BBC2 "Great Places to Eat"

I keep seeing the teaser in the gym. It’s a new 4 part food travel programme on BBC2 channel coming next Wednesday. Hopefully someone will post the videos online somewhere.


Extraordinary Places to Eat: The Insider’s Guide (w/t; 4 x 60 minutes) features Sirieix as he travels around the world with some of Britain’s top chefs, visiting some of their favorite places to eat. From San Sebastian to Venice, Sirieix and his guest unveil what goes into delivering an unforgettable dining experience.

Sirieix’s companions in this series include Michel Roux Jr. in Paris; Nisha Katona in San Sebastian; Tom Kerridge in Edinburgh; and Angela Hartnett in Venice.

I’m looking forward to this, not least in that I’ve eaten Roux and Hartnett’s food, both with much enjoyment.

The only fly in the ointment - and I really wish the media wouldnt do this - is that describing Nisha Katona as a chef is simply inaccurate. She’s a lawyer by training and experience and, from about 5 years back, an entrepreneur owning the Mowgli Indian restaurant mini-chain. Good businesswoman she is, but she’s not stood at the stove of a restaurant kitchen to earn a living.

I have no idea who she is. Just looked her up… wiki entry states she’s a “chef”. Ay! She probably edits this entry herself.

Surprising that Edinburgh is one of these places.

Nothing can bring me back to Italy (especially Venice) but I make an exception for Sicily and Sardinia.

Why? I think “remarkable places” refers not to cities but places within the city. But even if it didn’t, Edinburgh is a city that consistently punches above its weight. There’s some really wonderful things to eat here, and lovely spaces as well. (My mum and her partner live in France, but when they came to visit, they were delighted by all the food they encountered.)

I shouldn’t be so quick to defend it, though. We’re already heaving with tourists and bracing for next month. I’m ok if people choose not to think we’re special or “remarkable”.

Thanks. Appreciate your insights. Now I look forward to seeing this episode.

When we go to Cumbria we probably enter or depart via Edinburgh (the partner’s idea but it takes a lot longer than coming from/to Manchester airport). I’m more interested in the beer scene but I should invesigate the food as well.

I only know Edinburgh’s food scene for a couple of high end places - we were at The Kitchin the other week (a 90 minute drive from where we were staying in Northumbria) but I’m sure there must be much, more more to explore.

If you can persuade the partner to fly into Manchester, let me know if you’d like to do lunch/dinner.

I’ve only been to the Kitchin once. I’d love to go back but there’s a long list of places here I’d like to try when I have the dosh.

Cheaper places do not disappoint. (The only thing that does is the way Latin American steakhouses seem to be popping up all over when what really need is more Vietnamese and Malaysian places. And at least one Ethiopian restaurant.)

Folk like steak, so its a catering to the market. I used to post to Tripadvisor’s Tenerife forum and a very regular question was “where’s the best steak”, rarely “where’s the best fish”.

I missed Venice episode. I’m taken with Casa Julian even though the partner and I together can eat no more than 150gr of red meat. Beautiful little restaurant, 30mins inland from San Sebastian.

Here’s a summary of the 5 places they like:

Venetian Classics at Osteria Alle Testiere, Italy

Steak at Casa Julian, Spain

Seafood Platters at La Coupole, France

Tortilla at Nestor’s Bar, Spain

Fish and Chips at The Fishmarket, Scotland

I think I enjoyed the Venice episode most. Not least because,as mentioned upthread, I’ve eaten at Hartnett’s restaurant. I’ve also eaten at Alla Testiere which features extensively. And had a coffee at the extortionately priced cafe in St Marks Square that features.

I am not a big steak eater but the food at Casa Julian just looked so good.