Heston’s Tudor Feast


The first episode in Heston’s series of Feasts garnered some rave reviews, but I was left scratching my head. Episode two had me running for a sick bucket. This week’s outing made me certain I was watching a literary adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes which cunningly attached both the modern culture of semi-celebrity and our great nation’s tedious obsession with food to that marvellous fable and its inherent truth.

The title of the story has become lazy shorthand for trends that have no actual worth, but in this case the similarities in the details are too glaring to ignore. Swindler Heston convinces food critics, celebrities and the rich that his fantastic creations are the finest available, whilst the informed viewer sees just how pointless the whole farrago is. The food critics, celebrities and rich folk, taking on the role of King, eat his wares and claim it’s the most wonderful fare they’ve ever consumed – when the audience can see that it’s not much more than a barely cooked fish covered in its own blood. A disgusting, turkey flavoured milkshake. Or a pie caked in birdshit.

Sadly there’s no small boy present to point out the error of their ways.

It was probably a bad idea on Heston’s part, appearing in this series. Though the ratings are probably good and the press has been positive, we’ve now seen inside his kitchen and had more than our share of seeing his methodology in action. And we’ve also seen that the majority of his output involves pointlessly wacky combinations of incompatible flavours.

The supposed mythical beast last night was a complete rip off – a badly-constructed special effect with a food compartment from which they served chicken roll. The dessert was rice pudding and a sweet puree in the shape of bangers and mash – which is an interesting concept for two minutes, before you remember you’re a grown adult. I remember seeing marzipan fruit as a youngster and being utterly disappointed when I sank my teeth into it. I doubt this was much different.

But that’s half of his game. He makes stuff look like other stuff. He uses sheets and sheets of gelatin to mould stuff into shapes they shouldn’t be in. His approach to food is Willy Wonka – which is fine for the odd novelty sweet, but for a main of meat and veg seems dashed silly. This isn’t really cookery – it’s a grown man playing about with ingredients as if they’re play-doh and serving them to star-struck idiots who’ve been told to behave as though it’s the height of sophistication.

The likes of Jay Rayner, Alex Zane and Cilla Black may coo over the food, declaring it to be amazing, but their plaudits seem a little hollow. It’s as though they’d expected riches and been confronted by the flabby girth of their own pomposity, as swindler Heston chuckled in the background.

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142 Responses to “Heston’s Tudor Feast”

  1. Nick T Says:

    I don’t agree that “The Emperors New Clothes” is a lazy shorthand nor do I think that “Willy Wonka” is either.

    It is interesting to try new things with food and our perception of what is usual. Perhaps Heston is producing “haute couture” food and there will be a trickle down effect.

    I was right about that actress who died amd who may have git her chests out.
    Will her death overshadow Jade?

  2. Swineshead Says:

    I said that it’s usually lazy shorthand, but not in this case.

    Trying new things is alright, but putting chicken roll in a patched up piece of taxidermy isn’t very exciting.

  3. Napoleon Says:

    I haven’t seen any of these, but from your description they sound like a stupid version of that snazzy series where that food writer and her with the glasses went back to different eras to eat hideous filth.

  4. Sue De Nymh Says:

    I watched the one where he made an edible garden, it promised so much when he decided to use real insects in the dish, but then he completely wussed out, deep fried them so the innards dissolved and then filled their hollow shells with tomato sauce. All this after he had spent 15 minutes with an expert on edible insects, testing the taste of different critters.

  5. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Down my way if you can’t bable about food, you are ostracised.

  6. Sue De Nymh Says:

    Plus, despite coming across as a decent sort of chap, the shape of his head puts me off watching him.

  7. Napoleon Says:

    DINLT – If that’s the case, then I suggest you move to somewhere less shallow.

  8. Napoleon Says:

    Sue – I think his head’s that shape because he’s a brainiac.

