5 items from 2012
Our modern obsession with beautiful food – and reliance on ready meals when short of time – has led to huge waste. Is it time to put leftovers back on the table?
It's half past three and lunch is drawing to a close. The long dining room of 32 Great Queen Street in London's Covent Garden is three-quarters empty, with just a few diners left drinking coffee or finishing off bottles of wine. One large, noisy party at the end, nearest the open-plan kitchen remains, as the restaurant staff sit down at last to feed themselves.
The meal is freshly cooked, but often put together from leftovers. Staff meals are made from cuts of meat or bits of veg that haven't found a spot on this week's menu. Chef Tom Norrington-Davies makes a point of using things up: when his London restaurant opened five years ago, with its deliberately unfancy decor, sparse furnishings and reasonable prices, »
- Susanna Rustin
John Nettles' Barnaby is a fiercely sensible man, the calm centre of his blood-drenched village and its atmosphere of cosy malice
Whenever people discuss the cliches of TV detectives, they invariably begin by pointing out that no telly copper ever has a happy private life: they drink (Tennison, Morse), they're divorced (Bergerac) or widowed (Frost), and they never see their kids (Wallander). You can, of course, rebut all these genre-critics with the merest mention of Tom Barnaby.
Barnaby (played by John Nettles) is happily married to Joyce, and the devoted father of Cully. They live in a nice house, where Joyce cooks Delia Smith recipes for their dinner. But embracing this warmhearted core, the rest of Midsomer Murders is only ever one village fete away from grand guignol. And on at least one occasion, even the fete notches up a corpse (Four Funerals and a Wedding, season nine, episode five). In this world, »
- Natalie Haynes
With the Great British Bake Off's ratings rising nicely again, we ask top chef Henry Harris and food writer Joe Warwick whether they find today's TV cookery palatable
With the Great British Bake Off back on our screens – and pulling in four million viewers – our appetite for cookery shows appears to be bigger than ever. Henry Harris, chef-patron of the French restaurant Racine, and food writer Joe Warwick discuss whether food TV leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Emine Saner listens in.
Joe Warwick: These programmes just don't work for me. I remember Keith Floyd on TV and that was fun, not just because he was pissed, but it was slightly anarchic. Now it's all lifestyle stuff. I tried to watch Rachel Khoo's programme [the Little Paris Kitchen on BBC2]. I'm sure she's a lovely person, but I just wanted to put my head through the screen. Some shows are good, like some of Jamie Oliver's, »
- Emine Saner
Alan Cumming, who plays Macbeth (and all the other parts) in New York's Lincoln Center Festival's production of Macbeth, on what Shakespeare means to him
Macbeth was the first play I ever read. In fact, I remember my brother Tom, who is six years older than me, coming home from school and telling me about it. He was the one that really got me going.
It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that all the other plays weren't Scottish. Cawdor, Birnam, Duncan, Glasgow; I knew all these places.
I think of Shakespeare as a collective, because you'd have to be some sort of crazy motherfucker to have the brains, heart and balls to write all those things. To be so raw and real and primal and then at the same time, musical and profound. It's too genius for one person.
I can sometimes sit there »
- Megan Conner
While Nigella has her capacious scullery and Heston his science lab, Rachel Khoo's humble set-up is a kitchen for our times
In pictures: TV chefs in their kitchens
The best cooking shows not only make you hungry, they also dangle a tantalising new lifestyle in front of you, all dappled in sunlight, gently urging you to move to the country or start throwing your own pots. A fantasy of some carefree existence in which you have time to skip through organic farmers' markets, fondling plums and finding just the right lardons for your poule au pot.
The newest of these is the impossibly twee-sounding The Little Paris Kitchen, presented by Rachel Khoo, a Croydon-born Paris resident who serves up lunch in her minuscule studio apartment (after she's folded away her futon to make room for the tiny table). Pots and herbs and spoons dangle from every wall; her kitchen would »
- Julia Raeside
5 items from 2012
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