Voices

Cooking in particular has got ever more competitive

Restaurants: Is big beautiful?

Titanic

Restaurants: King-size covers

It seems that size does matter after all. Nikki Spencer catches up with the big boys battling it out on the capital's restaurant scene

How we met: Marco Pierre White and Yiannis Kitromilides

Marco Pierre White, 38, is the superstar of British haute cuisine. He was the youngest chef ever to be awarded a Michelin star, and the first British-born chef ever to win three Michelin stars. He opened his first restaurant, Harvey's, in 1987. In 1993 he moved to the restaurant at the Hyde Park Hotel, and in 1997 opened the Oak Room in Piccadilly. This year saw the opening of the Mirabelle, in Mayfair. His sixth restaurant, Titanic, opens on 1 December. He lives with his girlfriend, Matilde, and has three children. Dr Yiannis Kitromilides, 53, is an economics lecturer at the University of Greenwich. Born in Cyprus, he came to England in the Sixties to study at the London School of Economics. He has been friends with Marco Pierre White ever since visiting Harvey's as a customer shortly after it opened

Restaurants; Where shall we meet ... in Berkeley Square?

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it suddenly gets miraculously better. Honestly, I nearly gave up going out for good after my experiences in Kingston-upon-Thames last week; the prospect of one more meal away from the old homestead was very nearly more than I could bear. I swear, it was going to be a life of beans on toast in front of the TV for me. So thanks, Garry Hollihead; you've saved my life.

Almost good enough to eat; The Deborah Ross Interview: Jean-Christophe Novelli

Now that chefs have become as rich and famous as film stars, it seems unfair that one should be as drop-dead gorgeous as well. Meet Jean- Christophe Novelli, a Michelin-starred cook as dark and velvety as his celebrated Hot Chocolate Pudding

Food: Bites: It's not just Morton's. MPW proteges are taking over London.

The Square 6-10 Bruton Street, London W1 (0171-495 7100). Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily. Marathon runner Philip Howard has maintained his staying power since his two spells with Marco Pierre White at Harvey's. Over seven years, The Square has proved its reputation is based on more than a good address, by moving to a second home in Mayfair, since when it has received a second Michelin star. Mediterranean influences are brilliantly refracted to produce dishes of astounding clarity: steamed red mullet with fennel, ratatouille and tapenade; ragout of turbot and oysters with shellfish lasagne; chocolate fondant with vanilla and orange ice cream. Dinner is pounds 45, lunch a la carte, around pounds 30 for three courses.

Food & Drink: Me and Mrs Sprat

Body fascists are turning fat into the next big enemy of the people; WITHOUT FAT WE WOULDN'T HAVE POTATO CHIPS, CREME BRULEE OR DAWN FRENCH

Pizza man swallows The Ivy as top restaurant chains grow ever fatter

IT'S ALL quite exhausting. You have only just become known to the maitre d' at one fashionable restaurant when another opens its doors across town. Nowadays, it's impossible to be seen in all the right places.

Restaurants: Edinburgh bargain basement

Some of London's brightest talents return to their Scottish roots. By Ben Rogers

Feeding can be fun

Sou'wester and kagoul on? In the second part of a series we're introducing your baby to solid food. By Charlotte Preston and Trevor Dunton

How to whinge like a winner

The British are useless at complaining and we suffer bad service with a stiff upper lip. But one man claims that a sense of humour and the courage to make a stand for what you want can bring just rewards. By Kate Watson-Smyth

FOOD & DRINK: RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

Disappointed by London's selection of cookbooks, Heidi Lascelles opened her own shop. That was 16 years ago, now Books for Cooks is a magnet to foodies the world over. Michael Bateman visits

Empires of the kitchen kings

Why settle for Michelin stars when you can have a restaurant empire? Vanessa Thorpe talks to the chefs who think big

I had to sell myself but not be a prostitute

The time: 1996 The place: Mayfair The man: Jean-Christophe Novelli - chef and restaurateur

Eating out: Untrendily perfect

THE OAK ROOM; Le Meridien Hotel, 21 Piccadilly, London W1V OBH. Tel: 0171 437 0202. Open for lunch Mon-Fri 12-2.15pm; and for dinner Mon-Sat 7-11.15pm. Four course set lunch pounds 29.50, a la cart e pounds 160 per head including wine. Credit cards accepted
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