2013: The Culinary Year in Review

As the year is drawing to a close, here’s a snapshot of what happened in the world of restaurants over the past 12 months. It’s my round up of the biggest stories of 2013, the year of big openings and closures, in which the food world said good bye to great icons and celebrated new ones. Here’s the culinary year in review.

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bocuse d'orJANUARY: France wins the Bocuse d’Or
2013 kicked off with the world’s most prestigious culinary competition: the Bocuse d’Or, which takes place every two years in Lyon, France. Founded in 1987 by the godfather of classic French cuisine, Paul Bocuse, this year’s contest saw 24 countries from five continents compete for the title. In the end, Thibaut Ruggeri of France triumphed, with Jeppe Foldager Andreseen of Denmark and Noriyuki Hamada of Japan taking second and third place respectively. Adam Bennett achieved Great Britain’s best ever result, placing fourth and picking up the special award for the best meat platter, while his assistant, Kristian Curtis, won the prize for best commis chef. Richard Rosendale, who cooked for the USA, finished in seventh place.
Looking ahead, Bennett, chef director of The Cross, in Kenilworth, will compete for Great Britain once more at the next Bocuse d’Or in 2015, while Team USA will be represented by French Laundry executive sous chef Philip Tessier.

In other news: UK team disappointed by ninth place in Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie; Gordon Ramsay Holdings returns to profit; Richard Caring’s pilot killed in London helicopter crash; Mackerel deemed unsustainable by Marine Conservation Society

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Keith McNallyFEBRUARY: Balthazar London fails to impress critics
February saw one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings of the year: Balthazar London. A collaboration between Caprice Holdings owner Richard Caring and iconic New York restaurateur Keith McNally (pictured), it is, of course, modelled on the legendary all-day brasserie in New York. But unfortunately unlike the original, the London outpost failed to win over the local critics. The worst review came from The Times’ food critic Giles Coren, who gave Balthazar a zero rating for food and told diners to expect “the best restaurant in London, but the worst food in Europe”. Not used to such harsh criticism from New York, where he is the toast of critics and celebrities alike, McNally hit back by telling The Independent: “My pet hate is the London food and restaurant community which, with two notable exceptions, is a petty, self-regarding, back-stabbing bunch of narcissists who should be put through a meat grinder and dumped into the Indian Ocean.” Ouch!

In other news: Horsemeat discovered in processed beef products sold by UK supermarkets; Claude Bosi opens Malt House pub; SRA names Café-ODE in Devon the UK’s most sustainable restaurant; Rainer Becker’s Zuma announces plans to open in New York in 2014

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Rene Redzepi of NomaMARCH: Noma hit by food poisoning outbreak
It’s a chef’s worst nightmare but even the most highly rated restaurants in the world aren’t immune to it: food poisoning. In March, Noma, Rene Redzepi’s famous restaurant in Copenhagen, made headlines not for winning awards but for a food poisoning outbreak, in which nearly 70 diners fell ill with norovirus, aka the winter vomiting bug. Fødevarestyrelsen, the national food authority in Denmark, blamed “poor hygiene” for the outbreak and criticised Noma for failing to react to emails from diners and a member of staff who had reported falling ill. Its report added that the restaurant did not provide hot water in the taps used by staff to wash their hands and also failed to disinfect the kitchen properly before the virus spread. Fødevarestyrelsen gave Noma an official warning and ordered it to pay for a follow-up investigation. At the time, Noma’s managing director, Peter Kreiner, said: “We are in the business of making people happy and taking care of our guests, so this is the worst thing that could happen to us.”

In other news: British authors triumph at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards; Silvena Rowe quits Quince at May Fair Hotel; Eric Chavot opens Brasserie Chavot; Michelin-starred Crown At Whitebrook closes

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APRIL: Big chefs descend on London
World's 50 Best RestaurantsThe World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Celebrated chefs from all corners of the globe gathered in London in April for the announcement of S Pellegrino’s coveted list of the best restaurants in the world. A new champion was crowned this year, with El Celler de Can Roca in Spain clinching the top spot and replacing three-time winner Noma. Run by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, the three-Michelin-starred Girona restaurant was praised for “creating magic without undue theatrics” and offering a “truly uplifting” dining experience, with the warmth of the family dynamic all-pervasive.

