As with food I think music has an enormous influence in our lives as chefs, cooks and creators. To me they seem intrinsically linked. The rhythms, tempos and melodies are like the ingredients making up the soundtrack of our lives on the plate which could almost resemble the turntable. It was therefore so very sad earlier this week to hear of the passing of Mark Hollis the lead singer with the band Talk Talk. Talk Talk shaped my musical inspiration growing up. Pushing the boundaries in the way they sounded, layering beautiful arrangements and compositions that put them way ahead of their time and fronted by one of the most extraordinary singer/songwriter’s I have ever listened to. They showered the listener with an array of musical brilliance I never tire of listening to. Timeless, elegant and wonderful, their songs and albums will always remain a restorative element to me and one that always restores my faith, humilty, life balance and brings a musical cornicopia to my ears.  
 
 
Performing acts of random kindness nourishes the soul both for the giver and receiver. If you are on the receiving end I think it also restores your faith in human kindness and empathy both which seem sadly lacking in today's modern society. We see little of it day to day but occasionally when it shows up or happens you're left feeling a whole lot better. Entering the tube station in West London down a wet, slippery set of stairs earlier today I encountered a woman, her baby in a 4 x 4 pushchair and her friend at the bottom of the steps contemplating the accent up against the tide of people coming down. I offered help and even though they said "Thanks, but we're fine" helped them anyway to which they were hugely grateful. Act of random kindness or good old chivalry? I'm not sure, but witnessing it or being able to offer help expecting absolutely nothing in return costs nothing but sure makes you feel good. Our faith was restored today in a slightly different but spectacular way but nevertheless definately restored. It took place over lunch, in a restaurant where everything that happened was sublime, beautiful, faultless and utterly delicious and performed with utter perfection ... a restorative nourishment for the mind, body and soul.  
 
Foie gras parfait and madeira 
Isle of Mull scallop tartare, sea vegetable consommé 
Roasted monkfish, Morecambe Bay shrimps, swiss chard, brown butter 
Lemonade parfait, honeycombe and yogurt 
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