Posts Tagged ‘Word of the day’

Poslovna angleščina – Is there still a best day to eat out?

November 17th, 2011

Is there still a best day to eat out?

Ten years ago if you wanted the best possible restaurant meal it was key to know when the A-team were in the kitchen and all the ingredients were fresh. Have things moved on?


‘Never order fish on Monday’ – how much of Anthony Bourdain’s advice of 10 years ago still holds true?

Which day of the week is the best to eat out? In a pub with a group of friends recently, we tried to work out the answer – specifically because we were trying to decide whether ordering snails on toast in a half empty gastropub on a Wednesday would be a good idea or not. (A badly handled serving of snails is, after all, a thing of tooth-squeaking horror.) Would the best chefs be working that night? Was it always quiet on a Wednesday? How fresh would the snails be?

A decade ago I started working as a very junior restaurant manager, and it was ages before I was let loose on my own on a busy Saturday night – instead I got midweek shifts and Sunday evenings to start with, with the A-team front-of-house and kitchen staff understandably saved up for Friday and Saturday nights. Equally, though, I knew of other restaurants where the most experienced staff pulled rank and regularly demanded Fridays or Saturdays off – they were salaried so it didn’t matter financially if they missed the busiest shifts and the biggest tips. There’s at least one acclaimed restaurant group today where the executive and head chefs routinely do doubles all week and take Saturdays off. And of course there’s the also the idea that everyone working on a Sunday morning has a brutal hangover.

Next day, having failed to resolve the question over several bottles of wine and a very safe beetroot and goat’s curd salad, I thought I’d try and find an answer more useful than “don’t eat out on Valentine’s day”. Around the same time I was yearning to work a buzzing shift, Anthony Bourdain was mulling over a similar question in his book Kitchen Confidential, so I went back to see what he was thinking then.

A few things have changed since he was worrying about how long the hollandaise has been festering. I still wouldn’t eat discounted sushi on any day of the week, but as chef Henry Harris from Racine pointed out to me, “You can now happily eat fish on Monday nights – as long as you trust the restaurant has a good supplier who gets fish from day boats delivered fresh that day,” as he does.

Bourdain didn’t like the idea of leftovers being turned into new dishes, but diners’ feelings have changed on that front too, with 25% of us saying we’d be happy to take our leftover food home with us. London’s restaurants alone create 250,000 tonnes of food waste every year, according to the Sustainable Restaurant Association. I’m not bothered if my Sunday night shepherd’s pie nibbles off a tiny bit of that figure.

Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon chain, worked in chef Bruno Loubet’s kitchens at the beginning of his career. “You want to be in at the beginning of a busy night; the head chef will be there and they will all be fired up. But they won’t be so busy they will be making mistakes.” Charlie McVeigh, who owns Draft House pub group in London, also reckons the busier the night the better. “Everyone will be on their A game. There’s a fantastic energy to a busy night but when it’s quiet everyone virtually goes to sleep because it’s boring. Of course, that does assume the restaurant is functioning well and the food is fresh. The only time I’d say otherwise is with somewhere like a country gastropub that only gets busy on a Saturday night but which has 20 main courses on the menu. Then you know the food either isn’t fresh or is straight out the freezer, which is just scary.”

At Fergus Henderson’s restaurant St John Bread and Wine, head chef Lee Tiernan works hard to make sure it doesn’t matter which day of the week you go in. “The way I like to work is buy in small quantities, cook it and sell it. The menu changes pretty much every day. We have repeats, especially during game season, but that’s because we order those birds continually over the week. I try to run the fish out by Saturday night if possible and maybe desalinate some salted fish for Sunday if we have it to hand. Some nights if we’ve been really busy we will get the confit lamb tongues or pig cheeks out of their fat and put them on the menu. That’s one of the many beautiful qualities of confit. Firstly it’s something that is cooked and stored in fat, alleluia, amen, and it tastes wonderful when resurrected.”

According to both Tiernan and McVeigh, a regularly changing and fairly short menu is the best indicator that you’ll get good food on any day – and feel free to ask how often a restaurant alters what it serves. Restaurants that employ foragers or who have ad hoc relationships with small-scale suppliers are also worth keeping an eye out for as, again, they’ll be generally skilled at adapting their menus to make use of the freshest ingredients.

It is true that some chefs hate working on Sundays, especially brunch. McVeigh points out “If they only do brunch at weekends and there’s no other bacon on the menu you might wonder how long it’s been hanging around.” Another chef told me, anonymously, that his team vie to get Sunday day shifts off. “Brunch just isn’t exciting to cook and people tend to be very fussy about what they want as well.”

