I'm Giles Coren, I'm the restaurant critic of The Times in London and i have a new show called the Million Dollar Critic on W in Canada on Tuesday nights. Watch the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB8TtS8rFJk&list=UUvn_QUOIurGCntss33QSAxw


Learn more about the show: http://www.wnetwork.com/shows/million-dollar-critic

Comments: 669 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

tizz6698 karma

How many people have you shagged, not counting men and prostitutes?

GilesCoren113 karma

surprisingly few

Macromesomorphatite53 karma

What about counting men and prostitutes?

GilesCoren190 karma

only very slightly more

meepmeep1384 karma

Hi Giles, I'm a big fan of your work and internet presence, but what I really want to know is....

[want to read the rest of this question? Get 30 days trial access for just £1!]

GilesCoren49 karma

top gag. where do I pay?

SovegnaVos80 karma

Hello Mr Coren, thank you for doing this AMA!

My question is: what was your favourite ‘The Supersizers’ and why? I really enjoyed the 1980s episode!

Also, you probably don’t remember but I used to work in a little bookshop in Aldeburgh a few years ago – you bought a couple books and we had a chat about the fish and chip shops. I remember you were very charming!

GilesCoren90 karma

I remember very well. Blimey that was a while ago. Good old Aldeburgh. The fish and chips were amazing. My favourite supersizers? Hmm. With hindsight they were all such fun. I wish we could do more of them. I like the clothes best in tudor but sue and I got most pissed in the 70s. Oh, and Edwardian. and Victorian was very Christmassy. actually, we loved 20s because it was done in north London so we didn't have far to go for work. It was all a top hoot to be honest. xx

henweb66 karma

You always like a bit of controversy: who is the biggest twat in the world of food?

GilesCoren244 karma

You mean, apart from me? Well, Anthony Bourdain is a massive tool and John Burton Race can kiss my fucking arse.

pandachestpress49 karma

Honestly, I don't know who you are but this is definitely one of the most interesting AMAs I have come across. Gonna go check out your works.

GilesCoren43 karma

glad to hear it.

JoshS198945 karma

Yo Coren, you fucker, can you answer a question without fucking cursing?

Your twitter feed is some of the fucking funniest shit in the world.

Question: is there any prospect of work with Sue Perkins? You two were fucking excellent.



GilesCoren140 karma

no fucking chance, those cunts at the cunting bbc don't fucking want any more of our fucking shit. fuck it all.

beignetsdebanane39 karma

Huge fan of the Supersizers. Favorite episode was the wartimes when you licked Sue Perkin's leg. Any chance of doing more Supersizers with her? Kept in touch with her?

GilesCoren60 karma

Still totes in touch. very close friends. and we'd love to do more supersizers but the Beeb don't seem to be up for it.

henweb31 karma

You seem to be good friends with Richard Bacon. Which is better: Richard Bacon or actual Bacon?

GilesCoren45 karma

Nothing is better than actual Bacon. but Dicky B is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

hooliahan30 karma


GilesCoren64 karma

when I broke an injunction against an unnamed footballer (Gareth Barry) the police and tabloids were round next morning. that was pretty instant and outrageous. it got me 20,000 followers overnight too. but generally it is anything that sounds sexist - although it is never meant to.

dayofthedead20428 karma

Hi Giles,

Out of all the British celebrity chefs (Nigella, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, etc) - which is your personal favorite and who makes the best food at their restaurants?

GilesCoren73 karma

Well, I've known nigella for years and was a good friend of her first husband and she's always lovely to me, and Gordon gave me my first telly job and Jamie owns the company I've just made a telly show for so, um, I couldn't possibly say. Jamie is a genius natural cook and a brilliant communicator and my wife cooks his stuff for my dinner quite often so i'll say him.

th1rdl4mb25 karma

What did you do for your 21st birthday party?

GilesCoren86 karma

Went to my friend Jim's house in Wimbledon. smoked a couple of joints. went to see Dick Tracey at the cinema, had a pizza. he gave me a cafetiere and a purple t-shirt. there was a beautiful girl called kate there, but she didn't give me anything. I was pretty miserable.

wcoutts24 karma

Hi Giles On a scale of 1 to blind in a ditch, how wankerd did you get while filming '12 drinks of Christmas'?

