Burnt: A Film Review

If you have come here expecting a proper film review then you are going to be very disappointed. Very, very disappointed. Really, I’ve just found a new way to talk about my love for food and, even more so, my love for Bradley Cooper.

So, let’s start with the basics. ‘Burnt’ stars Bradley Cooper as Adam Jones, a troubled chef that hit the big time in Paris but ruined his life with drink and drugs. He moves to London to open up a new restaurant in search of the elusive 3 Michelin stars and hires Sienna Miller to help. Even after watching the film I don’t know what her character’s name was so will refer to her as Sienna Miller. In a nutshell, that’s the story. Obviously they fall in love after some initial plate smashing temper tantrums and I presume Adam gets his 3 stars. It’s not particularly clear when you watch the film but he definitely smiles at the end, actually the only time in the film, so we can safely assume it was good news.

The script, acting and plot were, in a word, dreadful. Some of the dialogue left Tyler and I looking at each other in amazement. I can only compare it to a primary school play. I usually really rate Bradley Cooper as an actor but his Gordon Ramsay style outbursts just didn’t ring true, neither did his blossoming love affair with Sienna. And all she did was cook fish. I did make it through to the end though, here’s how.

Reason One: The food shots were beautiful. I really enjoyed watching the parts of the film where dishes were being created and the camera work with these was really nice. It’s a shame there wasn’t a little more of these to be honest but then I guess I can always watch the Food Network and not have to sit through a terrible dialogue.

Reason Two: Bradley Cooper. Did you realise how blue his eyes are? I didn’t. His chef whites really made his eyes sparkle and I fell in love with him even more. And now I know he can cook, I’m besotted. Yes, yes I know it was only a character but leave me be ok.

Reason Three: Just Bradley Cooper again really. He has really nice arms, have you noticed?

If you are truly stuck for something to watch and you like food and fancy either Bradley Cooper or Sienna Miller then you can maybe try watching this film. But, if you’ve recently painted a wall and are still waiting for that to dry you could probably just keep an eye on that instead.

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Picture courtesy of IMDB.

 

How To Be A Better Cook in 5 Easy Steps

Want to impress your mates next time they come over to eat? Have a desire to prove to your family that you are indeed the best cook of them all? Well, look no further friends for here is how to become a better cook in just 5 easy peasy steps.

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1. Get to know the lingo. Don’t know your al dente from your al forno? Well, get to know. Talking the talk is everything in this game and even if your food sucks, you can convince people that it doesn’t by explaining it in the right way. Try saying things like ‘for dinner today we have goujons of cod in a spiced panko crumb on a bed of whipped pea puree served with crispy potatoes’ instead of ‘here’s your fish fingers, chips and mushy peas’. By the time they’ve worked out what they’re eating you will be telling them what’s for pudding and they’ll have no time to process how dreadful it was.

2. Similar to the above, you can fool people into thinking they are eating good food if you make it look nice. The key here is to arm yourself with some seriously oversized plates and bowls. Drizzle some kind of sauce on the plate then put everything in neat little piles and always work in threes or fives. Odd numbers of things just look more aesthetically pleasing.

3. Convince yourself. When creating your masterpieces in the kitchen, channel your inner alter ego. If you want to be Nigella you be Nigella. Go squeeze yourself into a tight little dress, put on a pair of killer heels and a slick of lipstick and make sure you turn everything you say into a slutty innuendo. Lick the spoon playfully whilst winking at the non existent camera and own it. Your chocolate mousse may very well taste like crap but you looked good making it and anyone that sees how much effort you put in will surely pretend it tastes good too.

4. Practice. Good cooks don’t just turn great over night. They have to work at it. So even if you just pick one dish to perfect that’s fine. Yes, everyone that comes into your home will have to try your brownies, but hey, by their fifth visit they may actually get something good and surely that’s progress. Keep going!

