This was 2012 …. for us


A Flash start to the New Year

On Sunday 1 January Laura Santtini kicked off the year with an unconventional, two-part healthy eating plan in the Sunday Times Style which the magazine entitled: EAT, PRAY, CLEANSE. The extraordinary piece by Laura, which is still available online to Times subscribers, was based on her book Flash Cooking whilst the piece was illustrated with exquisite photography by Con Poulus.

Modernist fever

January was an interesting month for Modernist Cuisine. NY Times journalist Melissa Clark hosted a dinner party at her home with the menu based entirely on recipes from the book whilst in Madrid the authors Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet appeared at MadridFusion, one of Europe’s biggest and most influential shows for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Multi-talented, the bilingual Max flew from Spain to France to present in his mother tongue at the newly created Paris des Chefs (we await the 2013 programme with interest which we’ve heard that it will be held in September, for now here’s the one for 2012).


Scott Heimendinger’s attends Edible Exhibition, Dublin

Modernist Cuisine’s newest recruit (at the time) Scott Heimendinger aka Seattle Food Geek attended the Dublin Science Gallery‘s EDIBLE exhibition.

With his Modernist cooking skills and scientific background, Scott was the ideal guest to appear at the opening activities. During his talk, Scott discussed emerging biotechnologies, innovative food cultures and novel culinary practices that are changing the way we eat.

Massimo Bottura at The International Gourmet Festival (Portugal)

Massimo Bottura took part in The 6th International Gourmet Festival in Albufeira, Southern Portugal, the first of many presentations that he was to give in 2012.


London Launch of Mari Vanna

Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, Mari Vanna opened its doors on the 1st of March to reveal a beautifully cluttered dining room and menu of Russian, Armenian, Georgian and Uzbekistanian dishes. The restaurant with its hearty “Grandma Cooking” proved an instant and surprising hit.

Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavo{u}rs Launched a vegetarian Far Eastern version of its Taste #5 Umami Paste

After 2011’s successful launch of Taste #5 Umami Paste, London’s mistress of flavour Laura Santtini gathered her well-tuned taste buds and together with chef Nobu Matsuhisa unveiled the world’s first vegetarian umami paste.

Petersham Nurseries welcomed Greg Malouf

‘Master’ of Middle Eastern cuisine – Greg Malouf- joined our favourite garden-café Petersham Nurseries for a spring and summer season. A lively season it was too with Michelin confirming Petersham Nurseries star for a second year at the end of Greg’s tenure.


Modernist Cuisine wins an IACP Cookbook award

Modernist Cuisine won a hard-earned hat trick of awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Along with an award in the cat­e­gory of pro­fes­sional kitchen books, the team was also recognised by the IACP for their creative eye and forward-thinking, winning the design category and the newly established ‘Visionary Achievement’ which recognises excellent execution in culinary publishing.

Laura Santtini’s magical Taste #5  Umami Dust

Laura Santtini launched her Taste #5 Umami Dust. A “flavour bomb” dust, this delectable table seasoning designed to turn any dish into a culinary delight also worked wonders on Spoon HQ’s daily sandwich.

Elena Arzak, The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef

One week ahead of the BIG event, Spoon PR worked with Veuve Clicquot to recognise the achievements of Elena Arzak and announced that the international academy of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants considered this gentle but formidable woman to be the World’s Best Female Chef.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards: 29 April 2012

Whilst Noma was crowned World’s Best Restaurant for the third year in a row, Osteria Francescana celebrated its second year in the top 5 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Massimo Bottura and the Osteria Francescana team in Modena had been voted best restaurant in Italy for the fourth year running.

With an event of this magnitude, Sarah, who has publicised the list (but has no influence whatsoever over the results) for 8 years, had little time to celebrate with Massimo or the 46 other restaurant owners and 500 guests but enough time to wonder when the three French chefs who failed to show up will find room in their schedules and hearts to join the party.


Modernist Cuisine scores at the James Beard Awards

According to James Beard “Too few people understand a really good sandwich”. Nathan Myhrvold however understand this and much, much more, plus he took the time to explain it. The judges for the 2012 James Beard Award recognised this and fittingly bestowed on Modernist Cuisine two awards including COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR.

