Nicholas Lander

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Full name: Nicholas Lander

Area of interest: Food / Restaurants

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: |

Personal website:







Education: Cambridge University; Manchester Business School

Career: Ex-restaurateur (establishing himself as one of Britain's foremost restaurateurs in the 1980s with L'Escargot restaurant in Soho, London) and now food service consultant to various organisations, including British Airways. Writes regularly about food and restaurants for FT and other publications around the world

Current position/role: restaurant columnist

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Main activities: Consultant to and writer on the restaurant industry



Broadcast media:

Video: Runs TV production company, Eden Productions - commissioned by C4 to produce Matters of Taste, Vintners' Tales for the BBC, 1992 and Jancis Robinsons' Wine Course, a 10-part series first shown by the BBC, 1995



Other: Married to Jancis Robinson, wine writer and broadcaster

Books & Debate:

Latest work: The Crisis Cook Book: 1 ISBN 13978-1899257560 , 2007

(and see: Nick / books)



Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Restaurants and cookery

Section: FT Weekend

Role: Columnist



Personal website:

Website: FT.Com / Nicholas Lander

Commissioning Editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 1000 words

Articles: 2009

  • How to beat the lunch crunch - Nicholas Lander talks to leading restaurateurs about their plans for 2009, what they are cooking to stop the recession from biting and their take at FT’s Take a Friend to Lunch for a Fiver promo - 10th January 2009
  • Certain things chefs won’t give up - Nicholas Lander speaks to several top chefs and finds out the one ingredient they will never part from even in tough times - 3rd January 2009

