Eggs à la…

I don’t like to think of myself as someone who gets joy out of pinching things from others. But I just found this little list of how some of the world’s SUPERstar chefs might cook an egg (it’s from The Observer Food Monthly, find the full article here). It’s good for a little laugh (I like the Nigella one, messy as always), but also goes to show how it’s all about Personality. Let’s face it, who’s gonna remember someone who can’t be caricatured?:

Antonin Carême
When: late 18th-early 19th century
Famous for: Napoleon’s wedding cake
Signature dishl: his own invention: the strawberry soufflË
How might he cook an egg? With one hand, while fashioning a Greek temple out of spun sugar with the other

Mrs Beeton
When: 19th-century domestic icon
Famous for: high-calorie comfort food for chilly Victorian houses
Signature dish: jugged hare/suet pudding
How might she cook an egg? Beaten, and stirred into coffee grounds and milk for a ‘nutricious’ hot beverage

Philip Harben
When: 1950s. BBC’s first TV chef
Famous for: beard/striped apron
Signature dish: fried nephrops’ tails (today’s scampi)
How might he cook an egg? Looking, if not always cooking, like a Frenchman

Fanny Cradock
When: bossed her sidekick husband Johnnie around our screens through the 1960s
Famous for: her love of franglais.
Signature dish: baked mushroom cups (Les Pousses Etes)
How might she cook an egg? in an evening gown

Galloping Gourmet (aka Graham Kerr)
When: 007 of the TV kitchen in the 1960s
Famous for: renouncing his calorific cuisine after a near-fatal car accident to become an expert on nutrition
Signature dish: chocolate orange marquise
How might he cook an egg? Kerr now substitutes eggs with egg whites and a dash of Irish moss. Mmmm

Keith Floyd
When: TV star and best-selling cookery writer throughout the 1980s and 1990s
Famous for: giving his wine glass and his demonstrations equal airtime
Signature dish: handfuls of seafood broiled on a galley stove on a trawler somewhere off the coast of Spain
How might he cook an egg? ‘First pour yourself a glass of plonk…’

Delia Smith
When: doyenne since the 1970s
Famous for: recipes that actually work
Signature dish: a minute-perfect roast lunch with trimmings
How might she cook an egg? ‘First we must understand what eggs are and how they work’

Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Patterson
When: mid-1990s
Famous for: being two fat ladies
Signature dish: beef in pastry
How might they cook an egg? ‘I remember coddling eggs for the Duke of…’

Ainsley Harriott
When: mid-1990s on Ready Steady Cook
Famous for: his vocal excitement about… everything
Signature dish: cheeky chicken tikka masala
How might he cook an egg? ‘Hands up who likes eggs! Brilliant!’ Something with a fun-to-pronounce name, like a frittata

Nigella Lawson
When: 2000 when she became the domestic goddess
Famous for: seducing a nation by sucking chocolate sauce from her finger: ‘Now how easy is that?’
Signature dish: Turkish delight syllabub
How might she cook an egg? ‘An egg is a supremely sensual object. Pluck it from the box and caress…until it bursts’

Jamie Oliver
When: 1998, the year he became The Naked Chef
Famous for: one scooter, one lovely wife, 15 trainee chefs
Signature dish: nice bit of salmon roasted in newspaper. Just add buffalo mozzarella and other clearly labelled treats from Sainsbury’s
How might he cook an egg? ‘Oi, Kerryann, I didn’t invest £1 million of my own money for you to f*** up a simple omelette’

Kerryann Dunlop
When: 2002, as the skiving, moaning trainee on Jamie’s Kitchen
Famous for: skiving and moaning. We love her. The real star of the show, she’s now off to Nobu, New York.
Signature dish: ‘Jamie, what’s that?’
How might she cook an egg? ‘I’m not f***ing doing eggs for no one’

4 Replies to “Eggs à la…”

  1. “With one hand, while fashioning a Greek temple out of spun sugar with the other”

    That’s my favourite, I must loan you: Knife, Fork & Spoon. Eating around the world by Charles H Baker. It’s the second volume of the Gentleman’s Companion.

    Which I am sure will strike a chord with your culinary interests.

    How does 302 cook eggs? In slippers with an espresso in hand.

  2. Gin martinis remain my favourite but I think that I’ve perfected the vodka ‘bad-boy’:

    Use the best vodka that you can find: I like two parts Polish (grain based) to one part Russian, add a dash of cocktail onion brine, a few ice blocks and give it a good shake.

    Pour into a clear martini glass and splash in two cocktail onions.

    Find some bossa nova and press play.

    Salute, that’s it.

    Particularly good for those days when you’ve got fines to pay or geysers that remain on the blink.


  3. Finally a martini without that horrid stuff people think is “martini” (aka Vermouth). I like the sound of it, like it like it like it.

    I’m a vodka girl myself, so this bad boy sounds like he could be a friend of mine.

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