We should all be eating less meat and better meat
Never eat anything bigger than your head
Cookery Quote
Whenever you see crossed chives you are in trouble

Taste

Some good news from Cardiff

"Cymru Gwir Flas" – each year the True Taste of Wales Awards sees a gathering of foodies and technical experts to judge the Welsh food and drink Oscars. It is a good opportunity to see what's new and to reward what is excellent. What's more for someone who spends a lot of time in London, it was interesting to see many old friends and catch up on the gossip. One of the other judges was legendary Italian chef Franco Taruschio who for over twenty years ran the Walnut Tree near Abergavenny (the restaurant is now home to Shaun Hill – equally charming and equally accomplished).

Viajante's bar food bargains

After a period when he turned a warehouse appartment on the Kingsland Road into a wildly successful super club, Nuno Mendes is now steering Viajante to glory. This restaurant is improbably located in the former town hall at Patriot Square E2. Mendes is a charming, quiet, considered sort of chef. He has a red hot pedigree – time at El Bulli, his own place Bacchus in Hoxton, then "The Loft Project" and now Viajante, his most ambitious mission.

And it's a happy 20th birthday to Chutney Mary.

There's nothing like a good birthday party to gladden the heart and in a world where the life expectancy of restaurant projects seems to be declining steeply 20 years is a real milestone. One of the reasons this Kings Road stalwart has become a stalwart is the sensible way that the triumvirate of owners – Namita Panjabi, Camellia Panjabi and Rangit Mathrani - has taken the trouble to re-invent the restaurant every few years. When Chutney Mary opened the aim was to offer the kind of Anglo-Indian food that was enjoyed by Brits during the Raj and the menu listed dishes like Country Captain.

Laconic menus rule!

Sometimes as you press your nose to the glass box or window and scan the menu displayed there the chef's writing style tells you as much as anything else about the kind of food you're going to eat. So here's a little game, take four dishes
A "Set milk with crab, cucumber hearts and beach herbs"
B "Cold roast duck breast, watercress and walnuts"
C "Pressed foie gras with confit and smoked duck, pear carpaccio, cardamom caramel"
D "Slow roasted Bocaddon veal breast with colcannon and grain mustard"

Pétrus A little something from the chef

As declarations of war go the opening of Pétrus in Kinnerton Street is fairly unambiguous. This is the latest restaurant offering from the Gordon Ramsay machine and it bears the same name as the establishment his ex-lieutenant Marcus Wareing used to head up at the Berkeley. Now Wareing cooks under his own name on Wilton Place and Ramsay has set up just around the corner. Let battle commence. The new Pétrus is a suave, sleek, grey-beige space with comfortable chairs, immaculate linen and a vault full of famous name wines at famous name prices.

A delicious presenter or delicious food?

Why should we be surprised that television has become the "Opiate of the People" (to misquote and misinterpret Karl Marx)? The tentacles of the television production companies have a good grip on cooking programmes and recently programme creators have not only been obsessively worshipping reality telly, but unwilling to change their ways for fear of falling behind on the ratings treadmill. This sorry state of affairs makes it all the more interesting that the BBC2 should play host to two very different programmes.

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Some good news from Cardiff

"Cymru Gwir Flas" – each year the True Taste of Wales Awards sees a gathering of foodies and technical experts to judge the Welsh food and drink Oscars. It is a good opportunity to see what's new and to reward what is excellent. What's more for someone who spends a lot of time in London, it was interesting to see many old friends and catch up on the gossip. One of the other judges was legendary Italian chef Franco Taruschio who for over twenty years ran the Walnut Tree near Abergavenny (the restaurant is now home to Shaun Hill – equally charming and equally accomplished).

Viajante's bar food bargains

After a period when he turned a warehouse appartment on the Kingsland Road into a wildly successful super club, Nuno Mendes is now steering Viajante to glory. This restaurant is improbably located in the former town hall at Patriot Square E2. Mendes is a charming, quiet, considered sort of chef. He has a red hot pedigree – time at El Bulli, his own place Bacchus in Hoxton, then "The Loft Project" and now Viajante, his most ambitious mission.

And it's a happy 20th birthday to Chutney Mary.

There's nothing like a good birthday party to gladden the heart and in a world where the life expectancy of restaurant projects seems to be declining steeply 20 years is a real milestone. One of the reasons this Kings Road stalwart has become a stalwart is the sensible way that the triumvirate of owners – Namita Panjabi, Camellia Panjabi and Rangit Mathrani - has taken the trouble to re-invent the restaurant every few years. When Chutney Mary opened the aim was to offer the kind of Anglo-Indian food that was enjoyed by Brits during the Raj and the menu listed dishes like Country Captain.

Laconic menus rule!

Sometimes as you press your nose to the glass box or window and scan the menu displayed there the chef's writing style tells you as much as anything else about the kind of food you're going to eat. So here's a little game, take four dishes
A "Set milk with crab, cucumber hearts and beach herbs"
B "Cold roast duck breast, watercress and walnuts"
C "Pressed foie gras with confit and smoked duck, pear carpaccio, cardamom caramel"
D "Slow roasted Bocaddon veal breast with colcannon and grain mustard"

Pétrus A little something from the chef

As declarations of war go the opening of Pétrus in Kinnerton Street is fairly unambiguous. This is the latest restaurant offering from the Gordon Ramsay machine and it bears the same name as the establishment his ex-lieutenant Marcus Wareing used to head up at the Berkeley. Now Wareing cooks under his own name on Wilton Place and Ramsay has set up just around the corner. Let battle commence. The new Pétrus is a suave, sleek, grey-beige space with comfortable chairs, immaculate linen and a vault full of famous name wines at famous name prices.

A delicious presenter or delicious food?

Why should we be surprised that television has become the "Opiate of the People" (to misquote and misinterpret Karl Marx)? The tentacles of the television production companies have a good grip on cooking programmes and recently programme creators have not only been obsessively worshipping reality telly, but unwilling to change their ways for fear of falling behind on the ratings treadmill. This sorry state of affairs makes it all the more interesting that the BBC2 should play host to two very different programmes.

Pages

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