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Chris Staines, Chef de Cuisine of London's Michelin Star Restaurant, Foliage...

It is becoming increasingly rare to find a hotel company that is up for the heady task of offering guests great rooms and an outstanding food and beverage program. This situation is especially true of London, where a great number of hotel companies have relinquished the challenge of running their own F & B operations, or at the very least have handed over the establishment's fine dining restaurant to a well branded chef in exchange for a good night's sleep, a guaranteed rent check and percentage of the profits.

This concept carries no weight at London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The Mandarin is an operation that takes pride in offering its guest a complete experience, created by the hotel's team and not someone else's.

This old fashioned view of hospitality has reaped its rewards. The hotel's restaurant Foliage has received nothing but rave reviews since it opened its doors, and in January 2002 the restaurant earned its first Michelin star.

Soon after the restaurant was awarded its star, Hywel Jones, Foliage's Chef de Cuisine moved on to become the chef/ partner of Islington based restaurant Lola's. I cannot think of a much more daunting task than taking over a kitchen so soon after it has won such a prestigious award. But this task did not intimidate this month's featured chef, 27-year-old Chris Staines. Chris assumed control of Foliage's kitchen in March 2002. (more)
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