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!

Opinions

Some selected soundbites - some controversial, some quotable, some barely comprehensible.

  • On the 'Pasty tax': "Anybody smart enough not be duped by media-created memes knows that it's simply a convenient (and salacious) narrative to rouse the rabble."
  • On Foie Gras: "People who eat Fois Gras and understand it's culinary merits are aware of the controversy surrounding it and can see both sides of the story, but vegan PETA soldiers don't have a fucking clue what it tastes like, and therefore cannot."
  • On the legacy of Margaret Thatcher: "It makes me laugh when self-proclaimed ‘anarchists’ take to the streets to decry Thatcher’s legacy, the single most notable feature of which is smaller, less authoritarian government. Did somebody change the definition of anarchy while my back was turned?"
  • On laboratory-grown 'meat': "Good meat makes the life of an animal worth living. Maybe, somewhere in their DNA, animals in the food chain are actually hardwired to realise this? Possibly."
  • On mixed messaging in the name of 'public health': "If there are going to be too many people draining scarce resources, shouldn't we want them to die younger?"
  • On tobacco-less snuff: "It's fucking great. And you look cool. Especially if you snuff it via a 20 note."
  • On the criticism of Food Banks: "I know there is a lot of political capital to be made from dictating the public mindset in this way, but are we really so arse-about-face that we now think charity is worse than state handouts?"
  • On 'Dry January': "STOPtober. MOvember. There's probably a PLEBuary going on somewhere. Every month has to be A Thing, usually with a #trending #hashtag clinging obligatorily to its loins."
  • On recommendations around 'binge drinking': "The usual arguments are trotted out about how 'binge drinkers are a strain on our A&E departments' - and this might very well be true, but this situation has absolutely fuck-all to do with people drinking 14 or 21 units per week. 30-40 per night, maybe. And if you are drinking 37 units in a single night, are you really going to be persuaded by propaganda advising you to lower your consumption from three units a day to two? (Of course you won't, you'll be too busy having the time of your life swigging Netto vodka in the centre of Glasgow.)" 
  • On the 2019 General Election: "I'm unhappy that possibly the one opportunity I shall get in my adult life to witness a Tory landslide, or a least a decent sized win, will be corrupted; Pyrrhic at best."
  • On the 'substantial meal' rule: "Banning all Capricorns and Geminis from pubs would yield a similar result. As would temporarily raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 32, or requiring all customers to wear Gingham pantaloons."


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