Life and Style

To his cost, ex-Glencore trader Andrew Kearns has found being hungover a sackable offence, but the liquid lunch shaped many a day in days gone by, says a wistful John Walsh

Recipes for rich fish

CHARGRILLED TUNA WITH OLIVES, LEMON AND SORREL

Where shall we meet?: Le Bouchon, SW8

There was a time when French brasseries were as rare south of the river as TV executives. Le Bouchon was in the vanguard, and has turned over healthy profits from steak frites ever since, mostly due to intelligent repeat marketing (the staff kiss you if you're a regular) and 'real' French touches like bar football and mineral water that's not Perrier. The bar heaves most nights; at weekends you need a certificate to prove you're not claustrophobic. Look out for men wearing suit trousers and ties stuffed in their back pockets. Despite substantial bar snacks, don't expect to avoid a hangover.

Summer sizzle in the city

The British barbeque is a sad affair. Oxidised sausages that leave bits of black grit wedged between the teeth are served to people who are grateful for getting anything at all. That's because the chef is usually too busy notching up the lagers or chatting up the least-dressed female guest to keep an eye on the flame-spitting BBQ itself. Which is more often than not an old cake cooling tray stuck between some bricks found in a skip. Sounds familiar?

The Crossing: An extract from his new novel, the second part of The Border Trilogy

RIDING along the road south he could smell the cattle out in the fields beyond the bar ditch and the running fence. When he rode through Cloverdale it was just grey light. He turned up at Cloverdale Creek road and rode on. Behind him the sun was rising in the San Luis Pass and his new shadow riding before him lay long and thin upon the road. He rode past the old dance platform in the woods and two hours later when he left the road and crossed the pasture to the vaqueros' noon fire the wolf stood up to meet him.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS / Steak with a punk mermaid: Michael Glover discusses the child's eye view with award-winning poet Philip Gross

Since 1969, an annual award has been made for the best collection of children's poems published over the previous 12 months. This year the winner pocketed pounds 100, the certificate came through the letter box, and there wasn't even a press reception. All that seemed to matter was the quality of the work.

FOOD & DRINK / Daily Bread: Antonio Carluccio: What the chef ate one day last week

I HAVE one rule, which is never to have breakfast; in Italy people rarely do. So although I adore things like bacon and kippers, I started the day with just a milky coffee, a caffe lette. I went straight to the restaurant and at 12 o'clock had a light lunch. I ate what the rest of the staff had, something prepared in the restaurant. Today it was freshly grilled sardines with salad, which was very very good. At weekends I try to create new recipes for lunch; today, as every day, I tested everything I created, but in minimal quantities. I felt hungry so I also had a good piece of bread, baked on the premises, and a slice of salami. I had dinner at 7.30 - a nice steak, which was very juicy and tender, eaten with a great deal of vegetables. Steak has to be of extremely good quality, and grilled; there is nothing more annoying than chewing and chewing at a steak. Afterwards I had fresh fruit, which is what I always have unless I'm creating a new dessert. I drank water with the meal, though I love a glass of wine from time to time - as long as it's of exceptionally high quality. I finished with what is for me an occasional treat - a very good whisky. Life is made of things like that; when you reach a certain status you can fill your stomach with good things - but not too much] I adore chocolate, but I don't keep it in the house because if it were there I would eat it. I don't want to do that, because I try my recipes all day and I am starting to get too heavy. Because of this, I had nothing at all to eat later in the evening.

Out of South Africa: English - as she is spoke in Sefrika, men

JOHANNESBURG - Now that white South Africans are considered to be acceptable members of the human race it might be appropriate to try and become acquainted with one of their languages - the one they call English. Idiom, pronunciation and Afrikaans penetration are the three terrains of idiosyncrasy on which the foreigner will have to battle.

EATING OUT / On the steak and marrow: The Launceston Place Restaurant

THE LAUNCESTON PLACE RESTAURANT

Bottom Line: Out of the fridge . . .

IN THE face of a 98 per cent fall in pre-tax profits at Dalepak Foods, the frozen beefburger maker, a mere 4 per cent decline in the share price looks positively generous.

Food and Drink: Firm favourites from the ocean: Tuna and swordfish are rare and expensive, but when beautifully fresh and cooked to perfection they are among the most delicious of fish

TUNA fishing used to be big business around the north-western tip of Sicily. In early summer, huge shoals of tuna swam past the coast, and many villages and small towns had fleets of tuna boats. Now the shoals have dwindled and the fleets have all but disappeared, though evidence of past abundance remains in the solid tonnara buildings that housed the nets and other equipment. The island of Favignana, a few miles offshore from Trapani, is one of the last places where a tonnara and the characteristic flat-bottomed wooden boats are still in use.

Commodities: Plains cooks shuffle off to buffalo

Q. What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?

Australians jump at the chance of a fresh kangaroo steak

Kangaroo meat, available in Australian supermarkets for the first time this week, is a sell-out. One of the country's biggest chains sold more in a day than predicted for the week. 'Rooburgers' are popular, and kangaroo-tail soup, but stir-fry seems to be the favourite cooking method.

Books: Of steak and sin ..: Here's what T Coraghessan Boyle serves up to start his new novel, The Road to Wellville,. Brilliant, pungent American stuff. Great flavour, full of amoral fibre, from a book so fresh it's not out till October

DR JOHN Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the corn flake and peanut butter, not to mention caramel-cereal coffee, Bromose, Nuttolene and some seventy-five other gastrically correct foods, paused to level his gaze on the heavy-set woman in the front row. He was having difficulty believing what he'd just heard. As was the audience, judging from the gasp that arose after she'd raised her hand, stood shakily and demanded to know what was so sinful about a good porterhouse steak - it had done for the pioneers, hadn't it? And for her father and his father before him?

Co-op plans buffalo bill of fare

THE ROAST BEEF of old England is about to face competition at the Co-op - from the American buffalo.

THEATRE / Hub-Cap Cowboy - La Bonne Crepe, London SW11

Paul Prescott and Chris Pearson's new musical comedy is about a group of long-distance lorry drivers who congregate in a caff on the A1. Into this world of men who would be tough, comes Patrick (Nicholas Warnford), a sometime vegetarian chef with a liking for skimmed milk. Soon he, too, is asking for steak and chips, much to the disappointment of his girlfriend (Valerie Weyland).
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