Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Seasons Greetings from Beijing

Seasons Greetings from downtown Beijing, where I'm overseeing the building of the new 'Aroundtheworldin80dinners' global headquarters. This is in responce to the outbreak of recent challenges to the "Aroundtheworldin80.......' franchise (copyright: J. Verne). I nearly choked on my dim sum when I saw the BBC advertising an 'Aroundtheworldin80faiths' programme, hosted by some hippie knob in a cheesecloth shirt and beaded necklace. Not to mention the publication of an 'Around the world in 80 dinners' travel and cook book by another pair of knobs who did it the easy way by actually going around the world! And don't get me started on the return of the Hairy Wankers. Still, it is the season of goodwill, so may all of us at 'Aroundtheworldin80dinners Global Headquarters' wish y'all a Happy Christmas and a great 2009!

(card available exclusively from:
The 'Aroundtheworldin80dinners' brand is proving to be as popular as Mao (copyright:J.Lennon) among the local population. I'm hoping that this ambitious expansion of my brand, even at a time of financial crisis, will bring the culinary wit and wisdom of "the Great Helmsman" to an even wider readership and eventual world domination.

Sheng dan kuai le!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

St. John Bread and Wine, London

Some of you will have noticed that my age has changed on my profile, meaning that it was my birthday and another year older. To celebrate I met my good friend, Mel, in London for a long lunch at St. John's. It is the kind of place where you would find Tracey Emin or some such other East End hipster at the next table. And lo, there she was at the next table. Being too cool to ask for an autograph or worse, have my photo taken with her, you will have to take my word for it- or ask Mel.

We had the Mallard and red cabbage with a fine bottle of dry white, followed by freshly baked madeleines. The duck was pink, tender and moist, and the petit cakes awash with memories.

It was a memorable meal, long and slow. What better way to usher in another year. I have been asked recently if I am a father or a grandfather by pretty strangers,so I'm not sure how many more I can take. Still, to Mel and all to others who helped me mark the occasion, you made an old man very happy.