J Sheekey 10th Anniversary
Covent Garden seafood institution J Sheekey is shaking things up in honour of its tenth anniversary, with a series of three supper clubs each led by a guest chef from the southern coast of Britain.
Executive Head Chef Andrew McLay will be joined by Simon Hulstone (of The Elephant in Torquay), Mark Sargeant (Rocksalt; Folkestone), and Bruce Rennie (The Shore; Penzance) for the series, at which each evening’s dinner will be followed by an (optional) open discussion between the respective chef and diners, exploring the philosophy and significance of the food served and, importantly, not rendering completely miserable the experience of actually eating said dinner.
The series kicks off with Hulstone’s menu on 27 February, which will focus on the Skrei season, when a migratory cod from Norwegian waters is available to catch. Sargeant’s supper club will fall on 17 April, Rennie’s on 22 May. A signature dish from each chef’s menu will also feature on the J Sheekey Atlantic Bar menu for some weeks following their respective events.
Tickets can be found here.
Red Rooster Dinner With Friends
Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem import is launching “Dinner With Friends” this month — a series that will see a new guest chef joining the Red Rooster team each month to cook a special “family-style” feast. Hosted on the last Thursday of each month, guests will be hosted in the restaurant’s private dining room, where they’ll be treated to a three course feast including drink pairings, a “banging playlist” and other, undisclosed entertainment.
Chefs will be chosen for their capacity to bring a unique perspective to the table — Samuelsson’s combination of Ethiopian heritage and Swedish upbringing, and the community of Harlem are credited as the roots of Red Rooster, and the Dinner With Friends series aims to continue in the same multicultural vein.
Following a successful private launch with Selin Kiazim of neighbouring Oklava, the first public event will see Welshman Tomos Parry bring his Basque approach to British produce to the table on 20 February, followed by Ali Borer of Thai-influenced Smoking Goat on 29 March.
Tickets, £75, can be reserved via email.
Carousel Announces Five New Guest Chefs
Marylebone’s rotating restaurant kitchen has announced the next five guest chefs who will take over the kitchen during the months of February and March. It kicks off this week with Rosie Healey, of Glasgow favourite Alchemilla (and formally London restaurants Jago and Ottolenghi), who brings her simple but crowd pleasing approach to Mediterranean food to the Marylebone kitchen from 6 – 10 February.
Healey is followed by Santiago Lastra, a Carousel veteran of two tours who counts stints at Mugaritz (San Sebastian), Bror (Copenhagen) and Noma Mexico among his palmarès. Lastra’s former appearances at Carousel have been resounding hits, and diners can expect more of his creative approach to local ingredients this time round, including dished like chilpachole de jaiba, comprising crab and tarragon in a mezcal broth.
The following two weeks at Carousel see two favourite regional French restaurants transplanted to Marylebone, starting with Anton Orjollet — chef-patron of Bidart’s locavore icon Elements — who will present a daily-changing menu accompanied by natural and biodynamic wines from conscientious growers. Orjollet is followed by Julien Hennote, of Brittany’s Le Pourquoi Pas, who will flash his seafood credentials — he’s known at home for dishes like diver scallops with salted butter, braised leeks, and buckwheat infusion, and has promised Carousel a menu of dishes in the same spirit.
Finally, Scott Smith of Norn, in Edinburgh, will be resident at Carousel from 13-24 March, serving up his unique representation of Scottish cuisine that has won him the plaudits of punters and critics alike. Dishes at Norn include Shetland black potatoes with crab, buttermilk and Crowdie (an ancient cow’s milk cheese introduced to Scotland by the Vikings), so expect similar combinations of heritage ingredients and modern preparations when he comes to town.
The Great British Bab Off
Partnering with Action Against Hunger, Soho’s Le Bab is hosting the first “Great British Bar Off” this coming Sunday. Head chef Manu Canales Garces will be going head-to-head against Jacob Rosen (of Pitt Cue), James Hart (El Pastor), Jeremy Chan (Ikoyi), and Has Vedat (Yosma) for the bragging rights associated with being awarded London’s “best” kebab.
Diners will get to work their way through a five-kebab tasting menu (£45 per head) that includes a (presumably flat bread-free) dessert — with a £35 supplementary wine pairing available — before casting their vote to determine who will be the first Bab-Off winner. All proceeds will go to Action Against Hunger.