Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is a little muted.
News of the week
The outpouring of messages of support and commiseration following the tragically early death of Anthony Bourdain last week was just one sign of the colossal influence the American cook, writer and TV presenter had on the UK restaurant industry. In a medium not renowned for its sincerity, this was a rare moment of community and genuine emotion; among the dozens of tributes few were as direct and poignant as this, from long-time friend and kindred spirit Fergus Henderson.
Restaurant(s) of the week
Happier news over at The Hurlingham Club, where the good and the great (and… this guy?!) assembled for the Estrella National Restaurant Awards. Whilst the hashtag for the event (clue: it features the initials NRA) might raise a few eyebrows, there’s no denying the quality of the field being celebrated this year — with few better or more deserving than the eventual winner, Soho’s Kiln.
Delightful follow of the week
OK, he probably doesn’t need it given he’s got thirty-nine THOUSAND followers already, but exploring the (very, very enviable) life of chef Pierre Koffmann via his Instagram is nothing short of a treat. And he’s no slouch with a camera, either…
Non-review of a preview / preview of a review of the week
When they’re not busy doing crazy things with naked flames, Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke might want to consider putting the champagne on ice.
Thirsty warring condiment empires of the week
Salad dressing? Or sandwich dressing?
The perfect simple salad for summertime, paired with the delicious new @hellmannsuk coconut and lime salad dressing. A classic avocado salad recipe with the addition of toasted pine nuts, radishes and chopped spring onions, healthy, hearty and seriously tasty. #AD #avocadosalad #BetterWithHellmanns #Hellmanns ✨
Thirsty warring sandwich empires of the week
Does the ham, egg and chips at Max’s Sandwich Shop have a new contender to face down?
Tekkers of the week
As noted in a recent piece on Eater.com, the last few years have seen some of London’s best chefs (re)embracing classical French technique. A showdown between two of the very best this week, with the belt probably — just! — going to the Holborn Heavyweight.
(Side) dish of the week
Weeks on from the restaurant’s opening, Brat’s tomatoes remain an essential Insta-accessory. Unlike most food-as-content, though, these taste at least as good as they look.
Shot of the week
Bonus points for the caption, obvs.