Today is publication day. It’s been a few years since I published a book, and today, I’m please to say, I have a new book out. It’s a book all about the Lough Neagh Eel, the story and recipes. All to start my journey to record 2016 – Northern Irelands Year of Food and Drink.
I’ve been asked to compere a fight, not a vicious one; one with flowers between Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsay.
Belfast is fast becoming a food capital of the world, Northern Ireland with it’s spring of artisan food products are winning a host of awards for quality and innovation. And, 2 Michelin stars have come back to Belfast after a 4 year lapse.
When a mummy and daddy love each other very much…. or so the old adage used to go. I assure you Angus the AGA City60 was not found in a cabbage patch as we don’t have those in Peckham (the posh part), nor was he delivered by a stalk. I will have you know he was delivered by AGA London. So when asked about the birth of my bundle of joy, I’m booming with pride to tell people the real story. And, it’s on TV tonight.
Lets cut to the chase, I did it. I ate grasshoppers, silk worms and scorpions. In the interest of public sanity, this blog post from Yantai, in Shangdong province in China is NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED.
As the sun went down over Yantai Wine Bay in Shangdong Province the stage was set and the 20th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards took place last night. 205 countries were present with many sending their Ambassador to China to the Awards, some countries sent their Presidents. Corporations, writers, publishers, printers and photographers were all present, and Northern Ireland for the first time ever was listed as a country at the awards as a food writing place. Needless to say, Team NI did hugely well.
I regularly get invitations to new restaurants opening so I can write about them for my blog, some I go to and some I don’t. It all depends on if I have time or if the theme of the restaurant meets the story of my blog. However, last week being invited to a new restaurant of ‘Lab Grown Meat‘ piqued my interest. I mean, Vegetarian friendly re-newable meat.
Watching the movie ‘The History Boys‘ by Alan Bennett a few things cropped into my mind namely the remarkable history of AGA cookers. Invented by a blind chap in Sweden in 1922. Part one of my little history of the AGA series that will be highlighted over the next few ‘every other’ Wednesdays tells a little of the background of this thoroughly intriguing story of how a blind Swedish man started a global culinary change, defined Britishness and, naturally, it’s a spy story too.
After launching AGA in China, I finally arrived home today to Peckham (the posh part). It was silly o’clock and I just wanted to see Dr Thomas. He was in bed, as all good people should on a bank holiday at 5am, only I found out he was ill with the flu. I made him a Ribena and turned on Angus the AGA City60 and realised how I had missed both my men from my 10 days in the Orient. You may not have been away, but if you want to WIN AN AGA read on, if only for a jet lagged bacon sandwich. It’s so good to be home.