Tagged: Daphne Sarnat

A matter of the HEART

This one is for my DEAR friend Bo
cheer up Buddy we’re all with you




a small preview of the already SOLD OUT new Platinum disk My daughter Daphne arranged and Udi her Husband orchestrated, recorded and mixed with the participation of my friends and Family  especially for me 60th Birthday

cd sleeve forever young

press link to view CD sleeve and press play to hear songs








Allow me to raise a glass of


tokaji essen 1953



AMIR and the GANG

Lunch @ Dinner by HB (Part I)


The word Dinner comes from 13th century French word for breakfast, but in Britain it has always been used for the main meal of the day. In medieval times, this meal occurred in the middle of the day and was followed by a much lighter supper before bedtime. Over the centuries, it has got later and later and now means the evening meal. Although in some parts of Britain it still means Lunch! (From the menu wrapper at Dinner)

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Well, those of you walking the streets of London, or the ones who visited by chance, my Facebook pages, have already noticed the amazing gesture the Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson, prepared for me. Banners Celebrating 60 : 1953-2013 have been spread all over town commemorating my 60th birthday which I celebrated a few days ago (on June 11th).I must admit, I was taken by surprise; the city of London “enlisted” all its resources for such a personal occasion (as big as it may be…). Still I can’t really complain and push this show of recognition aside. After all ,I have a few  minor contribution throughout the years for this great city of London with: endless paid parking tickets, direct and indirect taxes, reducing CO2 emission to name but a few), still I must admit it caught me by unprepared… Thank you, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson.

MK RAH                                red guitarMy daughter Daphne honoured me even more by getting us tickets for Mark Knopfler Gig (Privateering 2013 Tour) at the Royal Albert Hall on June 1st (The Hall was booked in advance for the 11th) and so, to make a complete celebration of the day I booked Lunch @ IMG_0457Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1), present were people I love friends and family, Daphne & Udi, Lisa & Spike and moi your humble WINEGUIDE.

Now… one of my most exciting and fun visits, to a restaurant in the last 2 years was without a doubt, my lunch with Spike at Heston Blumenthal’s the FAT DUCK (as written in my Post:  https://wine4soul.com/2012/05/27/lunch-at-the-fat-duck/ ) so we came with some anticipation…

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My guests: Spike Denton apart from being amongst my best friends him and I have been going to Restaurants of sorts for ages now so he is an obvious guest,

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 my dear friend Lisa Galton one of the most acute tasters I know, a real connoisseur of wine and food, (with a wine collection at her dads house with gems of unsurpassed rarity) a lady of quality, a delight to sit to a meal with, in short my kind of lass.

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needless to say my daughter, Daphne and son in law, Udi and “meself“, after all it is my logo-w5brown celebration Innit???

We’re off to the Restaurant that is right there on the first page of The World’s 50 best Restaurants list for 2013, in fact at number seven of the lot… (http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/ )

Conceived by Heston Blumenthal and his right-hand man Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal excavated ancient recipes that go as far back as the 14th century to the beginning of the 20th century and reintroduces them using contemporary cooking techniques. (we’ll talk about it later…) They say: “Dinner” is not about delicate combinations or table theatrics, but gutsy dishes that will remain at the forefront of your memory bank for years to come.”

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As we sat down HRH the queen herself joined the birthday celebration gestures, by sening her cavalry to salute us, sitting at the window looking over the Royal park (Hyde )…

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raising our glass of Champagne, I chose the: Paul Dethune, Brut Grand Cru, Ambonnay, NV Champagne, a small grower’s champagne from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay, we set down to order our starters:

Daphne the pescetarian round our table, goes for the Roast scallops (c.1830) Cucumber ketchup, roast cucumber, bergamot & borage. This roast scallop dish is deconstruction of the elements in the recipe published in the 1826 book The Cook and Housewife’s Manual Mistress by Meg Dodds. Now this is the second time this week cucumber stars as a suitable supporting act to a dish of sweet succulent scallops and it works fine (especiallyIMG_0404 here in England, where green veggies are so prominent (compared to coloured vegetables you can find in hotter countries) I 220px-Citrus_bergamia_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-184must admit it does work well and the green scent of cucumbers compliment the dish well. Add to that Bergamot or wild bergamot, which is of the mint family and Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, with edible leaves this annual herb though a native to the Mediterranean region it has naturalized in many other parts of Europe, which grows well in gardens in the UK.

