DECEMBER 26, 2014

Bazaar Meat BY JOSÉ ANDRÉS is nothing less than the most spectacular new restaurant to land in Las Vegas in 2014. The innovative Spanish superchef was already a prominent force on the Strip with Jaleo and China Poblano. But at the hip new SLS Las Vegas, risen from the ashes of the iconic Sahara on the northern end of the Strip, Andrés creates a signature and singular culinary experience that must be eaten to be understood.

Considering the rest of SLS’ exciting restaurant lineup, it’d be easy to assume Bazaar Meat is the latest in a series of celebrity chef-powered steakhouses to join the carnivorous competition on Las Vegas Boulevard. But if you think José Andrés is simply going to char a steak, bake a potato and call it a night, you don’t know José Andrés. Bazaar is a celebration of meat, specializing in animals that graze or swim, served raw and cooked over fire. Most steakhouses might offer one massive, shareable ribeye or roast that could feed the table; Bazaar offers a variety of Spanish-style, bone-in beef rib steaks priced by the pound and fired over oak as well as suckling pig served in quarters or, if you order ahead, the whole thing.

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Heston Blumenthal looks back on nearly 20 years of The Fat Duck in Bray, before heading to Australia to open the three-Michelin starred restaurant there

What a difference nearly two decades of sweat, blood and frequent tears makes. Heston Blumenthal has certainly come a long way from the round faced ingénue who transformed a former run-down pub into a future three Michelin-starred restaurant, to today’s shaven-headed master of molecular gastronomy.
And when he shuts the door of The Fat Duck on Sunday he will be bringing to a close, albeit temporarily, a revolutionary chapter in British cuisine.
Since its opening in 1995 the restaurant, in the Berkshire village of Bray, has gone from refurbished pub to groundbreaking laboratory for cutting edge cooking, topped with what he calls a “typically British sense of humour”.
Now he is transferring the Fat Duck lock, stock and smoking pans 10,000 miles to Australia, bringing with him the wonders of snail porridge, salmon poached in liquorice gel and jelly of quail on oak moss and truffle toast.
While the 17th century cottage near the River Thames, which houses the original Fat Duck, undergoes a six-month programme of refurbishment and renovation, Blumenthal and his team will be running a reconstructed version of the restaurant at the award-winning Crowne Towers hotel in Melbourne.

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Brett Graham’s understated west London restaurant breaks into the top 10

Discreet, welcoming but quietly outstanding – the same epithets can be used to describe chef Brett Graham, his food and The Ledbury itself. The restaurant, tucked away in a corner of west London’s fashionable Notting Hill neighbourhood, still retains a loyal local (if distinctly well-heeled) following, with long-time regulars sitting harmoniously alongside the increasing number of international visitors.

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A true temple of French cuisine that puts garden produce centre-stage

Alain Passard has cooked at L’Arpège for nearly 30 years. In that time he has achieved living-legend status as one of France’s greatest and most influential chefs, but this giant of Gallic gastronomy has a surprisingly light touch. The cooking at this Parisian superstar revolves around a 2.5 hectare biodynamic garden just outside the city where a team of gardeners grow produce to exacting briefs.

All meals here feature a simple salad named after his head gardener, a tangle of esoteric herbs and leaves dressed with oil, a little Parmesan and chopped hazelnut praline. Such is his dedication to garden produce that a decade or so ago Passard removed red meat from his menu. At the time it represented a controversial though forward-thinking comment about the top-end of the restaurant industry’s obsession with flesh. But carnivores shouldn’t despair, as the Brittany-born chef has now reinstated red meat (if in very small measure) to a menu that also features exceptional game, poultry and seafood options.

The chef, who began his career back in 1971, has a complete grasp of classic French techniques; having worked with some of the nation’s most esteemed chefs in his formative years, including Alain Senderens, from whom Passard purchased L’Arpège in 1986. It is these well-honed skills along with a healthy dose of playful creativity that set him apart from the crowd.


Minimalist, high impact plates in Alicante

Valencian food gets the techno-emotional treatment at Quique Dacosta’s eponymous restaurant on the Costa Blanca. While Alicante might be more usually associated with package holidays than cutting-edge gastronomy, the tiny city of Dénia is far removed from the all-day breakfasts and mainstream lager of the area’s numerous tourist resorts. Formerly El Poblet, the super-sleek restaurant makes a fine and suitable backdrop for the team’s striking plates and also houses some first-rate contemporary art.

Part-chef, part-botanist, Dacosta occupies the same culinary perch as Ferran Adrià and the Roca brothers and is a big name in Spain. His plates are minimalist and always memorable, featuring two or three ingredients, making for great clarity of flavour. A meal here may begin with a single rose supplied with a pair of Quique Dacosta-branded tweezers. On closer inspection, the middle of the flower has been painstakingly constructed from pickled apple. Another dish shows the chef’s willingness to reference other cuisines – his black truffle mochi is an extraordinary little cake stuffed with a creamy cheese filling and dusted with black truffles.

