September 2009: Fine Dining Guide September Newsletter

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

fine-dining-guide is pleased to announce the continued sincess of an iTunes podcast series, the latest episode – The Past, Present and Future of Gastronomy? features a review of some of the great chefs of the past, assesses the current state of play and considers the future.

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

newsletter interviewees

Our lead feature for this issue is an interview with Michelin Two Star Chef, Claude Bosi of Hibiscus – Claude talks about his background including his move from Ludlow to London and expands upon his philosophies of both cooking and being a successful chef/patron.

We also feature an interview with Michelin Starred Chris Horridge of Waldo’s Cliveden. Chris speaks about his early inspirations including his now consuming passion for nutrition. A truly fascinating piece. We also review Waldo’s Maureen Mills, founder of Network London PR also found time to speak to fine dining guide. Maureen is a clear leader in her field – of top end restaurant PR and marketing – and her insights have proved the most popular twitter web link reference to date!

The cheese board has always been an enjoyable and fascinating part of the fine dining restaurant ‘theatre’ experience. Fine dining guide were delighted to interview Eric Charriaux, co founder of Premier Cheeses and leading supplier of artisan cheese to top end restaurants. This proved an informative and educational piece.

Twitter: The fine dining guide Twitter page continues to be a popular fine dining news service ( with approaching 1000 followers. For those less keen on visiting Twitter, the latest 20 or so news tweets can be found on our News Homepage

General Website Updates: The popular Restaurant Picture Gallery section continues to be updated. And we anticipate updating all our lists (found in the 1% Club) by mid-October 2009 – to allow for the new Which? Good Food Guide 2010 and The AA Restaurant Guide 2010. The lists will be updated for a final time at the end of January 2010 to reflect the publication of the Michelin Red Guide.

Since the last Newsletter, the website has experienced at least 50,000 page views from around 18,000 unique visitors. In general around 100 specific google searches each day reach a page on the website.

Opinion/News: Naturally, such are the economic circumstances of 2009, not a newsletter goes by without reference to the recession. It has been noticable that, at different times during the year, Elizabeth Carter (Editor of The Which Good Food Guide), Derek Bulmer (Editor, MIchelin) and Maureen Mills (Network London PR) have all made reference to how the industry was shaping up in these difficult times. (See interviews on fine dining guide).

We know that cutting price while maintaining the value of an offering or increasing the value of an offering while maintaining price can only be a very short term promotional tool. Why? It affects the brand! The brand value goes down. As soon as there is an upturn re-adjusting the brand value will make the challenge twice as hard.

We see, to an extent, the guides maintaining a focus on the top end – Michelin handing out lots of stars (a GB&I record in 2009) and the Which Good Food Guide 2010 emphasising the ‘Top 50’ in their press release. However, both at the same time giving significant weight to trumpeting the mid-market; Michelin Bib Gourmand has been underscored as becoming of significantly increased interest to readers and The Good Food Guide features more informal, mid-market eateries than ever before.

The possibilities for lasting outcomes from the recession (that are go-to-market positives) seem less easy to pinpoint than just a few months ago. At the top end, a lower entry price point, perhaps weekday only, set menu offering at dinner times would be a welcome lasting addition.

Until next time, Happy Eating!