Our Nicky Clarke…guide to what’s in & what’s going in the bin with PR, writer & trend know-it-all
Guest-cheffing has exploded. Not content with their own chefs, restaurants are realising they can extend their reach beyond their immediate regulars by calling on other cooks. Cinnamon Kitchen were one of the first to kick-start the trend last summer, with a series that included dinners from Matt Gillan, Paul Foster and Chris Lee, and exec chef Vivek Singh is poised to do another round in 2013. Though he’s being understandably tight-lipped about who’s signed on. Also getting involved in a spot of guest-cheffing is Rowley Leigh, who has recruited the likes of Skype Gyngell, Thomasina Miers and Rick Stein for a series of one-off, collaborative dinners at Le Café Anglais. Jason Atherton of Pollen Street Social will also be taking to the water and guest-cheffing on a Silversea Cruise in November. And that’s just the beginning – watch them cropping up all over the shop this year. Apparently, too many cooks don’t spoil the broth.
|According to critic Fay Maschler – and let’s face it, she knows her stuff! – the “small plate scam will be blown open.” We know what she means. While it’s nice to get a taster of everything and share a million and one things, the countries from which small plates originate sell them for a fraction of the cost of London prices. They’re not meant to be £8 a pop. The point should be that they’re cheap and you order a load. Now, prices mean it’s like ordering five or six main courses, making the bill significantly higher than if you went for a three-courser. Listen up, Polpo.