Calves’ livers

I’m – apparently – rather odd in my liking of liver. Most people my age have only ever experienced the crap that school canteens serve up, whereas I learnt my liver-liking from my father. One of the market stalls in Cambridge sells calves’ livers, and they’re both cheaper – about 65p per 100g – and […]

Finishing off the Normandy ham

There was still some of that farmers’ market ham left, so I ate it with mustard and a side salad. Into the salad went iceberg lettuce, red, green and yellow peppers, purple onion, vine tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. For the dressing I mixed extra virgin oil with balsamic vinegar. The ham was really good, thick […]

Black forest ice cream

My favourite cake has got to be black forest gateau, mainly because of the contrast between the chocolate and the slightly sour cherry. I first ate it in the spa resort of Baden Baden in south west Germany, and felt far better after one slice of it than after drinking the spa water! I was pleasantly surprised therefore to come across an […]

Perrier Jouet Champagne

I travelled to visit friends in York and the weather was magnificent. I decided it an appropriate moment to crack open a special bottle of champagne which I’d been saving since Christmas. It was absolutely delicious and full of fine bubbles. The colour was a deep golden and the nose chocolatey and the familar biscuity. […]

A different kind of fire man

Yesterday, I went to a barbecue at my friend Jeff Nolan‘s house in sunny northern California. It was a beautiful day made more pleasant by Jeff’s family and some new friends. Even better: Jeff smoked some wonderful ribs for five hours. They’d been covered with a rub and sauce made by Jeff himself. In fact, […]

Madsen’s first flan

It was pretty easy. First I marinated some strawberries brought back from Normandy. Hulled and halved, they had a sprinkling of caster sugar and balsamic vinegar for a few hours. I bought a ready made sweet flan base from Sainsbury’s for 48p, and two sachets of Green’s fast setting red jelly for 43p (but only […]

John Howard Hotel

The John Howard Hotel, just around the corner from the Albert Hall, is a Best Western hotel and was where I was staying during a two-day meeting in London. They must’ve been fairly full and I must’ve been very lucky. My room was upgraded from the standard single to a suite – a separate bedroom […]

Just lunch

My lunch in Normandy is often a variation of bread with cheese and either ham or paté. This time it was a demi-baguette with a croissant from the sea-front bakery, some ham and vine tomatoes bought from the farmers’ market in the morning, and two cheeses. One was comté, or Franche-comté, a sweet and slightly […]

The Falconer, London

Il Falconiere, in South Kensington, was the venue for a conference dinner this week. We had a limited menu, but there was sufficient choice. I opted for beef and avocado to start. It was a good combination – half an avocado, sliced, with three thin slices of cured beef (a vibrant red in colour), alongside […]

Alfa brasserie, Luxembourg

I was in Luxembourg this week, staying in the very modern Albert Premier hotel near the old town. It was the kind of hotel where anything you touch adds considerably to the bill, so I decided not to risk eating in the restaurant. Instead I had a walk round the main sights, over the very impressive Adolphe […]

Ha!Ha! for Houghton’s

I was waiting for a friend to finish his research, so I dropped into Bar Ha!Ha! in York for a drink. I thoroughly enjoyed a Houghton’s Chardonnay-Verdelho blend, which was labelled as 2005/7. I’m not sure what the two different years meant, unless one of the grapes was from the former and the other the […]

You’re spoiling us, Mr Consul

That’s Bebo co-founder Paul Birch at left, mucking around behind the back of Craigslist co-founder Jim Buckmaster during a party we attended at the British Consulate in San Francisco last night. The party was part of the series of events around Web Mission, which has brought 20 UK start-ups from the Web 2.0 arena to […]