Around The World For 50 Meals

Ithaa underwater restaurant

Experience Food As An Adventure

If you are anything like me then you have a huge appetite for life. I am constantly travelling to seek out new adventures and try new things and have finally found a combination which is probably going to rule my life for the next few years. Travel and Food!

I have always been a keen ‘foodie’ but my recent trip around Europe really heightened my appreciation for the thought and processes behind gastronomical creations, as Heston would say, the science of food. Below is my standard, albeit it very tasty, but very safe steak, cheeseboard and triflesque desserts.

golding-group steak lunch

(Lunch at La Fragata, Barcelona)

Can Culleretes in Barcelona and Le Café de La Fontaine in La Turbie just outside Monaco, are two such restaurants that tickled my palate and over the course of a meal revealed an essence of the chef and a story behind the cuisine I had sampled in ‘posh’ restaurants before but not appreciated in the same way.

In Barcelona the history of Can Cullertes transformed a simple meal into an exploration of another time. We were back in 1786 when it first opened and the warmth of the Spanish waiting staff made us feel as if we had been invited into another culture not just tourists taking up a table they wanted to turn over as quickly as possible.


Can culleretes Golding Group

While they are obviously popular enough for me to hear about them, they are still unspoiled by some of the glamour I found to be more prominent in a lot of the ‘Top’ restaurants I had visited in numerous cities around the world. Where it became clear the restaurant name or venue, that aspect of ‘being seen’ was much more important than the creativity of the chef or standard of cuisine.

“they are still unspoiled by some of the glamour I found to be more prominent in a lot of the ‘Top’ restaurants”

Having said that, while Le Cafe de La Fontaines is actually owned by Michelin starred Hostellerie Jérome, my passion for food was definitely elevated there. Me and my partner salivated over an absolutely beautiful menu (at a quarter of the price he serves it at across the road in his other restaurant) and talking to the staff (who knew every ingredient of every dish) his passion for food, produce and the art of presentation was inspiring and left me wanting more.
After leaving the delights of Moanco we popped down the road to St Tropez where I gave in to the glitz and glam and visited L’Oopera. The complete antithesis of the experiences I had had, however the food was not over shadowed by the art,the show and general psychedelic madness which is L’Opera. The sushi and sashimi were light, delicate and perfectly balanced so each element could be enjoyed without any one note being too over powering. Very impressed.

Sushi at L'opera Golding Group

Always one for the finer things in life it is novel to find myself intrigued and exhilarated by the experience of real Fine Dining.

So my mission is…to visit all 50 of the top restaurants around the world as decided by the Diners Club World. Slightly less old school in their approach than Michelin, so not all the restaurants lauded started off as world renowned, though after 14 years of awards, most are now ridiculously hard to book.
To this end, Golding Group will be reserving tables and planning trips to Japan, Brazil, China, Denmark, New York, Switzerland, London….you get the idea! Obviously all these destinations have more to offer than just the worlds best restaurants, ensuring opportunities to visit Ancient Wonders and seek out rare wildlife off the beaten track, as well as enjoy the luxury of the greatest cities in the world.

Before our first trip however, I took the chance to explore my own backyard. Living in Brighton, England I have the ancient Amberley Castle on my doorstep, a superbly atmospheric ruin with a fabulous kitchen.

Rustic very British creations from South African chef Connor Toomey, who after gaining experience across the UK, spent his last few years under Micheal Wignall.

Having learnt from one of the UK’s most respected chefs it is no wonder his expertise makes dining at Amberley a coveted treat.

Lunch at Amberley Castle

He really celebrates British produce and I found it worked well with the ambiance of the castle grounds as it was kept simple but each dish was finished to perfection. We enjoyed the Duck, Leek and Wood Pigeon.

If you already have a love of food and Fine Dining or if like me, you want to learn to hone your senses and palate…and make friends with key sommeliers around the world then watch this space.

Golding Group will be embarking on an epic adventure sampling the best food the world has to offer and you as a Golding Group member obviously have a seat at the table.

Fine Dining Dan

We will be documenting all our culinary adventures on Instagram @GoldingCuisine