Sunday, April 17, 2011

Exclusive Interview - My Friend, Chef & Author of Tuscan Summer, Audrey Gordon

I first met Audrey when I was holidaying in London and dined at her restaurant audrey's. Audrey was so warm and friendly and we struck up quite a rapport. Ever since, we've kept in contact through emails and become good friends. Not only is Audrey such a nice person, she is also considered one of the world's ultimate food authorities. She began her career as lifestyle editor at Formal Living magazine, before moving on to Implausible Homes. Audrey's first book Pressure Cooking was a raving success and she followed it up with Fussy Food, Let's Blanch!, Cooking with Lamb, Cooking with Beef, Cooking with Children, Audrey's Kitchen, A Taste of Audrey and Audrey's Aroma. She has been voted 'Britain's Sternest Chef' three times as she is tiger in the kitchen but a kitten outside of it.

Her new book, Tuscan Summer, is a practical guide that will help you carry off everything from a lazy Sunday brunch with friends to a formal sit-down banquet for 300 lactose-intolerant, diabetic vegans with severe peanut allergies.

Without further ado, here is the guest post from Audrey.

My dear friend Thanh Do has asked that I be a ‘guest blogger’ on his wonderful website, something I am only too happy to do. I first met Thanh about four years ago when he visited my London restaurant audrey's. I remember he wandered in (without a reservation I might add!) and somewhat sheepishly asked for a table for one. So we put him over in what we call the ‘Desperate and/or Dateless Corner’ where he immediately began taking photos of the table setting. Watching on from the kitchen we naturally assumed he was a Michelin inspector and immediately snapped into action: emptying the rodent traps, hosing out the meat tray and organizing for a complimentary bottle of Chablis Grand Cru to be sent to his table.

Chatting with Thanh that night I was interested to discover that, as well as being a food lover, he was also a qualified engineer. This information came in handy a few minutes later when a couple dining nearby complained that they had a wobbly table. Thanh was on his knees in seconds, folding a menu in half and stuffing it under the wonky leg as only someone trained in the laws of physics could easily do. He also told me that he was training to run a half marathon. From the amount of garlic bread he put away that night I could only assume he was carbo-loading.

But beyond all this Thanh revealed himself as a genuinely passionate food lover and it was a pleasure to serve him that night. I just wish he had left a decent tip.

I can't encourage you all enough to go and buy this amazing book. Audrey gives you pratical tips such as discretely saving the prawn shells once your guest peel them and using them to form the basis of a bisque. She also explains that it's best to avoid awkward conversation topics such as gum disease or a colonoscopy. Similarly, marital disharmony is not an appropriate topic unless the subjects are out of the room and you keep your voice down. With golden tips like these, how can you not buy this book. You can buy this book from all good book stores, or if they don't stock it, discount book stores or on the Internet. Hopefully Audrey will come down to Australia soon and I can meet up with her again for a meal.

Love you Audrey, keep up the good work.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Audrey.


  1. LOL i couldn't stop laughing!!!

  2. I flicked through the book last week after reading IronChefShellie's review. Audrey is not only a great cook, but a great writer. Witty and slightly out of leftfield but still so down to earth - love her! Will def buy the book!

  3. Oh... they actually have a dateless corner! LOL
    Looks like an awesome book. Need to check it out.

  4. Haha, funny Thanh! Gee, you've been training for that half marathon for a long time now - four years according to Audrey - still not there yet, hey? ;)

  5. I love the title of your blog. It just says how much food is a beautiful part of our lives!

  6. Michele, I glad you found it funny. I was laughing when I wrote it.

    Martyna, it's seriously an amazing book. I couldn't stop laughing when I read it.

    Penny, yep a dateless corner for just me.

    Agnes, haha looks like you've got the joke :-) It is truly a great book. And Michele has cooked some stuff from it already and she said it was great. Plus it's so funny you'll laugh so loud. Worth the money.

    Chopin, thanks, that is exactly right.