Today we’re wishing happy birthday to all the Shire’s busy Geminis, for whom constant change and variety are the spice of life, and who just love eating with others: they adore the stimulating buzz of gossip over plutonic coffee while snacking on interesting nibbles at the latest nook with the look, or doing lunch at the newest smart little eatery serving tiny portions for high prices to celebs.
So it’s no surprise that Gemini celebrity chef Delia Smith baked the cake on the cover of the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed, and received an OBE last year for her contribution to British cooking. She shot to fame with Delias How To Cook TV series which actually taught Brits how to boil an egg, a show which led to a 10% rise in egg sales. From bread machines to pasta makers to panini grills, Geminis love their gadgets, and Smith’s use of particular kitchen utensils caused overnight sell-outs a phenomenon which came to be known as the Delia Effect, and that phrase is now in common use to describe a run on a product as a result of a high profile media recommendation.
Gemini chefs also tend to be ultra moderns who love coming up with novel combinations and techniques like Gemini kitchen chemist Heston Blumenthal whose signature dishes include snail porridge, parsnip cereal and bacon-and-egg ice cream (must have an Aquarian ascendant). Famous for his scientific approach to cooking, culinary alchemist and molecular gastronomist Blumenthal promotes the use of vacuum jar cooking, cooking in sealed bags and low temperature, ultraslow cooking of meat that doesn’t melt fat or release juices, keeping the meat so moist it doesn’t need sauce.
His Fat Duck restaurant was voted best in the UK and best in the world, and his TV program Heston’s Feasts recreate Victorian, Medieval, Tudor and Roman themed dinner banquets with celebrity guests all very Gemini. The Edwardian feast was based on the last meal
eaten on the Titanic and the Christmas feast included dormouse, hot ice cream and a dish made from gold, frankincense and myrrh.
While they’re the zodiac’s people people, Gemini chefs aren’t all celebrity showponies turning out moreish little morsels of elegant party tucker and Naked Chef Jamie Oliver, restaurateur and frequently outspoken media personality, has been awarded an MBE, voted Most Inspiring Political Figure of 2005 for lobbying the British government about British kids being served junk school lunches, and for creating a foundation which takes 15young adults a year from disadvantaged backgrounds, and trains them in the restaurant business. Another cheffy success story who left school at 16 with no qualifications, his TV series continually emphasize fresh organic produce and interesting low joule cuisine, and campaign to change poor cooking habits andunhealthy diets.
Sophie Grigson is another Gemini cook and author who’s a keen supporter of organic local food suppliers and advocate for healthy children’s food.
ESPRESSO GRANITA SPIKED WITH COFFEE VODKA
like Geminis it’s light, but it’s got bite
Ingredients: 2 cups brewed espresso, sugar to taste, coffee vodka.
Garnish: Dark chocolate curls, fresh pomegranate, Italian cats tongue biscotti, up
Directions: Combine espresso and sugar in a bowl and stir till sugar is
dissolved. Pour into shallow dish and freeze till ice granules start to
form around the edges, about 1 hour, then stir with a fork to break up
granules. Refreeze and restir every 20 minutes till the mix becomes an icy
slush, about 2 hours.
To Serve: Spoon crystals into goblets, pour coffee vodka over, garnish as