Kitchen wake-up call for celebrity haunt

A top London restaurant famous for its celebrity clientele and lengthy waiting list has been told to clean up its act by council kitchen inspectors.

It emerged this week that the exclusive Chiltern Firehouse, which counts the likes of David Cameron, Bill Clinton, David Beckham and Kylie Minogue among its visitors, was only given two out of five stars by food health inspectors.

Officers found areas of the kitchen unclean, food had not been cooked to its own recommended safe levels and there were inadequate handwashing facilities for staff.

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Catering equipment misdemeanours included a ‘dirty’ service fridge, fryer, freezer and floor in the area which stores the kitchen’s dry food. Broken glass was also found on the shelves of the freezer.

Staff were reportedly unable to effectively wash their hands as there was no soap or hot water in the basins in the kitchen’s food preparation area, pastry preparation or grill station.

Westminster’s food safety manager James Armitage, told the Daily Mail: “When we inspected the Chiltern Firehouse kitchens, we found a number of areas that raised concern including cleanliness and the state of repair of various ceilings, walls and floor coverings. Also, several of the hand basins in the kitchen were lacking soap and hot water.”

A Chiltern Firehouse spokesman told the paper that improvements had been made since the inspection took place.

The spokesman said: “We are very proud of the restaurant at Chiltern Firehouse, and appreciate the tremendously supportive reviews it has received. The vast majority of the issues identified in the council report were related to the expansion of the kitchen and have already been rectified.

“We have requested a re-inspection and look forward to a significantly higher rating at the earliest opportunity.’

The restaurant opened earlier this year and is part of a hotel housed in the Grade II-listed former Marylebone Fire Station.

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