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Bitter-sweet cake, in memory of AA Gill

Sunday, 11 December, 2016

The great Sunday Times writer and critic, AA Gill, died at Charing Cross Hospital in London yesterday, shocking the journalistic community with the suddenness of his death. Only a few days earlier, Gill, 62, had finished what turned out to be his last article — an account of his search for a treatment that might have extended his life. His death robs British journalism of one of its most individual voices.

AA Gill was wholly politically incorrect and he delighted friend and foe with his observations: “There are many wonderful things about Egypt, but none of them is gastronomic. An Egyptian restaurant belongs on the same street as a Fijian ballet school, a Ukrainian tailor and a Nigerian interior decorator.” RIP.

AA Gill cake with citrus

“Death lends everything a metaphoric imperative. Mundane objects become fetishes when the departed no longer need them, and breakfast conversations grow runic and wise from behind the shadows.” — A.A. Gill


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  1. Henry Barth says:

    Gill visited Ireland often. See his autobio ‘Pour Me.’

    Below an excerpt from one of his reviews, the worst restaurant in the world, L’Ami Louis in Paris

    “What you actually find when you arrive at L’Ami Louis is singularly unprepossessing. It’s a long, dark corridor with luggage racks stretching the length of the room. It gives you the feeling of being in a second-class railway carriage in the Balkans. It’s painted a shiny, distressed dung brown. The cramped tables are set with labially pink cloths, which give it a colonic appeal and the awkward sense that you might be a suppository. In the middle of the room is a stubby stove that also looks vaguely proctological.

    “At the end of the dining room is the tiny kitchen and an even tinier bar, where the waiters lurk like extras for a Gallic version of The Sopranos. The staff are an essential part of Louis’s mystique. Paunchy, combative, surly men, bulging out of their white jackets with the meaty malevolence of gouty buffalo. They may well be related by blood—theirs or other people’s. They exude a pantomime insolence, an existential Le Fug Youse. As you walk in, one approaches with an eyebrow raised and nose aloft to give you the benefit of full-frontal froggy nostril. If you get past the door, and many don’t, the first thing your waiter does is take your coat. The next thing he does is fling it with effortful nonchalance into the luggage rack. Returning customers know to keep wallets, BlackBerrys, and spectacles out of their pockets. As it is, a tinkling dandruff of change scuttles behind the banquettes.”