The best wines are the ones shared with friends... and the ones showcased by a human winelist. Night was falling fast and flocks of starlings were wheeling in mesmerising spirals over the fields as the Mojo bandwagon rolled into a famous Cotswolds hamlet and a perfect chef’s storm. Tweed-clad locals, quaffing ale after a day’s shooting, were congregated around the entrance to the Bathurst Arms, North Cerney, when the Mojo sisters stepped into the log fire warmth of the bar.
On the surface everything seemed normal but then the restaurant seemed eerily empty. Just one table had been taken up by a couple who were eating with the studied concentration of royal food tasters checking for poison.
In the open kitchen behind chef Ben Merrylees was gravely cooking with the air of a man facing execution. He was indeed on trial as the couple already seated were the new owners of the gastro pub... Not only that, they were taste testing Ben’s new menu on his first evening of live service!
The Mojo crew found themselves in the heart of a situation most food critics could only dream of savouring! At the centre of a perfect culinary storm the Mojo mavens entered into the spirit of things with lashings of congenial American irreverence and good clean fun.
Interesting combinations of the menu were requested and the new owners were engaged in some lively Trans Atlantic banter.
Ben was up to the task and produced some great dishes under heavy pressure. His new bosses were delighted with the Mojo highly favourable judgement and Ben had passed a nerve wracking test with full marks and plenty of laughs.As if that wasn't enough there was indee more as the Mojo sisters had the opportunity to assist in the creation of something unforgettable and truly unique in the world of fine dining...
It happened like this. While Ben was flashing his pans in the kitchen and his bosses were taste testing his offerings the waitress explained there was only a limited choice of wine as the whole cellar was being restocked.
She reeled off the names of those still available, some at knock down prices to clear the stock. But it was too much to take in. Thirsty and not to be thwarted the Mojo team came up with a concept which would make choosing a vintage easier and a heck of a lot more fun.
‘Show us the bottles!’ they cried.
And the wine choosing took on the air of a fashion show as the front of the house manager and her trusty assistant, chuckling with good natured pleasure, brought out the bottles for display four and five at a time.
The Human Wine List had been born!