During my time cooking I have served many famous people, a sprinkling of royalty, politicians, diplomats, and even Edwina Curry.
Don`t run away with the idea that these celebrities were beating a path to the door for my cooking, mostly they were just passing, paused for an hour or so and then moved on to continue their lives unhindered about any thoughts of ever returning. I have had some nice comments though, I think it was perhaps the Dutch ambassador to the EU if such a post or person exists, who leant through the kitchen window to thank us for a wonderful meal. Another time Edwna insisted on giving us a photograph, that was nice, unfortunately I did not have one of me to hand so that I could return the compliment.
Perhaps the nicest and certainly the most down to earth un-actorish actor to grace my restaurants was Pete Postlethwaite, who because of the proximity became fairly regular, when he was at home, which as his talents were so much in demand was not that often. Mr Postlethwaite was one of those people who unless you knew him you would just pass in the street without ever realising you had just been in the presence of according to film director Steven Spielberg “the best actor in the world.”
Isabel though spotted him strait away on his first visit, she raged into the kitchen saying that B* Hakeswill was in the restaurant! Sharpe had a champion! But very soon she was laughing and joking with him like old friends.
It was probably because his quite unassuming persona that one evening a female guest who had got talking to him and Jacqui said I know you from somewhere, Mr P said you have probably seen me on the telly! the lady obviously thought he was joking and said no don’t tell me I will remember. She eventually exclaimed I have got it now! You work in Ricards don’t you!
Now the joke would have passed so many by, but Ricards was an old fashioned ironmongers shop in Ludlow, dimly lit with high dark ancient shelf’s filled with any and all sorts of ironmongery you could imagine, where an assistant wearing one of those ironmongers brown coats would seemingly pop up out of thin air to serve you. The Shop has had a makeover since and has gone a bit up market along with Ludlow.
Mr Postlethwaite was making Jurassic Park 2 which at the time was was being filmed in Hawaii. He took a flight from Hawaii to the USA mainland, then another to New York and another to Heathrow, then by car from Heathrow to the restaurant in Ludlow. Thus arriving 5 minutes early for his table which had been booked for 7.30, his wife and brother who only had to come from Church Stretton a few mile up the road arrived half and hour late! He is sorely missed both for his acting and himself.
There was scene in a film, I think it might have been Kill Willy? where the actors would go to a restaurant and not bother looking at the menu, they would just order what they wanted and expect the restaurant to meet their demands. I don’t know if this is based on fact, but do know that one night William Hurt floated in sat down and ordered Caesar Salad without even a glance at the menu. Luckily we had most of the ingredients and were fairly quiet so made it for him, with the wrong lettuce, if he noticed he did not mention it.
I wont bore you with a recipe as it is easy enough to find on the internet and I don’t usually make it so have nothing to add or subtract from the original, of course it would not be Caesar Salad if I did.
From my local newspaper
My friend and I booked a midweek table and arrived to find the venue more than half full, though by 8.30pm the reverse was true.