Sunday, 8 January 2012

I probably should have said ...

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They often say that a blog is a diary, a catalogue of events in one's life, although arguably a diary is more interesting to other people.

I was always rubbish at keeping a diary though, and that's partly why I've failed to write about some events which I ought to have recorded.

Take the picture at the top - this was the Scotch Egg Challenge at the Ship in Wandsworth. 36 contestants, 5 judges, one winner.

Chef Mat Follas, celebrity baker Eric Lanlard, bloggers Chris Pople and David Constable and I chose the brilliant offering from the Devonshire Arms in Chiswick.

The #ScotchEggChallenge as it was known on Twitter made the Evening Standard and the Guardian. A full account of the results on the Ship's blog here.


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At the start of last year, I took part in the Barbecoa Brawnoff.

Food Urchin, Paul from How not to do a Food Blog, the Grubworm and I were each given a pig's head by the butchers at Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver's steakhouse in the City and challenged to make the best brawn we could.

Read about what happened here on JamieOliver.com.

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In June, I joined some kind of Asian food super-collective - I like to think of it as the culinary equivalent of Mad Season or Them Crooked Vultures...

Kidding aside, Grazing Asia is the London Foodie, Uyen from Leluu, May from Slow Food Kitchen, and me joining forces to bring you lots of fun events, pop-ups, supperclubs - the chance to cook with us and eat our food.

Grazing Asia specialises in Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and of course Burmese cuisine and we launched at Fifteen, the flagship restaurant of Jamie Oliver (yes, him again), raising over £1,000 for charity in the process. Again, you can read about this on JamieOliver.com.

Today, I'll be hosting Burma by MiMi at the London Cooking Club, and I'm planning a Pork Dinner and a Noodle-shack over the next few months.

To learn about upcoming events from all of us, you can join the Grazing Asia mailing list here.


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I went to Japan. I had the best meal of my life there, as well as others worthy of mention.

And I will mention them properly later, I promise.

The Final

MasterChef the Professionals 2011 came and went - somewhere in the offices of Shine and Haymarket, a sobbing noise could be heard as they realised BBC scheduling placed the Final just before Christmas when nobody cared (and missing the chance to pimp the winner in MC Live).

Our finalists were Pob, the Final Fantasy blue rinse girl and the Australian cuckold. The Australian cuckold aka Ash Mair won.

And if you're wondering what the hell I'm on about, look at him.

He's every devastatingly handsome but ultimately unsuitable boyfriend/fiance in every film (see James Marsden in both X Men and Superman Returns) who gets supplanted by the loveable but not immediately appealing hero (Tom Hanks/Adam Sandler)

So despite these odds, he won. Nice one.




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Lastly, that's me in my dressing room in the BBC Television Centre.

If you watch BBC2 at 7.30 tomorrow (Monday 9th Jan), you'll see me, Donald from Notes from the Dregs and Paul from How Not to do a Food Blog as Team "Epicurian Fails" being grilled by Newsnight's Kirsty Wark on the quiz, "A Question of Taste".

We'll be up against the Guardian's food writers Felicity Cloake, Oliver Thring and James Ramsden.


And please bear in mind that I'm really not that smug in real life. Honest.

9 comments:

  1. Hurrah! I can comment, at last. Now I can't remember what I was going to say, so, er, hi!

    *waves*

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  2. I'm sad I didn't know about your Burmese lunch thing before yesterday or I would have come so this blog title is rather appropriate. ;P
    Please don't forget to notify us of your GrazingAsia event because I don't want to miss that.
    That photo of you with the pig's head is very cute. Which bits did you use for your brawn? My maternal grandfather was a brawn master.
    Really looking forward to Question of Taste tomorrow. Wishing you good luck is too late but I'll still cross my fingers for your team. Ace dressing room!
    Looking forward to meeting you on the 30th!

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  3. Recording AQOT, and curently have "Fame, I'm gonna live forever" running through my brain ;-)

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  4. @Dennis K - Happy New Year to you too Dennis!

    @Lisa - Heh! *waves back*

    @Karohemd - I've been a bit remiss - I will make sure the emails are sent out way in advance next time.

    The brawn was made from the whole pig's head - ears, cheeks, every scrap of meat I could get off it, plus a couple of trotters. Would love to hear more about your grandfather!

    I have to admit, that dressing room was for the team, not just for me :)

    Look forward to meeting you too!

    @Nicky - Yes, well, I've already had my 15 minutes of fame, so this is just overkill ;P

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  5. Thanks!
    My grandfather was a master butcher, chef and farmer (still working with a horse until they up the farm in the 50s). As an American POW, he blagged himself into the kitchen and once had to make brawn for all the officers. He taught me how to use and care for knives and things like that.

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  6. What an awesome year (especially the brawn event... *ahem*). Full of exciting things and now you're on the telly. Again! I will endeavour to turn the box on so I can watch you telling those Gruniad writers what's what to do with food.

    I am waiting with bated breath for the noodle shack and all other exciting events.

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  7. Cool, looking forward to hearing about Japan!

    Congratulations on the supper club yesterday and for being brilliant on AQOT. You were robbed! Chestnut crosser??? Bah. I'm going to buy one and use it to stone cherries.

    Funny, I think Ash looks like Tom Hanks a bit. I'm glad he won too. I really liked his left eyebrow. At least, I think it was the left one. Hm. (Oh, and he cooked well too.)

    Hope your 2012 is EVEN better than 2011. xx

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!