Shall I start the post by exclaiming over my long absence from the blog and apologising for it? No...I'm sure you all survived without FatSu and were enjoying one of the most celebratedly gluttonous times of year with your loved ones.
And I don't think I need to try and keep this blog chronological, do I? Timely posts might be useful when they have you rushing to try out a new restaurant, but not to undermine their huge importance, but meanderings on the provenance of cheese, or rageful outpourings against poorly-described fruit drinks, are pretty ageless. So I'll get around to Christmassy food posts at some point, and the food adventures we just had with Maurizio's family, but this evening I'm thinking about last night's Back 2 Business event at the Hyatt.
B2B is an excellent annual networking event, the country's biggest, and last night was its second outing. I came away with a sheaf of business cards and a very happy belly. Not to denigrate the highly addictive miniature pies I've stolen so many of at previous business gatherings, but I'm so glad that the catering industry has realised that there is no need only provide exclusively bite-sized food to those attending events. I mean really, proper food is just multiple-bite-sized. Why limit me to eating seven bits of chicken on sticks when I could just as easily have a plate of chicken? It won't make me eat less or leave earlier. Tables are generally easy to find in function rooms and can be used as a handy surface to place a wine glass. I can balance a plate in my hand fairly easily.
Last night, the buffet laid on for the networking guests was comparable to the extravaganza at the Hyatt's New Year event, a beautiful set-up, with an improbably large leg of beef (see the guy in the picture? He's only two feet behind the beast), a whole roast salmon, freshly-rolled sushi, gorgeous desserts and oh-my-lord pasta. Normally I'd avoid buffet pasta, not usually the most spectacular offering, and a dish I can eat on the comfort of my own sofa, but hovering by the veal ravioli station were Giuseppe and Angela, who urged me on with full mouths and clean plates. I turned and asked the chef serving if the pasta was really that good. "Of course. What, you think I can't cook Italian because I'm from India?" Well, the chef said it in a most light-hearted way - laughs all round - but then served me only two ravioli, a cruel revenge considering I hadn't actually said a word about the whole origins of chef/origins of cuisine argument (that has to be dealt with in a later post, once I get up the energy to be more political), but anyway they were soft and rich and truffly and I went back for another six.