The People’s Taste of London
One of the biggest events on our foodie calendar this year has been Taste of London 2012. Promising to bring you the finest food and drink from some of the best chefs from around the world, it is not surprising that the festival attracted large crowds of food lovers from around the world. Because this once again highlights the wonderful ability of food to unite people from all walks of life and bring us together, Guestaurant has brought you this article from the people themselves. So please bid a warm welcome to Chef Vivek, Fiona, Theo, Ashleigh, and ‘Agirlhastoeat’!
A self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, writes a delicious food blog and guide that details her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. Her focus is on the London restaurant scene where she has spent many years sampling its many delights, and so it will come as now surprise that she is an avid fan of the Taste of London. Here she talks about her visit to Taste of London 2012.
Debutant restaurants that made their first appearance at Taste of London included Pollen Street Social, Bar Boulud, Whitechapel Gallery, Barbecoa (Jamie Oliver & Adam Perry Lang) and Cinnamon Soho (Vivek Singh). Furthermore, Taste of London will host smattering of international chefs including Wolfgang Puck and David Chang (Momofuku). Taste of London epitomizes what a great dining city London has become. Taste of London is now a staple fixture of the London food scene, having started nine years ago, and this year’s line-up features the greatest number of Michelin chefs in the history of Taste of London. The Michelin restaurants include La Gavroche (Michel Roux Jr), Gauthier Soho (Alexis Gauthier), Rhodes 24 (Gary Rhodes), Club Gascon, Petrus, Maze, Benares and Tamarind.
In addition to the host of restaurants that were there to showcase their offerings, Laurent-Perrier champagne sponsored a number of masterclasses involving champagne, food and flowers. While British Airways also ran an ‘Executive Club Lounge’.
It was a great celebratory week of food in London – especially since it was also ‘The Slow Food UK Week’!
Brisbane-born musician and songwriter Ashleigh Auckland has recently released an album which is on iTunes and Amazon called Vagabond . Now London based, Ashleigh found time to attend Taste of London 2012 and writes about her experiences below!
Where else will you find over forty of London’s top restaurants with a total of eleven Michelin stars, Thai classical dancing, live Greek music, free demonstrations from some of the UK’s leading chefs and the chance to taste a range of champagnes for just £5 a glass?
Taste of London takes place each year in Regent’s Park. It’s a lively event, if a little subject to the vaguaries of the English Weather. Once there you will need to buy ‘crowns’ (the currency used by the restaurant stands) if you want to try the restaurant dishes. If you prefer, there are plenty of free samples of food and a few of drinks on offer but it’s a shame not to try at least one or two of the dishes.
The show is made up of three sections. Demonstration areas run a scheduled range of events, from barbeques to Asian cookery. For the most part free these often need to be booked. Standholders showcase the best suppliers in the country – from tomatoes to cheeses to cakes. There are plenty of international stands, some in specific areas, like the Greek stands this year with entertainment laid on for free. Finally, the restaurant stands have makeshift kitchens attached and offer a range of dishes for ‘crowns’. Whilst the experience is nothing like visiting the restaurants themselves, you will often find the owners and executive chefs there in person explaining the nuances of the dishes they are offering and willing to chat about their plans for the restaurant.
It’s fun and foodie and not to be missed. Roll on Taste of London 2013
Theo Pigott AKA ‘Teen Foodie’
“Hi, My name’s Theo and I’m 17 and at Alleyn’s School in London. Besides food, my greatest passion is for Maths which I’m hoping to study at university. And of course, there’s my Blog which I love updating!
I had a great time at Taste of London, trying an amazing array of dishes on show by many of London’s best restaurants. Luckily for me, I was with my mum who knows loads of the chefs so we got treated to a lot of food and I was introduced to the big names!
First, we went to L’Anima, Francesco Mazzei’s restaurant. I really enjoyed the burrata with smoked aubergine and red onion jam. The combination of the fresh cheese and aubergine had a wonderfully clean flavour, which reminded me of sushi. I liked how the sharper taste of the jam cut through this, and the hazelnuts added a nice crunch.
Of course, Francesco’s ‘icon’ dish was fantastic – rich wild mushrooms and truffles created a deeply earthy flavour, and were beautiful combined with the delicate fettuccine pasta. Alexis Gauthier’s truffle risotto was another intense and rich indulgence!
Probably my favourite dish were these mango and unagi maki from Sake No Hana. They were beautiful maki rolls of eel, which were topped with wonderfully sweet mago slices. Served on a bamboo boat, they not only looked great, but tasted superb too!”