Parties: Chefs bow to the big Bulli

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Indy Lifestyle Online

When the world's greatest chef is being fêted at the palatial Spanish Embassy in Belgravia, with the promise of Dom Perignon (actually replaced by cava, in deference to the hosts' connections with the drink) and the likelihood of superior nibbles, it seems wise to skip dinner.

So a sparkling coterie of chefs including Fergus and Margot Henderson, Allegra McEvedy and Sam and Sam Clark would presumably not have minded their rumbling stomachs too much as they joined a throng lit up by the presence of Pierre Gagnaire, the guest with the most Michelin stars, who had just flown in from Paris with a promise to be back in the kitchen at Sketch that night.

The crème de la crème of the culinary world – along with luminaries from other fields including the writer Joanna Trollope and Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson – had gathered to celebrate the launch of a weighty 600-page tome from Ferran Adrià, he of El Bulli fame, the restaurant voted better than any other year after year. But talk soon turned to the other theme of the evening: pork.

Jamon and Gordon were avidly discussed, and while aficionados were drawn like moths to cashmere to exquisite slivers of Joselito Gran Reserva ham, others couldn't resist chewing over Ramso's alleged peccadillos.

Yet the sumptuous launch went by in a flash and soon, with glamorous Spaniards and British chefs long gone, stragglers were happily gnawing on the bones of an evening replete with good food and hot gossip.

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