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!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lockdown Lunches #2: 24 Hour Carnitas

My birthday last week was the first one for 20 years in which I haven't been to the pub.

And even in 2000 I did manage a quick birthday pint with my Sports coverage colleagues in the BBC Club at Television Centre, where I was working at the time.

I used to commute there every day - imagine that! On buses and tubes! To work in a big, doughnutty building with hundreds of people!

Anyway, as promised, here a few further thoughts on Lockdown and this whole COVID-19 thing. Some of these opinions will be controversial. If you can't handle that, skip straight to the Carnitas recipe, or fuck off back to your videos of kittens or whatever you're doing to pass the time.

So, this rather peculiar, locked-down birthday reminded me of how much I miss going to the pub. Going to the pub to socialise and drink cask beer is one of my things. Like going to church to sing in the choir, going to football matches to support the mighty CCFC, going to gigs to complain that the band isn't as good as they used to be, and so on.

All gone from my life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lockdown Lunches #1: Ratatouille

These really are the strangest of times, aren't they?

What have you been up to lately? Been anywhere interesting? I'm guessing not. We're in #LOCKDOWN and it sucks.

The highlight of my day now is updating my COVID-19 spreadsheet, deciding I can't be bothered to Zoom various people, and putting off learning to play the trumpet for a further day.