Some highlights from the 2nd Wine and Culinary Forum in Barcelona (1)

Yesterday the 2nd edition of the Wine and Culinary Forum was held in Barcelona. I was here to give a talk on minerality in wine, and I’m happy to send anyone who’s interested a written version of my paper. It was a varied and packed program, and with the exception of my talk, the rest [...]

Matching wine and Indian food at the fabulous Gymkhana With Sue Sethi

On Monday night I was at Gymkhana, one of London’s most happening restaurants, for an Indian food and wine matching dinner with wine buyer and co-owner Sue Sethi (pictured above).

Gymkhana has made quite a splash since it opened last September. It specialises in home cooked-style Indian food, and this year it won restaurant of the [...]

So restaurant wine lists are too trendy?

So restaurant wine lists are too trendy? Sommeliers guilty of forcing their esoteric tastes on punters? Should restaurants give their customers what they’d like, rather than what they should like?

Look: if you want the familiar and the comfortable, go to your neighbourhood bistro, or a chain, or any one of the gazillions of cheap ethnic [...]

A brilliant dinner at Grain Store

I’m terrible at writing restaurant reviews. I don’t much like reading them either: especially not the earnest efforts that go through each dish, ingredient by ingredient. I think the best sort of review answers the following question: how much fun was your meal? Did you really enjoy it?

So I had dinner at the Grain Store. [...]

A great evening at The Quality Chop House

So Ferran Centelles, super somm from Spain, was in town. Seeing as he treated Richard Hemming, Xavier Rousset and me when we were in San Sebastian last year, we thought it was appropriate to reciprocate with dinner at The Quality Chop House.

This was my first visit to Quality Chop, which has a deservedly good [...]

Dinner at Gymkhana, with nice wine

So, last night I joined up with some of the New California Wine people (Jasmine Hirsch, Jon Bonne, Raj Parr, Wells Guthrie, Steve Matthiason, Raj’s cousin Mona, and Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde) for dinner at Gymkhana.

Now I’m not a restaurant reviewer, but I’ll give you my take. It’s a brilliant, high-end Indian restaurant. It’s [...]

Some nice bottles at The Remedy wine bar

Visited The Remedy for the first time on Thursday. It’s a new wine bar in Fitzrovia, on Cleveland Street and in close proximity to three tube stations (Regents Park, Warren Street and Great Portland Street).

This is a great addition to the rapidly expanding London wine bar scene, and the wine list is the real deal [...]

A Sunday in San Francisco

So, I got a text from Joshua Thomas: ‘Are you interested in brunch?’ Of course! So I headed across town to meet him at Nopalito for a Mexican brunch. The walk from where I’m staying on Geary took me through some sketchy areas, as I cut down Taylor to Market and then hit Fell. There [...]

Amazing meal at the Chiltern Firehouse

So, last night, I had a Great Gastronomic Experience.

It was at the newly opened restaurant of the Chiltern Firehouse, the new project by star hotelier André Balazs. Nuno Mendes, previously of Viajante, is the chef, and this combination of Balazs and Mendes has made the Firehouse the hottest restaurant in town. Located in a [...]

In Madrid for the ML Wines competition

So I find myself in Madrid. It’s a little chillier than London, which caught me out a bit. But it is a nice place to spend a few days. I am here to act as one of the judges for the ML Wines competition. It’s the third time I’ve judged this: we assess red [...]