BRITAIN’S best restaurant was chosen on TV last night – with the Adver helping to make the final decision.
Features editor Jaine Blackman was among the invited audience of 50 food writers from all over the UK who took part in the F Word’s final showdown.
The Channel 4 show – hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay – conducted a nationwide hunt for the country’s best local restaurant.
From 10,000 nominations, 18 finalists in nine different categories (Italian, Indian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, The Americas, British, Rest of the World) were invited to a head-to-head cook-off in the F Word restaurant in London’s Kentish Town during the course of the series.
Each week, the top two faced the challenge of cooking with Gordon for 50 paying diners. Chefs from British restaurant The Pheasant, from Keystone in Cambridgeshire, met Indian eatery Lasan, from Birmingham, in the grand final. Lasan was the eventual winner.
Jaine, who writes food reviews for the Adver’s Entertainer section every Thursday, said: “Both restaurants produced excellent food, but for me The Pheasant had the edge. I was surprised at the number of diners opting not to pay for their dishes.”
Split into two sections of 25 people, diners in the F Word restaurant sampled a starter (£6) from one of the restaurants, a dessert (£5) from the other, and main courses (£7 each) from both. After each course they were asked to decide whether they would be prepared to pay for them.
“That may sound like a lot of food to get through but as filming took from 2pm to 10pm, there was plenty of time to digest each course,” said Jaine, who attended the recording in November but was bound by a confidentiality clause from revealing the outcome.
“You really do pay for the food if you like it, with the proceeds going to charity.
“The wine is free and one chap got carried away. He made a very insulting remark to Gordon, then collapsed and was carted out. One of the production team said he was ‘the best drunk we’ve had all series’!
“I was quite happy to pay for all my courses as I thought the Indian chicken starter, both main courses and the tarte tatin dessert were superb.
“For me The Pheasant’s main course was the best but by that time I’d already paid for Lasan’s , so there wasn’t much I could do to change the score.”