Diana Thompson Uncorked

Diana ThompsonPicture by Phil Wilkinson If you’re interested in wine and don’t know the force of nature that is Diana Thompson, you are a disadvantaged person. Fortunately help is at hand. Come to the Assembly Roooms in Edinburgh’s George Street on Saturday 1 June when Diana is running the second annual Edinburgh Uncorked Wine Fair.…

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S is for … Sorbet

The recent spell of half decent weather has cheered up the general population – but not nearly as much as it’s brought a smile to the faces of ice cream makers and sellers. Observing the eating of ice cream in the street is very much like watching the growth cycle of the average homo sapiens.…

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A Grand Day Out with the Guild of Food Writers

I suspect we all suffer from impostor syndrome from time to time. In my case I had it in spades a week or so ago, finding myself on a bus with a bevy of beauties, food professionals all. Thanks to the lovely Cat Thomson, journalist and hen keeper extraordinaire I found myself invited on a…

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The Tasting Menu is Back: Discuss

Back? Did it ever go away? And where did it come from? Maybe it was just in my newspapers of choice (yes, paper ones, and yes, I do know how that dates me) but I’ve been reading a lot about this recently. Stuart Ralston is one of Scotland’s most influential chefs (Aizle, Noto, Tipo and…

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Water? Water Fuss!

How long would you like the extended warranty to be for? Like all attempted con tricks, this one was delivered with flair, with a smile and, of course, with absolute confidence (hence the name). If, on the first of June this year, you part with some of your hard earned for a five year warranty…

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A Decade of Tom’s Food!

March 31 was the tenth anniversary of my retiring from the practice of law. One door closes, a hundred restaurant doors open. It wasn’t quite the plan. People have asked why the Tom’s Food! domain name is www.ormidalels.com. Simple, really. It’s short for Ormidale Licensing Services. Glasgow’s coat of arms features a bird that never…

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National Food Days

When news is slow, journalists (and, I confess, food bloggers) can struggle to find material. On the food front, a constant source of entertainment is to look up the mutitudinous foodstuffs which have been allocated a specific day or week. There are of course a few which have long standing significance. Perhaps the best known…

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Think Austro-Hungary: Think Goulash

Come On, You Reds! Today’s column is inspired by a recent visit to Vienna, to visit the grandson (and his parents, of course). The boy’s education is coming along nicely. If you say to him, come on, he will, without bidding, add, you Reds. I’m fairly certain his choice of weekend attire was responsible for Man…

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Rhubarb and Edinburgh

My next vocation will be a hazardous one. It will involve walking through great crowds. There will almost certainly be fire eaters. Chainsaws may be buzzing and the noise will be infernal. That is a modest description of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival in August. Eh? Oh, let me explain. I am on…

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Restaurants Are Too Expensive – Eh?

Anything is expensive if you can’t afford it. Of course I get that. And with the horrendous across the board price increases which we have seen recently, many have had to readjust budgets. Luxuries such as eating out are the first to be culled. I get that too; however, I guess you don’t read a…

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Food in Phrase and Fable

After my recent article R is for Rum, my friend Ian I and I exchanged a few emails about phrases in the English language which are food related. My dealings with Ian go back to when he was Clerk to one of Scotland’s major licensing boards. Many of you will know that I was once…

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R is for … Rum

Given the Caribbean theme, today’s subject for the Food Alphabetical shouldn’t have been too hard to guess. In Barbados, where we visited before Christmas, rum is still a very important part of the Bajan economy. Although rum is now made world wide, many connoisseurs still believe that the finest stuff comes from the West Indies.…

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Tom and Lesley Eat a Lot in Barbados

Ravi Shankar Melting pot. It’s a lazy phrase, one used far too easily by people from a predominantly white skinned country. Want a melting pot? Consider our own history. Picts, Scots (from Ireland), Angles, Saxons, Danes and Vikings. And that’s before you get to the Norman Conquest over 1000 years ago, and everything that’s followed…

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At Christmas We Feast by Annie Gray

Christmas. Less than three weeks to go. In which camp would you place yourself? The come all ye faithful, let’s get carolling, gingerbread and spice, let it snow brigade? Or the not again, ridiculously over commercialised, well really it’s only for the kids, bah humbug camp? Either way I suspect that come the big day,…

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Salmon – Are You Sure?

In Britain, we eat a million portions of salmon every day. It is the second biggest Scottish export after whisky. And virtually all of these million portions will be farmed salmon. Wild salmon is no longer fished commercially anywhere in the UK. Most salmon rivers now require anglers to return fish to the water after…

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Q is for…Quite a Few Things

Well, not much choice for today’s instalment of the Food Alphabetical. The Larousse Gastronomique devotes only six pages to the Qs, and two of these are on quail. A lovely bird, if a bit tricky to cook well. Perhaps for another day. Let’s consider some alternatives. Q is for…Quorn Not in this blog it’s not.…

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We Celebrate A Food Hero

First impressions can be important. Let’s take a reaction test. Loganberry Yum! Large luscious fruit. A thornless bush. What’s not to love? Genetic modification I’m hearing a lot of Boo! Hiss! Nasty Monsanto! Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (MSS) I can hear a pin drop. You’ve never heard of him, have you? No, neither had I till…

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Ultra-Processed – Ultra Scary?

For as long as I can remember, there have been food scares. Eat x, we are told, and you’ll get cancer or high cholesterol or have a heart attack. These things went in cycles, and were usually debunked fairly shortly thereafter. Milk, potatoes and eggs have all come in for the treatment. In recent times, however,…

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Why Chopsticks?

I seldom go out for Chinese food these days. It doesn’t really work for me unless you have a decent sized group who can share a wide variety of dishes. For that reason I hadn’t used chopsticks for a good while until our recent trip to Japan. No great hardship – it’s like riding a…

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Chef Watch featuring Brian Grigor of eòrna, Edinburgh

    Chef Watch Featuring Brian Grigor Chef/Owner, eòrna restaurant, Edinburgh       How long have you been a chef? Just over 25 years now. Why did you become a chef? I started washing the dishes at the local hotel while I was going through the process of starting an apprenticeship in joinery. One…

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Enjoy A Glass of Wine? Why Not Have 40? Or 85?

I recently lost a wonderful friend who in his heyday was wont to say, 1 bottle good, 2 bottles better. And if you enjoy a glass of wine, why not 85, as recommended by Decanter? To clarify, that is their recommendation for the maximum number of wines that a taster should sample in a single…

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