Gastroblog

Gastroblog

There’s been a lot of chat on Twitter about the launch of Cantina Laredo in London – mainly speculation about this upmarket Mexican restaurant chain’s pricey guacamole. Hot Dinners accepted an invitation to try the Covent Garden branch out to see if it could live up to the price tag.

The first (of many?) UK outpost for this American chain, Cantina Laredo bills itself as a gourmet Mexican experienc…

Read more: Cantina Laredo and the £7 guacamole

Alas, there's been more bad news for Gordon Ramsay over the past week.  First off there was the announcement regarding the latest chef to leave his empire. James Durrant, the Executive Chef of Maze has left to "take some time out" according to Caterer Search.  A replacement for Durrant is yet to be announced, and the restaurant is still recovering from losing Jason Atherton a few months back.

Next…

Read more: Ramsay's nightmares continue while Heston's year gets even better...

Roux at Parliament Square - traditional, but good

Michel Roux Jnr’s new place just opposite the House of Commons has polarised the critics.  The first wave decried it for being too old-fashioned, too staid while the latter reviews mainly heralded it for its unabashed traditionalist approach to fine French food. Having been invited to try dinner there, Hot Dinners can see a little of both sides – but on balance we’re coming down on the side of th…

Read more: Roux at Parliament Square - traditional, but good

Can Jamie Oliver make The Ivy's director a TV star?He's already a well-known face to any regular at the Ivy restaurant, now Caprice Holdings Director Fernando Peire is trying his hand at television. Peire's the star of a new pilot show, being made by Jamie Oliver's TV production company, called The Restaurant Inspector. He's been spending time trying to turn a Ramsgate bistro into a destination restaurant. The bistro in question hadn't been named,…

Read more: Can Jamie Oliver make The Ivy's director a TV star?

The government may be dissing his work with school dinners, but his peers still think Jamie Oliver is doing the right thing. The chef has just been voted the UK's most powerful and influential person in the UK hospitality industry by trade title Caterer Search.

'Oliver clinched the top spot because of his influence and reach across the industry,' explains the magazine. 'He is a chef, restaurateur,…

Read more: Jamie Oliver tops list of food world's movers and shakers

Watching the world row by at the Bingham

Earlier this year, in the announcement of the Michelin awards for 2010, there was a surprise new entry in the form of newcomers for London which had slipped under most people's radar. The Bingham, a boutique hotel in Richmond, had been awarded a Michelin star when many more famous central London restaurants has been left off the list. Invited to try out the restaurant, Hot Dinners took up the off…

Read more: Watching the world row by at the Bingham

Gordon Ramsay restaurant review is the inspiration behind new horror film

He may have had to close one of his gastropubs this week, but Gordon Ramsay should take heart that he's still a source of inspiration in America. Only it's not to the catering industry, but the film industry. In an interview in the New York Observer, Joe Maggio, the writer/director of a new horror film explains that it was former New York Times food critic's Frank Bruni's lacklustre review of Rams…

Read more: Gordon Ramsay restaurant review is the inspiration behind new horror film

It’s been rumoured for a while that TV chef Silvena Rowe would be launching a restaurant at the celebrity haunt, May Fair Hotel. Now we hear from industry title Caterer Search that the restaurant has been confirmed and will open later this year.

Rowe's restaurant, which may or may not be called Quince, will apparently have an Eastern-Mediterranean menu. But if you want to get a clearer idea you co…

Read more: Silvena Rowe to open restaurant in the May Fair Hotel

Just weeks ahead of the opening of his new restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel, Pierre Koffmann has just picked up a lifetime achievement award from the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Koffmann was given the Craft Guild's Special Award, which recognises a great ambassador for culinary arts. Past winners have included Heston Blumenthal, the Roux Brothers and Marco Pierre White.

Other winners on the night includ…

Read more: Koffmann and Galvin pick up awards from Craft Guild of Chefs

Gordon Ramsay puts his Chiswick gastropub up for saleOne of the big stories today was the decision by Gordon Ramsay to close his pub in Chiswick, The Devonshire. However, a quick Google on the subject reveals this may looks like a story almost 18 months in the making.

Back at the beginning of 2009, deep in the heart of the recession, the Evening Standard published an article revealing that Ramsay had already earmarked The Devonshire as one of two ven…

Read more: Gordon Ramsay puts his Chiswick gastropub up for sale

Restaurant Design, Gwyneth's River Cafe day and food bloggers

The most beautiful restaurant in London?

The 2010 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards were announced this week and London restaurants picked up five gongs - pretty good considering there were nearly 400 entries from over 38 countries.

The overall winner in the Best Restaurant category was Galvin La Chapelle. The restaurant's designers were Design LSM who converted the Grade II 19th Century Foundatio…

Read more: Restaurant Design, Gwyneth's River Cafe day and food bloggers

Nuno Mendes Interview - chatting with the chef behind Viajante

He's the man behind supercool foodie venue The Loft Project and the chef who took over two years to get his next restaurant, Viajante, just how he wanted it. Hot Dinners meets Nuno Mendes.…

Read more: Nuno Mendes Interview - chatting with the chef behind Viajante

Savoy Grill and River Restaurant reopening date set for October

Update: The news today (5 October 2010) is that while the Savoy itself will open on Sunday10 October - the restaurants' openings have now been set for 29 November 2010.

After what seems like the longest renovation in history (although it’s actually been less than three years) we finally hear that there’s a reopening date for The Savoy. Not a pencilled-in, hopeful kind of date, but a proper write i…

Read more: Savoy Grill and River Restaurant reopening date set for October

Early August opening for new Locatelli restaurant in Pimlico

Strolling through Regent’s Park at the weekend for Taste of London, Hot Dinners bumped into Giorgio Locatelli, taking a break from the slicing machine at Reffetorio. He was, it seems, pretty pleased to be there.

‘It’s a lovely thing to do isn’t it?’ Giorgio told us, adding he wasn’t short of volunteers to help out on the Reffetorio stand. ‘The boys love to come – it’s quite easy to persuade them t…

Read more: Early August opening for new Locatelli restaurant in Pimlico

Our pick of the 2010 Taste of London Festival dishes and stalls

The Hot Dinners' team spent eight long hours in the field this week - Regent's Park to be exact - to bring you a guide to the best of this year's Taste of London Festival. Here's our pick of the best festival dishes from the restaurants attending, and the food and wine stalls you shouldn't miss:

Dishes:

Top pick: Launceston Place’s Dish 2: Spit roast Old Spot suckling pig and black summer truffles…

Read more: Our pick of the 2010 Taste of London Festival dishes and stalls

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