? Spit or swallow
Segura Viudas Cava N.V. (Spain, £5 99, £5 13 per 7) Cava7 Isn't that cheap sparklung wune y0u get un supermarkets7 Well ut us, but there us a remarkable range of qualuty Towards the upper end of the range yOu can get sounethung really quute specual Thus house's wunes were So umpressuve that competitor Frexunet
snapped ut up Thus us amazung value for
money — crusp, clean wuth a delucate
nuttuness, and a surprusungly long funush
Sigalas Santorini 1999
(Greece, £7 99) Forget any
preconceptions you may
have about Greek wunes
‘ (unless they're good ones).
Thus us show stopping — and
I know many people (myself included)
that have mistaken this for a £10-plus‘
Californian Chardonnay, There are
wonderful aromas of walnuts and fudge
wuth the expected tropical fruits un the
background The palate us ldW-lepplllq,
which can unake ut quute a messy wune to
drunk, Do yourselves a favour and try thus
before it dusappears or changes vuntage. If
it comes back next year, ut’s sure to be
Mosaique Syrah 1999 (VDP d’oc, France, £3.99) From
NIGEL SLATER Trusting instincts
This is the tome on cooking, the universe and everything that Nigel Slater fans will know he has been straining to write for ages. It's based on the reassuring premise that recipes are a tyranny, that ‘good eating depends on nothing more than fine ingredients simply cooked'. He cajoles, almost bullies, us to accept one simple proposition: trust our instincts.
‘A recipe is an idea, a suggestion, an inspiration,’ he says. We should follow it in spirit but feel free to deviate according to what’s in the cupboard; or the mood we're in. No last—minute dashes round town to find the missing teaspoonful of ground mace for Nigel. He's confident he can persuade us that the best place to make an inspired cooking decision is in front of an open fridge door.
Appetite is stocked full of pithy philosophies — 'no olive oil, no supper' — and soulful declarations such as, ’Who hasn’t sought solace in a bowl of soup?’
Where most books offer a few pages of key ingredients and kitchen essentials, Nigel’s still writing paeans to the virtues of pepper and ridged grill pans a third of the way into the book. While urging you to seek inspiration at home, this home should be stocked with a few basics. If you’re not the type who understands why it's worth having more than one kind of vinegar in the cupboard, then this book may sound like a lot of pretentious tosh. Even some fans will raise an eyebrow as Nigel gushes about fast food:
‘ I ,1 Nigel Slater
‘Nigel is a genius’ Jamie Oliver
Slater bullies us to trust our instincts
'. . . your teeth sink into that soft, comforting bun and the piquant-sweet sauce squidges up . . . a moment of absolute bliss.’ Or doing the dishes: ’The great thing about having done the washing up is the feeling of calm and quiet accomplishment that goes with it.’
the kitchen, but in bed or curled up in an armchair. The photography by Jonathan Lovekin emphasises the warts-and-all attitude; 3 pinny stained with food, a dirty frying pan, cheese looking gooey. It's all about believing that if food is about living then living is
deep in the heart of the Languedoc, comes thus modern-styled Syrah (or Shiraz). Its nose betrays its
RhOney origins, wuth daunson aromas and hunt of spice. The palate us amazungly full for a wune at thus price, wuthout goung over the top, wuth hunts of gunger and
about food. (Donald Reid) I Appetite by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, £25.
Appetite is all about embracing your love of food, cooking and eating it. It's not a book you'll read just in
I Decadence by his publisher, Madsen which may be the initial ones, where 0008010” offers up something akin to Hannibal Jamie shows how to make fresh meals Post House Cabernet Lecter’s kutchen through the eyes of usung ingredients similar to ready-made Sauvignon 1998 ’
(Stellenboch, S. Africa, £7.99) From the vuneyards of False Bay, thus us really getting quute serious: an uncrediny full nose of blackcurrants, cedar wood and eucalyptus, everything you’d expect from a wune like thus. The palate us rich and Silky, loaded wuth cassus fruut, tobacco and a delucate spuce. The tannins are very fune, mellowed out by the small amount of Merlot in the blend, but us full- on enough to tackle the heavuest of dishes. For Just £2.99 more than your x average fiver bottle, thus us something quite Specual. Robertson's Well Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 (Australia, £9.99, £7.49 per 4) Ah! I Cabernet, Australian style. From the celebrated l Coonawarra area - famous i for producing the best Australian i l l
frozen alternatives in about half the time. Blimeyl
If you really cannot get enough of young master Oliver, then the CD release Cookin': Music To Cook By from Sony is a must. But honestly, ’Dancing in the Moonlight’ was horrible when first released. To top it off, there is a tune from Scarlet Division; you know, the rock band whose rehearsals drummer Oliver never misses. That is possibly because they are few and far between. The vudeo also displays their musucal prowess, but having heard the CD we demurred.
Finally, local talent is displayed in the recently published Edinburgh On A Plate (Black and White, £17.99) and the even more recently published Glasgow On A Plate 2 (Black and White, £16.99). Edited by Ferrier Richardson, they are both full of recipes from the kitchens of leading restaurants, lavishly illustrated, using Scottish produce: whether salmon, venison or lamb. Effort was made to include duversuty, as well, so you get Chinese, Spanish, Indian and other ’ethnic’ meals. Our only quubble is with the lack of a subject index: finding the perfect creme brulee recipe is harder than it need be. (Barry Shelby)
film director John Waters. Amid the seemingly straight recipes are some quite queer ones, involving the use of precious bodily fluids and marinades. The least bizarre technique involves chef Cruspe bathing in his beef stock: ’By rapidly clenching and unclenching my sphincter muscles, I discovered that I could actually draw some . . . . ’Well, you get the picture. Homo-erotic gross— out is not a vein well dug in the culinary world, so should Madsen (whose previous Memoirs Of A Gnostic Dwarf is apparently Dedalus’ most successful backlust title) find his market, the words of his alter-ego Crispe are no doubt accurate: ’I think I can promise that you will not be disappointed.’
And so, on to the so-called Naked Chef. Happy days, matel Fans have had to make do with only a one-off appearance in the BBC series Dinner With Friends. But now you can buy the video, Pukka Tukka, An Essential Guide To Cooking (VCl, £14.99), and follow the escapades of the cheeky chef as he cooks various meals wuthin various budgets for various common folk: some university buddies, fire- fighters and more. He races through fourteen new recipes, the best of
I ’ Flesh to Pukka l l
. Cabernets—thus lives up to all an essential guide to cooking
expectations. Typical blackcurrant aromas dominate the nose, wuth touches of cugar box fragrance and a light toffee background, which follows through to the palate, wuth touches of vanulla and I light coconut oak. The tannins are relatively light, but don’t get me wrong, it’s a real tooth stainer. (Gordon Haggarty) I All wines available from Oddbins.
Naked chef avialable in all formats
Without question, Davud Madsen’s Orlando Crispe's Flesh-eater's Cookbook (Dedalus, £799) is the most bizarre tome to land on any food editor’s desk this year. Conveniently categorised as Fiction/Cookbook/
118 THE UST 30 Nov—l4 Dec 2000