Whey too popular? Foodies angered by crowds at London cheese festival: It was billed as a “fromage-themed extravaganza” but a cheese festival at London’s historic Borough Market left a bad taste in the mouth of many foodies who complained of dangerous overcrowding. More than 18,000 people on Facebook indicated they were going to the free event which took place on Wednesday night and some visitors said the large numbers who turned up, coupled with a lack of organisation, rendered it a disaster.
Restaurant trends for 2017: Michael Whiteman is a striking example of a lifetime well spent in the American hospitality business. Aged 78, with a full head of hair and a wry smile, he created the first edition of Nation’s Restaurant News in New York in 1967. A meeting with the late restaurateur Joe Baum led to their consultancy business, Baum + Whiteman; together they opened Windows on the World and the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. They also introduced the concept of food courts across the world. For the past 10 years, Whiteman has been involved in another project. At the start of each year, he begins to collect information that reflects the changing nature of restaurants in the US and, by November, he will have discerned trends for the coming year. His predictions for 2017 are potentially more inimical to the restaurant business than any published before.
Michel Roux Jr to scrap service charge and increase menu prices: The TV chef Michel Roux Jr has said he will scrap the the service charge on all diners’ bills from the end of January after admitting his Michelin-starred Le Gavroche used the 13% additional fee as revenue rather than sharing it among staff. The former Masterchef judge apologised earlier this week for paying chefs less than the legal minimum wage, as revealed in a Guardian investigation, and announced on Friday that Le Gavroche would mark on bills and menus that no further payment was needed, although customers could still leave a tip if they wished.
Vandals destroy 400,000 bottles of Italian sparkling wine in historic estate ‘sabotage’: An act of sparkling wine skullduggery in northern Italy has left Europe with 400,000 fewer bottles of bubbly. Vandals broke into the centuries-old grounds of the Conte Vistarino winery in the middle of the night and drained refrigerated steel tanks where Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and other white varieties from the 2016 harvest were maturing.
What to drink this Christmas: the red tops: The following wines represent some of the best-priced (not necessarily cheap) reds I enjoyed during the autumn tasting season in London this year. I have divided them geographically — Burgundy dominating this year since it can be such a minefield — and listed them in ascending price order. They are mainly from independent companies, and some of those without retail premises require a minimum purchase of a dozen mixed bottles.