Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles has been named the best restaurant in Britain by the Sunday Times.
Scotland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant rose up six places, from seventh last year, to claim the top spot in the 2012 Sunday Times Food List, raking the 100 best restaurants in Britain.
Karen Robinson, editor of the Sunday Times Food List, said: “Andrew Fairlie’s insistence on using the finest ingredients, available from local Scottish hillsides and waters, and the way he introduces exotic influences while never blindly following trends, make his food exceptional.
“His top placing also shows that high class food is a nationwide phenomenon now, not just an exclusive experience for London foodies.”
Fairlie said it was amazing to have won the award. “I’m really proud and very happy for the team here. It’s been an exceptionally busy year and they have all worked so hard and now that it’s getting to the time of year where everyone is getting a bit tired, it’s a big boost.”
When asked what he put the success down to he added: “I think it’s down to consistency. We have stuck to what we do best and haven’t been distracted by fads. After 12 years the restaurant has matured year-on-year; we are trying to get better all the time and it’s paid off.”
The event saw two-Michelin-starred chefs Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), Andrew Fairlie (Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles), Phil Howard (The Square) and Tom Kerridge (The Hand & Flowers) cooking up a four-course dinner at the restaurant. They worked alongside 1 Lombard Street head chef Juri Ravagli.
The fine wine auction was part of Action Against Hunger’s Love Food Give Food appeal, which aims to help 100,000 children in Burkina Faso, Niger and Liberia. The UK Government is matching all public donations to the appeal.
The auction included prizes such as dinner at Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, as well as dinner at the Kitchen Table at the opening of Angela Hartnett’s new restaurant at the Lime Wood in the New Forest, which won the highest bid of £15,000.
Action Against Hunger’s head of events, Becca McRow, said: “It has been a fantastic evening and we have raised an incredible amount of money for our work around the world. Our guests have been amazing and have really got behind Love Food Give Food, digging very deeply in their pockets to help our appeal.
“We would like to thank all of our amazing chefs for cooking up a delicious menu and of course 1 Lombard Street for once again opening their doors to us so warmly. Together, everyone this evening has helped us get one step closer to getting child hunger off the table.”
Luxury hotel and restaurant consortium Relais & Chateaux this week hosted its second annual Grands Chefs dinner in New York, bringing together 45 top chefs from around the world.
The event, which took place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on Monday evening, featured chefs from 10 countries from four continents, with the UK represented by two-Michelin-starred Grands Chefs Andrew Fairlie and Claude Bosi.
Other chefs included three-Michelin-starred chefs Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten from the USA, Thomas Bühner from La Vie in Germany, and Emmanuel Renaut from Flocons de Sel in France. In addition iconic French chefs Marc Meneau and Annie Féolde as well as young chefs such as César Troisgros and Christopher Kostow were also cooking.
New York marked Relais & Chateaux’s second annual Grands Chefs dinner after the inaugural event held at Versailles in France last year. Next year, the dinner will take place in London.
The Grands Chefs dinner, which raised funds for New York charity Citymeals on Wheels and was sponsored by Champagne Pommery, saw the chefs paired up in teams of three cooking for 20 or 30 covers. The menus featured a first course of lobster, a second course of either scallops or sea bass, and a third of either veal or lamb.
Andrew Fairlie, chef patron of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Scotland, served seared Maine scallops with Scottish sea vegetables and seaweed broth. He was teamed up with US chef Mark Ladner from El Posto in New York, and Patrick Bertron, head chef at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in France.
Meanwhile Claude Bosi, chef patron of Hibiscus in London, served roast tenderloin of veal with aubergine and miso caviar, roast baby gem lettuce and dried bonito. He cooked alongside Davy Tissot from Villa Florentine in France and and Stéphane Mazières Hôtel Le Toiny in Saint Barts.
Commenting on the event, Fairlie said it had been a great honour to have been involved. “Being among culinary greats such as Marc Meneau, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller was a fantastic and humbling experience,” he said.
“While the cooking on the night was a challenge, the organisation of the event was impeccable and I had a great team in Mark and Patrick.”
Fairlie added: “The room looked absolutely spectacular and I didn’t realise until I got there just how big the event was going to be. It was an amazing and exhilarating experience and one of the best events of its kind that I have cooked at.”
Adam Smith, premier sous chef at the Ritz in London, has been named the 2012 Roux Scholar.
Smith, who had entered the prestigious competition for the first time this year, won the title following a fierce cook-off in the kitchens of London’s Westminster Kingsway College this morning.
Competitors were asked to cook turbotin jubilee, whole braised turbot
with lobster mousseline, scallops and caviar, garnished with artichoke
bottoms and asparagus tips and a champagne sauce, in two hours and 30
Their culinary skills were judged by a panel of industry experts headed
by scholarship founder Michel Roux, his brother Albert, son Alain and
nephew Michel Jnr. The judges also included former Roux Scholars
two-Michelin-starred chefs Andrew Fairlie and Sat Bains as well as David
Nicholls, Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner and the BBC2 Saturday Kitchen
presenter James Martin.
A 2011 Acorn winner, 24-year-old Smith is already an experienced competition chef having won a gold medal at the 2009 WorldSkills competition in Calgary and assisted both former Roux Scholars Andre Garrett and Simon Hulstone as commis chef at the 2007 and 2009 Bocuse d’Or.
In 2010 he was selected to represent the English National Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, winning a gold medal in the Restaurant of Nations. That same year he also won the Craft Guild’s Young Chef of the Year award.
