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.

Joe McCanta, Cocktail maker: 'A dash of bitters - orange, lemon or celery - changes a whole drink'

My Life In Food: Joe McCanta, cocktail maker

McCanta started out bar tending in New York and went on to work for Saf raw food restaurants, opening Saf Restaurant and Bar in London in 2008. He has devised the cocktails for the Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation tomorrow. For tickets, go to ejaf.com

Jeff Arnett, Master distiller at Jack Daniel's: '‘anywhere in the world I smell hickory, it takes me straight home'

My Life In Food: Jeff Arnett, master distiller at Jack Daniel's

'Anywhere in the world I smell hickory, it takes me straight home'

Swedish food is latest Scandinavian import to appeal to British tastes

If meatballs and a gibberish-spouting puppet chef seem unlikely ambassadors for a global gastronomic revolution then think again. Swedish chefs are leading a new Nordic invasion and this time it's no laughing matter.

Master chocolatier Cecilia Tessieri: 'Some tuscan bread,
olive oil, baby tomatoes and basil, and I'm in heaven'

My Life in Food: Cecilia Tessieri, master chocolatier

Cecilia Tessieri is one of the only female master chocolatiers in the world. She set up Amedei with her brother Alessio in 1990. She has world exclusivity to the 25 tonnes of beans grown in Chuao in Venezuela, thought to be best in the world, and has won a host of awards for her bars, including the Golden Bean from the London Academy of Chocolate. Amedei's latest product is a chocolate and hazelnut sauce and is available online at Fortnum and Mason (fortnumandmason.com).

John Whaite, winner of The Great British Bake Off

Television: How to make sure a post-Bake Off career rises

Law student John Whaite, 23, has been crowned the surprise winner of The Great British Bake Off, after impressing judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with his "Heaven and Hell" chiffon cake, a monster gateau that required 18 eggs, 600 grams of dark chocolate and one kilogram of sugar. But what's for afters?

Bake Off's audience rises to new high

The Great British Bake Off saw its audience rise to a new high for last night's finale as more than seven million people watched John Whaite crowned king of the cakes.

Lisa Markwell: Why buy one, get one free, if you throw one in the bin?

Wheat supplies plummet, wheat prices to rocket: the legacy of a dismal wet summer is realised. A little part of me, the restaurant critic that can't help eating the entire bread basket before the starters appear, rejoices. If we get less bread in our diets, it's good for all of us. But – of course – that's idiotic.

Waste not, want not: The Western culture of binning food

Supermarket promotions make it easy for us to buy more than we need, but it means we end up throwing away far too much.

Rant & Rave (07/10/12)

Rant

My Life in Food: Alejandro Bello

'I learnt to love caribbean food when I was growing up in venezuela'
Chef Sat Bains has a the first two Michelin stars in Nottingham

My life in food: Sat Bains

Chef Sat Bains started his career helping to set up Raymond Blanc's first brasserie, Le Petit Blanc. After a spell at restaurant du jour L'Escargot, he won the Roux brothers' scholarship and went off to work at the three-Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens in the South of France. His self-titled restaurant in Nottingham has two Michelin stars, the first awarded to a restaurant in the city.

Richard Bertinet, the author of four books, runs a cookery school, and a bakery: 'Bread feeds the soul and the body. I could be happy living on bread and water'

My Life In Food: Richard Bertinet

'Bread feeds the soul and the body. I could be happy living on bread and water'

Dock Kitchen, Portobello Dock, 342-344 Ladbroke Grove, London

It's funny how just walking into the Dock Kitchen makes you feel trendy. Perhaps it's the neighbours. Stevie Parle's dockside restaurant is part (easily the largest part) of an industrial complex. Lurking beneath it, like a chic troll, is the designer Tom Dixon's studio, while next door is the HQ of Innocent, the smoothies firm.

The Weekend's Viewing: Exploring China: a Culinary Adventure, Sun, BBC2
The Zoo, Sun, ITV1

Exploring China: a Culinary Adventure is presented by a veritable Marco Polo of kitchen equipment, a heroic figure who ventured East and on his return transformed the cooking techniques of the Occident.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future