Erma Bombeck once said “I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food” and Taste of London, which I have been attending since the first one, is for those of us who feel the same way. Like everyone who doesn’t work exclusively in the food or catering industry, I am limited by my job, budget and health as to how much rich and delicious (and expensive) food I can eat in any given week.
Taste of London is the highlight of my culinary year. The day is booked off 11 ½ months in advance and I plan out a route and a menu.
The reason being that not only does it give people like me, who are passionate epicureans a chance to sample a variety of dishes from a variety of restaurants and suppliers but also it gives the chefs and suppliers a chance to share their passion with the public.
In a 4 hour slot on a sunny Thursday I was able to sample the absolute best that London has to offer and for me there were a few standout dishes and one stand out restaurant. For my mind the best overall best restaurant by a country mile was Club Gascon. Every dish, a plate of absolute technical excellence, imbued with the love and care you can taste. Every member of the team, from the front of house to the chefs in the back was palpably bursting with pride for the food they produce.
The best way to fully put into “real” terms how great the meal was is this; all of our group went back for seconds of their entire menu and we have already booked a table for 8 at their upcoming “Dine With Bordeaux’ wine dinner with four wines paired to four new dishes from Executive Chef Pascal Aussignac. I cannot wait!
The other standouts for me were the dessert from André Garrett At Cliveden House, his peanut butter parfait, salted caramel, raspberry. Desserts often blur into a sweet mess but actually this dessert managed to have distinct flavours and textures, a masterpiece of one of my favourite pairings, peanut butter, caramel and berries. He can even be forgiven for not being, technically, a Londoner. The other standout was actually another dessert, from SushiSamba, their “With Love from Rio: Valhrhona macaé ‘pure brazil’ dark chocolate ganache, coffee mousse, tonka bean ice cream served with caramelized Macadamia and lemon sorrel. A dessert a delicious as it was pretty, though not quite as pretty as the views their restaurant is famed for!
The final mention of a menu that I loved was Duck and Waffle, the food of the UK, backed by Americans and eaten by drunk and hungover foodie Londoners, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is no other place on earth to come if you are a food fanatic‘ Michel Roux Jnr Taste of London, June 17th-21st 2015 – it’s already in my diary and I’m already planning my day!! Check out Taste of London’s website and Facebook page for information on next years event.