The Truffler: Chocolate, Jamie Oliver, Loyd Grossman, Limetree Pantry, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Ecole de Cuisine

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Me, never say no to chocolate? I should koko. If I've seemed rather reticent on the subject, it's because everything you need to know about it is in The Information today. Still, I can't resist one chocolate-related revelation: there are 50,000 milk chocolate Easter eggs, supplied by Green & Black's, the organic choc people, scattered over National Trust land. This weekend more than 50 National Trust properties have Easter Egg Trails for children who will find the gold-foil-wrapped eggs by solving clues and combing through the countryside. To find out where the Easter Egg Trails are call the National Trust on 0870 458 4000 between 9am and 4pm (it's open tomorrow and Monday, too) or look up on www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

* Remember the young Jamie Oliver, the one who used to shin down the banisters and shoot hoops – before his bank balance overflowed, he spread himself everywhere, filled out and reproduced? See him as he was at his prime on Saturday Kitchen on BBC2 starting at 11.25am. With more repeats than a gherkin, the same cooking show has excavated the archives and come up with a TV chef so passé he's positively retro. Yes, it's Graham Kerr, and you can catch the Galloping Gourmet later on Saturday Kitchen to refresh your memory or marvel at the horrors of cooking past. In last week's reprise, wearing a tie and drainpipe trousers he held court in a stone-clad kitchen where he told terrible jokes to a studio audience and acted the klutz while making overcooked sole in German wine. I watched Saturday Kitchen so you don't have to, but if you do, clock the tinny, caramel-coloured non-stick saucepans. Will they make a comeback?

* Loyd Grossman has wisely avoided cooking on telly, letting others risk it instead. But he reckons he's come up with top notch pasta to go with the sauces that have his mug on them. "I made them so you wouldn't have to," he says. Thanks, Loyd. Trouble is, so many others are making them for us as well it's hard to choose which pasta sauce, curry sauce and dressing to take home and pass off as one's own. Loyd just isn't making it any easier. He insists his pasta is authentic. It is made from desert durum wheat semolina, grown in the Arizona desert and comes in three shapes: fusilli, penne and radiatore, and as spaghetti and square-sided spaghetti alla chittarra, in 500g packets for 99p.

* Those who don't make their own pasta sauces, let alone pasta itself, probably don't have pastry fingers, either. In which case, Limetree Pantry's the answer. They make mouthwatering shortcrust pastry pies with savoury and sweet fillings, and sell them at farmers' markets and country fairs, and over the internet. The pastry, which is as short as it should be, is generously filled with, say, chicken, ham and leek, pork, apples and cider, game, or salmon. These cost £4 to £7 depending on size and filling. Sweet pies include raspberry, and several variations on apple. Minimum order is £30 from www.limetreepantry.com.

It's no secret that Raymond Blanc and nutritionist Amanda Ursell are an item. Nor then a coincidence that the next series of cooking courses at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons Ecole de Cuisine starts with "La Nutrition et la Cuisine Moderne" as well as, whisper it, "Fusion Cuisine". Courses are for no more than 10 people. Expect the first session with a nutritional emphasis to be especially sought-after as the couple are teaching it together. Thereafter others take over. More details and bookings on 01844 278881 or www.manoir.com.

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