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Theo Randall and Michel Roux Jr at Taste of London festival

London's best celebrity chef restaurants

Give your palate the red carpet treatment with our guide to the best celebrity chef restaurants in London

By Nicola Arencibia
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You’ve seen these celebrity chefs on the telly, you’ve read their recipes in cookery books or newspaper supplements, and you’ve heard their names uttered in reverent tones by those in the know - but how exactly did they earn their fame and fortune? Here's a whistlestop tour to the best celebrity chef restaurants in London.

London's best celebrity chef restaurants

Brasserie Blanc

Restaurants French Fitzrovia

Celebrity chef: Raymond Blanc

When you think of French food, what springs to mind? Garlicky escargots, rich beef bourguignon, steak-frites and soufflé? It’s all on the menu at Raymond Blanc’s chain of classy, cosy brasseries, because this honorary Englishman (who actually couldn’t be any more French – he sports a Tricolore bow-tie for Pete’s sake) knows how to get our francophile juices flowing. After all, he’s been teaching us rosbifs how to cook via the medium of telly for what feels like forever.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Restaurants Haute cuisine Knightsbridge

Celebrity chef: Heston Blumenthal

For seven years running, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck made the top three of the World’s 50 Best list, catapulting its self-taught chef-proprietor to the realms of first-name-only celebrity. The foodie Einstein’s next trick? Dinner: no whizz-bang gimmicks or tasting menus here – instead, historical British dishes brought into the twenty-first century, Heston style, and proper-sized courses, kicking off with the signature meat-fruit – impossibly smooth chicken-liver pâté concealed in speckled orange gel to resemble a mandarine.

 
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Jamie Oliver talks to Time Out about Food Revolution Day
© Jon Enoch

Fifteen

Restaurants British Hoxton
Celebrity chef: Jamie Oliver
 

This social enterprise trains unemployed youths as chefs; in 2002, the highs and lows of the first intake were documented in a fly-on-the-wall series, proving Britain’s most famous foodie face has always had both a passion for crusading and a knack for good telly. Eat in the buzzy, unpretentious dining room and you wouldn’t suspect its chefs are apprentices: the globally inspired seasonal dishes are beautifully cooked and packed with gastronomic flourishes (so they should be, given the prices).

Hemsley + Hemsley

Restaurants Organic Marylebone

Celebrity chefs: sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley

It’s a wonder these sisters found time to launch their Selfridges café, what with the TV shows, cookbooks and festival appearances that came their way after they became poster girls for the clean-eating movement. The chi-chi department store is the perfect fit for their ‘my body is my temple’ brand; their menu, while free from gluten, refined sugar and hydrogenated fats, manages not to be a complete fun vacuum – the thick, creamy cacao shake will convince you of that.

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Jinjuu

Restaurants Korean Soho

Celebrity chef: Judy Joo

This Soho hotspot serves up East-West crossover versions of Korean classics, plus head-turning cocktails. Its fusion approach mirrors the career path of Korean-American executive chef Judy Joo, who has proven her cheffy mettle since ditching her job as a trader, getting noticed on ‘Iron Chef’, working under Gordon Ramsay, and heading up Mayfair’s Playboy Club before opening this solo debut. The signature dish is Korean fried chicken: crisp-coated meat with spicy chilli sauce and refreshing pickled radish.

José

Restaurants Spanish Bermondsey

Celebrity chef: José Pizarro

This bijou, no-bookings tapas bar overflows with good vibes – and people (it’s permanently packed). It’s the kind of spot you dream of stumbling across on holiday – the chef behind it, Extremadura-born José Pizarro (you’ve seen his puppy-dog face on ‘Saturday Kitchen’), has melded the best bits of his favourite Spanish spots into one brilliant London offering. Expect moreish Spanish staples, market-dependent specials, and plenty of chilled fino. You’ll also spot the chef at sit-down affair Pizarro, just down the road.

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Le Gavroche

Restaurants French Mayfair

Celebrity chef: Michel Roux Jr

The nation hearts Michel Roux Jr, thanks to his avuncular turns over a bajillion series of ‘MasterChef’. He took over this unchanging London icon from his father and uncle, the Roux brothers and still works almost full-time in its kitchens (he’ll always glad-hand diners if he’s there). Unless you’re loaded, book three months in advance for London’s best-value gourmet set lunch. Just don’t expect the cutting edge: patterned carpets, Larousse-style dishes and zero phone reception all add to the charm.

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Former Ramsay protégée Marcus Wareing is a staunch Streetsmart supporter

Marcus

Restaurants British Knightsbridge

Celebrity chef: Marcus Wareing

Take a seat in one of the butter-soft leather chairs of this plush Knightsbridge thoroughbred ensconced in The Berkeley hotel and prepare yourself for a nine-course tasting menu of barely described dishes (‘langoustine, chicken, wasabi’) cooked by Gordon Ramsay’s legendary friend-turned-supposedly-arch-rival, Marcus Wareing. If Knightsbridge is not your natural stomping ground, try a Wareing-style history lesson at The Gilbert Scott, or Tredwell’s in Covent Garden, which is as casual as this celebrity chef gets.

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© Jun Tanaka at Pearl.jpg
Jun Tanaka

The Ninth

Restaurants Contemporary European Fitzrovia

Celebrity chef: Jun Tanaka

He may look like he’s just stepped onto the scene, but evergreen chef and TV regular Jun Tanaka has earned his place on the celebrity-chef circuit during his 20-year career – mentors have included Marco Pierre White and the Roux brothers, and he headed up swanky restaurant Pearl before launching his own. The Ninth is a great advert for Tanaka’s signature style: dishes founded in French classicism but freshened up with fusion accents. For a Tanaka taster, try Street Kitchen.

NOPI

Restaurants Contemporary Global Soho

Celebrity chef: Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi made his name with his mini-chain of chic cafés, whose colourful salads, pristine tarts and gigantic meringues stopped people in their tracks. Thanks to subsequent cookbooks, columns and TV shows, most middle-class foodies now own a bottle of pomegranate molasses. His flagship, Nopi, is a glamorous gold-and-marble temple to his nifty way with free-wheeling global flavour pairings, with vegetables centre stage. Our tip? Take your phone into the (mirrored) loos in case you can’t find your way out.

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