I will start by apologising to my Facebook and twitter friends for going on about my little project and also I’m saying sorry in advance for what is still to come. At last though I will explain what this is all about. When I was at Corrigan’s for a cookery masterclass a couple of month’s ago I saw a book. That book is called Obsession, by Chef Nigel Haworth. Nigel was the man you won the main course dish on great British Menu one year with a great Lancashire hot-pot. I say great but of course I never tasted it. I do know someone who did though, Richard Corrigan. We asked Richard about it at the taste festival that year and he’s an honest man when it comes to food, so when he told me he thought it was really good, I believed him.
Back to the book. It is a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the Obsession food festival held at Northcote. I had never heard of this before, but i tell you something, I really want to go (please Nigel). So I bought the book not as a fan of the festival, it was for inspiration. The list of chefs, 54 of them, is quite astounding. Some of my favourite chefs are in there, Richard Corrigan, Michel Roux Jr, Atul Kochhar and Chris & Jeff Galvin. Chefs that have inspired me from afar via their television appearances such as Glynn Purnell, Heston Blumenthal, Michael Caines and Mark Hix.
My project, as such, is to have every chef sign the book. Okay so a cookbook should be used for the recipes and I will, but this is a chance to meet some great chefs and to sample their food. As far as possible I will try to dine at their establishments. This becomes a little difficult when you see that one of the recipes comes from Matthew Fort (my favourite judge on Great British Menu). It is hard to think who is the pinnacle, who is the chef I will be most thrilled to meet. Pierre Koffman, Raymond Blanc, Theo Randall, Nigel himself? You may be getting an idea of the calibre of chef in this book now. I like the fact there are chefs I didn’t know that I knew. Okay to explain that last sentence. I have been wanting to go to St John restaurant in Smithfield. One of the chefs in the book is Fergus Henderson. So I knew of his food without realising who the chef actually was. I am a foodie but I have never claimed to know everything about food or the chefs. I just like eating it. Oh and @SJRestaurant is great to follow on Twitter.
The project will be a great journey and lesson. On here, I will tell you about the adventures, about the dishes I try to emulate and of course about the food I experience. The journey has in fact started. I picked up the book from Bentley’s in the end after the lovely Valerie Morrison at Corrigan’s arranged for richard to sign his page for me. I have eaten at Bentley’s often and with the masterclass at Corrigan’s and meeting Richard a few times, I didn’t feel quite so guilty about getting the booked started this way.
I was lucky enough to have started to visit Cafe a Vin in Spitalfields and on reading the book, I saw that Chris & Jeff Glavin were in the book. I dropped the book off there just over a week ago for them to sign and picked it up on my visit to Galvin La Chapelle on Friday. If you want to know about the meal there, please read my previous post. So three down, 51 to go. Some of these will be a real challenge, especially the overseas chefs.
I will be sharing the adventure here on the blog, on my Facebook page and on twitter. Please follow and share as I may need some help along the way. So I ask, very politely and kindly, if anyone knows these chefs, can arrange for me to meet them, cook with them, dine with them, get my book signed, please get in touch. I am one man, with hopefully a very understanding wife, as Nigel Haworth’s Obsession becomes my Obsession.
I must finish by saying thank you to Nigel, who emailed me last week with his best wishes. I look forward to the Northcote visit. When that will be along this journey, I don’t yet know.
Links to follow the journey:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=832270284 (feel free to add me as a friend) or join my group http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=196217326852
The book Nigel Haworth’s Obsession I know can be found at Corrigan’s of Mayfair, Galvin La Chapelle and I assume at Northcote. If not in your local book store, they should be able to order it in.
If anyone thinks this is worthy of a TV series, please contact me, I am a star in the making (cheesy grin).