Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Cooking by numbers For the Masses

Last Saturday it was our Caravanning Group`s Winter Meal.
Arranged by a member, The Angel is what now-a-days is called a *carvery, but in fact would be better described as a works canteen in a pub. It is usually quite full, but of chav type people seeking a bargain meal who subconsciously probably don`t like eating out, or at least spending money on eating out. and who`s attire would prevent them been let in to a real restaurant.
What I was hoping for.
Staffed by inexperienced youngsters probably earning barely the national minimum wage, who they dress in chef`s whites and give a “Company Manual” on how to cook. So they can cook to the predetermined minute cheap meat in a combi oven by `stream-roasting`. This quick method also loses less weight and helps tenderise the meat during cooking.
Not my pic.
We were not the first to arrive and so we joined friends already seated in the pub area, I got a pint of Dunbar ale, the same as I was drinking last week in Leeds, but £1.35 dearer! We talked and more members came in, till it was time to eat.
Their photo, but it wasn`t like that!
Once shown to your table, and I say “Shown to” rather than “Seated at” we can order our starters which the `ducks` (A term used by Chefs for untrained waitress) do serve to the table. Then, after your plates are cleared you have to leave your seat and que at a counter where the people in whites carve the meat of your (limited) choice, then go and help yourself to vegetables and potatoes. Which is where most of the, shall we say, locals try to pile as high as possible on their plate.

To be honest the meal was okay. I guess you get what you pay for and that`s it. On Friday lunch I paid nearly as much for just a Fish butty, but it was gorgeous; batter was golden crisp, fish light and moist but cooked though and the bread cake was soft, fresh and well buttered. Back to Saturday, the vegetables are steamed, no doubt in a high pressure steamer, even the red cabbage, which at first glance you may think (or hope) you are getting Braised Red Cabbage, however it lacked; apples, onions herbs and the other ingredients that I, at least add to the real dish. The rest of the vegetables just lacked salt. As a retired chef it will be no surprise that I have total contempt for this type of place. The term “Cooking by numbers” best describes it.
Death of Traditional Carveries ? Not my pic.
The whole point of the night was for a winter get-together and it was nice to see the gang again. But, could we have just met in a pub without the meal? ……. Well yes
*A traditional Carvery is when in a restaurant a senior Waiter or Chef le Rotisseur would bring a silver trolley to your table and carves the roast meat at your side, then a junior waiter would silver serve, (by spoon and fork) your vegetables etc.


  1. I'm not the best cook in the whole world, but even I am becoming disgusted by dining out these days - $50 for a basic meal that I could cook ten times better for half the price. And that's saying something. lol

    1. Oh that seems a lot, and I know what you mean.


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