Friday, 6 June 2008
Is it time to call time on main courses..?
Yet another extraordinary FoodScoop... Apparently, the end of the main course/the a la carte menu is nigh. Heston Blumenthal is withdrawing his a la carte menu. No longer do we have the attention span, the time, the money to spend on that essential middle course - no, we'd much rather graze our way through a tasting menu or - horror - just have a starter and a dessert. Who are these tapas fascists? Naturally there's precedent. Is there barely a restaurant left, in London certainly, without a grazing/tasting menu option? Is anyone else bored to fork-stabbing death of having to share their hard-won food? Does everyone really want to go home hungry? It doesn't help i'm not a pudding-lover (the idea of a meal without a main course makes me actually want to cry). But do we really lack the concentration, the desire to revel in the sheer unbridled indulgent deliciousness of a three-course meal, perhaps book-ended with canapes and cheese, or even a light savoury, these days. I feel the argument might be won by a look at Jason Atherton of Maze: one day the uber chef of the grazing menu; the next he has just opened his Maze grill - a paean to the bloody delights of a really good steak main course. Surely he would disagree. I have a distinct feeling we are doing ourselves out of the restaurant experience... i am somewhat discombobulated.