Relais & Châteaux’s Diner des Grands Chefs
Just a few weeks later, 45 Grands Chefs du Monde came together in London for French luxury hotel and restaurant consortium Relais & Châteaux’s annual Diner des Grands Chefs. Held at Old Billingsgate overlooking the Thames, the event saw chefs from 12 different countries cook for 600 guests in aid of charity Action Against Hunger, raising more than £100,000.
Here’s a short video of the culinary spectacle.

In other news: Hakkasan Group closes Chrysan; Jason Atherton opens Social Eating House; Roux Scholar Adam Smith leaves the Ritz for Devonshire Arms; Private equity firm LDC buys majority share in D&D London; Mark Sargeant joins Great Northern Hotel as chef director

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olive_oilMAY: EU tries and fails to ban refillable olive oil jugs
The European Union announced its ludicrous plans to outlaw the use of unmarked olive oil jugs on restaurant tables. The proposal instantly provoked popular loathing across Europe, with Dutch PM Mark Rutte calling the ban “too bizarre for words”. So big was the public outcry, it eventually led to the EU making a humiliating U-turn by scrapping the plans altogether. Dacian Ciolos, the European commissioner for agriculture, admitted that the proposed ban had caused “misunderstanding” from the people it had wanted to protect. “It was a measure intended to help consumers, to protect and inform them but it is clear that it cannot attract consumer support,” he said.

In other news: Medlar’s Clement Robert named Sommelier of the Year; Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney open Oblix at the Shard; David Chang and Paul Kahan share James Beard Outstanding Chef award; Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack open Scran & Scallie pub in Edinburgh

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Anthony FlinnJUNE:  Anthony Flinn’s Leeds business goes into administration and Chef Jockey leaves the Fat Duck
Anthony Flinn’s mini empire of Leeds restaurants collapsed into administration. The chef-restaurateur, who has widely been credited with putting the city on the culinary map, was forced to shut his flagship Anthony’s, plus Piazza by Anthony and Rib Shakk – all located in the historic Corn Exchange – as well as Anthony’s Patisserie in the Victoria Quarter, with 70 people losing their jobs.

June was also the month in which James Petrie, head of creative development at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen, announced that he was leaving the company after more than a decade. The Scottish chef, who is widely known as Jockey and worked with Blumenthal for 11 years, announced his departure on Twitter: “After 11 great years working with Heston Blumenthal, I have decided the time has come to move on to explore other opportunities,” he said. “[I’m] looking forward to many new food adventures ahead.”

In other news: Little Chef drops Heston Blumenthal after six years; Paul O’Neill named 2013 Roux Scholar; French MPs approve bill forcing restaurants to label home-made food; Bruno Loubet opens Grain Store

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David CollinsJULY: David Collins dies and Marcus Wareing hits out at Westminster City Council
One of the most influential restaurant designers of his generation, David Collins passed away in July, aged 58, after a “short but valiant” battle with skin cancer. Credited with putting the taste into Britain’s restaurants, he developed the interiors of some of London’s most celebrated establishments, including Nobu Berkeley, J Sheekey, the Wolseley, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the Connaught Hotel’s bar. His death marked a huge loss for both the hospitality and the design industries.

Meanwhile Marcus Wareing hit the news after his two-Michelin-starred restaurant at the Berkeley hotel scored just one out of five in a food hygiene rating. However, the chef instantly lashed back at the Westminster City Council report, insisting it highlighted a ‘technicality’ and that he would appeal against the rating. “My kitchen is a bloody Rolls-Royce that has customers in it, on my chef’s table, daily,” he said.

In other news: Simon Rogan wins Chef and Independent Restaurateur Catey; Gordon Ramsay closes restaurant at Claridge’s; Andre Garrett leaves Galvin at Windows to join Clieveden; Shake Shack and Five Guys open in Covent Garden

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Santi SantamariaAUGUST: Can Fabes closes
Can Fabes, the former three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Catalonia in northern Spain, closed after 32 years. Formerly run by iconic chef Santi Santamaria (pictured), who died of a sudden heart attack aged 53 in 2011, the restaurant’s demise marked another blow for Catalonia’s celebrated food scene after the closure of El Bulli last year, which will reopen as the El Bulli Foundation in 2014. Can Fabes, which first opened in 1981, was the first restaurant in Catalonia to gain Michelin’s top accolade of three stars in 1994 and it retained the rating until 2012, when it was demoted to two stars. Its closure came just a year after the Santamaria family shut their restaurant at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, where Santi died after collapsing in the kitchen.