    By the way, I forgot to mention that yesterday I issued a fatwah on Ugeine.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    You’re a commited Muslim then, Napoleon…

    He does seem to be a decent chap, but that doesn’t make the sight of him mashing up an ostrich any more fun.

  10. Nick T Says:

    “Ostrichised?” nearly works…

  11. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    I would Nap, but I am sort of a resistance leader. We are campaigning for more Fish and Chips and Pie n Mash, and less Pressed Ham Hock Terrine, Grape and Pumpkin Chutney.

  12. Napoleon Says:

    Swineshead – I am indeed. I’ve got my own carpet and everything. Ugeine better watch himself, because me and every other Mooslim on the planet are now gunning for him. That bastard.

  13. Napoleon Says:

    I like the conspiracy Jemima’s just come up with on The Wright Stuff. American children’s TV apparently contains ‘subliminal mind messages’. Oooooooo …

  14. Nick T Says:

    I’m all for wet beavers…



  15. Swineshead Says:

    I like Matthew Wright, though I’ve no idea why.

  16. Nick T Says:

    I know what you mean.
    They are a groupd of uniformed people talking about a subject they know nothing about. Not good telly though is it?

  17. Napoleon Says:

    I think it’s good telly, Nick. And it’s a public service too. Let’s not forget it was The Wright Stuff that publicly unmasked the evil rapist John Leslie who subsequently turned out to be innocent even though there’s no smoke without fire, I reckon. Ditto: Barry George.

  18. Nick T Says:

    I meant the beaver subject Naps

  19. Nick T Says:

    Ahhh, Tricia. This is more like it!

  20. Napoleon Says:

    Nick: Oh, right. I thought you meant The Wright Stuff in general.

  21. Nick T Says:

    I don’t normally watch it but I got in a little early this morning.
    I agree with SH about Wright, he’s a likeable chap.
    I find it a bit daft to talk about re-introducing the beaver when all it achieved was a cheap giggle.

  22. Napoleon Says:

    What’s wrong with a cheap giggle? That’s what kept the Carry On series afloat for thirty odd years.

  23. Excelsior! Says:

    Stick a massive ginger mustache on Heston and he’s a shoe in to play Dr Robotnik in a future Sonic film.

  24. Napoleon Says:

    I’m salivating at the prospect, Excelsior. Would such a film reach the dizzy heights of Super Mario Brothers or Mortal Kombat, d’ye reckon?

  25. Excelsior! Says:

    As a young child i loved the Super Mario games. I was super psyched about the film. Yet even at that early age, with no taste in film what so ever, i remember thinking this films fucking dire.
    Still as long as Sonic turns out to be better then Street Fighter, it won’t be all bad.

  26. Napoleon Says:

    It was bloody appalling. Mind you, there was one I watched recently with Jason Statham and Burt Reynolds in it that was worse. It was set in Ye Olden Days and apparently came off of a computer game too.

  27. indy Says:

    computer game movies:

    the super mario bros film was not half as good as the roxette song that was on the soundtrack (and that song, “almost unreal”, was shit).

    i’d like to praise k minogue for her performance in the fantastic “street fighter”.

  28. Excelsior! Says:

    I heard about that, think its Dungeon Siege or something to that effect. Straight to DVD is always a mark of quailty.

    Thinking about Heston/Robotnik, has he ever served up hedgehog? i mean all it would have taken is a quick shave…

  29. breeks Says:

    i like heston. i liked him in the little chef thingy and whilst i agree with much of what SH has to say about the food he produces in the current series i still like him.

    i like him mostly cause he has an invisible ginger ‘fro.

    morning. i’ve not had a chance to come by before now. i’ve done been workin’.

  30. Napoleon Says:

    Street Fighter was shit. Van Damme should be ashamed of himself for this blemish on an otherwise impeccable movie career.

  31. myopiniononstuff Says:

    They’re making a new Street Fighter film, Perry. YES!

  32. Napoleon Says:

    I won’t be watching that, Dave.

