Author Archives: billoldfield

Ox tongue and wood pigeon terrine with toast

Pigeon breast, pigs trotters and ox tongues are not found in many people’s kitchens. And if you were to ask your butcher for the ingredients, he’d probably raise an eyebrow. Not necessarily because he doesn’t have them, rather that he rarely gets asked for them. Don’t be squeamish about the trotter. It’s there to add […]

North Sea lemon sole with dill butter and samphire

One of the most evocative of smells is that of the sea and I don’t think anyone’s managed to bottle it yet. But samphire’s a herb or vegetable with an aroma that when fresh, instantly teleports you to the seaside. Sometimes referred to as sea asparagus but more accurately called glasswort, samphire is found on […]

Blind Scouse with herb dumplings

When writing menus, you have to be careful not to put the diners off with the descriptions you use. I guess that’s why the flesh of a pig’s referred to as pork. So we debated long and hard before using the term Blind Scouse for this dish as it suggested a visually challenged Liverpudlian when […]

He who shouts loudest

Being the middle one of five children, I learned, very quickly, that I had to be loud, very loud, just to get myself noticed. Well, maybe I didn’t actually have to be be loud. But it was the only way it occurred to my simple self to get listened to when pitched against my two elder, […]

Saving your reputation

I’ve written before about the necessity of good promotion and marketing to make a restaurant successful. When most people think of marketing they think of advertising but that’s only an element of a wider marketing plan and, for many independent small businesses such as a single restaurant, advertising can be beyond their budget; at least […]

Are you getting my message?

There are many reasons as to why restaurants are such risky businesses and so many fail but one of the biggest is that they’re not very good at telling people that they’re there. As part of my ‘apprenticeship’ where I spent a number of months working voluntarily in a number of different establishments, I was […]

Planning without permission

Driving back from London late one Sunday evening a few weeks ago, I found the A1 closed for maintenance somewhere in the depths of Northamptonshire or Nottinghamshire or some other such sounding place. Annoying. You somehow think that because you’ve chosen a quiet time to travel, you can control the long journey and arrive home […]