No curry in ‘Best of British’ G20 dinner

April 1st, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown London, April 1 (IANS) The chicken tikka masala may have been crowned Britain’s official dish, but the famous curry won’t find a place on the plates of the world’s dignitaries at their official dinner Wednesday night.
London chef Jamie Oliver, who is cooking a feast to showcase the best of British food for the Group of 20 (G20) leaders and their wives, has revealed a curry-less menu.

The politicians and their wives begin their meal at Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s 10 Downing Street residence Wednesday night with a starter of organic Scottish salmon served with samphire and sea kale, and a selection of vegetables from Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

For the main course, they will be served slow-roasted shoulder of lamb from the Elwy Valley in north Wales, with Jersey Royal potatoes, wild mushrooms and mint sauce.

Dessert is a teatime favourite - bakewell tart and custard.

Vegetarians will be offered a goat’s cheese starter followed by lovage and potato dumplings for the main course, the chief said.

“I’m very, very proud of my country and its food traditions and I know that the guests at Downing Street will be in for a real treat,” Oliver said.

At the dinner for spouses, to be held elsewhere in the same house, US First Lady Michelle Obama will be seated between the Harry Potter author and ruling Labour Party donor JK Rowling and Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.

Other invitees include Indian-origin filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, whose hits include ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘Bhaji on the Beach’, and Jasvinder Sanghera, who runs a charity that campaigns against forced marriages.

Also tucking in will be supermodel Naomi Campbell, Martha Lane Fox, the founder of the website, Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Welsh actress Ruth Jones, who appears in TV show Gavin And Stacey, psychologist Tanya Byron and broadcaster Emma Freud.

In 2001, the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared the chicken tikka masala as “a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences”.

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