It was only as I neared the crescendo of this symphony in brown that I realised it looks like the cover of a 1970s cookbook. Appropriately, I modelled it on Chardin. I say appropriately because French cooking seems to have had a stranglehold on Australian dinner parties in the 1970s. For ten long years the middle classes appear to have lived solely off duck a l’orange and French onion soup, interspersed with the occasional fondue party. It is a wonder anyone survived.