Gastroblog

Gastroblog

London Restaurant Festival press launch report

Although Mayor Boris had to send his apologies, the press launch for the London Restaurant Festival had an impressive turn-out this morning with no less than 25 of the city’s best chefs turning up in support. Hot-dinners spotted the likes of Richard Corrigan and Angela Hartnett to Tom Aiken, Racine’s Henry Harris, Pierre Koffman, Mark Hix and many others as they mingled for a photo-call in Covent…

Read more: London Restaurant Festival press launch report

It's been a week of notable awards with the Harden's 2010 restaurant awards and Olive Magazine's Alternative Restaurant Awards both being announced. Now you can get in on the action. The nomination period for the Readers' Choice award in the National Restaurant Awards is now open, so get voting!

Of course, the biggest story that the press got from the Harden's awards was about the drubbing that Go…

Read more: Awards galore and the weekly news round-up

We're tired of the same old, same old restaurant awards - so three cheers for foodie title Olive magazine which has come up with an Alternative Restaurant Awards 2009 with categories that go beyond yawnsome fields such as Best Chef and Best Newcomer.

The magazine picked 50 winners in total (restaurants and chefs) in 34 categories which were decided and judged by a panel made up of the olive team a…

Read more: Olive magazine launch their Alternative Restaurant Awards

Where does one of the UK's top pizza chefs choose to eat Italian in London?

hot-dinners.com headed for Holborn last week where we did a test-run of Pizza Express's low-call Leggera pizzas (yes, we know it's a tough job, but someone has to do it). Whilst there, we found out the answer to the above question, by grabbing a word with the pizza chain's head chef Antonio Romani.

'I go to a lot of Italia…

Read more: Which of London's Italian restaurants does a top Pizza chef rate?

2009 looks to be an annus mirabilis for Angela Hartnett, as her Mayfair restaurant Murano gets voted Best Newcomer by restaurant-goers in the 2010 edition of Harden's London Restaurants which is published today. It's another goose feather in her cap for Hartnett, who just last month, picked up the prestigious Catey Award for Top Chef. Murano is also shortlisted in the 2009 Time Out Awards.

Over 80…

Read more: Angela Hartnett's Murano tops Harden's 2010 Guide

A couple of interesting upcoming restaurant openings hit the hot-dinners.com radar in the past few days – most notable of which is the news that thrice-Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck is heading to our fair city to open his first restaurant outside Italy. Beck made his international reputation at the Cavalieri hotel’s La Pergola restaurant – it’s the only Roman restaurant to have the coveted thre…

Read more: Top Rome chef Heinz Beck heads for London's Lanesborough

The biggest news this week is that, according to a report released by Harden's, London restaurants are currently defying the  recession as restaurant closures are at their lowest rate since 2000. This is obviously good news, but we can't help notice other reports suggesting thst new restaurants are still having diffulculty getting investors while existing ones are advised to tighten their purse st…

Read more: London restaurants defy recession - or do they..?

The credit crunch's effect has widened to include this year's Time Out magazine Restaurant Awards, resulting in the creation of two new categories to please its sponsors - the Spanish Tourist Board - Best Spanish Restaurant and Best Spanish Wine List (which we didn't have the space/energy/sponsorship money to show here. Mind you, we do have to admit a conflict of interest - ever since the magazine…

Read more: Time Out Restaurant Awards 2009 Shortlist Announced

Heston gets a perfect 10
Heston Blumenthal has made up for all the bad news earlier this year with a slew of positive stories, the latest of which is that, for the second year running, The Fat Duck has scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in the 2010 edition of The Good Food Guide. Coming a close second with 9/10 is Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road establishment. Guide Editor Elizabeth Carter said: ‘It’s bee…

Read more: Fat Duck scores perfect 10 in 2010 Good Food Guide

Could this be the best value dinner in Mayfair?

Hot Dinners was invited to test the wares, as it were, at the May Fair Bar on Berkeley Street. Hailing from the northern parts of the city, and not having a trust fund to interest the merchants of Mayfair with, we haven't been down this way for a while and were pleasantly surprised by both the buzz and the warmth of our welcome.

Like most other Londoners we've often left a restaurant of an evening…

Read more: Could this be the best value dinner in Mayfair?

There could be such a thing as a free dinner...
Fay Maschler reveals more information about the upcoming London Restaurant Festival in today’s Evening Standard, including the particularly cheering idea of Lucky Dice restaurants, where you can gamble on the chance of a free meal. There’s also talk of gourmet trips on Routemaster buses and a special Sunday Lunch for 400 ticketholders at Leadenhall ma…

Read more: Fay Maschler reveals how to get a free meal out

A couple of departures from the London restaurant scene were revealed this week.

First off - Eric Chavot is to leave the The Capital restaurant.  After ten years and two Michelin stars, he's looking to take some time away from the kitchen. What will this mean to the future of the restaurant?  Hot Dinners has learned that David Levin, chairman of the Capital group, will be announcing his plans for…

Read more: Eric Chavot and Ambassade de L'Ile take their leave...

It's fair to say that Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay weren't on each other's Christmas card list last year.  About a year ago, with an acrimonious split at Petrus in the offing, Wareing hit out at Ramsay during an interview with Waitrose magazine saying, among other things,  "If I never speak to that guy for the rest of my life, it wouldn't bother me one bit."  At the time, especially considerin…

Read more: Wareing admits fault in legendary Ramsay bust-up

Lucky, lucky bankers. Not only are they already back earning squillions with their big bonuses, but they’re also the intended guests at a seriously high-end charity banquet where top chefs will cook up a storm in the kitchen at No 1 Lombard followed by a wine auction with rare vintages supplied by Christies. But hold up – a seat at the event on 10 October costs £160, which we think for dinner crea…

Read more: Heston, Angela and Fergus cosy up for charity

Hot Dinners bumped into TV chef Phil Vickery this week doing, of all things, a promotion for Aldi’s range of Christmas food. We couldn’t help asking him whether he’d ever think of opening his own restaurant in town to which he answered: ‘It’s too much money and even Mark Hix says you can’t live off it. If you open a restaurant, he says you should open the back door, pour your money into a big pile…

Read more: Phil Vickery really doesn't want to open a restaurant

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