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Gary Marshall

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Everything posted by Gary Marshall

  1. I promise i'm not on the MPW payroll but it does seem as the years pass his contribution to the culinary scene is being diminished....
  2. i'm pretty sure he was also the youngest chef to ever be awarded 3 stars anywhere. much must rank him quite highly somewhere historically!
  3. there are actually 2 different restaurants, 'gaucho grill' is a chain (another one that had severe financial trouble) with six sites around london. 'gaucho' has 2 sites ifield rd and chelsea farmers market (surely a contradiction in terms !)
  4. But i am right ........although i forgot to mention the fucking loud bar
  5. steve I hear where you're coming from but there's a big difference between 'is' the most important etc, etc and 'could turn out to be'. I hope you're right and london does become the capital of haute cuisine, save me a lot of money on eurostar fares
  6. i've put my argument on the other topic, but, for the list i would nominate le gavroche, chez nico & harveys
  7. LML It is my personal opinion that sketch will close by the end of next year. having witnessed the devastation of the share prices of virtually every pub/restaurant stock on the market, huge city redundancies and advertising recession and the subsequent decline in expense account dining and bonuses i find it brave/foolhardy to open such a restaurant at this time. I wish it no ill but just can't see it working beyond the initial rush of interest. Mr Plotnicki although i wasn't born when the roux bros opened le gavroche, from reading around i think it fairly clear that until they set up french food was virtually unknown in the UK. Without them we may still think lyons coffee houses and baked potatoes are the height of gastronomy . Therefore i think they do deserve to be regarded as certainly one of the most important restaurants to ever open in the UK. i didn't say they had worldwide reputations (though i believe they do) so this debate is purely uk centric. Nico Ladenis built upon the foundations of the roux's and with the roux's helped to form the nascent careers of MPW, Ramsay & Wareing. After working for the Roux's, koffman & ladenis, MPW set up harveys which again built on the work of the former and gave us Ramsay 'fully trained', Gueller, Stephen Terry and no doubt several other now michelin starred chefs in their own rights which are far more important in shaping the gastronomic scene in Britain than an outpost of a parisian 3* restaurant in London. By the way doesn't Alain Ducasse's spoon restaurant count as the first 3* french chef to open in london
  8. As cabrales has the benefit of the full parisian 3*, chef in attendance experience in Paris and reckons london's own Ramsay RHR to be preferable why does this make Sketch (to paraphrase Mr Plotnicki as i can't work out how to do two quotes) 'in food terms the most important restaurant to ever open in london????' interesting yes, but the most important?? I'm sure Roux bros, Nico, MPW would disagree. i'm think i'm actually going to miss it when it closes it's livened up an otherwise unexciting board!
  9. Much as i am enjoying this debate, it seems a bit futile. At the prices mentioned, rumoured or otherwise, there are simply not the punters around, and it will be shut before next christmas. This place to me has a strong smell of fashionability about it, and in this territory comes the distinct chance of being ripped off. This to my mind will put off the michelin groupies, (of which i count myself) who will struggle to get tables, and the fashionable 'in-crowd' will eventually move elsewhere. Tasting menu aside, the a la carte seems to be about double that of ramsay rhr and i'm sure most foodies will just not stomach that price inflation to eat in an un-starred restaurant, regardless of the provenance of the chef. At least when ramsay 'franchised' himself to claridges he had the decency to charge low prices (at least to start ).
  10. Ahhh Hibiscus the rumours are true...... it is a very fine restaurant I've been planning to return to Ludlow ever since a great couple of days there about 3-4 years ago which was a merchant house/les marches double header. At that time, clare bosi was at the merchant house and claude was cooking at les marches, i enjoyed the MH experience more than les marches, there was nothing wrong with the cooking (claude bosi had got it a star too) but the dining room was a bit subdued and the experience quite forgettable. Now they have a restaurant that matches their talents. the restaurant is a fantastic oak panelled space and as soon as i entered the small seating area it felt very welcoming, some restaurants just 'have it' and this one does. I was lunching alone as the girlfriend had decided a girly weekend with her friends in London was more fun than lunch and a christening the next day with me! I settled in with my newspapers and had a glass of champagne with some fine gougeres whilst i looked at the menu. they generally do a £25 (?) lunch but they offered the a la carte and it all looked good so i plumped for the 9 course hibiscus menu, dishes chosen by claude. No wine but i was immediately offered a jug of water rather than the 'usual' £4 mineral which was a good start. Once seated in the restaurant again everything was correct, well dressed tables complete with very smart hand made glass 'show plates' which gave the room a sophisticated air (much like me, i've been to leeds you know ). Amuse was a lentil and walnut oil soup which was deep in flavour, and very autumnal First course were a scallop carpaccio laid on leek leaves with a liquorice vinaigrette, excellent fresh, lively dish great to start. second came some turbot with a smoked beurre blanc (not on the a la carte) this was great, the smokiness in the suace was a new method to me, apparently comes from adding smoked eel to the sauce. third up was a ravioli filled with sweet onion and winter truffle, veloute of potato and meadowsweet, this was fine not a lot to get excited about. Fourth came the pigs trotters mmm, this was a crispy galette with white beans cooked with a brown shrimp jus ficasses of calamari with maple syrup. This was great, at the time i didn't realise it was calamari as i'd not caught the full description from one of the two french waitresses. Again all works better than the cacophony of flavours the description might suggest. fifth was Pheasant, now the menu i'm looking at it says with lentils cramy leeks and bacon but i'm not sure what i had did! but it was a decent breast cooked to perfection. sixth was a choux farci of lamb with foie gras and apricot, i'm a big fan of these stuffed cabbages and foie, gueller does it with pigeon, this was good too, i think the lamb was chopped with herbs but it was bloody good. seventh was an apple compote type, served in a shot glass but a good palate cleanser eigth was an espresso sorbet, whiskey creme anglais with a warm chocolate madelaine, coffee and petits fours to finish. If you think that sounds a lot, clare said claude can get carried away and it has hit 17 courses! The portions are just right, just don't fill up too early on the excellent bread (country, treacle and one other that escapes me) by now a good three hours had passed (i had to run out to move the car, they do have some parking behind the restaurant though) and i was in conversation with other lunchers, most of whom were envious of my tasting menu and vowed to have it next time, i don't think they offered it to everyone but i had wanted a dinner reservation so i think they gave me a wider choice. (If you want it at lunch it may be wise to check on booking). The conversation got onto winteringham, if claude and clare have bought it (as the caterer seem convinced according to clare) then they hide it well! I took with me the menu from les marches to see how the cooking had changed, it certainly amused clare n claude, and i can safely say it has come on leaps and bounds, it really is very accomplished, imaginative cooking without falling into the molecular gastronomy rubbish that peppers menus these days. This was a worry having read some of the reviews and dish descritpions but i can assure you if you like classic french, bosi's cooking is just a few steps ahead of what you expect but doesn't disappoint, and they don't tell you how to eat it! As i was driving i didn't sample any wines but the list looked good with an interesting selection of vin de pays too along with the usual suspects. If i had been on the sauce i would have struggled to get past the ch musar for £26. I'm going back, without the car, for the full experience I highly recommend it.