    Alright, I will. But I’ll be watching it with my arms folded and a look of disgust on my face.

  33. Excelsior! Says:

    Are we obsessed with food in this country? Telly about food yes, but most people i know just slum in front of the telly and eat a ready meal, too exhausted from work to care what they put in their mouths.

  34. Napoleon Says:

    The closest I ever get to a ready meal is three Bernard Matthews Chicken Kievs or a frozen pizza. Ready meals look too much like airline food for my liking.

  35. Excelsior! Says:

    Alright, ready meals and oven food to be acurate.

    Is no one gonna make a joke about not caring what goes in mouths? This is a dark day for purile humor.

  36. Excelsior! Says:

    Wait, THREE chicken kievs? You must be one of these protein mad body builder.

  37. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Yes Excelsior, we have become obsessed with food.

  38. breeks Says:

    today i am eating ryvita with hoummous and, occasionally, lite philadelphia cheese.

    that is not obsession, that is just poor.

  39. Napoleon Says:

    Live ‘n’ lift!

  40. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    I bet you made the hoummous yourself Breeks.

  41. breeks Says:

    yeah. nope. i bought it whilst a bit pissed at the sainsburys local last tues night.

  42. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    He’s back! “pissed i missed the raw 370 3 board”

    What a guy!

  43. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    But I bet you do make hoummous sometimes and very nice it probably is too.

  44. Napoleon Says:

    I was always partial to meat paste m’self. Ham and chicken was a favourite. Not so keen on the fishy flavours such as crab though.

  45. piqued Says:

    What lovely weather we’re having in here

    *strips off thong*

  46. breeks Says:

    socks on or off, piqued?

  47. piqued Says:

    On Bree, just over my knee.

    I look gorge.

  48. breeks Says:

    can you russell brand your hair for me?



    *eats crackers*

  49. breeks Says:

    hang on.


    who’s bree?


  50. Nick T Says:

    I’m eating a beetroot and cheese omlette.
    It’s very tasty and a wonderful colour

  51. Napoleon Says:

    Disgusting, Nick. That’s what that is. The only beetroot a man should eat is out of a jar in a salad.

  52. piqued Says:

    Soz, Breeks, missed off the K, I had some Special K for breakfast and it made me speshal

  53. piqued Says:

    Beetroot and cheese? In the same room?


  54. Nick T Says:

    Don’t tell Heston!

  55. Swineshead Says:

    I just went for a long stroll to the bank. I’m too tired to do any work now, so I’m going to load up on cheese and fart my way through the day.

  56. breeks Says:

    i recommend hummous for its fart-making properties.

  57. Napoleon Says:

    Hummous produces pathetic farts. Fall back on the old staples, that’s my advice. Cabbage, raw sprouts, boiled eggs, good old baked beans, etc. There’s no need to introduce poncified rubbish such as hummous into the science of afternoon farting.

  58. myopiniononstuff Says:

    The worst fart I ever had came from Ainsley Harriot Sun Dried Tomato Cous Cous. It was the sickly sweet aroma…

  59. Napoleon Says:

    I’d have to spend several months working out complicated mathematical equations to pinpoint the worst fart I’ve ever done.

  60. Swineshead Says:

    I was witness to the fallout after some pals made a sprout curry to see if they could comjure up the worst methane atrocity in all of North Lincolnshire. The caravan we were sitting in nearly began to levitate and the hum was deafening.

  61. piqued Says:

    NC, you’ve eaten raw sprouts?

  62. ugeine Says:

    Talking about how The Tudors eat food was interesting, to me at least.

    *joins national front*

  63. Napoleon Says:

    I like raw sprouts, Piqued. Why? Haven’t you? They’re spicey.

  64. Swineshead Says:

    Ugeine – you only got ten minutes of material on what the Tudors ate – they didn’t even mention what period – by date – the Tudors existed. The majority of the time we just watched a shaven headed madman dick about in a lab.