Granger & Co wins a Conde Nast Traveller Design and Innovation Award

Beating competitors such as Ceviche, Escargot and The French Laundry at Harrods Pop Up Restaurant, Geist (Copenhagen) and L’Opera Restaurant (Paris) amongst others, Bill Garnger’s London restaurant Granger  & Co picked up the Conde Nast Traveller Design and Innovation Award.


Naiara joined Spoon PR

In June the lovely Naiara joined Spoon PR for a placement and provided us with a detailed guide to the best restaurants, bars and markets of San Sebastian. What a pity Sarah didn’t have it in time for her trip to Arzak. You can see the full list here.


MAD 2012

Rene Redzepi’s second MAD foodcamp took place in July. With a programme featuring Ferran AdriaDan BarberFergus Henderson, Trevor Gullivar , David Chang and Spoon’s Massimo Bottura it was definitely a date not to be missed.

Lorenza (me!) joined Spoon PR

I can’t believe it has been already almost six months since I joined the Spoon’s team!


Mark Best’s Pei Modern wins Best New Restaurant

Mark Best’s new bistro in the Sofitel’s porte cochère – Pei Modern – was rated “the Melbournian Plumm Wine Glasses Best New Restaurant” in The Age Good Food Guide Awards, try saying that with a plum in your mouth (Sarah can …. or is that just the way she talks normally).

Massimo Bottura in Taiwan

Secluded amongst the incredible natural scene of hot springs and mountains of the Hotel Villa 32 in Taiwan, for a memorable week, Massimo Bottura delighted guests with a unique tasting experience – Come to Italy with me – the best of Osteria Francescana.


Osteria Francescana reopening

After a month of renovation and innovation Osteria Francescana reopened its doors on the 5th of September. Thanks to a collaboration with Italian luxury goods house Bottega Veneta and lighting designer Davide Groppi as well as the restaurant’s incorporation of some of Massimo Bottura’s private contemporary art collection, the new Osteria Francescana perfectly juxtaposes his two greatest passions- contemporary art and avant garde cuisine.

Bill Granger publishes his tenth cookbook Easy

September saw the release of Bill’s tenth cookbook Easy – a collection of simple, relaxed recipes inspired by his favourite everyday ingredients.


London Launch of Le Parfait

After more than 80 years, Le Parfait jars finally arrived in London. Its launch, organised by Spoon PR, was an evening of bountiful food, drinks and preservation, in a magnificently converted stable block in Farringdon.


Modernist Cuisine at Home launches in the UK

The at-home companion of the gigantic six volume cooking tome, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Modernist Cuisine at Home, launched in the UK and set a new standards for home cookbooks.

The 25th anniversary of Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse

In November, the “godfather” of French cuisine celebrated his quarter century at the three-star restaurant Le Luis XV.

Massimo Bottura was amongst the 240 chefs who attended the event and, to use his words “it was one of the greatest gatherings of international chefs in the history of gastronomy. No one was invited by chance. Each of us had a personal reason for being there […]”


Festive inspiration with Gael Boglione of Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries co-owner Gael Boglione shared with Stella magazine’s readers her Christmas & New Year’s party tips along with further recipes and rooms decorations with the help of Petersham Nurseries’ creative director Ronny de Koning and ‘florist to royalty and the stars’ Shane Connolly.

Read the article here.

A Veuve Clicquot Winter Feast by Magnus Nilsson

Sweden’s hottest star chef – Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken Magasinetcollaborated with Veuve Clicquot in a short film dedicated to winter. The 2 minute video is an insight to the chef’s culinary philosophy, seasonal musings and devotion to terroir. In the home of Veuve Clicquot, the private mansion Hôtel du Marc in Reims, Magnus prepared an incredible winter feast. See the video here.

Phew. If you’ve made it to the end of this posting you’ve stamina in spades. Care to share it with us?

Here’s to 2013. Let’s see what adventures it brings.


This entry was posted in Bill Granger, Foods Blog, Laura Santtini, Le Parfait, London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Mari Vanna, Massimo Bottura, Modernist Cuisine, Osteria Francescana, Petersham Nurseries, Spoon Blog 2011, Spoon Blog 2012, Taste #5- Umami Paste and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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