One of my favourite books is David Ogilvy’s entertaining autobiography Confessions of an Advertising Man. Ogilvy was a maverick advertising legend, the genius behind “The Man in the Hathaway Shirt”, the splendidly urbane "Commander Schweppes” (in reality one Cdr. Ed Whitehead RN (Rtd), president of Schweppes USA) and “the loudest noise in his brand new Rolls-Royce comes from his electric clock”.
Before Madison Avenue, Ogilvy had enjoyed a varied career as a Parisian chef, Gallup researcher, door-to-door Aga salesman and farmer with the Amish in Pennyslvania. Sent down from Christchurch, Oxford without a degree, Ogilvy became a cook- I hesitate to use the word chef- at the Hotel Majestic, Paris.
Apparently the brigade’s favourite after-work dish was this French working man’s classic, Ouefs au Beurre Noir. He suggests the use of coriander, but I would have thought that chopped flat-leaf parsley might work better:
Eggs in Black Butter (4 People)
2 tablespoons butter
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
4 thin slices of bread
Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
Melt the butter in a small frying pan and heat until it goes black. Add the Worcester Sauce, the capers and a squeeze of lemon juice. Fry the eggs very gently in this sauce, basting frequently. When cooked, trim into rounds with a pastry cutter. Drain. Fry bread in the sauce. Transfer the cooked bread to a warm plate and place the egg on top. Pour remaining sauce around the egg. Decorate with fresh chopped coriander.