Character Sweets of Gelato Pique Café in Japan

Panda Crepe

Panda Gelato

Panda Float

6 Things You Should Never Do at a High-end Restaurant, from a Michelin-starred Restaurant Manager

Claire Turrell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Michelin-star restaurants are a high-pressure environment. Staff work the craziest hours to bring you multi-course tasting menus and wines sourced from volcanic vineyards, and fresh-caught seafood. Even the crisp linen tablecloths are measured with a ruler to make sure each guest’s dining experience is impeccable.

But although the staff would never never say it, not every customer is as dreamy as the feather-light soufflé they’re served for dessert. So how can you make sure you’re not one of these customers?

Matthew Mawtus, the general manager of Michelin-starred Hide restaurant in London, says you can stay in your waiter’s good graces with proper etiquette and just a few smart moves.

1. Don’t re-seat yourself — ask the manager to move you

Michelin-star restaurants run like clockwork due to all the planning behind the scenes. When a guest switches tables it can seem like a simple move, but it can throw the staff’s workload out of sync.

“We divide the restaurant up into sections, with a head waiter for each section,” said Mawtus. “Restaurants sit people at specific tables because they don’t want to fill up one section first and leave the others empty. The team will want to spread out the workload for the waitstaff so they don’t become overloaded and our guests receive an equal amount of attention.”

2. Please don’t fight over the bill

Fighting over the bill may be rooted in generosity, but when you all thrust your credit cards at the waiter it can send them into a blind panic.

“I have been caught out by this in the past where it becomes my decision to make,” said Mawtus. “It’s like, ‘I don’t really know either of you, I really wish you could sort this out between you.’ I had two ladies insist they each wanted to pay the whole bill — one had a credit card and one was paying with Apple Pay. The one who was paying by Apple Pay won because she got her iPhone closer to the card machine.”

To calm the waiter’s nerves, make the decision on who is going to pay this time or next time before the waiter comes to the table.

3. Stop ordering the second cheapest bottle of wine on the menu

A Michelin-star wine list can be overwhelming in variety as well as price. A strategy for many is just to order the second cheapest bottle of wine on the menu, but Mawtus says the best way to navigate the menu is to speak to the sommelier.

“Ask for the sommelier. I always do, as they know what they have in their cellar,” said Mawtus. Also, don’t be ashamed to tell the sommelier your budget.

“When I went to Eleven Madison Park in New York for dinner, the waiter said to our table of four: ‘Things get pretty crazy around here so can you give me a budget to work to?'” said Mawtus. “It makes it easier for everyone”

He adds you should be able to order the cheapest bottle of wine on a Michelin-star menu and not be disappointed. “I would be ashamed if I ever put a bad wine on the list,” he told Insider. “It’s bad business sense to serve people substandard product. If you do, they are not going to come back.”

4. Don’t save a complaint for Tripadvisor

If your meal or service was subpar, you don’t need to stew in disappointment until you get home to then share your thoughts online. Mawtus asks that you give restaurants a chance to remedy the situation.

“Ask for the manager who is equipped to change your section, change your dish, and remedy the problem,” said Mawtus. “If you raise the issue at the time, it can be resolved, but if you go away and don’t say a word or go on TripAdvisor they can’t turn back time and fix it.”

5. Don’t save your dietary requests to the last minute

From gluten to allium allergies, when a chef receives specific requests from a diner some can be difficult to navigate. The more time you give the restaurant to accommodate your needs, the better.

“We have one lady who likes to come and support us and has a low salt diet,” said Mawtus. “She emails us a couple of days ahead what she wants to order. We appreciate that as we’ve got time to prepare.”

6. Don’t forget it’s a time for human connection

One of the few places you’re guaranteed an evening of relaxation and good conversation is at a classy restaurant. Don’t waste the experience, switch off your phone and take the opportunity to spend quality time with the people around you.

“I’ve been to a table where there were four people in their mid-20s all playing Candy Crush Saga while we’re serving their dinner,” said Mawtus. “They’re missing out on an experience that ultimately they’re paying for. That’s just a shame for me.”

Source : Insider

In Pictures: Food of Gaddi’s (吉地士) in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

French Haute Cuisine

The Michelin 1-star Restaurant

Could Cholesterol Help Drive Alzheimer’s Disease?

Cholesterol made in the brain may spur development of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Cholesterol made by cells called astrocytes is needed for controlling production of amyloid beta, a sticky protein that builds up in the brain and accumulates into the plaques that are the tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers say these new findings may offer insight into how and why plaques form and may help explain why genes tied with cholesterol have been linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk.

“This study helps us to understand why genes linked to cholesterol are so important to the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study co-author Dr. Heather Ferris, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

“Our data point to the importance of focusing on the production of cholesterol in astrocytes and the transport to neurons as a way to reduce amyloid beta and prevent plaques from ever being formed,” she said in a university news release.

Researchers found that astrocytes contribute to Alzheimer’s progression by making cholesterol and sending it to neurons. This cholesterol buildup increases amyloid beta production and, in turn, fuels plaque accumulation, according to the authors.

They found that blocking cholesterol production decreases amyloid beta production in mice. It’s too soon to say if this could happen in people and prevent plaque formation, they said.

“If we can find strategies to prevent astrocytes from over-producing cholesterol, we might make a real impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” Ferris said.

“Once people start having memory problems from Alzheimer’s disease, countless neurons have already died,” she added. “We hope that targeting cholesterol can prevent that death from ever occurring in the first place.”

Source: HealthDay

Chicken Chasseur


1/4 cup plain flour
2-1/2 lb chicken pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
3 small onions or large shallots, sliced
6 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 1b tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley, to garnish


  1. Put the flour into a polythene bag and season with salt and pepper.
  2. One at a time, drop the chicken pieces into the bag and shake to coat with flour. Tap off the excess and transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy flameproof casserole. Fry the chicken over a medium-high heat until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat from the pan. Add the onions or shallots, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until golden, stirring frequently.
  5. Return the chicken to the casserole with any juices. Add the wine and bring to the boil, then stir in the stock and tomatoes. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a knife.
  6. Tilt the pan and skim off any fat that has risen to the surface, then adjust the seasoning before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Taste of France

Today’s Comic