In other news: Hawksmoor sold to private equity firm Graphite Capital for a reputed £35m; chefs Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster and John Freeman and maitre d’ Paulo de Tarso climb Mount Kilimanjaro; Waitrose becomes new publisher of the Good Food Guide

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Tom KerridgeSEPTEMBER: The month of Tom Kerridge
September traditionally heralds the start of the restaurant awards season and this year, Tom Kerridge, the chef proprietor of the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, was the star of the show. Not only was the Hand & Flowers – the world’s only two-Michelin-starred pub, which the chef runs together with his wife Beth – named both Restaurant and Gastropub of the Year 2013 in the National Restaurant Awards, Tom also picked up the Chefs’ Chef award at the AA Hospitality awards, which is voted for only by AA Rosette holding chefs in the UK. And if that wasn’t enough, Tom became a household name after hitting TV screens across the country with his very own programme Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food on BBC2, which also includes an accompanying cookbook. Go Tom!

In other news: L’Enclume voted  best restaurant in Britain by the Good Food Guide; Jason Atherton opens Berners Tavern at the London Edition Hotel; Tramshed, Kitchen Table and the Atrium Champagne Bar among UK winners at Restaurant & Bar Design Awards; Alain Ducasse takes over Le Meurice in Paris

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Michelin_2014OCTOBER: Michelin awards new stars across the world
Michelin
season got into full swing in the autumn as the famous French restaurant guide handed out new stars across the world, including 10 new three-stars. Sadly there were no three-star additions in the UK or the USA this year, but Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and the Greenhouse, both in London; Sixteen and Grace, both in Chicago; Quince in San Francisco; and Jung Sik in New York, all celebrated winning their second star. Meanwhile Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York lost both its Michelin stars.

The 10 new three-star additions were:
La Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez, France
Ristorante Reale in Castel Di Sangro in the Abruzzo region, Italy
Restaurant Überfahrt Christian Jürgense in Rottach-Egern, Germany
Diverxo in Madrid, Spain
De Leest in Vaassen, Netherlands
Bo Innovation and Sushi Shikon in Hong Kong
Mizai and Kichisen, both in Kyoto; and Nakashima in Hiroshima, in Japan

There are now 117 three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, including 33 in Japan; 27 in France; and 11 in Germany.

In other news: Iconic London restaurants Elena’s L’Etoile and the Gay Hussar put up for sale; Angela Hartnett, Neil Borthwick and Canteen founders launch Merchant’s Tavern; BaxterStorey’s Hayden Groves wins National Chef of the Year; Albert and Michel Roux Jr announce two new restaurants; New York’s Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield relaunch Tosca Café in San Francisco

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charlie_trotterNOVEMBER: Charlie Trotter dies
The food world paid tribute to iconic Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, whose sudden death shocked restaurateurs and chefs across the world. The 54-year-old chef died of a stroke on 5 November. Charlie Trotter was the chef-owner of his eponymous restaurant in Chicago, which he closed last year after 25 years. The restaurant was world-famous for its innovative approach to American cuisine and set a standard for chefs in the USA and beyond. He won 10 James Beard awards and trained some of the USA’s most acclaimed chefs, including three-Michelin-starred chef Grant Achatz of Chicago restaurants Alinea and Next. His restaurant won two stars in the inaugural Michelin Guide to Chicago in 2011 and Trotter wrote 14 cookbooks, a television series and three books that translated his philosophies of excellence into business-world instructionals. Fellow US chef Thomas Keller said of his passing: “Charlie Trotter was a visionary; one who exemplified what a young American chef could do to influence a generation. He’ll be greatly missed.”

In other news: Michael Caines tops Sunday Times Food List; Alan Murchison Restaurants put into voluntary liquidation; Simon Rogan to take over restaurant at Claridge’s; Heston Blumenthal to open restaurant at Heathrow’s Terminal 2

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roca brothersDECEMBER: El Celler De Can Roca to embark on world tour and Oud Sluis closes
Spain’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca announced it is to embark on a world tour next year. Starting in August 2014, the entire team of the Girona restaurant will hit the road as part of the Roca&Roll World Tour 2014. The first destinations will be Mexico, Colombia and Peru. According to the restaurant’s blog, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured) made the decision to go on tour as the result of numerous requests for them to open restaurants in other parts of the world. However, the brothers are yet to reveal details on exactly what the travelling El Celler de Can Roca will comprise and where the world tour will take them after South America.

