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LONDON’S BEST ‘CELEBRITY CHEF’ RESTAURANTS

‘It all started with a Frenchman,’ says Tom Parker Bowles. ‘Marcel Boulestin, to be precise – the original television chef. He was a television pioneer, creating everything from kebabs and salads to rougets Marseillaises on the BBC from 1937 to 1939.

‘However, the true celebrity chef phenomenon took off with one man and one book, Marco Pierre White and White Heat. Suddenly the chef, for so long a figure hidden deep within in kitchen and kept very much behind the swinging door, came to the fore. The celebrity chef was born and a whole nation fell in lust. In came Gordon and Jamie – one sweary, one sweet – and ‘chef’ quickly became ‘brand’, selling books by the million.

‘But have we now had enough? Is the celebrity chef phenomenon overcooked, ready to throw out with the scraps and old oil? Does a famous name above a restaurant door still guarantee quality within? Some names guarantee quality, some don’t. The telly might bring in the punters, but it can’t make them return…’

Here are our favourite London restaurants that combine celebrity sparkle with great food…

The City / North London

Jamie’s Italian
Despite being set over three floors, this place always seems busy and we’ve not had a bad night out there yet. The recent addition of a cocktail bar is the perfect complement to the great Italian cooking.
409-411 St John Street EC1V 4AB; 020 3435 9915; jamieoliver.com

St John
He may not be on our TV screens 24/7, but we love Fergus Henderson. This restaurant started the Clerkenwell food revolution back in 1994, and the daily changing menu means it never gets dull.
26 St John Street EC1M 4AY; 020 7251 0848; stjohngroup.uk.com

Ottolenghi
His books are best-sellers, his TV appearances worshipped, but Yotam Ottolenghi’s Angel restaurant is still the place to head to really enjoy the finest in Mediterranean cooking.
287 Upper Street, Islington N1 2TZ; 020 7288 1454; ottolenghi.co.uk

West / Central London

Corrigan’s Mayfair
Irish chef Richard Corrigan has been on a whole host of TV programmes both in the UK and Ireland. His top-notch Mayfair restaurant continues to draw the crowds whether he’s on screen or not.
28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair W1K 7EH; corrigansmayfair.co.uk

Murano
Murano’s Angela Hartnett is no stranger to TV appearances. She’s been on Hell’s
Kitchen and BBC’s Kitchen Criminals, but her beautiful Italian cooking speaks for itself, regardless of her celebrity.
20 Queen Street, Mayfair W1J 5PP; muranolondon.com

Koffmann’s
Pierre Koffmann helped train both Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, but he has always been more concerned with the chef’s kitchen than the spotlight. His restaurant is a fine-dining institution.
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge SW1X 7RL; the-berkeley.co.uk

West London

Granger & Co
If the Saturday brunch queues snaking around Westbourne Grove are anything to go by, appearing on TV for 2005 BBC show Bill’s Food never hurt the reputation of Aussie chef Bill Granger.
175 Westbourne Grove W11 2SB; grangerandco.com

Polpo Notting Hill
Polpo founder Russell Norman is scarcely out of the pubic eye. First he appeared on BBC2’s The Restaurant Man, now he’s Esquire’s new columnist. For good reason too, the man truly knows his seafood.
126-128 Notting Hill Gate W11 3QG; polpo.co.uk

Marianne
Marianne Lumb may have lost MasterChef in 2009, but she went on to become a very successful contestant. In 2013, she opened Marianne, London’s smallest fine-dining restaurant.
104a Chepstow Road, Notting Hill W2 5QS; mariannerestaurant.com

The River Café
Ruth Rogers’ riverside restaurant, which she co-founded with the late Rose Gray, has a Michelin star and a flawless reputation — for good reason. Head here for fresh, Italian food and an exemplary wine list.
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith W6 9HA; 020 7386 4200; rivercafe.co.uk

Sam’s Brasserie
Chiswick hot spot Sam’s Brasserie is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. With backing from Rick Stein, restaurateur Sam Harrison clearly has what it takes to keep Chiswickians happy.
11 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick W4 4PH; 020 8987 0555; samsbrasserie.co.uk

South West London

London House
Local resident and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay owns Battersea Square restaurant
London House. The kitchen is run by talented chef Anna Hough Kelly. Do tell her we sent you when you pop in for supper.
7-9 Battersea Square SW11 3RA; 020 7592 8545; gordonramsay.com/london-house

The Malt House
Chef Claude Bosi, who currently holds two Michelin stars at fine-dining restaurant
Hibiscus, co-own’s Fulham pub The Malt House with his brother Cedric. It’s one of
Fulham’s most elegant dining destinations.
17 Vanston Place, Fulham SW6 1AY; 020 7084 6888; malthousefulham.co.uk

Chez Bruce
Bruce Poole’s Wandsworth Common restaurant holds south London’s only Michelin star. Be sure to book in advance for those extra special occasions. You won’t be disappointed.
2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common SW17 7EG; 020 8672 0114; chezbruce.co.uk

Sonny’s Kitchen
Restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas and chef Philip Howard are behind the successful neighhourhood restaurant that is Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes (as well as Kensington’s Kitchen W8).
94 Church Road, Barnes SW13 0DQ; 020 8748 0393; sonnyskitchen.co.uk

Ottolenghi
His books are best-sellers, his TV appearances worshipped, but Yotam Ottolenghi’s Angel restaurant is still the place to head to really enjoy the finest in Mediterranean cooking.
287 Upper Street, Islington N1 2TZ; 020 7288 1454; ottolenghi.co.uk

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