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My 1,000
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Date: April 22, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:33 - 182.3 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream has been voted the best place in the world to eat. The Fat Duck restaurant, near London, was at the top of Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago. He has quickly developed a reputation for experimental and unique dishes. His menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He taught himself how to cook and is now famous for this new style of cooking, which is called “molecular gastronomy”. It mixes chemistry, physics, food and flavour to make unusual taste combinations. Britain, the home of fish and chips, is famous for tasteless and boring food. However, it seems things are changing: in addition to the Fat Duck’s award, London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World.

Top ten world restaurants:
1. The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire
2. El Bulli Montjoi, Spain
3. The French Laundry, Yountville, California
4. Tetsuya’s, Sydney, Australia
5. Gordon Ramsay, London
6. Pierre Gagnaire, Paris
7. Per Se, New York
8. Tom Aikens, London
9. Jean Georges, New York
10. St John, London

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about: restaurants / British food / ice cream / bacon and egg ice cream / experimental food / snail porridge / fish and chips … For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. BRITISH FOOD BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with British food. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. MY COUNTRY’S FOOD: Write down what you consider to be the three most delicious dishes in your country. Talk about the points below to your partner / group:

  • ingredients
  • flavour
  • presentation
  • history
  • cultural importance
  • difficulty of cooking
  • eating style
  • your history with this food
  • price
  • availability

4. AGREED: In pairs / groups, try to agree on a word or sentence ending to finish the following sentences. Change partners and repeat (it is unlikely new partner answers will be the same, therefore lots more agreeing to do).

  1. British food is _______________________.
  2. The best cuisine in the world is _______________________.
  3. The most delicious dessert is _______________________.
  4. Egg and bacon ice cream sounds _______________________.
  5. Microwave dinners are _______________________.
  6. Vegetarian food is _______________________.
  7. The best drink to have with a meal is _______________________.
  8. Dining out is _______________________.
  9. McDonalds hamburgers are _______________________.
  10. Life without restaurants would be _______________________.

(It may be interesting to see if any patterns emerge with different groups of students.)

5. “FOOD” WORD PARTNERS: In pairs / groups, talk about the following words that are often paired with the word “food”:

mouthwatering / fast / slow / junk / exotic / rich / nutritious / health / frozen / packaged / canned / disgusting / Indian / French / Japanese


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘ice’ and ‘cream’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. A British restaurant serves bacon and egg ice cream.  T / F
  2. A British restaurant won the title of best restaurant in the world.  T / F
  3. The head chef cooks traditional English dishes.  T / F
  4. The head chef studied at a French cooking school.  T / F
  5. Britain is the home of fish and chips.  T / F
  6. London was named as the gourmet capital of the world.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

serves

name

(b)

list

cooking

(c)

reputation

food lover

(d)

unique

dishes up

(e)

gastronomy

combines

(f)

mixes

bland

(g)

tasteless

one-of-a-kind

(h)

gourmet

poll

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

A British restaurant that

dishes

(b)

at the top of

how to cook

(c)

quickly developed

of cooking

(d)

experimental and unique

a reputation

(e)

He taught himself

of fish and chips

(f)

new style

serves bacon and egg ice cream

(g)

the home

are changing

(h)

it seems things

Restaurant magazine’s list

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. UNSCRAMBLE: Unscramble the words in the underlined parts of the article:

British food best in the world

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream best been the has voted place in the world to eat. The Fat Duck restaurant, near London, was at the top of Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago. He has a reputation developed quickly for experimental and unique dishes. His menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He himself to cook taught how and is now famous for this new style of cooking, which is called “molecular gastronomy”. It mixes chemistry, physics, food and flavour combinations to unusual taste make. Britain, the home of fish and chips, is usually famous for tasteless and boring food. However, changing things are it seems: in addition to the Fat Duck’s award, London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World.

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS: Check your answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. UNSCRAMBLE: Check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Each student surveys class members independently and reports back to their original partner/ group to compare their findings.

5. ‘ICE’ / ‘CREAM’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. Do you believe this headline?
  2. Was there anything in the story you cannot believe?
  3. Did you agree with anything you read?
  4. Which country do you think the writer of this article is from?
  5. What do you think of British food?
  6. Do you think your country’s food is the tastiest in the world?
  7. Do you prefer home cooking or restaurant food?
  8. Only one restaurant in the whole of Asia made it onto the list. Is this right?
  9. Where is the gourmet capital of the world?
  10. Do you like eating unusual things?
  11. Are you a good cook?
  12. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  13. Is there any food in your country that foreigners generally dislike?
  14. Would you like to eat at the Fat Duck restaurant?
  15. Is bacon and egg ice cream your cup of tea?
  16. What is your favourite restaurant and why do you like it?
  17. What is more important in a restaurant – price, atmosphere or taste?
  18. Do you think “molecular gastronomy” will become popular?
  19. Did you like this discussion?
  20. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. FOOD PRESENTATION: Your have to make a presentation about food to another group or the class on a food or dish that is eaten in your country. In (preferably same nationality) pairs/groups, make notes on the points below.

a.    The history of the food / dish

b.   Ingredients

c.    How to cook it

d.   Different styles or regional variations

e.    The part it plays in your life

f.    Other

8. STRANGE CHEFS: In pairs/groups, create an experimental menu for a three-course dinner – starter, main course and dessert – that will be judged by food experts (the other members of your class). Present your menus to other class members. Vote on the most mouthwatering menus.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on The Fat Duck restaurant. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. RECIPE: Make the recipe in English for a favourite dish. Bring it to your next class and tell your partner / group about it.

4. ARTICLE: Write an article for an international travel magazine about the best points of your country’s food.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. A British restaurant serves bacon and egg ice cream.  F
  2. A British restaurant won the title of best restaurant in the world.  T
  3. The head chef cooks traditional English dishes.  F
  4. The head chef studied at a French cooking school.  F
  5. Britain is the home of fish and chips.  T
  6. London was named as the gourmet capital of the world.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

serves

dishes up

(b)

list

poll

(c)

reputation

name

(d)

unique

one-of-a-kind

(e)

gastronomy

cooking

(f)

mixes

combines

(g)

tasteless

bland

(h)

gourmet

food lover

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

A British restaurant that

serves bacon and egg ice cream

(b)

at the top of

Restaurant magazine’s list

(c)

quickly developed

a reputation

(d)

experimental and unique

dishes

(e)

He taught himself

how to cook

(f)

new style

of cooking

(g)

the home

of fish and chips

(h)

it seems things

are changing

UNSCRAMBLE:

British food best in the world

A British restaurant that serves bacon and egg ice cream has been voted the best place in the world to eat. The Fat Duck restaurant, near London, was at the top of Restaurant magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The owner and head chef Heston Blumenthal opened his restaurant ten years ago. He has quickly developed a reputation for experimental and unique dishes. His menu includes leather, oak and tobacco chocolates, sardine on toast sorbet, snail porridge, and mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. He taught himself how to cook and is now famous for this new style of cooking, which is called “molecular gastronomy”. It mixes chemistry, physics, food and flavour to make unusual taste combinations. Britain, the home of fish and chips, is usually famous for tasteless and boring food. However, it seems things are changing: in addition to the Fat Duck’s award, London was named in March by Gourmet magazine as the Gourmet Capital of the World.

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