Last week, GQ Magazine hosted its eighth annual Food & Drink Awards presented by Veuve Clicquot (April 27), announcing the winners of hospitality favorites, with a record number of votes from the public. Held at Decimo at The Standard in King’s Cross, industry titans gathered to celebrate the winners.
The judging panel includes experts from the hospitality, interiors, media and food and drink sectors, including Adam Baidawi (head of editorial content at British GQ), chefs Paul Ainsworth (chef patron Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 and former Best Chef and Best Pub award winner), Tom Kerridge and Junior Bake Off presenter and writer Ravneet Gill.
London-based restaurants and hospitality titans brought home 13 of 16 awards distributed, including Gordon Ker, who won Best Restaurateur for his work at the London chophouse chain, black lock. Paul Ainsworth praised the meaty empire for its “consistency, quality and affordability”.
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Meat takes center stage at Blacklock (obviously), with the goal of always “serving the best meat our beautiful country has to offer while being kind to your wallet.” Paul continued, “Sustainability and community are paramount, Ker’s commitment to B Corp status [a certificate of standards and business transparency] proves that passion and purpose are valued above profit.
Gordon’s goal? Make Blacklock like a traditional London Chophouse, which came to the city in the 1690s. The places served individual portions of meat, called chops, and were normally only open to men.
This traditional way of serving meat comes in the form of “lean chops” of lamb cutlet and T-bone, pork loin, rib or brisket and beef rump. But if you’re looking for something more potent, the restaurant serves four different cuts of steak (Denver, Rump Fillet, Rump Cap, and Sixth Rib Eye).
They’re also known for their iconic Dizzying Roast Dinners (which they claim are “almost as good as Mom’s”), where patrons can get their hands on the “All In.” Of course, this is one for the sharers where a mix of 55-day-aged beef rump, 28-day-aged lamb and 21-day-aged pork loin is served with pudding, roast potatoes duck fat, a selection of seasonal vegetables and a “without pity”. ” amount of Blacklock sauce. And if that’s not enough, you can treat yourself to a mashed cauliflower and celeriac with four cheeses.
Their produce is supplied by Matt Chatfield and father and son, Philip and Ian Warren, the latter of whom are Cornwall’s oldest third generation farmers and butchers. Blacklock also works with Ecological, planting trees in the UK and across Africa to “support the regeneration of wildlife habitats”. Since partnering, Blacklock has planted 178,126 trees and offset 35 tonnes of carbon reduction.
While you indulge in the meaty delicacies of the chophouse, you might spot their cocktail cart rolling around the gaffe. Enjoy a Negroni or old-fashioned served at the table just for you.
If you’re looking to venture into any of Blacklock’s joints, you’ll find them in Soho, the City, Shoreditch and their newest opening, Covent Garden. All four locations were open over a seven-year period, with Gordon’s last spot opening in February 2022.
Other winners of the GQ Food & Drinks Awards include Indian restaurant BiBi (Best Restaurant), the Belvedere Best Bar award went to SOMA in Soho and Angela Harnett (Murano, Mayfair) received the Lifetime Achievement award.
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GQ Food & Drink Award Winners:
- Best restaurant – BiBi
- Best Chef – Clare Smyth – London Based Chef
- Best Bar in Belvedere – SOMA
- Best Breakthrough – Imad’s Syrian Cuisine
- Best Interior – Red Room at The Connaught
- Best Bartender – Maxim Schulte
- Best Restaurateur – Gordon Ker for Blacklock
- Sustainability Award – Fallow
- Best Sommelier – Henna Zinzuwadia in Akoko
- Best House Facade – Emma Underwood at Pem
- Best Overall Experience – Hélène Darroze at Connaught
- Best Hotel – Callow Hall, Peak District
- Best Pub – The Lamb Inn, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire
- Veuve Clicquot Innovator – Lorraine Copes for Be Inclusive Hospitality
- Special Editor’s Award – Fergus and Margot Henderson
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Angela Harnett
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