Amol Rajan finds bad upholstery undermines good food at Eric Chavot's newest spot
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French connection: Why it's emotion rather than technique that drives Hélène Darroze's cooking
Thursday 29 October 2009
It's 18 months since Hélène Darroze came over from Paris to set up her own restaurant at the venerable Connaught Hotel in the heart of London's Mayfair. A fine bloody time, everybody said, to introduce extra-super-fine dining to the bruised tycoons and trust-fund kids of the metropolis, whose investments had just plummeted by 40 per cent. Ms Darroze clearly wasn't bothered. There was something positively cheeky in the way she served up her oyster tartare with Aquitaine caviar jelly with a tiny, edible gold leaf on the top.
Tuesday 21 April 2009
Thursday 05 February 2009
For a man who is, by general consent, the most distinguished French chef in the world, who holds 15 Michelin stars, has published 16 cookbooks and inspired no fewer than 27 restaurants, Alain Ducasse is a strangely low-key figure. World-famous as a brand, he is virtually anonymous as a person. Gourmets who could talk for hours about his Pithiviers de canard et foie gras would find it hard to identify him in a police line-up. He may have trained a generation of chefs who run key London restaurants (Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, Claude Bosi at Hibiscus, Alexis Gauthier at Roussillon) but you'll never see him on reality TV shows, like his countryman Raymond Blanc.
Sunday 01 February 2009
Valentine's Day has long been a licence for restaurants to unleash horrifying gimmicks on customers. Aphrodisiac menus, petals on the tablecloth or, in the case of London's Met Bar this year, a scary-sounding silk blindfold embroidered with the words "when Romeo met Juliet". At least the Dorchester has come up with something a bit more useful: an invite for anyone booked in on the 14th to go into Alain Ducasse's kitchen during the day and prepare macaroons to serve to their loved ones that evening.
Saturday 15 November 2008
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
Saturday 26 January 2008
Sunday 15 August 1999
Sunday 13 December 1998
Saturday 17 October 1998
Wednesday 25 March 1998
Saturday 01 November 1997
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