As the 29th winner of the Roux Scholarship, Smith has won a three-month all expenses paid stage at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant of his choice. He has also won an expenses-paid trip to Champagne Gosset in Ay, and a trip to visit the Caffe Musetti roasting factory in Milan.
The other five finalists were:
Edward Attwell, Love’s Restaurant, Birmingham
Quinton Bennett, The Arch, London
Arbinder Dugal, Le Pont De La Tour, London
Pramod Ghadge, Catlin Underwriting Agencies operated by Harbour & Jones, London
Robert Hutchins, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate
The AA has announced the shortlist for the 2012 Chefs’ Chef of the Year award, with 15 of the UK’s most celebrated chefs up for the title.
The prestigious accolade is voted for by all UK establishments holding AA Rosettes and this year’s shortlist includes industry heavyweights such as Michel Roux Jnr, Sat Bains and Claude Bosi.
Other chefs nominated for the award are former Catey Chef of the Year winners Angela Hartnett, David Everitt-Matthias and Pierre Koffmann, as well as Michelin-starred chefs Jason Atherton, Daniel Clifford, Simon Rogan and Tom Kitchin. Tom Aikens, Richard Corrigan, Nigel Haworth, Michael Wignall and Jeff Bland complete this year’s shortlist.
“For the AA Chefs’ Chef Award a shortlist is drawn up annually of AA Rosette chefs who have made a strong impact and have positively influenced other chefs, both in the eyes of our inspectors and based on feedback we have received from the industry,” said Giovanna Grossi, AA hotel services group area manager.
“They will have shown continued commitment to their profession and be worthy of recognition for their performance over the past year.”
While establishments are able to add nominees to the shortlist, previous winners are of the award are excluded. Former winners include Michel Roux, Heston Blumenthal, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Raymond Blanc, Marcus Wareing and Andrew Fairlie.
The AA’s Chefs’ Chef Award will be presented at the AA Hospitality Awards on 24 September at the London Hilton Park Lane.
The organisers of the 2012 Roux Scholarship have named the six contenders for the April final of the prestigious culinary competition.
Robert Hutchins from Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate, Edward Attwell from Loves Restaurant in Birmingham, and Adam Smith, from the Ritz, Pramod Ghadge from Catlin Underwriting Agencies operated by Harbour & Jones, Arbinder Dugal from Le Pont De La Tour, and Quinton Bennett from the Arch, all in London, will compete at Westminster Kingsway College on 2 April.
The six chefs secured their place in the final after competiting in the regional heats – held yesterday at University College Birmingham and the University of West London – where each of the contestants had two-and-a-half hours to cook a dish using spring chicken and veal heart sweetbreads accompanied by a sauce and featuring two garnishes, one of which had to be cauliflower-based and the other using a green vegetable of their choice. They also had to create a dessert from a bag of secret ingredients, which included banana, pink grapefruit, gelatine, almonds, butter, cream, milk and flour.
The Birmingham heat was judged by Brian Turner and former Roux Scholar Sat Bains. The London heat was judged by Michel Roux Jnr, chef-patron of Le Gavroche, Saturday Kitchen presenter James Martin, David Nicholls, corporate director of food and beverage for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and former Roux Scholars Andrew Fairlie and Steve Love.
Thirty minutes prior to the start of the competition, the finalists will be given the recipes and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern, and asked to prepare and present it. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park that evening. The winner will receive an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three-Michelin-starred restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months, to the value of £5,000, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust.
Former Acorn winner Gillan, who won a star in Michelin’s 2012 guide, is to be congratulated on his fine, imaginative cooking says the Independent’s food critic. But the lack of drama of the chefs in action ruins the dining experience.
“I have never encountered such a dismally misconceived ambience, such a chilly anti-comfort zone, such blithe indifference to diners’ real needs,” Walsh complains.
Meanwhile both the Guardian and the Observer’s food critics are appalled by the food served at Novikov in London’s Mayfair, the first UK venture from Russia’s restaurateur to the rich and famous Arkady Novikov. John Lanchester and Jay Rayner agree that the food is shocking but what’s truly surprising is that the restaurant also full.
The prestigious accolade is held by only a select number of 160 chefs around the world, including 70 independent operators, in recognition for leading the way through innovation and excellence.
Fairlie, who runs his eponymous restaurant at Gleneagles hotel in Perthshire and is the only chef in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars, joins an elite group of just seven chefs to have been awarded the title in the UK.
The others are: Alain Roux at the Waterside Inn; Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck; Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche; Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park; Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; and Martin Burge at Whatley Manor. Fairlie is only the third independent UK operator to have been named a Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef.
Fairlie said he felt extremely honoured and proud. “Receiving my award in front of 500 Relais & Chateaux proprietors including Michel Guérard, Michel Troisgros and Olivier Roellinger was a very special moment,” he said.
“Being accepted into Relais & Chateaux has been an ambition of mine for many years. I first heard of Relais & Chateaux in 1985 when I was working at the Waterside Inn just before I was due to start my scholarship with Michel Guérard. The guide was full of the greatest chefs in the world and as a young 20-year-old I dreamt that one day I would be included.”
Fairlie won the first Roux Scholarship in 1984, offering him the opportunity to train with Guérard at Les Prés d’Eugénie in Gascony, during a period when the UK’s food reputation on the world stage was poor and a foreigner working in a French kitchen almost unheard of.
He opened his restaurant within Gleneagles hotel in 2001 and achieved a Michelin star in 2002 as well as the Newcomer of the Year Catey. His second star followed in 2006 and he remains the only chef in Scotland with two stars. He was named Scottish Chef of the Year in 2008.