and Giorgio - Thursday 9 January 8.30pm, BBC TWO
over 30 years experience between them at the sharp end of restaurant
cooking, Tony Allan and Giorgio Locatelli understand food, what
sells and, above all, what tastes good.
a brand new series for BBC TWO, Tony and Giorgio answer the questions
people have always wanted to ask about cooking, while serving up
dishes that are stunningly simple, yet taste delicious.
is arguably the most famous Italian chef in Britain, while Tony
is one of the most influential restaurateurs in the country.
they started working together 12 years ago they have discovered
a fresh, informal approach to eating. Their message is not to be
scared, but to loosen up and make everything you eat worth eating.
agree to disagree on everything, from truffle oil to olives and
from supermarket cooking to organic food.
addition, each programme is structured around a different concern,
such as why people are scared of fish and whether we are raising
a nation of children who think that fruit grows in cling film.
their new book, Tony and Giorgio, they talk about their early culinary
influences and their love of English food.
declares: "To Italians, food is the most important thing in
their lives. This obsession is based on their belief that eating
good food isn't a privilege, it's a basic right.
eats well in Italy. Eating well is a sign of well-being, of the
normal functioning of a family. It doesn't matter whether they're
eating in an expensive restaurant or buying a panino from a kiosk
at a railway station, they will still insist on the best. And if
they don't get it they will complain - loudly, of course.
you grow up in Italy, you grow up with food. I often think about
the times as a little boy when I would walk in the mountains with
would drop into Cecchino, the bakers, and buy his freshly baked
michetta rolls. Then we would go to the salumeria and buy a hunk
of mortadella di fegato (liver sausage). Then we would sit down
on a big stone wall and my grandfather would pull out his hunting
knife and slice up the sausage. A bit of sausage, a bite of bread
- the flavours were fantastic. Whenever I think about that wall
I can still taste that mortadella.
I started working at the Savoy, I started to appreciate English
food. I soon discovered steak and kidney pie, which taught me how
good food in this country could be. I also love Yorkshire puddings,
and the great British Sunday roast, and those marvellous bread and
took me four years to discover the one true pièce de résistance
of English cooking. When I was at the Savoy, I was taken to Smithfield
meat market early one morning and experienced my first full English
breakfast. It was all there: the salty, thick-cut bacon, the just-runny
egg, the kidneys, the fruity black pudding, the greasy sausage,
the baked beans the thin, buttered toast. I loved it. Suddenly,
I started to understand the English."
Tony: "I'm naturally drawn to Italian things. I drive a Ferrari,
I wear Italian clothes and I love Italian furniture. If I go more
than a few days without pasta, I start getting withdrawal symptoms.
me, it's the simple things Italians do best: like an honest plate
of spaghetti, a good loaf of crusty country bread just pulled out
of a wood-fired oven, or a magnificent new-season white truffle
from Alba shaved over a freshly made risotto. That's real food and
mum was a very good but very English cook. The most exotic thing
she ever made was pavlova. There was no such thing as a caesar salad
or rocket salad or Tuscan bread salad for her.
our house, salad was usually some tomato and lettuce and not much
more. I guess that explains this inbred craving I have for salad
was brought up on comfort food, like shepherds pie, eggs and bacon,
and steak and kidney pudding. I also inherited my love of scotch
eggs, pork pies and pickles, such as gherkins and pickled onions.
remember when I was five or six, I picked up a pickled onion from
my dad's plate and popped it in my mouth. That sharp, tongue-curling
hit of vinegar was such a shock, yet such a pleasure.
is some pretty remarkable food in this country. For my money, British
produce is the best in the world but we rarely do it justice. English
apples are sensational. Our oysters, our venison, our wild fish
and our cheeses are all bloody brilliant.
me a perfectly cooked standing rib of beef with fresh horseradish
sauce and roasted English onions, a new season's grouse straight
from the oven, a wheel of carefully aged farmhouse cheddar, and
some magnificent wild Scottish salmon poached in a simple court-bouillon,
and I'll show you why we haven't got a thing to be ashamed of."
1: Shopping - Thursday 9 January 2003
chef Giorgio Locatelli is the owner of one of the most talked about
restaurants in London. He believes that good food is a fundamental
right. He won't buy any produce if he can't touch and smell it.
successful restaurateur Tony Allan argues that supermarkets are
a 21st century necessity, giving buyers more choice. After all,
20 million people in Britain rely on them and simply haven't got
enough time to buy their meat from a butcher and their vegetables
straight from the supplier.
a trip to Italy the pair visit a bakery where ciabatta is sold by
the meter and a deli where parma ham is sold in bulk, rather than
sliced in packets and Tony agrees that you can't beat the Italians
when it comes to food shopping.
in the UK, they get the best out of the available options - from
both supplier and supermarket - and cook up mushroom risotto, lamb
wellington and wild berries with frozen yoghurt.
Programme 2: Fish - Thursday 16 January 2003
Tony Allan is passionate about fishing and runs a fish supplying
company which supplies most of London's top restaurants and owns
the successful fish! restaurant chain.
Giorgio Locatelli hates fishing but agrees that the nation needs
to be converted back to cooking it.
pair prove that cooking fish can be simple - this week's delicious
offerings are pan-fried wild salmon with balsamic vinegar; crab
linguine; griddled tuna with a rocket salad and eels with mash and
mustard beurre blanc.
says: "Ironically, we never had fish in our house. My father
was allergic to seafood, which didn't help. So my first real experience
of fish was at the school canteen, when they served up glowing yellow,
artificially dyed smoked haddock in tinned tomato sauce.
remember standing there feeling like Oliver Twist in reverse: 'Please
sir, I don't want any more.'
was horrible of course and, to add insult to injury, I got a bone
stuck in my throat. It's a wonder I ever became so passionate about
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