London's Goring Hotel (the capital's only five-star hotel still owned and managed by the family that established it) held a Luncheon for Chefs and Food Lovers yesterday as part of its centenary celebrations.
Chief Executive, Jeremy Goring pulled on a fetching woolly hat to welcome arriving guests on the hotel's front steps. These included Sir Terry Wogan, Delia Smith, Albert Roux, Raymond Blanc, Gary Rhodes, Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) and Tom Parker-Bowles.
Lunch was a free-for-all, as guests swapped tastes of a range of Goring dining-room favourites from down the years - all expertly prepared by Derek Quelch and his brigade. These included:
- Mrs Goring's pigs fry salad with poach duck egg, cider vinegar and honey dressing (the War years)
- Jellied eels with parsley vinegar (the Roaring Twenties)
- Terrine of Goosnargh duck leg with roasted beetroot (the Thatcher years)
- Poached fillets of Dover sole Americaine (the Edwardian era).
After a while I complained of being full. "Novice", cried Matthew Fort, as the Great British Menu judge and food writer spooned a large slab of oxtail pudding onto his plate. He later revealed he was heading off after lunch for a full dinner at Northcote. You've got to admire his metabolism.