Sergio HermanMeanwhile over in Holland Oud Sluis, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef Sergio Herman (pictured), is to hold its final service this Sunday (22 December) after 25 years in business. Herman said he wants to focus on “new, fresh projects”, including his other restaurant businesses, Pure C in Cadzand and La Chapelle in Antwerp, as well as his publishing company Minestrone. “I’ve literally and figuratively reached my peak at Oud Sluis,” Herman said in an interview posted on his website. “I’ve spent years refining flavours and perfecting dishes and now feel that I’m at the top of my abilities here; I don’t think I can achieve a higher level of cooking with Oud Sluis.”

In other news: Jamie Oliver could axe Union Jacks; Burger and Lobster plans move to New York; Jean-Georges Vongerichten to open vegetarian restaurant in New York; Steven Edwards from South Lodge Hotel wins MasterChef: The Professionals; Fired chef Jim Knight highjacks former employer’s Twitter account

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These are just a few highlights of 2013, which has been a brilliant year for chefs and restaurants across the globe. For me personally it has been a year of big change as I left London and moved to Los Angeles, where I am discovering a whole new and very exciting food scene. I’m taking a few weeks off now to go to South Africa for the holidays. But I will be back writing about restaurants, chefs and the LA food scene next year and hope to see you again then. In the meantime have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year! Kerstin

World’s best restaurant El Celler de Can Roca to embark on world tour in 2014

roca brothersSpain’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca is to embark on a world tour next year.

Starting in August 2014, the entire team of the Girona restaurant – currently ranked number one in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards – will hit the road as part of the Roca&Roll World Tour 2014. The first destinations will be Mexico, Colombia and Peru.

According to the restaurant’s blog, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured) made the decision to go on tour as the result of numerous requests for them to open restaurants in other parts of the world.

“We believe that from the way we understand and live the restaurant would not make any sense to open another Celler away from Girona,” the trio said. “However, we don’t want to give up exploring new landscapes, new products and get to know people from other countries to help us to continue to grow, to renew our enthusiasm and provide new impetus to our creative work.

“That is why we have decided that El Celler itself, with his entire team, takes a summer trip in order to offer to people from different parts of the world the possibility to enjoy the experience we offer in Girona for the rest of the year.”

roca_logoThe brothers are yet to reveal details on exactly what the travelling El Celler de Can Roca will comprise as well as where the world tour will take them after South America.

“We have decided to embark on this new adventure, under the name of “Alta cocina con valores” (Haute cuisine with values), hand in hand with BBVA, with whom we share concerns and the excitement of a stimulating social and cultural project,” they added.

Located in the Catalan city of Girona, about two hours north of Barcelona, El Celler de Can Roca is a family-owned restaurant run by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, who are the third generation of restaurateurs after their grandparents and parents.

The three brothers first opened El Celler de Can Roca in 1986, next to their parents’ restaurant, with the eldest Joan as head chef, middle brother Josep as sommelier and manager and the youngest, Jordi, joining later as pastry chef. The restaurant gained its first Michelin star in 1995, with a second following seven years later in 2002 and the third being awarded after a move to bigger premises in 2009. In 2013 El Celler was named the best restaurant in the world.

* Read my Caterer and Hotelkeeper article on the 2011 Roux Scholar at El Celler de Can Roca here.

Restaurant policies: Is it wrong to want to ask for the bill?

restaurant_billAt the end of dinner at a great French restaurant in Downtown LA last night, I found myself feeling really annoyed.

It had been a lovely evening – the restaurant was brilliant, with a cool vibe and awesome décor, the food was delicious, the service charming, the conversation stimulating.

So what went wrong?

After the main course the waitress asked if we wanted cheese. When we said no she immediately brought the bill, even though we hadn’t asked for it.

Maybe we’d have liked coffee or pudding, an after dinner drink? There was no mention of a dessert menu or even as much as a hint of interest if we were actually ready to leave.

Instead, there was the bill on the table, telling us in no uncertain terms that it was time to pay up and get out.

This is something that keeps happening. Virtually every time I go out for a meal in LA, they bring the bill without me ever having asked for it. And I hate it.

Maybe it’s a more time efficient way to deal with customers, maybe American diners don’t like asking for the ‘check’, maybe even if they’ve brought the bill you can send it back, order more (#awkward) and stay as long as you like. I get that in the USA waiters depend on tips so the quicker they get you out, the more tables they serve and the more money they make.

