Awards, Guides, Rosettes and Rows

Seasonal antics amongst the ranks of the food industry

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Eating out in Chiswick


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The end of the awards / guides season was marked by Zagat’s publication of their 2009 guide drawing a close on the fortnight when the who’s who of the food industry announce their awards and advise foodies on where to eat and who should be cooking it.

Chiswick did very well for itself with The Devonshire, The Dukes of Sussex and The Bollo all making Michelin’s Guide to Eating out in Pubs. Malcolm John is currently celebrating the success of Le Vacherin’s sister restaurant Le Cassoulet just voted Time Out’s Best Local Restaurant. The AA Guide was generous with their rosettes bestowing two on Sam’s Brasserie and Bar which was also named Best 60 under £60 in the London Restaurant Awards and Hardens included La Trompette amongst the best gastronomic experiences to be had in London.

Zagat's 2009 London Restaurants hailed Italian as the cuisine of choice for the capital and also noted that Londoners don’t appear to be finding the rising average cost of a meal (now £40.55, up 3.7% from last year) a deterrent from eating out – 82% of the Survey respondents report that they are going out just as much if not more than they were two years ago. However, for those who are feeling the pinch, Zagat compiled a Best Buys list which features Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Good news for W4 however, all is not well in the world of gastro guides. Better known for starting arguments rather than being the subject of them, Gordon Ramsay has found himself at the centre of a row between Hardens and Zagat.

Harden’s London Restaurants 2009 featured Gordon Ramsay prominently in their listings amongst the best, the worst and the most overpriced establishments stating, “It is the disappointing standards at Ramsay’s three most recent ‘mass-market’ openings which are most immediately concerning. Each of them – The Warrington, Devonshire House, and Foxtrot Oscar – is nominated in roughly one in every three of the survey reports they attract in the ‘most disappointing meal of the year’ category. These newcomers are so uninspired in concept and so erratic in performance that – if they were opened by independent operators – they would likely be closed within a year.”

The comments not only incited apparent anger amongst the ranks of Ramsay Holdings for their “inevitably negative” connotations, they also provoked an attack from Tim Zagat at the launch of the Zagat London guide. Zagat said, “Harden’s are full of sh*t, and you can quote me on that,” he remarked. “They attack people every year just to get more publicity. Gordon Ramsay is an easy target for them because of his profile but no matter how you look at it he’s always amongst the top league.”

A spokesperson for Hardens denied the claim of “inevitably negative” coverage of Gordon Ramsay.

September 11, 2008