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The London Food World Through the Eyes of Instagram

Including the royal wedding cake, Santa Maria x Supreme and Nobu joins Robert De Niro on the couch

The royal wedding cake by Claire Ptak at Violet

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is non-chefs using the hashtag #cheflife.

Newsworthy event of the week

He’s UK-born and bred and a touch on the ginger side; she’s not from these parts but brings grace, eloquence, and elegance to everything she does. It’s a match made in heaven.

Friendly neighbourhood rivalry of the week

New restaurant openings are like London buses: you wait ages for one, and then loads of them end up in Hackney. The last few weeks has seen two high profile east London debuts: Bright, in London Fields; and Cornerstone, near the Olympic stadium. The race is now on for the crown of Most Instragrammed; despite a strong early showing for William Gleave and Co, the scales of late do seem to be tipping in Tom Brown’s favour, even if he is yet to produce a hero dish to rival *those* scarlet prawns. One to keep an eye on, but for now — just — it’s advantage Hackney Wick, especially the potted shrimp crumpet.

Thought-provoking caption of the week

Presented without comment (for fear of reprisals)

Enthusiastic business partners of the week

Analyse This.

“U OK, Hun?” of the week

For Giles Coren, 2018 has been the year of Instagram. Although he made his account public almost a year ago, the last few months have seen a marked increase in tweets promoting it, including not one, not two, but three separate prompts in the last week alone.

Just a few instalments of Insta Stories on from raising the question of why all restaurant critics have such terrible Instagram accounts, it’s worth asking, also, why they might want to pivot away from their traditional hunting ground of Twitter and towards Instagram in the first place. Perhaps it’s enforced by TV producers looking to build another free marketing channel for their show. Perhaps it’s prime midlife crisis territory. Perhaps — like so many users — they just enjoy having a separate creative outlet, one that places fewer demands on them than a weekly deadline. Perhaps — as Coren himself has said — Instagram is simply a more fun and more pleasant place to hang out. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Coren is steering *hard* into the medium, even enlisting the services of one of its biggest influencers to Clerkenwell Buoy his follower count. We’ll know he’s totally lost when he starts taking his food outside to photograph it. Oh, wait.

Fashion collab of questionable legality of the week

It may just be Hello Kitty for boys, but there’s no denying the ceaseless hype for American skate brand Supreme. And so what better (unofficial?) partner could there be than dough-spinning, shade-slinging pizzaioli Santa Maria? Supreme’s legal team may well shut down the line sharpish, but in the meantime: would coppa.

Santamaria x Supreeme collabo may ‘18 drop, trucker hat.

A post shared by Santa Maria (@santamariapizza) on

Dish of the week


fried chicken, raw asparagus & bacon. lost for words...

A post shared by Engin Ozger (@enginozger) on

Shot of the week

Could it really be anything else?