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My 1,000
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Date: April 22, 2005
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:58 - 231 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream has been voted the best place in the world to eat in Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The Fat Duck restaurant, which was runner-up last year, claimed the coveted top spot. Owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago and soon developed a reputation for highly experimental and unorthodox dishes. The menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He is self-taught and has pioneered the art of “molecular gastronomy” - experiments with chemistry, physics, food and flavour that result in unique and unusual taste combinations.

Nearly 600 international restaurant owners, chefs and journalists participated in the poll to rank the best restaurants worldwide. A further thirteen British restaurants made it onto the elite eateries list, four in the top ten. This gives the home of fish and chips an unusual reputation as a culinary paradise. Britain is infamous for its bland and uninspiring food, which is scoffed at by the more sophisticated palates of its French neighbours. However, it seems the tide is turning: France had only eight restaurants in the top fifty and London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World. Ella Johnston, editor of Restaurant magazine, said British people are now “becoming more adventurous eaters”.

Top ten world restaurants:

1. The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire, UK
2. El Bulli Montjoi, Spain
3. The French Laundry, Yountville, California
4. Tetsuya’s, Sydney, Australia
5. Gordon Ramsay, London
6. Pierre Gagnaire, Paris
7. Per Se, New York
8. Tom Aikens, London
9. Jean Georges, New York
10. St John, London

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about: restaurants / British food / ice cream / bacon and egg ice cream / experimental food / snail porridge / fish and chips … For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. BRITISH FOOD BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with British food. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. MY COUNTRY’S FOOD: Write down what you consider to be the three most delicious dishes in your country. Talk about these to your partner / group. Describe or explain the following:

  • ingredients
  • flavour
  • presentation
  • history
  • cultural importance
  • difficulty of preparation / cooking
  • eating style
  • your history with this food
  • price
  • availability

4. AGREED: In pairs / groups, agree on a word or sentence ending to finish the following sentences. Change partners and repeat (it is unlikely new partner answers will be the same, therefore lots more agreeing to do).

  1. British food is _______________________.
  2. The best cuisine in the world is _______________________.
  3. The most delicious dessert is _______________________.
  4. Egg and bacon ice cream sounds _______________________.
  5. Microwave dinners are _______________________.
  6. Vegetarian fare is _______________________.
  7. The best drink to accompany a meal is _______________________.
  8. Dining out is _______________________.
  9. McDonalds hamburgers are _______________________.
  10. Life without restaurants would be _______________________.

(It may be interesting to see if any patterns emerge with different groups of students.)

5. “FOOD” WORD PARTNERS: In pairs / groups, talk about the following words that are collocated with the word “food”:

mouthwatering / fast / slow / junk / exotic / rich / nutritious / health / frozen / packaged / canned / disgusting / Indian / French / Japanese


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘ice’ and ‘cream’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. A British restaurant serves bacon and egg ice cream.  T / F
  2. A British restaurant won the title of best restaurant in the world.  T / F
  3. The head chef loves cooking traditional English dishes.  T / F
  4. The head chef studied at a French cooking school.  T / F
  5. All of the judges that participated in the poll were British.  T / F
  6. Britain is the home of fish and chips.  T / F
  7. French people love English food.  T / F
  8. London was named as the gourmet capital of the world.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

runner-up

epicurean

(b)

coveted

tasteless

(c)

reputation

cooking

(d)

unorthodox

taste buds

(e)

gastronomy

eccentric

(f)

poll

second

(g)

culinary

prized

(h)

bland

scorned

(i)

scoffed at

survey

(j)

palates

standing

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

voted

unorthodox dishes

(b)

claimed the coveted top

the poll

(c)

developed a

is turning

(d)

highly experimental and

the elite eateries list

(e)

pioneered

at

(f)

participated in

the best place in the world to eat

(g)

made it onto

reputation for

(h)

the home of

the art of

(i)

scoffed

spot

(j)

the tide

fish and chips

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. UNSCRAMBLE: Unscramble the words in the underlined parts of the article:

British food best in the world

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream has been voted the best place in the world to eat in Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The Fat Duck restaurant, which was runner-up last year, spot the claimed coveted top. Owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago and for a reputation soon developed highly experimental and unorthodox dishes. The menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He is self-taught and of the art pioneered has “molecular gastronomy” - experiments with chemistry, physics, food and flavour that result in unique and unusual taste combinations.

