April 2012 Archives

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for What the Critics SayMichelin-starred chef Adam Simmonds' food may be delicious but there is a pale ghostliness about the Danesfield House dining experience, according to John Walsh.

The Independent's food critic says that although Hotel Chef of the Year Catey winner Simmonds' cooking is full of vivid flavours, its lack of colour combined with the monochrome décor and stiff service make the restaurant feel like some "absentee monarch's very pale kingdom".

Writing in the Times Giles Coren says you can eat very well at La Bodega Negra, a new Mexican from London restaurateur Will Ricker and New York nightclub operator and designer Serge Becker in Soho. But unlike its cousin in the Big Apple, the London outpost is not at all cool.

The food at Kitchen Joël Antunès is gorgeous according to Jay Rayner of the Observer, but the Mayfair prices leave a nasty aftertaste.

The Independent on Sunday's Lisa Markwell has a hit and miss meal with great steak and attention to provenance but much too big portions at Malmaison Manchester's spruced up brasserie, Smoak, while the Guardian's John Lanchester has lunch at celebrity farmer John Doherty's restaurant on Jimmy's Farm near Ipswich, Suffolk, and finds the food is not half bad.

In London, Andy Lynes says new Cinnamon Soho feels like a poor relation to its predecessors, the Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen in his review for the Metro, while the Evening Standard's Fay Maschler says utterly reasonable prices make Briciole the sort of place you want within walking distance of where you live.

Rene Redzepi to run Noma pop-up at Claridge's

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Rene RedzepiRene Redzepi of the world famous Noma restaurant in Copenhagen is to run a two-week pop-up at London's Claridge's hotel this summer.

The two-Michelin-starred chef, whose restaurant has twice been named the best in the world, will run A Taste of Noma at Claridge's from 28 July to 6 August in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

From the Mayfair hotel's Ballroom, Redzepi, together with his team of chefs from Noma, will offer a five-course menu of signature dishes priced £195. The menu will reflect his signature style using seasonal British ingredients.

We are excited about the opportunity to be part of the celebration of the Olympic Games in London and to work closely with the team at Claridge's. it is a different set-up from our home field, but we look forward to exploring the bounty of a different part of the world."

Claridge's general manager Thomas Kochs added: "This unique dining experience will be the first time the legendary chef will create his ground-breaking vision outside Denmark. The arrival of René and his team marks a true milestone in Claridge's culinary history, especially during such an exciting time in the capital.

"As London welcomes the best of the best from around the globe this summer, we are proud to make our contribution by bringing the world's best restaurant to Claridge's."

Noma - a combination of Nordish (Nordic) and Mad (food) - is a partnership between Danish restaurateur and TV chef Claus Meyer and Redzepi, whose career has included stints at some of the world's finest restaurants, including Thomas Keller's French Laundry in California and Ferran Adrià's El Bulli in Spain.

The menu at Noma is a "personal rendition of Nordic gourmet cuisine" - a mix of costly and everyday ingredients, unusual foraged native foods, and home-made vinegars, beers, spirits and wines. Alongside modern cooking techniques, Redzepi has also revitalised age-old, curative and non-chemical methods of cooking such as smoking, salting, pickling, drying, grilling and baking on slabs of basalt.

Relais & Chateaux hosts Grands Chefs event in New York

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Relais & Chateaux Grands Chefs DinnerLuxury hotel and restaurant consortium Relais & Chateaux this week hosted its second annual Grands Chefs dinner in New York, bringing together 45 top chefs from around the world.

The event, which took place at Manhattan's Gotham Hall on Monday evening, featured chefs from 10 countries from four continents, with the UK represented by two-Michelin-starred Grands Chefs Andrew Fairlie and Claude Bosi.

Thumbnail image for Relais & Chateaux Grands ChefsOther chefs included three-Michelin-starred chefs Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten from the USA, Thomas Bühner from La Vie in Germany, and Emmanuel Renaut from Flocons de Sel in France. In addition iconic French chefs Marc Meneau and Annie Féolde as well as young chefs such as César Troisgros and Christopher Kostow were also cooking.

New York marked Relais & Chateaux's second annual Grands Chefs dinner after the inaugural event held at Versailles in France last year. Next year, the dinner will take place in London.

The Grands Chefs dinner, which raised funds for New York charity Citymeals on Wheels and was sponsored by Champagne Pommery, saw the chefs paired up in teams of three cooking for 20 or 30 covers. The menus featured a first course of lobster, a second course of either scallops or sea bass, and a third of either veal or lamb.

Andrew FairlieAndrew Fairlie, chef patron of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Scotland, served seared Maine scallops with Scottish sea vegetables and seaweed broth. He was teamed up with US chef Mark Ladner from El Posto in New York, and Patrick Bertron, head chef at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in France.

Meanwhile Claude Bosi, chef patron of Hibiscus in London, served roast tenderloin of veal with aubergine and miso caviar, roast baby gem lettuce and dried bonito. He cooked alongside Davy Tissot from Villa Florentine in France and and Stéphane Mazières Hôtel Le Toiny in Saint Barts.

Commenting on the event, Fairlie said it had been a great honour to have been involved. "Being among culinary greats such as Marc Meneau, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller was a fantastic and humbling experience," he said.

"While the cooking on the night was a challenge, the organisation of the event was impeccable and I had a great team in Mark and Patrick."

Fairlie added: "The room looked absolutely spectacular and I didn't realise until I got there just how big the event was going to be. It was an amazing and exhilarating experience and one of the best events of its kind that I have cooked at."

Ritz chef Adam Smith is the 2012 Roux Scholar

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Roux ScholarshipAdam Smith, premier sous chef at the Ritz in London, has been named the 2012 Roux Scholar.

Smith, who had entered the prestigious competition for the first time this year, won the title following a fierce cook-off in the kitchens of London's Westminster Kingsway College this morning.

Competitors were asked to cook turbotin jubilee, whole braised turbot with lobster mousseline, scallops and caviar, garnished with artichoke bottoms and asparagus tips and a champagne sauce, in two hours and 30 minutes.

Their culinary skills were judged by a panel of industry experts headed by scholarship founder Michel Roux, his brother Albert, son Alain and nephew Michel Jnr. The judges also included former Roux Scholars two-Michelin-starred chefs Andrew Fairlie and Sat Bains as well as David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner and the BBC2 Saturday Kitchen presenter James Martin.

A 2011 Acorn winner, 24-year-old Smith is already an experienced competition chef having won a gold medal at the 2009 WorldSkills competition in Calgary and assisted both former Roux Scholars Andre Garrett and Simon Hulstone as commis chef at the 2007 and 2009 Bocuse d'Or.

In 2010 he was selected to represent the English National Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, winning a gold medal in the Restaurant of Nations. That same year he also won the Craft Guild's Young Chef of the Year award.

As the 29th winner of the Roux Scholarship, Smith has won a three-month all expenses paid stage at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant of his choice. He has also won an expenses-paid trip to Champagne Gosset in Ay, and a trip to visit the Caffe Musetti roasting factory in Milan.

The other five finalists were:
Edward Attwell, Love's Restaurant, Birmingham
Quinton Bennett, The Arch, London
Arbinder Dugal, Le Pont De La Tour, London
Pramod Ghadge, Catlin Underwriting Agencies operated by Harbour & Jones, London
Robert Hutchins, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate


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