Archive For The “Interviews” Category

Dame Sue Carter

Dame Sue Carter

Indispensable rock of Les Dames d’Escoffier London Dame Sue Carter is the indispensable rock of Les Dames d’Escoffier London Chapter and is the hard-working and dedicated Secretary. She is also the founder, the inspiration for our group, and without her we can truly say we wouldn’t exist at all. In 2009 Sue returned from the…

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Jacqui Pickles – President, Les Dames d’Escoffier London

Jacqui Pickles – President, Les Dames d’Escoffier London

In conversation – “I’m going to cook for life!” Les Dames d’Escoffier London are enjoying a vibrant calendar of events and are welcoming new members who are eager to participate in activities and raise funds for other women in hospitality. President Jacqui Pickles is one of the Chapter’s founding members and in 2015 took the…

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Vassilis Papagiannakos at Domaine Papagiannakos Winery

Vassilis Papagiannakos at Domaine Papagiannakos Winery

A few years ago one might scoff at the prospect of a visit to a Greek winery. The memory of old-school Retsina lingers on. That wine had more in common, to non-Greek taste buds at least, with that in which one might clean paint brushes. But those days are gone and now Greek wineries are…

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Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris

Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris

Valentina Harris is perhaps our most celebrated and prolific Italian food writer, TV presenter and chef. Yes, the lady truly is Italian, although one could be fooled into thinking she is an authentically British blue-blood. Valentina Harris doesn’t have many free moments but I cornered her on a return flight from a culinary tour of…

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François Geurds – unassuming genius

François Geurds – unassuming genius

I have met François Geurds on a few occasions now. A couple of times at his eponymous FG Restaurant and also at the newer Food Lab. For once, the Michelin judges have awarded their coveted stars with logic and insight. But it wasn’t just the food that impressed me, it was also the man. I…

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Arun Kapil – Green Saffron

Arun Kapil – Green Saffron

It’s possible that the names of both Arun Kapil and his company Green Saffron will be new to you but it’s likely that over the next year or so they will become, if not household, at least kitchen names. The man and the company are carving out a respectable place for themselves in Ireland and…

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Chef Yoshinori Ishii of UMU of Mayfair

Chef Yoshinori Ishii of UMU of Mayfair

One searches for a striking restaurant, and once found, one feels quietly impressed. Perhaps it’s a collection of elements that combine to offer comfort without showy embellishment, and gastronomic excellence with disarming simplicity. Chef Yoshinori Ishii presides over just such a rare establishment, and that is UMU of Mayfair (see review here). All chefs, one…

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Ryosuke Mashio – UMU Head Sommelier

Ryosuke Mashio – UMU Head Sommelier

We are spoilt for choice in London. We have restaurants of every ethnic hue. It’s a cosmopolitan city and food reflects our diversity. Japanese restaurants are more in evidence that ever, and acknowledged as one of the finest is UMU of Mayfair. The very address hints at the quality to be found within. Chef Yoshinori…

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Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado

Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado

Kiku is a Japanese restaurant conveniently located near Green Park station in Mayfair, and at the top of Half Moon Street. It’s one of the quieter thoroughfares, but popular with ‘them in the know’ as it’s the home of this exceptional eatery. I wonder why it isn’t more celebrated, but perhaps those regulars have the…

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Koichi Saura – Samurai for Sake

Koichi Saura – Samurai for Sake

We, at least in London, are becoming more familiar with Japan’s iconic national beverage. We are tempted to take our first sips in the increasingly numerous Japanese restaurants in the capital. Sake is new to us but it’s been around for a couple of thousand years in some form or other, and there are families…

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Toshie Hiraide

Toshie Hiraide

Sake Samurai Japan Japan has many icons. Sumo, sushi, kimonos are among the first that spring to the non-Japanese mind …along with sake! Japanese food and sake are becoming more common all over the world and London has a growing list of good restaurants serving sake to an increasingly knowledgeable audience. Toshie Hiraide is the…

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Luke Nguyen in London

Luke Nguyen in London

He is, for many of us, the face of Vietnamese food and travel. His easy manner allows him to present informative yet engaging TV programmes showing Vietnam, its food and its people in a positive and inclusive fashion. Luke was in London to promote his latest book, The Food of Vietnam (see review here), and…

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Dr Wong Lai Sum, CEO, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation

Dr Wong Lai Sum, CEO, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation

Food and partnership – a recipe for success Malaysia Night: Trafalgar Square, Friday 4th October, noon – 10pm Malaysia Night has become an eagerly anticipated event for Londoners who crave the distinctive flavours of that peninsular. It attracts locals, tourists and even Malaysians who support this delicious initiative. We met Dr Wong Lai Sum, CEO,…

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Alvin Leung – Bo Innovation Hong Kong, and Bo London

Alvin Leung – Bo Innovation Hong Kong, and Bo London

Bo London will be the next venture headed by “demon chef” Alvin Leung. He could just as easily be described as “the Man in Black” due to his habitual costume, although not his personality. He is an easy chap to like, with a dry sense of humour and engaging manner. He was in the UK…

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Rie Yoshitake – the Sake Lady

Rie Yoshitake – the Sake Lady

Sake and more She is passionate about sake but Rie Yoshitake is a woman with many facets. This slender and attractive woman exudes sophistication and refined Japanese charm but she has a sense of humour, a quick smile, and loves tennis. She is a consummate professional, is vibrant and enthusiastic and it’s that energy that…

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Geoffroy d’Anglejan-Chatillon, DG of La Maison du Chocolat

Geoffroy d’Anglejan-Chatillon, DG of La Maison du Chocolat

It’s a very French company and has an equally Gallic director general in the guise of the suave and genuinely charming Geoffroy d’Anglejan-Chatillon. He has a lifetime of chocolate appreciation, and has made that a delicious career for almost a couple of decades. M. d’Anglejan-Chatillon explains in a rich accent that would have any red-blooded…

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Willin Low – Wild Rocket, Singapore

Willin Low – Wild Rocket, Singapore

He hasn’t got a ‘serious’ chef persona. Willin rushes in and tells me to wait right there. He has some curry puffs that he wants me to taste. Just simple food and not even his, but Willin Low has not only talent but real passion for taste and texture. We settle in the courtyard of…

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Chef Maria Elia

Chef Maria Elia

She is attractive, petite and has a smile that seems a permanent fixture. Her warm and relaxed demeanour is indeed a genuine facet of her character, but so is her consummate professionalism and thirst for excellence. She is a successful chef and she just happens to be a woman. I asked Maria Elia about her…

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Valentina Harris

Valentina Harris

One would think that Valentina Harris is the quintessential English lady, well-spoken with Home Counties proper accent; but there is something else. Turn the sound off and one sees the unmistakable animation of a Latin. In fact Valentina is only on nodding terms with Englishness. “Let me explain about the English voice,” says Valentina with…

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Chef Matthew Tomkinson, The Terrace, Montagu Arms, Beaulieu

Chef Matthew Tomkinson, The Terrace, Montagu Arms, Beaulieu

He is a Michelin-starred chef and a Roux Scholarship winner but Chef Matthew Tomkinson seems untouched by his celebrity. He is a nice bloke who loves his work, and the rest is just the proverbial icing on the well-presented cake. I asked Matthew if he came from a cheffy background. Did his family have anything…

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