I really just wanted to know if things were at all the same with you. I started cooking professionally in 1970 after 3 years full time study. The British had suddenly woken up to the fact that there was more to eat than cabbages, potatoes and fish and chips. The Roux brothers opened their first restaurant. It was an exciting time. I did my fair share of chasing up Welsh mountains after wild sheep grazing on thyme. Well, you know what I mean. For the last 14 years I’ve had my own restaurant in the countryside close to Cambridge. In that time Britain has had several food related ‘events’ that have impacted on my menu. Calves in crates. I am now unable to put veal on the menu. The name just reminds everyone of sweet little cows confined cruelly in stalls in appalling conditions. Just finding any to buy is a major event. Eggs and salmonella. Can no longer make real mayonnaise, uncooked meringue or anything with raw egg in it. Caesar dressing, chocolate mousse and so on. B.S.E. or Mad Cow Disease. For a long time we had no beef with bones in. No more Roasted Rib on the Bone, no T bone Steak and no Oxtails. Also no bones for stock. Fish Quotas. Can’t argue with this can I? Fish around the U.K. have been harvested almost to the point of extinction. The shortage of supplies makes it the most expensive item on the menu. Foot and Mouth Disease. This is the latest. It’s a bit like being at war here right now. New outbreaks drop on us every day like bombs. Movement of animals is virtually at a standstill and my butcher tells me that next week it is likely he’ll have no beef, lamb or pork to sell me. Of course our friends in Europe will be only too pleased to fill the gap. Personally I’ve not been too impressed with anything that came from a food mountain. It’s a great opportunity to unload all that old stuff that they thought they’d never sell. It will be months before we see the end of this. Observing the various forums I see that most of the members are from the U.S. Understandably so. I just wondered if Britain was unique in her troubles. Please do not send food parcels.