Why Tom’s Food! Will Never Be Trendy

Now I bow to no one in my admiration of Nigel Slater. In addition to his writing and broadcasting, he is editor of the Observer Food Monthly, which I take from time to time. The latest edition which I read contained The 8th Annual OFM 50 –  Everything We Love In The World of Food Right Now. To demonstrate how far Tom’s Food! is from the cutting edge, I give you but a few examples.

3  Wine By Sailing Ship

Wine delivered to Bristol from Portugal in sail driven cargo ships. It’s then bottled in reclaimed champagne bottles and delivered to customers in used cooking oil powered vans.

6  Makhwaen pepper

No, I’ve never heard of it either.

12  Alchemist, Copenhagen’s £10m restaurant

Where you can spend £500 a head for a five hour meal of 50 courses. You have to admire the symmetrical use of the number 5.

29 Wine Therapy at Forty Hall vineyard, London

You didn’t know that London had a vineyard, did you? Nor that they run eco-therapy projects for people who may have mental health issues.

31  Chefs’ dogs of Instagram

What do you mean, that’s not in your top 50 food aspirations for this bright new decade?

And finally,

45 When Tomatoes Met Wagner

In which ladies in a Greek village (population 33) embark on research to discover whether their tomatoes grow better if they play them traditional Greek music or Wagner.

All I can do is apologise that none of these will feature in Tom’s Food! in 2020. I’ll understand if you cancel your subscription.

Nigel, Nigel, Nigel. Come oan!!!


  1. Janet Hood on 17th February 2020 at 6:24 am

    I didn’t read it – did he mention coffee made from beans which have passed through the gut of a mongoose? May have the wrong beast.

    • Tom Johnston on 17th February 2020 at 9:43 am

      Daaahling, that’s SO last century. I’ve actually visited a coffee plantation in Bali where that comes from. The beast is called a civet – looks like a ferret. The coffee was nothing special, and it did make me think. Who was the very first person to think that was a good idea?

      • Robert Corrigan on 19th February 2020 at 1:45 am

        Kopi Luwak is the name of this coffee. I bought some from Macbeans in Little Belmont St. in Aberdeen in 2003. I wanted something unique to end a conference held at my flat in Glasgow for 15, the management team of One Devonshire Gardens.
        As you said Tom, not a particularly memorable coffee.
        A good talking point at the end of the 6 course meal.
        I bought just enough for the event. It was £100 per kilo.

Leave a Comment