Is being a chef bad for your mental health? In October last year Andrew Clarke, head chef of the much-admired Brunswick House restaurant in Vauxhall, London, posted a picture of himself to Instagram. It’s in black and white. He is sitting at a table against a wall of distressed plaster, his straggly hair unsuccessfully tucked away beneath a ragged beanie hat, tattooed arms on show. In his hand is a teacup and before him, a bottle of spirits, the implication being that the contents of one are filling the other. It could have been the moody cover to one of the albums Clarke thought he would release when he was pursuing his first love, music.
A culinary cruise from Dublin to Lisbon: super markets and caramel bottoms: To the opening chords of Hotel California, Calvin the Indian accommodation director walks onto the brightly lit stage. Then comes the ship’s Filipino doctor, to Bad Case of Loving You. The Ukrainian chief engineer joins them, somewhat disconcertingly, to the theme tune from Mission: Impossible. It is a novel way to introduce key crew members aboard the Windstar Legend as it sets off on a 10-night cruise from Dublin, Ireland, to Lisbon, Portugal, with the British captain, Neil Broomhall, last to join the ranks gathered in the theatre.
How the sandwich consumed Britain: The invention of the chilled packaged sandwich, an accessory of modern British life which is so influential, so multifarious and so close to hand that you are probably eating one right now, took place exactly 37 years ago. Like many things to do with the sandwich, this might seem, at first glance, to be improbable. But it is true. In the spring of 1980, Marks & Spencer, the nation’s most powerful department store, began selling packaged sandwiches out on the shop floor. Nothing terribly fancy. Salmon and cucumber. Egg and cress. Triangles of white bread in plastic cartons, in the food aisles, along with everything else. Prices started at 43p.