Lesson 61 – Winter Mushroom Risotto – Present simple/ Present continuous

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IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).


  • A chef at a restaurant
  • For the last 15 years
  • Working in a kitchen
  • He has a real passion for food
  • To change the menu
  • To keep up to date with…
  • Replace them with…
  • He is flicking through a recipe book
  • To find inspiration
  • Something that he has never cooked before
  • To add originality and interest
  • Decides to make one
  • Searching through his ingredients
  • He does not have enough
  • For a moment
  • To abandon the idea
  • To choose a different dish
  • To pick another recipe
  • He doesn’t have time to…
  • To go to the butchers
  • Will not be able to deliver until tomorrow
  • Make a delicious alternative
  • They are struggling with…
  • A delivery order
  • To use up the last of…
  • One of their dishes requires


-Winter mushroom risotto-

Lesson 61, Winter mushroom risotto

Scott has been a chef at a restaurant called “Rhubarb” for the past 15 years. He enjoys the “hustle and bustle” of working in a kitchen and he has a real passion for food. Every three months Scott has to change the menu of the restaurant to keep up to date with seasonal fruits and vegetables. As autumn approaches Scott realises that he must get rid of dishes that require vegetables such as shallots, French beans, corn, cucumbers and green beans and replace them with more seasonal vegetables such as broccoli, butternut squash, turnips, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

He is flicking through a recipe book trying to find inspiration for some new dishes, perhaps something that he has never cooked before, in order to add originality and interest to the new menu. He feels that a new risotto dish would be a great starter and decides to make one with winter mushrooms.

Scott sets about searching through his ingredients and realises that he does not have enough chicken liver to make the dish. For a moment he wonders whether or not to abandon the idea and choose a different dish. He does not want to have to pick another recipe but he doesn’t have time to go to the butchers, and the meat suppliers will not be able to deliver until tomorrow.

He is debating whether he should just make a mushroom soup. He knows that he cannot make the risotto without the livers and thinks that mushrooms with mascarpone would make a delicious alternative.

Suddenly his phone rings. It is the head chef from another restaurant called “Fuel”. They are struggling with a delivery order and desperately need ingredients to help them use up the last of their summer vegetables. One of their dishes requires shallots and another, green beans. Scott has plenty left in the pantry and is glad that he does not have to throw them away as he hates waste. He tells them of his plight and, as luck would have it, the restaurant has just received a large order of livers.

They agree to help each other out and the head chef at Fuel tells Scott that he will send a kitchen porter to make the exchange.

Scott is excited that he will be able to make his risotto and immediately sets to work preparing the other ingredients. He knows that this dish will be delicious and rival any other risotto he has made before.

Facts: Keith Floyd was a British celebrity chef, television personality and restaurateur in the 1980s. He hosted cooking shows for the BBC and published many books combining cookery and travel. Many a modern chef has cited Keith as their inspiration.




Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 



Present Simple

The Present Simple is used to express: a permanent situation that takes place once, never or several times, to state facts or general truths and to talk about future plans.

To break it down:

1. Something that always happens.

The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

2. Something that happens frequently.

I go for a jog every morning.

3. Something that is usually true.

Doctors care about their patients’ health.

4. How often things are done.

I go to the gym every day.
Scott doesn’t drink alcohol very often.

Statements in which can promise, apologiserefuse, agree, etc.  These are usually introduced by the following expressions.

I apologise I insist I advise I refuse I promise I suggest


I promise to write to you every day.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

I suggest joining the gym if you want to get fit.

Always remember that:

a) When using the affirmative form in the third person singular (He, She, It) we add an –s to the verb.

I work
You work
He works
She works
It works
We work
You work
They work

b) However, when verbs end in –s, -sh and –ch, we add –es

I finish I wash I teach
You finish You wash You teach
He finishes He washes He teaches
She finishes She washes She teaches
It finishes It washes It teaches
We finish We wash We teach
They finish They wash They teach

The same rule applies for to do and to go.

I do I go
You do You go
He does He goes
She does She goes
It does It goes
We do We go
They do They go

c) Verbs that finish with –y have an –ies ending

I study
You study
He studies
She studies
It studies
We study
They study


d) Interrogative and negative forms use to do like an auxiliary verb.

don´t know Do I know?
You don’t know Do you know?
He doesn’t know Does he know?
She doesn’t know Does she know?
It doesn’t know Does it know?
We don’t know Do we know?
They don’t know Do they know?

Present Continuous

This tense is used when we want to talk about temporary actions and situations that are going on now or ‘around now’, such as:

1.Actions happening at the time of speaking.

Scott isn’t here. He is walking the dog.

2. Actions in progress (actions that have been started but they haven’t finished yet).

I’m studying English

It is important to note, when using the actions in progress, you don’t necessarily have to be in the throes of this action when you speak.

You may be sitting in your house with a friend and explain to them: 

I’m learning how to drive.

Obviously, you are not having a driving lesson at the moment you are speaking with your friend.

3. With adverbs of time referring to the current moment.

Now Today This week This month This year


Today I’m practising the piano.

This week she’s learning to drive.

I’m paying off the mortgage this year.

Remember that the present continuous has this structure:


I am studying I’m studying
You are studying You’re studying
He is studying He’s studying
She is studying She’s studying
It is studying It’s studying
We are studying We’re studying
They are studying They’re studying
I am not studying I’m not studying I’m not studying
You are not studying You’re not studying You aren’t studying
He is not studying He’s not studying He isn’t studying
She is not studying She’s not studying She isn’t studying
It is not studying It’s not studying It isn’t studying
We are not studying We’re not studying We aren’t studying
They are not studying They’re not studying They aren’t studying

Please note that there are some irregularities in the spelling of some –ing forms:

For verbs ending with one vowel and one consonant (with the exception of w, x, and y) for one syllable verbs, we double the consonant and add –ing:

To plan →  planning
To stop  →  stopping
To rub →  rubbing
To sit →  sitting

For two syllable verbs, if the first syllable is stressed we simply add –ing:

Answer → Answering
Offer → Offering
Listen → Listening
Visit  →  Visiting

If the second syllable is stressed, double the consonant and add –ing:

Admit → Admitting
Prefer → Preferring
Begin → Beginning


  • Related Pronunciation Video Lesson and interactive exercise(s):


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