Last summer, my grandfather asked me round to his house to cook for a few of his friends. Having not cooked for more than five people before, cooking for eight was some serious business. As soon as I put the phone down, I got straight onto the net to see what recipe would be suitable. I was thinking of all of the creative dishes I could put together, before deciding that something simple would be a far better, and not to mention safer, option. It was a decision well made. Having gone to the supermarket en route to my grandfather's, I picked up all of the ingredients needed to put together a dish of; chicken stuffed with pesto and wrapped in bacon; along with a serving of mashed potato; and finished off with sauteed leeks, bacon and peas. Initially when I explained to my grandfather what I was making, he appeared nervous in not knowing what pesto was (and I too was nervous at this point) but it went down a treat. So much so did they all like it, that my grandfather called me up again to cook for another lunch party he was having the following week. Despite his recommendation to cook the same thing again, I wanted to show off more of my culinary skills and see how something else I cooked would be received. Though to this day, it might not have been for the reason I thought it had, the next dish did not seem to go down as well. In knowing it would be a sunny day, I wanted to create a Mediterranean style dish. To do this I stuffed the chicken with mozzarella and topped it with chorizo, replaced the mashed potato with roasted sweet potato, and sauteed red and yellow peppers with shallots. Doesn't sound too out of the ordinary does it? Well the plates came back with half of the food still there. Though I'll admit, I did serve them a generous amount; I couldn't help feeling a little disheartened by this. Having said goodbye to my grandfather who told me it was all marvelous as families do; when I got home I told my mother what had happened. She replied in telling me that what I had made was a bit 'modern' for them. Sweet potatoes... chorizo... when do you ever see these in old traditional English recipes? That's it, you don't. Only recently have we become a nation who enjoys these worldly flavours. Yet in the same way we've adapted to watching television and using computers, so have we become accustomed to new tastes. Nowadays in our cupboards you'll expect to see ingredients such as endless spices to recreate Moroccan flavours, or soy sauce and hoi sin to put together Asian-inspired dishes. But wind back a few years and these wouldn't have been there. The next time you head out into town, try and add up how many restaurants actually serve English food. Or think, when was the last time you had a curry? They have become a standard thing for Brits to eat. We don't even need to inform people that we're getting a curry, just tell them you're "having an Indian" and they'll know what you mean! It has become so much a part of the English diet; it's easy for some to forget that it's not always been around here. The other day I even heard someone say how much they love English food then used Lasagne as an example! Since when was that English? Though Mama Italia would not have been so happy to hear this, (and I admit I was a bit surprised myself) it just goes to show how embedded these ingredients, flavours and dishes are in our culture. As our palates naturally adjust to these modern tastes, so do people become more culinary creative. But just one bit of advice. If you're ever in the position I was to cook for the elderly, check how modern their palates are before choosing this as your moment to be Nigella or Gordon. To read more articles like this, as well as reading up on recipes and reviews, check out my new blog www.berryfoodie.co.uk and follow me as @berryfoodie on twitter.