Spoon HQ

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nice piece of meat?

If you've always wanted to go backstage at an abattoir look out for Richard Johnson's new TV series which starts next week. It's called Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, and brings together two key moments that are usually separated in our lives and minds: the death of an animal and the eating of its meat. It's on BBC3 all week. The first programme -- Beef -- is Monday March 5 at 10.30pm, followed by Lamb on Tuesday, Pork on Wednesday, and Chicken on Thursday.
Not familiar with Richard's work? Shame on you. Check out his new website at: http://www.rjsj.demon.co.uk/

Parisian Restaurants

It's not uncommon for friends, colleagues or even distant acquaintances to ask for recommendations for restaurants in Paris. I scrabble around to remember the latest places that I've tried or that I've heard good things about, and frequently draw a blank. Damned faulty memory. So, I'm going to start jotting them down here starting with........

Les Papilles
It's exactly the kind of restaurant I like. The only choices they allow you are whether you want to eat there or not and which wine you'd like to choose from their extensive selection that surrounds you...imagine eating in a wine merchants.

Set lunch 30 Euros. 4 generous courses.

30 rue Gay-Lussac
Tel: +33 1 43 25 20 79

We just walked in for lunch. It was busy but they accomodated us. I'm betting it's jam packed for dinner.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Greg Malouf update!

Greg Maluof update!

Places for the Greg Malouf Workshop ' Saha: A chef's journey through Lebanon & Syria' have now sold out.

The last few places for the lunch remain and can be snapped up if you are quick.
Call 020 8940 5230 or visit http://www.petershamnurseries.com
Full details for this event are shown below.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The International Wine Challenge 2007

Michael Fridjhon, the International Wine Challenge’s first
international co-chairman

International Wine Challenge (IWC) co-chairmen – Charles Metcalfe, Tim Atkin MW, Derek Smedley MW & Sam Harrop MW – welcome a formidable addition to their ranks this year. Joining them in London for the 24th annual competition will be Michael Fridjhon, South Africa’s most widely published wine writer and highly experienced international wine judge.

Being the largest and most comprehensive blind tasting in the world, the IWC requires co-chairmen of the highest calibre. Michael Fridjhon is no exception:

“Michael is one of the world's leading wine judges as well as an insightful journalist and commentator on the South African wine scene. I'm really looking forward to welcoming him as part of the IWC team.”
Tim Atkin MW, IWC co-chairman.

No stranger to the competition environment, Fridjhon is currently chairman of the judges of the South Africa Trophy Wine Show and chairman of the Shiraz and Chenin Challenge panel. He has previously judged at the IWC as well as the Australian National Wine Show, the South African National Wine Show and countless other competitions in South Africa, Australia, Chile, Slovenia and the USA.

Fridjhon’s position as South Africa’s most pre-eminent wine writer is firmly established. Chairman of the South African Food & Wine Writers’ Guild, he has maintained a regular wine column for almost 30 years and is regularly published in WINE Magazine (South Africa) and has appeared in Wine & Spirit (UK), La Revue du Vin de France and Australian Gourmet Traveller amongst many others. He wrote the Penguin Book of South African Wine, co-authors the annual Icons guide (South Africa’s champion wines) and has contributed to many encyclopaedic wine titles. He is a regular broadcaster on TV and radio.

As an educator, Michael Fridjhon is Visiting Professor of Wine Business at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business. He lectures around the world.

“I have taken on this role because the IWC is the best established of the major international shows and I will have a cutting edge judging experience. Also, given the much more active role played by IWC chairmen, I expect a benchmarking and tasting opportunity unparalleled anywhere else in the wine world.”

says Fridjhon of the challenge. He continues;

“I believe my contribution will be to bring an extensive and worldwide judging expertise which has walked the tightrope of expectations in Old as well as New World show and competition environments.”

Each year, the fifth co-chairperson will be a different, high profile individual. Invited to contribute their expertise, they will enhance what is already a judging panel comprised of the UK’s most knowledgeable experts as well as highly regarded tasters from across the globe.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Wildlife charity elephant family is seducing the nation with lovelorn Asian elephants in a radical new initiative, ele-dating. All funds raised from ele-dating Packages go directly to elephant family projects. elephant family is the UK’s only charity dedicated to solely saving the endangered Asian elephant.

