Waterside Inn celebrates Michelin success with 25-course meal for culinary royalty
'I love taking a canoe down the River Ardèche'
School meals tsar wants children kept away from fast-food outlets
Michel Roux Jr answers your Christmas Food and Drink questions including: What can I do with a surfeit of goose fat? Where do you stand on sausages in bacon? And what’s a ‘coherent plate of food’?
On paper, 24-year-old VV Brown certainly has the makings of a star – beauty, a big voice and, crucially, the backing of a major record label. Add to that her penchant for retro-soul and success on a huge scale seems a foregone conclusion.
There's a new face at the helm of the two-Michelin-starred French restaurant Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair – and she's a woman. Rachel Humphrey, 30, formerly senior sous chef at the restaurant, was recently named head chef; the first woman to gain such a position in the restaurant's 42-year history. But she's much too clever – and honest – to be lured into idle speculation on the subject of whether the small number of female chefs in the UK is due to a lack of talent or a shortage of opportunity. "I'm not really sure why Britain's restaurant industry is male-dominated," she says, "but there are certainly more and more opportunities for women chefs these days. As far as I'm concerned, what's most important is to prove yourself in the kitchen, whatever your sex. The kitchen environment can be aggressive, but I learnt that the best way to be respected in the kitchen was to make sure that I never gave the guys any ammunition against me."
Standards of service in restaurants are slipping, according to a survey of diners who sit at some of the finest tables in the land.