It was a difficult decision. when should we tell our food-obsessed children that they were about to go on the trip of a lifetime? We waited until a week beforehand to break the news. "We are going away for a long weekend to the countryside outside London to meet Monsieur Raymond Blanc, one of the world's top chefs, and you will learn to cook for a day in his special school," I told them. "We will stay in his wonderful hotel and eat in his restaurant, which has held two Michelin stars for over 20 years. Then we are going to eat at a restaurant called the Fat Duck, which has three Michelin stars."
There was silence. Ruben, our seven-year-old, screwed his face up. "We're going to eat a fat duck? We're going on vacation to go to school?" Hannah, our 10-year-old, corrected him: "Cooking school! Michelin stars!" Ruben's expression changed as the message sunk in. "Can we go today? Please! Please!"
Television chefs have turned my children into enthusiastic cooks who regularly help in the kitchen. One morning before we left on our trip I found Ruben watching Jamie Oliver. "Wouldn't you rather watch cartoons?" I asked him. "No," he replied. "Jamie's just adding asparagus to a tray-baked sea bass. It looks yummy."