Calorie information goes on the menu at Gauthier Soho

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Alexis Gauthier, outside Gauthier Soho where calorie labelling is now featuring on menus
Alexis Gauthier, outside Gauthier Soho where calorie labelling is now featuring on menus
Chef Alexis Gauthier has added calorie information to the menu at his London restaurant Gauthier Soho after feeling a 'moral obligation' to supply customers with nutritional information.

A health scare and trips to New York, where information is widely available, inspired the chef to find out the calorific value of each dish on his menu and present the information to customers of his 70-cover restaurant, which opened just over a year ago.

"Quite simply, when I go out to eat, I want this information. I believe others do too," he said.

"In New York you have this information by default. I was told by my doctor to pay extreme attention to my calorific intake. In the UK, if you enjoy eating in restaurants, it is hard to do that, and as a chef, I have a moral obligation to guide the customer nutritionally"

Michelin-starred calorie count

Including nutritional information on menus is not new in the UK - a number of UK fast food operators, pub restaurants and restaurant chains have made calorie information available to customers already following trials with the Food Standards Agency - but so far no Michelin-starred standalone restaurant has offered the information, partly because chefs do not have the time or resources to work out the value for each dish.

Gauthier's head chef Gerard Virolle says it takes between 10 and 20 minutes to work out the number of calories in each dish on the menu, which changes four times a year. All dishes on the summer menu, except the desserts, have been given a calorie count, with the nine-course Gout du Jour d'Ete menu racking up 1,895 calories.

Virolle claims he has no intention of making dishes less calorific if they score highly, however: "We are not trying to sell ourselves as the 'healthy choice'. Our menu will not change," he said.

"Some of our dishes are calorie heavy. We are not afraid of that. We just feel it is in the customer's interest to understand the impact of what they are eating. Just as provenance, seasonality and price is important, so is nutrition. What they do with the information is up to them."

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