  11. Steve, but we are not talking about a transfer of equity we are talking a sale which is a 'chargeable event' and as such would trigger tax payments. i'm not a tax expert, my area has been in the past been cgt on equities, my point is though it is very hard under UK legislation to pass on any asset without losing a slug of it to the taxman, be it CGT, income tax, inheritance tax or whatever. They'll get you somewhere along the line!
  12. With regard to capital gains tax there is little that escapes mr brown's grubby paws, except your principal residence. the inland revenue is also well aware of many retirement tax avoidance schemes such as passing on homes to children etc. if you are selling up to retire there is apparently substantial retirement relief available that will reduce the bill but you'll still end up with a hefty bill, especially if you get the asking price of £1.3m for your restaurant!
  13. I'm confused my 'special reporters edition' of hardens, arrived last night and there's no mention of the top ten in it. it has a restaurant remys in it but no overall top ten???
  14. One issue i can assure you of is winteringham are not shy about charging! the a la carte starters are £20 plus and mains £30 plus. Menu surprise £60, rooms up to £250 per night. my once a year blow out cost best part of £600 for 2 and room last year! (but we went a bit mad with quantity of the wine) As economic conditions worsen i feel punters will baulk at paying celeb chef prices for absent stars. but anyway i'd better get on with booking a table whilst it's still there....
  15. don't quite understand the point you're making here john, with regard to 'provincial'. I can only discuss winteringham (and my love of it is well documented on this site) but they are leaving at the top of their game with a fully booked restaurant, 2 stars and accolades coming out of their ears. Yes they want to retire, who doesn't (i would and i'm only 32 ) but they can look back with immense satisfaction of a job well done, created careers for many in literally the middle of no-where and brought a great deal of pleasure to a lot of people. it's not as if they are being forced out of business (and i suspect that is the case with the others too) it's more a case that their hard work and commitment has paid off and hopefully then can sell up and enjoy the financial benefits they have worked for rather than being tied to the stove due to onerous financial constraints. Surely that's inspiration enough to open a restaurant in the provinces? cheers gary
  16. not sure if gary hollihead is still cooking now the marquee has reopened but when i went it was seriously good in a classic french comfort food fashion. not silly prices either from memory, reminds me i must go back!
  17. The second departure from the two star scene in the mould of pierre koffman is Germain Schwab of winteringham fields. PK is his favourite chef apparently. Germain does little to self publicise and is a true chef's chef. If he's not in the kitchen, the restaurant doesn't open. Winteringham is up for sale, germains retirement would be a sad loss to the british restaurant scene.
  18. http://www.caterer.com/news/articledetail....articleID=45670 caterer article regarding winteringham sale
  19. i mentioned this on another thread but, the star 'corner shop' sells basically the fresh produce the restaurant uses, it is almost an extension of their stores and bakery. one thing i do like that might help your margins is they sell 'leftovers' ie things that are on the menu that can be easily re-heated such as casseroles, rissottos, soups. they sell really well and sell for about £7 for a tub with enough for 2 (think last i had was a venison bourginon (never can spell that)). they also sell a big cheese range cookbooks and local 'tat'.
  20. if i told you my source i'd have to kill you afterwards don't think it will be changing hands soon, but it is really worth the trip, maybe it's the incentive you need!
  21. winteringham fields is indeed up for sale, come on claude and claire, raid the piggy bank!
  22. tiggy A personal favourite is la vigneraie 11 rue thillois just off the main st, place drouet d'erlon. it is also very good value, staff are v friendly and food is good. for something a bit different try the modern 'l'apostrophe' on the main st, it's quite a buzzy bar for pre/post dinner drinks too. i've also tried 'au petit comptoir' up at the north end of town from the main st. that's a bit more modern than the traditional la vigneraie but i didn't eat there on my last visit in sept, menu looked good though. i've not been but it does seem highly thought of in gault-millau and it's 'le foch' across the main road from the station. for a 'steak bearnaise' type of establishment there is a cafe flo (on the corner of the place drouet d'erlon) but it's not the greatest, however it's a nice building, seems popular and does have a good brasserie menu, if a bit hit and miss on the execution. there's also some interesting food/wine shops on the place too.
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