Gastropod

BEING ON the sluggish side oneself only makes chef Allegra McEvedy seem more energetic. Gastropod can't claim credit for doubling her workload, but The Independent can. After reading about her here, the organisers of Lift, the London International Festival of Theatre, persuaded her to cook in their floating club house over the three weeks of the festival. The ex-River Cafe chef, who left Robert De Niro's Tribeca Grill in New York to set up the community-spirited The Good Cook Cafe, is currently dashing between her stoves at Notting Hill and the galley kitchen on HMS President, Lift's eating, drinking, talking and partying venue. So it's all aboard for the Good Cook's barbecues, a moveable feast for less than pounds 10, or a la carte meals from Monday to Wednesday for around pounds 15. At these prices, we're prepared to waive our agent's fee. The Good Cook Cafe at the Lift Club, HMS President, Victoria Embankment, London WC2 (0171-565 7808) Mon-Sat lunch and dinner until 4 July.

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IT'S THE art of cooking, but not as we know it. As part of Lift, four Australian performers are living for 13 days sealed inside the window of the Clapham department store Arding & Hobbs. This means that they sleep, shower, cook and eat in full view. Press your nose to the pane and watch them knock up meals in a makeshift kitchen, or communicate your own recipes to them by miming through the window. Apparently they've successfully followed instructions for spaghetti napoletana, and are open to more suggestions. Urban Dream Capsule, Arding & Hobbs, 315 Lavender Hill, London SW11.

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REAL MEN and women eat real meat, but are too rushed to stuff a roast or leave their workstations to buy one. Richard Guy's Real Meat Company, the long-standing supplier of ethically-reared traditional breeds, is now selling online, as well as by mail order and in 27 shops. The company's new range of ready meals includes ballotine of lamb with apricot and almond stuffing, and chicken parcels stuffed with garlic and herbs. Two-person roasts for pounds 7.99 come oven-ready. Otherwise all the cuts you'd expect from a superior butcher are also available. Order from www.realmeat.co.uk, by mail order (0345 626 017) or find Real Meat at stockists in London, Sheffield, central and southern England.

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RACE YOU to the Harrods sale. If your stash of that storecupboard staple sevruga caviar is running low, buy now because caviar prices are going through the roof as stocks of sturgeon are depleted. However, Harrods is knocking 10 per cent off its own brand of sevruga from 7-17 July. Without this discount, prices start at pounds 29 for 30g up to pounds 179 for 250g - you do the sums. The caviar keeps for three months unopened, so you'll have to buy more for the millennium, by which time prices may have gone up by 40 per cent. On second thoughts, we'll stay home. Food in the sale can be ordered by phone and delivered within the M25 for pounds 5. Spend more than pounds 250 and delivery is free. Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1 (0171-730 1234 extension 4848 for food orders).

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IN THE bunfight to cater to our lunchtime munchies, bagels have been rediscovered as a convenient fast food. But many of the claims made for these boiled dough balls - that they're virtually fat-free, high in carbohydrates and low in cholesterol - apply to any bread. And only until the cream cheese, chopped liver or egg mayonnaise come into the frame. Latest entrant in the bagel bonanza is Bagelmania, with 13 lip-smacking flavours and 30 fillings (though don't tell us chocolate-chip filled with peanut butter is slimming) making the somewhat premature claim that it's the largest chain, although it has only just opened its second bagel bar in London. Eight more stores are promised nationwide over the next 18 months. Bagelmania is at 4 Market Place, London W1 (0171-636 9070) and 41 Lexington Street, London W1 (0171-287 9610).

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