Monday, 31 August 2009

Why we eat...

As regular readers will know,I am a huge fan of AA Gill,the restaurant critic of the London "Sunday Times".

Yesterdays column was inspiring and always...I have no hesitation in sharing with you all,what was for me,both beautiful writing and original thinking.


The plates came, the forks hung over the table like metal herons in a linen pond, and we ate first for hunger, then for curiosity, and finally for just the marvellous joy, the deep, deep pleasure of eating.

It is the first human rapture we ever experienced, the most ancient foundation of all culture and civilisation; our spirits are lifted, the table becomes the basket of a balloon that rises above the care and grind.
You look down from lunch at the patchwork of your life stretched below. Nothing so elevates the mood and butters up the world like lunch.

And I remembered a great truth I was once told by a cheese-maker: you can’t be an optimistic butcher, and you can’t be a pessimist and a good cook. That’s absolutely right.
Cooks are optimists, or they’re not cooks. The act of cooking is hopeful; the ritual of creating life out of death, of making breath and brains out of muscles and roots.
Food is the future concocted magically out of the past.

Every time you beat the olive oil into the egg yolk, and it thickens and pales and glistens, you know that the egg will go on and on making mayonnaise longer than your arm can beat it.
Nobody has ever got to the end of a yolk’s ability to make mayonnaise; it is infinite, a kitchen spell of infinite hope, the promise of endless potato salad, poached salmon, dipped crabs’ claws, gulls’ eggs, ham sandwiches, chips, and chips.

Read the full article at the Times Online site at :


  1. Exactly. And sometimes the joy and optimism in cooking spills over into the rest of our lives.

  2. Nee, ek stem nie saam nie, ek dink dis (wat AA Gill skryf) bog! All the butchers I have EVER met are these surreally jolly, sunny people, and I always wonder at it. I think it's because they deal with death. And they know that while you've got it you'd better use it.

    And I am a cook, and I am NOT an optimist. Au contraire. I call myself a realist. Which is why I cook. To make it better.