The whole of London queues for Hix at the Albemarle to savour the famous chef’s crab soup or the leg of salt marsh lamb on a bed of straw. Brown’s now has a restaurant in the hotel,( in the past guests used to dine in their suites, ) which offers a revisited British cuisine in the heart of sumptuous wood panelling, a vaulted ceiling, and sublime green benches by designer Philippe Hurel. On the walls are artworks signed by talented artists such as Tracey Emin’s pink neon.
Visited by celebrities, dubbed by an international clientele, the most famous French chef in the world continues to ride the wave of success with exquisite cuisine and highly individual restaurants.
This one, situated between Covent Garden and Leicester Square, occupies a building whose façade is painted entirely black. Emma Watson, Madonna, and George Clooney, loyal regulars of the Atelier enjoy both the Lounge Bar with a terrace on the last floor and the Kitchen in a black and white mood on the first. However the place to be is the central bar on the ground floor with its glowing colours. Set against a background of stainless steel shelves, clear jars set against a green wall background, the brigade of staff perform wonders in front of the clients and Chef Olivier Limousin, from the Vendee, leads his kitchen team like a virtuoso, part of a sublime contemporary work of art. Quite a treat!
A decade after groundbreaking Sketch burst onto the scene comes the re-launch of the Gallery, a stunning collaboration twixt three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire and Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. It’s the first in a series of ‘artist conceived’ restaurants at Sketch, where the furniture is mismatched, all the tableware is different and Gagnaire’s food is mind-expanding. It’s a place for free thinkers, albeit quite well-heeled ones.
Harvested on the shores of Mallorca, Flor de sal salt benefits from the fresh air and warm Mediterranean climate. Dried naturally in the sun, it is combined with fruit, herbs, spices or black olives to create a variety of flavours. Among the range is a lemon and lavender blend – ideal for pairing with meat and game dishes – and an orange and chilli salt that works well with poultry and fish.
In 1898, Joaquin Ibarz established olive groves on his family’s estate, Finca Hostalets. He planted the Arbequina variety, harvested them at the peak of the season to guarantee their ripeness, and cold-pressed them by hand in a stone mill to produce extra-virgin olive oil. Today his great-grandson José Seuma uses the same methods to produce a rich, delicate-tasting oil that makes an excellent addition to salads and fish.
It’s the ultimate goal of cooking; looking after the body without losing out on flavour. Celebrities and legions of readers will confirm that nutrition coach and food blogger Madeleine Shaw has achieved the balance. Her new book contains creative recipes that you’ll want to devour, and that will give you a healthy glow.