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Culinary Tourism

Stage is set for this year’s ‘Taste of London’

Rita Payne  Jun 18, 2009

One of the world’s best food festivals, Taste of London, brings together some of the British capital’s finest restaurants to showcase some of the food that helps make it one of the outstanding culinary cities of the world. Taste of London is taking place in Regent’s Park from June 18 to 21, where over forty restaurants will serve some of their most famous and best dishes to visitors. The festival will feature several of London’s best-known restaurants, including L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon, Fino, Rhodes and Le Gavroche.

A highlight of this year’s show is the Taste Theatre, a designated arena playing host to cook offs between top chefs, as well as question and answer sessions with restaurateurs, food critics, writers and chefs. Visitors will be allowed to take part in tasting sessions, view cookery demonstrations and attend chef master classes from the very best in the business.

Taste of London will also be playing host to Taste of Thailand, where some of London’s best Thai restaurants will display the country’s unique culinary tradition. Taste of Thailand will feature the nation’s drinks, arts and entertainment giving visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the culture of the country.

Thailand’s ambassador to the UK, Mr. Kitti Wasinondh, says, “Taste of Thailand in Taste of London is this year’s grandest Thai food festival in the UK. Our Team Thailand in London, leading Thai restaurants, and various Thai companies will bring you the best experiences of finest Thai cuisine, food products as well as live cultural shows.”

An area of 1,300 square meters in Regent’s Park is being transformed into a relaxing Thai compound with a small traditional Thai pavilion and sections for Thai diners, products, Thai massage and cultural shows. Live entertainment imported directly from Bangkok includes Hucky Eichelman, a popular classic guitar player and known for being a musical ambassador of the King of Thailand.

Restaurants taking part in Taste of Thailand include Benja, Blue Elephant, Busaba Eathai, Mango Tree and Nahm, as well as specialist exhibitors. There are an estimated 40,000 Thai people in the UK. With the growing popularity of Thai food there are approximately 1,700 Thai restaurants in the country.

Trade and tourism links between Thailand and the UK are also expanding. The UK is the largest market in Europe for Thai exports, which totaled over US$3.9 billion last year. The number of UK visitors to Thailand of about 800,000 is the highest among European countries.

Despite the current state of the world with consumer confidence in decline amidst the fear of protectionism the organizers say people’s tastes in food and culture are borderless. Taste of London in partnership with British Airways opens the door to the best cuisine from the most exclusive restaurants in a glorious setting. From Indian, French to Asian and Modern British cuisine, there’s a signature dish created by a top chef to seduce every palate. With new restaurants added to the Taste line-up including Quo Vadis, L’Anima, Pont de la Tour, Odettes, Cinnamon Kitchen and Asia de Cuba, one can see why Taste of London is regarded as the highlight of the summer calendar.

Rita Payne is the current chair of the Commonwealth Journalists Association (UK). She may be reached via the email address:

Stage is set for this year’s ‘Taste of London’
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