But to me it just seems impolite and goes against all etiquette of good service. Like they’re trying to boot you out before you’ve finished enjoying your meal. At the end of a nice lunch or dinner, it keeps leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.

Am I wrong wanting to ask for the bill?

Comments below please.

Beneath the Whites – Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud_courtesy_daniel_kriegerDaniel Boulud is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, who left his home country of France to move to the USA, where he now runs a number of award-winning restaurants, most notably his flagship three-Michelin-starred Daniel in New York, which has been cited as one of the 10 best restaurants in the world by the International Herald Tribune. His Dinex Group now spans across three continents, with restaurants in the USA, Canada, Singapore and London, where he opened Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in 2010. Boulud’s culinary accolades include a number of James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Chef of the Year, as well as the Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the Year and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government.

What’s your earliest food memory?
In Lyon growing up on our family farm, the roast goose that was made for Christmas dinner.

What’s your favourite smell?
An old Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.

What’s your idea of comfort food?
A one-pot meal that is slow cooked like a braise or a roast with all the trimmings.

What’s your favourite cookbook?
Jules Gouffé’s The Royal Cookery Book.  He was a great protégé of Carême.

Who’s had the biggest influence on your cooking?
Paul Bocuse, a lifetime mentor and friend.

What do you never cook without?
Garlic.

What’s the worst thing people can do to food?
To ruin the flavour of a good ingredient by over cooking, seasoning or masking it.

Have you ever kicked someone out of your restaurant?
Yes, before the meal AND during the meal.

When are you happiest?
At home with my wife, a glass of scotch, a good movie and my feet up.

What makes you sad?
Working too much.

What would your superpower be?
I often dream of flying.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Though rarely, I make myself a little pastis with two ice cubes and a splash of water — it brings me back to my indulgent youth.

What’s the most disgusting or weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Guinea Pig in Peru.

What’s on your perfect sandwich?
It’s my favourite which is why I serve it at my market, Épicerie Boulud, the Bahn Mi which is my take on a Vietnamese sandwich with pâté de campagne, a spicy Thai sausage, Paris ham, picked radishes and carrots, jalapeño mayo and a herb slaw.

How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Scrambled but a bit runny with a touch of Tabasco sauce and a piece of toasted sourdough bread.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Sir Richard Branson so I could try to convince him to take me on a space mission.

Where did you have your best meal this year?
Flocons de Sel in Megève, France.

If there was one restaurant you wish you’d opened, which would it be?
The original Café Boulud in my hometown of Lyon — it closed in the late 1950s.

Who’s your favourite food critic?
Curnonsky, probably the first “bon vivant” in France.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?
Turn of the century Paris during the Belle Époque where great restaurants were starting to become hallmarks of culture.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielBoulud

The top 10 most fabulous cookbooks published in 2013

With Christmas just around the corner, there’s not much time left to get your wish list off to Santa. If like me, you love nothing more than to flick through a beautiful cookbook that not only showcases amazing dishes but also reveals an insight into the chef’s mind, philosophy and inspiration, you’d better get one (or all) of the books below on your list. Happy reading!

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Rene-RedzepiA Work in Progress: Notes on Food, Cooking and Creativity by René Redzepi
Publisher: Phaidon
Price: $59.95/£39.95
Three books in one – a journal written by René Redzepi, a recipe book and a flick book – A Work in Progress recounts the day-to-day life at Noma: From the trials of developing new dishes to the successes that come with winning the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards three times (from 2010 to 2012). While the journal is the book’s heart, it is supported by the recipe book containing 100 brand new recipes and the flick book of 200 candid images, which provide a stunning, and often humorous, insight into the inner workings of Noma and its team of chefs.

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CoiCoi: Stories and Recipes by Daniel Patterson
Publisher: Phaidon
Price: $49.95/£35
Daniel Patterson is the head chef of iconic San Francisco restaurant Coi, where he mixes modern culinary techniques with local, wild and cultivated ingredients to create original dishes that speak of place, memory, and emotion. Coi: Stories and Recipes tells the story of the restaurant, its dishes and Patterson’s philosophy. Showcasing a series of short essays, each comprised of a text and narrative recipe, it reveals the inspiration behind the Coi’s creative dishes.

