Jay Rayner on Terence Conran and restaurants
There is only one problem with giving Sir Terence Conran a lifetime achievement award. It may be a little premature.
Last Thursday night Terence was awarded Observer Food Monthly’s Lifetime Achievement award for his services to the British restaurant industry, and in this Sunday’s Observer Jay Rayner paid tribute to Britain’s first celebrity restaurateur.
It all started with the Soup Kitchen, launched in 1953 off the back Terence’s time in France. It was, at the time, a groundbreaking endeavour: affordable out-of-home dining for the middle classes, with an exotic, Continental slant.
Venerable Standard critic Fay Maschler puts it thusly:
Espresso coffee! Soup, made with homemade stock! Served in mugs! Bread and cheese! The idea!
The Soup Kitchen was the start of an empire of distinctive, design-led restaurants with top-notch kitchens that now spans the world.