Voices The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

It’s a tough life at the House of Commons. Aperitifs are in short supply, the Cajun food is poor and there is a dearth of ‘fresh game’ on the lunchtime menu.

Leading article: Spud we like

The potato was introduced relatively late to European diets, but it was embraced with enthusiasm. It is now the fourth largest staple crop on the planet after rice, wheat and maize. And from the Irish potato famine, to the row about "Freedom Fries" during the build- up to the Iraq war, they have been entwined with our history. And now a new chapter in the life of the plant might have begun with the news that scientists have deciphered the full genetic code of the potato. Advances in crop technology have enabled mankind to avoid the Malthusian nightmare of too many hungry mouths and not enough food in the past. Here's hoping that the potato is about to help us do so yet again.

Tom Sutcliffe: Thank goodness his face doesn't fit

The week in culture

Marmalade vodka victorious at World Spirits awards

A marmalade vodka from Herefordshire has beaten off thousands of competitors at the San Francisco World Spirits awards.

O'Connor's joy leaves Twiston-Davies inconsolable

Whatever your views on the pursuit on horseback of bushy-tailed vermin across the countryside, there is no doubt that fox-hunting is part of jump racing's history and heritage. The Foxhunter Chase is normally regarded as the highlight of the week for amateur riders; yesterday's riders rather found their thunder in that department stolen. "This is usually our Gold Cup," said the winner, Derek O'Connor. "But this year I'm not sure we can say that."

The Business On: William Chase, Founder, Chase Vodka

Is that a new alcopop?

Killer Derrick Bird sought revenge on taxi-rank bullies

Derrick Bird, the Cumbria killer, vowed revenge on his fellow taxi drivers after being subjected to practical jokes, name-calling and attacks on his car, the inquest into his death and those of his 12 victims heard yesterday.

Cheesy potato croquettes

Makes 8-10

Shepherd's pie baked potato

Serves 4

Harrington caught by couch-potato police

Players disgusted and R&A accused of having archaic rules after TV viewer prompts Irishman's disqualification

Parsnip croquettes

Serves 10

Mutton and potato pies

Serves 10

Whipped potato with rabbit and wild mushrooms

Serves 4

UK restaurants waste 600,000 tons of food a year

Report blames US-style portions and careless kitchen habits as one-third of all wasted food is left on customers' plates.

Village People: The Potato Council survives, but it could soon be crunch time

Quango upon quango has been consigned to the bonfire, but the Potato Council lives on.

Imagine that: crisps packets made from spuds

Recycled potato peelings could be used to create crisp packets within 18 months, the UK's largest crisp manufacturer said today.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
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