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March 17, 2009

When you leave a job voluntarily or are sacked from one, it can be tempting to burn your bridges behind you. Once beyond the reach of their revenge, who hasn’t wanted to tell their boss that their management sucks and that their comedy tie made you want to punch them each and every day that you worked for them?

Recently, San Franciscan W. Neil Berrett took a more measured approach when he quit his job: his resignation letter was written in icing on a cake which he handed in to his boss. Already one fan has offered to ice Mr Berrett’s CV onto another cake should he wish to apply for a different job.

It does open up a whole world of opportunities for culinary messaging. Tired of hearing your co-worker moan about being passed over for promotion? Send them a big bunch of sour grapes or a lump of hard cheese.

For a thankfully brief period, there was a fad for chefs to write on their plates using food. I was at an over long meal where one of the desserts was a showy creation which featured half a dozen variations on a chocolate theme. One of the elements was the word ‘Choc’ written on the plate in semi-frozen chocolate sauce. My dining partner scraped off the two Cs and the upward stroke of the h and sent it back with the plate now displaying the heartfelt message ‘no’. Admittedly, it was childish and almost as affected as the chef’s original writing but it seemed the right thing to do at the time.

Incidentally, today is St Patrick’s Day and, if you want to celebrate it in a way that doesn’t involve getting teary-eyed in a boozer, then ESI Brasserie is a fairly new place in Edinburgh you may want to try. The ESI stands for an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman, the three nationalities who make up the place. Pan-fried venison saddle on Irish boxty is a typical dish there.