THE WORDS AND SENTIMENTS OF DAVID HEELEY - BROADCASTER | FOOD CRITIC | TRAVEL WRITER
Seasonality

Food Critic

Seasonality

Just as important as provenance, seasonality is something thankfully we’re all now seeing return to an increasing number of menus.  Just as we reach the end of asparagus season – no asparagus should be cut after the 21st June – we enter into the season of the sadly little known samphire. This glorious edible seaweed has long been considered a local delicacy around the coast of Lytham where I live, as well as across the estuary in Banks and Southport.  From late June until mid to late September this tasty crop, also sometimes called “poor mans asparagus” is available and [Read More]

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Where are you coming from?

Food Critic

Where are you coming from?

On my regular BBC Radio Manchester slot with presenter Matt White, I’m often to be heard bleating on about the importance of provenance.  Few things are more important when dining, than knowing that – where possible – the ingredients you consume have been grown or reared locally.  One such arch advocate of this particular school of parochialism is previous Michelin starred chef Warrick Dodds, now at the Hastings in Lytham (www.hastingslytham.com). Warrick said “Having grown up and trained in this area, I know what a true storehouse of quality we have here, not only in Lancashire but in particular the [Read More]

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The next big thing in cooking? – sound!

Food Critic

The next big thing in cooking? – sound!

Well, according to the sainted Heston Blumenthal at least. He explained to me recently, “I’ve long been fascinated by experiments that show that sound can have as profound an effect on the eating experience as the other senses, often at a physical level of which we’re barely aware.  I was once asked by a food scientist to try to chew gum whilst listening to crunching sounds on headphones.  It turned out to be an almost impossible task”. Heston’s latest innovation is to introduce a “sound” course on his tasting menu with a dish called “Sound of the sea”, in which [Read More]

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Independence day is coming

Food Critic

Independence day is coming

After a recent volcanic ash cloud enforced stay in Paris – still, the gastronomic capital of the world – one overriding fact became all too apparent.  We in Britain may have seen a dining revolution take place over the last twenty odd years – unlike our Gaelic cousins – it is mostly predicated on large corporate chains. Try as I might – ok I didn’t at all – I couldn’t find one restaurant brand anywhere on the Rive Gauche or around Boullevard St Germain.  Instead, thankfully, where dozens and dozens of chef/patron owned establishments, offering creative cuisine at a range [Read More]

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People always ask…

Food Critic

People always ask…

“What’s your favourite restaurant?” – The question is an occupational hazard but one I don’t really mind.  Over the years there have been several that have now sadly departed.  Oliver Peyton’s wonderfully innovative Mash and Air in Manchester city centre, for a little while was the only place to be.  I loved its radically chic, minimalist décor but sadly not enough other diners shared my view, because it lasted barely two years. The same was the case with Reform, which also burned incandescently for a little while and was the only place to see and be seen if you were [Read More]

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