food & drink

Low seasons

It is impossible to deny that in this world of fastidious foodies and wine snobs, there are idiots of all types.

Pablo Álvarez, owner of arguably Spain's most famous wine bodega, Vega Sicilia, was asked the other day in an interview what he thought was the benefit to northern wine regions, like Germany's, of climate change.

His reply was that "German wines are as bad as they have always been... Britain has taken four and a half billion years to produce 'champagne.' " Altogether a pitiful array of inaccurate and insulting assertions that one of Spain's leading businessmen should know better than to put in the public arena.

There are many wine lovers who believe his Vega Sicilia, in spite of all the myths and flimflam that surrounds it, is not worth anything like the 400 euros average price per bottle.

When Paul Bocuse, one of the world's greatest chefs, died three years ago at his restaurant in Lyon, it had held three Michelin stars for 55 years. The modesty of the man may be exemplified by the fact that he was born, and died, in the same room above the kitchen.

Now the mercurial Michelin Guide has decided that the restaurant should lose a star, and the event was considered of such importance that the boss of the Guide, Gwendal Poullenec, visited the restaurant personally to deliver the bad news.

Losing a star is one thing but losing your living is another. Claude Bosi, who trained under Bocuse in Lyon, may have to leave the UK after 23 years running his Chelsea restaurant, Bibendum.

It has two Michelin stars, and Bosi does not want to go anywhere, but when he applied for permanent residency under the new Brexit rules, he was told that unless he could prove he had lived there permanently for the last five years, he would not get permission. As good a chef as he may be, Bosi clearly has poor organisational skills.

It appears he forgot to keep the documents showing his continued residency, even though he had been there all that time. Hopefully he does not forget to put the salt in the French omelette.