Best courses of 2006

Best courses of 2006 If 2006 has left this restaurant correspondent feeling more than replete and grateful for the job he fell into by chance 17 years ago it is also a year which has left more restaurateurs and chefs happy with their lot. There is no doubt that this year has seen stronger demand, greater interest and, most importantly, a higher spend than any other. A combination of strong economies on either side of the Atlantic; greater global interest in chefs and what they get up to (often excessive,…






Best of 2007

Best of 2007 The black box into which I entrust the menus from the restaurants I have had the good fortune to visit is now overflowing and, thanks to my first trip to Brazil, is replete with more colourful examples than ever before. But before heading back to specific locations, I would like to mention three distinct aspects of the past year: the first a memory; the second an unusual reference; and the third an illuminating comment. The first was the sight of a man, sitting in the expensive stalls…






Favourite Restaurants

Favourite Restaurants Below is a rather pointless list I was asked to come up with in 2004. May be of some interest.. 1. St John, London. For its bar, restaurant and bread. 2. Ballymaloe, Co Cork, Eire. The Allan’s culinary beacon in a stunningly tranquil setting. 3. The Walnut Tree Inn, near Abergavenny, Wales, for unforgettable New Year Day lunches. 4. The Fat Duck, Bray where Heston Blumenthal pushes the boundaries of cooking to extremes. 5. El Bulli, Rosas, Spain. Where Ferran Adria does the same but with a far…






Five best courses of 2002

Five best courses of 2002 Five, as far as food is concerned, is the ideal number. At home to be able to cook for five others plus yourself is perfect, the correct ratio between the input of preparation, time at the stove and washing up on the one hand and the sheer pleasure all this generates. An extra bonus is that six is an ideal number to enjoy a single bottle of wine. And when it comes to eating out, five is certainly the right number of courses. I will…






Favourite Starters

Favourite Starters Another one of these slightly banal lists I was asked to put together but may be of some interest to you. Nick’s top five starters to serve at home: James Baxter’s Morecambe Bay potted shrimps with a small dressed salad and wholemeal toast English asparagus with hollandaise or melted butter A big bowl of clams with or without the spaghetti Ceps a la bordelaise, wild mushrooms (ceps) sautéed with shallots and parsley A really well made soup, ideally a tureen of fish soup with all the trimmings. Five…






Chefs at Christmas

Chefs at Christmas- 2009 Over the next two weeks, most professional chefs will spend more time cooking in their own kitchens at home than in the high-spec environments of their restaurants, where they are surrounded by a brigade of chefs, all the latest equipment and are under constant pressure for the next busy lunch or dinner service. I took this opportunity to ask five chefs from England, the US, France, Brazil and Singapore what they would miss the most while cooking at home. Was it a particular machine? Was it…