Jay Rayner. Picture by John Arandha.
LOST AT SEA
AHEAD of his talk at Gurnard’s Little Gloster during Lost at Sea, food writer and TV celebrity Jay Rayner spoke to County Press editor Alan Marriott.
Q. So, what’s the talk all about?:
A. It is based on my book, Greedy Man in a Hungry World, which tackles some very pressing issues about food production and security in a climate where we are heading for a global population of nine billion in the next few years.
The book tackles some sacred cows, like 'localism good, globalism bad’ and the politics of organics and biotechnology.
What middle class foodies want to hear is that the food they eat has come from around the corner and is grown without any chemicals.
Q. Are we now to believe GM crops are acceptable and organics are not what we thought?
A. I talk a lot about these things, what I do believe is there are many shades of grey in this subject and it is not all black and white.
For instance, there are middle class foodies in Brazil and Indonesia who have the temerity to want to eat locally produced, high quality food; and the Chinese are eating Western levels of meat now, so the whole food production issue is coming to a head. The amount of meat we eat is not sustainable.
Q. It sounds quite heavy stuff?
A. Well, the book is written in a way that makes it far from heavy stodge and I intend to make the evening fun as well. I use a lot of Powerpoint slides but there again, it is not death by Powerpoint.
Q. You have visited the IW before, with mixed experiences?
A. My review of the Red Duster, in Cowes, attracted a lot of comment. I am a writer more than a foodie and the angle I was looking for was about their combinations of flavours, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t think they worked and I wrote as much in my piece.
I have also been to the garlic farm for the One Show and that was an interesting experience.
My first experience of the Island was well before my food writing days, though. As a news reporter I was sent there in the eighties to cover the 'big cat’ story.
Q. So what does a food writer crave on a night in?
A. I send out for spare ribs from a restaurant near to my London home. The piri-piri ones are great.
Q. Finally, can you give us a tip for choosing a good restaurant?
A. Look for simple menus and simple food. If the waiter has to kneel down by your table to explain the 'concept’ of the menu, it is time to get up and leave.
Tuesday, September 3 - Jay Rayner: A Greedy Man in a Hungry World, Little Gloster, Gurnard. 7pm
Highly respected restaurant critic and BBC One Show reporter Jay Rayner will be hosting an exquisite dinner at the beautiful seafront restaurant, the Little Gloster.