Richard%20Bradford.jpgCongratulations to Trunkwell Mansion House proprietor, Bob Walton, who has been named as the new chairman of the Restaurant Association, and to Richard, Earl of Bradford, proprietor of Porter’s Restaurant in London, and the association’s new vice-chairman.
The two were in top form at this week’s Restaurant Association 40th anniversary dinner, hosted by 2007 Catey Lifetime Achievement award-winner, Richard Shepherd at Langan’s Brasserie in London.
Walton presented a gift to Manny Franks, the oldest serving member of the association, who promptly joked that the presidency and vice-presidency were mere sinecures. “The committee used to work far harder in the past, than it does now”, he told guests, to much laughter.
I congratulated Richard Shepherd on the excellent, pink Beef Wellington served to guests. “That was the easy part”, he told me. “The hard bit was getting 80 portions of ice cream up two flights of stairs without them melting.” The ice cream came courtesy of event sponsors, Movenpick.
With dinner over, Bob Walton took a few of us across the road and signed us in at the Ritz Casino. For someone whose only experience of gambling is a pound each way on a 100-1 in the Grand National, the casino, with its Venetian chandeliers, murals and fine-dining restaurant offering Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Indian and Western food, was a revelation.
The following morning, I conducted an interview with one of the leading lights of the Ark Foundation, whose remit is to protect hospitality workers from all forms of addiction. I opted not to mention the previous evening’s activities …