HEDONIST IN RESIDENCE
a food and travel writer, I have been seriously spoilt.
I've feasted on sweet, juicy black pineapple cut straight
from the ground with the Antiguan sun on my back; sipped
Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru 1959 in the courtyard of a Burgundian
chateau while a Michelin starred chef prepared dinner
at the table side (do you hate me yet?) and eaten a
two dozen course lunch at The French Laundry in the
Napa Valley, one of the best restaurants on the planet.
that might qualify me for the position of Food Hedonist
in Residence (ignoring for the moment that my "wild
child" credentials are seriously undermined by
the fact that I live in the suburbs with two kids, a
dog, drive a Ford Focus Estate and am about to celebrate
17 years of wedded bliss) I'm no food snob. I never
met a bacon sandwich I didn't like and while I appreciate
chocolate with 70% cocoa solids as much as the next
gourmet, it hasn't blunted my appetite for supermarket
brand Mars Bar knock offs.
far from alone in these predilections. Legendary chef
Marco Pierre White has taken the opportunity while promoting
his recently published biography to extol the virtues
of Knorr stock cubes; Simon Hopkinson, author of "the
most useful cookbook of all time" admits to being
"seduced by the honeycomb centre of a Crunchie"
in the pages of Roast Chicken and Other Stories and
Nigella Lawson once confessed on a TV interview that
her favourite snack consisted of "salt-and-vinegar
crisps in one hand and a white chocolate Magnum in the
let's do away with the idea of guilty food pleasures.
Do you diligently cook everything that arrives in your
weekly organic box scheme but supplement it with a family
pack of Cheesy Wotsits? Shout it from the rooftops.
Only buy 28 day hung Aberdeen Angus beef from your local
butcher but can't resist a Big Mac? Send out a press
release. Purchase sustainable seafood from an independent
fishmonger but would sell your kidney for a fish finger
and Branston Pickle sandwich? Text your entire address
course we must care about the environment, the food
chain, local businesses and our diets, but allowing
ourselves the odd indulgence is no crime. Relieving
your self of the burden of those guilty food secrets
is good for your soul. Let me prove it to you; I once
cooked an Ainsley Harriot recipe and thought it was
some things you really ought to keep to yourself.