5. Lastly, and this is an important one, don’t let anyone criticise you. Maybe your dad will say that his chicken was raw in the middle or the mashed potato was lumpy, but just brush it off. You don’t work this hard just to get negative feedback so don’t let it affect you. It’s perfectly fine to argue with dinner guests should they challenge your cooking skills (though really they shouldn’t if you have correctly followed steps 1-4) but if they do just give them a firm warning that they won’t be invited back.

I really hope this helps turn you from a mediocre cook into a great cook, like me!*

*this is a joke. Kind of.

How To Spot A Foodie

Foodies. Those lesser spotted creatures that look like everyone else on the outside, but a closer inspection reveals deep rooted abnormalities turning them into an entirely separate breed of human. They’re not to be feared, but should be approached with caution to avoid long winded conversations about the best kind of salt to use on your Jersey Royals or how to extract the most amount of flavour from a stalk of lemongrass. Normally found in groups, foodies pick their friends wisely and those humans who consider beans on toast to be an acceptable dinner will not fare well when approaching a group of these beings. So how can you avoid stumbling into this trap? Read on to tell just how you can spot a foodie.

  • Foodies can be found in many places that normal people are in. They, like everyone else, will visit the supermarket. You can usually find them browsing the speciality ingredient aisle, checking the cocoa percentage of a premium chocolate bar or making sure their eggs are not just free range but from local hens who are given daily massages. You will not see them adding budget brand tinned tomatoes into their trolley or buying sliced white bread. It’s best to avoid foodies in a supermarket altogether. They’re in familiar territory and will absolutely judge you on the contents of your basket.
  • You may work with a foodie and not even know it. Sure, you might go into work with a cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps, as will a foodie. Your sandwich will be two slices of Kingsmill with a lump of Cathedral City stuck between them, and a packet of Monster Munch if you’re feeling a bit special. A foodie will have local artisan sourdough filled with cave aged cheddar, rocket and a homemade beetroot relish (that sounds nice actually doesn’t it?) and a few vegetable crisps that have been made at home with a mandolin. Don’t be afraid to talk to a foodie at work, just be prepared for them to question you about your own lunch choice, as well as what you had for breakfast that day and dinner the night before.
  • If you visit a foodie’s house you will likely be greeted with something exciting to eat. This is a good thing, embrace it, but be sure to lavish the foodie with compliments about the food even if you’ve had better at your local greasy spoon. Foodies are sensitive creatures and don’t react well to criticism. During your visit you will probably be subjected to a tour of the kitchen and shown the lovely bottle of extra virgin olive oil that was recently acquired on a trip to France. Plus, they will definitely have a salt pig. It’s foodie law.
  • Foodies love to go out for dinner and you may well find them visiting the same places as you do. If you observe really carefully you will be able to pick them out. They tend to spend a while browsing the menu and will have a plethora of questions for the waiter. They will want to know where the beef in the stroganoff is sourced from, what kind of wine is used in the risotto and if the cheesecake is baked or fridge set. These are important questions for a foodie and they will not be happy if Sam the waiter can’t deliver some decent answers. If the foodie is out dining in a group of other similarly designed beings, you will hear them discuss the merits of each other’s food choices for the entire evening. A rookie foodie may even be found taking a sneaky picture of their dinner. You are welcome to snigger at this act and encourage others to do so, just make sure the foodies don’t spot you or you will be mentioned as the ‘table of loud mouths’ on their TripAdvisor review.
  • It’s a well known fact that all foodies spend their spare time reading cookbooks and food magazines, checking in with likeminded people on social media and watching what people eat in a day on YouTube. These are known as social activities for foodies and they may well reject your invitation to go to the pub in favour of broadening their knowledge. Probably for the best as they would only chew your ear off about how the peanuts in The King’s Head just aren’t the same as the rosemary and brown sugar ones they made at home last weekend.

Foodies are amongst us. Fact. Don’t let their bragging and gloating bother you, they usually only do it to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings.

P.S. Do you like my handmade one of a kind salt pig filled with Maldon sea salt, artistically photographed with a really expensive extra virgin olive oil and a completely pointless but lovely wine cooler?

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