweet of the week

Needless to say, Jay Rayner got a bit touchy about it. Doth the critic protest too much? Answers on a postcard.

Ever wonder why there is a chef shortage?



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