Fay Maschler, the London Evening Standard’s long-standing food critic, is celebrating 40 years in the job.
In an exclusive interview with Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Maschler talks about the trends and changes she has observed over four decades of reviewing the capital’s restaurants.
Speaking about how restaurant criticism has evolved over the years, Maschler says it has “obviously changed in that it’s become something that’s thought to be a source of entertainment rather than simply serving a useful function”.
She adds that although there are one or two food bloggers she trusts, “generally speaking, they don’t set anything in any sort of context”. “They just write and photograph everything they eat and enthuse without much discernment, which isn’t terribly useful or interesting,” she says.
Maschler’s first review for the London paper ran on 22 November 1972, under the headline, "English as she is eaten". “The idea back then was to review three places linked together by a theme,” she explains.
“I reviewed Bumbles [there were lots of places with a name like that], Tethers and Simpson’s in the Strand, and the bills for a meal for two with wine at each came in at £4.40, £6 and £5.78 respectively.”
Maschler also lists her game-changing London restaurants of the past 40 years, which include Langan’s Brasserie (1970s), Kensington Place (1980s), St John and Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine (1990s), Hakkasan (2000s) and Dabbous (2010s).
To read the full interview with Fay Maschler, pick up this week’s issue of Caterer and Hotelkeeper, out tomorrow (13 December).
Call 020 8652 8376 for your nearest stockist, subscribe today or call 0845 077 7755.
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By Kerstin Kühn
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