  65. Who Says:

    A bit late on this one, soz and all that but why has ugeine got a fatwah on him? Actually, what I meant to say was how has ugeine got in front of Dave in the fatwah queue?

  66. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    They have Tudor Banquets at Hampton Court Palace.

  67. Swineshead Says:

    Who – he hasn’t – it’s only Nappers who took issue with him over their difference of opinion on a bearded science fiction writer.

  68. ugeine Says:

    SH: Yes, yes you did. And I enjoyed those ten minutes. They were interesting. Hence my original post…

  69. piqued Says:

    ‘I like raw sprouts, Piqued’

    When I see you next guess what I’m bringing with me

  70. Who Says:

    Ah, fair enough. I’d hate to think that Dave is evading justice.

  71. Napoleon Says:

    If it’s raw sprouts, I’ll be happy. I love raw sprouts, and the farts they make you do can be smelt in space.

  72. ugeine Says:

    Ah crap, I’m the new Dave…

    *wanks over Buffy screensaver*

  73. breeks Says:

    raw cabbage, that’s the way. with prune sauce.

  74. Steve Says:

    He annoys me quite a bit to be honest. Plus he never blinks which is very odd. I spend the whole show wanting to flick things into his eyes.

  75. Napoleon Says:

    Your eyes fall out if you keep ’em open when sneezing.

  76. Nick T Says:

    Dominio’s Vege’roma pizza.
    The fallout from my old flat in Hampton is still talked about 5 years later…..

  77. indy Says:


  78. indy Says:

    *crawls on floor, trying to find eyeballs*

  79. Nick T Says:

    Listening to Crosby, Still and Nash Greatest Hits.

    I love everyone……

  80. indy Says:

    piqued: no-socks-guy. is he still around in your office, doing his no-socks thing or was he fired?

  81. Napoleon Says:

    Indy – I’ve also heard tell that too much masturbation makes you go blind. I suppose if this were to happen, it wouldn’t much matter if you kept your eyes open the next time you sneezed.

  82. Who Says:

    I was going to try out a proper spaghetti carbonara tonight. Apparently I’m to stir a beaten egg into cooked spaghetti to make a sauce, chuck in a bit of parmesan and some bacon bits. This is the real thing I’m told, not the supermarket version, which is a sloppy milk and cheese nastiness.

  83. Nick T Says:

    Very good for the prostate though…
    Not sneezing.

  84. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    To be honest Nick, best to listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

  85. Nick T Says:

    *Rides Marrakesh Express*

  86. ugeine Says:

    So what happens if you masturbate when sneezing? Apart from having a hell of a mess on your hand, that is.

  87. indy Says:

    Napoleon: i guess that is one argument for “onanist manouevers in the dark”: to keep you from watching.

  88. Who Says:

    Go easy with the CSN&Y, you young’uns. Nappers will get REALLY upset.

  89. indy Says:

    ugeine: don’t tell me you’ve never had a good sneeze wank? best of both worlds, my friend!

  90. breeks Says:

    maybe sneezing into your hand then masturbating will help kick the process along. lubewise.


  91. piqued Says:

    Indy, the bastard is still here and wearing fucking shorts if you please. We’re not in France, that’s the sort of think France people do, Frances’s

    NC, perhaps I’ll review the raw sprout challenge. You’d pretend to like them just to serve arse justice, and I’m not having it, do you hear me, I spurn your sprout air

  92. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    The Summer of Love has started.

  93. Nick T Says:

    If you eat raw sprouts you can fart your eyes out!

  94. Tributes for "golden" Natasha Richardson — But As For Me Says:

    […] Heston’s Tudor Feast « Watch With Mothers […]

  95. Napoleon Says:

    Piqued – I do eat raw sprouts. What’s so difficult to believe about this? They taste a bit like spicey mini raw cabbages. I don’t know where the spiceyness comes from, but it’s definitely there. And the farts! THE FARTS!

