The next big thing

These days it’s getting ever harder to keep ahead of the curve.

“Did you know it was a pastry chef in Greenwich Village who hit upon the novel idea of deep frying croissant dough without causing it to go lumpy?” asked Guido toying with his spaghetti at dinner last night.

It does make you think that people who roll pastry for a living really do need to get out a bit more.

“He succeeded where so many before him failed,” said Guido in all seriousness. He called this hybrid invention the Cronut. “Apparently queues formed outside his café at dawn when the word got round.”

Which just goes to show what sort of people live in Greenwich Village.

There are very few things in life I’d happily stand in a line for. I tried to think of one reason why I might do that at dawn and quickly reached the conclusion it wouldn’t be for a croissant.

“My initial plan was to cook exactly what I’m doing here at The Spanish Onion and then replicate the menu at the new café in Denmark Hill,” said Guido. He twisted his spaghetti pensively. “But I’m beginning to think I ought to be more ambitious. Maybe I should try to get ahead of the curve like everybody else.”

Into this manic food reinvention frenzy I give you Kristen Tomlan, a former interior designer (there’s hope for me yet folks). Kristen has long thought that the best part about making cookies is the dough. I’m only with her up to a point. I don’t make cookies myself but I’ve always found licking out Guido’s bowl rather appealing. A few years ago Kristen bought a tub of raw cookie dough at the supermarket. Whilst passing the sticky goo around between friends she had an epiphany. She worked out a brilliant recipe using pasteurised eggs and heat treated flour which meant it was safe to eat the batter in large quantities. I’m so relieved I never made this discovery myself otherwise I’d probably be the size of a small house. Now she’s selling it on-line and is about to open her first shop.

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” I said to Guido. “Nobody fries French toast like you do but I’m not sure the people of South London are ready for the raw version.”

Now I’ve gotten over the initial shock, I’ve started referring to the Denmark Hill café as, The Denmark Hill Project. This should not in any way be confused with The Blair Witch Project although I predict it too may involve a considerable amount of screaming. We went to have a look at the premises on Tuesday. At the moment it looks like exactly what it is, which is an abandoned Turkish kebab shop.

“Don’t worry, we’re all looking for the new and the exciting and the innovative,” I said to Guido later in bed, “so it really doesn’t matter if you’ve not yet thought of the next big culinary thing.”

Guido kissed me and switched out the lamp. I lay there thinking immoral thoughts about what the two of us could get up to with some cookie dough. And whilst I wasn’t exactly sure where that placed us both on the curve of life – I was just happy I was somewhere on it with Guido.


45 thoughts on “The next big thing

  1. We had this cronut craze in Canada in 2005 it came and it went, no one remembers it now. I realize that in Britain you are somewhat behind the times in terms of food but not to worry no one wants to eat dough massage by the thighs of some virgin called Kristen Tomlan (who is that by the way) for ever.
    I never saw the Tony Blair Witch Project movie maybe that is why he turned Catholic. But I am sure your new Café will be great and Guido will do his magic. In the meantime may I remind you it is Lent and so you should be on a Puritan diet. As Jean Paul Sartre once said; Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the cookie dough he is responsible for everything he does. Go figure.


  2. “I was just happy I was somewhere on it with Guido” that was so sweet. A wonderful post as always but nothing compares to that last line and the love I felt just from reading it. Romance is still alive…..


  3. “I lay there thinking immoral thoughts about what the two of us could get up to with some cookie dough.”

    Well you’d certainly want to make your own batch of special icing to drizzle on those cookies! Spread it sparingly though so there’s enough to go around!

    BTW: What’s your favorite kind of cookie? My mom had a recipe for potato chip cookies, which sounds weird, but they are addictive (and fattening) as hell.


  4. The Denmark Hill project….maybe we could confuse it just a little with the Blair Witch Project and get some shaky video footage of your next big adventure and with a little editing and the right marketing we could have YOUR next big thing. Your very own Youtube channel! Forget the cronut! (but maybe bring the cookie dough)


  5. The Denmark Hill Project. That IS your next big thing. It will be your book on how to use mayonnaise and other condiments in bed, to enhance a already fun romance. Just wait till the seafood and Lobster chapter! A best seller for sure JP. I ‘ll of course want a signed copy.


  6. I’m pretty sure the only thing I stood in line for at dawn was the Department of Motor Vehicles office down the street. That’s a necessity if you have to renew your drivers license in person.

    I have yet to try or even bother looking for a cronut.

    Don’t forget to record the video from Denmark Hill Project while pointing the camera at you once in awhile!


  7. Tell Guido not to worry about the next big thing, you guys are in a country that rolled a Mars bar in batter and fried it as something to export worldwide, I know he can create something soooo much better lol. Plus, awwwwe, you ended on a loving note, not usually like that witty tongue of yours to do that but it totally made my day.


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