The Bordeaux Marathon

We hosted a small team from Gordon Ramsay’s this weekend as they took part in the Médoc marathon on saturday. ‘Taking part’ is an apt expression because it’s more of a stage show or a carnival than a serious race. A glimpse of the 8000 competitors from all over the world, mostly in fancy dress and running through the vineyards of some of the most prestigious estates in the world, is certainly worth a detour.

Stuart Gillies, the chef from Boxwood Café in London, organised the trip as a birthday present for his boss, Chris Hutcheson. Chris is the father of Gordon’s wife Tana, and he runs the Ramsay empire while his son-in-law does his stuff in front of the cameras or in the kitchen.

It was the first time that either Chris or Stuart (pictured left) had run in the Bordeaux event and we were seriously impressed that this was Chris’s 71st marathon. I had met him briefly before at a lunch party at Gordon and Tana’s home in Wandsworth, and that too was after the London Marathon a few years ago. Stuart stayed with us at Bauduc a few years back so it was a pleasure to cook for him once again: gigot d’ agneau de Pauillac (Pauillac lamb), served pink with our Trois Hectares 2005 red, from magnum. Can’t go wrong with ingredients like that. (In fact, it could have done, but thankfully it didn’t).

We had a great weekend and they even volunteered for a walk around our vines on sunday morning. However, Chris was not impressed with the paltry collection of Ramsay cookery books in our kitchen, so he very kindly Fed-Ex’ed a stack of them to us on his return to London. The only downside is that they roped me into running next year. I’m looking forward to it, although, unlike for many of the runners, fine claret is not a refreshment I would choose as sustenance when running 26 miles for the first time.