Nearly 600 international restaurant owners, chefs and journalists participated in the poll to rank the best restaurants worldwide. A further thirteen British restaurants eateries onto the elite it made list, four in the top ten. This gives the home of fish and chips an as a culinary unusual reputation paradise. Britain is infamous for its bland and uninspiring food, which is scoffed at by the more sophisticated palates of its French neighbours. However, turning the tide is it seems: France had only eight restaurants in the top fifty and London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World. Ella Johnston, editor of Restaurant magazine, said British people are now “becoming more adventurous eaters”.

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS: Check your answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. UNSCRAMBLE: Check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Each student surveys class members independently and reports back to their original partner/ group to compare their findings.

5. ‘ICE’ / ‘CREAM’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. Do you believe this headline?
  2. Was there anything in the story you cannot accept?
  3. Did you agree with anything you read?
  4. Do you think there is any bias in the article?
  5. What do you think of British food?
  6. What do you think of “The Best…” lists?
  7. Do you think your country’s food is the tastiest in the world?
  8. Do you prefer home cooking or restaurant food?
  9. Only one restaurant in the whole of Asia made it onto the list. Is this right?
  10. Where is the culinary centre of the world?
  11. Are you an adventurous eater?
  12. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  13. Is there a food in your country that foreigners generally dislike?
  14. What do you think of haute cuisine?
  15. Would you like to eat at the Fat Duck restaurant?
  16. Is bacon and egg ice cream your cup of tea?
  17. What is your favourite restaurant and why do you like it?
  18. How important is ambience in a restaurant?
  19. Do you think “molecular gastronomy” will catch on worldwide?
  20. Did you like this discussion?
  21. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. FOOD PRESENTATION: Your task is to make a presentation to another group or the class on a food or dish that is eaten in your country. In (preferably same nationality) pairs/groups, make notes on the themes below. These could be used as the structure of your presentation.

·     The history of the food / dish

·     Ingredients

·     How to cook it

·     Different styles or regional variations

·     The part it plays in your life

·     Other

8. MOLECULAR GASTRONOMISTS: In pairs/groups, create an experimental menu for a three-course dinner – starter, main course and dessert – that will be judged by a panel of expert food experts (the other members of your class). Decide on the theme of the menu and the names of the dishes, before going into detail. Present your menus to other class members. Vote on the most appetizing and mouthwatering menus.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on The Fat Duck restaurant. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. PIONEER: Choose a pioneer (in any field) and make a short presentation on them for your next class.

4. ARTICLE: Write an article for an international travel magazine about the best aspects of your country’s food.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. A British restaurant serves bacon and egg ice cream.  T
  2. A British restaurant won the title of best restaurant in the world.  T
  3. The head chef loves cooking traditional English dishes.  F
  4. The head chef studied at a French cooking school.  F
  5. All of the judges that participated in the poll were British.  F
  6. Britain is the home of fish and chips.  T
  7. French people love English food.  F
  8. London was named as the gourmet capital of the world.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

runner-up

second

(b)

coveted

prized

(c)

reputation

standing

(d)

unorthodox

eccentric

(e)

gastronomy

cooking

(f)

poll

survey

(g)

culinary

epicurean

(h)

bland

tasteless

(i)

scoffed at

scorned

(j)

palates

taste buds

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

voted

the best place in the world to eat

(b)

claimed the coveted top

spot

(c)

developed a

reputation for

(d)

highly experimental and

unorthodox dishes

(e)

pioneered

the art of

(f)

participated in

the poll

(g)

made it onto

the elite eateries list

(h)

the home of

fish and chips

(i)

scoffed

at

(j)

the tide

is turning

UNSCRAMBLE:

British food best in the world

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream has been voted the best place in the world to eat in Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The Fat Duck restaurant, which was runner-up last year, claimed the coveted top spot. Owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago and soon developed a reputation for highly experimental and unorthodox dishes. The menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He is self-taught and has pioneered the art of “molecular gastronomy” - experiments with chemistry, physics, food and flavour that result in unique and unusual taste combinations.

Nearly 600 international restaurant owners, chefs and journalists participated in the poll to rank the best restaurants worldwide. A further thirteen British restaurants made it onto the elite eateries list, four in the top ten. This gives the home of fish and chips an unusual reputation as a culinary paradise. Britain is infamous for its bland and uninspiring food, which is scoffed at by the more sophisticated palates of its French neighbours. However, it seems the tide is turning: France had only eight restaurants in the top fifty and London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World. Ella Johnston, editor of Restaurant, said British people are now “becoming more adventurous eaters”.

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