Fine Dining

Chef Profile: Michel Roux, Jr.

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Junior, 51, is owner Le Gavroche in Mayfair. He also runs two of London’s other leading restaurants: Roux at Parliament Square and Roux at Langham Hotel. He is the son of Albert Roux and the nephew of Michel Roux – two of the world’s most celebrated chefs. Between service, he also finds time to present BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals. We sat down with Michel to discuss the evolution of food, his culinary pet hates, and his favourite London restaurant. You’re one of the world’s leading chefs – was it always meant to be? I always wanted to be a chef and I couldn’t imagine being anything…

Bowcliffe Hall & The Yorke Arms

As I continue to rack up the years like tree rings laced with gin and bittersweet symphonies, I am constantly reminded of the ever-increasing gap between the young and the no-so-young. This widening fissure between generations presents itself more often in the usage of phrases that my grandparents taught me when I was growing up. After all, the language we use in our formative years becomes our cultural lexicon. So, when I say to you that Jonathan Turner is ‘salt of the earth’, I expect those of you without the knowledge of the term to research it, whether you are scholarly or not. Established in 1919, in Leeds, by a…

La Patata

Occasionally, whilst reviewing a restaurant, you come across a story that adds a real insight into the passion behind a business. Then, once in a while, you find one which really touches your soul. Having dined at La Patata, a classical family restaurant in Lenzerheide, we were introduced to Giancomo. The restaurant was his brother’s love and life’s work. Unfortunately, five years earlier, he was killed in the valley, in an avalanche. Giancomo took the view that, because the restaurant was, as he says, ‘his brother’s life’, the building should go to the employees. It now stands as a fitting tribute, and his brother’s dream lives on. Being towards the…

Palm, SW1

I was looking forward to Palm, mainly because of its ethnicity: an American steakhouse in London. Steak is properly Yankee. Where the French do poncey fillet mignon, America serves cuts of beef that are bigger than a trucker’s steering wheel. I’d recently been eating pokey bits of meat with dribbles of sauce, so was ready to tuck a table cloth into my shirt collar and tackle an animal in gravy; something I’d have to dislocate my jaw to eat. The menu is definitely, definitively American. Everything is bigger and better, like Toys ‘R’ Us on a plate. To start, we shared jumbo shrimp and calamari fritti. The portions were perfect….

Gaucho Tower Bridge

I think that, sadly, it might be time to get off my soapbox. I have pontificated over the health benefits of red meat for some months now and perhaps my electoral candidate sermonising is becoming tiresome to our weary readership. Well, tough I say to the honourable gentleman (waves countryside alliance membership card in the air). Firstly, let’s clear something up: I do not have membership to the CA, not because I don’t support what they stand for, but because I don’t live in the countryside. Having returned some months ago from a central London restaurant review, I decided to do the unthinkable; I posted some snaps of my meal…

Cinnamon Kitchen, EC2

We got escorted off the premises of Cinnamon Kitchen the other day. The lady and I were frogmarched to the roadside by the scruffs of our necks and admonished for doing the unimaginable, the abominable, the detestable: smoking. It was like being back at school. There we were, two grown adults, merrily imbibing the night, suddenly cut down by these health fascists. I understand not smoking next to the front door, but in an empty seating area? C’mon, guys, don’t cack on free choice. Other restaurants would be thankful to have a drippingly cool couple who think they’re Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall smoking outside. This is Shoreditch, after all….