martes, 31 de diciembre de 2013

Madrid Teacher series: British food discussion

The topic of conversation among the Madrid Teachers this week is British food.

What do you know about British food?
Can you name some typical British food?
Can you name some famous British chefs?
What role does the international cuisine play in British food?

Watch the episode and check whether you know as much about British food as the Madrid teachers.

Once again, the debate gives us a great opportunity to check some features of spoken English, many of which we have already dealt with in this section:

The use of so to introduce a topic in the conversation.
The use of really? and yeah? to show surprise or disbelief and react to an opinion or piece of information we’ve just heard.
The use of well to show hesitation when we are talking.
The use of you know to gain thinking time while we are talking.
The use of like to give examples.
The use of things like that and all those things to show vagueness in an enumeration.
The use of yeah to react to what somebody else has just said.
The use of actually to introduce a piece of surprising information.
The use of absolutely instead of yes to confirm something we have just said.
The use of the auxiliary do to emphasize some information we are giving.
The use of kind of to express vagueness.

So it's been a while since I’ve been back to England, so I’m looking forward to going home and having some good old English food.
English food!
Fish and chips!
Well, there’s a lot more to English food than fish and chips.
Really? Isn’t English all food mashed potato and…
Well, you know, we have traditional dishes like, you know, shepherd’s pie which is mashed potato and meat and vegetables, and the steak and kidney pie and things like that, Cornish pastries and all those things. But then, you know, these days the English… the restaurants scene in England is really buzzing, with lots of international restaurants, lots of international food having influence on English food…
The most Indian food I ever had in my life was in London.
Hands-down. In East London there is a street where they just huller out…
Brick Lane
… yeah, where they just huller out deals, and you go in there, and liquid seeps from every orifice in your face as if you were in heaven.
It sounds dangerous. I don’t know if I want to go to that restaurant.
I’m telling you, I’m telling you… It’s wonderful.
Yeah, yeah, I love spicy food… that’s Indian.
Actually, actually there are some, what you might think Indian dishes which are actually English dishes like chicken tikka masala, which was invented by the Indians for the English.
Oh, yeah?
It’s England’s national dish?
So you now claim it as your own.
We might have a few Indians…
It’s like American pizza
We might have a few Indian spices in it but it’s our dish, the number one food in England.
And if you go to any Indian restaurants in the States the number one dish order and the number one that they advertise is chicken tikka masala.
You’ve been eating English food for longer than you knew.
Yeah, really. I didn’t know that.
And I don’t know if you guys have ever had one, but a steak and ale pie, you know, in a proper British pub…
Very good.
… could be one of the best things I have ever had, the fluffy pastry and the gravy.
It’s not the health option though, is it? It’s not good for the arteries maybe.
It’s good for the soul.
It’s better than …
Did you know outside of France, London is the place which got the most Michelin stars, you know the Michellin stars.
That’s not true.
I read this the other day.
That’s incorrect. It’s absolutely Tokyo.
Well, then it must be after Tokyo it is London, but it’s strange everyone criticizes English food, but then, you know, we do have a lot of restaurants with Michelin stars. We might be international…
…capitals in the world?
You do have a lot of famous, a lot of celebrity chefs.
Yeah, like Jamie Oliver, he’s famous in Australia, too.
Yes, he is.
And then we’ve got Gordon Ramsey, who is quite famous in the States.
He’s the rude one, isn’t he?
Well, yeah, every other word is a swear word. But his shows are quite… I’ve been watching Kitchen Nightmares, it’s quite good. He kind of goes into a restaurant that is failing and he tries to help them, make the restaurant a success. It’s quite interesting, he doesn’t usually manage…
I wouldn’t trash talk the fish and chips because it’s such a simple dish. You have a wonderful fish and fresh chips, it can really make your day, I think I want one today.
Oh, yeah, me too.
Hey, come up to my place, I’ll make fish and chips.
Got it.