August 4, 2011

Never let it be said that Bankstone Director Andy Jones is a fussy man. His hosts at the recent British Insurance Awards event in London were, however, somewhat taken aback (in place of the usual ‘none’ or ‘vegetarian’ under dietary requirements) to receive the following stipulations, penned under Andy’s guidance by fellow director Dickon Tysoe:

Thank you for inviting Andy. He is delighted to accept, however, there are one or two minor dietary do’s and don’t’s that you should bear in mind.

Tomatoes, for instance, can be problematic. Specifically it’s skins and pips and things that constitute the sticking point for Andy tomatoes-wise. If you are absolutely confident that all such lumpy bits have been thoroughly broken down, in, for instance, soup, passata, or puree, you might just get away with the odd tomato here and there, but please exercise caution. Ketchup, of course, is always welcome.

There are a couple of points to note on the fish front. Andy will most certainly not eat cod, coley, whiting, halibut, hake, haddock, skate, dab, dory, sole, dover sole, lemon sole, other sole, salmon, whitebait, sardines, pilchards, herring, mackerel, kippers, smoked fish of any kind, tuna, barracuda, barramundi, barramanilo, anchovies, bass, bream, brill, dorado, cuttlefish, dogfish, monkfish, nunfish, snapper, sprat, squid or octopus, sturgeon, trout, turbot, mullet (any colour), flounder, grounder, grouper, eel, plaice, marlin, megrim, gurnard or gilthead. He is, however, partial to a fish finger sandwich with salted butter, fresh white bread, and tomato ketchup, of course.

Mr Jones will not touch clams, cockles, crab, lobster, mussels, langoustines, scampi, prawns, oysters, shrimps, scallops, whelks or winkles. He is strongly averse to anything that tastes, smells or sounds like an insult, hair style or lady bit.

Vegetables are no problem. Aside, of course, from the likes of aubergines, marrows and courgettes. Cauliflower is OK – but not with cheese sauce.  Andy hates parsnips, but loves swede and carrots. He is partial to the odd bean, so long as it is of the runner, baked or French persuasion. He gags, however, at the very mention of butter beans and has severe reservations where beans of the broad variety are concerned. Peas, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, and shallots are all cheerfully tolerated. He will not endure onions, however, in pieces any larger than 1.2 cm – and, least of all, in the form of ‘rings’.

Andy is very fond of cabbage, the Savoy variety in particular. He is also moderately tolerant of spinach, sweetcorn, beetroot and cooked celery. Brussel sprouts might be OK, provided they have been boiled with a cross cut into the stem.  Andy requires that vegetables be served plain and not mixed. Ideally, he prefers a plate with individual compartments for different foodstuffs, such as those provided to small infants or on aeroplanes.

When it comes – as it inevitably must – to meat, lamb is Andy’s favourite – although there must be no trace of fat, veins, arteries, gristle, connective tissue, tendon, skin, bone, ligature, cartilage or unidentifiable greasy parts.

His second strongest preference would be for elk, reindeer, venison or one of those animals that carries little fat and runs around in the snow. Third would be beef (obviously with the same provisions stipulated under lamb above), followed by chicken (lean breast only), turkey (left breast only), goose (right breast only), and duck (either or indeed both breasts).

Having spent time in Africa, Andy is partial to a slice of kudu, Thompsons’ gazelle, dik dik or zebra, but appreciates that these are not always available.

He frowns on processed meats such as spam, luncheon meat, tongue, salami, haslet, brawn – and on all sausages other than the occasional hot dog and Richmond Thick Pork Sausages – so long as they feature none of those fashionable extras such as apple, herbs, black pudding, pepper, actual meat etc.

He will eat paté – so long as it includes no crunchy or chewy bits, likes olives, bread and oil, and even nuts, but does not like canapés which he construes as little bits of fancy shit on trays.

Notwithstanding his preference for a compartmentalised plate, Andy is keen on stews and hotpots, so long as they follow the guidelines above.

Andy likes most puddings, but is unlikely to eat them “because of the waistline.”

That’s pretty much it, really.


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