Icon: Stones & Sushi amazes at Maze in Mayfair
The chiselled man ahead has sideburns and neatly parted hair, he is dressed in a striped suit and tie, his head cocked and a thumb hooked purposefully in the pocket of a white waistcoat. Were it anyone else, it’s doubtful any of the eclectic guests in the busy bar would pause to stare but this is the legendary Mick Jagger, lead singer of The Rolling Stones, posing confidently in a mesmerising portrait by acclaimed photographer Terry O’Neill, eyes veiled with a defiance that challenges everyone to stop what they’re doing and gawk appreciatively.
Icon: Stones & Sushi is an extraordinary exhibition staged within the Sushi Bar of Gordon Ramsey’s Maze restaurant. The installation showcases O’Neill’s most compelling images of the band, in celebration of their return to Hyde Park for an outdoor concert on 5th July – 44 years to the day since they first played there. Notable shots include Keith Richards Shaving, backstage snaps of Mick Jagger and founder member Brian Jones (who passed away two days before the band’s Hyde Park debut), as well as an array of attitude-filled group poses ranging from a fly-on-the-wall look at the rockers arriving for rehearsals at the Donmar Warehouse to a powerful close-up staged at the entrance of St George’s Church in London’s Hanover Square.
O’Neill has been photographing British icons for over six decades and the cascade of luminaries eager to view his work is testimony to his calibre: the crowd includes socialites Guy Pelly and Henry Conway, musicians Diana Vickers and BLAKE, actors Elisabeth Hopper, Noa Bodner and Nabil Elouahabi, TV presenter Noelle Reno, and cookbook author Natasha Corrett.
Vying equally for attention is the open plan kitchen where chefs gracefully assemble a rainbow of ingredients into exceptionally delicious sushi: nigiri of marinated tuna and seared salmon belly are topped with Yuzo Miso and taste sublime. The Mackerel Sashimi with a crisp, wonton crepe and smooth Niri (seaweed) puree is salty and moreish. Skewers of soft cherry tomato, tender octopus and charred peppers are tangy yet smoky and a tray of colourful maki – California Roll, Spicy Tuna, Japanese Omelette and Salmon Tartare – make, in comparison, the pre-packed versions found in high street food chains seem like toxic waste.
Coordinated by A Space for Art, an organisation that pairs artists with unconventional or intriguing venues, there are a total of ten prints on display at Maze, with the option to buy limited edition copies. Coincidentally adorning an adjacent wall in Maze is a playful-looking Gordon Ramsey brandishing a kitchen knife. It’s not quite as suave as Mick Jagger’s portrait but it still warrants a viewing: the man is potentially serving the best sushi in town, and with the Icon exhibition decking the halls of his palace, Ramsey’s restaurant continues to a-MAZE.
Photo: Samir Hussein
To book a table at Maze, 10-13 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP, call 020 7107 0000 or visit here.