Food guru Jay Rayner lays down the laws

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Masterchef judge and award-winning restaurant critic Jay Rayner is possibly flirting with the risk of religious censure when he dons Old Testament prophet-style robes.

But he argues he looks the part, and promises something like true enlightenment in “The Ten (Food) Commandments”.

It includes such pearls of wisdom as “Always worship leftovers”.

Jay is in Stirling on May 10 to expound on what he thinks are the truly important things to bear in mind when embarking on a culinary trip to the edible promised land.

Some may consider that far from being a prophet he’s the proverbial “very naughty boy”, but unlike some of the more flashy food pundits he does have the reputation of really knowing his onions.

The cod-Biblical wheeze, which might not work too well in, say, the Western Isles, is a novel way to rehash the concept of “ten top tips”, and - he argues - rectifies the fact that the original Ten Commandments have very little to say about diet, nutrition or food preparation.

“The fact is we need a new set of hand-tooled, subject-specific food commandments, custom engineered for the modern food obsessed age”, he says - before nominating himself as the most suitable author for the job.

He promises: “I will give you guidance on worshipping leftovers and why you should not mistake food for pharmaceuticals which can cure you of all known diseases, especially cancer.

“A quick heads up: there is not a single foodstuff the eating of which will protect you from cancer. Not even a little bit.

“I will insist that thou shalt cook while also not running from the stinkiest of foods even if they smell of death. The best foods in life smell lightly of death”.

The current popular enthusiasm for home preparation of high end food is, for Jay, manna from heaven, but like many top chefs he appears to be saying there’s no point trying to produce fancy and exciting dishes until you get the basics right.

On the concept of “fatted calf”, for example, he argues you should never cut off the fat - presumably because it adds flavour - which may strike a chord with people old enough to remember the days when home cooking from scratch was a daily ritual, not a pastime.

The show is on May 10 at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling at 7.30pm (tickets £19.50; students £17.50): Box Office: www.macrobertartscentre.org, 01786 466666.