Welcome to the world of POSH NOSH. For me, this is a dream come true. All my life, I've wanted to bring extraordinary food to ordinary people.
This website contains some of the recipes featured in our award-waiting BBC2 series. You may find some of them difficult at first. The techniques are complex, true. And, yes I agree, the language is unusual and hard. But I know you wouldn't want it any other way. Extraordinary food should never be simple. And it certainly mustn't be cheap. One of the lovely things about having a website is that it keeps out people who can't even afford a computer!
Minty's Food Philosophy
My own beginnings in the catering industry couldn't have been more ordinary. I pulled pints for my dad, Reg Woodard, who was the landlord of the Marquis Of Queensbury in Tilegate Road, Reading.
Reg, of course, is the real name of Elton John. So I suppose it was destiny that I ended up, many years later, embarrassing Madagascan king of king prawns for a supper party Simon and I cooked for the Duke of Albany, at his villa near Lucca, to which Elton was invited and came.
Food has been a passport to another world for me, to be honest. Let's hope it is for you too.
It's important to say that Simon and I are working restaurateurs. We don't spend all day lounging round the tennis court at Crowe Hall, our house in Upper Berkshire which was built in 1685, as you know.
From Architect's Fish And Chips to Spotted Mick, all these dishes are available at our restaurant, The Quill and Tassel at Bray. Because you're reading this, you love food more than anything else in the world and fully support our No Beards and No Children policy.
Take your ceramic bone-bowl down from the dresser. Grab the dessert spoon from the antique drawer that's been in your family for generations. Food is for everyone. Enjoy!
Simon's Food Philosophy
I once ate a Flayed Swordfish And Guava Millefeuille that reminded me, in one sweet mouthful, of a Sea Interlude by Britten, a painting by Turner and one of Michael Holding's rampant, perfect-length balls.
Roasted fruits? A Hockney? Cherry blossom?
No. It reminds you of nothing.
Computer screens look, smell, feel (even taste) like nothing. They're devoid of sensuality. People who stare at screens all day should be shot. But there are so many millions of them. There simply isn't time.
And, worse, so many screen-starers have beards. If there's one thing I'd love POSH NOSH to achieve, it's to rid the world of beards. Beards are the enemy of culinary excellence. Can a bearded man eat Flayed Swordfish And Guava Millefeuille? Oh yes. Many times! The first time is merely an overture. For days afterwards, he'll come back to haunt it, rehydrating barnacles of encrusted beard-fish with his salivating tongue.
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