More than 150 chefs, restaurateurs and food producers operating in the UK, as well as some of the World’s 50 Best chefs, are visiting Downing Street today to launch a campaign to promote the UK’s food scene abroad.
The event, in association with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), is being held to support VisitBritain’s GREAT Britain campaign and highlight the wealth of quality restaurants and producers now on offer in the UK.
Before attending the 11th World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards tonight at London’s Guildhall, Rene Redzepi, Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller and Ignatius Chan will also be among the chefs in attendance at the Prime Minister’s residence to meet David Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and celebrate Britain’s finest dining offerings.
Hunt said: “From traditional fish and chip shops to gastropubs and Michelin-starred restaurants, the variety and quality of British food is incredible. And British chefs like Jamie Oliver, Angela Hartnett and Heston Blumenthal have taken the world by storm.
“These days our hospitality and food industries are a key part of what attracts tourists to our country, and we need to celebrate all that is great about them.”
Cameron added: "We’ve produced exceptional British chefs and attracted incredible talent from overseas and as a result you can find outstanding cuisine throughout the country. From sticky toffee pudding from Cartmel to oysters from Whitstable, salt marsh lamb from North Wales, or smoked salmon from Scotland our food is key to our cultural identity. British food showcases our heritage, openness, creativity and diversity."
Brett Graham, chef-patron of The Ledbury, whose own restaurant was voted the 34th best in the world last year, was chosen to cater at the event.
The chef also appears in a video with Raymond Blanc, Ruth Rogers, Atul Kochhar, Angela Hartnett and Fergus Henderson that will be used as part of the campaign to promote British restaurants around the world.
He said: “People returning to Britain from living abroad or coming here on holidays have seen a massive change in cuisine offered in Britain, the type of food offered in restaurants, and seem genuinely surprised.”
Championing the best
The SRA, which works with restaurants and pubs to help them run in a more sustainable wa y, worked with Number 10 to gather together key members of the hospitality industry to attend the campaign launch. Others set to attend include Simon Hulstone, Bruno Loubet and Tom Kitchin.
Mark Linehan managing director of the SRA said: “Food is Great and the SRA share a common goal: to promote the excellence of British restaurants and British food. What better way of championing the very best in the industry than bringing them together at Number 10?”
Watch the campaign video here: