When I started cooking in the 70s the ultimate menus contained continental cuisine.We now take this for granted Italian food like you enjoyed in rome recently available locally not a problem the chef may be from there or al least have enough passion to have travelled there and experienced the food first hand.In my first brush with this new food I was being educated mostly by those who had not travelled had no affinity and in some cases did not care.
the results were in hindsight atrocious Bolognese sauce that would have you flogged in italy,and so many other poorly executed dishes its no wonder people went abroad for holiday and to enjoy the food.
I was Lucky as we had a Spanish chef who loved food and took me under his wing and ever since I have had an affinity with Spanish food.

Stairway to Heaven
Japan is the kingdom of hidden, especially when it comes round to restaurants Aronia de Takazawa is no exception except its exeptional.
The times has visited and raved along with a few well known bloggers and the well informed .
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I have to say, my eye has been off the ball in the restaurant world and things have been happening in London, the stakes have been raised and we have finally become a true culinary capital. A lot happens in a just few years the young guns have finally arrived.

Young Chefs working around the world with the best, along with home grown new British culinary talent have come home and found backing or opened pop up restaurants. European chefs who have chosen London as their base. So now we are blessed with a flow of new and interesting places to eat even in these difficult financial times
Vajante for example, a new style of cuisine imagined by Chef Nuno Mendes born in Portugal and now based here. He came to the fore through his pop up restaurant the loft, still operating but now welcoming European young talent to cook on a one off basis.
When I first came to London my major culinary influence was the French brasserie I worked as the grill chef and subsequently on the sauce section at Langans Brassiere when it first opened, and I have been a fan of the style ever since, never leaving Paris with a visit to at least one of the genre.
Now in London we are lucky enough to have Les Deux Salons a slice of Paris in convent garden more contemporary than the Parisian classics but with a nod towards the culinary heritage, but with I hasten to add British produce everything I ate was of premium quality and my ideal kind of eating.
Anthony Demetre oversees the kitchens. He followed on from me at Putney Bridge restaurant, where he gained his first Michelin star. He has since set up Arbutus and sister restaurant Wild Honey.
I chose to eat exclusively starters, as I wanted to enjoy more flavours and textures in small portions. I started with Cold Sliced calf’s head with tartar sauce.
  An metal eared dish filled with Brandade of Cod, fried baby squid and a parsley cromeski.
As I looked around at my fellow diners it was apperent that much care has been taken in choosing the dishes plates and small casseroles that the food has been presented in quality products that will distress with time and a add a true patina to the eating experience.
It must be 30 years since I have seen a cromeski on a menu, and after eating this one I am all for seeing them back again, liquid parsley at its core! Ravioli with rose veal and spinach was more like a crespele but very good nonetheless. The steak tartar, well that had me in rapture, chopped, at last someone who does not mince the meat it makes a world of difference.
A rhum baba was only marred by the temperature of the sponge, much too cold but all can be forgiven, because of the very large portion of rum that was applied to the baba straight from the bottle.
A wonderful lunch. After four months of eating just proteins this was a welcome break. A reminder to look more often what is happening here at home rather what is going on in Europe and Japan, we are becoming no longer the poor culinary cousin.

40 – 42 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DD  020 7420 2050

Patriot Square Bethnal Green London E2 9NF
+44 (0) 20 7871 0461
the Loft http://www.theloftproject.co.uk/about/

Our recent poor culinary heritage is blamed on rationing and the war, its taken its toll on the british in culinary terms.1940-1954
The strangulation of the supply of produce during those times helped us forget the good times.
sausages with little pork!(somethings never change) other highlights incuded Woolton pie named after the first minister for food, a meat free pie filled with parsnips and other veg thickened vegetable water seasoned with spring onion and topped with potato pastry and coated with cheese if you were lucky.
fourteen years is a long time to be deprived of the things you like to eat and a generation grew up with these eating habits and it no doubt had a formative effect.
Now of course we are bombarded with food and associated culture.
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