Thursday, 26 September 2019

A food critic speaks

"I’m just saying if I narrowly decided to order fish at a restaurant that was known for chicken, but said it was happy to offer fish, and so far I’ve been waiting three hours, and two chefs who promised to cook the fish had quit, and the third one is promising to deliver the fish in the next five minutes whether it’s cooked or not, or indeed still alive, and all the waiting staff have spent the last few hours arguing amongst themselves about whether I wanted battered cod, grilled salmon, jellied eels or dolphin kebabs, and if large parts of the restaurant appeared to be on fire but no-one was paying attention to it because they were all arguing about fish, I would quite like, just once, to be asked if I definitely still wanted the fish."

A chap with a beard

So says Jay Rayner, restaurant reviewer for the Observer. I'm not sure what he's on about but it's the sort of zen parable from which, following prolonged meditation, relevance and meaning may emerge.

"And he nipped them in the bud, right at the end."

I've never met My Rayner, but I did once meet his late mother Claire, the agony aunt, at a charity quiz hosted by Bob 'Can I have a P please?' Holness. Has anyone else noticed how my claims to fame are getting smaller and smaller as time goes by?

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