Not only about Wine?
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
In addition to a passion for wine and some of the more esoteric spirits and liqueurs, unsurprisingly, food, ranging from great pub grub to haut cuisine is also up there. Of course, dining should be considered a complete experience, and while, in some restaurants, the ambience created is such that an empty plate and a glass of water would satisfy me, great ambience can also be spoiled inconsistent offerings, careless and disinterested service and a plethora of other reasons.
I will generally pester trusted friends and use resources as “The Good Food Guide” type publications for recommendations for dining options, with a bias towards the recommendations of trusted friends. I've found the guides can be manipulated in much the same way as travel guides have been shown to be able to be manipulated.
Restaurateurs need to provide a consistent quality experience to the anonymous diner, to win repeat business. Restaurants with a coterie of “favoured guests” don’t deserve to survive, and rarely do for long, but often linger due to the support of their pandered to favoured guests, often minor local celebrity types, or local food critics who dine free as a quid pro quo for favourable reviews.
The ideal restaurant should provide a coherent dining experience, be it sitting on a stool, enjoying good quality quick tapas style food, or the full haute cuisine experience. Any food that is venue relevant, well prepared and well presented with levels of service appropriate to the dining experience represented by the establishment’s representations gets my tick. Surprises good, as after all, restaurant dining involves, indeed requires, an element of theatre. Not a food snob, I like most food, have eaten insects, but no desire to revisit that, and, I’ve found the local food scene has much to recommend, and unfortunately, some to definitely avoid.
Have had much practice eating good food. It began, when I was about eight, a relative, who was an international lawyer had me staying as a house guest while hosting a dinner – a very formal dinner, catered, indeed, a house full of important overseas business and legal types. I had been fed earlier, but in the kitchen there were these amazing deserts, freshly made. And I ate them all. It was a grande scandale, they had nothing to serve after the main meal. But it was my introduction to what was then considered somewhat exotic dining by my own more prosaic parents. Since then I have surrendered to what was described in me as ”the unabashed pursuit of culinary experiences”.