Gastroblog

Gastroblog

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

First London restaurant festival launches...

We first reported the plans back in May, and now the London Restaurant Festival has been officially launched today by Boris, and will be chaired by Evening Standard food critic Fay Maschler and Simon Davis.  A big effort appears to have been spent in making this a major event in any Londoner's diary, with events including:

  • A (hopefully) star-studded party hosted by Vanity Fair at Quaglinos
  • Top ch…

Read more: First London restaurant festival launches...

Interview with Michael Caines

Hot Dinners talks Michelin stars and business savvy with Gidleigh Park's chef Michael Caines and finds out where a two-Michelin-starred chef eats out when he's in London…

Read more: Interview with Michael Caines

Now we were going to lead this week’s news with the entirely proper and grown-up news item about Angela Hartnett’s big award. But then we read this story about Britain’s Got Talent star Stavros Flatley being booked to perform a series of gigs at The Real Greek restaurants for the not inconsiderable sum of £100k. Dinner and a floor show – now that’s what we call a good night out. We’ll bring you mo…

Read more: Stavros Flatley to perform at the Real Greek

Richard Vines at Bloomberg has managed to get some more information about Heston Blumenthal's new venture at the Mandarin Oriental from the man himself.

In a new interview, Heston tells him that the new venture will be offering a type of menu that's somewhere between the Fat Duck and the Hinds Head gastropub (opposite the Fat Duck and also owned by Heston). It seems that the 140 covers possible at…

Read more: Heston's London venture to be "upmarket bistro"

Heston’s London-bound in as Foliage closes

As first reported by Hot Dinners back in April, Heston Blumenthal officially confirmed this week that he'll be opening a restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. A spokesperson for the hotel told Hot Dinners that as a result, ‘Foliage, The Park and the Terrace will close in the second quarter of 2010 in order that we can begin to develop a ne…

Read more: Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental exclusive and more...

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

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