GilesCoren38 karma

blind, deaf and dumb, pal.

Bradburn77722 karma

What's your favourite memory of your father?

GilesCoren64 karma

Throwing boomerangs in Basing Hill Park. Pancakes at the golden egg after swimming. him saying "red light on! green light on! go! go! go!" when dropping me at stepping stones school in 1975. him watching rugby after lunch, lying o his back on the telly room floor using his stuffed belly to pop the studs on his denim shirt...

urghl22 karma

How do you stay in shape? Do you starve yourself between reviews/meals?

Because God knows, if I had your job, I'd be the size of a family bungalow.

GilesCoren86 karma

Sadly, I do starve myself. I'm just a massive vain, self-regarding wuss. I also dodge most white carbs. and do a lot of coke. just before meals.

dragonfly199321 karma

worst place you ever critiqued?

GilesCoren43 karma

Balthazar in Covent Garden

Southglade20 karma

If the Chinese didn't exist, what would be your favourite national cuisine?

GilesCoren32 karma

Singaporean, Malaysian, Japanese...

Southglade6 karma

Any recommendations for a quick lunch in central London for Malaysian / Japanese food?

GilesCoren19 karma


bigups_inc19 karma

Generally when you give somewhere a really good review in London, it is then impossible to get a table. Are there any places you have purposely not reviewed to stop this happening?

GilesCoren38 karma

I couldn't possibly reveal that

SilverManGold18 karma

What is your favorite meal (not home-cooked) for under $20?

GilesCoren71 karma

Double Double jungle style with fries and root beer at In and Out Burger chains in California, Utah and Arizona.

birddee18 karma

There's an article you did a few years ago about why vegetarianism should be banned. I'm interested but I'd have to pay £1 to read it. Could you sum it up for me?

GilesCoren16 karma

I don't thin I said ban it, just had a go at some of its principles. you can save money bybuying my book online. it's in there.

keithbelfastisdead17 karma

Hi Giles,

Could you recommend anywhere new in Manchester to go for nosh?

edit: Or is it a nosh... Do you ever get bitter subs giving you shit for all that?

GilesCoren38 karma

allsubs are bitter. they all give me shit. if you want super posh then The French in Manchester is the best bet. but it's reet poncy and not that relaxing.

Threatlevelpanda17 karma

Does it get on your nerves when waiters constantly try to refill your glass when you are trying to spin out a bottle?

GilesCoren23 karma


jeffgeoff16 karma

What's the worst thing you've ever tasted?

GilesCoren57 karma

Duck's tongues. Pig womb fricassee. Pizza Express pizzas.

BooGelPens15 karma

What's the best restaurant in London for a first date?

GilesCoren21 karma

anywhere with rooms upstairs... (Dean Street townhouse?)

Bazildon14 karma

Hi Mr Coren.

<blah blah something about supersizers, blah blah> Anyway....

What was your first thought when your sister said she was marrying David Mitchell?

Also, do more booze stuff with Alexander Armstrong! I was wankered all Christmas on your recommendations last year.

GilesCoren17 karma

"fuck, not another comedian brother in law!"

jewelz200114 karma

Giles, in your extensive experience as a restaurant critic, exactly how many people have you shagged, not counting men and prostitutes?

GilesCoren35 karma

As a restaurant critic? you mean, so only restaurant PR girls. That would be about 7 - all between 1999 and 2001. They're probably mostly dead now.

tizz6613 karma

Since you had the run-in over the super-injunction tweet and you are in the newspaper industry... what's your take on super-injunctions as a thing, and the wider issue of newspaper reporting colliding with personal privacy? What's your view on Leveson?

GilesCoren27 karma

the tabloid press was on borrowed time and deserved the bollocking. i believe in a free press, charter-free but i just wish people would be a bit more fucking grown up. i am not interested in intrusions into the private lives of other people so it is hard for me to understand why it goes on.

wrathryn13 karma

Love Million Dollar Critic -which city was your favourite?

