Is it ever ok to ask your host for salt and pepper?

quote=“Harters, post:37, topic:32250”]
And, not to miss out on being thought of, by most folk, as a complete wanker, Gordon Ramsay threw Joan Collins out one evening.

A little bit more to the story:

“Gordon Ramsay didn’t actually have an issue with Joan Collins except for the fact that she was with former food critic, A.A. Gill. He made them leave the eatery, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Apparently, Ramsay wasn’t fond of A.A. Gill because of what he’d written about his food in the past and didn’t approve of his reviews. Of course, Gill wasn’t too happy about being told to leave the venue. “

“According to the BBC, Gill didn’t try to hide his feelings about Gordon Ramsay and simply said that he is “a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being.” Collins was so upset that she considered suing Ramsay for his behavior (via Mirror). Many years later, Ramsay expressed regret on a show and told Collins, “I’d just like to say a big apology because my mum’s never forgiven me for asking you to leave.”


That’s a fun story! My father in law used to want to slather steak sauce (like “Heinz 57” or “A1”) all over his steak. I had to buy some of it so we’d have it in the house when they were eating here. After we got to know each other well enough I started suggesting he try the steak “as steak”, without that stuff and he eventually came around to liking steak without the sauce. This was maybe 18 years ago.

Now in the last few years I’ve gotten him to try testing steak without blindly salting it first. I tend to dry brine steaks at 1.6% salt by weight, which for me is just about perfect. Sometimes he likes it fine and doesn’t salt. Sometimes he tastes it and wants a bit more of a salt bite. Either way is fine with me. Part of the problem is my MIL, who is generally a good cook, yet still generally undersalts most dishes, so he’s used to just salting right away. Tonight she made shepherd’s pie (with beef!) and out of nine of us dining, all 9 needed to pretty heavily salt the dish.

To OP (@ipsedixit)'s question, I would (despite above whinging) never be offended if a guest asked for S&P or anything else. On the other hand, if no seasonings were offered when I were a guest, I would not ask for anything but instead just enjoy it as it is.

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Ah, that’s it. I had it in mind that there was more to the Joan Collins story. Gill used to be the restaurant critic for my usual Sunday newspaper and could be very acerbic.

My guess is that the exclamation mark means you know that that’s a cottage pie, not a shepherd’s one which is, traditionally, made with lamb. :grinning:


I flew on a DC-9 (MD-80) with ashtrays not long ago. It was not an expensive flight!

I can see why you were upset, though. You were homesick and not making a meal, but tapping into memories and home and family.

Dumping ketchup on it was (unintentionally, Im sure) was a harsh slap that you were still a long way from all you were missing.

Today of all days I feel that hit very close to my heart. In 2008 we had just moved to France, and Thanksgiving was just another Thursday with my ex off to work and my son off to school. I was all alone in our lovely but cold (we’d had snow already that year) big empty house where nobody celebrated Thanksgiving and everyone I knew and loved was gathered together.

I bawled my eyes out most of that day, even though Id found a turkey and we invited new friends for the Saturday. It grew to 40 people in my house for Saturday Thanksgiving but that first year was awful.

(I’m touched that the tradition continues with our group even 10 years after we left)


Food memories and emotions are powerful

Learned this in Spain indeed, tinto de verano aka summer wine. Red wine and bitter lemon 50/50 with lots of ice! Wonderful. On a hot summer day I’ll also put ice in beer, as they do in Asia.

It’s always OK to ask for salt and pepper. Literally can’t imagine it not being OK.

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Many years ago we had a wonderful, slightly effervescent red from Italy that was to be enjoyed chilled. I wish I could remember the name, it was a really nice change of pace from my usual white or rosé route in the summer.

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I think “subtle” has a different meaning in your book!

What’s RPF? (Google gives lots of suggestions, but while “Real Person Fiction”, “Recovery Processing Facility”, and “Radiation Power Factor” might fit in this context, I have a feeling you mean something different.)

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My money’s on red pepper flakes. Which is called cayenne chez small h.

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We call it shit.

I don’t think so. Something more… esoteric than that. There was also a white and rosé version from the vineyard, but the red was more surprising.

Pretty sure we’ve had this convo over on WFD, but I think there it was BISO and PSTO :wink:

It’s cook short hand for red pepper flakes.

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What do you call shit?

Whereabouts in Italy was this?

What I know about wine would fit in a thimble, but your description sounded like one of the few wines I can actually describe.