July 2009: Fine Dining Guide July Newsletter

Posted on: July 4th, 2009 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

www.fine-dining-guide.com is pleased to announce the continued success of a free iTunes podcast series. The latest episode – Viral Marketing: Today’s Sensation or Yesterday’s News? features a review of the role of social networking platforms in the restaurant industry.

You can access the podcast series (free) by typing “fine dining uk” in the main iTunes Store search box.

Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens

Our lead feature for this newsletter is an interview with Tom Aikens.

Tom talks openly about his early food memories including those that would prove inspirational to his career.

Part II opens with Pied a Terre and moves forward to the present day. It is the longest interview the site has ever conducted and the semi-autobiographical piece makes compulsive reading. We also Review the eponymous restaurant.

In this issue we feature an interview with industry leading Sommelier Ronan Sayburn (MS). For eight years Ronan was Global Executive Head for the recruitment, management and training of some sixty plus sommeliers. The article is insightful to professionals and restaurant enthusiasts in equal measure.

Twitter. Since the last Newsletter the fine dining guide Twitter Page has grown to over 650 followers. During that time It has changed focus and is now a fine dining restaurant scene news service http://twitter.com/finediningguide. As such the content has been deemed relevant to the site so a Twitter Badge that allows the reader to scroll through the 20 latest Tweets is now available on the News Page General Website Updates: We have updated the popular Michelin 3 Star Restaurants in Europe list to reflect Michelin European Guides published for 2009. There are also a number of new additions to the Restaurant Picture Gallery including a trip to The Amalfi Coast, Italy.


The food photographs are there (as always) but in recent visits fine dining guide have been asking the kitchen to participate and we trust the results are interesting to our readers.

There have been around 65,000 page views from 20 plus thousand unique visitors since our last newsletter and as always a steady stream of correspondence.

Opinion/News: On two recent trips abroad it was noted that in Michelin level restaurants, the wine lists had a heavy accent on wines from the local area – Austrian wines at Steirereck in Vienna and Campania wines in three Michelin restaurants along the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

This is perhaps symptomatic of the ever expanding level of quality, sophistication and diversity available around the world. Several leading sommeliers have said that the United Kingdom is unique in the level of choice with quality offered by our supermarkets, never mind stocked in our restaurants.

To an extent United Kingdom Sommeliers are challenged and excited by the opportunity to explore the ever expanding New World – to uncover hidden gems. Sommeliers are, after all, as passionate and able as the chefs in the kitchen. The chance to display their knowledge is always welcomed.

There will be the Old World traditionalists who do not stray, however for those willing to experiment, the rewards may be significant. Should white Burgundy be your usual thing then try asking your sommelier for a big, rich, unoaked chardonnay (or similar) from the New World.

You may just be pleased with the quality and price of the result.

For a surface level view of the complexity in choosing a white Burgundy see An Introduction to Burgundy

Until next time, Happy Eating and Happy Drinking!