|Expect the likes of this macaron on the winning tasting menu.|
The lucky winner and three friends will be given a personal tour of the kitchen, followed by a special tasting menu - with wine pairings bien sûr - it is a French restaurant after all (and according to last year’s surveyors, boasts an impressive list of "'unusual' regional wines") - worth £450. For a mouth-watering review of what could be in store for you, click here.
Club Gascon topped the Zagat best lists in both the Small Plates and Food categories following our survey last year, with diners raving about the Smithfield spot and its ‘“sublime”, “innovative” shared-plates menu from the Southwest of France.’
The man behind Club Gascon - and the rest of the empire - is Pascal Aussignac. A Toulouse-born chef, he opened the flagship in 1998, and has gone on to introduce London to even more of his homeland with Cellar Gascon, Le Comptoir Gascon, Le Cercle, and most recently, Cigalon and Baranis.
Here, Pascal gives us his views on the London restaurant scene, and below our interview is your opportunity to taste some of his Gallic magic with our fantastic competition.
What has been your favourite opening of the last 12 months and why?
I would say The Delaunay. I have been three times and each time I felt as if I were in a Parisian brasserie, only with a higher level of consistency
When was the last time you ate out at a restaurant (that wasn't yours) and what did you think of it? Can you give it a Zagat score?
The last time I went out for dinner, it was to Young Turks [A collective of young chefs whose CVs include The Ledbury, St John Bread & Wine and Copenhagen’s Noma who are currently working their magic via a pop-up at The Ten Bells pub opposite Spitalfields Market - click here for more info] and it was super fun and very good so, Food 25, Decor 24, Service 24.
What do you think is the best thing about the London restaurant scene at the moment? And the worst?
The group of new British chefs are more focused on celebrating the food culture of their own country and promoting UK and, as a result, delivering a new level of gastronomy.
The worst is the crazy money some operators are investing to open new restaurants. It makes it more and more difficult for small restaurants who want their own place to compete.
Did you think the Zagat review and scores for your restaurants last year were fair?
Yes, more or less.
Which new opening of 2012 are you most excited about?
The renaissance of both the ex-Atlantic and Oriel venues is going to be very exciting and also Jonathan Downey’s [the bar supremo behind a host of hip venues, including the East Room, Match, Giant Robot and Milk & Honey] new place as he is a true master of entertainment.
For more details on our competition to win a tasting menu and kitchen tour for you and three friends, click here.