It's going to be a very merry Christmas this year for seven homeless youngsters whose raw talent and enthusiasm scooped them jobs with Wahaca who've teamed up with the Prince's Trust. Warms the very cockles of your heart, doesn't it?

Sadly, the festive season isn't quite so merry for Gordon Ramsay. El Gordo this week admitted defeat as he pulled out of New York - apparently high staffing costs wer…

Read more: Christmas cheer at Wahaca while Selfridges keep rooftop restaurant open

5 minutes with Simon Hoggart

Hot Dinners finds out from The Spectator's wine correspondent Simon Hoggart, how to order the right wines when going out to eat

Read more: 5 minutes with Simon Hoggart

The Spanish restaurant Camino is a rare thing indeed in King's Cross - a decent bar and restaurant.  Happily doing business for a few years in the Regent's Quarter (opposite the old Scala), Camino is now expanding just across the courtyard.

Launching on 19 March is Bar Pepito, a small Andalusian 'bodega', which specialises in Sherry.  Of course, the stuff on offer at Pepito will be a damn sight be…

Read more: Camino opening new King's Cross sherry bar

In Marylebone last night for the launch of Simon Hoggart's new book (more of which later), Hot Dinners took a detour by way of posh kitchen store Divertimenti. There we bumped into another book promoter, Atul Kochhar, who was there with copies of his latest title, Fish Indian Style.

Things are looking up for Kochhar, who's been on enforced leave since a fire closed down his restaurant Benares, bac…

Read more: Atul Kochhar reveals Benares re-opening date

It’s been six of one, half a dozen of the other for the Michelin Guide this week. On the positive side, the guide was given a huge boost when the latest Hong Kong version came out, awarding one of its precious stars to a hole-in-the-wall joint where a tasty dish could be had for as little as 78p. On the downside, a second well-known Italian chef made the news for handing his stars back and refusin…

Read more: Michelin - the best of weeks, the worst of weeks

From glamour to grit – Russell Norman’s journey to the opening of PolpoRussell Norman’s Polpo was one of the first restaurants in London to open by Twitter. Hot Dinners caught up with Russell to find out one why he wants to bring a bit of the West Village to London’s West End.…

Read more: From glamour to grit – Russell Norman’s journey to the opening of Polpo

One of the biggest pieces of restaurant-related news this week was Mark Sargeant resigning from Gordon Ramsay Holdings to work as creative director at The Swan Collection, which runs the Swan at the Globe and the Swan at West Malling, Sargeant's home town.

Who is Sargeant, you may well be asking?  Well, while he may not be known to the average restaurant-goer, he's been Gordon's right hand man and…

Read more: Sargeant's parting from Ramsay and more of the week's news...

Gary Rhodes has been widely touted as being a frontrunner to take over the iconic revolving restaurant at the top of the BT Tower, but it seems the Evening Standard jumped the gun this week when they said the chef was already in talks with BT.

Hot Dinners called up Gary’s agent, Caroline, to clear up the confusion. She told us: 'It's very early days for BT. If they do decide they want to go ahead…

Read more: BT job for Gary Rhodes is far from done deal

It seems to be a particularly busy time for restaurant openings at the moment, and one man is in more demand than anyone.  After the extremely successful opening of Hix in Soho, Mark Hix isn't resting on his laurels.  This week, he announced plans to take over the Gallery Restaurant and Champagne Bar in Selfridges, which will re-open as the Hix Restaurant and Champagne Bar in March 2010.  The spac…

Read more: Selfridges woos Hix, Roux Jnr postpones plus new openings

London chefs may have missed out on the Independent newspaper's top award (chef of the year went to Whatley Manor's Martin Burge), but several of the capital's restaurants, bars and food shops managed to secure an award in the paper's Food and Drink Awards. Terroirs got Best Restaurant, Chez Bruce picked up the Best Wine List, The Goring hotel got Best Breakfast (which Hot Dinners can confirm is o…

Read more: Terroirs wins Independent's Best Restaurant award

Why Oliver wants more - Hot Dinners talks to Oliver Peyton

Oliver Peyton tells Hot Dinners about the things that drive him mad and why he in turn is driven to change the perception of British food abroad…

Read more: Why Oliver wants more - Hot Dinners talks to Oliver Peyton

Its position as London's premier newspaper now assured, with the closures of both The London Paper and London Lite, the London Evening Standard this week published its list of the city's 1000 most influential people, among them 48 foodies it considers to be the creme de la creme. Here's that list in full:

  • Richard Caring
  • Angela Hartnett
  • Sir Terence Conran
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Fergus Henderson
  • Nigella Law…

Read more: London's most influential foodies picked by Standard

Since early summer, rumours have been circulating that top Manhattan chef Daniel Boulud would be joining Heston Blumenthal in opening a restaurant at London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. Well this morning the hotel has finally confirmed the news.

Boulud will be taking over the hotel's Grill restaurant with his bistro and wine bar. Bar Boulud London is expected to open in Spring 2010.

In a press relea…

Read more: Mandarin Oriental confirms Daniel Boulud restaurant

Curiouser and curiouser - no sooner does the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell roundly deny this week's Times exclusive that Bruno Loubet is to open a restaurant there, than someone close to Bruno throws the whole thing open for frenzied speculation again.

The Times first speculated on the 2nd November that former Raymond Blanc man Bruno Loubet would be taking over the restaurant at the Zetter. But when…

Read more: Is Bruno Loubet opening at the Zetter hotel or not?

No doubt bolstered by the continued success of the Restaurant on the Roof at Selfridges, which has already been extended till the end of the month, Pierre Koffman could be considering a permanent return according to Richard Vines at Bloomberg. This is certainly good news for London foodies, given that the pop-up restaurant has been given rave reviews since it has opened.  According to the release,…

Read more: Is Pierre Koffman back in the game full-time?

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