Now I'm back to find out what 2016 has in store for the world of food. What will we be eating? Where will we be eating? Are we all going to die from a bad batch of baked beans?
Wallace is feeling a little under the weather today, so instead she introduces me to third-generation psychic Catherine Lewington. A reader and healer, Lewington is also an expert in psychometry and Tarot cards. And she looks a bit like Super Gran (who had x-ray vision) which is all the convincing I need.
Lewington's psychic CV is certainly respected (the Psychic Sisters are pretty much the British crème de la crème of soothsayers) but her cooking CV—by her own admission—is not.
"I can burn fresh air," she says, leading me into a small room away from the brilliantly named Astrolounge.
Once we've taken our seats, I pull out my Tupperware. In the hope that Lewington will be able to "read their energy" and predict the foodie future, I've bought a selection of food with me: rice, black-eyed beans, sugar, and Cornish tea. As I plonk my "ingredients" on to the table, I feel like I'm on a psychic version of Ready Steady Cook.
First up, what will we be eating in 2016?
Lewington fingers the Tupperware but doesn't pour out any of the ingredients. She then wistfully says: "Farmers will develop a new strain of cauliflower."
Where did that come? Is she channelling John Craven? Is John Craven even dead? And there's more.
"We can grow rhubarb very quickly, mushrooms very quickly, so why can't we do green veg very quickly?" she asks. "We can. Water growth."
Lewington is then deathly silent again and I get the impression that's the end of our first prediction."Farmers will develop a new strain of cauliflower."
Well, it's not a bad one to get the crystal ball rolling, is it? Next year, we'll be eating a new strain of cauliflower and growing green vegetables quicker.
Next, she zeroes in on the tea: "What do we do with tea? We sit down. We communicate. We have cakes and we have fun. But do we?"
Lewington mimics someone playing Candy Crush on a phone.
"Afternoon tea, honey and water, hot milk—it doesn't matter. I'm getting a strong feeling for the concept of meeting once a day, for a hot drink with the one you love," she says. "Bringing back the community."
A reasonably vague observation one has to say but then, she's not entirely wrong. The latter part of 2015 has seen a trend for teahouses, with a second outpost of Amanzi opening up in Soho and Good & Proper Tea also launching its first static teashop. In fact, I've only recently written an article on a growing trend for teahouses, due for publication early next year.
Now it's time to predict our eating habits and to do this, Lewington throws down some of the ingredients and reads psychic messages in the patterns they make. First she opts for the rice, taking a handful into her palm, holding it with a purpose—as though like she's wishing for a Large Straight in a game of Yahtzee—before spilling it out on to the table.
"We've got a map here," Lewington says and I shift round to her side of the table so I can get a better vantage point. "This is Florida," she adds, pointing at a part of the map that does actually look an awful lot like Florida. "Where do most of the crops come from? Central America. The central plains. There's a conflict coming. Bad weather in America. We've got drought in America. The conflict is not with guns, it's with the Earth itself."
She lists rice-eating countries: Vietnam, Philippines, India, Pakistan, China, Japan, and Russia, before stating: "There's going to be a discussion about supplies next year."
Next it's the turn of the beans. Lewington throws them down and they scatter all over the table, with large gaps between each cluster.
"Quite lean years but there are pockets," she says. "It's regrouping. Coming back. It's got to be encouraged. But we are going to see an increase in this type of food."
"The chefs are going to go into decline and they're going to have to work and communicate to come back. Individually, they're all thinking. Collectively, they can act. If they come together, they'll be more powerful."
Spring boarding from the black-eyed peas map, Lewington describes the following year as one which will see us return "back to basics"—to pulses, beans, and other staple foods. But, she says, there's a problem because beans aren't "fashionable" and porridge oats don't have "street cred."
Instead, Lewington suggests we need a chef to encourage people, which leads me to my next question: What's the fate of celebrity chefs?
For this, she uses the Tarot cards and tells me to shuffle the pack.
"Their fate is in your hands," she says, spookily before asking me what question I wish to ask.
"Er, what will be the view of celebrity chefs in 2016? I know that's quite a hard question ..."
Lewington interjects: "How about: Will our chefs wake up to what the public want, like that Mel Gibson movie What Women Want…" She tails off and deals the cards.
From left to right, the cards reveal the past, present, and future. They are: The Stranger, The Voyage, and Friendship.
"We're going to have events that are going to make us sit up. The chefs are going to go into decline and they're going to have to work and communicate to come back," Lewington explains, Gandalf style. "Individually, they're all thinking. Collectively, they can act. If they come together, they'll be more powerful."
Is it just me or does that sound incredibly like The Fellowship of the Ring?
Of course, I don't say that. Instead I just nod, not really knowing what I'm nodding at. A group of vigilante celebrity chefs ridding the world of sugar? Gordon Ramsey in latex? Blimey, no one wants to see that. Not even in a crystal ball.