Food & Drink: Going underground

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The Independent Culture
UNLIKE MOST wine lists, John Armit Wines' ring-bound volume is beautiful, and the delectable catalogue even makes gripping reading with testimonials from top-flight restaurateurs and hoteliers who buy the fabulous range of wines. The female-friendly company is also running a second series of wine courses for women - ring for details. Last week its annual wine tasting for women was at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Call it sour grapes, but since the Truffler was not invited, the old sow has to ask: was a backdrop of Bridget Riley's paintings the ideal setting for 200 women to taste white wines without spitting them out? Some power blondes apparently became rather dizzy. At least the Truffler can browse the catalogue - wine delivery is now free. John Armit Wines, 5 Royalty Studios, 105 Lancaster Road, London W11 1QF (0171-727 6846)

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A PROMISED highlight of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is Korea's hottest theatrical music performance. "So?" You're thinking. Because it's called Cookin'. Four Korean chefs prepare a wedding banquet and while they cook they incorporate whatever's to hand in a manic succession of dance and acrobatic, slapstick, juggling and percussive performances that owe something to Oriental martial arts, and traditional Korean rhythms and music. And they manage to knock up a meal at the same time, which the audience can taste. Saves trudging off to eat after the show. Cookin' is in the Ball Room at the Assembly Rooms (0131-226 2428).

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TRUFFLER'S HANDY tip of the week: to revive celery stand it in icy water. According to the British Medical Journal, Israeli and Australian researchers have gone further in finding ways to revive drooping veg. They discovered that Viagra has a similar effect on plant ripening as it does on men's sexual organs. 1mg of the drug (sildenafil citrate) - a 50th of the dose taken by humans - dissolved in water can prevent cut flowers and vegetables from wilting. I can think of more useful experiments with Viagra.

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CONFESSION TIME from another chef verging on the edge of celebrity. The brilliant London-based Richard Corrigan is next in the queue to produce his own lavish memoir-like cookbook called... The Richard Corrigan Cookbook. Although not published until September (by Hodder & Stoughton), a sneak preview illustrates how Corrigan's Irish childhood on a small bogland farm - hard graft but rather more bountiful than the Angela's Ashes experience - shaped his love of earthy food. In extolling the joys of traditional husbandry, he fingers his father as an experienced poacher who rustled salmon to feed the family. I hope this doesn't put the fox among the chickens in the Corrigan family, some of whom still bring game over from Ireland for him.

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