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Yotam Ottolenghi and Tom Kerridge Battle for Instagram Supremacy

Plus everything else restaurants, chefs, influencers, and Giles Coren got up to on the ‘gram

Simple cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi and Great British Menu TV chef Tom Kerridge, who battled for London restaurant Instagram supremacy last week

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is side-eye.

News of the week

We warned you. Tom Kerridge’s new restaurant at Corinthia Hotel is now in full swing: open the content floodgates.

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@cheftomkerridge this is beyond good

A post shared by Neil Rankin (@frontlinechef) on

Rival PR push of the week
An average cookbook is rarely going to be able to rival a chef’s first London opening for newsfeed real estate — especially when that chef’s restaurants have three Michelin stars between them. And yet: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Simple is no average cookbook. At times this week it’s been hard to say which smooth, shiny object has been more prominent — Yotam’s cartoon lemon or Kerridge’s cheery melon. Buy the obligatory copy / make the obligatory reservation, now.

Instaurant of the week
Instaurant, n. A restaurant that has received relatively little coverage from journalists or restaurant critics and whose prominence on social media begets the haunting idea that it may, in fact, exist purely on social media, and not as a bricks-and-mortar restaurant at all.

Double-standard of the week
Post 1: 907 likes, approximately 10 billion comments, a great many of them negative.

Post 2: 1,551 likes, 25 comments, none of them negative.

It’s almost like British society has an issue with confronting the realities of the food chain, or something.

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Grouse soon to be ragu.

A post shared by Padella (@padella_pasta) on

Innovator of the week
Insta Stories has previously acclaimed @poochhorsburgh as a daring iconoclast, willing to push every boundary in search of true gastronomic satisfaction. Could this be her (Mc)magnum opus?

Dragons’ Den pitch of the week

Questionable rebranding exercise of the week
First the sandwich, then the sando. Is London ready for their mutant Australian offspring, the sanga? Or is it just a fancy, normcore sandwich with the crusts cut off?

Dish of the week
In a year full of grim news for the sector, it’s especially heartening to see perhaps the unluckiest operators of the lot finding their feet again and starting to rebuild. Their residency at Holloway’s Mountgrove Bothy runs until March next year and (if this dish is anything to go by) should be well worth a look.

Shot of the week
It’s a slippery slope to Instagram claiming your soul forever. What starts as an offhanded quick snap or two slowly evolves into more painstaking photography; in time, the obsession swells to encompass the deliberate positioning of dishes on the table and maybe even standing up to take the shot. It’s an open question as to when someone tips, unambiguously, into the realm of the Instagram Basic — could it be selecting a seat with the sole intention of getting the best-possible lighting? Buying a tasteful marble slab to background shots taken at home? Ordering a dish purely because it looks good and not because it’s something actually worth eating? Or how about this? Is it time for someone to stage an Instavention?


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