Escape to Valletta: Culinary delights in the next European Capital of Culture: Valletta is one of Europe’s most diminutive cities. Bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, ravaged by extremes of weather and world war, Malta’s small jewel of a capital is also the furthest south – a historical comeback kid that continues to punch above its weight, as it has done for centuries.
Le Cinq Paris: Restaurant Review: There is only one thing worse than being served a terrible meal: being served a terrible meal by earnest waiters who have no idea just how awful the things they are doing to you are. And so, to the flagship Michelin three-star restaurant of the George V Hotel in Paris, or the scene of the crime as I now like to call it. In terms of value for money and expectation Le Cinq supplied by far the worst restaurant experience I have endured in my 18 years in this job. This, it must be said, is an achievement of sorts.
Food has replaced music as culturally central, at least for America’s professional class: Restaurants are increasingly an organizing and revitalizing force in our cities, and eating out has continued to rise as a means of socializing. America’s educated professional class may be out of touch with sports and tired of discussing the weather, and so trading information about new or favorite restaurants, or recipes and ingredients, has become one of the new all-purpose topics of conversation. Food is a relatively gender-neutral topic, and furthermore immigrant newcomers can be immediately proud of what they know and have eaten.
What’s With ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?’ The annual list of the world’s top establishments has acquired prestige and attracted justified criticism. The 2017 iteration of the annual dining award list known as the World’s 50 Best Restaurants was announced in the newly trendy international dining destination of Melbourne, Australia, on April 5. The first place winner was New York City’s own Eleven Madison Park, knocking Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy, down to second place. (In 2016, Bottura’s restaurant had supplanted the Roca brothers’ El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, in Spain’s Catalonia region, now in third place.) This is the first time a New York City restaurant has taken top honors, though another American establishment, The French Laundry, held the position in 2003 and 2004 (it now languishes in the associated 51-100 list, at No. 68).
The truth of Mr 50 Best: In two days’ time, on Wednesday 5th April in Melbourne, during Wine and Food Festival, we’ll find out if Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana is still at No. 1 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It was at the top last year in New York, who knows what’s next. Meanwhile, we interviewed the group editor at the World’s 50 Best, William Drew. He was born in Hampshire, England, in December 1971. Married, with three sons, he lives in Kent, an hour from London. A graduate in Politics, he has a post-graduate diploma in Journalism. He has over 20 years’ experience as journalist, writer and editor, primarily in magazines. He started working in the food and wine field 8-10 years ago, and has been working primarily in this field for the last 7 years.
Cooking Lessons: Disillusioned with fine dining, one of the world’s great chefs took on fast food. It has been harder than he ever imagined: A little over a year ago, in a small building at the corner of East 103rd Street and Anzac Avenue in South Los Angeles, chef Daniel Patterson zigzagged among trainees in the bright clean kitchen of what was about to become Locol, the fast-food restaurant with a mission. Patterson was 47 years old, bone-pale and wiry, and among the most creative American chefs of his generation. He owned five restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and had another on the way. He was also one of the cool kids of international fine dining, invited to speak at the most prestigious culinary conferences and part of a circle of friends that includes the Italian chef Massimo Bottura, the Danish chef René Redzepi, and the Australian chef Ben Shewry, owners of, respectively, the restaurants currently ranked first, fifth, and 33rd in the world.
What Le Gavroche served at its 50th birthday lunch: Many of the chefs at the lunch to celebrate Le Gavroche 50th started their careers with the Roux family. Michel Roux Jr paid tribute to his father Albert and uncle Michel who started the restaurant in Lower Sloane Street in 1967 whilst thanking his staff present and past. Among the guests at the celebratory lunch were Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti, Sat Bains, Rowley Leigh along with writers Jay Rayner and Tom Parker Bowles with suppliers and other friends.
Jonathan Meades on culinary plagiarism: The writer has created an ‘anti-cookbook’, with recipes inspired by the ideas of others. Here, he interrogates himself about why all cooking is a form of plagiarism
Perpetuating a Legacy in the Modern Day Business of Wine in Italy: In recent days, in Tuscany, there were some terrific thunderstorms. Along with the rain, hail fell from the heavens. Not exactly an “under the Tuscan Sun” moment. But just as I wrote these words, the sun poked its head out through the steel gray clouds. Over the period of 30 hours, with full immersion (and submersion, as the case may be), I had the opportunity to sit and talk with three Tuscan families about their wine business. And the overriding (if not overtly intended) dilemma they all expressed to me was that of their family legacy in the business of wine.
How Shipwrecked Champagne Is Changing Winemaking: In 2010 Dominique Demarville, cellar master for the champagne house Veuve Clicquot, got what he thought was a joke call: 168 bottles of likely the world’s oldest champagne had been found in a shipwreck beneath the Baltic Sea.