Table Talk

19 November 2004
Table Talk

Takes boil-in-the-bag to new heights Chefs gathered for the World Testicle Cooking Championships last week. The contest, held in Serbia, was won by Belgrade cook Dejan Milovanovic with his dish of bull and boar's organs. Ljubomir Erovic, spokesman for the Serbian Tourism Board, said: "We want to show the world what great dishes can be cooked using testicles, which are known locally here as white kidneys. All testicles can be eaten, except human, of course - we don't want any cannibals here."

Well, you can see all the way to…um, Purley The invites have been sent out, the Champagne's on ice, the canapés are exquisite. The lunchtime date (19 November) marks the official opening of the newest hotel in the Greater London area. The directors and management of Express by Holiday Inn promise you Champagne, music, canapés, and "panoramic views over Croydon". It doesn't get much better, surely.

Always said he should carry a health warning
TV pundit Simon Cowell, the sharp-tongued judge on The X Factor "talent" programme, has been caught out by sharp-eyed Irish viewers. They spotted him smoking, in defiance of the Irish ban, when ITV recently screened a part of the show that had been filmed at Jurys Ballsbridge hotel, Dublin - and complained to the local health board. Now the board has sought, and received, assurances from the hotel that it's enforcing the ban.

The natives are friendly…when they're customers
Too dour, rude and lazy. That's what an Australian couple think of the Scots, so when they started running a hotel in Scotland earlier this year they recruited staff from a catering college on the other side of the world. Scott and Brianna Poole, owners of the Dalmunzie Country Hotel at the Spittal of Glenshee, have an exclusively Australian front-of-house team. Scott told The Times: "Scots seem to prefer being on the other side of a bar, propping up their pint rather than working and serving other people." He added that Aussies saw the hospitality industry as a good career move, whereas for the Scottish it was a last resort. He would continue to advertise vacancies at his old catering college in Australia, unless he found suitable local applicants.

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