Table talk

01 January 2000
Table talk

A selection from this weeks Caterer

Their number's up

THE decision by Booker Foodservice to change its name to 3663 was helpfully elucidated in the company's announcement, which told us that it is "pronounced three, double-six, three". As opposed to what? Three hundred and sixty-six, three? Three, sixty-six, three? Three thousand, six hundred and sixty-three? The quick among you may already have figured out that, on your telephone keyboard, the numbers spell out "food". But they also get perilously close to "demon", which rather supports those who think that you can get the Devil's number (666) out of 3663. Booker, supplier to the dark side?

Sex ap-peel

APHRODISIACS? All in the mind, according to the recently published Oxford Companion to Food. Lentils, chicken and red meat are just as effective as oysters or caviare at boosting one's sex drive because they keep the body fit and healthy. In fact, author Alan Davidson reckons that sexual appetite is even increased for some people if the food is thought to bear some resemblance to, let's say, the nether regions. Could restaurants then expect a surge in orders for carrots and figs?

Raising agent

THERE were mixed feelings among diners last week after Jean-Louis Galland, a chef in Thonon-les-Bains, France, was acquitted of putting Viagra in his food. The court said it had no proof that the anti-impotence drug had been added to dishes, said to include salmon and Viagra quiche and roast chicken à la Viagra. There is no truth in the rumour that, since the court decision, bookings have plummeted. Apparently, the restaurant is still happy to serve a stiff drink.

Shaken, not stirred in the kitchen

BECOMING a celebrity chef has the obvious trappings of being recognised wherever you go, except if you are Ready Steady Cook star Ross Burden. Apparently, the chef was let off for wearing jeans and a T-shirt when he dined at the Savoy, but only because a manager mistook him for James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.The ever-accommodating Burden even signed an autograph, as 007.

Not more bright ideas

THE chefs at the Hilton Manchester Airport have devised a menu to transform conference sleepy-heads into alert brain-stormers. Its small, regular meals are packed with neurone-boosting chemicals such as omega-3 fatty acids, dopamine and antioxidants (that's fish, Lebanese chicken and vegetables to the non-scientific).Less convincing is the recommended beer (swimming in boron and vitamin B) and red wine (lots of stimulating resveratrol) to stop delegates from nodding off.

That's what I call a pub crawl

REAL slugs prefer real ale, according to a scientist from Woking, Surrey. Braving the anger of the powerful lobby group AAA (Animals Against Alcohol), he conducted an experiment where slugs were invited to speed towards the pint of their choice. Offered Caffrey's, Carling and London Pride, just two chose Carling, five went for Caffrey's and an impressive nine crawled towards the real ale. Perhaps we should mention that this slithery tale has been passed on by Fuller's, makers of London Pride.

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