June 30, 2009
SOME OF LOLA'S FAVOURITE THINGS!
My dear readers, I was recently having a little chat over the viral fence (as you do!) with the delightful Melissa at SUNBONNET COTTAGE. We were talking about food for the brain and it occurred to me that you might like to hear my deeply profound thoughts about FOOD! In fact, ‘cos I want to share some of my FAVOURITE restaurants with you, you could call this post “brain food”!
And so just for you, dear readers, my latest culinary scoop!
LOLA’S (AND RESTAURANT MAGAZINE’S) FOUR TOP RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD ARE ….
EL BULLI: Gnocchi of polenta with coffee, saffron yuba and daisy buds
EL BULLI: Kumquat and mint cocktail with pumpkin oil emulsion
Now as you know, dear readers, Mediterranean cuisine is often described as the healthiest in the world (aah, all that fish, garlic, olive oil), and Spanish chefs among the most creative. But what you may find more surprising is that, according to RESTAURANT magazine’s latest poll, four of the world’s TEN best restaurants are owned by Spanish chefs!
For the fourth consecutive year, the number one slot has gone to EL BULLI (above, plus some famous dishes, top) owned by Catalan chef, FERRAN ADRIA, who recently picked up his award at a gala organised by the leading British trade magazine at London’s Freemasons Hall.
The other three Spanish restaurants to make it into my (and Restaurant Magazine’s) top ten of the world’s best fifty establishments were MUGARITZ, owned by Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz (4th place, above), Catalan chef Joan Roca’s EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA (5th below),
and ARZAK, owned by Juan Mari Arzak (8th below).
But my dear readers, did you know that Spain according to the magazine has more restaurants on the list than any other country - including France, my country of origin?! And that Adrià’s El Bulli, established in Girona and with three Michelin stars, was voted number one by a panel comprising 800 international chefs, food critics and culinary experts?! (P considers himself a bit of a food expert following the infamous Nora-bun-débacle - more below - but swears he didn’t receive his invite in time…)
Adrià is, of course, known around the world as the “alchemist of the kitchen,” experimenting with liquid nitrogen - like his British protégé, HESTON BLUMENTHAL (above), owner of 3 Michelin-starred (and 2nd place) THE FAT DUCK. (Oops! Wrong pic again, Nora!) Quick, back to Heston and The Fat Duck!
THE FAT DUCK, BRAY, BERKSHIRE
However, long before Adrià and Blumenthal rolled out their mass spectrometers, kitchen scientists had been busy working on quaint recipes such as the egg-free custard invented for his allergic wife by ALFRED BIRD. The huge success of his instant custard (below), not to mention the huge profits cooked up, sent the food industry into a floury flurry of freeze-drying and homogenising experimentation from which it’s basically never looked back!
And, as for Adrià’s gaff and The Fat Duck, have been to both a couple of times with Nora and P but wasn’t impressed. Snail porridge (below)? Can take it or leave it! But then, I prefer my Bonio biscuits and dog chews any day! But what do I know? Neither Nora or I possess P’s unrivalled, unquestionably exquisite culinary palate…
P.S. WARNING TO THOSE OF A NERVOUS DISPOSITION! First put yourself in the emergency brace position, next take a long, deep breath, then prepare yourself for the WORST, MOST BLOODCURDLING SIGHT EVER.. Nora’s Most Notorious, Culinary Pièce de Résistance to date (below):
LOOK AWAY NOW!
Well, my dear readers, I did warn you…!! (And In case you were wondering, they’re hot cross buns…)