My 50 Culinary Highlights of 2013

Peter Morrell looks back on an enjoyable year of food and drink

The Salad du Terroir at Auberge Le Cantou
Collonges La Rouge, France

I have got fond memories of 2013, eating and drinking both new things and old favourites. In compiling the list I realised that during the year I had enjoyed the high points either abroad or in London. There are no culinary highlights in the UK outside of the capital, so come on all you regional destinations start promoting yourself and make 2014 a culinary year to remember.

The list is in no particular order and they all rank with equal merit.

  1. Tasting Supreme Denoix green walnut liqueur in Brive la Gaillarde, France
  2. Sampling the first two beers in Meantime’s new ‘Brewers Collection‘ range
  3. Deep fried cod tongues at the Paço dos Cunhas de Santar vineyard near Viseu, Portugal
  4. Cod’s swim bladder and faces in the rustic Bela Ria restaurant near Ilhavo, Portugal
  5. Dinner at One Canada Square in Canary Wharf
  6. An Icewine tasting at the Inniskillin vineyard on the Niagara peninsula, Canada
  7. Losing my Nanaimo Bar virginity to this iconic and delicious Canadian snack
  8. Trying Ganda Ham, the air dried delicacy in the Groot Vleeshuis in Ghent, Belgium
  9. The stuffed squid starter at the Ristorante Capo Santa Chiara, Genoa, Italy
  10. Discovering that I liked pesto made in Genoa at the Palazzo della Meridiana
  11. Chef Scott Bagshaw’s chorizo and fig dish at the Deseo Bistro in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  12. First partridge of the season at the Jugged Hare in London’s Barbican
  13. Lunch overlooking the harbour at Le Fregate hotel in Guernsey
  14. Seafood linguine at Brasserie Guillaume in the main square of Luxembourg City
  15. The best sushi in London in the See Cafe at Paddington Basin
  16. The Sunday lunch and wine tasting at Vinopolis in London Bridge
  17. Dinner cooked by Marcus Verberne at Roast for the launch of his Roast cookbook
  18. The home-made bitter/sweet red vermouth at Mele e Pere in Soho
  19. The fish and chip supper at J Sheekey with VIA Rail and New Brunswick Canada
  20. Raclette made with unpasteurised cheese at a Swiss Tourism event
  21. Oysters at Catch by Simonis in Schevenigen, Holland
  22. The Salad du Terroir at Auberge Le Cantou, Collonges La Rouge,France
  23. The starter of scallops in pastry at the Le Grand Saint Leonard, St Leonard de Noblat, France
  24. Drinking a Rivesaltes fortified wine made the same year I was born, it’s lasted better than me
  25. Raw herring and genever at the Van Kleef distillery in Den Haag
  26. Lunch at the Asian fusion restaurant Momo near the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
  27. Dinner at Graanmarkt 13 cooked by Seppe Nobels in Antwerp
  28. The traditional Indonesian Rijsttafel at Blauw Utrecht, Holland
  29. Drinking the home-made Ouwe Daen wheat beer in the Stadskasteel Oudaen,Utrecht
  30. Dinner at the Michelin starred Alyn Williams at the Westbury in Mayfair
  31. Dinner at the Grill on the Market in Smithfield
  32. The meatless dinner courtesy of the Vegetarian Butcher at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel, Den Haag
  33. Anything at the social enterprise restaurant Brigade SE1, run by the admirable Simon Boyle
  34. The South East Asian street food course at School of Wok, Covent Garden
  35. Tasting Italian small estate wines with Michael Palij of Winetraders
  36. The partridge in pastry at Obarrio restaurant, Aveiro, Portugal
  37. The Georgian food at Colchis in Queensway
  38. Bacalhau, Portuguese salt cod fish for my Christmas Eve dinner
  39. The Chablis and Black Truffle Mustard at the opening of the Maille shop in Piccadilly
  40. The Fruit de Mer at my local restaurant the Rascasse
  41. Any steak at MASH in Piccadilly
  42. Dinner at Belga Queen in Ghent
  43. Having chocolate powder and ginger fired up my nose by a device designed for The Rolling Stones in The Chocolate Line, Antwerp
  44. Sampling some of the 200 genevers with owner Pol in ‘t Dreupelkot, Ghent
  45. Dim Sum at Courtesan in Brixton
  46. The fully loaded paella at La Mancha in Chiswick
  47. Cooking Jarlesberg cheese recipes with Signe Johansen, author of Scandilicious
  48. Going back to Langan’s Brasserie Mayfair to find it just as good
  49. The bacon sandwich made with naan bread at Dishoon, Covent Garden
  50. Multi course feast at the Maria Xica restaurant in Viseu, Portugal