FRIDAY 04 MAY 2012 THE FOOD IS GREAT BRITAIN RECEPTION AT 10 DOWNING STREET
A wonderful evening with friends and colleagues at
10 Downing Street
Last Monday I had the honour – and fun – of being invited to 10 Downing Street. The occasion was a celebration for the launch of the “Food is GREAT” initiative sponsored by VisitBritain in partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, of which I am a very proud and active member.
The guests were 150 of the top chefs, restaurateurs and producers in Britain, plus several food world celebrity chefs, such as Thomas Keller, Bill Granger and Ferran Adrià. We had lovely food, catered by Brett Graham of the Ledbury and good wine – followed by more of the same at the SRA’s after-party at the Corinthia Hotel.
One of the high points of the Downing Street reception was the screening of a little film the SRA made of me, along with Brett, Atul Kochhar, Angela Hartnett, Fergus Henderson and Ruth Rogers, in which each of us explained what British food meant to us – and listed some of our favourites. I thought first of green English asparagus. But then I also remembered how much I adore crumble, so British, and now so universally loved that it’s on the menu of most self-respecting Paris restaurants. You can watch the video below:
The other chefs chose roast chicken, Stilton, roe deer, smoked salmon and Ruth also made the politically meaningful choice of Cornish pasties. You can watch the video below:
It was a thrill to be at such a good party in these historic surroundings, and to feel part of this long history. But even better was the feeling that those of us there had something to do with changing part of this “Island Story,” namely its history of bad food. As I said in the film, Britain’s gastronomy is now not just part of European food culture, and one of Europe’s best, but one of the best in the whole world.
We can now honestly say that Britain’s food is part of what makes it a destination for visitors from all over the globe; and it is our responsibility to ensure that it remains so for generations to come".
The video of the reception at 10 Downing Street can be seen below - I hope you enjoy!
All my best
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