WORRYING NEWS that Newcastle might lose its only Michelin-starred chef can be taken with a pinch of salt, the north-east's trufflers will be relieved to hear. It's true that the saviour of the region's restaurant scene, Terence Leybourne, has put 21 Queen Street on the market, but he's already got somewhere else outside the city centre in his sights. He insists there shouldn't be a hiatus; if he doesn't find a buyer for Queen Street by the end of the year he'll open elsewhere anyway. Leybourne concedes the quayside has become somewhat chocka, and his motive for moving is to find somewhere his customers can park their cars.
CATERER TO the fashionistas of London, Kevin Gould, has had a partially loveless summer. His trademark is Middle Eastern-style food lavishly strewn over available surfaces with blithe disregard for conventional use of crockery - often there isn't any. Last year, Gould opened a Love cafe in the Aveda shop in London's Marylebone, which seduced with its ethereally pure but nonetheless indulgent food. The air-kissing crowd lurved it. But the ingrates of baja Hampstead did not embrace his other Love restaurant, next to his Joy food shop. It has been sold. The Truffler thinks one Love is probably enough.
A GOOD sausage, as Mae West didn't say, is hard to find. London restaurant RK Stanley's has always been one of the Truffler's top spots for bangers. Now Stan's your man for terrifically meaty, almost fat-free sausages to enjoy at home. They're being sold by mail order. But no vegetarian - aka Glamorgan - sausages are yet available by mail; being skinless, they are having to find a formula that is not too floppy for the post. Prices from pounds 1.87 per pound. RK Stanley's, 6 Little Portland Street, London W1 (0171-462 0099).
PASS THE prune juice, Dorian. The wrinkly fruit may be the secret of extended youth. Tests have found that prunes have higher levels of anti- oxidants than broccoli and red grapes, making them more successful at soaking up free radicals which are thought to contribute to ageing and the risk of cancer. Australia's Sunraysia prune juice is now hoping to persuade us to drink it as part of a healthy diet, and has pledged pounds 250,000 to the Cancer Research Campaign through sales of the juice. It's available in some Safeway stores and the north-west supermarket chain Booths.
ROCK STARS and chemical substances traditionally go together like strawberries and cream. So, although it might be too late for some performers, the Truffler is cheered to hear that Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and his wife Jo are 100 per cent pro-organic. To celebrate the end of the Stones' world tour, Wood and his Mrs asked caterer Organika to lay on chemical-free party food. However, as is still traditional at such post-gig shindigs, several cases of wine and lager, albeit organic, were included. The Organic Store in Twickenham has a home-delivery service as well as running Organika.
The Organic Store, 8 Staines Road, Twickenham (0181-241 9482).