As ele-dating gathers momentum, more and more of the UKs national treasures are coming out of the closet and admitting to a penchant for elephant love. Stephen Fry proudly exclaims:

“Of COURSE you may quote me as being in a long-term, loving and codependent relationship with an elephant. We're thinking of a civil partnership, à la Elton/David, but we would be grateful if the press would allow us to have the service in private. We welcome their interest otherwise. The rumours of a trial separation in October were nonsense. It's true I flirted with an African elephant on safari in South Africa, but it meant nothing.”

Elephants currently looking for love include 45-year-old Sadat, who points out that ‘I look a lot younger than my years’ and Tanti, 24, who has a ‘wonderful salsa wiggle’. Real elephants from elephant family projects in India, Thailand and Indonesia can be found on http://www.elephantfamily.org/ele-dating-.

Once able to roam freely from Syria and through Asia into China, today the Asian elephant is a critically endangered species. With no natural enemies, the species is at threat from man-made problems including deforestation, poaching, under-investment in conservation projects and mistreatment of captive elephants. elephant family is the UK’s only charity dedicated to solely saving the endangered Asian elephant and guarantees 100% of funds raised go directly to the conservation projects.

To arrange a date with a huge personality text: ‘wild at heart’ to 84862. Alternatively log on to www.elephantfamily.org/ele-dating or call the love-line 020 7580 3184.

elephant family projects.

For more information:
Please contact Ruth Powys at elephant family
T 0207 580 3184
M 07814 996 413
E ruth.powys@elephantfamily.org

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sophie Conran at The Blueprint Cafe Book Club

Sophie Conran will be appearing at The Blueprint Cafe to talk about her book 'Pies'
22 February 2007

Sophie has described her first cookbook as “stuffed with scrumptious recipes”. And so it is, in fact it contains every sort of pie you can hungrily think of, from the most savoury to the most sweet. The book presents traditional recipes as well as new ones and the pies range from meat pies such as Steak and Kidney, to vegetarian options such as Endive with Walnuts and Blue cheese.

An award winning chef, Sophie has won prizes in the Great Taste Awards. Since the Autumn her ready-made pies have been sold nationwide in Sainsbury’s top stores.

On the evening, customers at Blueprint Café will enjoy a selection of seasonal pie dishes, carefully chosen by Jeremy and Sophie, who are long standing friends. After dinner, there will be an opportunity to ask Sophie questions and buy signed copies of the book.

The event starts at 7pm, tickets for the evening cost £45, including three courses, with wine and coffee.
To book or for further information, please call Blueprint Café on 020 7378 7031.

The Blueprint Café, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 Food Book Club series - a regular dinner co-hosted by Head Chef Jeremy Lee and a guest author of a new, or soon to be published, food book.

Leo DiCaprio is a Bill Granger fan!

Leonardo DiCaprio is a big fan of Bill Granger's pancakes. It appears he got hooked whilst filming in Sydney for Baz Luhrmann's new film...

"...Luhrmann, who has squeezed more than $1 million of taxpayers' money from state governments to help fund his $100 million cinematic folly Australia, has been doing his best to earn every penny, spruiking his hometown, Sydney, to the world, even revealing the love affair of his mate Leonardo DiCaprio with the pancakes of the foodie Bill Granger in Surry Hills." Sydney Morning Herald, 26th January 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007

S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2007

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2007

Awards to be held at The Science Museum, London, on Monday 23rd April 2007

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards will be held in London again this year. Now in its fifth year, the event has rapidly grown in stature to become the event for the best in the restaurant industry worldwide and the only event of its kind that recognises and ranks restaurants on a global level.

Voting for the awards will conclude shortly with the 700-strong international panel of judges - comprised of chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and professional eaters - larger and more diverse than ever before.

The invite only event, where the full 2007 ranking - including the world’s best restaurant - will be revealed for the very first time, will be attended by international restaurant royalty including chefs and restaurateurs from each of the restaurants in the final list of 50.

