Food & Drink: Gastropod

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
THE Gault Millau guide is highly influential in France and Belgium but has never really taken off over here. Now Gault Millau (pronounced 'go mee-oh') is having another go: publication of a new guide to London on 10 June will be celebrated at a lavish launch party and grand awards ceremony. But there will be few surprises on the night because the current issue of Chef (a supplement to Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine aimed at professional chefs) has a scoop revealing all the top ratings.

Gault Millau marks restaurants out of 20, purely on the quality of their cooking. The Chinese restaurant, Fung Shing, is rated equal with top-flight French restaurants such as Le Gavroche and Nico at Ninety on 17 points, and Sabras, the Indian vegetarian cafe, equal with The Connaught on 16.

Gordon Ramsay of Aubergine will be pleased to have secured 16 points, the same as his mentor, Marco Pierre White. Jean Christophe Novelli of The Four Seasons will be less pleased to have scored only 13.

THE BIGGEST winner in the Gault Millau stakes is Les Saveurs in Curzon Street, W1, which rates 17 points, putting it right up there with Fung Shing. This caps a remarkable season for the chef Joel Antunes, who was awarded his first Michelin star earlier in the year and is about to receive Decanter magazine's Restaurant of the Year title.

Christian Millau, founder of the guide, considers the meal that he ate there to have been the best in London - which will come as no surprise to readers of the Independent who attended the dinner at Les Saveurs last year for the winners of our annual cookery competition.

FOR the second year running, the Young Chef of the Year is a woman, and for the third year running, the winner is Irish. Jane McMeekin, 24, is the second member of the kitchen crew from Roscoff, Paul 'Topper' Rankin's Michelin-starred restaurant in Belfast, to win the title. Her boss escorted her to London for the finals, which she described as 'three days of fun - an excellent crack'.

McMeekin won by cooking a meal the judges described as 'deceptively simple, but superbly executed': grilled goat's cheese hors d'ouevres, monkfish wrapped in courgette ribbons, duck confit with potato salad, and tarte Tatin. The day after a tiring and emotional awards dinner, she had to rise at the crack of dawn and go to Liverpool for a live demonstration on morning television, while Topper went off for lunch chez Marco Pierre White. That's the price of success.

YOU KNOW that summer is just around the corner when Anton Mosimann reappears on your screen extolling the delights of small potatoes in his guise as the King of Jersey. Perhaps he will show up at Jersey Zoo this afternoon, where a party to mark the start of Jersey's Good Food Festival is being held in the presence of Gambar and Gina, the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust's famous orang-utans. Otherwise, he may well be mingling incognito tonight at the Orang-Utango Masked Ball.

The festival reaches its climax next Saturday with the Hemptonne Spring Fair, where the members of the Societe Jersiaise will offer tastings of not only Jersey Royals but also Jersey Wonders - not to mention Jersey beef, Jersey vegetables and Jersey bean crock.

Comments