Rosh Hashanah


In the first of the three videos in this series, Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler of the New West End Synangogue introduces Rosh Hashanah and what it means in the Jewish faith.

In parts 2 and 3, Silvia Nacamulli, a well known expert on Italian Jewish food and Sula Leon, cookery teacher and author, each prepare one of their favourite dishes for the festival; Silvia's Chicken with Pomegranate and Sula's Apple Filo.


Richard Craig's Wine of the Week - No.5
*Wine of the Year - so far!!

Grolleau "Le Cousin" Vielle Vignes 2007 Domaine Cousin-Leduc, Anjou AC. Les Cave de Pyrene,  tel. 01483 554750

This wine was consumed at Terroir Wine Bar tel. 020 7036 0660 £30, with a companion who like me wanted something "wacky! " Grolleau is a variety now virtually only encountered as a component  in Rose d"Anjou, bland and insipid! The name Grolleau is derived from the old French word "Grolle" means Raven, a bird with plumage as black as the grapes from this vine. Old vines, carbonic maceration, non filtration and biodynamic practises produce a wine that is cloudy, purple-violet-red, has aromas of farmyards and horse manure, is red current juicy with vibrant, long acidity and considerable depth . Give me more!!


Chateau Pierre-Bise L'Anclaie 2007 Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu 50cl. Lea & Sandeman  £16.99

2007 was not the best vintage for Loire sweeties, but Claude and Joelle Papin of Chateau Pierre-Bise manage superb consistency. This is achieved by tirelessly picking trie after trie only the most botrytised grapes for there cuvees. This, from one of his more exposed vineyards, hence less susceptible to the positive mists necessary for the noble rot to infect the grapes is a case in point. It has ripe, golden, flower honey aromas,  creamy and elegant with appropriate balanced acidity. It would be and in fact was, delicious with baked apples and custard!
The Importance of Being Earnest



Michael Redgrave, Michael Dennison and Dame Edith Evans give as much importance to a cucumber sandwich as they do to being earnest.

Richard Craig's Wine of the Week - No.3

Rippon 2009 Lake Wanaka Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc  75cl £14.95 Lea and Sandeman.

I have to admit to being a bit fed up with a succession of blowsy, over sweet and vegetal NZ Sauvignon Blancs and some at high prices. Rippon 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, however is poised and focussed, with tight blackcurrant leaf aromas, excellent intensity and a racy mouthfeel. 40% of the cuvee was vinified in oak and this just adds to the complexity - it is not oaky!


Tenuta di Riseccoli 2000 Vin Santo 37.5cl  £34

This is tippy toppy sweet, complex, unctuous and rare. On the face of it, expensive, but when one considers the yields that are obtained not only for this vin santo but for many, top quality desert wines, an absolute maximum of 15hl/ha.  This can be compared with the yields achieved by the great Chateau of Bordeaux, where often as much as 40hl/ha are achieved, plus the probability of making second and third wines,  one can then see that these are not overpriced at all. Often they are made as a hobby or as a means of maintaining the traditional viticulture of an area and are non-profit making.


Murder She Said



Can anyone describe a recipe in quite the same wonderful way as the great Margaret Rutherford?

Orchards in the Oasis


Josceline Dimbleby

At the age of seven, tired and bewildered after a long journey from England to Syria via Lebanon, Josceline Dimbleby caught her first sight of Damascus from the mountain road.   In the extract she has chosen to read from her book of recipes, travels and memories, Orchards in the Oasis,  the magic of her first impressions of her new home are vividly recalled;  the deep red mulberry-stained water in the pool, the sun-warmed apricots, the scented pastries that awoke a lifelong passion for food and flavour.

Listen here


A Year in Chicken Soup

chicken soup right


A Year in Chicken Soup

A new series by Hattie Garlick


I am deep within the annual existential crisis otherwise know as The January Spring Clean. Literally so: I’m up to my knees in books, flung from their roosts on the book shelves in a desperate attempt to Get Rid Of This Infernal Clutter. I lift one at random and blow a film of dust from its decorative cover... (read on)

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 2

Delightful food

Here's one I found lurking at  the back of the shelf in its ragged and foxed dust jacket - Delightful food by Marjorie Salter and Adrianne Allen Whitney, published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1957 and costing 25s.  English titles stand out amongst the French;  Dry Curry Cavalry Club, Coldstream Eggs and Sauce Tintagel, for example, and some wonderfully evocative footnotes - more of those later.

But the real gem for our Cookbook Quote is the foreword by Noël Coward in which he reveals that he took up cooking in 1956.  And what fun he had with his new hobby - the evening the Oven Blew Up and more. Oliver Messel did some extraordinary illustrations in modern day Arcimboldo mode, one of which is posted under the Coward extract here.

Please send in any suggestions, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to add to this embryonic collection.  Come on, you must have something from the back of the shelf!


zee, 4th June, 2013

Big Night



Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci in The Big Night, a delightful film about two brothers from Italy opening a restaurant in America which becomes a cultural battleground between the old world and the new. If you haven't seen it check it out... it's great.

Bento Box Jewellery

One of those great web discoveries is Carolyn Tillie's food-inspired jewellery.


bento_box_ringssilver_earrings_2aubergine_pendantCarolyn told me that she studied  Metalsmithing in California but spent the next ten years in the food and wine industry. She has now turned her hand to producing "gastronomically-inspired jewelry to whet the appetite".

Her themes include Champagne, Just Desserts, Bento Box and Farmers Market. The food bits in the jewelry are reclaimed and recycled Japanese gumball machine toys, known as 'gashapon' which are decoratively set in sterling silver and 14k gold. There's lots more here.

zee, 13th May 2010