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Simon Hill
Written by Simon Hill 23rd April 2014

Dinner parties, pop-up restaurants and our competition

If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party, you’ll know that the usual culinary hurdles that arise in everyday life can often reach boiling point when there are guests to impress, presentation to perfect and, of course, gastronomy to get just right.

In recent years, however, many a budding Blumenthal has eschewed these challenges and taken the dinner party to a whole new level – by turning their living room into a pop-up restaurant.

As the name implies, these temporary eateries are famed for intimacy and informality. Yet the menus are not necessarily as informal – they can often be anything but. In fact, Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann1 was one of the movement’s early adopters, launching a pop-up restaurant in London in 2009.

Holding a pop-up restaurant can be a rewarding way to show off your skills and meet new people. It can also be the stepping-stone to a new professional direction for those with lifelong dreams of opening their own restaurant. But as anyone who watched BBC Two’s The Restaurant Man earlier this year, there are plenty of blood, sweat, tears and food for thought involved.

If you’re considering the pop-up restaurant challenge, a change of career direction, or just love cooking, entertaining and fine dining, you must not miss our forthcoming competition. We’re joining forces with Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Raymond Blanc’s Oxfordshire establishment – to offer a sensational cookery course and dining experience. Make sure you bookmark Michael Graham’s website or share this page to get the first taster of this unique prize.

1. Strand, Oliver. The New York Times (5 October 2010) "London’s Pop-Up Restaurants Let Rising Chefs Shine”; Retrieved 11 April 2014.