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Sally Clarke

Sally Clarke has been actively involved in cooking since her early teens. After attending school in Guildford, followed by a diploma in hotel & catering at Croydon Technical College she studied at the Cordon Bleu School in Paris, where from daily experience of the food markets, cafés and restaurants she began to visualize a career in the world of food and wine.

Sally then spent four years in California where she met Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley who was to become her mentor and friend. In 1983 Sally returned to London to search for a restaurant. The following year saw the opening of Clarke's Restaurant in Kensington Church Street, offering her now famous 'set no choice' dinner menu.

In 1988 the shop & Clarke's was opened. Selling freshly baked breads, pastries & high quality ingredients used in the restaurant. From this it seemed a natural progression to develop a wholesale bread business. Clarke's Bread now produces up to 2000 hand-shaped loaves a night & sells to many central London restaurants, hotels, caterers & specialty shops such as Fortnum and Mason, Blakes Hotel and The Mandarin Oriental.

 

Peter Elliot
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Hi, I am Peter Elliot and I cover the world of food and wine. Since I need to remain incognito when I review restaurants, this photo of me is a few decades old. (My hair is shorter now... that's all I can tell you.)

Although I am now a food critic, I didn't start there! Back in the days when Bloomberg was a small company, I helped start what we now call Bloomberg News. I was hired in London to hire our first crop of European reporters and train them to write about commodities. Oil, Gold, and Wheat were my beat, instead of Steak, Burgundy and Artichokes. But even while covering an OPEC meeting, with a crew of 5 reporters, I would ask them to take note of what the ministers were eating.

When Bloomberg got started in radio, I remained on the print side of Bloomberg, but started to do a daily commodities report with my colleague Katherine Oliver. Our talks were focused on oil, or gold, but some how we always got to talking about food. In 1994, I started a weekly restaurant review on the radio and within a few months, demand for it started to outpace the need for my commodity reports and I moved to radio and television full time to cover food and wine.

What started as one report a week turned into six different reports a day, making Bloomberg not only the leader in financial information, but also the leader in providing information about where those who make money spend it. In 1999, Bloomberg Radio was awarded the food and wine world's highest honor, a James Beard Award, for Best Radio Show for the Bloomberg Executive Dining Guide.

Do I eat out a lot? Yes. Tons. I eat out sometimes three times a day. Am I thin? Yes. 5' 10" and 165 pounds steady! How is this possible? While I eat out a lot, I don't often eat much. I also work for Bloomberg where we work very hard, and I swim once a day! Do the restaurants know it is me? No, generally not. I go incognito as often as possible, never reserve under my own name and give my guests complicated rules to avoid detection. Do I get the meals for free? Never. Even if I am recognized and a chef insists on sending out more food, I insist on paying. How many times do I go to a restaurant before I do a review? Twice at the minimum, but more often 3 to 4 times. What is my favorite restaurant? I don't have one. I have many and it depends on my mood, my guests, even the time of day. I tend to prefer simple, clear flavors like sushi and sashimi, or a really great hamburger.

While I am a New York native, I grew up between Northwest Connecticut and Britain, where I graduated from the University of St. Andrews, but never learned to play golf. I started my career in London at Platt's Oilgram News, moving to Business Week and then Petroleum Intelligence Weekly.

When I am not out eating, or interviewing people in the food and wine worlds, I can be found at the swimming pool, or on weekends at my home in the country with my family, usually cooking or tending to my garden, or wine cellar.

 

Daniel Orr

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Born in the small midwestern town of Columbus, Indiana, Orr’s appreciation for food and wine began early. His family table was laden with locally raised produce, fish, and fowl, as well as wild goods that the family foraged together. This early interest grew into a passion that led him to the East Coast for culinary school and its restaurants after which he attended culinary finishing school France and Belgium.

While in France, Orr trained in several of the country’s great kitchens including Auberge des Templiers, Le Prière and Restaurant Daguin in Auch. Orr also honed his skills in two 3 star Michelin restaurants, L’Espérance in Saint Père sous Vézelay and Brussel’s Restaurant Bruneau.

Upon his return to the States, Orr settled in as Executive Chef at New York's classical French restaurant, La Grenouille. The New York Times awarded him three stars. This was one of many other citations and honors.

His cooking is based on classical technique which he lightens with a young, vibrant, and health-minded approach. Orr’s use of green market and organic produce, invigorating spices, and carefully selected fish and meats has brought rave reviews from critics and customers alike.

