I’ve managed successfully not to take a food picture for the last three days, which is unusual as I am running a food photography course, details of which feature in the Up Front News in the latest issue of “Jamie” magazine ( for our transatlantic readers, the eponymous magazine of Jamie Oliver, the doyen of Britcookery). On the other, more positive, side, Ambrosiana is absorbing information quicker than my clothes could absorb the saucepan of hot, nut brown butter with capers which I poured over myself rather than over the freshly poached wings of skate that were eagerly awaiting their own buttery anointment. The silent oven watches quietly over the proceedings like a dead television screen. When technology breaks down, or ceases to function, it metamorphoses from a wonder of the modern age to garbage in a matter of moments. I can’t wait to heave it out of its lair and drag it, like a dead bull at the corrida, to the rubbish dump where it can carry out its final purpose as scrap metal. When that happens I will be confronted with a kitchen without an oven and a very tired hob, which will not be far off being a Neolithic chef in the caves of Lascaux – I’m thinking of painting the week’s menu on the walls in a passing wild animal’s blood. To save this happening, Ambrosiana and I will work in tandem this evening to produce a wonderful eggplant/aubergine/melanzane recipe and a superb pasta dish, with the artisanal pasta that she so wisely brought with her. We don’t know what the recipe will be yet as we’re awaiting a call from one of her relations who has the key to some wonderful Sicilian recipes, once the Camora have given permission for the details to be released. Meanwhile I’ve posted a picture of an artichoke and vegetable pasta dish that. wonderful as it may be, will not hold a candle to the dish that will be produced for the end of course dinner tonight.