Gastroblog

Conran and Jo Wood head up summer openings

Hot Dinners exclusive

To Taste of London (reviewed here) this week, where Hot Dinners happened upon a pair of top chefs with a lot of good things to say about London diners. First up was Gary Rhodes who was full of brio about eating out in London. ‘London has such a huge variety of restaurants to offer the public,’ he told us. ‘If you go to Paris, you get French cuisine, but if you come to London…

Read more: Conran and Jo Wood head up summer openings

We’re only in the business of writing about restaurants, rather than running them, but having spent a largely fruitless hour or two searching London’s restaurants for special Father’s Day lunch offers or special menus and only coming across two worth mentioning to you, it seems as if London’s restaurateurs are missing a bit of a trick.

It’s not rocket science after all - given the recession we’re…

Read more: Father's Day - the missed opportunity for London restaurants

A really interesting article in the FT this weekend looked into the trickle-down effect restaurant chefs can have on what we culinary footsoldiers find to buy in our butchers, farmers markets and finally supermarkets. When top chefs across America put certain meat cuts like short-ribs and pork belly on to their menus wholesale, it seems these once-humble cuts not only grew in popularity on the hig…

Read more: Why top chefs can be a force for good in the world

If you were one of the foolish/unlucky wage slaves to have to battle the forces of evil to get to your office this morning rather than working (relaxing) at home, you'll be glad to hear that there is an upside to there being a tube strike. Because you made the effort, unlike all your colleagues, to get to the office, you're in a prime position to get into some of the best restaurants in town today…

Read more: Every London tube strike has a silver lining

Apprentice Final boosts restaurant bookings

If you really want to ensure a packed restaurant night after night, the solution is clear, get your owner onto a reality TV show, pronto. Hot Dinners spoke today to Alex, restaurant manager at The Apprentice winner Yasmina Siadatan’s restaurant Mya Lacarte (The world’s worst restaurant name? Discuss it on our forums...), hoping to find out whether Yasmina’s success at winning a job with Sir Alan h…

Read more: Apprentice Final boosts restaurant bookings

We talk to restaurateur Sam Hart

Hot Dinners finds out from Fino owner Sam Hart why now is a brilliant time to open a new restaurant in London…

Read more: We talk to restaurateur Sam Hart

Here at Hot Dinners, we just love the Great British Menu. When it comes to guilty pleasure foodie TV, only Come Dine With Me could beat the joys of watching Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton cast aspersions on each other's ability to know what would make a meal fit for a queen - or in this series's case - a regiment of hungry soldiers back from Afghanistan. So it's with a weary sigh we re…

Read more: Great British menu winners announced for army banquet

Given the column inches that they were able to fill with Heston's recent troubles, it was expected that the media would be on the look out for another restaurant scare.  Quaglino's has certainly provided that, with the mysterious death of a diner from suspected food poisoning, after dining on the restaurant's famed oysters. The restaurant voluntarily shut during the initial investigation, reopenin…

Read more: Death at Quaglino's, Good Food Guide Awards and more...

Break out the champagne – or at least the cava – this is a good news week as far as London's restaurateurs are concerned. It seems as if bookings are on the up. The newly revamped Evening Standard kicked off a week of positive buzz, pointing out a host of restaurants opening in the city over the next six months.  ‘Without doubt since February we’ve seen a modest improvement, ‘ they were told by De…

Read more: London's restaurant scene sees first green shoots of recovery

The biggest news for restaurants this week was the confirmation that from October 2009,  restaurants will be banned from using tips or cover charges to bulk up their waiting staff’s salaries to minimum-wage levels. Instead, all waiters will be paid a proper wage. Does this mean that Londoners will now get waiting staff who as a result of being paid a respectable wage, value their work in the way t…

Read more: Waiters get the best tip ever - plans to spit in soup put on hold

London's best loo owner plans new Roux restaurant

‘It is the intangible magic that grows out of a series of intellectual, practical decisions.’ No we’re not describing the perfect plate of steak and chips – this was one of the loftier soundbites on the importance of design excellence that emerged when a group of aesthetes came together in London this week for the inaugural Restaurant and Bar Design awards (click here to see a splendid self-congra…

Read more: London's best loo owner plans new Roux restaurant

British chefs have been in a punchy mood this week, if you believe the media, who've been standing around the likes of Blumenthal, Ramsay and Wareing shouting 'Fight! Fight!'. Clearly it hasn't been a good week for Ramsay who has probably developing a fear of lists as we write this. Not only did Gordon fall off the Sunday Times Rich List, only to be replaced by Jamie Oliver, but he also lost his s…

Read more: Is Heston Blumenthal moving to London?

Clearly the newhounds loved the way the Heston Blumenthal story helped to fill valuable column inches with something other than the credit crunch, as they've been playing close attention to Gordon Ramsay for a follow up story.  First off, they seemed happy to cast aspersions on his finances especially when he sold his much-touted French outpost, but it wasn't too long before a much better story ca…

Read more: Gordon Ramsay's clingfilm and more...

Forget about Michelin-starred chefs and their high-end fripperies, this week's foodie heroine is indisputably Gill Holcome, whom the Mail this week dubs the No Money Nigella. We love the 'it may be a recession read but that's no reason why my book can't have an unfeasibly long title' book title How to feed your whole family a healthy, balanced diet with very little money and hardly any time, even…

Read more: News Round up - 17 March 09

Out in the countryside.....
Heston Blumenthal has been given the go-ahead to re-open the Fat Duck. According to Bloomberg, the restaurant which has been shut since Wednesday 25th February will open its doors to diners tomorrow.

'The Health Protection Agency and the local environmental health office have given us the all-clear to open the restaurant tomorrow, said Heston. 'While they are still await…

Read more: News Round up - 11 March 09

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