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Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road


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I would indeed imagine that Ramsay first came across the idea of pigs trotter served in a haute cuisine fashion while he was working at La Tante Claire (where I'm told he used to bone a trotter in 35 seconds, partly by using his teeth).

That would be 'debone', surely?

not if you're the pig.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Oh the background on the pigs trotter thing is that everyone knows it used to be the PK signature stuffed with morels and sweetbreads.

When Gordon took over the site wayback he had a riff on it on the menu as a homage to the PK signature. Rather than a whole trotter served as a main it was sliced into rounds and panfried, and served either as a starter (with fried quails eggs, if I recall) or a slice as a garnish of the fillet of beef.

However the current version is very different from that. It's a big, long slab of a pigs trotter and ham terrine, fried to finish. No sweetbread or morels in sight. Had supper there a few weeks back and spoke to Mark Askew for a while afterwards (lovely chap, btw) and he mentioned it was nothing to do with the PK dish.

In my view Gary is quite incorrect to attribute this dish or any of its previous incarnations to the influence of Fergus Henderson. In fact I can't remember ever coming across pigs trotter in any significant fashion on the St Johns menu (although I've got a nagging feeling there was some kind of pigs trotter pie dish on one of the feasting menus).

Again I also think it's an incorrect generalisation to associate use of "gizzard" with Fergus. Again, don't remember duck gizzards particularly standing out at St Johns (more a landes/confit country think e.g. tins of confit des gesiers you often find in french delics), although they did used to have a quite inedible duck neck dish on the bar menu.

J

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Found this link whilst on Amazon to a book due out in October this year.

It reads in synopsis that GR will be doing 50 of his classic dishes from his restaurants, then simplified versions for the home cook.

Are we expecting a big lavish production, similar to French Laundry Book?

With the price at £40 we could be.

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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But I daydreamed of Heston Blumenthal testing us with durian crème, a combination that I lust to try with equally intrepid dining companions.

There used to be a restaurant in Oxford called Munchy-Munchy which did durian and coconut ice cream, and it was awesome. Anyone know anywhere doing durian ice cram in London? Have to have it in a restaurant, as bringing a durian fruit into the flat would probably breach about 17 clauses in our lease...

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  • 2 months later...
Any thoughts on the Harden guides demotion of RHR? Personally, I'm not surprised.....

Last year, Hardens' press release said Sweary's influence was stifling the restaurant scene. This year, using a nearly identical list, we're told that the empire is crumbling because Walnuts is spending too much time on TV. Hypocrisy aside, you really have to admire the Harden's publicist for bashing up a story out of such unpromising material.

I'd note that RHR continues to be voted the "top gastronomic experience", which is surely the only category that counts for the city's main food-as-themepark venue. For best overall rating it loses out to Petrus, which perhaps reflects its new-found, Michelin-inspired "destination" status. (Harden's speculates that its victory is because Marcus Wareing spends his time in the kitchen -- even though he executive-s two other restaurants and makes regular appearances on all those "Breakfast with Frosting" shows. I'd bet Mark Askew, executive chef at RHR since 2001, spends a lot more time at the pass than Marcus). Meanwhile, Chez Bruce, London's long-term "favourite restaurant", also gets the "best food" vote this year. This, I'd argue, tells you more about the changing tastes of Harden's voters than it does about top-end London restaurants.

In summary: tabloid hyperbole with a dash of tall poppy syndrome, applied for the selling of guidebooks.

Edited by naebody (log)
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I think the head chef here is Simone Zanoni and Mark Askew is in the NYC restaurant.

Simone is indeed head chef at RHR, whereas Mark is executive head chef of Gordon Ramsay Holdings. Josh Emett, meanwhile, is chef de cuisine at NYC. Walnuts himself is chef patron of both RHR and NYC.

If anybody knows what the frick any of these titles actually mean, please contribute.

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The Head Chef at The Savoy Grill is called Lee Bennett, recently named The Guilds Restaurant Chef of the Year, formerly worked at RHR and for Jason Atherton in Dubai according to Toptable...

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Any thoughts on the Harden guides demotion of RHR? Personally, I'm not surprised.....

Last year, Hardens' press release said Sweary's influence was stifling the restaurant scene. This year, using a nearly identical list, we're told that the empire is crumbling because Walnuts is spending too much time on TV. Hypocrisy aside, you really have to admire the Harden's publicist for bashing up a story out of such unpromising material.

I'd note that RHR continues to be voted the "top gastronomic experience", which is surely the only category that counts for the city's main food-as-themepark venue. ...

In summary: tabloid hyperbole with a dash of tall poppy syndrome, applied for the selling of guidebooks.

Just for the record, the big point that was entirely new in this year's survey was the RHR was not 'out on its own' any more, like it has been for the past umpteen years. When you've built a whole empire on running the best retaurant in London bar none, that's kinda important.

As to the "top gastronomic experience" list, it's a very crude measure of success, which tends to reward big names. (Only big names, however good/bad they are will ever accumulate enough votes to get on such a list.) The real survey evaluation is much more detailed, and includes, for example, comparison of number of votes in 'good' lists (such as "top gastro") and 'bad' lists (such as "most overpriced"). It's all explained at the front of the guide.

And as to the reversal of the 'stifling' theme of the previous year, well, that's precisely what the survey showed: as noted in the press release, most of Gordon's major restaurants just inspired less interest from reporters this year, and the previous 'stifling' trend had gone into reverse. It can happen. A year is a long time in the restaurant business.

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  • 1 month later...
Anyone seen old Gordo's new book?

It's pretty fucking awesome, absolute food porn at its best. Same size etc as French Laundry, but fantastic pictures.

Finally he has made a good book again. I was dispairing following the truly dire F Word cookbooks. Spent all day reading through it. Beautifully illustrated and followable instructions. Very much in the same vain as Keller's French Laundry book. As you say, food porn of the highest order. And it's only £24 from Amazon.

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great pics. shame about the text.

certainly an interesting book, if one can stomach all the horrifically sycophanitc copy. however, although it does look like the food will taste as wonderful as one would expect, I have to say I'm not particularly enthusiastic about some of the presentation. I think this is more down to the plating than the photography, although more trendy/passé blurred and film-grained shots would certainly better disguise the problems, which to my mind are a combination of over-formality, some injudicious colour combinations and a generally unartistic air. By this, I simply mean that although the choices of arrangements and shapes are striking and have impressive attention to detail, they often seem artistically injudicious and unsatisfying. This especially applies to some of the entrees and desserts (mosaics with borders and circles of dots, platings surrounded by symmetrical rings of square slabs etc., almost the opposite of aiken's superficially random and messy plating)

Some of this may be down to his attempting to capture some notional 'golden age of classical cookery' within a still contemporary and modish aesthetic. Perhaps I just feel that this union seems awkward, dated and uninviting.

Am I the only one to have this reaction...?

Edited by adt (log)

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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  • 3 weeks later...
Is it not a phenomenal rip-off of 'White Heat' in format?

The fawning, sycophantic text is from one of the Times journalists. It does bear resemblences to 'White Heat' and Keller's French Laundry Cookbook. But I think that it is his most interesting book in years and does actually show why he got 3 stars. You wouldn't even think the same chef was behind the F Word book.

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  • 2 months later...
Is it not a phenomenal rip-off of 'White Heat' in format?

The fawning, sycophantic text is from one of the Times journalists. It does bear resemblences to 'White Heat' and Keller's French Laundry Cookbook. But I think that it is his most interesting book in years and does actually show why he got 3 stars. You wouldn't even think the same chef was behind the F Word book.

It's just a big ego trip!!

Never trust a skinny Chef

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