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5 posts from May 2008

28 May 2008

Matthew Tomkinson to leave The Goose

I was more than a little disappointed to open my email and find a press release announcing that Matthew Tomkinson is leaving The Goose.

Earlier this year, Tomkinson won his first Michelin star at The Goose and in my opinion it was well deserved. Only the other day I was contemplating a trip back there for some decent nosh and a bit of a chat with Matthew.

He however won't be there, as he's now leading the team at the Montagu Arms Hotel. Via email he's told me that it was an amicable departure and he'd worked out his notice, last day was yesterday.

He aims to do for the Montagu Arms what he did for The Goose. On the basis of my meal the burghers of Beaulieu (and their Bentley's) are in for a treat.

I hope his new employer's give him the head room to achieve what he wants. Chefs and hotels have notoriously rocky relationships. It bodes well that Shaun Hill is a consultant to the Montagu.

From the tone of his email to me, Matthew is clearly upbeat about the move, so I wish him all the best. On a selfish note, it's a bugger for me because Beaulieu is considerably further from home than Watlington.

20 May 2008

Opinionated About Dining Survey now online

I didn't do Steve Plotnicki's Opinionated About Dining Survey justice in my brief note a few weeks ago.

If you love your food and are happy to pay for it, then this is the guide for you.

The guide's USP is that it is compiled based on the views of people with similar sentiment and cleverly, the more dining experience a reviewer has, the greater weight Steve gives their review.

Although you can access the book in full online, I'd strongly recommend buying a copy if only so it's always in your briefcase/handbag and you can ensure you never visit anywhere in Europe or America, that doesn't have a top ranked restaurant. Although at the moment the guide is only for high-end restaurants, Steve is currently compiling a list of cheaper eats as well.

You can register to become a reviewer here. It's worth doing because the guide's utility will increase, with more well informed diners offering their reviews.

UPDATE: It's well worth reading the overrated list on Opinionated About Dining. It's basically a compilation of those restaurants that the likes of Harden's and Zagat's rate highly, but the OAD survey gives a thumbs down to. I'm surprised to see Pétrus on there - I'm not the only one - but there is an explanation.

16 May 2008

A few dates for your diary

Nom, Nom, Nom is being held this Sunday 18 May.  Organised by Annie Mole of Going Underground Blog and Moo (I love Moo, they're blooming marvellous) and TrustedPlaces, the bizarrely named Nom, Nom, Nom is basically an almighty cook-off between food bloggers, photographers and blaggers with the ultimate aim of raising some money for charity. There are some decent sponsors and the venue looks pretty impressive as well.  Unfortunately I can't make it, but I wish them all the best for the day.  If you're interested in further details, visit the website.

Scoop, which I reckon makes and sells London's best ice-cream by a country mile, are hosting a whole load of events over the summer.  There's a full schedule here but some choice events look like Tutti Frutti on Sunday 25 May - fruit flavoured ice creams will predominate.  I've had a few of their fruit flavours, the sour cherry is sublime, I implore you to taste the lime, it's astounding.  It veers dangerously close to being addictive and I reckon would be great served in a savoury dish, something Thai perhaps.  The fruits of the forest is pretty good as well.  Another event is on Sunday 13 July and goes under the title Molecular Gelato.  From what it says on their website, it looks like the Scoop team are bringing Mrs Marshall's ice-cream to Covent Garden.

05 May 2008

Alinea Mosaic goes live today

I mentioned a while ago that I had pre-ordered the Alinea cookbook (now available on Amazon as well). In the same post I referred to the website dedicated to the book. The website is called Alinea Mosaic and has gone live today.

From a quick look around, the website gives members access to recipes, a forum to allow discussion, the ability to purchase Alinea cookware and videos on how they do things - such as their pineapple and bacon dish. My only gripe with the site at this stage is that they need to sort out the colour palette they are using. Grey writing on a black background is not easy to read. Or maybe I need to go to Specsavers?

As both a food lover and a geek, I find it very interesting how they are combining the web and the book and are quite clear that the two complement each other but don't serve the same purpose. They state that the book is intended as a more formal expression of Grant Achatz's cooking at Alinea, whereas the website will be "rougher round the edges" and will be an ongoing work in progress. With any luck, that means interaction between restaurant staff, including Achatz and members of the site.

I mentioned in my original post that it seems we're going to have a face-off between The Big Fat Duck Cookbook and the Alinea Cookbook and that has been confirmed today. According to the email I received from Alinea, the book is due out in October. According to Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Fat Duck book, it is due out in October as well.

04 May 2008

Olive Magazine & Dizengoff

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Tony Naylor for the BBC's Olive Magazine. It was for a feature in this month's magazine about bloggers' favourite but unknown restaurants.

Mine was Dizengoff. I've never done a full on review of the restaurant, which is a bit remiss because it's the restaurant I visit most frequently. I'll let the Olive article be a proxy for my review, as I really don't have time to write one now. Suffice to say though that for simple grilled meat, with fresh salads, I love Dizengoff. Given the tone of the article, I thought the photo accompanying the article (a dessert) was a bit of a non-sequituir. I've never eaten a dessert there, so am not in a position to express a view one way or the other.

You can download a pdf of the article here.

Google Maps
Google Earth (download)

Dizengoff, 118 Golders Green Road, London, NW11 8HB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8458 7003

What others think

Time Out - Dizengoff's is (sic) producing some great meals