Tuesday 01 May 2012

It was a good night for the British restaurant and food industry, with three UK restaurants voted in the top 50. ‘Dinner’ by Heston Blumenthal restaurant, in London, shot straight into the Top 50 at No 9, and taken the Highest New Entry award, the organisers commenting on how his “historically influenced British cooking has proved hugely popular with both the local and international judging panels”. His world-famous Fat Duck came in at No 13.

Australian Brett Graham, whose London restaurant, The Ledbury, was last year’s Highest New Entry, rose an impressive 20 places to No 14, taking the Highest Climber award.

The No 1 place went for the third year running to Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, and visitors to London will have a chance to sample his cooking during London2012: Redzepi will be cooking at Claridges for 10 days, creating a five course menu which will reflect his signature flavours and dishes from Noma, and using local, seasonal British ingredients. This follows in the footsteps of leading US chef, Thomas Keller, who brought his cooking to Harrods for 10 days in October 2011.

The transformation of British food was also celebrated earlier on Monday in the heart of London, as top chefs and producers from across Britain helped launch “Food is GREAT”. The event, hosted at 10 Downing St, was part of the campaign to promote Britain as a GREAT place to visit, invest in and do business with.

Food is one of the seven tourism pillars that VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is promoting around the world, using inspirational chef Jamie Oliver to invite the world to come to Britain and experience the very best of what it has to offer. With some 30,000 restaurants, and a wonderful range of dining to be found in pubs and hotels across the UK, inbound visitor expenditure on food and beverages is worth over £4 billion to the British economy each year.

Speaking to VisitBritain at ‘FOOD is GREAT’, globally renowned chefs commented:

Raymond Blanc: “What is happening to British food is extraordinary, the French would call it la revolution…we are reinventing our food, our history, our culture.”

Gordon Ramsay: “There are so many young dynamic talented gifted chefs that are talking to the local purveyors more, using local produce. That’s the kind of impact these chefs are having on their restaurants. We can compete with the best now.”

Legendary chef Pierre Koffmann, who achieved three stars at La Tante Claire restaurant, and is now cooking at the Berkeley Hotel, praised the quality of the produce : “ Top shellfish from Scotland, lamb and beef as good as anywhere in the world.”

Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications at VisitBritain said: “Great to see such accolades for the very best of British cooking. Our food and produce and great regional specialities are an asset to be promoted around the world and add to the experience of international visitors.”

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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