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Chef Hermes Blog

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  1. Hi,
    I ate there quite recently, and to be honest I wouldn't go again.
    $500 meal for 2, in a 1Michelin*!!!! That is the same price I paid for us to go to The Fat Duck, a 3*.
    I finished my review with:

     Clearly Wylie Dufrense is being stretched too far with the new outlet, & WD50 is suffering because of it, becoming a parody of what it once was.



  2. If it's true that Zafferano has lost its *, well it would be wrong to say I'm happy, but I think the loss would reflect a reality. I never understood that *, and especially after the advent of Apsleys the gap in standard was embarrassing.

    Tis true, total of 6 deletions plus the 3 deleted from 1* & promoted to 2* (which is the way Michelin do it)

    All the info you'll need plus comment on the blog

  3. as I've been all over this story since it broke this morning, trawling the internet for various bits of research, I'll try to get you upto speed.

    The new version (ie 2013 guide) was up for about 1-2hours then it reverted back to the old version (ie 2012) hence the confusion about places such as Sharrow Bay (which has indeed lost a star)

    On the blog now is the full listing including the Michelin PDF, deletions, additions & comment, along with comparisions to other guides.

    Incidentally, I spoke to one of the new 1* holders this morning @ The Raby Hunt, genuinely such a nice bloke & it was hard to reassure him that I wasn't a crank caller. He now has the full michelin PDF as proof.

    Hope this clears up the situation


  4. It's a bit like sending Brian Sewell to judge a primary school art competition.

    Oh please.

    That is the worst analogy I've ever heard of.

    For a start Mr Sewell is a well respected in his industry, professional & an expert critic, the critical couple are none of these.

    If you drive Ferrari everyday it doesn't make you the font of all knowledge about cars.

    But yet again, they are generating interest by this cry wolf attitude. If they were really that bothered they would scrap their blog & start again. New name etc and see where it goes.

    I'm done talking about this subject, am now bored of it.

  5. There were a number of things that I disliked about CC, I say dislike because hate is a very strong word in my world.

    The manipulation of PR, name dropping & attention seeking are just three things which irritated me. Maybe tinged with a soupçon of jealousy, after all we started at the same time and they've clearly done very well in growth terms.

    But yet again this "I'm taking my ball home because I don't play any more" attitude just makes me laugh. In a post about bloggers (in which they were quoted) Johnnie Mountain commented by saying:

    He needs no affirmation, admiration or condemnation for his acts!! He’s not looking for more followers, in fact, he may just fuck the whole thing off quite soon.

    That was July. Maybe they just want to do the LMQS christmas post, I don't know.

    Many will sight the lack of insight, technical knowledge & average writing and yes they are contributing factors. But really people hating them? So far I've had to put up with 7 fake parody accounts on twitter & facebook and months of crank phone calls, which all seem to stop once I'd put a bully on the spot. I've seen none of this type of behaviour on twitter towards them and if you want to put yourself out there as a blogger then you have to accept most criticism in what ever form it manifests itself in.

    To me, I'm not phased either way but don't pull the age old trick of crying wolf or maybe somebody just didn't get enough hugs as a child. Who knows.iphone screen grab.jpg

  6. Hi, I tend to use a blender more than I would a food processor. But then I do more purees & soups that way. Kenwood do a unit which comes with both attachments so maybe look at that.

    prices start at about £45 stg and to to over £100stg for the metal case ones.

  7. I could also be wrong but I suspect someone with two stars might have a reasonable idea how it works ;-)

    And other than the 2 places I've mentioned & somebody else talking El Bulli who is saying which restaurant is 2M*?

    Compared to other 2M* places I've eaten L'Enclume falls short. This opinion is based on:

    a)places I've eaten


    b) 20+ years in the industry some of it in 1M* places & 2years training under one of the youngest 2M* chefs the UK has had.

    If people want to continually say its worth 2M* thats fine. But at least base it on more than a comparison to one other meal you've had. Some of my contributions are actually based on conversations with senior inspectors not rumour & speculation from people that think they should have a star. Access not normally given to the food public.

  8. The consultancy ending has been sometime coming. Mr Campbell was originally full time staff but moved to consultancy in April, which was when the departures started.

    Whilst Coworth park may trot out the line that there will be a re-branding of the restaurant, Dorchester Collection have a habit of bringing in stellar names to their properties.

    Ducasse - London Dorchester

    Wolfgang puck - 45 Park Lane

    Ducasse - Plaza Athénée

    Yannick Alléno - Restaurant le Meurice

    Wolfgang Puck - Hotel BelAir

    With a rumour that a 3M* Italian chef is being brought on board for one of their european hotels.

    It will be interesting to see what will happen accolade wise.

    Mr Meredith is a good chef but overseeing 40+ chefs & multi outlets is a bit different from gaining a M* at the samling (tiny country house hotel in cumbria)

  9. ....

    How do you know that? Surely its what's on the plate, not what plate it's on.

