Friday, August 26, 2016


Jamie Oliver's G20 Menu Critiqued

With the world's leaders in London for the G20, the British have recruited celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to cook up a storm. This is what they'll be eating:

Starter: Organic Scottish salmon with samphire and sea kale, and a selection of vegetables from Sussex, Surrey, and Kent.

Main course: Slow-roasted shoulder of Elwy Valley lamb with Jersey Royals, wild mushrooms and mint sauce.

Dessert: Bakewell tart and custard.

Vegetarian option: Goat's cheese starter followed by lovage and potato dumplings for the main course.

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi critiqued the feast for "The Guardian." Bottom line: Nice, but a bit inoffensive and not representative of Britain's cosmopolitan culinary influences:

The first impression I get from this menu is that it's extremely British and very politically inoffensive. I don't think it's terribly exciting, but then I don't think it should be on an occasion like this, when Jamie is trying to satisfy so many people.

He has clearly deliberately chosen produce from every corner of the country and made an effort to make it seasonal. With the starter in particular, samphire and sea  kale are two of the very few vegetables which are truly native to Britain....

I would have liked to have seen a few subtle multicultural influences in the menu to reflect modern Britain. It's a very northern European menu and it doesn't represent the very strong south-east Asian influences that do exist here.

A vegetable curry might have been a better starter for the vegetarians than the goat's cheese, which a bit of a cliche -- it's what chefs do when they can't come up with something really interesting or exciting....

Some of the foreign guests might raise an eyebrow to the idea of mint sauce with lamb, but as long as Jamie keeps it fresh and doesn't make it vinegary, like some of the shop varieties, people won't find it offensive.

Why would people find mint sauce offensive?

-- Luke Allnutt

Tags: jamie,oliver,G20

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: prunelle from: France
April 03, 2009 15:41
There are plenty of people in France, certainly, who find the idea of mint with lamb a tad odd, and the idea of mint, sugar and vinegar even stranger.

by: Ana from: manchester
April 04, 2009 01:09
Ahh, clearly not an Englishman, Luke.<br /><br />

by: Robert C from: London
April 05, 2009 13:45
86% of people who live in this country are British. Why should we apologise for presenting British Food? You wouldn't ask Indians hosting a summit to present English food, would you?<br /><br />To Prunelle: And most of us Brits wouldn't dream of touching horse (actually makes a good ragu), frog (it's OK) or snail (yuk!).

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