Udi the Vegetarian, had the Nettle Porridge (c.1660), smokedIMG_0405 beetroot garlic parsley & Fennel, a delightful dish even if just to look at…recipe from William Rabisha, The whole Body of Cookery Dissected (1682) . This book was written after the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. William Rabisha was ‘Master Cook’ to many honourable Families and left this important text, a remarkable statement of the art of Rabisha cookbookcookery as it was in the 1660, and was surprisingly influential over a very long period. The books full name says it all: The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, Taught, and Fully Manifested … Whereunto is Annexed a Second Part of Rare Receipts of Cookery … With a Book of Preserving, Conserving and Candying … by Will. Rabisha

Spike had the Meat Fruit (c.1550) Mandarin, chicken Liver & Foie gras parfait, grilled bread. A real treat to look at and a fine liver parfait filling in a casing of jellied mandarin colour and shape coat, including the fruit’s skin perforated outline and real leaves, they go into all the trouble of giving it the correct shape, cool it to set, freeze it to gel the mandarin peel coatings, so much trouble and than you miss on the mandarin flavour? (that’s smell and taste) isn’t that a pity, yet it is an alluring piece of prepped dish as you can see from the photos.

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220px-Palmeria_palmataIMG_0400Lisa and I went for the Frumentry (c.1390) Grilled octopus, smoked sea broth, pickeled dulse & Lovage.  Throughout the centuries Palmaria palmata called dulse, dillisk or dilsk, sea lettuce flakes a red algae that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, and has always been an important source of fiber in the British Isles and northern Europe.

I love well prepared octopus in any form of cooking, either rock beaten and grilled over GREEC013charcoal on a Greek island beach, or my most memorable one at Osteria “LA RISACCA 6” in Milano, Via Marcona, 6 Tel. 02 55181658 – 02 5468041la risacca 6 (over 20 years ago), a simple but delicious perfect octopus cut to about 1 inch pieces, cold peeled tomatoes, exquisite olive oil and a touch of herbs– perfection! , so I went for the Octopus dish, as it turned out Lisa ordered octopus as well and we both did not realize this was the most ancient of recipes on our menu 1390 AD from the 220px-Forme_of_Cury_title_pageForme of Cury (methods of cooking) by The Master Cook of King Richard II, a most becoming dish for Lisa who was raised at Hampton Court Palace, Yes!!! She might not be Royalty but she is Regal a real queen. (Hampton Court Palace as you all know is the Palace of the Tudor Kings and queens, Built to House and feed the kings of England from around 1529-1760 including of course the Court of King Henry the 8th, who used to have up to 600 people forform of cury lunch, and not only once, poor kitchen stuff I’m not kidding Ya).

Lisa and I, both loved every moment of our octopus which was perfect to the book a real delight, it was succulent – tender, juicy, and tasty (oxford dictionary)., swimming in a lightly smoked broth with touches of red and green algae and the “leaves in fashion” – Lovage, Its flavor and smell is somewhat similar to celery and top chefs use it lately for all their sea fruit dishes. (too much???)

The Paul Dethune, Brut Grand Cru, Ambonnay, NV Champagne is a grower’s champagnedethune_blanc_de_blancs_label from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay, Champagne, one of only 17 villages in Champagne with Grand Cru status. I love Ambonnay champagnes. The village’s vineyards are located in the Montagne de Reims region of Champagne, and are all classified as Grand Cru in the Champagne vineyard classification (A Clos-type vineyard in the village is the single vineyard source of Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay). For map: http://www.libation-unlimited.com/dr-2-champagne-in-ambonnay.aspx . This wine has 70% Pinot Noir and 30%, made by the Dethune family who own 7ha of vineyards in Ambonnay. Though boutique style and fairly unknown this is a wonderfully balanced and rich champagne of outstanding quality The Brut NV is mineral extremely rich yet fresh, with a fine mousse very good length and finesse with aromas of strawberry butter brioche. It has great length and elegance, just what I needed for this celebration.

145-Monarda-Fistulosa-var-Crimson-MonardaWe sank slowly into our private get together with great wine, wonderful view IMG_0378of the park and our very own company reunion, digging in and sampling each other’s dishes between seeps of this fine champagne. Are we having one of the best meals in the world? after all it is quantified and qualified as the 7th best in the world, and first courses are the best platform for a chef/kitchen to show off their ability and imagination, but we are here not to judge but to enjoy, and we are having fun from the company, wine, and the food and thus everything else re: minute details are secondary.

 Next post… our main dishes the wine we had, the wines we brought each other, the presents and the wine that rouse the sommelier’s envy yet did not succumb to “restaurant policy”…

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Phone: 0207.201.3833

(to be continued…)



Square Meal

BBQ for Independence Day


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No one really knows when or why a tradition of celebrating Independence day around charcoal grills started. If you ask me it is a “borrowing” of the American modern 4th of July tradition (also) of unknown origin.
BBQ was not invented in America and no one knows who invented the barbecue. The word ‘Barbecue’ might come from the Taino Indian word ‘barbacoa’ meaning meat-smoking apparatus. ‘Barbecue‘ could have also originated from the French word “Barbe a queue” which means “whiskers-to-tail.” When all parts of an animal where used for preparing meat dishes on fire or smoke. (wiki)

Ancient man song by Daphne Sarnat from: http://daphodil-music.co.uk/the-ancient-man-song-number-8/600h_catlin_49

We have to go way back to prehistoric times to dig out the origin of slow cooking on fire Barbecue. Fire’s general use, according to paleontological and archaeolgical records, began only about 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. But after cooking, many undesirable substances present in plants and vegetables are deactivated and starch and other nutrients in the plants become absorbable by the digestive tract. All of the major domesticated plant foods, such as wheat, barley, rice, millet, rye, and potatoes, require cooking before they are suitable for human consumption.
From: Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 1571)
It is possible that men first ate meat that had been charred or cooked by virtue of being caught in a natural forest fire (a positive accident). They might have otherwise eaten raw meat, if necessary, but we can also imagine that our earliest digestive systems rebelled against eating raw meat.

