Independent Plus Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

By Ellen E Jones

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

Consortium told £950m Trillium buyout will be 'over by Christmas'

Land Securities reassures William Pears that despite 'protracted timescales' the deal is still on

Pip parade: Mark Hix cooks up a feast using delicious home-grown apples and pears

Crumbles and pies are all very well, but home-grown apples and pears can be put to much better use

Conference pear, Barkham blue and walnut salad

Serves 4

Eat your way to better health

We may have upped our fruit and vegetable intake, but we're ignoring many of the most nutritious foods on the shelves, Jane Feinmann shares10 store cupboard secrets

The Ten Best Chutneys

Spice up your life with our choice of chutneys

Professor Charlotte Erickson

Arriving at the LSE in the autumn of 1956, I was allocated Charlotte Erickson as my tutor, writes Roy Sturgess [further to the obituary by Negley Harte, 16 July]. At my first meeting I found her newly installed in a shared, small room high up in the New Building. It was a cosy, crowded room, cluttered with books and part-opened boxes, and filled with an atmosphere of what I could only later recognise as female homeliness.

Snails may hold key to beating Alzheimer's

Scientists at the University of Brighton are close to unlocking the mysteries of the human ageing process, thanks to help from the common pond snail.

We have the worst – and the dearest – fruit and veg in Europe

Britain has the worst supply of fruit and vegetables in the EU, a new report claims, putting the UK on a par with Lithuania when it comes to the availability of fresh produce.

Soul Happiness

Serves 4

Turkey court blocks moves over headscarves

Turkey's ruling AK Party are holding an emergency meeting today to discuss how to respond to a top court's ruling to overturn a government-led reform to lift a ban on Muslim headscarves at university.

Commercial market heading for 30% slump, warn property gurus

Commercial property will have lost nearly one-third of its value between the start of the credit crunch and the end of this year, leading industry figures have warned.

William Pears eyes LS Trillium bid

William Pears, the property investment group, has emerged as a surprise frontrunner in the £1.5bn bidding war for Land Securities Trillium, the outsourcing giant.

Nash Ensemble/Tortelier, Wigmore Hall, London

Since the death of Messiaen, Henri Dutilleux has been widely regarded as the Grand Old Man of contemporary French music, and this Wigmore Hall celebration culminated in the presentation of the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal to the still-active 92-year-old composer.

John Sandoe: Founder of Sandoe's bookshop

John Sandoe, bookseller: born Felixstowe, Suffolk 10 July 1930; died Yeovil, Somerset 29 December 2007.

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