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, November 24, 2018

Yes, I think they probably know it's Christmas by now

If, like me, you grew up in the 1980s, you probably have a view of Ethiopia that is pretty hard to shake off, defined largely by the media and celebrities of the day.

As impressionable children we witnessed Band Aid, Live Aid, Sport Aid (Remember that one -  'Everybody wants to Run the World'?) and the inaugural Comic Relief. Loads of money raised for a good cause. A cause that was relentlessly branded upon our collective conscience, pretty much all the time. For some years.

Ethiopia was deserts, flies and starving children. Ethiopian food? Well it wasn't anything was it? There was a famine. OK, maybe the diet consisted of the contents of those food packages paid for with the moneys raised by Bob, Midge and Lenny.

And that was the virtually intractable image we all had in our minds. That was Ethiopia.