When Aidan asked me if I'd mind him writing something about the fact that I couldn't cook very well despite having been trying for over half a century, I thought I'd better write a response. Not that I don't trust my son or that I would be embarrassed. But I've been trying quite hard lately and I'm not going to turn down the opportunity to promote my own culinary talents.
My little boy loved messing around in the kitchen when he was just six or seven years old and I remember the utter joy with which he used to greet me when I collected him from Saturday morning Chef's Academy at Waltham Forest College many years ago. But over the past three years I've been truly amazed to see just what a top-class, formal catering college education can do for someone.
Ten years ago I was living on take-away spare rib & chips, curries and pork chop & mash. I had a sizeable collection of spices, but they were more to make my kitchen shelves look good than for cooking with. These days my diet is unrecognisable. My collection of spices has grown and I have a burgeoning collection of oils. By now you must be wondering about the two photos above. They were both dishes I cooked for myself during the past week and snapped because I take digital pictures of all food consumed in my house these days. Neither would win its chef a Michelin star. But when Trig said "the times they are a-changin'" he was right. The proof of the pudding is in the ostrich burger. Mike.