  96. indy Says:

    piqued: hawaii shirt? panama hat? don’t you have a dress code enforcer on your office? we had a dress code (suit, shirt, tie, socks etc) at my former workplace (london) but the women were always a bit casual in comparison with the men. they (women) got away with sweaters and jeans. unfair!

  97. indy Says:

    “…James Corden and Mathew Horne /…/ discuss their buddy-movie-horror-caper Lesbian Vampire Killers…” (the guardian)

    who let those #@¤%ers do a film? isn’t it a wellknown fact that they aren’t funny by now?

  98. Napoleon Says:

    The Telegraph calls it a ‘witless mess’.

  99. Nick T Says:

    They’re the new two Pints or Ant & Dec or Mike and Bernie Winters….

  100. ugeine Says:

    They’ve kind of backfired, haven’t they? That’s what happens when actors from famous sitcoms try to make a sketch show (Mitchell and Webb, though that was alright in parts)

  101. Swineshead Says:

    Horne and Corden don’t irritate me as much as the producers who okay their projects without editing them. I watched ep. 2 of their sketch show yesterday = the characters didn’t develop so much as repeat their catchphrases from episode one.

  102. piqued Says:

    No Hawaiian shirt Indy, though a baseball cap is used when off site. It’s an outrage so it is. No dress code in here as such, which is why I’m wearing ripped jeans, a blasphemous Slayer T-shirt and 10 ‘ole Docs, but discretion (that me and the beach bum have spurned) is advised.

    NC, no one likes raw sprouts, you’d be hard pressed to find folk that like ‘em cooked.

  103. Napoleon Says:

    “NC, no one likes raw sprouts …”

    They do, because I do. As so did an ex girlfriend of mine (MAY SHE BURN IN THE FIERY BELLY OF THE UNFORGIVING BEAST FOR ALL ETERNITY, etc.). I also love ’em cooked, as do loads of other people.

  104. Nick T Says:

    *may try raw sprouts*

  105. piqued Says:

    ‘Horne and Cordon’ annoys me period, the use of their combined surnames as a sort of moniker lends them an established, classy twang when there is no style or substance to reflect this.

    They’re not alone though, for every Laurel and Hardy they’ll be a Hale and Pace.

  106. piqued Says:

    I like a cooked sprout NC, most don’t mind. Less like them raw, less being none.

  107. Swineshead Says:

    I love sprouts. Steamed or boiled. I’ve not tried them raw, but I’d have thought Piqued would’ve considered that a decent crudite? With an accent.

  108. Steve Says:


    2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, blended with 4 tablespoons of cream and a heap of parmesan.

    Fry your bacon with mushrooms while cooking your pasta.

    when your pasta is done, quickly drain before throwing back in the pan. Add the bacon and mushrooms and the blended sauce.

    stir it and the heat of the pasta will cook the sauce. Don’t put it back on the heat or you will get scrambled egg!

    Lovely stuff.

  109. Napoleon Says:

    I thought crudite was a mineral deposit?

    Anyway, you shouldn’t knock ’em ’til you try ’em. They came as a revelation to me. Then I farted and knocked the living room wall through.

  110. piqued Says:

    Sadly not SH, and I’ve tried ’em raw of course. They just taste like, well, farts, hard raw farts

  111. Napoleon Says:

    They don’t taste like farts at all. They taste like spicey mini cabbages that make you fart.

  112. Swineshead Says:

    That’s what children say about sprouts, Piqued. You’re better than a child.

  113. piqued Says:

    You reckon SH?

    I’m 40, spoon-fed mashed banana and CBeebies isn’t that far off you know

  114. Swineshead Says:

    spoon-fed mashed banana and CBeebies


  115. Nick T Says:

    Fast approaching the age of the greasy finger Piqued.


  116. Napoleon Says:

    According to mathematical genius Ugeine, I’m only twenty eight.

