The well travelled chefs of Mayfair and St James’s share their favourite foodie destinations. By Reyhaan Day.
My choice would be Mirazur, located on the French-Italian border in Menton.
Mauro Colagreco is a chef I have long respected, and especially now with his double distinction in 2019.
He has three Michelin stars and was voted number 1 at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
I love Mauro’s approach of using local ingredients. He cooks with a lot of respect to taste but also uses a lot of creativity which appears deceptively simple.
The famous salt-crusted beetroot and caviar dish was simply sublime.
One of the best dining experiences of my life was at New York’s Eleven Madison Park.
The way it was conducted, the way the flavours unfolded with every bite… absolutely magical.
Even though every dish was spectacular, there are two that stick out in my mind. One was a caesar salad that was theatrically assembled at our table.
For the second, we were taken into the kitchen …It was a beautifully delicious and refreshing apple granita where the ice was shaved in front of you.
I’m very excited for Daniel Humm to be opening his restaurant in Claridge’s. He will become a fellow Mayfairian!
One meal I’ll never forget was at Noma, in Copenhagen.
It was life-changing.
I couldn’t believe how they break the rules and break down the barriers of what you’d expect from a dining experience.
When I went, the first six courses were all eaten without cutlery.
Everything they served was just so clever.
I have chosen Asador Etxebarri because I don’t get to go all the time.
Chef Victor Arguinzoniz has evolved his restaurant over the years into an incredible experience.
His cooking has refined over the years. All of his dishes are cooked over different woods and charcoals – even the reduced milk ice cream served with beetroot juice is reduced in a charcoal oven.
It is hard to single out dishes – but the grilled red prawn and grilled rib of beef usually from an animal 12-15 years old is truly incredible.
Oaxen in Stockholm is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in the world.
It is a restaurant of two halves, with the two Michelin-starred Krog and the more casual Slip both under one roof.
Dining in Oaxen Slip, you look out over the water and choose from a menu focusing largely on local seafood and wild ingredients.
But the standout dish had to be the grilled king crab with curry butter – reason alone to travel to Stockholm!
Gueyu Mar is a hidden gem in Spain’s North region. You’re lucky if you stumble across it, but I would recommend that you go hunting for it.
You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see a huge red mullet model on the wall!
It’s a beautiful location right by the sea in the small town of Vega and they serve locally sourced fish and shellfish cooked over coals.
When I went in March, I had an incredible tuna belly dish served with warm egg yolk and fresh peas. I’d say it was my dish of the year!
My favourite restaurant is the one I have not yet discovered – perhaps one I will eat at today!
I like to try new places.
Kyoto is my favourite food city. There is so much attention to high level, quality produce. That is where I eat the best Japanese food.
In London, Umu represents the best of Japanese cuisine. It is a really great place with amazing sourcing and produce and excellent sake and wine options.
When I’m not chopping vegetables, baking, cooking or eating, I’ll often daydream about food…
My mind invariably drifts to Paradiso Perduto in the Cannaregio district of Venice.
It’s cavernous, chaotic and cacophonous … but I love it and always make a point of visiting when I’m in the city.
My favourite dishes are the deep-fried pilgrim scallops, the fritto misto and their excellent home-made pasta, particularly cacio e pepe prepared for you tableside.
Main picture: Atul Kochhar by Jodi Hind Photography.
Hélène Darroze section: Mirazur salt crusted beetroot with caviar cream. Credit @lopezdezubiria.
Ashley Palmer-Watts: copyright John Blackwell.
Alain Ducasse section: Umu Sashimi.