Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Matter of Taste

The news that Tokyo now has more Michelin starred restaurants than Paris has barely raised a Gallic shrug of the shoulders. Perhaps the fact that a good many of the joints boasted French cuisine had something to do with it – but what on earth is “French cuisine?”
Describing a restaurant menu as though it's umbilically attached to some nation or other strikes me as being food snobbery of a high order.
France, for instance, has more regional variations of food than they have cheeses not to mention India and China whose many variations rarely make it into the kitchens of the local eating house in Britain.
Tikka Masala and Balti are purely British dishes and Chop Suey came from San Francisco.
Say Japanese and you immediately think of raw fish – that's if you can bear to think of it at all – but there's much more to their food than one finds in the trendy sushi joints in London. When dragged into one of these, I always emerge looking for a decent fish and chip shop as a matter of some urgency.
And Italian is not only mounds of pasta washed down with Chianti from one of those cute straw covered bottles.
I'm off to London later today and I doubt that I will be eating in a Michelin starred establishment nor, if I can help it, in one owned by some ponced up former cook who prefers spending time in front of the television cameras to sweating away in a kitchen.
And I'm not too bothered about the nationality of the chef as long as he can cook.


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