 

Michel Bourdin

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Chef de Cuisine Michel Bourdin has been at The Connaught since 1975. He now has 41 years of culinary experience and his exceptional cuisine has maintained The Connaught’s Michelin star in both the Restaurant and the Grill Room, as well as membership in the exclusive French association Les Grandes Tables du Monde "Traditions et Qualité." He has held the title of Maître Cuisinier de France since 1975 and is chancellor (founder/President) of the UK branch of the Académie Culinaire de France, which was established as an inaugural dinner at The Connaught on December 6, 1980.

Before joining The Connaught, Chef Bourdin was chef de cuisine at Pavillon Royal, a restaurant in Bois de Boulogne, Paris for two years. For nine years prior, he worked at Restaurant Maxim’s de Paris, Rue Royal, rising to the position of sous chef de cuisine. He joined the famed Parisian restaurant in 1964 as chef de partie.

Chef Bourdin’s early career included culinary positions at Restaurant Ledoyen on the Champs Elysées in Paris, which, in 1962, received for the first time two Michelin stars; the Grand Hotel in Dinard, Brittany, and "Potel Etoile" in Paris, the famous restaurant of "Potel et Chabot," where the film director Jean Cocteau was one of the many famous guests. During his military service, he was a chef in the service of the Prime Minister Pierre Mesmer in the Ecole Militaire of Paris.

In 1971, Chef Bourdin was awarded the "Diploma of Club Des Cent" and in 1972, he was one of the participating chefs in the famous event held by The Shah of Persia in Perepolis to celebrate 2500 years of The Persian Empire. He was one of the first visiting European chefs at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

Chef Bourdin completed his apprenticeship at the Ecole Hôtelerie Jean Drouant in Paris, where he studied cookery, service, food, wine and kitchen management. He is an honorary member of the Club "Chef des Chefs" since 1988, and in 1984, the first recipient of a ‘Catey’ Award in the Chef category from Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine.

He holds diplomas for the Prix Pierre Taittinger and the Prix representing Great Britain of the "Club des Chefs" of the USA. The French government has honored him for his contribution to cuisine with the Chevalier de Merité Agricole and de L’Ordre National de Merité.

On March 17, 2000, Chef Bourdin completed 25 years at The Connaught. During that time he has consistently maintained a standard aspired to and acknowledged by fellow chefs both nationally and internationally. In April 2000, the work of Bourdin and the staff of The Connaught Restaurant were rewarded at The London Restaurant Awards presented by Carlton Television when it was voted ‘Best Hotel Restaurant.’

 

Philip Howard

Philip Howard is the head chef of The Square, which was on King Street in St James from opening in 1991 until it moved in February 1997 to its current premises in Mayfair.

His personal interests are running (including the London and New York marathons), swimming, travel, skiing and food.

Philip is 33 years old, has a degree in Biochemistry from Kent University, lives in London, and is married with two children. He was awarded his first Michelin star for The Square in 1994, with the second Michelin star presented in January 1998.

 

Richard Corrigan
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Dublin born, Richard Corrigan, aged 35, started his career in his hometown of Athboy, Co. Meath, in Ireland, at The Kirwin Hotel as a trainee chef at the age of 14, moving on to the Kylemore Hotel in Co. Cavan. At 17, he moved to Holland to further develop his skills as a chef de partie at various top hotels and restaurants, and remained there for four years, arriving in London in 1985 at the age of 21 to work with Michel terrain at the Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly.

After one year, he joined Stephen Bull as his head chef on Blandford Street, W1, moving a year later to run Mulligan's in Mayfair, followed by Bentleys on Swallow Street, W1, and then back with Bull in 1994 to The Fulham Road where Richard was awarded a Michelin star. He launched Searcy's at the Barbican (in 1966) and then formed a partnership with Searcy's.

Having gained tremendous critical and public success in all these establishments, Richard Corrigan opened Lindsay House in Soho, London, in autumn 1997 where his Celtic roots are evident in a menu of earthy and robust tastes and textures. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in January 1999. Later, in March 2000, Richard was awarded "Outstanding London Chef" at the Carlton London Restaurant Awards.

Corrigan's first cookbook, From The Waters and the Wild, was published in October 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Married, with three children, Richard Corrigan lives in London.

 

Paul Aussiganac
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Pascal Aussignac was born in Toulouse. His extensive career in catering includes Gérard Vie from ‘Les Trois Marchés’ in Versailles, Alain Dutournier from ‘Carré des Feuillants’ in Paris, and Guy Savoy, all of which are both two Michelin star establishments.


Some recent awards for Club Gascon:
Best New Restaurant 2000 – Zagat Guide Awards and Good Food Guide
Best UK Restaurant 2000 – AA Restaurant Awards
Most Fashionable and Most Ambitious Restaurant 2000 – GQ Magazine

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