Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. And as a critic I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended. Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tap Takeovers - crafty fad or natural successor to the tied house?

Whether you believe that 'craft beer' is a product that can be clearly and reasonably defined, an abstract and flexible concept, or a steaming pile of pretentious poo (and, no, we're not going to resurrect that protracted and painful debate here) it's hard to deny that that the craft movement has given us some great, life-enhancing new things.

Innovation. High prices. Black IPAs. Pop-up bars. Breakfast Stouts. Canned beer that isn't bland and metallic. New and exciting hop varieties with big fuck-off citrus flavours.

All good stuff, apart from the high prices,  and one of the latest, and possibly most significant additions to the 'what have the crafterati ever done for us?' list is the Tap Takeover - another concept imported from the USA that could change the way we drink.

I have very little time for the craftwank debating society, but I know I'd rather be going out for beers in 2014 than in 1999 when the only people who had ever heard of a tap takeover were three bearded Oregonians called Josh. (And, being American, they probably called it a 'Faucet Appropriation' or 'Diaper Sidewalk' or something.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ten of your Five a Day

If you read enough articles filed under 'health' you will, eventually, explode in a befuzzled ball of contradiction and confusion, and that's only if you haven't already starved yourself to death through abstemious fear.

According to the papers and newswebs, almost everything is bad for us - there are all studies that prove it'n'shit - and yet, according to someone somewhere else, the very same stuff is good for us. Because there are all studies that prove it'n'shit.

So for years and years, we were all told that fruit juices and smoothies were really healthy, but now that message is the sole preserve of the manufacturers of fruit juices and smoothies. Every other nutritiocunt bangs on about how much sugar is in them and how they're as bad as cola-type drinks, which are, of course, the number one cause of obesity on planet obesity.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The 16 species of Beer Drinker

What are the two things we like most in this world?

That's right. Beer. Beer and...

Venn Diagrams! Everybody loves Venn Diagrams, right?
So, where do you fit in?