As far as hangovers go, Tiernan says, “Most chefs I know are pretty resilient creatures and hold it together on the outside even if they’re dying inside.” Dimbleby agrees: “I once cooked New Year’s Day lunch for about 100 at The Four Seasons Inn on the Park with Bruno. We had cooked for New Years eve the night before and the staff had been allowed to stay at the hotel for the night. We had terrible hangovers. It was the worst day of my life. Although, if I remember correctly, the food was actually good.”

It would seem then, that while there isn’t a perfect day for eating out, making an early booking on a night you know will be busy later, at a restaurant with a short menu that changes all the time is your best bet. And perhaps avoid that Sunday brunch. When do you tend to eat out?


Poslovna angleščina – That snow outside is what global warming looks like

November 10th, 2011

That snow outside is what global warming looks like

Unusually cold winters may make you think scientists have got it all wrong. But the data reveal a chilling truth

      • George Monbiot


    There were two silent calls, followed by a message left on my voicemail. She had a soft, gentle voice and a mid-Wales accent. “You are a liar, Mr Monbiot. You and James Hansen and all your lying colleagues. I’m going to make you pay back the money my son gave to your causes. It’s minus 18C and my pipes have frozen. You liar. Is this your global warming?” She’s not going to like the answer, and nor are you. It may be yes.

    There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere. With the help of the severe weather analyst John Mason and the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, I’ve been through as much of the scientific literature as I can lay hands on (see my website for the references). Here’s what seems to be happening.

    The global temperature maps published by Nasa present a striking picture. Last month’s shows a deep blue splodge over Iceland, Spitsbergen, Scandanavia and the UK, and another over the western US and eastern Pacific. Temperatures in these regions were between 0.5C and 4C colder than the November average from 1951 and 1980. But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual. Nasa’s Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9. There was a similar pattern last winter. These anomalies appear to be connected.

    The weather we get in UK winters, for example, is strongly linked to the contrasting pressure between the Icelandic low and the Azores high. When there’s a big pressure difference the winds come in from the south-west, bringing mild damp weather from the Atlantic. When there’s a smaller gradient, air is often able to flow down from the Arctic. High pressure in the icy north last winter, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, blocked the usual pattern and “allowed cold air from the Arctic to penetrate all the way into Europe, eastern China, and Washington DC”. Nasa reports that the same thing is happening this winter.

    Sea ice in the Arctic has two main effects on the weather. Because it’s white, it bounces back heat from the sun, preventing it from entering the sea. It also creates a barrier between the water and the atmosphere, reducing the amount of heat that escapes from the sea into the air. In the autumns of 2009 and 2010 the coverage of Arctic sea ice was much lower than the long-term average: the second smallest, last month, of any recorded November. The open sea, being darker, absorbed more heat from the sun in the warmer, light months. As it remained clear for longer than usual it also bled more heat into the Arctic atmosphere. This caused higher air pressures, reducing the gradient between the Iceland low and the Azores high.

    So why wasn’t this predicted by climate scientists? Actually it was, and we missed it. Obsessed by possible changes to ocean circulation (the Gulf Stream grinding to a halt), we overlooked the effects on atmospheric circulation. A link between summer sea ice in the Arctic and winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere was first proposed in 1914. Close mapping of the relationship dates back to 1990, and has been strengthened by detailed modelling since 2006.

    Will this become the pattern? It’s not yet clear. Vladimir Petoukhov of the Potsdam Institute says that the effects of shrinking sea ice “could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia”. James Hansen of Nasa counters that seven of the last 10 European winters were warmer than average. There are plenty of other variables: we can’t predict the depth of British winters solely by the extent of sea ice.

    I can already hear the howls of execration: now you’re claiming that this cooling is the result of warming! Well, yes, it could be. A global warming trend doesn’t mean that every region becomes warmer every month. That’s what averages are for: they put local events in context. The denial of man-made climate change mutated first into a denial of science in general and then into a denial of basic arithmetic. If it’s snowing in Britain, a thousand websites and quite a few newspapers tell us, the planet can’t be warming.

    According to Nasa’s datasets, the world has just experienced the warmest January to November period since the global record began, 131 years ago; 2010 looks likely to be either the hottest or the equal hottest year. This November was the warmest on record.

    Sod all that, my correspondents insist: just look out of the window. No explanation of the numbers, no description of the North Atlantic oscillation or the Arctic dipole, no reminder of current temperatures in other parts of the world, can compete with the observation that there’s a foot of snow outside. We are simple, earthy creatures, governed by our senses. What we see and taste and feel overrides analysis. The cold has reason in a deathly grip.

