Life and Style

Amol Rajan finds bad upholstery undermines good food at Eric Chavot's newest spot

My Secret Life: Hélène Darroze, chef, 41

Born 23 February, 1967, in Mont-de-Marsan, south-west France, Hélène Darroze is a Michelin star-awarded chef. She started out as Alain Ducasse's right hand woman at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo before going on to win two Michelin stars at her eponymous restaurant on the Left Bank in Paris. She is currently head chef at The Connaught in London

The Landau, Langham Hotel

1c Portland Place, London W1 (020-7965 0165)

Second helpings: Other restaurants with a cookbook

Spoon+ at Sanderson 50 Berners Street, London W1 - St Petroc's Bistro 4 New Street, Padstow - The Conservatory The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London SW1

Eating & drinking: It's my right to be intimidated

No, we couldn't go straight to our table. We had to go and perch on an awkwardly low ottoman in a crowded salon and drink a champagne cocktail that had so much fruit liqueur, it was impossible to tell if the Champagne was vintage or not. It was hard to tell if it was Champagne or not.

Food & Drink: Organ recital

Busting a gut to find the perfect way to celebrate a big birthday

Food: Sweet somethings

In the final part of his favourite recipe series, there's just room for four rich puddings. Photograph by Jason Lowe

Travel: Give me a break: Monte Carlo on pounds 250

City to city: it's Friday, you're in central London with pounds 250 to spend for a weekend getaway. Cathy Packe prescribes a break in Europe's most ritzy destination

Food: The labours of love

Simon Hopkinson appraises the culinary delights of this year's best young chef

Two-centre chef loses star billing

His food may be superlative, but hubris has a habit of leaving a sour taste in the mouth. Put another way, no one takes the Michelin Guide for granted.

PMT (Pre-Michelin Tension) grows as chefs start to count their lucky stars

For The small, intensely self-regarding world of haute cuisine, this is a weekend of high anxiety. Tomorrow morning the Michelin Guide, the pitiless red bible beloved by foodies, takes the lid off its 1997 French edition.

Star chef finds little appetite for St Etienne

This year marks the 231st anniversary of the invention of the French restaurant, since when no other nation has been so obsessed with food. Gastronomes will make pilgrimages to any corner of France to savour the work of a chef who has been awarded three Michelin stars.

Supreme cuisine

A pilgrimage to a new gastronomic temple in Paris

'Flaubert of the kitchens' hangs up his tea towel

In a land where taking food seriously means taking Delia Smith seriously, it is not easy to understand the excitement that had the whole of Paris trembling like the jellies at an English kiddies' birthday party this week. Joel Robuchon, the world's greatest three-star Michelin chef, had vowed to quit the kitchen when he reached the age of 50. No one believed he would, but this week he did.

New and exclusive

RESTAURANT Club culture greets the man from Monte Carlo Alain Ducasse is 'the very first chef to bring a letter of noblesse to Mediterranean cuisine'. His cooking has attracted controversy, but his notion of food minimalism is very exciting. It is Giorgiocompared to Christian Lacroix Photograph by Julian Anderson

TRAVEL / Ruritania on the Riviera: Jill Crawshaw feels at ease in the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco

ONE OF its croupiers claims that the secret of Monaco's success is that a little old lady can come out of the casino at 3am with a glass of champagne in her hand, diamonds around her neck, a night's winnings in her handbag, and totter back to her hotel in complete safety. And though the scenario has an Absolutely Fabulous dottiness about it, there is plenty of hard evidence that the principality takes its haute securite very seriously.
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