Bumping to Baines at BMW
Ed Baines, that is – a charismatic TV celebrity chef, who happened to be running a live demo cooking class at one of the BMW dealers.
Making little sense? Let me explain. I got an invite through the post that said I could look at some cars while sipping some wine, having my nails manicured and watching a celebrity chef cooking some dishes. Never mind the “beamers”, I went to see the chef.
The food demonstration at the car dealer seemed a bizarre concept, but it worked. They set up a decent enough stand for the chef to do some live cooking, and the chopping action was shown on the surrounding TV screens. Cooking while chatting to the audience must be tough, but Mr Baines is engaging enough to pull it off. Not in a funny, joking way – but in an easy, light-hearted natter about cooking trivia that makes you listen.
The food was good too: steamed crisped duck with beans and wild rice; soft shell crab tempura on lentils with wasabi mayo; and a chocolate tart. And I learnt a few tricks like the best way to deseed a whole chilli is run a chopstick through it. And that grating horseradish works as a hangover or cold cure.
So, all in all a nice way to spend Saturday morning with a follow-up to book a test drive for the X1 that launches in October. Oh yes, and a prompt to check out Randall & Aubin in Soho. Yet no-one was giving me a hard sell. Joy!