    Angleška beseda dneva – Consciousness

    December 1st, 2010

    consciousness:   zavest; zavestnost, zavednost

    noun – samostalnik


    the state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

    the thoughts and feelings, collectively, of an individual or of an aggregate of people: the moral consciousness of a nation.

    full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life: to regain consciousness after fainting.

    awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge: consciousness of wrongdoing.

    concern, interest, or acute awareness: class consciousness.

    the mental activity of which a person is aware as contrasted with unconscious mental processes.

    Philosophy . the mind or the mental faculties as characterized by thought, feelings, and volition.

    Sinonim: awareness

    Primer rabe: Your consciousness consists of your mind, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.

    Prevod: Vaša zavest vsebuje vašo pamet, misli, verovanja in vedenje.

    Angleška beseda dneva – To bury

    May 3rd, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    TO BURY : zakopati, pokopati; skriti; zatopiti se, pozabiti;

    –verb (used with object)

    1. to put in the ground and cover with earth: The pirates buried the chest on the island.
    2. to put (a corpse) in the ground or a vault, or into the sea, often with ceremony: They buried the sailor with full military honors.
    3. to plunge in deeply; cause to sink in: to bury an arrow in a target.
    4. to cover in order to conceal from sight: She buried the card in the deck.
    5. to immerse (oneself): He buried himself in his work.
    6. to put out of one’s mind: to bury an insult.
    7. to consign to obscurity; cause to appear insignificant by assigning to an unimportant location, position, etc.: Her name was buried in small print at the end of the book.

    Primer rabe: He was buried last Tuesday with full military honours.

    Prevod: Pokopan je bil prejšnji torek s polnimi vojaškimi častmi.

    Angleška beseda dneva – Bribe

    April 26th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    A BRIBE: podkupovanje podkupnina;


    1. money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, esp. in that person’s performance as an athlete, public official, etc.: The motorist offered the arresting officer a bribe to let him go.
    2. anything given or serving to persuade or induce: The children were given candy as a bribe to be good.

    –verb (used with object)

    3. to give or promise a bribe to: They bribed the reporter to forget about what he had seen.
    4. to influence or corrupt by a bribe: The judge was too honest to be bribed.

    Sinonim:  a pay off

    Primer rabe: He bribed a government official in order to get the military contract.

    Prevod: Podkupil je vladnega uradnika, da je dobil vojaško pogodbo.

    Angleška beseda dneva – Blissful

    April 19th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    BLISSFUL : blažen, srečen; zavzet, navdušen


    full of, abounding in, enjoying, or conferring bliss (happiness).

    Primer rabe: We spent a blissful week in the mountains.

    Prevod: Preživeli smi blažen, presrečen teden v gorah.

    Angleška beseda dneva – To betray

    April 12th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    TO  BETRAY: izdati, izneveriti se; zapeljati

    verb (used with object)

    1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
    2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
    3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one’s friends.
    4. to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
    5. to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
    6. to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
    7. to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
    8. to seduce and desert.

    Primer rabe: He betrayed her trust by telling her secret to his friend.

    Prevod: On je izdal njeno zaupanje s tem, da je povedal njeno skrivnost svojemu prijatelju.

    Angleška beseda dneva – To bequeath

    April 8th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    TO BEQUEATH:  zapustiti, voliti (v oporoki)

    –verb (used with object)

    1. to dispose of (personal property, esp. money) by last will.
    2. to hand down; pass on.
    3. Obsolete. to commit; entrust.

    Primer rabe: She bequeathed her half of the company to her niece.

    Prevod: Zapustila je  njeno polovico podjetja svoji nečakinji.

    Angleška beseda dneva – Beggar

    April 6th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva – Word of the day

    A BEGGAR: berač; revež, revček;  fant, možak;


    1. a person who begs alms or lives by begging.
    2. a penniless person.
    3. a wretched fellow; rogue: the surly beggar who collects the rents.
    4. a child or youngster (usually prec. by little): a sudden urge to hug the little beggar.

    –verb (used with object)

    5. to reduce to utter poverty; impoverish: The family had been beggared by the war.
    6. to cause one’s resources of or ability for (description, comparison, etc.) to seem poor or inadequate: The costume beggars description.

    Primer rabe: She saw a beggar on the street asking for money.

    Prevod: Videla je berača na ulici, ki prosi za denar.

    Angleška beseda dneva – Adventurous

    March 29th, 2010

    Angleška beseda dneva -Word of the day:

    ADVENTUROUS: pustolovski, špekulantski; drzen, smel; nevaren, tvegan


    1. inclined or willing to engage in adventures; enjoying adventures.
    2. full of risk; requiring courage; hazardous: an adventurous undertaking.









    Primer rabe: Someone who is adventurous is willing to take risks and try new things.

    Prevod: Nekdo, ki je pustolovski, je pripravjen tvegati in probati nove stvari.