Very few people have the honour of having a dish named after them. Even Eggs Benedict wasn’t named after the current Pope. But one of my friends has, in my family, this distinct honour.
There used to be a big commercial bakery on an industrial estate in Leamington. It supplied a local chain of bakers named Elizabeth the Chef. At the factory door, you could buy all sorts of cast-offs – slightly imperfect cheesecakes, misshapen croissants and, most importantly, the ends that had been chopped off chocolate roulades before they were packaged for sale.
The latter item came in a large plastic bag. Mum had the wonderful idea of chopping them up, placing them in a large bowl and adding whipped cream to the top. Served with yet more cream, it was a rare treat indeed for all of us.
Despite this, it lacked a name – a situation which, I am sure, Mum was very happy with, as it meant we could never ask for it. And then Jon Bunting came to stay with us.
One day, we were having dinner and the roulade-based dish was produced as a dessert. Mum had left the door ajar as she came into the room with it, which always meant that a draught blew from the hallway into the room. Jon was nearest and I asked him to close the door. I did so just a fraction of a second after he asked “What’s this called?”. The name stuck, and the dish as forever been known as ‘Shut the Door, Please, Jon’