Marguerite Patten

Marguerite_Patten_1

"Marguerite Patten gave me my first inspiration to cook."  so says Gary Rhodes.
"I had decided to do this lemon sponge for Sunday lunch one day. I remember turning it out at table and seeing everyone drool as this intense smell of lemon filled the room and the thick lemon sauce dripped down over the sponge."
Nigel Slater writes of happy hours spent lost in her 'Cookery in Colour' as a boy.
They were not the first and nor will they be the last to be inspired by this extraordinary woman.

Our full interview with Marguerite includes contributions from Brian Turner, Valentine Warner and her daughter, Judith Patten.

 

The Ipcress File

the_ipcress_file

 

 

Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, that unlikely agent who takes great pleasure in culinary skills.

Soho Landmarks - Pizza Express

pizza_express

Peter Boizot, MBE, is a Soho legend.  In 1965 he introduced the pizza to Londoners when he imported an Italian oven into the first ever Pizza Express in Wardour Street.  The popularity of the jazz club below his Dean Street pizzeria lead to the founding of the Soho Jazz Festival.  He fought the very successful Save Piccadilly campaign, was a founder member of the Soho Society and the Soho Restaurateurs Association and supported in no small measure Soho Housing Association.

We interviewed him about those pioneering days at his home in Peterborough.

A Cantonese Wedding Banquet

cantonese_wedding_lily


The Year of the Tiger is not considered auspicious  for marriage, so in the last days of the Year of the Ox there was a rush of weddings.  Lily and Wan Li held their wedding banquet in Guangzhou on 31st January - a magnificent event with a 13 course meal.  The dishes are almost always the same and there are hidden, lucky meanings in most of them.
Gulangyu Sesame Cakes
gulangyu_sesame_cake.jpg



The Ye family have been making award-winning sesame cakes for decades.  They are one of the specialities of Gulangyu Island where visitors and locals alike stop to buy them on a busy corner from a diminutive cart.

They Still Call Me Trinity

They_Still_Call_Me_Trinity

The two Trinity movies were the first "Comedy Westerns" produced in Italy in the early 1970s starring Terence Hill as Trinity and Bud Spencer as Bambino,  Trinity's older half-brother. Trinity has just won a large amount of money as a card-sharp and so they're taking themselves to the smart, members-only restaurant in town ... the result is ... watch and see.

Hindu Festivals

Mridula Baljekar

In the latest of our series on food for religious festivals, Mridula Baljekar, cook, television presenter and multi-award winning author, introduces us to the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Onam and Holi.

In Part 1, Mridula talks us through the meaning and celebration of each festival, the various foods that are eaten and what they represent.

In Part 2, she shows us a selection of festival dishes in more detail and demonstrates one or two simple recipes.

Look out for her book Vegetarian Cooking of India  as well as  Great Indian Feasts for an entirely new twist on traditional festive food.

 

Prue Leith

Prue_Leith Fuchsia_Dunlop

"I'm not the best cook I know, I'm not the best manager and I'm not the best accountant. But I know a good one when I see one. I've been fantastic at delegation." So says Prue Leith during her conversation with Fuchsia Dunlop, herself a  highly respected cook, food-writer and authority on Chinese cuisine. In this absorbing conversation Prue tells Fuchsia how she left South Africa in the fifties to go to Paris and whilst there discovered that food meant more than just eating. She made another startling discovery; "You didn't have to be black to be a cook."

The Perfect Egg - Aldo Buzzi

The_Perfect_Egg_Thumb.jpg

"Scholarly, playful, idiosyncratic and witty, Aldo Buzzi's The Perfect Egg is an excursion into the food that has obsessed, provoked and intrigued the author through his life."

 

Rude Health Packed

Camilla Barnard Tessa Stuart

Camilla Barnard, champion of all things oaty and purveyor of some very fine breakfast foods, got together with packaging guru Tessa Stuart to talk to us about the challenges of packaging… what messages does it send out, how does it behave on the shelf, does it grab you and do you grab it? 

For a start-up company, your packaging may be the only marketing tool you have...