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 number nine, and took the Highest New Entry award. Commenting on Blumenthal’s success, the organizers said that 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 number 13.
London restaurant, The Ledbury, was last year’s Highest New Entry, and this year, rose an impressive 20 places to number 14, taking the Highest Climber award.
The number one place, for the third year running, went to Rene Redzepi’s ‘Noma’ in Copenhagen, and visitors to London will have a chance to sample his cooking during the London 2012 Olympic Games. From July 28 – August 6, Redzepi will be cooking at the famed Claridges hotel, creating a five course menu which will reflect his signature flavours and dishes using local, seasonal British ingredients (www.claridges.co.uk/atasteofnoma). 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, as top chefs and producers from across Britain helped launch “Food is GREAT”. The event, hosted at the Prime Minister’s London residence, 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 showcase the very best the country 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 the ‘FOOD is GREAT’ launch, 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, and 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: “It is 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 Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com