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Gary Marshall

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Everything posted by Gary Marshall

  1. cabrales re:self teaching I reckon the most valuable 'skill' you learn from dining at the top end is how food should taste, also food combinations presentation etc can all be picked up. It's obviously much easier and quicker to learn the technical skills if taught in a professional kitchen but you can certainly teach yourself the theory of how to prepare dishes from books. (eg i've read somewhere HB taught himself butchery from a book!) and the practical can come with, well practice. But because you've eaten, for argument's sake beurre blanc, you know what the consistency, seasoning etc should be and that's what a book alone can't help you with. If i'm dining and want to know how something was made, that i can't work out i just ask, the staff/chef are usually quite obliging to share info if you show an interest.
  2. I concur with you andy, i was under the impression that blumenthal was pretty much self taught from books and travelling around france eating (much like MPW's mentors at the box tree in ilkley who taught themselves by eating in all 2 and 3 stars in france!), it was boredom with his career selling office equipment that prompted a move into chefdom.
  3. Don't forget the influence of keith Floyd on JC Novelli, i think he was one of the first to spot his talent! Actually floyd's autobiog is a good holiday read, the english food scene really was dire when he started out, at the time (well according to him, i don't know better) he was a man on a mission converting England to french food Also re MPW, Simon Gueller, whilst not a protege, worked with marco when he started out in leeds and followed him to Harveys, he's not done too bad either with a star to his name at 2 separate restaurants. Sorry if this appears again, i'm having tech problems can't see if this message has been recieved, everyone's watching football on the intranet :
  4. originally ramsay did say he would keep some of the classic french dishes, it would seem that has now passed conclusively! I've never eaten at the connaught but from what i hear, i'd like it and agree with much of your sentiment re culinary history but do we need another ramsay 'lite'? It seems this will be a much bigger challenge for ramsay than claridges and i wouldn't bet against him, if they do pull it off then hopefully the cooking will be pretty spectacular, however i'd be content with going to locatelli before i worry about the connaught!
  5. i think this is the page from telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wine....m08.xml
  6. Hi Cabrales it sounds like the menu is all angela hartnett's recipes and ideas, he seems to have given her free reign on most issues from what i have read in this article and elsewhere. She's worked mainly with ramsay but also had a spell with locatelli at zafferano but not for long i think. i'll dig out the article tonight. There was also a story that it was going to be an all female brigade but i've not had that confirmed....
  7. Hi Adam yep mustard and punch is the other obvious choice, i only ate there once, as part of the FT Lunch offer and enjoyed it but it never seemed to get the accolade the 3 acres got from friends who lived and dined locally much more than me. I used to work not far away in Fenay bridge, just off the penistone road. In those days i was a mere amateur in the food stakes (we spent most of our lunch times in 'the Star' which would only win awards for dextrous microwave use!) though so didn't travel too much off the beaten track, i have read good things about the weavers shed too but for some reason haven't come across many who have eaten there. If you wanted curry though you were in luck, the Nawaab in the town centre remains one of the best!
  8. big feature on Ramsay and Angela Hartnett in the saturday telegraph, weekend section. (would give the link if i had the necessary technical expertise!) Does indeed look like it's going to be italian (as she is, in part). Looks like the connaught is in for a shock but Ramsay seems to be very confident. I guess it will keep this board humming for a few months post opening!
  9. i'm in need of some thoughts for city dining, I'm fed up of paying up for poor food and indifferent service in the likes of coq d argent, prism, lombard st etc. Are there any decent brasserie type operations in the heart of the city that i should be patronising?
  10. I had the (mis) fortune to work in Huddersfield for 3 years. The 3 acres was the best place in the area, although that doesn't say much admittedly! It's been a long time since (as i'm now all sophisiticated and work in leeds) i've been but i gather it is still very popular from friends in the area. If it hasn't changed then it's a traditional style pub with bar/restaurant, just next to emley moor mast so you've no excuse for not finding it, however in winter you do run the risk of getting snowed in!
