Escapism through food whilst sorting out the world's biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression?
Jamie Oliver - one of my fav chefs (yes, I'm into that whole "celebrity chef" thing, it's an indulgence) is whipping up some great home cookin', British Isles style.
From his blog:
The starter includes fresh organic farmed salmon from Shetland served with foraged samphire and sea kale and a selection of early vegetables from Secrett’s Farm in Sussex, wild garlic from Elwy Valley in Wales and home-made Irish soda bread freshly baked on the day using Gloucestershire-based Shipton Mill organic flour.
For the main course, Oliver has chosen shoulder of lamb from the Elwy Valley in North Wales, the earliest delicious Jersey Royal potatoes, fresh asparagus from the Wye valley and foraged wild St. George mushrooms. Mint sauce and gravy will be freshly made on the day using British herbs and vegetables.
Dessert is a traditional British favourite, Bakewell Tart which Jamie’s team will make on the day using a mixture of home-made jams and Grasmere ginger shortbread. Fresh custard is being made with free-range eggs from the Duchy of Cornwall farms.
There will also be a selection of fresh breads baked by The Flour Station and home-made butter "made with our own fair hands", freshly churned at Fifteen London using organic cream from Ivy Farm in Somerset and smoked sea salt from Halen Mon in Wales.
According to a write up in the Guardian, the samphire and sea kale were chosen because they are "two of the very few vegetables which are truly native to Britain." link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/... Although the reviewer calls the menu "politically correct", you can't really blame Chef Oliver for going with tried and true, safe dishes when cooking for world leaders with fairly disparate palates and food traditions. For instance:
Pork has purposefully been left off the menu to avoid awkward moments with the Muslim guests, such as the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
There is also a special vegetarian menu.
But food isn't food unless you've got someone interesting to share it with, and it seems that Michelle Obama (the "mighty Michelle", as she's being called in England) hit the jackpot:
At the dinner for spouses, the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, will be seated between the Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
Personally, I wish they'd let JK Rowling twitter during the meal - but all mobile devices are on lock down, which is especially unfortunate for Oliver as his wife is pregnant and their baby is due any time now. Then again, there's nothing like cooking a make or break meal to focus the mind.
Bonus feature - Jamie Oliver's Lamb Curry: