Times food critic and broadcaster Giles Coren entertained 180 Wizo women at the charity’s literary lunch at St John’s Wood Synagogue on Wednesday — and complimented the kosher catering.
During a Q&A session with the director of The Ivy, Fernando Peire, Mr Coren said the meal by Jason Millan had been “marvellous — absolutely delicious”.He had particularly enjoyed the “lovely and moist chicken”.
The praise was welcomed by a relieved Ben Tenenblat, director of the caterer, who said there had been “a lot of pressure to deliver”.
One Wizo questioner took Mr Coren to task for constantly reviewing treif dishes in his columns. He responded that he did not eat much shellfish, but added: “I’m the kind of kosher where you can eat pork.”
Mr Coren was on safer ground when asked how a food critic stayed trim. He said he tried to avoid carbohydrates, especially bread, and passed on dessert. But “you don’t want to hear that. You want me to say there are these secret pills.” He stood by his colourful attack in The Times on Oslo Court — a St John’s Wood restaurant popular with Jewish pensioners — after David Cameron had dined there.
“It’s the type of place where they serve you cold soup so you can complain,” Mr Coren suggested.
The lunch raised £30,000 for Wizo’s welfare work in Israel.