  11. don't forget the world cup seems to be dragging everyone away from their normal routines into anywhere with a large screen tv and cheap beer. I've had great difficulty getting hold of people for over a week now with long bank hols and football getting in the way of me earning a crust
  12. Simon, It is certainly a difficult issue for chefs such as ramsay to manage. As to whether it spoils the experience is another matter, on one evening visit i thought the service was shaky and reckoned he wasn't there. A waiter said he was but he certainly wasn't around when i went into the kitchen. The next day for lunch he was, and things were definitely slicker. However the food remained consistently good. Personally i just wish i was able to dine at aubergine (or harveys for that matter) when you knew exactly who was cooking and they were really going for it, trying to set new standards.
  13. To be fair to Mr R, he does print the head chefs name on the menu at RHR, Mark Askew (good bloke, from skipton), so he's hardly pretending to be behind the stoves at all time.
  14. Gavin on the way up the A1 you may want to try McCoys at the Tontine, it's near Northallerton. Not been recently myself but friend did and enjoyed it, been there years so suggests its doing something right! Cappers I'm glad you didn't enjoy your experience up north, people like you are best kept away from the cultured parts of the world. Yes there are some great restaurants in london, do you eat at ramsay, the Square, petrus every week? no i thought not. I'm lucky enough not to have to live in london but eat there regularly through work and even though i'm not paying for it begrudge the poor food and service i generally have to put up with unless dining at a 'recomended' establishment, which surely make up the minority of London restaurants, Aberdeen steak house anyone??
  15. i've done the start and finish of the tour but not the mountains, however i 've looked into it with a view of going and gave up due to the logistics (but don't let me put you off, i just like an easy life!). the tour is so huge it books up all the hotels in a big radius around the stage finish, worse when it ends somewhere fairly remote rather than a city centre finish. If you were going to a major mountain finish, ventoux, alpe d huez etc, spectators arrive days before! often 2 -3 to get the best vantage spots. Most seem to camp or go in camper vans. Often there's not enough room for the tour to stay on the mountain so the roads remain closed to allow the tour vehicles back down again. In a nutshell i'm saying allow maybe 3 days to see the ventoux finish it will not be easy! However even if you only get a fleeting glimpse of the leaders it can usually take an hour for the full peloton to come through so it won't be a waste of time, it's the atmosphere. the tour website www.letour.fr has full route details and timings for the race and cavalcade that precedes it. Try www.accor.com for french hotels of all categories. I'm tempted by the stage finish in reims but again put off by the fact it will be hard to find anywhere to stay or eat when the race is in town !
  16. without going off the topic too far winteringham is definitely worth the trip. It is my benchmark for all things food and even on the cheapest set lunch (£29 3 courses, 3 choices per course) you will generally eat something amazing at some point. In a way it's a more refined star , big concentration on local produce, given a twist (but not a daft fusion twist) eg north sea paella. Or just an old classic done to amazing standards. As a foodie it is a very interesting place to eat, menu changes weekly too so there's no chance of getting bored with it! Am due a trip soon so will update but i can post some of the tasting menus i've had there later.
