After a de rigueur opening tease giving away all the best bits from the series, James starts his culinary journey by taking on the food of Asia. As the publishers of his recipe book are in attendance, he immediately starts with a glass of wine. The first dish of the day is a Thai noodle soup, a staple of Southeast Asian cuisine.
The pub is a British institution, once a bastion of warm ale and smelly carpets, many are now known for their excellent food. James explores the most classic of pub grub: the pie. However, this particular pie has been given a modern makeover.
Coeliacs take cover, it's pasta time. And what better way to start than with a lasagne double header: one beef, one vegetarian. Key to the latter are aubergines and lentils, perhaps not traditional, but certainly delicious.
Making a curry from scratch is often seen as more hassle than it's worth, particularly when you want it with all the obligatory accoutrements: fluffy rice, dal, chapatis, chutney, and raita. But that's exactly what James is setting out to make, only occasionally calling on the help home economist Nikki.
From crumbles and cakes to sticky toffee and bread and butter, puddings are undoubtedly the gastronomic calling card of the UK. James begins with Spotted Dick, an amusingly-named culinary relic that deserves a bit of a revamp.
Breakfast is back in vogue and more varied than ever. Bloody Mary in hand, James begins by making kedgeree. This lightly curried dish of flaked, smoked fish in rice was a favourite of the British Raj. James tops it with a poached egg, cooked with the help of an ingenious gadget. A potato and black pudding hash follows next and it's not completely smooth sailing.
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