Feast your eyes on Sardine’s La Grande Bouffe

Time to loosen the waistbands and sit back while guest chefs host La Grande Bouffe – a series of special dinners – from February 20 until June at Hoxton’s Sardine restaurant

The La Grande Bouffe feasts will celebrate the rustic flavours of southern France
The La Grande Bouffe feasts will celebrate the rustic flavours of southern France

Cult 1973 film La Grande Bouffe, starring the late Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, depicts four friends planning a huge feast with the sole purpose of gorging themselves to death by the end of the weekend. However, it’s with more jolly intentions that London’s Sardine restaurant has launched a series of La Grande Bouffe feasts, to take diners from winter into summer while enjoying the rustic flavours of southern France

Sardine’s dinner series will take diners from winter into summer
Sardine’s dinner series will take diners from winter into summer

“La Grande Bouffe is really a chance for us to celebrate spring,” says Alex Jackson, head chef at Sardine, and formerly of Stevie Parle’s Rotorino and Dock Kitchen. “We’ll be cooking a few time-honoured classics, as well as collaborating with a handful of exceptional cooks, all champions of heartfelt, simple and seasonal cooking.”

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For the first two dinners (£35 per person) on February 20 and 21, Jackson will prepare a five-course truffle menu, with highlights including truffled fried Comté sandwich; pappardelle with rabbit and chestnut ragout; sole, spinach and truffle cream sauce; and for pudding, a pear, chocolate and hazelnut tart. On the night, diners may request freshly grated Périgord truffles to be added to each course (from £6 for 2g, up to £25 for 10g).

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The following month’s La Grande Bouffe, on March 21, will see Jackson collaborate with Henry Harris (£60 per person), former head chef of Racine, who has just opened The Coach in Clerkenwell; and on April 24 Jackson will be joined by award-winning food writer and broadcaster Diana Henry (£45 per person). Formerly at Rochelle Canteen, Anna Tobias (£45 per person) will cook with Jackson on May 8; followed by Stockholm’s acclaimed Babette chef Olle T Cellton (£45 per person) on May 22. And for June’s La Grande Bouffe finale (date to be arranged), Jackson will host a lavish bouillabaisse-based dinner (£40 per person).

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