Side question: How awful was Rob Ford?

GilesCoren30 karma

Ford? not that awful. Just a bit of a silly fat plonker. but I have friends who are much less charming than him. Probably best that he's not mayor any more, for him as much as anyone else. As for favourite city couldn't say. But St John's, which is tonight is a hilarious place and I loved every minute of it.

th1rdl4mb13 karma

My favourite description of yours that I ever read was on twitter, and about pork crackling and how it was 'Blistered and crispy like an English baby left out all day in the Spanish sun.'

Where exactly in your brain do thoughts like these live? I am in awe. And, by the way, I've never been able to look at pork crackling in the same way ever again. Thank you.

GilesCoren18 karma

dunno. just happens. question of thinking of a good simile then changing a couple of things to make it more unexpected then taking something out altogether so it looks just plain weird. then people remember.

quietlycommenting13 karma

Are you planning on undertaking any future projects with Sue Perkins again? Would you consider it if you haven't made plans already? Love your work xx

GilesCoren11 karma

thanks. We'd love to but beeb don't seem interested.

wholelottanonny12 karma

If you were a pub, what would you be called?

GilesCoren47 karma

The Angry Jew

AlexButler9211 karma

How is the Jewish martial arts coming along?

GilesCoren24 karma



AlexButler9210 karma

Favourite food to shove in your gullet after a night on the piss?

GilesCoren16 karma

doner from e. mono in Kentish town

Grotesquerie189010 karma

What was your experience of Westminster School? Did you experience anti-Semitism there? It is still distressingly common in certain corners of English society.

GilesCoren24 karma

I did experience it but only very mildly at me. other guys were called "Yiddo" and chased across the playground and spat on. occasionally by teachers.

barnstormin10 karma

Hi Giles, apparently you've spent lots of time in Jungian therapy. What's that all about?

GilesCoren45 karma

Fucked if I know. (that's a cleverer answer than it sounds)

NuisanceConduct10 karma

Good evening Giles. I have been excited about this AMA since it was announced. Your writing is one of the few reasons that I decided to subscribe to the ToL and you make it worth the cost. It's a great pleasure to read your commentary on restaurants that I will probably never visit and your (sadly less frequent) opinion pieces are a delight.

It gets me down when I read comments on The Times website making disparaging comparisons to your father as if by genetic accident you are expected to be his 'second coming'. It must take a thick skin to do what you do and I admire you for doing it. You are an extremely talented and extremely funny writer and you have brought a lot of joy to me over the years. So thanks for that.

Although your drinking days are (allegedly...) behind you, where is the best boozing pub in the Hampstead Heath area, in your opinion? And what if you take food into account as well? Where is your favourite cheap local restaurant (not central)?

All the best to you and your family.

GilesCoren4 karma

What a nice message. Thank you. As for the main question: the Bull and Last. I'm going there in about 15 minutes as it happens. Bang opposite the Heath on the eastern side (my side) best food of any pub in London and good beer too. I love it.

LolaMorel10 karma

When does the dfs sale end?

GilesCoren7 karma


GilesCoren3 karma

February 10

Juggertrout10 karma

Why are you so racist against Polish people? You've referred to them using ethnic slurs and portrayed them as a bunch of slow-witted anti-semites. When people complained about your racist attitudes, you simply said "Fuck the Poles".

GilesCoren26 karma

misreported. read the piece I wrote in the times. I spoke of historical anti-Semitism against my family at the turn of the 20th century. I like Poles.

RebelBelle9 karma

Hi! Before I ask any questions, let me say how much I love your sister - she's a joy to watch on HIGNFY.

What would be your perfect meal? Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party? ( you've five places and can invite anyone - fictional or dead)

GilesCoren21 karma

my dad, WG Grace, ernest hemingway, Debbie harry, we'd have spaghetti alle vongole and good gavi di gavi. she'd sing then we'd play cricket.

I_smell_awesome9 karma

What's your favorite kind of soup?

GilesCoren21 karma

don't really like soup. boring to eat. slurp slurp slurp all the same. love a good Singapore laksa though.

