Agriculture, Food Politics, Gastronomy, Media, Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized, Veganism, Vegetarianism

Veganism Cost Me Dream Job

By 2009 I was ‘tripping the light fantastic’ as a journalist in the UK. I had landed a gig reviewing restaurants for the Spectator Magazine that once involved flying on a four-seater jet to France to sample the full range of Courvoisier’s Cognac. But as much as I reveled in luxurious dining a sense of guilt gnawed at the inequalities …


Alcohol, Food Politics, Gastronomy, Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized

Dining in Dublin: the good, the bad and the inedible

(Lecture delivered in the Little Museum of Dublin, December 2013) We humans put a lot of store in food and its symbolic value. In fact our picky and refined approach distinguishes us from other primates who tend to retreat into a hidden corner to devour their fare. But modern technology such as televisions, smart phones and tablets seems to be …


‘It’s life Jim, but not as we know it’

I realise it is unprofessional to read another restaurant review before writing my own, but then who sets the rules? Aqua Nueva is just so unusual that I felt like drawing inspiration from elsewhere. So I turned to A. A. Gill, the black prince of British gastronomy and self-appointed scourge of wicked restaurateurs across the land, whose choice prose, laden …

‘A certain je ne sais quoi oh so very special’

Published in Spectator Scoff 2010 Jane Grigson once wrote that the history of cookery is in some way like the history of language. That so much English vocabulary is not of Old English origin shows how easily accretions have been assimilated. Similarly British cookery has absorbed influences from a wide variety of sources to the extent that it is very …

In the cold mid-winter

(Published in the Spectator Scoff, 2010) Ireland displays a curious relationship with food. The fecund landscape offers a wide variety of wild foods; river fish, fowl, shell fish, and seaweed all abound, while cattle farming has long made Ireland one of Europe’s leading beef and dairy producers. Yet, in general, people here display an indifference to food, or at least …