Blogging For The First Time
Blogg... George Blogg.
Chef... Michelin starred chef.
Never eaten his food before but we are booked at Gravetye Manor Restaurant for lunch with Cheoff's Mummy for her eighty-ninth birthday next month... we will be Blogging for the first time.
Normally I'd give you a post-prandial low-down but this particular visit raises a few points which I'll share now before the event.
How do we prepare ourselves for such an occasion? A birthday treat for someone who is unreservedly loved and admired by her family, friends and neighbours. The poignancy that her husband, my very recently deceased step-father, is definitely not able to join us. What to wear? Who will drink and not drive? We'll bring those and many other thoughts and considerations to the table. Some will have been resolved before arrival. Some, like our menu and wine choices, we will work through while there.
The most intriguing (I must stress, not the most worrying) question for me is how I'll react to eating food from a chef whose training includes a stint with David Everitt-Matthias in Cheltenham. Regular readers will know the love/hero worship/recourse to stunning recipes which are generated by my favourite chef. The fact that the immensely talented Phil Howard has also been a formative influence might easily fan the fire of fearing how well chef Blogg will pass muster. But no. As I stressed, I will have few worries. I have reached the point where I very reluctantly make comparisons in the face of alternative approaches to ingredients and their potential. We will simply be in different, but safe, hands.
I like the fact that Chef Blogg all but dismisses presentation from his approach. That is surely a mildly disingenuous suggestion of his. Every dish will most likely look as pretty as a picture while delivering the more important elements of flavour and texture which come from a full understanding of cooking. Let's face it... with a bountiful garden of produce on his doorstep, our chef stands a chance.
I will enjoy everything put before me... even if it is the enjoyment of being challenged by something new or unexpected.
But, above all, I am looking forward to sharing that enjoyment with the person who will celebrate another year of being on this earth. Mum has in fact already been to a different Gravetye Manor... one from over thirty years ago. Being in the days of 'Nouvelle Cuisine', certain of her fellow diners still remember leaving and having a midnight fry-up back at home! No such prospect for us. Chef knows what he is about and I think we are all wise enough to let him hold sway.
Ah, George should perhaps be told... my Mum is also a terrific cook. So, I admit that a few cheeky comparisons might be made after all!
Let's finish with a delicious and enticing video of what we are expecting... outstanding ingredients treated with respect and, dare I say it, perfectly presented. I might even ask Mum to help me with a review here in due course.