Feast with London’s Top Chefs at Christmas Food Extravaganza, ExCel, December 4-6, 2009

Feast with London’s Top Chefs at Christmas Food Extravaganza –

Taste of Christmas in association with Waitrose – 4th-6th December

Who could say no to three wonderfully festive days of eating, drinking and merriment under the mistletoe? Certainly not London’s best chefs. This year, Taste of Christmas, the most stylish foodie event of the festive season, has tempted 18 of the capital’s biggest culinary stars away from their restaurants at the busiest time of year with the promise of a winter wonderland of delicious Christmas food, drink and shopping.

Taste of Christmas, the wintertime sibling of summer’s blockbuster, Taste of London, is the first truly Christmassy show of the season. It returns to ExCel this December 4-6, 2009 with a stunning gastronomic line-up.

This year there are more restaurants, meaning more delicious signature dishes (in tasting-size portions costing between £3-6) for visitors to sample as they wind their way around the show on a culinary tour of their choosing. There are opportunities galore to peek behind the scenes of the UK’s hottest kitchens as the attending chefs reveal their best-kept culinary secrets at the Waitrose Cookery School in Association with Philips and introduce us to some of their favourite gourmet food suppliers.

World famous chef Heston Blumenthal who has been known as a culinary alchemist for his unique and innovative approach to cooking will be joining Taste of Christmas on Sunday 6th December.

Confirmed attendees who are bringing their restaurants to this year’s show include:

Alan Jones, Almeida Restaurant, Islington
Under the watchful eye of ex-Lucknam Park chef, Alan Jones, the Almeida has earned a reputation both as accessible local favourite and dining destination. Classic features including the much-loved charcuterie trolley remain, with Jones’ light, modern French touches evident elsewhere on the menu.

Atul Kochhar, Benares, Mayfair
One of London’s best regarded Indian chefs, Atul Kochhar was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star. He opened Benares in 2003 and went on to win a Michelin star there in 2007. Kochhar was a finalist on BBC’s Great British Menu. In 2009, he opened restaurant Vatika in Wickham Vineyard and Ananda in Dublin.

Richard Corrigan, Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, Mayfair
The charming and always entertaining Irishman and Great British Menu winner, known for cooking that’s as to the point as he is. His respect for ingredients and classical technique has transformed Bentley’s.

Pascal Aussignac, Club Gascon, Smithfield
One of London’s best loved and most creative French chefs, Aussignac’s brilliantly creative cuisine is rooted in the flavours of his Gascony home. His clever combinations and assertive flavours have won the ten year old restaurant a Michelin star.

Riccardo de Pra, Dolada, Mayfair
A newcomer on the London Italian restaurant scene who does classic Italian food but not as you know it. Prepare to be surprised.

Bjorn van der Horst, Eastside Inn, Farringdon
Holder of a Michelin star while at Mayfair’s prestigious Greenhouse restaurant and later at Gordon Ramsay Holdings’ La Noisette, Bjorn van der Horst wows the critics with the impeccable quality of his fine French cooking. His new restaurant, just six months old, houses both bistro and fine dining restaurant.

Franceso Mazzei, L’Anima, Liverpool Street
One of the star draws at Taste of London this year, Calabria-born Mazzei makes the simplest of dishes seem like utter revelations. His year old City Italian is packed to the rafters day after day.

Anna Hansen, Modern Pantry, Farringdon
Kiwi chef Anna Hansen has finally made fusion cooking acceptable again, her brilliant menus at the 18-month-old Modern Pantry showing off her way European and Asian ingredients and flavours. The venue (comprising shop, café and restaurant) opens from morning until evening and is very popular for brunch.

Lawrence Keogh, Roast, Borough Market
Chef Lawrence Keogh’s commitment to sustainable, seasonal produce is evident from his daily menu at Borough Market’s Roast. Keogh is will be a familiar face to fans of Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen.

Robin Gill, Sauterelle, City of London
One of the gems of the successful D&D London restaurant group, Sauterelle brings clean, elegant and resolutely seasonal French cooking to the heart of the City. Head Chef Gill has a decade of experience in Michelin-rated restaurants around Europe.

Chris Dines, St Pancras Grand, King’s Cross

Classic grand brasserie cooking from a restaurant that proves to French tourists arriving in London that we Brits can cook.

Bubker Belkit, Sumosan, Mayfair
The A-listers and hardcore foodies’ go-to place for sushi as good as you’d get in Tokyo. The ‘T&T’ (tuna and truffle) rolls have achieved cult status.

Alfred Prasad, Tamarind, Mayfair
Tamarind is one of London’s pioneering high-end modern Indian restaurants. Prasad has been at the helm for seven years during which time he’s furthered the restaurant’s reputation for high quality Indian cuisine that’s a perfect balance of authenticity and creativity.

Ravi Deulekar, Trishna, Marylebone
Just a year after its launch, the London outpost of the famous Mumbai seafood destination is now booked weeks ahead at a time. The kitchen’s focus on subtly spiced Indian coastal cuisine married to sustainable, predominantly British chimes with the times.

Tickets for Taste of Christmas in partnership with Waitrose 2009 are now on sale at www.tasteofchristmas.com

Tickets cost from £19 in advance or £22 on the door. There is a £35 ticket (which includes £20 worth of crowns, the Taste currency).

Also available is the Taste VIP ticket at £50, which includes fast track entry to the event, access to the VIP enclosure, complimentary glass of Laurent Perrier and £20 worth of crowns.

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