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I read a line in an article by Tom Parker Bowles today that had me sitting with my head held in my hands in sheer disbelief.  Tom said, and I quote

Posh restaurants match each course of your meal to a glass of wine.  Why should your barbecue be any different? 

Well Tom let me explain. For a start, the last time I was at the ‘Ivy’ I don’t remember the sommelier saying

May I recommend the pint of larger with the wild Scottish halibut poached with hollandaise?

There is a reason for that. It’s simple really, a barbecue, why people insist on writing BBQ I’ll never know, is not and has never been about fine dining. A barbecue is about standing around an open fire eating meat and drinking beer. (Glass of white wine or fruit based cocktail for the ladies, beer for the men). It’s not about delicately flavoured appetizers and courses. I’m not saying that it’s about food which is at the same time burnt and raw, something that only a man could actually achieve and worse still be amazingly proud of. It’s about meat; burgers, ribs, sausages, steak. Only Australians are stupid enough to put fish, or worse still, shellfish on barbecues. People from Mediterranean countries also tend to try to cook non-meat things on barbecues but they don’t really know any better and so can be forgiven for that. Please don’t make the barbecue into an outdoor dinner party.

I once went to a barbecue where the food was cooked in an old Silver Cross Pram (a pram is a baby carriage for any North Americans out there) and the salad dished up in a plastic washing up bowl. Strangely enough I wasn’t offered a choice of wine with my meal. Actually I wasn’t even offered a knife and fork. Perfect!