Exceptional flair and gutsy innovation produce eclectic brilliance

British-born Luke Dale-Roberts has been making waves way beyond the shores of his adopted homeland of South Africa for some years, having featured in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants during his time at La Colombe. But it’s since the launch of his Test Kitchen in shabby-chic Woodstock just over three years ago that he has really started to carve out his own niche. Named the One To Watch last year, The Test Kitchen has seen the chef’s unique culinary style brings together a mix of techniques and flavours inspired and influenced by his stint at Bali Sugar, one of London’s first fusion restaurants, as well as his extensive travels in Asia.

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NOVOCASTRIAN chef Brett Graham’s London establishment The Ledbury is the tenth best restaurant in the world.

The Notting Hill restaurant came in at No 10 on the World’s Best Restaurant list, released today, climbing three spots since 2013. It is one of two UK restaurants in the top ten, alongside Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner.

“It’s a huge surprise being there in the top 10,” Graham said.

“We’ve got a great young team, actually half full of bloody Australians as well, from all over the country.”

“My sous-chef Greg who’s from Forster does a wonderful job and he’s been a big part of this as well.”

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Modernist techniques and artistry come together to astonishing effect

Grant Achatz has been a world leader in culinary innovation since opening Alinea in Chicago back in 2005. Dishes such as hot potato, cold potato and black truffle explosion, as well as food suspended on wires or plated straight on to the table, have become iconic around the globe. And nearly a decade on, the chef continues to push the boundaries of avant-garde cuisine with his ever-evolving menus.

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The Sin City food scene is on the rise, on and off the Strip

Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace has been awarded two Michelin stars, the Forbes Travel Five Star Award, The AAA Five Diamond Award, and many other honors.

Las Vegas is maybe the strangest anomaly of a city — culinarily and otherwise — in the United States. Around the turn of the 20th century, when New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other American powerhouse population centers were booming with emerging food cultures of their very own, Sin City was non-existent – an unincorporated stopping point between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.

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FORGET The Fat Duck. Just for a minute.

Sure, there’s a lot of hype regarding Heston’s relocation of the famous Berkshire restaurant down under, and it will be awesome. Blumenthal plans, after all, to ­relocate just about everything, including the signage, from Bray to Southbank, and for many of us it will be as close to a Fat Duck experience, and its famous, laterally thought cuisine, as we’ll ever get.

Not a pop up. Not a guest chef appearance. Six months from February 2015 in the space at Crown Melbourne currently known as Breezes.

But, you know, it’s a fad. It won’t last. Long after the thrill of the Duck affair is over, we will be married to Dinner. And let’s face it: Dinner, Blumenthal’s restaurant in the swish Mandarin Oriental in London’s Knightsbridge, is a five. Not a 47. That’s five as in No 5 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the annual restaurant pissing contest sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

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DINERS passing through the imposing facade of one of New York’s finest restaurants may perhaps be surprised at how well the maitre d’ seems to know them, their profession, their personal tastes and perhaps the fact that they are celebrating an anniversary.

Even in a city like New York, where a significant proportion of the population believe themselves to be famous, the familiarity of the staff at Eleven Madison Park with their personal achievements would seem flattering but a little far-fetched.

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The Roca brothers; Jordi, Joan and Joseph (left to right)

The Roca brothers – international culinary superstars and owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, which holds the distinction of being the world’s best restaurant – are set to rock Houston.

BBVA Compass will bring the Rocas (chef Joan Roca, sommelier Josep Roca and pastry chef Jordi Roca) to Houston in August as the first stop of the Roca & Roll World Tour 2014, a partnership between the restaurant and parent company Spanish bank BBVA. Details of the tour will be announced by BBVA Compass on May 19 in Houston with Joan Roca, the eldest of the brothers and co-founder of the restaurant, in attendance.

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Last week we introduced readers to Elena Arzak, one of only two women chefs named to the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for her family’s restaurant, Arzak, which she runs with her father Juan Mari Arzak. Here, Elena invites T into her restaurant, perfectly located, she says in the above video, in the seaside town of San Sebastián. Step into her beautifully orchestrated kitchen as she discusses Basque cuisine, the creative and modern influence El Bulli had on her regional cooking and the importance of family — from her secret to working seamlessly with her chef father to the value of a balanced and lip-smacking staff meal. “The staff meal or family meal is really important,” she says. “It has to be very well made, very well cooked, no different from what goes out to the restaurant.”

Source: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/food-matters-inside-elena-arzaks-kitchen/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

The Daily Meal’s video producer, Ali Rosen, was lucky enough to get a tour of the French Laundry’s outstanding gardens and catch up with the restaurant’s culinary gardener, Tucker Taylor, to talk about the crops they harvest and how they choose what to grow.


At the beginning of each season, Taylor passes around the seed catalog with the chefs at the French Laundry and they talk about what they’re going to grow for the restaurant. From year to year Taylor explains that they tend to grow similar crops, but they’re constantly aiming to harvest new crops from around the globe.

Taylor is known for identifying plants that are unfamiliar to most Americans (for instance, crops from Scotland and the Andes) and figuring out how to grow them here. He explains that over the last few years, they’ve grown ficoide glaciale, a sweet and salty a coastal plant that uptakes salt from the soil and that’s leaves are covered in small bubbles that make them look like they are dripping in diamonds. Taylor says that recently, chef Keller texted him a photo of Oyster Leaf while he was on a trip in Lyon, France, so Taylor found a seed source in France, planted them, and now the crops are growing strongly in their garden.

The French Laundry is known not only for featuring locally grown produce that’s rarely found elsewhere in the U.S., but also for featuring vegetables that are exceptionally fresh and full-flavored. Taylor says that the quality of the crops has to do with the soil and the fact that they pick the vegetables every morning for service that afternoon.

Source: http://www.thedailymeal.com/video-tucker-taylor