St. John bone marrow on toast. The restaurant's chef Fergus Henderson is the winner of a lifetime achievement award. – AFP
World’s 50 Best Restaurants recognises ‘nose-to-tail’ food pioneer for changing fickle British tastes.
Chef Fergus Henderson, who pioneered the global “nose-to-tail” food trend and helms one of the most influential restaurants in Britain, has received the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
Henderson is lauded not only for successfully challenging skittish British palates to embrace offal like trotters, tripe, kidneys and chitterlings, but also for promoting England’s culinary heritage at a time when it languished under the shadow of its French and American counterparts.
Today, the notion of nose-to-tail cooking may be commonplace, but when Henderson introduced the concept to London diners in 1994 at his newly opened restaurant St. John, “... it was an alien concept that flew in the face of prime-cuts cooking of haute cuisine”, point out organisers of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
But Henderson’s persistence, passion and pushing of boundaries helped spawn a culinary approach that has become an “intrinsic part of contemporary gastronomy”, one that is espoused in spots ranging from informal cafes to top table restaurants.
“Fergus Henderson has always carved his own path in the culinary world by creating a new approach to cooking and with it he has gained the respect and admiration of chefs and food lovers around the world,” said group editor William Drew in a statement.
“This award is a symbol of recognition from the restaurant world of his talent and positive influence on our industry.”
The British chef, who it should be pointed has never received formal training, joins the ranks of chefs like Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse and Joël Robuchon, previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award.
Henderson is also described as a “patriarch” of the British restaurant industry for having mentored brigades of young British chefs who went on to bloom in solo careers and likewise evangelize the merits of British cuisine.
Henderson’s gastronomical influence can also be seen in a trickle-down effect that culminated in a move last year by upscale British grocer Waitrose, which began stocking bone marrow on store shelves.
One of St. John’s signature dishes is roasted bone marrow with parsley salad.
More than 900 restaurant industry experts around the world vote for the winner of the Diner’s Club Lifetime Achievement Winner.
Winners of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 will be announced on April 28 in London. – AFP Relaxnews
Go behind the kitchen doors at St John with chef Fergus Henderson in this video.