March 2010: Fine Dining Guide March Newsletter

Posted on: March 4th, 2010 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood is delighted to announce the continued success of a free iTunes podcast series. You can find any episode by typing “fine dining uk” in the main iTunes search box. The latest two episodes are: An interview with Jori White, founder JWPR and An Interview with Derek Bulmer, Editor Michelin.

newsletter interviewees

Since the last newsletter, the site has four other new interviews; Legendary Michelin Three Star chef Pierre Gagnaire  speaks passionately about his love of food and the challenges of expanding a restaurant presense around the globe.

Newly dual-promoted Michelin chef Brett Graham gives a not to be missed sincere and ingenuous insight into his development in the industry and his plans for the future.

MARC Corporation go from strength to strength with fine wines, top end restaurants and a club amongst their portfolio – restaurateur, owner and founder Marlon Abela  shows he’s a foodie, too.

John P Davey is a long standing name and face of front of house in London, John speaks about the new venture of his own consultancy company, helping restaurants with Les Arts de la Table.

The site also manged to squeeze in a thirty minute chat (over a cooked breakfast) with Raymond Blanc (get well soon!) as part of a broader piece covering Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons  and the eponymous cookery school.

Twitter: The fine-dining-guide Twitter page continues to grow and now approaches 1550 followers ( The top 20 or so news tweets can also be found on fine-dining-guide’s News page.

General Website Updates: January is always a bumper month for web traffic and this year was the best ever – with three days setting all time traffic records. Since the last newsletter, the site has enjoyed about 70,000 page views from 30,000 visitors.

Should you type “fine dining guide” into google then you will find that the comprehensive indexing has become much more useful – as was predicted in December!

The Michelin Section and One Percent Club have been thoroughly updated to reflect the new January publications: Plus new pages include; Michelin GB&I 2010 Stars Listed, Michelin Bib Gourmand Defined and Listed and The AA 2010 Interim Press Release in full.

The Restaurant Picture Gallery  continues to be popular with readers and has been updated with visits to: The Vineyard at Stockcross, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Pied a Terre, Umu, Auberge du Lac, The Waterside Inn (PDR), The French Horn and The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

We have also expanded our Restaurant Reviews section and consolidated the location under Two Views. Reviews conducted since the last newsletter include: Le Menu Decouverte at Le Manoir, Umu, Sketch and Twist Las Vegas.

Opinion/News: The start of 2010 sees a new trend in top end fine dining. Front-of-house is changing! To fine-dining-guide the restaurant experience is akin to a piece of theatre; to be savoured and enjoyed: The chef and kitchen brigade team up with those in front of house to unfold the act of our nourishment over a period of hours.

Indeed great pleasure is taken from the twenty to thirty seconds that accompany the presentation of each arriving dish. An informative, educational and enjoyable scene in the play of the meal – indeed the front of house performing les arts de la table.

While fine-dining-guide enjoy, indeed look forward to this part of the meal, it would seem the consensus is otherwise. Oh no! Front of house is noticeably being banished to a more and more invisible role.

One may understand the ‘one hour lunch – please don’t interrupt me, I’m very important and talking business’ customer. Or perhaps forgive those who find multiple courses where each course takes longer to present than eat. Valid points and fine-dining-guide fully understands customers in such situations.

However, taking the menu and audience into consideration, the default should surely remain to ‘present and describe’ a dish properly. It would seem today that the standard practice is to have a description ‘upon request’ Perhaps the situation has developed from ‘twitter-esque’ information, where over-reactions via pendulum swings of opinion are commonplace and increasingly understood. Thankfully (for the time being) the sommeliers’ still manage to share knowledge and effuse. But for how long?

fine-dining-guide hopes this change is fashion rather than a trend, with the front of house returning to doing what they do best – interacting.


Until next time, Happy Eating!