With the recent announcement that Richard E. Grant has been added to the cast of Downton Abbey, you might be wondering just how (and why) it took so long for this bit of brilliance to happen. All one has to do is look at the greatness of Posh Nosh and the creation of extraordinary food for ordinary people and it makes perfect sense. Simon Marchmont, would easily feel at home either dining upstairs or gliding through Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen downstairs at Downton Abbey.
Arriving on the scene in 2003 and taking no prisoners, Simon and Minty Marchmont, owners of the Quill and Tassel in Bray, exude Posh Nosh. Like their contemporaries (Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Ainsley Harriott and Delia Smith), they are chefs, not cooks. They don’t settle for anything less than “the Russell Crowe of chocolates” from Belgium, which has two uses, cooking and worshiping. According to Simon, all kids by the age of six should be able to shave their own fennel. Minty could disable a partridge in its own jus. Mrs. Patmore will finally have some dining upstairs that will appreciate her culinary efforts. Maybe Alfred can come back after a stint at The Ritz.
Simon and Minty glide through the kitchen like Torvill and Dean with a hint of Tonya Harding on the back burner. A word to the nervous: The techniques are sometimes complex and can be difficult at first. Always remember this from the “Posh Nosh” Bible: extraordinary food should never be simple and never, ever cheap. That said, you must try this Paella Valenciana at home. Don’t be afraid to:
- interrogate your mussels;
- embarrass your vegetables (do not peel them);
- and always, let the ingredients talk amongst themselves.
Anyone recognize Simon’s tennis coach, Jose Luis?