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On the Menu: The World’s Favourite Piece of Paper

Saturday 1 April 2017

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Financial Times restaurant critic Nicholas Lander looks at the history, design and evolution of the restaurant menu.

Lander looks at menus from history, including a menu served in the Paris siege of 1870, through to classic menus from the triple-starred five-times-voted world’s best restaurant elBulli in Spain. He looks at menu design, the rules governing meals and the evolution of wine and cocktail lists. And he reveals what inspires leading chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Michael Anthony to write their menus.

Lander is a former owner of L’Escargot in Soho, London, which, under his management in the 1980s, was one of London’s leading restaurants. Ill health forced him to sell in 1988, and he has since been restaurant critic for the Financial Times. His first book, The Art of the Restaurateur, profiled 20 of the world’s best restaurateurs and was named a book of the year by The Economist.

Here he talks to associate editor of FT magazine Natalie Whittle.