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Complete-Nose-to-TailThe Complete Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson
Publisher: Ecco/Bloomsbury
Price: $49.99/£30
The Complete Nose to Tail is an exhilarating compendium that brings together chef Fergus Henderson’s two acclaimed cookbooks, Whole Beast and Beyond Nose to Tail. Either book is a must for chefs and home cooks alike, and now you can get them in a shelf-space-saving single volume. The book presents Henderson’s signature recipes, including traditional favourites like Eccles cakes, devilled kidneys, and seed cake with a glass of Madeira, as well as many St. John classics for more adventurous gastronomes – roast bone marrow and parsley salad, deep-fried tripe and pot-roast half pig’s head to name but a few.

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danielDaniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Price: $60/£35
One of the most famous French chefs in the world, Daniel Boulud takes us behind the curtain of his eponymous three-Michelin-starred New York restaurant. From coming of age as a young chef to adapting French cuisine to American ingredients and tastes, in this book Boulud reveals how he expresses his culinary artistry. With more than 75 signature recipes, plus an additional 12 recipes he prepares at home for his friends on more casual occasions, Daniel: My French Cuisine is a definitive, yet personal cookbook on the chef’s love of French food.

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DOMD.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients by Alex Atala
Publisher: Phaidon
Price: $49.95/£35
Currently ranked number four in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, Sao Paulo restaurant D.O.M has built its unique style of cuisine on the discovery and exploration of Brazilian ingredients combined with a commitment to finding sustainable solutions to sourcing them to the benefit of the Amazon and its people. Alex Atala’s first major cookbook offers an exclusive insight into the chefs ethos, his unique relationship with the produce of his native Brazil and the food he creates from it.

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gramercy-tavernThe Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Price: $50
One of New York’s most iconic establishments, restaurateur Danny Meyer’s intimate story of how Gramercy Tavern was born sets the stage for executive chef-partner Michael Anthony’s approach to American cooking and recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmers’ market. With 200 photographs and personal stories, The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook also gives an insider look into the things that make this restaurant unique: from the artists who have shaped its décor and ambience, to the staff members who share what it is like to be a part of this close-knit restaurant family.

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historic_hestonHistoric Heston by Heston Blumenthal
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Price: $200/£125
The result of 12 years of research into historic British cooking, Heston Blumenthal’s latest book is a celebration of Britain’s gastronomic heritage, which at one point many years ago “was the envy of Europe”. Historic Heston explores old British recipes going as far back as the 1300s by recreating and reinventing them, showcasing how the chef uses ancient recipes as inspiration for new, modern dishes served at Dinner, the Fat Duck and the Hinds Head.

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Anne-Sophie-PicLe Livre Blanc by Anne-Sophie Pic
Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP
Price: $60/£45
This book by three-Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic from the iconic Maison Pic in Valence, France, includes 50 recipes that both inspire and amaze. From foams and emulsions, to working with sous-vide and siphons, the recipes transform the everyday, and the not-so-everyday, into the extraordinary. Throughout the book Pic delivers insights into her creative process, including the interplay of imagination and memory in creating dishes, and the associations between flavours and textures that make her cooking unique.

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manresaManresa: An Edible Reflection by David Kinch
Publisher:
Ten Speed Press
Price: $50
The debut cookbook from celebrated Northern Californian chef David Kinch, details the creativity behind the food served at his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Manresa and its profound connection to the land and sea of the San Francisco Bay Area. Featuring more than 300 pages of recipes, stories and exquisite images of the ingredients, dishes, and surrounding landscape that make the restaurant a true culinary destination, Manresa: An Edible Reflection is a brilliant showcase of Kinch’s passion and creativity.

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where-chefs-eatWhere Chefs Eat – A Guide to Chefs’ Favourite Restaurants by Joe Warwick
Publisher: Phaidon
Price: $19.95/£14.95
This isn’t a cookbook but a new international restaurant guide that is based on the recommendations of the world’s top chefs. Where Chefs Eat lists more than 2,000 establishments around the globe, ranging from bargain noodle joints in Tokyo to three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the South of France. Each restaurant is grouped into one of eight categories: breakfast, late night, regular neighbourhood, local favourite, bargain, high end, worth the travel and – perhaps most interestingly – wish I’d opened, restaurants chefs have the deepest professional respect and admiration for. It’s a must for restaurant lovers and chef groupies. After all, who better to rate a restaurant than someone who runs their own successful one, right?