While recipe books and TV programmes may impart a little knowledge and inspiration, there is nothing like learning first hand from two awarding winning Chefs with over thirty years experience...
Jonathon and Barbara are such Chefs.
Their first restaurant was devoted to vegan cooking, Jonathon and Barbara pioneered imaginative vegetarian dishes at a time when brown rice and nut roast were all you could find! Their second restaurant, 'A Taste of Honey', saw them branch out into meat and fish cookery and brought them recognition from major restaurant guides such as the 'Michelin' and 'The Good Food Guide', and more importantly enticing a band of loyal fans. The 'Gault Millau' restaurant guide was added to the list when they opened 'The Perfumed Conservatory' and then finally the 'Chinon' in W14.
Chinon was just a short walk from Kensington House and it became the second home of many of the BBC production team. Barbara and Jonathon fed inspiration to many a famous celebrity as programmes were created and deals completed.
Through the years, there were many challenges but forever moving with time and always on the lookout for fresh ideas; just about every London food critic took note and wrote favourably about their cuisine, particularly praising the unique style of cooking, presentation and freshness of ingredients.
There was always leadership and a strong ability to train youngsters with an aspiration to be a good chef. There were many talented apprentices who brought sparkle (sometimes sparks) to the kitchen ... some of whom have become legends...
For Barbara and Jonathon there was an affinity with France and it was growing ... the wonderful ingredients, the amazing decadently structured buildings, great expansive gardens and an embracing breezy sense of tranquillity. Whilst scouring France for a suitable property, they opened 'Fabouche', a café facing one of the Greens in busy Chiswick. Here they created and stocked everything you might need for a superb dinner party.
It was at this point that they realised that they wanted their customers to enjoy a total experience ... pure indulgence ... as a house guest rather than just as a customer. The property chosen to set the scene was an elegant 'Maison Bourgeoise' set amongst rolling French vineyards – it was Clos des Saveurs.