I now do a Supper Club and private catering!

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Monday, 26 September 2011

The need for skepticism

   Abergavenny Food Festival has the unique feature of the 'food rant stage'. Returning from AFF this year I found a lot to rant about. Known as 'l'esprit de l'escalier' it was the sense of knowing exactly what should have been said after the time had gone. So I will start here:

  I am tired of hearing about 'fresh, local, seasonal'. While I like those things I also like Bonne Maman apricot jam and peanut butter. Frozen peas are a fantastic product and I've got some local strawberries (now well out of season) in my freezer I can't wait to turn into some sort of purée or ice cream. I won't die from eating these things and I'll enjoy them a lot more than the endless root veg, beetroot, parsnip and carrots, making their journey from veg box to bin via the fridge.

  I was asked at a recent Rodborough Supper Club if the cheese was local. Again 'l'esprit de l'escalier' struck and I DIDN'T say 'I am sorry but the cheese is not local. Because the local cheese is tasteless rubbish'. Only buy local if you are local to quality I say.

  On the topic of fresh- Innocent smoothies. These are neither innocent nor, in my opinion, a good drink. Have a banana and an orange juice. Have tinned peaches and eat an apple or a carrot. Just don't waste money on getting two of your mythical 'five a day' through blitzed banana, strawberries and apple juice.

  Market holders at Abergavenny- Don't extract the urine. I witnessed one stall selling venison burgers for a fiver each. For a five pound burger I expect salad, a nice bun, condiments beyond cheap tomato ketchup and a thick, juicy patty- not fried onions and a cheap bap. Said stall retorted 'you pay extra for good stuff with no additives' and I thought 'so I'm paying you more for less?'. We are not mugs, alright some of us are, so just use this simple rule; if you were at your local market, what would be considered reasonable?

  Organics- do not buy organic food because it is said to contain more nutrients. It doesn't. Buy it only because of its quality. And never convince yourself to ONLY buy organic.

  Burgers- lamb, pork, duck, venison and beef burgers. Why the need to turn everything into a burger?

  Finally- Secret Larder Supper Club. Sweet jesus. How I hope this charade of a bad supper club was seen for the cynical marketing exercise it was. It would be a good thing if those unfortunate to throw good money at this train wreck realised this wasn't a REAL supper club. Supper Clubs are great. You will normally find them pleasant, informal, personal and thoroughly reasonable. Not overpriced and amateurish. And they usually have the heating on.