The one time I flew directly to the West coast of America, it was to Los Angeles. I took the United Airlines round-the-world flight (which no longer stops in Delhi even if it still exists) and changed planes at Hong Kong. It was a fairly tiring experience, despite the fact that my company had shelled out for a First Class ticket. Read more
By some coincidence, the movie Bottle Shock was released on the day I went to California’s Napa Valley. Bottle Shock, a small but generally well-reviewed film starring such dependable B-listers as Bill Pullman and Alan Rickman, tells the story of one of the wine world’s most famous events: the so-called Judgement of Paris. In 1976, a young British wine dealer called Steven Spurrier who had failed to make much headway in cracking the French wine establishment had a bright idea. Read more
It’s a nagging thought that’s never found full expression. But each time I would read about medieval Europeans and their rush to find a way to get to India to discover the riches of the East, something inside me would stir uneasily. Pepper, I would read, was more precious than gold in Europe in those days. A single nutmeg commanded prices we associate with white truffles in modern times.
I’ve never been able to make up my mind about the food in Paris. For many years I stuck to the position I had evolved during my youth: it is impossible to eat badly in the French capital. This is the romantic view, shared by many people of my generation who have happy memories of cheap bistro meals that turned out to be terrific; of amazing local produce; of excellent local wine at everyday prices; and of our first Michelin-starred meals. Read more