  117. piqued Says:


    I’ve had the finger, Nick when I was in St. Georges full of mighty Morphine following a kidney stone episode. Fucking lovely it was, I even asked the other Doctor if I could suck his cock whilst the procedure took place. I was joking of course but even so, I really wish I was making that up.

  118. breeks Says:

    i do not and will not ever understand how brussel sprouts made it onto a christmas plate.

  119. Napoleon Says:

    Because they’re tasty, Breeks.


  120. breeks Says:

    hmmm. only time i’ve had them and actively appreciated ’em was when par-boiled then finished off in a frypan with a shedload of salt, pepper, butter and crispy bits of pancetta.*

    *foreign bacon.

  121. Napoleon Says:

    Breeks – Nah, that sounds like swill. What you need to do is start boiling ’em about now, then, when they’re good and mushy, serve ’em up with turkey, roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, sausages wrapped in bacon*, green beans, stuffing and gravy on Christmas Day.

    *proper bacon

  122. myopiniononstuff Says:

    I’ve parboiled them with chicken stock and foeign bacon. Does that make me good?

  123. Nick T Says:

    No Dave, “foeign” let you down….

  124. godshatmyipod Says:

    Let’s sum up the day.

    Horden and Corne = shite

    Foreign food = bad

    Sprouts = good (I’m with Perry on this one)

    Wanking over Natasha Richardson = blind


  125. breeks Says:

    do you think natasha’s good bits (heart, lungs, eyeballz, kidneys, etc) are being shared about amongst the sick commoners or won’t they match cause she’s (theatrical) royalty?

  126. godshatmyipod Says:

    I think they save the good bits of dead theatricals for Norman Wisdom. He’s 112, you know.

  127. Nick T Says:

    He , Norman, is in Brinsworth House just round the corner from where I work. It’s a retirement home for luvvies.
    Richard O Sullivan is also a resident……..think on

  128. godshatmyipod Says:

    Well Man About The House will just have to wait his turn. Norms got dibs on Natashas bits.

  129. Napoleon Says:

    I didn’t know Richard O’Sullivan was that old.

  130. Nick T Says:

    He’s 65

  131. Nick T Says:

    O’Sullivan largely retired from public life in the late 1990s. His last appearance on television was as a guest on an episode of This Is Your Life (for the second time in 1999) held in honour of his Doctor… co-star George Layton (O’ Sullivan had been honoured by the show previously, in 1974).

    O’Sullivan suffered a stroke late in 2003. He is now living in Brinsworth House, a retirement home for actors and performers in England, run by the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund. In 2006, O’Sullivan recorded commentary for the DVD release of Carry On Teacher.

  132. Nick T Says:

    I love Carry on Teacher. One of my favourites….

  133. Napoleon Says:

    Nick – When he recorded this DVD commentary, did he sound like Jim Branning off of EastEnders? If so, I think it’s disgusting how they’ll exploit the handicapped for financial benefit.

  134. Nick T Says:

    I don’t know.

    It worked for Joey Deacon though…

  135. ugeine Says:

    ‘mathematical genius Ugeine’

    Strangely enough, that’s the first time I’ve ever been addressed in that fashion.

  136. Napoleon Says:

    Ugeine – I wrote that comment over thirty years ago. Where the hell have you been?

  137. ugeine Says:

    Contributing to society, Napoleon. If I don’t screen security officers then, well, the very fabric of the world would collapse in on us.

  138. Napoleon Says:

    A monkey could do that job, Ugeine. A monkey with The AIDS whose eyeballs have fallen out through sneezing.

  139. ugeine Says:

    A monkey does this job.

    I’m his assistant.

    He was off sick and let me take over once though.

    I really screwed it up.

  140. Nick of the T Says:

    I’ve a joke for you Ug.

    Which vegetables keep you safe?

    Security gourds!!


    I made that up with my own brain

  141. Mike Jones Says:

    very nice article

  142. ugeine Says:

    Cheers Nick! That’s going to kill in the office.

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