Some New Year ideas to chew over

26 January 2006
Some New Year ideas to chew over

Congratulations to Gordon and Heston on their inclusion in the honours list! Putting to one side the fact that the system is ludicrous, I can only state my admiration for these two individuals, who have squeezed every last drop of exposure from the puddle of talent they were blessed with.

Some may carp, but the news of Blumenthal's success has made me approach the New Year with renewed vigour. My contribution to the revolution in British cooking is well documented (in this column) but I will not rest. If we are to continue to amaze the world, we cannot stand still. Here I take the unusual step of publicising my latest ideas in a selfless effort to encourage others.

  • Ready-chewed food. With this innovative service, I have the business lunch in mind. It's rare in today's high-pressure world of commerce for the executive to be able to linger over a languorous lunch of the likes of langoustine or langue du chat. This way it's possible to get through my seven-course tasting menu (£68.95) in less than 20 minutes. And yes, I have addressed the hygiene issue by designing a protective oral prosthetic that fills my entire mouth but still allows for effective mastication.
  • The restaurant will be renamed the Corpulent Cock. New menu items will include triple frozen chips, bacon and eggs that taste like ice-cream and a chocolate bar that looks like a tin of pilchards.
  • David Smolt - The album. This is at the conceptual stage at the moment, but I have approached a number of artists inviting them to contribute to an album of music based on the dishes at the Cock. Diners will then receive headphones that play tunes according to the dishes they are eating. Artists have yet to confirm their availability, but we have approached my old mate Phil Collins for the cold fish, Madonna for the dressed mutton, Bryn Terfel is a rich pudding and Charlotte Church a tart. If George Michael takes up the offer to handle the meat, that leaves Elton with the crabs.

David Smolt is senior chief executive chef at the Corpulent Cock restaurant in the AA two-star, six-bedroom Auberge du Montbazillac, Chelmsford. E-mail

Did you make a resolution and did you keep it?

Anton Edelmann, chef-patron, Allium, London

"This year I made two resolutions. One was that I was not to drink more than 21 units of alcohol a week. The other was that I must be patient with everyone I meet. And so far, so good, no relapses yet. But it is still very early days, I think."

James Martin, celebrity chef star of Strictly Come Dancing

"My New Year's resolution is to stop dancing, to hang up my dancing shoes for good. People seem to want me to dance and stuff instead of cooking and it is not good to be out of the restaurant for that long.
I have vowed to stop."

Paul Boyce, general manager, Malmaison, London

"My one resolution was to not drink as much as last year, but I failed by the second of January. What I want is to have as good a year as I did in 2005. I'm a believer in fate. What will happen, will happen."

David Page, executive director, Clapham House Group

"I haven't made any. Why should I? I am perfect, not God, but god-like, I think. I suppose my one resolution is to be less modest. Oh, and to beg for more respect from my children. And not use oxymorons."

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