MegaNasty9 karma

Being a food critic and trying so much food. Is it hard not to be biased sometimes if youre having something you weren't fond of to begin with?

GilesCoren16 karma

if something I don;'t normally like is rendered delicious by a good chef then it's a win win sitch all round and he gets a double top review.

jewelz20019 karma

Why is it called the Million Dollar critic? Has it anything specifically to do with Canada e.g. on the show, you eat a million dollars worth of maple syrup and salmon?

GilesCoren19 karma

well, in theory my review cd be worth a million dollars in business to a successful restaurant. that has occasionally happened. but really it's just a top bloody name for a show.

TrashTalkFF8 karma

Why do chefs yell all the time? Is there a point to screaming in the kitchen at everyone?

GilesCoren16 karma

they don't so much these days. it comes from a very military approach to the old 'equipe' in a massive hotel kitchen. but things are more chilled now. better still when kitchens are run by women.

wellyrach8 karma

OK Mr Coren what would your last supper be?

GilesCoren23 karma

if i knew it was my last supper I'd be too miserable to eat. so it wouldn't matter. if it was just a last supper before going away for a bit and then coming back then it would be a crispy hot overdone baked potato with a ton of butter and salt and pepper and a bottle of good burgundy

lemonslala8 karma

Hello Giles. I am a culinary management student and one of my goals is to be a restaurant and food critic. What do you think is the best path of action to take to become w critic? Also, what is something crucial people don't know about being a critic?

GilesCoren15 karma

the crucial thing is to tell a story. very few do that well. i wouldn't aim to go into it, it is a very narrow field and only ever happens to writers buy accident. except fay maschler who won a competition in 1873

triplecrit7 karma

What was going through your head when you published the piece about poland that generated quite a bit of controversy? Were you looking for Borat-style humour?

GilesCoren6 karma

no. I had just come from the funeral of a 90-year-old great uncle in which the rabbi referred to his father, my great-grandfather, being driven from Poland by the pogroms of the late 19th century and that always makes me angry, and then in the papers there were stories about modern Polish workers in the UK going home because the lifestyle was now better in Poland and it just got me to thinking.

Joe567807 karma

All my English teachers used to talk about you years back, what's it like having a huge teacher crowd as fangirls?

GilesCoren20 karma

makes me feel fucking old

chrisquijote7 karma

Was the Oscar Pistorius sentence too lenient?

GilesCoren18 karma


MattBD7 karma

Hi Giles,

If your sister and her husband have a child, do you think that child will grow up to be the Greatest Panel Show Guest That Ever Lived?

GilesCoren7 karma

pray God by the time that happens panel games will have died out...

Batsea6 karma

If you couldn't be a food critic, what else would you choose to review?

GilesCoren16 karma

books. but it would be such bloody hard work. and it actually matters - unlike rezzies - so quite a lot of pressure.

JK12121216 karma

What is the best book you've read this year?

GilesCoren10 karma

butcher's crossing - a western by that bloke who wrote Stoner. great, great novel.

Sheylian5 karma

If you could only eat in one restaurant for the rest of time, which would it be, and why?

GilesCoren9 karma

the bull and last, because it is wonderful and at the top of my road.

carrstephen55 karma

What is the strangest bit of food you have ever eaten?

GilesCoren8 karma

pig's womb

kablighfe5 karma

Where would you say does the best sausage rolls in London?

GilesCoren11 karma

Queen's Park rangers stadium at Loftus road.

ssubtle26 karma

No sausage roll is worth putting up with QPR fans.

GilesCoren12 karma

how dare you? we're the best.

mokmfvskom5 karma

Favourite gladiator?

GilesCoren33 karma

maximus decimus meridius

mercabarna4 karma

Why are you so down on pissed Irish plasterers?

GilesCoren6 karma

Am not at all. Love them.

chrisquijote4 karma

Do you play Poker?

GilesCoren28 karma

not any more. taught my sister the game then left it to her. to be honest now that i earn quite a lot I'd have to play quite high stakes for it to be thrilling and that level the players would all be much better than me., so i stay away.

