Temptation is seductive mistress and she can appear in many guises and just lately, she seems to be appearing a lot in my life. And I am not just talking about an alluring packet of chocolate digestives that lies in wait, on the shelf, ready to spring whenever you open the cupboard. Or about the leg of roast chicken that beckons to you, coyly, amidst the soft, yellow glow of the fridge in the midnight hour. This is not Nigella. No, I am talking about inducement of solicitous kind, the sort of temptation that will get you into trouble, big trouble, enough to get you banged up. So, with that in mind, I am truly grateful to the PR girl from Citroën for snatching the keys away from me last week because I would have done it, I would have pinched their brand new shiny DS5 and screeched it off the drive, off into the sunset, never to be seen again. But thankfully that didn't happen. All because my driving license is just out of date and some Suzy sharp eyes spotted it just in time. Sh*t.
What the hell am I going on about?
Well, last week I was invited to attend a preview lunch in opulent Dulwich as Citroën are to be proud sponsors of charitable pop up restaurant called Delicious by DS5 and the main man at the helm will none other than Tim Anderson, winner of BBC MasterChef 2011. The premise is that Tim and his cohorts will present a five course menu based upon the five senses at a secret location in trendy Shoreditch and tickets for the event will cost a paltry five pounds. And from there on, all profits will go towards Fareshare, a very worthwhile charity that aims to fight food poverty in this country and educate nutrition by redistributing surplus food which, inexcusably, often heads for landfill sites. And naturally, Citroën are launching their brand new car, the aforementioned DS5 in conjunction with the whole shebang, which brings me neatly back to the 'incident'.
You see for the first part of the proceedings, the assembled bloggers had to go off on a scavenger hunt around Dulwich to bring back ingredients for two of the dishes we were going to sample, ubiquitously named Aromas of Syrah and Taste of Beef. Now the concept of scavenging in Dulwich is probably a bit of a misnomer, especially as the crib sheet said we had to find a delicatessen and a farm shop, although I am sure the bins in the village are full of fine fare. And we had to do this using a map and our very own DS5 to drive. The keys were handed over to me and then I paused. I did just mention 10 minutes earlier that I shouldn't be driving because my licence was just out of date and could therefore cause a severe lapse on the insurance policy. But once I squeezed into the soft, leather driving seat and took a look around at all the fancy gizmos and gadgets surrounding me, I suddenly became convinced that everything would be ok. 'It would be very unlikely that I will ever have an accident,' I said to myself, in a monotone voice and so I clicked the automatic into DRIVE.
And then tap, tap, tap, there she stood, the PR girl, like a blonde angel of mercy, politely asking me to get out of the car and into the passenger seat, because she was going to be driving.
Which was quite embarrassing really. Sh*t.
Thankfully, once we had collected our ingredients, the rest of the day went without any further hitches and it was a pleasure to spend some time in the company of Tim and partnering chef Sujan Sarkar, helping out in the kitchen and learning about some of the concepts behind the menu for the pop up. As you might expect from someone who has endured a competition that doesn't get tougher than this, Tim had quite a few tricks up his sleeve and it was interesting to see the processes employed first hand. I definitely think that Tim's aim of delivering a multi-sensual experience is going to pay off. And because there is a certain element of surprise behind all of this, I am slightly loathed to describe the dishes we sampled in detail. However, I can say the beef or the 'tasting' course, delivers an intense umami hit and that dessert or the 'aroma' course is a clever deconstruction of the flavours and characteristics of Syrah wine.
To find out more about the pop up, which will be open to members of the public from Wednesday 16th to Saturday 20th May and to be in with a chance of getting a place at the table, you need to register your interest at Citroën's Facebook page here. To be frank, five squids for five courses is a steal so this is going to be a hot ticket. Remember, it is also for a very good cause so I for one, am hoping that I will make the ballot to get a seat.
Because I really want a second chance at nicking a DS5.
Scavenging with Doreen from Tasty Fever!.....................pffft.
Aromas of Syrah