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Michelin Stars Were All Over London Restaurant Instagram This Week

Plus everything else chefs, diners, and influencers were up to

Michelin Guide 2019 jacket at Michelin-starred restaurant Brat by Tomos Parry in Shoreditch, taken on Instagram Benjamin McMahon

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. Is this week’s FILTER the MOST INTERESTING FILTER IN THE WORLD?

News of the week

Although Michelin’s platform of choice was the deeply down-with-the-kids Facebook Live, the 2018 ceremony enjoyed a long afterlife on Instagram, as London’s newest stars celebrated each other’s success. And with some genuinely exciting — and, in some cases, slightly unexpected — picks, things got pretty emotional. As they say: scenes.

Rival ceremony of the week

Last Thursday saw a different kind of celebration of excellence: the annual YBFs awards. Food was provided by some of the city’s leading lights; food for thought was provided by one of them, too.

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Great honour to judge the Vegetable category of @theybfs this year with @newtonandpott & @we_are_food. Here we are presenting the magnificent winner @flourishproduce, and offering a big shoutout to amazing and sadly absent runner-up @onefieldfarm. --- When I first started cooking professionally we were in a position to reap the benefits of changed attitudes to animal husbandry instigated by the BSE crisis of the 80s, and the return to small catch dayboat fishing following the stock crises of the early 90s, however the attention given to arable was negligible by comparison, certainly when we looked at what was happening in the rest of Europe, and the US. There have always been amazing growers out there, but they've been few and far between, and it's been hard for them to find an audience. It's therefore thrilling to celebrate a new generation of ambitious, visionary and bold young farmers, none more so than Calixta, who in less than two years has set up her farm, using only horses, no machinery, and following biodynamic principles, and has got her incredible produce into some of London's best kitchens. I can personally attest to how compelling and inspiring the quality of what she grows is, and the tireless drive and sacrifice she brings to her work. --- Farmers are remarkable. They deserve to be commended and celebrated, most especially when they go out on a limb to push the understanding of what can be achieved in harmony with our precious and rapidly depleting environment forward. Of all the elements of our diet we're most guilty of taking for granted, vegetables have for too long been considered the least deserving of our appreciation. As we all strive consume less meat, dairy, and reduce pressure on what remains of the incredible gift of fertile topsoil, we should champion our growers, consistently battling through 18 hour days, in some cases without any mechanical or human assistance, to present us with these beautiful vegetal gifts. I still enjoy working with, and eating, meat and fish, but nothing approaches the simple poetry of vegetables, leaves still damp with dew, roots slightly matter with loamy earth, freshly dug from my own garden. Thank you.

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New opening / Insta-prognostication of the week

Andrew Wong’s sort-of sequel to A Wong, Kym’s, is now officially open. And so begins the sport of identifying which dish will find its way into everyone’s Insta-feed over the next month or so, as the virtuous / vicious cycle of PR #invites, curious punters, and ‘gram-collectors-slash-completists takes effect. It’s still early days, but it’s pretty hard to look past this absolute dazzler.

Hand-painted artisanal wooden spoon of the week

When the news broke that La Famiglia Rana had collaborated with Skye Gyngell to produce Insta-friendly pasta kits, complete with “hand-painted artisanal wooden spoon”, would-be pastagrammers can be forgiven for having anxiously asked themselves “But what colour is the hand-painted artisanal wooden spoon?”. This being Instagram in the year of our Lord 2018, fortunately, they didn’t have long to wait. And those walnuts certainly will add texture!

Caption implying that a hilarious misunderstanding has taken place of the week

They do sound quite alike!!!

Deathless trend of the week

Ah, summer 2018. Sunshine, outdoor drinking, the unmistakable sound of an iPhone camera shutter papping the image of a katsu sando. But hang on – what’s this? Yet another riff on the now-familiar formula, with a never-before-seen fishtail accessory? Summer may be over, but it looks like sando season is year-round, folks.

Believable rural vignette of the week


Mucky marketing campaign of the week

Berber&Q’s returning series of wine dinners focused on terroir, Dirt, is one of the forward-looking initiatives that has made the Haggerston grill house and Exmouth Market Shawarma Bar two of the most progressive places to drink in town. If only the same could be said for the poster advertising it. It’s not like natural wine doesn’t have enough issues with labelling conventions as it is.

Visual representation of an age-old dilemma of the week

Well: what came first?

Quote of the week

Fergus Henderson, on cooking sous vide: “It tastes of sadness”. Aren’t water baths supposed to stop you getting burned?

Dish of the week

That’ll do it

Shot of the week

How to eat a pear?