What's On the Menu: The World's Favourite Piece of Paper? »

By food critic and restaurateur Nicholas Lander

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<i>On the Menu</i> by Nicholas Lander

On the Menu by Nicholas Lander [©Cornerstone ]


Nicholas Lander’s new book rejoices in the history, design and evolution of the world’s favourite piece of paper.

In the much anticipated companion volume to his first book, The Art of the Restaurateur, restaurant critic Nicholas Lander rejoices in the history, design and evolution of the world’s favourite piece of paper: the menu.

On the Menu presents 80 stunning, full-colour reproductions of some menus at the cutting edge of contemporary culinary innovation, and others are relics from another time: a 1970s menu from L’Escargot at a time when all main courses cost less than one pound; the last menu from The French House Dining Room before Fergus Henderson departed for St John; and the final menu from Ferran Adrià’s triple-starred elBulli in Spain,  judged a record-breaking five times to be the best restaurant in the world.

From the classic to the innovative: a Christmas menu during the siege of Paris in 1870, which featured rats and zoo animals; the ring-bound, in-depth dish description booklet of Maison Pic in Valence; the wittily illustrated menu at Quo Vadis in London, which gave the restaurant a new lease of life; and many, many more.

It also features interviews with world-renowned chefs Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana), René Redzepi (Noma), Michel Roux Jr (Le Gavroche), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), Daniel Boulud (Bar Boulud), Ruth Rogers (The River Café) and many more. In this book they reveal how they decide what food to serve and what inspires them to write their menus.

On The Menu is a beautiful and instructive memento for anyone who has experienced the simple and unrivalled pleasure of sitting at a restaurant table holding the menu in their hand. These are truly pages to drool over.

About Nicholas Lander

Nicholas Lander fell into the restaurant business following a foray as a commodity trader when he bought L’Escargot in Soho in 1980. Under his management, it became one of the capital’s most renowned restaurants.

In 1988, ill health forced him to sell and he became the restaurant correspondent for The Financial Times where he initiated the first British restaurant promotion, Lunch for a Fiver.

Over the past 25 years he has reviewed restaurants and menus from around the world. He wrote, priced and edited the menus at L’Escargot in London, where he was among the first to write menus in English and to change the menus according to the seasons.

Nick is also known as the husband of world-famous wine critic and author Jancis Robinson.

On the Menu: The World's Favourite Piece of Paper by Nicholas Lander is published by  Penguin (UK,  Nov 2016; Hb; 304pp ). It is available in good bookstores or find it for online purchase via booko.com.au »


  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

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March 30th, 2017
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