We’re bang in the middle of sleepy summer and you’re probably dying to get out there and soak up those rays (ha!) so this time we’re making it snappy and bringing you a round-up of watercooler news and gossip:
Obviously the sight of our cities burning has not been a cause for celebration, but it has prompted a good-news impulse from restaurants offering ‘post-riot’ promotions to encourage you back on to the streets and through their doors. So far Leon and Giraffe are on board – keep your eyes peeled for more and support (what’s left of) your high street.
The latest edition of the Good Food Guide hit the streets – you may or may not be surprised that Jason Atherton’s new restaurant, Pollen Street Social, was named Best New UK Restaurant and came a not-too-shabby eighth in the top 50. Congratulations to Jason; you better start booking now…
Leeds is leading the way in the service industry: ‘Create’, is employing trainees from the Create Foundation programme which helps homeless and vulnerable people into work in the hospitality sector – and apparently it’s going great guns. Might this be a sharp elbow-nudge to the rest of the service industry to get friendly or get out…?
It’s not news if there’s no news of the not-so-great sweary Gordon on the horizon. He’s putting his time and money stateside these days (Botox can be soo expensive) and he’s even thinking of branching out into Canada with a barbecue-rotisserie restaurant. Is there demand for it up there, we wonder? Or is it the only country left where he’s not falling out of favour quicker than a tapas plate?
But never fear: word has it he’s trademarked the name ‘Fat Cow’ (bearing in mind his recent troubles, it’s probably wise not to speculate on those origins) – could he be launching something beefy over here? Uh-oh, is that the sound of an overburdened bandwagon falling off its wheels?
You might remember we did a piece on the introduction of calorie counts on menus (Fat Fighters). Unsurprisingly, although nearly three-quarters of you swore up and down it would categorically, unconditionally, definitely make you choose the healthy option, over half of you found you had absolutely NO WILLPOWER WHATSOEVER and still chose the chips when confronted with such a menu. Bet you feel guilty now…
Another restaurant opening worth checking out is the new venture from Welsh National Chef of the Year Danny Burke. You’ll find it in Hawarden in North Wales.
And speaking of hard-to-find, you’ll be hard-pushed to get a seat at Thomas Keller’s (of the French Laundry USA) pop-up in Harrods in October. Your best bet is to befriend a waiter. Or bribe a member of staff. We don’t think there’ll be a spare seat in the house.
That’s your summer news, folks. If you hear anything juicy, let us know. Alternatively, if you manage to get a seat at Thomas Keller’s let us know (and let us know how much you want for it).