Although there are other references, his tasting menu is billed as an edible landscape of the Costa Blanca, seeking to evoke the aroma and texture of the environment as well as the taste. As such, his restaurant is a hub for food research as well as unashamedly top-end dining. Dacosta is an expert on the local vegetation in addition to the cuisine, and is an authority on the use of rice in Spanish cooking as well as being an expert on aloe vera, micro-greens and sprouts.


Restaurant magazine’s annual “San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants” rankings have been announced and there are some notable developments from 2009′s list:

Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark, previously #3 on the list, now sits atop the rankings. For more about Noma, including photos, go here.
El Bulli is no longer #1 after four consecutive years atop this set of rankings, perhaps not surprising as Ferran Adria recently announced he would be shuttering El Bulli for two years. El Bulli is now ranked #2.

Alinea, previously #10, is now #7, but more interestingly garnered the top American spot overall. This just two weeks after being named the best restaurant in Chicago, ever. To see photos of Alinea’s signature courses from Chef Grant Achatz, go here.
Alinea overtook Per Se as the country’s best restaurant. Per Se is now #10, and the third best American restaurant on the list behind Daniel, new to the top 10, at #8. Thomas Keller’s other restaurant, The French Laundry, in Napa, fell a whole 20 spots from last year’s list to #32.
Four of the top ten restaurants in the world are in Spain: El Bulli in Rosas, Girona, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Mugaritz in Rentería, Guipúzcoa, and Arzak, in San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa.
Danny Meyer-run Eleven Madison Park, with Chef Daniel Humm at the helm, rounded out the top 50 in its first appearance on the list.
Here are the top ten restaurants (from #1-#10) from the 2010 San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings:


Mario Batali’s thanksgiving will involve a turkey porchetta, ravioli, and a whole lot of ’97 brunello.

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and loved ones, and even some of the country’s busiest chefs know that. It’s a chance for them to take a step back from the everyday hustle and bustle and relax. But while you might think that this is a good opportunity to let someone else do the cooking, it’s pretty hard to pull a chef away from their stove, especially when their family is depending on them to whip up something amazing. These chefs might not have had a day off in quite a while (more than one is in the middle of opening a new restaurant), yet they’re taking the time to do Thanksgiving right. “I love the process of cooking Thanksgiving with my family every year,” Tyler Florence told us. “We can really get into the ceremony of it, and it’s a lot of fun.” Chef Jeff McInnis, who’s hard at work on a new restaurant in New York, will be heading down to Florida to be with family, including his daughter Bryce, before moving her up to New York.
And while many chefs brine their turkeys, two very notable ones — Bobby Flay and Tom Colicchio — don’t, and rely on basting instead.


(Reuters) – In an unfashionable part of Oslo, head chef Esben Holmboe Bang’s minimalist creations are stirring up food culture in a country where, a generation ago, the height of fine dining was boiled cod and potatoes.

At Maaemo, a restaurant squeezed between the city’s bus terminal and railway station, Bang uses exclusively local ingredients to rustle up the likes of langoustines with spruce, mackerel with wild garlic, and butter ice cream with brown butter caramel,

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The starred chef “signature” card at the new restaurant in Manhattan, Meregalli of “Mulino a Vino.”
The simplicity of Italian conquest of the Americans, already reviewed in the NYT GIGI PADOVANI

Some flat door the words “Courtesy Combal.Zero”, and are the great classics of David Scabin as the “King of Savoy’s Veal with tuna sauce” or the famous “Skyline salad” or “Street-Style Spaghettoni.” Other courses are designed to raise awareness of the true Italian cuisine to New Yorkers, more and more fascinated by everything that comes from Italy, as far as the kitchen: “Octopus Luciana”, “Soup & Green green soup”, “Rack of Lamb the Romanas.

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Private and personal dining at the landmark Marina Bay Sands

Tetsuya Wakuda’s Marina Bay Sands restaurant Waku Ghin is derived from two Japanese words: waku (to arise), and ghin (silver) in honour of Wakuda’s favourite colour, found throughout his plush 25-cover restaurant.

The Japanese-born chef was based in Australia for many years, building a stellar reputation at the much-loved Tetsuya’s in Sydney – a former regular on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. But his attention has largely turned to this newer, more intimate restaurant in Singapore. Here the dining area is split into four private rooms of differing styles, varying from a muted grey-and-white walled room with carpets to a warmer, wooden-floored bar-style seating area. Each has a private chef preparing a seasonal dégustation menu of delights including whole abalone with aonori (seaweed) and fillet of Tasmanian grass-fed beef with wasabi mustard. Eight courses are served in situ before diners are led to a separate dessert room in which to round off the meal with two sweet courses while pondering the spectacular Singapore skyline and the views over Marina Bay.

For a more informal experience diners can head to The Bar at Waku Ghin, which features traditional Japanese-style cocktail-making and has an extensive list of premium whiskies and sakes – Wakuda was the first person to be appointed a sake ambassador outside of Japan, helping to make his selection the best in the world. Here a tight menu of nibbles is served, including caviar, oysters, cheese and meat platters.