Articles: 2008

  • The most memorable meals of 2008 - Nicholas Lander realises that with the recent, abrupt fall in the value of the pound, the past year may well prove to be the last time we can eat out inexpensively - 27th December 2008
  • [Affordable restaurants in New York] - Chefs and restaurateurs are seeing themselves as beacons of good cheer amid the financial gloom and are not cutting back on portion sizes - 20th December 2008
  • Restaurant review: Corton, New York - While the reincarnated Tribeca restaurant has always offered a superb wine list, equal prominence has been given to the food with exciting dishes and original presentation - 20th December 2008
  • Restaurant review: Corrigan’s Mayfair - If Richard Corrigan could cook as well as he can talk then he would unquestionably be the best chef in the world - 13th December 2008
  • Cocktail king - To be successful, Nicholas Lander learns, a bar needs to mix the classic cocktails correctly each time as well as create new ones, and the staff must be trained well enough to do exactly just that - 6th December 2008
  • Eating out in Boston - Banking has provided for Nicholas Lander the unusual connection between an extraordinary 19th-century restaurant and the current price of lobster - 29th November 2008
  • Why the term ‘restaurant’ may soon disappear - Café, bar, bar and kitchen, bistro, bistrot de luxe, canteen, trattoria, osteria and lounge are now far more common names than ‘restaurant’, a word associated with expense - 22nd November 2008
  • Restaurant with an Indian template - Nicholas Lander discovers how the subcontinent as well as the music heritage of New York’s West Village had influenced Elettaria - 15th November 2008
  • Charm of the private dining room - Those private spaces within restaurants are both useful and profitable, but they take much longer to become established than the restaurant itself - 8th November 2008
  • Tips from an expert on wild mushrooms - Brigitte Tee tells Nicolas Lander that one shouldn’t eat too many mushrooms at any one time and that combining wild mushrooms and alcohol can cause a stomach upset - 1st November 2008
  • Treasure Ireland - Nicholas Lander visits a famed Irish institution that has set the standards for the country’s chefs to follow and meets the new generation running it - 25th October 2008
  • Red hot chilli business - A passionate advocate of authentic Mexican ingredients has brought the first fresh tortilla making machine to the UK - 18th October 2008
  • Why there’s only one El Bulli - No other restaurant opens for such a short period and runs on such a grand, extremely complex scale to serve 45 unique dishes to each customer every evening - 11th October 2008
  • April in New York - Chef April Bloomfield talks to Nicholas Lander about her second restaurant in Manhattan, the John Dory, that will bring her closer to her greatest professional thrill – cooking fish - 4th October 2008
  • Restaurant review: Restaurant de la Gare, Alsace - With its wonderful wine list, Nicholas Lander could have happily stayed for days in this restaurant that started as a railway canteen in 1874 - 4th October 2008
  • A taste of money - The tried-and-tested low-cost model for restaurants established across continental Europe enables the Giaconda Dining Room to offer excellent value for money - 27th September 2008
  • Farewell to Mayfair - After 37 years, Silvano Giraldin, the general manager of one of London’s most respected French restaurants, is retiring - 20th September 2008
  • Catch of the day, every day - In landlocked Alsace in the east of France, Nicholas Lander finds two fine dining addresses for fish and fruits of the sea - 13th September 2008
  • Local custom - With its warm staff and hearty breakfast, Nicholas Lander enjoys the wide spectrum of local ingredients served at a 16th century former coaching inn in Yorkshire - 6th September 2008
  • Restaurant review: El Celler de Can Roca, Girona - The three Roca brothers who run the exceptional restaurant have stayed true to their Catalan roots and make extensive use of partridge, pigs’ trotters, hake and pigeon - 30th August 2008
  • Cooking with a small© - the very first attempt that I have ever come across by the owners of an independent restaurant to copyright their menu - 30th August 2008
  • Out of the fire - Fire is the element that defines the chef’s profession, as it defined the vital stage in mankind’s evolution thousands of years ago. But it can also close down restaurants with more frequency and more serious consequences than any other - 9th August 2008
  • Best of the west - It was to be a demanding if pleasurable finale to our trip to the west coast of America: dinners booked on successive nights at The French Laundry in Yountville, America’s most respected restaurant - 26th July 2008
  • Restaurant review: Thorpeness Brasserie, Suffolk - Restaurant interiors that cost as little as £100 in total are pretty rare these days but that is only one of the particular charms of Tom Brent’s design of the Thorpeness Brasserie - 26th July 2008
  • Out of sites - Trevor Shelley has been buying and selling restaurant sites in London for the past 20 years on behalf of his company, Shelley Sandzer - 19th July 2008
  • After arrivals, oysters - I have always marked my arrival or departure in San Francisco with a meal at Zuni Cafe, and this trip was no exception - 12th July 2008
  • ‘We are hardly ever quiet’ - Las Vegas hotels have been opening outposts run by some of the world’s top chefs at such a pace that I felt the time had come to sample them rather than just read about them - 5th July 2008
  • ‘It’s not about us’ - The last thing we want is for Quo Vadis to be known as the latest Hart brothers’ opening. This restaurant has been here since 1926 and we feel we are no more than its custodians who have restored it to its former elegance. It’s not about us,” says new co-owner Eddie Hart - 1st July 2008
  • It’s your lucky day - As we were enjoying our lunch of a breast of veal carved from the roasting trolley, an expensively dressed man suddenly got up from the table diagonally opposite and said to his companion, “I feel lucky right now” - 21st June 2008
  • Restaurant review: Itinéraires, Paris - By the end of dinner, all four of us had left our hearts at Itinéraires albeit for very different reasons - 21st June 2008
  • The global local food market - The first meal I shared with Simon Maxwell, director of the Overseas Development Institute in London, was dinner in the wood-panelled Hotel Schatzalp in Davos during the World Economic Forum in January - 14th June 2008
  • Supersized Sichuan - The most distinctive characteristic of restaurants in Beijing is their size - 7th June 2008
  • ‘No-brow’ New York noodles - I walked in the early evening Manhattan sunshine from my hotel, The Alex on E45th street, down 1st Avenue to 7th Street, where the Lower East Side meets the East Village to join Akiko Katayama - 31st May 2008
