France abandons itself to Christmas venison, truffles and red, red wine

Mary Dejevsky counts the cost of Gallic cheer and celebration

JELLIED TERRINE OF SALMON AND RED MULLET: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Food & Drink: Fish has never looked so good - in 12 easy stages Gordon Ramsay shows how to prepare a colourful piece de resistance for the dinner-party table

French lead the way to the British brasserie

A dash of Gallic charm bodes well for diners, writes Keith Botsford

Arjo Wiggins chief executive quits

Arjo Wiggins Appleton, the troubled Anglo-French paper- making and merchanting group, yesterday announced the sudden departure of its chief executive, Alain Soulas. He has been replaced by Philippe Beylier, who has been in charge of the group's successful merchanting division and will now be based in the UK.

Why lawyers who lunch don't eat quiche

At last, something of which Rumpole might approve. Lunch is apparently still regarded as an important part of the lawyer's job. And though they drink less than they did three years ago, most lawyers consider it to be either beneficial, or at least standard practice, during lunch.

Obituary: Mark Renzland

Mark Renzland, restaurateur: born Colchester, Essex 14 November 1956; died London 29 November 1995.

JIM AINSWORTH RECOMMENDS

HIGHLANDS

ivory towers

Do we eat hot curries because we like them, or do we grow to like them because we eat them? A new paper "Does Exposure Enhance the Liking for the Chilli Burn" (by Richard Stevenson and Martin Yeomans, Appetite, 1995, 24, 107-20) throws some light on the question.

Spread the curd: At the Camembert Museum in Normandy, cheese-making is something of an art. Tony Kelly sniffs out the real thing

It was while I was on holiday in Normandy that I discovered the world's smelliest museum. My wife, Kate and I, were enjoying a gastronomic trip, walking the Route du Cidre and seeking out new cheeses in country markets. On a rainy day we decided on a long-planned pilgrimage to the village of Camembert, home of the famous cheese.

Chess: Anand and Kamsky go for the throat

THE FIDE Candidates matches are under way in Sanghi Nagar in India, with local hero Viswanathan Anand playing Gata Kamsky and Vladimir Kramnik meeting Boris Gelfand, writes William Hartston. The third match, between Jan Timman and Valeri Salov, will begin tomorrow. The three winners - the best of eight games to decide - will join Anatoly Karpov in the semi-finals. This is the first time the champion has had to compete before the final match, and is an aftermath of the unusual circumstances surrounding last year's title matches.

True Gripes: Out to lunch: Deliver us from Post Office foolishness

Postcards cheer me up, cheques inspire something approaching a dyslexic hornpipe in the hallway and bills make me want to hit the bottle. But even the stuffy red ones telling me that I'm about to be disconnected prompt mediocre despair in comparison with a little white card.

Flat Earth: Lunch courtesy of St Michael

IT WAS a mercantile triumph for the nation of shopkeepers last week when Marks & Spencer held a lunch in the British Ambassador's residence on the rue du Faubourg St Honore, a building once belonging to the Empress Eugenie and, it is said, bought for a snip by the Duke of Wellington. The occasion, presided over by His Excellency, Sir Christopher Mallaby GCVO KCMG (Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George), was to celebrate the opening in September of the second M&S store in Paris on the rue de Rivoli near the Louvre.

Food and Drink: Recipe: Simply a terrific terrine

THE SERIES on pate recipes is seen out with terrine aux aromates from M Hughes of Washington, Tyne & Wear. It won, largely for novelty value, over Diana Bowden's pate maison - a good gutsy terrine employing pig's liver, pork belly and brandy. Mrs Hughes found her recipe in a book called French Cooking for Pleasure by Mary Reynolds. Mrs Hughes will receive a bottle of Alain Brumont's Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Octobre 1991, a late-picked Jurancon-style wine from Reid Wines, near Bristol.

FOOD AND DRINK / Suggested cheese and wine combinations

BURGUNDY / PINOT NOIR: Excellent with Emmental, Gruyere and Munster; good with Caerphilly, Camembert, Chaume, Cheddar, Cheshire, Wensleydale, Cornish Yarg, L'Explorateur, goat's cheese and Reblochon; passable with Stilton.
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