Richard Bigg is such a larger than life character that even his name could have been dreamt up by some Hollywood talent agency. Which is quite appropriate as his life would make for one of those cracking biopics, such are the wide and varied things he has done in what is still only a relatively short career. We might all know him as arguably kicking into life the whole Spanish and tapas dining scene in the UK, with his Camino group of restaurants, but, as Richard Siddle discovers there is so much more to who on the surface seems so quiet and unassuming.
Winning the prestigious Roux Scholarship is a road to international stardom. For the 2018 winner Martin Carabott it is a route that follows last year’s winner Lucas Selby into the much-anticipated Hide restaurant, Ollie Dabbous’ new joint-venture with Hedonism Wines that is promising the “world’s largest selection of wine” at your fingertips. Our own Michelin Star chef Roger Jones was at last week’s event.
Our roving Michelin star chef has announced plans to open his second restaurant in Wiltshire with the contemporary twist of it being totally non-alcoholic. With a working name of The High & Dry, the new eaterie will be combining the Michelin-star cuisine of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn with fruit juices, cordials and soft drinks, in one case even using Irun-Bru in the cooking. Please note this story was written and published on April 1.
Can the spirit of a Catalonian Vermouth bar ever be recreated in North London? That’s the question wine expert Mike Turner asks. He recalls his first experience of a Vermouth bar in Barcelona, gets enthusiastic about it in his customary way, then wonders whether he can recreate the drink and the atmosphere in La Ferme, a new restaurant he has opened in North London’s Primrose Hill district.
Gerard Basset MW MS has been putting his mark on the UK hospitality industry ever since he first came to this country as a fresh faced culinary student in the early 1980s. This week it was the turn of the French to recognise all the achievements he has made promoting his country’s wines in the […]
There are Michelin star chefs renown the world over for their excellence in what they can put on a plate, but few have the interest, let alone the commitment and drive to challenge themselves to understand the wines they can match with them. Roger Jones is a breed apart as he reports from South Africa on the sparkling wine competition he set up that pitted local sparklers up against the best of the rest of the world.
Edinburgh has such a rich choice of restaurants and bars it can be hard for any new opening to stand out, but, as Helen Arnold discovers, premium Italian wine company, Zonin, hopes to make a difference with the launch of a new hotel dedicated to wine in a new venture with local celebrated chef, Sep Marini, called The Wine House 1821, the year Zonin was founded.
South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are used to pitting their wits against each other with the annual Tri Nations rugby tournament. Michelin star chef Roger Jones decision to re-invent a Tri Nations Challenge for the country’s wine producers is equally as competitive. Even more so when a guest country is introduced. Here he reports back on the recent South Africa vs California winemaker challenge he hosted at The Vineyard Hotel at Stockcross.
When tennis star, Rafael Nadal, is looking for some home comforts whilst competing in London he heads to Cambio de Terco, widely respected and coveted for creating some of the most authentic Spanish food in the city. That’s all thanks to Abel Lusa who has been pioneering the Spanish food and wine scene in the UK since he first arrived from his native Rioja in 2003. So who better to receive the “Outstanding Contribution” recognition at the recent Rioja Recognises awards from Wines of Rioja.
When you tell friends that you basically buy and sell wine for a living it’s hard to get sympathy for the long hours and hard toil that involves. Which is why it’s always nice to be singled out and rewarded for your efforts. Which is what the Rioja Recognises initiative is all about. Celebrating individuals and businesses that are going the extra mile to support the region. In the first of a series of interviews we profile each of this year’s winners starting with the on-trade operator award that went to the ETM Group and its group wine buyer, Guillaume Mahaut.
Douglas Ankrah has always been at the cutting edge of the London bar scene, opening up LAB bar in 1999 and later Townhouse. Ankrah was also the inventor of the Pornstar Martini, of course, a drink that he launched as a ready-serve earlier this year, and which he still wants to set the record straight about…like, there is nothing sexual about it. At all.
Who better to give an insight in to the latest trends within German wine, particularly in terms of what diners are drinking, than Gus Pollard of 10 Cases in Covent Garden that only ever buys 10 cases of any particular wine and when it’s gone, it’s gone. German or not. Pollard was also one of the judges for the upcoming Get it On tasting that will highlight the best 50 German wines looking to find a place on restaurants and bars wine lists.
Joan Roca, head chef of El Celler de Can Roca, twice-ranked number one in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, delivered a rare masterclass to the top chefs of Scotland. In it he revealed why he operates a split-shift system in his restaurant, how El Celler’s 70,000-strong wine cellar informs his cuisine and how you go about making a dessert that celebrates a home goal by Lionel Messi.
When he’s not busy running M Restaurant’s launch site in Threadneedle Street in the City, Zack Charilaou is happy relaxing with his young family and chilling out to Luther Vandross. Here he shares what he has been up to this summer and how he is enjoying living up to the challenge of constantly finding new ways to give his guests fresh experiences and ever better hospitality.
Has there been more globetrotting member of the wine trade than Joe Fattorini in the last 12 months? As one of the presenters of ITV’s The Wine Show, which he has just finished filming a second series of, Fattorini has been here, there and everywhere quipping lines to camera. So what does he get up to when he’s back home and planning a summer holiday?
Whichever way the residents of Twickenham voted in the EU referendum they have got Brexit to thank for the imminent arrival of M Restaurants new M Bar & Grill concept. For it was only on the back of the Brexit vote that founder Martin Williams abandoned plans to open a third large venue in central London in favour of starting a new grill concept that could take premium dining to key London commuter towns. Richard Siddle joins Williams on a site visit of his new exciting venture a stone throw’s from the home of English rugby.
As we head in to August we thought it was time to reflect on the year so far with some key figures from the premium on-trade, to see how they see the world, their highs and lows for 2017 so far, what they hope to achieve in the rest of the year, and, what they are doing for their summer holidays. First up is Mark Andrew co-founder of Noble Rot restaurant and magazine.
Despite its reputation as one of Yorkshire’s leading pubs and restaurants, The Hinchliffe at Hebden Bridge, pulled off a coup when it convinced larger than life Manchester chef, Robert Owen Brown, to cross the Pennines and look to bring his classic, British dishes to a new Yorkshire audience. Shirley Kumar caught up with him in between increasingly busy services.
Last week Ben Walton of Ben’s Canteen hooked up with wine writer and PR consultant, Christina Rasmussen and regular contributor to The Buyer, to host a tasting with a difference: based on wines made by women winemakers. It proved a great success. Here we rewind the clock to when Christina and Ben first got to know each other whilst she interviewed him for an article looking at a business driven by burgers, wine and brunch. In that order…
Jack Dickinson, sommelier at TV chef’s Mark Greenaway’s eponymous Edinburgh restaurant, may only be 22, but he’s certainly got his head firmly screwed on when it comes to managing the restaurant’s 170-plus wine list. Helen Arnold talks to him about what inspires him and making sure he keeps traditional Old World customers happy as well as listing exciting new wines from Turkey, Lebanon and Armenia.