Further details and press accreditation from:
Sarah Canet
Spoon PR
Telephone: +44 20 7610 9821
Email: sarah@spoon-pr.com

To accompany the media information this year will be photographs of the event, the winners and their restaurants, a video news release and a radio news release.

Luke Mangan opens in Tokyo

Tokyo to get dose of Salt from star chef
First published in The Australian 1st February 2007
Peter Alford, Tokyo correspondent

Celebrity chef Luke Mangan always fancied himself opening the doors of a Salt in Manhattan and still does - but in the meantime he's found somewhere more expensive to relaunch his celebrated Sydney restaurant brand.

On April 27, Mangan will open Salt Tokyo on the sixth floor of the new Shin-Marunouchi Building. That's the most expensive floor space in the most expensive district of the world's second-most expensive central city district, after London.

"That says to me there are a lot of people with a lot of money around here," said Mangan. "It's why we've chosen this location. There's a lot of competition in this town but we're offering something different, a touch of Australia."

Mangan, who's in the happy position of having the venture staked by a deep-pocketed Japanese partner, is sparing no expense - $5.1million has been outlaid so far. His selling point is the best Australian produce, and that will entail shipments of fresh salmon, lamb, barramundi, oysters and the rest. Executive chef Shannon Binnie, who's been with Mangan and business partner Lucy Allon for the past decade, will run the kitchen and they plan to bring up to six Australian chefs.

The restaurant will seat close to 100 and an adjoining wine bar another 40. Though fully financed by Port Japan Partners, the business will stand or fall on whether Mangan's Australian style appeals to finicky Tokyo diners.

"It's we that have to make it work, it's not just a consulting gig. But we're pretty confident. We're looking at other places already," he said.

Saha: A chef's journey through Lebanon & Syria

Greg Malouf introduces his latest awarded winning book
and inspires a Middle Eastern feast

Sunday 11th March 2007
Morning Workshop & Lunch

Stopping off in the UK for one week before returning to Australia to oversee his restaurant Mo Mo’s relocation to a spectacular new site within Melbourne’ s Grand Hyatt Hotel, Greg Malouf will be recounting his adventures, demonstrating his techniques and sharing his expertise at Petersham Nurseries on Sunday 11 March. As executive head chef at Mo Mo in Melbourne, Greg has acquired an impressive local following. Mo Mo, his restaurant consultancy and his catering company - Malouf’s Mezza - have cemented his reputation as a leading authority on Middle Eastern cuisine.

As an author, Greg is recognised for his ability to sow a contemporary seed into recipes that often start out as a culmination of centuries of Middle Eastern tradition. His books, written with co-author Lucy Malouf, include ‘Moorish: Capture the flavours of Middle Eastern cooking’, ‘Arabesque: Modern Middle Eastern food’ and now ‘Saha: A chef’s journey through Lebanon and Syria’.

Growing up in Australia, the child of Lebanese parents, Greg found inspiration in the food of his ancestors. The tradition and essence of the ancient Arabic dishes, which as a child he watched being prepared, prompted his journey through the Middle East. With Lucy at his side, he embarked on a quest for traditional dishes and along the way, gathered not only recipes but magically evocative tales and anecdotes from a host of colourful characters. The book follows Greg’s adventure through his exotic past and, inspirationally, details his growth as a chef at the same time. In 2006, the book won the Gold Trophy for best food book at the Gourmet Voice food media awards in Cannes, France. It also scooped the coveted Grand Prix award, considered the festival’s ultimate accolade.

Greg will spend the morning of the 11th talking us through the book, his inspirations and his cooking style as well as demonstrating some of his most intriguing dishes such as Bedouin spinach, lentil and lemon soup or the Mediterranean red mullet cooked with golden spices.

During the afternoon there will be a Middle Eastern lunch, inspired by Greg, prepared by Skye Gyngell and her team and served as a feast. Tickets for the workshop and lunch are sold separately. A combined ticket is also available.

Bookings can be made for either the workshop or the lunch or both.

Workshop 10.30am (for 11am start) – 12.30 pm: £40
Lunch: 12.45pm £60
Combined ticket Workshop & Lunch: £80

Please refer to the website http://www.petershamnurseries.com/ or call 020 8605 3627 for booking information.