Yes, the offending item in the photo is a half-eaten chip pizza. Oh the shame. There we were, in France, the home of gastronomy and my son was tucking into a monstrous affront to cuisine. To be fair, we had been struggling a little with translating the ingredients for each of the pizzas in this lovely bistro in the pretty town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. The Pizza Americaine seemed to have cheese, tomato and beef in the list of toppings. When I saw the word ‘frites’ in the list, I assumed the chips might be on the side until the waiter brought in the plate and ceremoniously placed the pizza, resplendent in cheese-covered chips, in front of our slack-jawed teenager.
Diners at neighbouring tables, hoiking out their snails and nibbling on slivers of foie gras, looked on in disdain at the obscene creation. What was worse, I took a photograph of it, so sealing our fate of being labelled common British oiks. I instructed Rory to hoover up his plate tout de suite (he had no trouble doing this), hid behind the shades of my Maui Jims and affected a nonchalant air. Pizza with mince and chips? Pah! Heston Blumenthal is considering it for his Autumn menu, don’t you know.