Dome Watch: Celebrity chefs snub chance to bring posh nosh to the Dome

PLANS TO take the Millennium Dome up-market with the launch of Acclaim!, a prestigious restaurant showcasing Britain's top chefs, has already met with a cool response.

Rick Stein, Cornwall's TV chef, will be the first to take part next February, but the Dome authorities are still trying to finalise a high-profile list of names to create a different menu each month.

But Gordon Ramsay, one of only two British chefs (the other is Marco Pierre White) to be awarded two Michelin stars, found the idea of joining forces with his rivals for the sake of the Dome distinctly unappetising. "I can't think of anything worse than having to share the restaurant with 10 other chefs. It wouldn't appeal at all. It all sounds too tacky for me."

Now Dome organisers face the tough task of finding 10 celebrity chefs in the next few weeks willing to involve themselves in a project that doesn't bear their signatures. It seems unlikely so many egos will want to hang out in one kitchen.

Jean-Christophe Novelli, the owner of four restaurants, is more interested in building up his own name. "I have not been asked. Isn't it strictly British? Frankly, even if they did ask I'd say 'no.' I'm dedicating myself to Novelli, to making it the greatest restaurant in London."

Rowley Leigh of Kensington Place wasn't too impressed either. "It's a deeply silly idea. It's like saying, 'Let's produce a novel and get a different author to write each chapter.' "

Still, if they're struggling for names, they could always approach Michael McEnearney, head chef at Notting Hill's cutting-edge eaterie Pharmacy. "It could be interesting", he says cautiously. "I think you'd have to be very varied in your approach. Just because you're using British produce doesn't mean you only have to produce British food. I use local producers but my influences are from around the world."

According to Jonathan Spiers, Acclaim!'s manager, the restaurant will promote British produce, including English wines and cheeses. There basic menus will be priced at pounds 18 for two courses and pounds 22 for three. "The chefs can come along for however many days they want to," he said. "Their main priority is to come up with the menu."

They can also oversee their month's special menu from afar - although that maybe a little too close for some of the country's leading cooks. Since "celebrity" chefs are notoriously committed to creating their own culinary empires, it seems unlikely they'd want to be one of eleven contributing to someone else's. It's hard to imagine Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay sharing the same kitchen - even if there was a month between them.

And equally hard to imagine them voting to share their space in the Dome with other catering outlets: two McDonald's; Harry Ramsden's fish and chips; a juice bar, 'Juicespiration'; the Great American Bagel Factory; Costa; Aroma; a 50-seater Yo! Sushi and the Millennium Pub. With this list, the Dome was in danger of sounding more like a Granada motorway service station food court than a showcase for the next century.

Which is, presumably, why the organisers have such high hopes for Acclaim! Sadly, Mr Leigh and others do not share their enthusiasm. "I really can't think of anything special for their menu," he said, "except, perhaps, a ton of gelignite."

STAN HEY ON THE DOME,

SPORT, PAGE 16

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone