Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Food Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Food Spy

Article excerpt

Byline: WILLIAM SITWELL

Restaurant bites

Food Spy hears that chefrestaurateur Tom Aikens has been making mysterious forays to the Natural History Museum. 'He goes there between services and seems to have developed an interest in bugs,' says an associate. An alarmed Food Spy confronts the chef. 'Look, I've just taken up fencing and I get lessons there in the basement,' explains Tom. 'The guy who teaches me, Mick Webb, is the bug man.' What was going on behind the scenes at last week's Harpers & Queen Restaurant Awards at Floridita? 'The speeches kept on being interrupted by the sound of smashing glasses,' says a guest. 'The waiters dropped at least four trays of champagne, including one on Gordon Ramsay. I reckon they were having some kind of weird bet.' Marco Pierre White's latest opening, Luciano - a joint venture with Rocco Forte that opened this week - has raised eyebrows within MPW's household. 'He's got a restaurant named after his daughter, Mirabelle, and now one named after one of his sons,' says a friend. 'His wife Mati's wondering when it's going to be her turn.' 11 Abingdon Road, the new British restaurant off Kensington High Street, has won plaudits from locals for its food but has a more intriguing innovation in the loos. 'They've installed new hand dryers called Xelerators,' explains Food Spy's hygiene consultant. 'They are so powerful that if you attached one to your back, I reckon you could take off.'

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James Keith, founder of FRIDGE, providers of fresh dinner-party food, predicts...

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