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Taste of London 2019: what not to miss

Taste of London 2019: what not to miss

by Great British Chefs 14 June 2019

Planning a trip to Taste of London this year? We’ve got a complete rundown on everything going on at this year’s five-day summer spectacular, from all the restaurants serving food to one-off demonstrations and masterclasses with some of the UK’s best chefs.


Taste of London appears in our calendar twice a year, but the summer event is undoubtedly the highlight of the season – five days of incredible food, masterclasses, drink tastings, special events and more, all in the glory and splendour of the British sunshine (we hope).

As always, the main attraction is the restaurant stands, and this year’s line-up is stacked full of big names from all over the country. Alongside daily special appearances (which we’ll talk about later), there’s a whole host of restaurants that’ll be setting up shop at Taste of London for the entirety of the festival, starting at lunchtime on Wednesday 19 June all the way through until it closes on Sunday evening.

Ever popular London stalwarts like Bao, Hoppers and Burger & Lobster are joined by some exciting new faces; after an impressive first year, Chase Lovecky’s Two Lights will be making its first Taste of London appearance, and the likes of Kutir, Berenjak and Berber & Q are also worth a visit if you’re craving something a little more exotic. Brixton-based Smoke & Salt – one of our highlights from last year’s Taste of London – are back again serving innovative small plates, and Great British Chefs alumni Francesco Mazzei and Pascal Aussignac are in for the long haul too with Sartoria and Club Gascon respectively – absolutely worth popping into if you’re after some delicious Italian or French food.

As if things couldn’t get better, this year’s residency is none other than Kobus van der Merwe’s restaurant Wolfgat – named Restaurant of the Year at this year’s World Restaurant Awards. His twenty-seater restaurant in tiny Paternoster, South Africa breaks the mould in more ways than one; his team of six handle everything, from sourcing ingredients and cooking to front of house, and they are all born and raised in the village with little to no formal culinary training. Wolfgat typically has a waiting list of at least three months, but you can pull up a chair to Kobus’ intimate chef’s table at Taste of London this year and experience his food first-hand.

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There are loads of other events on too – from Prosecco tasting and matching to a huge produce market, featuring wine, cheese, charcuterie and more from over 200 of the UK's best artisan producers. Plus, regardless of when you’re at the festival, there’s always a demonstration happening somewhere, whether it’s over at the Belazu stand or the Taste of London fire pit.

If you’re still working out which day (or days) you’ll be heading to the festival, we’ve pulled together a handy run-down of what not to miss on each day!

Wednesday

Wednesday’s special guests include Kaizen House (Elizabeth Haigh’s new project since leaving Pidgin two years ago); Chinese restaurants Mei Ume and Pleasant Lady; Kings Cross' sandwich deli Bodega Rita’s and Wildflower – Adrian Martin’s sustainable, veg-focused restaurant.

Over at the Belazu tent, Romy Gill, Belazu’s resident innovation chef Henry Russell and new head chef of Hide Above James Goodyear will be hosting masterclasses throughout the evening, and at seven o’clock don’t miss Tom Anglesea – head chef of The Laughing Heart – demonstrating his char sui pork neck with fermented and grilled cabbage over at the fire pit.

Be sure to stop in at the Food Network Cook School too, where the wonderful Sabrina Ghayour will be showing off her sumptuous Persian cookery.

Thursday

Lots of big names descend on the festival on Thursday – pâtisserie king Dominique Ansel will no doubt be selling thousands of his famous cronuts, alongside other sweet treats. A trio of London’s most exciting chefs are also here today – Neil Campbell from Ottolenghi outpost ROVI, James Cochran of 12:51 in Islington and Santiago Lastra from the hotly anticipated Kol are all progressively intriguing in their own ways and certainly worth a visit. To top things off, Tom Aikens will be at the festival with Tom’s Kitchen, serving his signature take on classical French cuisine.

Santiago and Neil will also be giving classes over at the fire pit at various points during the day, whilst Belazu are hosting a procession of wonderful chefs that includes Barrafina and Parrillan executive chef Angel Zapata Martin, Gary Foulkes from Angler and Ramael Scully. As if that wasn’t enough, the incomparable Yotam Ottolenghi will be hosting classes at the Food Network Cook School; these lessons are first come, first served, so be prepared to get in early to get your name on the list!

Friday

The fire pit is again a big highlight on the Friday, with Smokestak’s David Carter taking over at two o’clock to show off his jaw-dropping smoked ox cheek, aged beef fat sourdough and egg yolk. Karan Gokani from Hoppers is cooking up a crab curry at seven and Chase Lovecky of Two Lights will be hosting a demonstration at eight. All three of their restaurants are at the festival all day, as are Indian restaurant Trishna, Hawaiian poké kings Island Poké and dessert specialists Fuwa Fuwa, who will be whipping up thousands of their extraordinary soufflé pancakes.

Dan Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman of Mildreds will show off their popular vegetarian food at 1pm over at the Belazu stand, followed by Josh Angus from Hide Ground, Hus Vedat from Yosma and food writer and stylist Georgina Hayden, whilst Lorna Maseko is holding classes throughout the afternoon at the Food Network Cook School.

Saturday

Saturday features three big visitors to the food court at Taste – groundbreaking Thai restaurant Som Saa, superlative Italian Lina Stores and Andrew Wong’s smash hit Kym’s will be on show, and you can join Som Saa at the fire pit on Tuesday afternoon to watch how they cook their coconut-smoked duck. Get to the fire pit a bit earlier and you’ll find Great British Menu winner James Cochran holding a demonstration. Ben Tish will also be there later in the evening serving up his fantastic chicken with apricots and sumac.

Saturday is also the day to catch Berber & Q’s Josh Katz in action – another Ottolenghi protégé who has gone on to great things. Josh will be cooking his butterflied leg of lamb, burnt baba, dirty onions and pickled chilli over the fire pit at eight o’clock, and he’ll be at the Belazu stand at six.

As a special little treat, the wonderful Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry will be hosting a demonstration at the Belazu stand at two o’clock. There’s no shortage of things to do on the Saturday; the difficulty will be fitting them all in!

Sunday

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Sunday may be the last day of the festival but there’s no sense of things slowing down – katsu specialists TÓU and Jay Morjaria’s eclectic Korean restaurant JAE both join proceedings for the final day. This is your last chance to visit any stands you haven’t already tried before things finish up at 6pm.

Sunday also provides a fantastic opportunity to get some personal cookery tuition with Jackson Boxer – chef at the likes of St Leonards and Brunswick House. He’ll be holding sessions over at the Food Network Cook School all afternoon, so make sure you sign up for one of these exclusive lessons as soon as you can!

Two o’clock is the time to be at the fire pit – the Quality Chop House team will be there showing off their popular Dexter beef, smoked egg yolk and ramson green sauce dish. Meanwhile, food writer Angela Clutton, Masterchef favourites Billy & Jack and author Aine Carlin will be manning the Belazu stand throughout the afternoon.

A single entry day ticket is £23, with various VIP and package options also available – head over to the Taste of London website for more details.

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