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Gadgets

Essential tech for the modern restaurateur

Restaurateur Henry Dimbleby -- co-owner of the super-healthy fast-food chain Leon -- shares his favourite gadgets in our latest Three I Can't Live Without feature

This week we met up with Henry Dimbleby, co-owner of the super-healthy fast-food restaurant chain Leon, for our Three I Can't Live Without feature.

After a lifetime of chasing the tech dragon, Henry has developed an aversion to complexity. His three critical gadgets reflect this. He takes his trusty Nokia 6310 ("The s*** phone", as he calls it) with him everywhere. "I used to have one, and the battery lasted for three days of constant use. Then I got an upgrade, then another, and I got more and more games and ridiculous Internet s*** and the battery life went down and down. When it got below a day, I thought, 'This is ridiculous'." He tracked down the 6310 on eBay. "I'd recommend it to anyone who cares more about talking to their friends than downloading porn."

Henry also has a Cooking Thermo-Timer, a simple oven thermometer that tells you when your meat is at precisely the right temperature, so you can slow-cook it to succulent perfection. "I give it to people whenever I go to stay," says Henry. "I take a spare one with me. My mum bought me this one -- she's a cook." She's a bit more than that -- she's the food writer Josceline Dimbleby (his dad is the BBC presenter David Dimbleby).

Henry's final piece of tech simplicity is the IBM ThinkPad X41, a brutally robust computer that fared better than him in a recent bicycle crash. Despite this accident, it lets him snoop on other people's Wi-Fi and access his restaurants' tills wherever he is in the world -- a remarkably nimble use of modern business tech.

Read more from Henry and see more exclusive photos from the cosy Spitalfields branch of Leon in Three I Can't Live Without. Make sure you check out Leon, too -- the lemonade's delicious. -NH