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The Independent Culture
Quality and quantity

Having quit the Four Seasons Restaurant to set up on his own at Cafe St Pierre, soon to be Maison Novelli, Jean-Christophe is taking one floor at a time.

The ground floor currently operates as a brasserie, Le Cochon Affole (the frightened pig), and on 12 August he opens the first floor as La Boite Surprise, a more formal 40-seater a la carte restaurant. "I wanted to deal with the two different options, turnover downstairs, quality upstairs."

It's a charming building and Novelli brings with him the boyish enthusiasm of someone who has just bought their first flat: the pink neon lights are staying, a lick of page-boy blue paint on the walls and back to the stockpot. Cafe St Pierre, 29 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 (0171-251 6606)

Master class

American Diane Gordon was so impressed by the restaurant scene here when she visited last autumn, she went back to New York, drew up a "wish list" of restaurants and returned to set up Entertaining Ideas cookery classes.

It seems that most of her wishes have come true: she has persuaded a noteworthy list of chefs to participate in her first series of cookery demonstrations starting on 9 September - " the enthusiasm and response from schefs has been amzing," she says.

Two-hour classes will take place every Monday at the Courtyard, 59a Portobello Road, Notting Hill, when a chef will demonstrate several signature dishes. Tastings? Naturally, with wine.

For programme and bookings contact Diane Gordon on 07050 387 387

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