A potrait of Ted Hughes by Reginald Gray
Hughes was appointed as Poet Laureate in 1984 following the death of John Betjeman. It was later known that Hughes was second choice for the appointment after Philip Larkin, the preferred nominee, declined, because of ill health and writer's block. Hughes served in this position until his death in 1998. In 1993 his monumental work inspired by Graves' The White Goddess was published. Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being is considered to be a unique work among Shakespeare studies. His definitive 1,333-page Collected Poems (Faber & Faber) appeared in 2003.
Last night marked the second evening of the Ted Hughes conference being held at Pembroke College. We began last night's meal with grilled sea bass, served with spinach, sweet parsnip puree and a saffron cream sauce.
We followed the fish with braised beef cooked sous vide for six hours. With the beef we served a carrot puree, caramelised shallots, Pont Neuf potatoes and Bernaise sauce. Pont Neuf potatoes are basically very big chips named after the iconic Parisian bridge from which they take their name.
We finished last night's dinner with fruit sushi, a playful version of the familiar raw fish starter. We started by cooking sushi rice with sugar and water, and then garnishing with compressed fruit. We topped the sushi with tapioca 'caviar' and finished the plate with a small cone of green tea ice cream.