1 Absinthe Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Hemingway, Wilde and Satie all drank it and now so will we. Absinthe fountains are springing up all over town (recently spotted at The Cafe Royal and Le Pont de la Tour) and the city’s top mixologists are reintroducing La Fee Verte (The Green Fairy) to their creations. Although one of the strongest spirits on the market it can be blended with water and the rumours of its psychotropic effects should not be taken too seriously…
2 Smart Cutlery Launched at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, the HAPIfork vibrates when you are eating too quickly, the slower you eat the less you are likely to eat. Designed by French engineer Jacques Lepine the fork communicates via a smartphone to an online account that monitors the duration and intensity of each “fork serving” allowing you to monitor your eating habits.
3 Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker… With the decline of the High Street after a slew of retail chain closures expect to see artisanal bakers and other specialist food outlets taking up the slack. Bill’s in Lewes, East Sussex was at the vanguard of this process but is now sadly a ghost of its former self having been bought up and turned into a chain, but places such as Leila’s Shop in Bethnal Green are showing the way forward.
4 British Cooking London is now full of restaurants that major in Modern British cooking but the rest of the country has been to slower to follow. We ate recently at The Mark Addy in Manchester, a no-frills canalside pub where chef Robert Owen Brown is doing extremely butch things with food. He is fast becoming the north’s answer to his good friend Fergus Henderson of St. John fame and we should watch out for The Mark Addy alumni fanning out through the NorthWest.
5 Extreme Chinese “Extreme-Chinese” chef Alvin Leung has opened a London outpost of his Hong Kong restaurant Bo Innovation. His Sex on the Beach dish which resembles a pink condom has divided food critics but raised over $50,000 for AIDS Charities. We are predicting a host of copycats.