The British Are Coming!

After years of having their cuisine maligned by all and sundry, the British are cooking up sweet revenge. London is “one of the most food-centric cities in the world right now,” the Food Network’s senior vice president of programming, Bob Tuschman, tells the Chicago Tribune. The network is adding another British chef to its television stable, but exactly who it is has not yet been announced.

There’s Nigella, and Jamie, and Fergus, and Marco Pierre, but there’s also young Sam Stern (as in teenager young), whose new cookbook, Real Food, Real Fast, encourages kids to put down the video games and get into the kitchen. There’s Chef Simon Hopkinson, whose book Roast Chicken and Other Stories is beloved in the the UK (voted “most useful” cookbook of all time by a panel of British food professionals) and was recently released in the States.

The Chicago Tribune article about the “Brit Invasion” says the timing was right. “English chefs such as White and Ramsay raised the level of cooking in restaurants as home cooks were being urged by writers and television chefs to open their minds—and their pantries—to new flavors, ingredients and techniques from the Mediterranean and other regions,” writes reporter Trine Tsouderos.

According to Nach Waxman, owner of New York City’s Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore, “the idea that anybody could have imagined in the 1970s that England would produce leading chefs doing highly progressive cooking, well, it’s inconceivable. It’s like they all grew wings and started to fly.”

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