Life and Style Mellow yellow: a warming spoonful of polenta

Opening a new restaurant is often a quick way for rich people to lose money. It is a gamble opening your doors to the public, just like playing poker. But as with cards, there are ways to hedge your bets. The cautious restaurateur might tend towards well-worn concepts such as the burger joint, for instance, or the fried-chicken shop.

My life in food: Lorena Vasquez, master rum blender

'I drink green tea to relax. It's also a great palate cleanser'

The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent

Until last week, the best fish dish I have ever eaten was grilled slip sole in seaweed butter at the Sportsman in Seasalter in Kent. This maritime marvel formed the starter in a lunch that has echoed my memory for years, but I discovered that I had missed the pub's most esteemed offering, a tasting menu whose expertise and finesse are legendary among the food-obsessed. So I called the Sportsman to remedy this annoying omission (48 hours warning is required). "It starts at 7pm," I was informed, "and lasts for three and half hours." Good grief! I wasn't sure that I was quite as food-obsessed as all that.

My Life in Food: Gennaro Contaldo

'My mother, she was rubbish at cooking. I learnt from my father'

Turl Street Kitchen, 16-17 Turl Street Oxford

At a scrubbed wooden table, a dapper, Rumpole-ish gentleman is taking lunch, in immaculate suit and wide red braces. Behind him, also eating alone, is a troll in human form – a small, wild-haired oldster wearing a plunging singlet and very short shorts, his abundantly furry chest and shoulders on proud display. Both of these unlikely fellow diners look perfectly at home.

My life in food: Florence Knight

Head chef, Polpetto

Charles Saatchi with his wife, Nigella Lawson, in March last year

Removal van seen outside Nigella Lawson's family home fuelling marriage split speculation

A removal van was seen outside Nigella Lawson’s marital home in London this morning, fuelling speculation about the state of her marriage to Charles Saatchi.

US television cook Paula Deen is being sued by the former manager of one of her restaurants

American celebrity cook Paula Deen stirs up a storm of criticism after admitting to using the N-word

Paula Deen, the American celebrity cook and the self-proclaimed queen of Southern farmhouse cuisine, is at risk of losing a lucrative deal with QVC after admitting to using the N-word.

Tom Sellers: The French Laundry-trained chef on hot dogs, jellyfish and floral desserts

My earliest food memory Eating hot dogs and burgers at the fair in Nottingham, where my mother and father took me as a kid. It's not so much the taste that stayed with me, but the smell. Standing by the wagon, with the aroma of burning onions filling my nostrils, it really got me. I still love eating burgers now, particularly at MeatLiquor in London.

Jack Monroe has created recipes to feed herself and her son, Jonny, on £10 a week

The single mother who turned 9p meals into a publishing deal with A Girl Called Jack blog

Amateur cook’s blog about feeding her family on £10 a week attracted huge online audience

My life in food: Tony Conigliaro, Mixologist

‘I draw my inspiration from art, science and even perfumery’

Review: Soufflé, By Asli Perker

Tender tale rises to the challenge

The 10 best children's cookbooks

It's never too early to learn your way around a kitchen. Here's where to find the top recipes to get them started.

Russell Norman, owner of the Polpo restaurant family

My life in food: Russell Norman

‘I have mostly learnt to cook by stealing ideas from chefs I’ve worked with’

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn