Richard Neat’s return

5C7A1497The kitchen at Pied à Terre became a waterbath-free zone last week when founding chef Richard Neat returned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fitzrovia gastronomic temple.

“I’m a dinosaur – I don’t like gadgets,” Neat declared as he led current head chef Andy McFadden and his team through a menu of his greatest hits, with a series of stunning and intricate hand-made dishes.

Highlights included deep-fried oyster with courgette batons and the extraordinary tian or crab with roast skate wings, cucumber and mint sauce from the early Pied days, and, from his restaurant in Cannes, smoked and seared foie gras on creamed onions and crispy onion rings with cep and balsamic jellies.

Ever-present David Moore, who co-founded Pied, beamed as long-time regulars tasted dishes every bit as good as they remembered, while newer patrons caught up with what they missed first time around.

After his stints in Cannes and Marrakech, the peripatetic Neat shifted to San Juan in Costa Rica eight years ago, where he cooks for a maximum of 16 diners five nights a week in his girlfriend’s antiques shop.

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