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Nowadays, to barbecue means to slow-cook meat at a low temperature for a long time over wood or charcoal. In America, barbecue (or BBQ) originated in the late 1800’s during Western cattle drives. The cowboys were not allowed “perfect cuts” of meat, mainly brisket that required many hours of cooking to tenderize. As they sat after sunset around wood fires, meat and other foods were prepared on charcoals.
indians_cooking_fishThere is a romantic notion regarding “Cowboys and Indians” the open plains and the wild prairie, an Indian tribe cooking meat over fire after the hunt (smoking and drying the rest for future use), town folks eating huge steaks at the local restaurant as portrayed in the John Ford 1962 movie The Man Who LibertyValance2Shot Liberty Valance, including a fight over meat, with Ranse (James Stewart) waiting table, Liberty (Lee Marvin) making trouble, and Tom (John Wayne) booting Strother Martin, in an outrageous confrontation over a steak. I was always amazed by the sheer size of the “wild west” huge steak cuts.

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My old Weber grill has long lost its legs but still performs miracles for BBQ grilling all you need is a good bunch of red hot charcoal wood or charcoal briquettes and your prepared or marinated meat, fish, seafood, vegetables etc.

We had :

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* pork spare ribs prepped in advance finished on the grill

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Indonesian Sate Beef  (sate marinate and sauce)

Tandoori Lamb chops Tandoori Lamb chops in tandoori paste marinade (everyone’s favorite, though not in a tandoor)      photos 031photos 015  photos 030
Mediterranean style Lamb chops (garlic, thyme, mint, rosemary)

some Basmati rice for the south Asian fare, and grill roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes with salad as side dishes
The wines
photos 0292010 – Simon Bize Bourgogne Blanc Les Champlains
The 2010 les Champlains turned to be a great bottle of wine worth every penny of its relatively low cost. The great nose soars from the glass in a blaze of green apples, with some peaches and citrus blossoms, with a floral note of acacia blossoms. On the palate the wine is substantial and elegant, pure and full of fruit, good length keeping fresh all the time. Wait 10 minutes for the wine to settle down than a gush of green apple peel on the Nose with apple, pear, some tropical fruit. This is not a great wine by definition or pedigree although it comes from a single lot above Savigny les Beaune in Côte de Beaune, Bourgogne. It is an (AOC) with slightly less than 15 per cent chardonnay grapes with no Grand Cru vineyards within the appellation. Great value for money.
Simon Bize is a terrific producer continueing a family tradition since 1880 and making wines in a more meticulous manner around 60 years (early 1970’s)

Dugat Py, Gevrey Chambertin, Coeur du Roi 2003dugat py 2003
Dugat Py claim for fame comes from the American wine import industry as a true modern day Burgundian superstar. I know this is not my favorite wine making style in the Burgundy area, too much effort on colour, fruit and tannin concentration, Usually I personally prefer the less purple more light reddish translucent traditional elegant wines with a “true” Bourgognian touch, we had the Dugat Py, Gevrey Chambertin Coeur du Roi 2006 a few weeks ago and the wine was still too firm even too tight and failed to open to its full potential even after a long time (the rest of the case will have to wait in my cellar for at least another 5 years I am patient), Yet Dugat Py wine complement juict fatty BBQ meats more than extremely delicate and elegant Gevrey, and so it was chosen; A Dugat Py, Gevrey Chambertin, Coeur du Roi 2003, now at its 10th year (an enigma that has to be solved I also have a case of these…) On the first sniff I was relieved, the wine had some other undertones of the soul and soil of Bourgogne that overcame the strength and power the wine was intended to reflect. Great smell of cherries more than strawberries with lovely wet soil and mushroom scent, on the palate flavour is luscious fruit with pleasant fresh compost/hay or cabbage (on the pleasant side) traces, seasoned with thyme and mint overtone evolving so well. Full to medium body with a full feel and a very long palate, tannins still not round enough for my taste but I was impressed and content with the choice.

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We thought we would not celebrate this year with a BBQ, as it happened we did, in a company of three, a grilled holiday lunch, cooked on charcoal with the moon smiling at us up in the afternoon sky, great wines and company, and my very own tarte Tatin  to end the meal.

                         my tarte tatin