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Be my guest: London's best kitchen takeovers

Ashleigh Arnott

There are more fantastic chefs in this city than you've had hot dinners, and it's a problem; even the hungriest of us could never scoff our way through them all. So we welcome the new trend for kitchen takeovers with open arms and empty bellies, as it means ticking two things off the food to-do list at once. Trust London to provide a way for us to eat modern-European food cooked by a Michelin-starred chef, paired with Japanese spirits underneath a Hackney railway line.

The trendy one
Patty & Bun's normally-burger-filled railway arch in London Fields is the setting for Residence, a monthly supperclub that's seen chefs from some of London's coolest restaurants take charge of the menu. Past events include an eight-dish feast with sake pairing from Portland's Merlin Labron-Johnson, from which all proceeds went to Calais Kitchen.

The street food one
The London Union group (of Street Feast, Hawker House, Dinerama and Model Market fame) organise Auction Against Hunger, where huge names from the London food scene cook up street-food-sized dishes in Dalston Yard. Tickets are a steep-sounding £60 but include unlimited booze and so much food that you'll be wishing vomitariums still existed. This year's event takes place on May 26 and the star-studded line-up includes Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), Robin Gill (The Dairy) and Hamish Brown (Roka).

The bright-young-things one
Cat Ashton is usually in charge of the kitchen at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, but she'll be sharing it with some of the food world's rising stars for her Supper Club Series. Cooks on the schedule include Ella Woodward of health-conscious blog Deliciously Ella and Young British Foodie award-winner Adam Rawson.

The London One
Bermondsey favourite José Pizarro hosts a monthly Guest Chef Night at his restaurant Pizarro, which sees him collaborate with other much-loved London restaurants to create special menu mash-ups. They've hosted Peter Gorden from The Providores and Tapa Room, Dan Doherty from Duck and Waffle and Selin Kiazim from Oklava, among others; next up is Tonkotsu, and there's talk of an Iberico pork ramen.

The International One
The current economic climate means that while we might be able to get on a Ryanair flight once or twice a year, the Michelin-starred joints in our holiday destinations are still very much out of reach. Fortunately Lyle's in Shoreditch runs The Guest Series, which sees highly regarded chefs from all over the world serve up a specially devised set menu. Last year Jeremy Charles from Raymonds in Newfoundland brought over his favoured maple syrup in his personal luggage to make sure it arrived safe and sound. June's event will welcome Mitch Orr from Sydney's ACME.

The Glam One
The Green and Pleasant Land gala dinner on Thursday April 21 is a fundraiser for anti-waste charity FoodCycle, so expect to pay the big bucks – tickets are a whopping £350 per person – but for your cash you buy dinner made by the biggest names in the business. Jay Rayner will host and dishes will be created by Angela Hartnett, Anna Hansen, Georgio Locatelli and Skye Gyngell, among others.


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