  • Battered but unbowed - Mitchell Tonks has been filleting, cooking and selling fish while inspiring amateurs with his cookery courses for the past 14 years - 24th May 2008
  • How to survive a downturn - Not all restaurateurs seem to have realised that the economic sands - so firmly in their favour for the past few years - are shifting. That is the conclusion I draw from two recent anecdotes - 17th May 2008
  • ‘Head to Brooklyn’ - Despite being a frequent visitor to New York, I made my first trip across the Brooklyn Bridge only a fortnight ago with many others from Manhattan as we headed for a Paul Simon concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music - 10th May 2008
  • On the house - House wines used to be the most disappointing aspect of any restaurant visit. Often thin and acidic, a house wine’s only saving grace – at least until the following morning – was that it was cheap - 2nd May 2008
  • Latium, London - Maurizio Morelli, the Roman chef at Latium, the Italian restaurant near Oxford Street, has created a successful alternative to the “signature dish” of which so many chefs and restaurateurs dream - 28th April 2008
  • Relaxed, laid-back, glamorous - For restaurants, Saturday nights are very different from the other nights of the week, and not just because they can be the busiest - 28th April 2008
  • Less formal, just as classy - As maître chef des cuisines at the Savoy hotel for more than 20 years, Anton Edelmann was not only the bearer of one of the longest and most respected titles in any kitchen but also in charge of 90 chefs with whom he was responsible for over 2,000 meals a day - 21st April 2008
  • Blossoming in Bloomsbury - As we walked along the short passageway that leads from the kitchen to the Number Twelve restaurant in the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury, central London, its previously loquacious chef Santino Busciglio stopped talking, put his head in his hands, and groaned, “Oh, no.” - 14th April 2008
  • An eruption of flavours - “Ah, this is Sicily,” exclaimed our Roman friend as the waiter in the Osteria Antica Marina, a fish restaurant in the town of Catania, brought us a dozen small white bowls of antipasti - 7th April 2008
  • Lunch with the FT 2008: the winning review - The winning reader review was written by Serena Richards, from Wimbledon, who reviewed the Grill at the Dorchester - 5th April 2008Wanted: Indian chefs] - Indian restaurants have become a prominent feature of the British culinary landscape over the past 50 years - 28th March 2008
  • Blown away on the Bund - Apot of jasmine tea overlooking the Yangtze river; a beer after a trip round a former abattoir; and dinner in a restaurant in a former early 20th century villa with 17 separate dining rooms and space for a full-size snooker table provided contrasting settings on a recent trip I made to taste the continually evolving food of Shanghai - 22nd March 2008
  • A Hong Kong garden party - We were walking down the stairs from the Lei Garden restaurant at the CNT building in Hong Kong’s Wanchai district when an investment banker friend explained: “It’s a bull market here for taxis and restaurants at the moment - 15th March 2008
  • Greens are always on the menu - Perhaps the most important things to say about the Water House restaurant, which has just opened in Shoreditch, east London, are that its food is good, the service is friendly and it offers excellent value for money - 8th March 2008
  • Reassurance in France - The restaurant industry has already suffered two body-blows this year. The death of Jean-Claude Vrinat, the legend behind the acclaimed Taillevent and arguably the greatest restaurateur in Paris, was followed a few weeks later by that of Bill Baker of Reid Wines, at the age of 53 - 1st March 2008
  • ‘This is a new form of dining etiquette’ - In London’s frenetic restaurant world, few entrepreneurs can match the diverse successes of Alan Yau. In 1992 the Hong Kong-born restaurateur created Wagamama (the Japanese fast-food chain has since changed ownership); is the founder not only of the good-value Thai and dim sum restaurants Busaba Eathai and Yauatcha, as well as the upmarket Chinese restaurant Hakkasan; and has recently opened Sake No Hana, a new Japanese restaurant in St James’s Street - 23rd February 2008
  • We must do lunch again - It is now 16 years since I had the idea for the FT’s Lunch for a Fiver, as it was then called. Over time it became, simply, Lunch with the FT and, partly as a gesture of optimism amid a growing sense of economic unease, the paper has decided to resurrect it – in a bigger, better and more interactive form - 16th February 2008
  • Lunch with the FT 2008: Participating restaurants - The following are a mere sampling of the restaurants FT readers will be able to choose from; for a full list of participants go to - 16th February 2008
  • Gluttons for refreshment - Had Paulo Marchi become a chef, as he dreamt when he was 16, it is difficult to imagine his appearance would differ greatly from what it is now - 9th February 2008
  • Curate’s eggs in a city where they live to eat - A poor first-half certainly got our meal at Tantris, one of Munich’s most respected and long-established restaurants, off to a disappointing start but the hour we had to wait for our first course allowed plenty of time to admire its exceptional interior - 2nd February 2008
  • Great cooking is in the heart, not in guides - I wouldn’t expect restaurant writers to be impartial about the Michelin guide. To some extent, we are all jealous of the headlines it attracts and the influence it has - 26th January 2008
  • Dine at Le Gavroche - Le Gavroche in Mayfair has been distinguished over the past 40 years , writes Nicholas Lander, by its cooking and its generosity of spirit, exemplified first by Albert and then by his son Michel Roux Jr in the kitchen and Silvano Giraldin and his team in the dining room - 19th January 2008
  • The Walnut cracker - As an antidote to the heavy rain outside, the sight of the couple behind the bar at the recently reopened Walnut Tree Inn, outside Abergavenny in south Wales, could not have been more heart-warming - 19th January 2008
  • Kings of Creole - Although the decision to forego our usual turkey in chilly Britain for something spicier in much warmer Mauritius was not, at first, embraced with enthusiasm by our traditionally minded children, it was reinforced by two culinary conversations - 12th January 2008
  • Busy and bustling in Dublin's fare city - The animated streets of Dublin have been so evocatively brought to life by authors, songwriters and Dubliners themselves that when the taxi dropped us in the North Quays area, it seemed thoroughly familiar - 5th January 2008

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