    El Bulli served us dishes in plastic cups and wire mesh plates!!

    OK, what you might have to understand is the difference.

    Martin Wishart is a classic fine dining restaurant in every sense of the word.

    El Bulli is/ was a niche restaurant & didn't simple arrive at 3M* by serving food in plastic cups (I'm assuming this is the microwaved espuma sponge).

    People complain that they dont know what Michelin is about, but if they actually listen/read what they(Michelin) say then it might be clearer.

    How can Michelin put the Hand & Flowers at the same level as LMQS? Simple

    They are graded for their respective categories, as the guide actually says.

    So to serve a canape on tin foil would make it stand out like a sore thumb at somewhere like LMQS or Martin Wishart, but probably not out of place at El Bulli.

    For 1M* it is becoming more & more apparent that they are embracing individual styles rather than puree/foraging/chemical type approach which has become rather generic.

  10. I'm off to L'Enclume for the first time for my 50th birthday later this month, and am really looking forward to it (although not so much after reading your review, Chef Hermes ... I hope I enjoy it more than you did).

    Anyway, just a couple of questions for those in the know - how often do they change the menu (ie. will the menu currently on their site be the one we get?), and do they offer a wine matching option yet? There is little or nothing on the site about the wines they have.

    Believe they do offer a wine flight option but didnt see a price for it when I was there.

  11. But, what did it taste like?

    The Martin Wishart canape? Really good, it was a fishcake.

    I know you're going to make the point 'Well what does it matter what it's served on', but when pushing for 2M* (which I believe he is) EVERYTHING counts. It's the attention to detail.

    Unfortunately the lighting wasn't great in the restaurant so the pics aren't as good as they should be.

    I refuse to use flash, in consideration of other diners.

  12. Ouch :shock:

    Yet reading your blog, you seem to like most of the dishes.

    Yes it was a good meal, but not great.

    Going to 2* level is a massive jump & the consistency just isnt there. Hence why I cant understand 5AA rosettes (competing with international cuisines highest chefs).

    The meal I had the following night at Martin Wishart was outstanding and with the minor blip of a canape being served on a tin foil disc beat L'Enclume hands down on every front.


  13. Thanks for the piccies. Amazes me that Simon keeps missing out on the second star.

    On the back of the experience both Jay Rayner & myself had (independently I might add) it's far from a 2* restaurant.

    When it's good, it's very good, The Beetroot & mozzarella is a worthy 2* dish.

    But the carrots & milkskin was wrong, 25% of the carrots under cooked, over seasoned & fried bread which tasted like stale popcorn.

    Glad I've been, but will be looking elsewhere for a top end experience.LEn-Icecream.jpg

  14. Apparently Michelin don't factor service at single star level, but obviously do at two and three.

    According to the Big Fat Duck Cookbook, the then head of Michelin told Blumenthal that the stars were awarded solely for the food.

    I've not been to Dinner either, I was just going from what I've heard.

    I've been told this personally by a senior Michelin Inspector & has been an agenda for a number of years now

  15. The easiest way would be to pass the oil through a chinois into a container. Chill sufficiently that everything sets. then to scoop off the fat & store in a separate container.

    or use one of these:

    fat sep jug

  16. Very good with the Krug :laugh: although I believe DP rose is the weapon of choice :rolleyes:

    Yes, they even mentioned my blog twice on Twitter to make sure I read it, oh dear.

    The fact that they have completely missed the point just makes me laugh & as for the name calling, really how old?

    The point of the post was 2 fold, behaviour from bloggers & the responsibility that goes with it esp when somebody like this couple are across Twitter & other websites to drive traffic their way. It just seems to be more than a hobby, with a potential to turn to a business.

    In their reply, they say that I've taken their quotes literally, but if you use phrases like you couldn't pay me to go back. Then that, to me at least indicates in the strongest possible terms that you wont be going back.

    Yet again it shows just how bad their writing really is or as Jay Rayner commented on my post:

    others are sponging, freebie-whores who thump through the English language like elephants on heat

    Think he may have a point

  17. There is no envy 'Man', but as a chef & food blogger (writing from within the industry) I can see both sides of the coin. But what they don't get, clearly is the level of responsibility that comes as your blog grows.

    They didn't even have the guts to defend the Michael Caines U-turn, this just shows how weak they are with this concept. At least have b*ll*cks to stand by the courage of your convictions.

  18. After reading this thread, The Marcus Wareing debarcle and various other chef vs blogger postings across the interweb I wrote a post.

    Johnny Mountain came to the defence of CC and tried to moderate the tone of the comments which were being posted. Jay Rayner chipped in by questioning the figures I'd quoted for a blogger and on the blogger front Chris Pople of Cheese 'n' Biscuits made an appearance.

    After all this and the debate raging on Twitter nothing from CC, other than after nearly 24hrs of the post going live

    some people just don't like bloggers (unless they have Mangalorean recipes on their site)

    The silence was deafening.

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