Ooh, ooh!  I met my hero on Thursday – YOTAM OTTOLENGHI.  Oh it was so exciting!  It never would have happened if I hadn’t have been so merry on red wine, and chatting to Heather from Cook Up a Party at the Guild Awards after-party.

I said, “ooh, there’s Ottolenghi, would it be really starstruck of me to go and say I’m a big fan?”. Bold as brass, Heather said, “I’ll introduce you!” and we bowled over. 

She told him all about Silver Screen Suppers, and I told him that my favourite chef of all time was horror actor Vincent Price.  He laughed and then I repeated something Battenburg Belle and I often say: “First there was Vincent and then there was Ottolenghi” to which his response was, “so I’m your second favourite?” and I said “yes, you are!” Ha ha.  He was most gracious and lovely and smiley.  Probably thought I was a bit barmy.

It tickled me to discover that the photo I selected from the net above, appeared in an online article from The Times entitled: “Are you an Ottolenghi groupie?” Well yes I am, of course, isn’t every right minded person?!

I chatted to so many inspiring and lovely people.  I told Food Journalist of the Year Tim Hayward how sad I was about the demise of Gin & It:

and congratulated Emma from Poires Au Chocolat for winning Food Blog of the Year a second time.

I spotted Karen from Lavender and Lovage who I haven’t seen since Food Blogger Connect in 2011 and Urvashi from The Botanical Baker who I also met there, but bumped into again at the Guild’s brilliant SALT workshop a few weeks ago.  Great to see Guyrope Gourmet, he was wearing a very fetching hat, I love hanging out with him.  He’s a maverick.  I like mavericks.

An event where my three favourite Guild members are all around makes me very happy.  Heather Grant, Joan Ransley and Clarissa Hyman were all there so I was full of bonhomie – they are my magic three.  All so welcoming when I first joined the Guild and have been ever since.  Also lovely, as always, to see Richard Ehrlich who wrote my kitchen bible “The Perfect…  Notes and Recipes”, and was also very kind to me when I first joined the Guild.  And of course the fabulous Kate Hawkins (I can’t find a website to link to for Kate – but take my word for it, she is fabulous). 

Aren’t I incredibly lucky to be getting to know all these giants of food writing?  I LOVE THE GUILD OF FOOD WRITERS!

Best thing that happened though was Joan offering to take the food photos for the Silver Screen Suppers book if I can find a publisher. This is fabulous news as Joan is my FAVOURITE food photographer.  For example…  Mmmm – nougat!

This has given me a bit of a boost.  As soon as the Joan Crawford Cookbook prototype is done, I will turn my attention back to the Silver Screen Suppers edit…  I WILL.

I regretted being quite so smashed when Philip Dundas invited me to join him and some others for dinner but I could hardly walk down the stairs so I figured I’d better get a cab home.  While I was waiting I had a little sit down by the door, and was very pleased to find that the goodie bag contained Tenderstem Broccoli – “I love Tenderstem Broccoli” I said out loud to nobody in particular.  When I woke up next morning there were 20 packs of it strewn around my hall…. Remind me to have a BIG LUNCH before I go to the next Guild Awards ceremony in order to prepare for the boozing! 

I loved Tenderstem’s customized label…  So groovy.

The full list of Guild of Food Writers award winners is here…  if you want to check them out.  It is a who’s who of brilliant food writing.  What a wonderful, wonderful bunch of talented and lovely people.

Vincent would have DEFINITELY been a member.


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