I first started this blog as a means of documenting my food adventures in Manchester. By no means consider myself a food critic as I don’t believe I have an established palate. I merely share what I have or haven’t enjoyed about places I visit. Hopefully, they serve as a source from which you can form a decision about whether to visit a particular establishment or not.
Jay Rayner, for those not in the know, is an established food critic in the UK. He has appeared on TV in various guises, including as a judge on Masterchef. I was gifted tickets to see his latest show, My Last Supper, which accompanies his latest book of the same name. Here, I will share some thoughts about the show.
The question of the Last Supper is one that is not unusual in food circles. I find it a question that first appears to be quite straightforward, you list your favourite foods and ta-da! Your menu is done. If given a chance to actually pick and justify your reasons for your choices, it quickly becomes obvious that it isn’t easy at all, especially if you love food as much as I do. The reasons for choices are usually stemmed around a particular feeling, a memory and hence a story. Of course, in one lifetime you accumulate various experiences. Even if you were to look specifically at one thing such as dessert, it is more than likely that you have liked lots of different things.
I’ve looked into this a few years ago (in 2018) when I was trying to decide What My Last Meal on Earth Would Be. Give it a read if you are interested in my own journey with food.
Reflecting back now, I question whether I would now make the same choices. Jay Rayner’s show also traverses his own life, picking moments which can be drawn from a single dish. For mine, I have just gone with a simple three-course meal without a drink, but Rayner’s show goes into many dishes and hence memories.
Basically, if you love food and you love hearing stories, then you will like this show. Rayner delivers an entertaining way of showcasing his choices and the stories tied to them. He does not tell all, though, as much more is covered in his book and he obviously he still wants to make sales on that. He is not shy about his upbringing or the experiences he’s had during his life. In the second half, there’s also time for questions from the audience so I would recommend thinking about them prior.
After the show
In Manchester, Rayner was able to allocate some time for people to meet him and get their copy of his book signed. The book retails for £16.99 but on the evening I purchased mine for £15. (Where possible, please support your local book store. It would be rather depressing if we lived in a world where there are no physical book stores, however much cheaper it would have been to get it off Amazon.) Rayner was amicable to having photos taken with him too, which is nice after having delivered an entire show. It’s one worth going to if you are a foodie.
There are still a number of forthcoming shows across the UK (and Dublin in Feb) from now until April 2020.
Tickets and information: http://www.jayrayner.co.uk/live-shows/