It was great this week to have a true athletics legend dining at L’ortolan on our famous ‘chef’s table’ in the heart of the kitchen. Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth sprint champion Linford Christie dined with me for lunch. Linford was at the peak of his career when I was following athletics as a young man (alongside fellow realbuzz.com blogger Sally Gunnell) and it’s safe to say he is a true legend. It was great to talk athletics, food, nutrition, teamwork and our new favourite subject Twitter, because it turns out Linford and I are big Twitter fans.
He’s a great character and still hugely passionate about sporting excellence and given 2012 and his elite training group, he is very much still involved with the sport. Linford like myself is also very much into mentoring and supporting youngsters. So it was great to hear about his plans and ambitions to be working with schools and developing an academy nurturing and encouraging talent and aspirations of excellence. It was also good to get Linford’s reaction to some of the dishes we serve at the restaurant. He is still in amazing shape, (I would easily whoop him over 10 miles though!) and is careful about his diet. As a very keen runner myself, I am fully aware of the nutritional and health elements of all the food we serve at the restaurant.
In fact two of the dishes that I serves at lunch typify the style of food that works for both foodies and athletes alike. Scallops with fregula & citrus purée combine fresh shellfish with high protein and high in complex carbohydrate fregula (ancient type of dried pasta made from semolina from Sardinia). Then I served him a Vietnamese chicken broth with pak choi and steamed sea bream. The chicken broth is flavoured with lemon grass, ginger and coriander and again, it’s low fat, healthy and nutritious. It was great for him to realise that fine dining does not mean cream, butter and fat and that healthy food can also be stunning and delicious!
Have a great week.
Originally posted on Alan Murchison’s realbuzz blog