The Picky Glutton (TPG) is a man on a mission to make sure his followers never have a bad meal out you can find him at his blog http://pickyglutton.wordpress.com/ or on twitter @pickyglutton. His attention to every detail and dedication to the full restaurant experience has acted as a culinary compass to his followers for years, we caught up with him to find out what it’s like eating and blogging in London….
What got you into food writing?
I’ve grown up around restaurants since my father worked in the restaurant trade in various jobs. I therefore grew up eating out frequently, a trend which continues to this day. As a result of this I’ve developed some opinionated views on dining out so friends, colleagues and acquaintances ask for my opinion whenever they need to choose a restaurant. Rather than repeating my recommendations endlessly, I decided to start my restaurant blog The Picky Glutton.
How do you choose a restaurant to review?
Numerous reasons – any buzz surrounding the place in question, the style of cuisine, the background of the chef, the mood I’m in, recommendations from trusted friends and other food writers I admire to name but a few. I’m also particularly interested in cuisines that are under-represented or poorly represented in London such as Vietnamese, Peruvian and American-style barbecue.
How many restaurants do you eat out in per month?
Before starting my blog, I would eat out on average two to three times a month. Although my frequency now greatly depends on my other commitments, I’d say an average of once or twice a week.
Who is your current favourite chef?
This may sound fickle, but I don’t have a single favourite chef. I’m keeping a keen eye on Tom Aiken, Jose Pizarro, Ollie Dabbous and Andrea Mantovani. Hugue Dufour, a native of Quebec currently working in New York the last time I checked, may be one to watch too.
What is your current favourite restaurant concept?
Any restaurant that doesn’t buy into silly, overwrought, ultimately nonsensical marketing/PR waffle like ‘concepts’. What is that word even supposed to mean in this context? I’ll stop now before I descend into a ranting tirade. (hrmmmm, actually we agree.. This is the answer we have been looking for and I don’t think we will be asking it again !!)
Most underated Local Restaurant? (and maybe most overrated!)
Almost any of the Turkish restaurants in Green Lanes that serve up food from the Gaziantep region of Turkey. Although there’s more to Turkish food than kebabs, they do kebabs especially well and this much-maligned food needs to be reclaimed from the drunken, late-night crowd. If I had to name one, I’d pick Yayla – hearty comfort food at ridiculously cheap prices.
How has blogging in general changed your outlook on food/restaurants?
It’s made me realise I need to exercise more often if I’m going to continue doing this. I’m putting on weight and it’s not pretty.
What’s the biggest mistake a restaurant can make in your opinion?
Forgetting that ultimately they would be nothing without their customers. Restaurants that underestimate or take their customers for granted do so at their peril.
What has been your all-time favourite restaurant experience to date?
That’s a toughie. I can’t pick just one – Tom Aikens Restaurant is fabulous, as is Terroirs but in different ways. La Tasquita de Enfrente in Madrid is great too. Hopefully, there’ll be even better ones to come.
Thanks so much for your time!
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