May_of_Teck4 karma

Mr. Coren, as a pregnant lady who can't drink, watching the Supersizers is torture. That said, what's your personal favorite cocktail?

GilesCoren5 karma

gimlet. if pregnant replacer the gun with water. nice refreshing lime cordial.

jewelz20014 karma

Any plans to come to Australia and critique places here? Timed with the cricket and summer, could be quite nice.

GilesCoren6 karma

Would be lovely. But I'd have to bring my whole family. Not sure Oz is ready for that yet...

Pastries3 karma

For years I've thought Giles Brandreth was you. Is it possible that there has been some great schism in reality splitting the two of you into distinct beings? Have you ever shaken hands with him? The universe might explode if you do.

GilesCoren3 karma

he is me and I am he.

sadiekayg3 karma

Where is your favorite place to eat on a regular night out?

GilesCoren5 karma

jin kichi in hampstead

MONT4N43 karma

Why do you think Bordain is a "tool"? Please elaborate.

GilesCoren10 karma

I don't really I was just fucking about

IndigoBlake3 karma

Have you ever read the book One Day?

I always consider you to be whom Dexter is based on.

GilesCoren21 karma

no, I did an English literature degree and am a massive snob. I only read very unpopular books with no plot. sorry.

joninco3 karma

Have you ever had a bite of food, that made you tear up with joy?

GilesCoren8 karma

anything that reminds me of childhood: egg and potato pie, chicken soup with matzo balls, my mums stuffed peppers, pickled onion monster munch

GilesCoren6 karma

many times. anything that reminds me of childhood: egg and potato pie, stuffed peppers, pickled onion monster munch...

chalktoeraser3 karma

Though Japan is night now, good morning! What kind of working person are you?

GilesCoren11 karma

I try to work only in the mornings, monday to Friday, never at weekends and never at night. and never in summer or Christmas. but of late I've been working too hard, and i don't like it1 I love japan though. lucky you. best food in the world. probably.

ladyginaofg3 karma

What's your favourite beer at the Southampton Arms?

GilesCoren11 karma

well they change so fucking often I never get time to settle into one. I love that place though. if it weren't for having stupidly had children I'd be in there every night.

rwh999993 karma

Have your views softened towards sub-editors? And do you actually demand to see the copy once they've pissed in it?

GilesCoren6 karma

my views of bad subs have not changed. nor my views of good ones. i don't demand to see copy, i just ask politely and they ALWAYS comply. if they've only pissed on it i count myself lucky, usually i am shovelling great wet turds off my prose just to make it recognisable.

bigups_inc3 karma

How many people have you shagged, counting men and prostitutes?

GilesCoren11 karma

white men? does it count if they didn't come?

Maragil3 karma

Do you think that A A Gill is a twat?

GilesCoren6 karma

yes, but he is a brilliant and funny twat

sentient_petunias3 karma

What is your favorite Chinese dish?

GilesCoren12 karma

all of it.

Toyan_Dicch3 karma

I just have to know... have you ever beaten your sister at poker?

GilesCoren5 karma

many times. but not in the last ten years.

LolaMorel2 karma

Helloo, are you thinking of doing anymore tv shows like Supersizers Go? My dad (for some reason) bought me a DVD with the episodes on and I found them so funny! My mum and I have developed a bit of a crush on you:')

GilesCoren5 karma

I'd love to but the BBc haven't commissioned any. where did he get the DVD? I didn't know there was one?

blufire_uk2 karma

You've mentioned that the beeb aren't too interested in a new supersizers, but we are! Who can we bother to tell them we're interested?

GilesCoren3 karma

tell all of them! start with kin shillinglaw, head of BBC2

wcoutts2 karma

When is your next piece for Esquire UK out?

GilesCoren1 karma

haven't got one for a bit, been very busy., so next year i guess.

[deleted]1 karma


GilesCoren5 karma

wd love to but beeb not apparently interested

hostage_puffing-2 karma

So your work is to critique other peoples work? I'm sure that job is..really difficult.

GilesCoren20 karma

Yes, it is a fucking nightmare. My knuckles are red raw with the sheer manual graft of it.