  17. to balance out the metrocentric slant of the board, here's a brief guide to the star inn at harome, one of only 2 i think pubs with a michelin star. It's an old thatched inn, to be found in the middle of no-where in north Yorkshire, (nearest town helmsley which seems to be home to a couple of half decent places now), although an open fire 'beacon' outside the front door helps to locate it! Although clinging on to the term pub, most go to eat, the bar is unreserved, wait your turn and the restaurant is the same menu and prices but more of the usual michelin fripperey. Bar can be very crowded but is atmospheric ie very dark, lit by candles but v conducive to an afternoon of marinating oneself. Bar area is filled with usual pubby 'tat' but all immaculate and does work well (which makes a change) and tables are all old oak 'mousey thompson' pieces which add to the eclectic air. Front of house is run by wife of chef patron in busily efficient manner, aided and abetted by young staff who by and large are good (again makes a change). Wine list is not overly lengthy but covers the main countries and styles and there's a good selection of wines by the glass. It's been touted for several years in the local guides etc but i avoided it for a long time as many just don't live up their repuations, however this is genuinely special, and for once this is a place that lives up to its billing. Onto the food, i tend to go on a sunday afternoon and this is a fairly representative sample of what's on offer...Some Starters: risotto of fresh asparagus with wild garlic leaves, deep fired ragstone beignet £6.25. Carpaccio of peppered beef fillet with twineham grange crackling, pickled onion salad, sour cream dressing £5.50. Warm pigeon sald with crispy smoked belly pork, fresh fig, roast hazelenut pesto £5.50. Mains: Pan roast ryedale roe deer with a little venison cottage pie, fairy ring mushroom and tarragon gravy £16.50 Loin of spaunton pedigree suffolk lamb with creamed goats cheese, asparagus salad, lavender vinaigrette £13.95. Roast loin of pork with boudin noir, baked apple, raisin stuffing sage and onion juices £8.95 pan fried calves liver with crispy waber-thwaite ham, baby spinach salad, haricot bean dressing £11.95. Puddings: Lemon tart, blueberry sauce £4.95, dark choc pud with orange curd ice cream, citrus fruit pastilles £5.25, baked egg custard tart with first of the season gooseberry sherbet. Elderflower rice pudding with a suguared skin, warm compote of stewed local rhubarb £5.25. As you can see there is a large emphasis on local produce and the quality does show in the dishes, i've not had a dish yet that i could justifiably moan about and believe me, that is unusal! Actually, i think i'll just check this weekends availability....
  18. i like le cafe st honore, just off george st, looks like a very typical french bistro serving decent food. Not sure of the cost on an evening as i've only been for lunch but find it a convivial spot for drinking a bit more than planned! 0131 226 2211. Another spot i had a cheap lunch in was cafe marlene, virtually opposite C st H., seemed to be run by 2 women one cooking, one serving. Simple 3 choice hand written menu. good food and certainly unpretentious.
  19. go to embasssy they said...so i did, took 2 colleagues and 3 clients (not all of which were huge foodies) and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. food was excellent, had the pigs trotter starter, chicken rossini and a fig pudding. all were immaculate. Only minor irritation was the wine, didn't want to go mad so thought cloudy bay for £32 didn't seem bad, but sold out, so ordered chablis, sold out but offered alternative that wasn't v good, so was then 'forced' onto meursault about £66 which was decent. All were served much too cold for my liking though. Didn't find it overly fashionable, no bouncers or red rope. taxis had no idea where it was though! i would have no qualms about recommending for a night of classic french cuisine.
  20. i was fortunate enought to nip to brussels on the eurostar this weekend, for a trip to comme chez soi, 3* very old established restaurant in the heart of brussels. It was a restaurant review ages ago in the (sadly now defunct) sunday business magazine that inspired the trip and i have to say it was justified. They have a 'hosts' table' just off the kitchen where we sat, this is more of an alley and seats not a cosy 6 a la claridges but about 30! however it was still possible to view the busy but calm kitchen from our vantage point. Staff were friendly and efficient although i was annoyed to be given an english menu straight away, however that was about the only problem! we had the menu degustation 138 euros pp, it was amuse bouche of a crab salad with hazlenuts i think, grilled bass, mizuna salad,almonds vinaigrette with piquillos and lemon leaves. Lobster flan with montrachet. fried sweetbreads and foie gras, artichokes pea puree and white truffle oil. salad of lamb morrils, tagliatelle, beans and asparagus. warm st maure cheese spinach olive oil and pecorino crusts and dessert of pyramid of apple in genose pastry and caramel sauce. www.commechezsoi.be
  21. working in leeds i would highly recommend Guellers, it is now fully back on form following a much publicised difficult patch. Front of house is handled superbly by Belgian Denis who is an excellent sommelier and if you show interest wil show you some interesting gems he's hidden on the wine list. Cooking is usually pretty faultless and can be v good value too at lunchtime. Evening a la carte can throw up a few annoying supplements but i've never eaten badly there. For a 'business lunch' of the bottle of red steak and bearnaise variety try la grillade. i rarely eat anywhere else in leeds than these two. Further afield the star at harome is worth a trip, (went yesterday and will give full report later) as is winteringham fields which for the dedicated foodie one of the best restaurants you will dine in, knocks the socks off every 3 star i've been in. Might be worth a trip Mr Majumdar!
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