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Watching pasta as it’s made

Just off the Old Street roundabout, Officina 00’s pasta workshop stops more than just one or two passersby in their tracks. The pasta, ranging from corzetti (shaped like discs), cavatelli (like miniature hot dog buns), to circular occhi ravioli, are made fresh in front of diners’ eyes and for everyone to see outside the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows. Forget about food porn, this is food voyeurism.

Making pasta with your own hands

Officina 00 holds their pasta-making classes every Saturday. They are led by head chef and co-founder Elia Sebregondi. Choose from a two-hour introduction course where you’ll learn how to make garganelli (cylindrical in shape) and spaghetti guitar, a 2.5h filled pasta course, or a three-hour course where you’ll learn Officina 00’s very own recipes, such as pasta dough made with white wine.

The whole experience comes with a lunch where you can enjoy the pasta you just made, plus seasonal sauces and sides, as well as a glass of wine or Prosecco. Recipe cards included, of course – what a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Where? 156 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BW

When? Every Saturday

How much? 2h £70, 2.5h £85, 3h £95

Website? https://officina00.co.uk/

Paul Bocuse, a name known by all in the French culinary scene, will lose its third star in 2020, the Bocuse group confirmed.

AFP/Archives / JEFF PACHOUD

The longest-standing three Michelin star establishment

The news came as a shock to the legendary restaurant located in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, near Lyon. The restaurant got three stars in 1965 and held on to them for fifty-five years, without interruption. Only twenty-seven restaurants in France shared the highest culinary distinction in 2019.

Paul Bocuse, who died two years ago, was considered as the “pope” of the French gastronomy, and his name was largely known internationally. Since 1987, the Bocuse d’Or, a world chef competition, rewards the world’s best chef, and the Bocuse group also owns eight restaurants in Japan.

A decision to fight criticism?

For years now, voices have been criticising Michelin’s choices, pointing out that their decisions are politically-motivated and old-fashioned. In Bocuse’s case, connoisseurs said the restaurant was no longer worthy of its three stars and did not understand why Michelin protected the restaurant.

The guide seems to have heard them and justified their decision by saying that the cuisine remains excellent but no longer at the level of three stars.

Whether they think there is an actual decline in the level of the cuisine or they use this is as a communication strategy, it marks a real shift for the guide.

One recalls that a year ago, Michelin also took back the third star of l‘Auberge de L’Ill, the second-longest holder of three stars after… Paul Bocuse.

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50 places reviewed in 10 London neighbourhoods

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WELCOME TO NAPITA

Dear visitor, 

I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome you to our site. I wanted to personally thank you for your visit, and hope you will find value in what we are building. 

If you are here early in our journey, I’m lucky to count you as a friend or the word got out that something about food is happening. Anyway, this is all very exciting and I’ll take this opportunity to tell you more about us. 

Who we are

I like to think of Napita as that friend you trust when it comes to food. The one who knows where the best food is and tells you which place is right for you. 

With passionate people and the right technology, we intend to do just that, but at a larger scale. 

Our first recommendations will be for Londoners.

Why starting Napita

Having lived in several countries over the past ten years, it usually meant getting used to different environments and learning to adapt to new cultures. Yet, something always stayed the same – my quest for good food (and having to look for it for my friends).

This made me spend hours looking at professional guides, critics’ reviews, user ratings on TripAdvisor or Google and more recently, scrolling on Instagram and other social networks to find the right restaurant for the right occasion. 

One would think that historical guides, combined with new platforms and technologies should make our task easier, right? 

Somehow, it doesn’t feel that way and when asking other people their take on it, it appeared clear we are still facing some serious challenges:

  • Choice: There are thousands of restaurants to choose from in large cities and new ones popping up every single week. The need to be pointed out in the right direction is still very much present.
  • Trust: Ranking high on a certain platform is no longer a guarantee that a place serves great food. Distrust in online reviews and the difficulty to relate to other reviewers blurred the lines to know what place is right for us. 
  • Time: more platforms means spread out information and an increased time spent looking for the most relevant recommendations. 
  • Lack of personalised recommendations: we all have different tastes and a recommendation that works for me, may not be the good one for you. 

Solving issues in the field I love the most? It felt right to try something. 

How we intend to make it easier for you:

We first wanted to reduce the amount of choice to “la crème de la crème”. We show you the way to where the good food is, whether it comes out from a food truck or a high end kitchen. No more time wasted to filter undesirable places. 

We aim to restore trust by bringing different opinions together to make the most out of all the reliable platforms and opinions out there. This helps us to provide you with the most trustworthy recommendations. When we tell you it’s worth it, it did not just convince us, it convinced pretty much everyone. 

We are creating a community of real, passionate people who all fear to eat a bad meal. They review places we select and tell you what to expect. 

Finally, this will take some time but we are working on making our recommendations personalised to your needs. 

Where to find our recommendations:

We couldn’t wait to start and decided to launch on social media first while developing our main website in the background. 

 For our kick off, we visited 50 places in 10 different London neighbourhoods. Follow us on Instagram to discover a new place every day.

Why we need you 

We want your opinion along the way. We welcome positive and negative feedback, everything that can help us build the best food guide for you. 

How to get in touch with us ? Drop us an email at hello@napita.co  or direct message us on Instagram.

We’re also always looking for more ambassadors to grow our community. Let us know if you’re the right person. 

And finally a big thank you  

To Laura, Maxime, Babette, Sandra and the first Napita ambassadors for their precious help in creating Napita.  More than helping, they gave me strength and I am sincerely grateful to all of them. 

Guillaume, Founder of Napita.