As a preface to the section on meats in his book, Jamie’s Italy, Jamie Oliver has placed a picture of a recently slaughtered sheep.  He admits it is a graphic photo, but he is trying to get across the concept that we should all be more conscious of our food: where it comes from, how it is raised, what operations and processes bring it to our tables.

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

I enjoy cooking.      I enjoy preparing food.     I try to make the meal that I present look good as well as taste good.     I do this with zeal because I feel that we should respect food – respect it because so very often some sentient creature has given up its life so we can eat; respect it because over 10% of people in the world do not have enough food to sustain a healthy life.

When I present food to my guests, to my family, even when I am eating alone, I want the presentation of the dish to reflect as far as possible my deference to the work and sacrifices that have made it possible.


When I was growing up, both in our home and at the boarding school I attended, a food fight was an inviolable taboo.    It was more than a waste, it was a desecration.

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

And thus I have always had a predilection for the grace before a meal.     It was the momentary check on the headlong rush of our everyday life, a reminder that what we were about to embark on was not an entitlement but a gift of sustenance, both by the food’s consumption and by the opportunity to be together and share in a common ritual.


By their nature most graces are religious, but I’m not focusing on that spirituality here.    The pause before a meal is a call to put aside, however briefly, the cares of everyday life and appreciate what we have.

Robert Carrier, the New Yorker who had such great success as a chef in his adopted England, said:   "It has often been said that careless eating is as anti-social as careless cooking, and that a child should no more be encouraged to be indifferent to the flavour of food than to sing off tune."


Untitled photo

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

While this is possibly more of a poem than a grace, it does have an association with food and thus I included it on this page.


It is a piece titled "On China Blue" by Sir Stephen Gaselee in 1938.


A friend of Gaselee, Ronald Storrs, characterized Gaselee as the person "who founded the Deipnosophists’ dining club, where the members, robed in purple dinner-jackets lined with lilac silk and preluding dashingly on Vodka, would launch forth into an uncharted ocean of good food and even better talk"

Untitled photo