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About the book
  • Published: 3 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9781783522439
  • Imprint: Unbound Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

On the Menu

The World’s Favourite Piece of Paper

Formats & editions

An exploration of the history and influence of the menu, featuring 80 iconic menus of note from around the world.

Featuring interviews with world-renowned chefs Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana), René Redzepi (Noma), Michel Roux Jr (Le Gavroche), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), Daniel Boulud (Bar Boulud), Ruth Rogers (The River Café) and many more. In this book they reveal how they decide what food to serve and what inspires them to write their menus.

In this much-anticipated book, Nicholas Lander, restaurant critic and author of The Art of the Restaurateur, rejoices in the history, design and evolution of the world’s favourite piece of paper: the menu.
On the Menu presents over 100 stunning, full-colour reproductions of menus – some at the cutting edge of contemporary culinary innovation, and others that are relics from another time: the last menu from The French House Dining Room before Fergus Henderson departed for St John; and the final menu from Ferran Adrià’s three Michelin-starred elBulli in Spain.

From the classic to the innovative: a Christmas menu served during the siege of Paris in 1870, which featured rats and zoo animals; the wittily illustrated menu at Quo Vadis in London, which gave the restaurant a new lease of life; and many, many more.

Between the reproductions, Lander examines the principles of menu design and layout; the evolution of wine and cocktail lists; the menu as a record of the past; and he even takes us behind the scenes at Mario Batali’s Babbo, to sit in as the staff are briefed on the evening’s menu.

These are truly pages to drool over.

  • Pub date: 3 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9781783522439
  • Imprint: Unbound Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Nicholas Lander

Nicholas Lander is an acclaimed food industry veteran who has worked as a restaurant critic, commodity trader and a restaurateur. For the past 25 years he has reviewed restaurants and menus from around the world for his weekly restaurant column in the Financial Times.

He wrote, priced and edited the menus at L’Escargot in London, where he was among the first to write menus in English and to change the menus according to the seasons. His first book, The Art of the Restaurateur (Phaidon 2012), profiled 20 of the world’s best restaurateurs and was named a Book of The Year by The Economist.

Praise for On the Menu

“This collection of menus from some of the world's greatest restaurants offers an insider's view of how such places work.”

Best Food Books of 2016, Observer Food Monthly

“An expertly curated collection of menus from leading restaurants around the globe, sumptuously presented in a coffee table format”

The Buyer

“Great for all foodies who enjoy ordering food as much as eating it.”


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