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32 MIN READ TIME

Lunch with... Jay Rayner

PHOTOGRAPHS: REX, ALUN CALLENDER

When I first met Jay ‘The Piano’ Rayner, I was nicely soused on Spritz Américain and he was tall and velvety like an Irish coffee. It was midnight and he’d just stepped off the tiny stage at The Crazy Coqs, a cabaret and jazz space at Brasserie Zédel in London’s West End. He was all aglow following his polished performance with his wife Pat Gordon-Smith, a sinuous sometime jazz singer in an LBD, and his quality sax and double bass players. He was in a world so far away from The One Show, he wouldn’t know Alex Jones from the bloke who sang ‘Walking in the Air’.

When we meet the same week (in daylight) for our lunch date he still looks a little louche: the man could wear a cape well. And, as is Jay’s way, he makes self-deprecating remarks along the lines of “Hasn’t Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen let himself go?” But he shouldn’t. This is an interesting man.

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delicious. Magazine
January 2016
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