Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Best Emerging Chefs-England’ Category

20130417-103557.jpg

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: JUNYA YAMASAKI

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

I thought I’d come back later with another English chef, but circumstances have changed the schedule, so I complete a “Londoner trilogy” with the chef Junya Yamasaki. I know that many chefs already know very well Junya and Koya restaurant, I have heard only “good things” about him and his “small dishes” marked by simplicity and creativity.

It was during his art studies in Paris he began to cook, and it was under the teaching of Mr. Nomoto (Udon master) he learns the art of Udon noodle in Paris. Junya Yamasaki is a self-taught, but he made an “internship” with two of the most famous chefs of the moment, Magnus Nilsson (Fäviken Magasinet) and Dan Hunter (Royal Mail Hotel). In 2010, he opened with partners, Koya (London), a casual restaurant specializing in Udon noodle but quickly became a “must-go-to” for the “daily small plates” of chef Yamasaki.

But thanks to this interview, I discovered a creative chef in symbiosis with its products and very influenced by his japanese roots (Kansaï) and philosophy Shyojin Ryori. His “cuisine” is unlike any chef that I interviewed, except maybe 1-2 chef(s) from Australia/NZeland. A “cuisine” closer to the artistic improvisation and to the instinct of the chef, completely inspired by the products of certain suppliers. It may be a coincidence, but in the way, I think at chef Bertrand Grébaut (Septime). Just to illustrate, here are a few recent titles of his dishes: Nuka Fermented & Grilled Mackerel with Shiso Daïkon/Steamed Turnip in Dashi with Ramson Oil/Tofu, Chicory, Dandelion & Mustard Salad/Grilled & Hay Smoked Char.

Definitely a chef to follow for a long time!

_______________________________________________________________________

Q+A WITH JUNYA YAMASAKI (www.koya.co.uk):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?

JYamasaki– Our speciality is Udon noodle, but we also play a lot with daily changing/special black board/small plates Menu.

My “cuisine” is honest/natural/simple/minimal. Stylistically close to the popular and everyday home cooking, philosophically influenced by Zen and Shyojin Ryori.

Seasonal ingredients are essential, then we try to find our products locally, therefore some of our food become strange for the Japaneses, but familiar to the Europeans, that could be a challenge for us and exciting for the customers.

2-(Scoffier) Where did you learn to make the udon noodles/dishes?

JYamasaki– In Paris, under the Udon master Mr. Nomoto at famous Udon noodle restaurant called “Kunitoraya”.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

JYamasaki– I’m from Kansaï, West side of Japan, which is famous for light seasoning. I love the tastes of fish caught and grilled by the river and I love the smell and taste of ripe tomato just picked from tomato plants.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

JYamasaki– I like pickling the part of vegetable we normally throw away like turnip green and use it for seasoning. I also love the English game in general which I perceive like a true luxury.

5-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your career?

JYamasakiFergus Henderson, Rosanjin Kitaoji as chef and some Zen monks (past and present) in Japan.

6-(Scoffier) Koya specializes in the classic udon dishes but you have a great reputation for your “daily small plates”? How do you develop (creative process) your daily menu?

JYamasaki– Very simple. First, I get fresh and local seasonal ingredients and then wonder what can I do with these ingredients today. It is the fresh ingredients that dictates our “small plates menu” everyday. I try to be open to all cooking methods but I also try to listen to the “voice of nature” and to the precious gifts and tellings of great predecessors and precious thinkers.

7-(Scoffier) Initially it was only udon restaurant, how daily specials meals arrived in the menu?

JYamasaki– True, but we had this in our mind before we opened the restaurant. We knew we have to enjoy cooking, not just do the same food to feed everyday, and this is the best way to do.The more we do, the more we have learned things, that is actually so exciting. That’s also why I want to do a “daily changing menu”. The literal meaning of Shyojin Ryori ( Zen Monk’s food ) is “make effort to progress everyday”.

I learned enormous amount of stuff in past three years, from both Japanese and European cooking, on the history of food and, it’s funny, I had to learn a lot about my own culture and heritage. Never thought about Zen aspect for example.

8-(Scoffier) Is this one of the aims to offer kaiseki-style meals in the future?

JYamasaki– It doesn’t have an aim to offer kaiseki, though kaiseki has a root to Zen and Shojin Ryori. It is just fascinating “cuisine”, vegan but full of understanding of food, creativity and the life.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Junya Yamasaki?

JYamasakiRecipe: Stout and Honey Pork Belly

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for Koya?

JYamasakiContinue feeding the people with nice food of course, and at the same time I always want to learn more about the meaning and esthetic of eating.

20130422-120457.jpg

RECIPE: Stout and Honey Pork Belly
(Photo not available. The daily menu changes too often)

In KOYA, we have been serving “Braised Pork Belly with Apple Cider” from the day one, and it has been the biggest seller as a small plate menu. It is so addictive that I call it Pork Brownie. This version is the recipe that I came up with when I discovered fantastic local dark beers and honey in Faviken during a few weeks stage there. I cooked it as a staff meal on my last day together with “Rain Deer Dashi” Udon. And ever since, I put on our special black board menu sometimes. I even did with chocolate stout and orange as an half joke, but it was seriously good!

Ingredients

-Pork belly (The amount you need)
-Braising sauce mix:
water 500ml
stout 300ml
honey 150ml
-Ginger
-Onions

1) Cut the belly pork into big brick size, or buy the bricks of pork belly. Sear them all around in hot frying pan.

2) Boil them with medium strong heat in water for about 1,5 hours (this is to render the fat and leave only collagen in belly). Let them cool down till the room temperature in the boiled water and keep in the fridge. The water will be set like jelly and the belly meat will be kept in it easily for a week if it is properly refridgerated.

3) Take the amount of belly blocks as you want to cook from it. In Koya, we cook quite a lot everyday, but at home you can accommodate with the size of casserole that you have. Cut them into chunk of cubs (3-4 cm) and layout in your casserole. Do not lay one on top of the other.

4) Cover the belly with the braising sauce mix with some ginger and whole small onions, then braised with medium heat till the sauce gets reduced and get the silky texture. It will usually take around 2 to 3 hours.

5) Serve with hot mustard.

FURTHER INFORMATION

KOYA/Chef Junya Yamasaki
49 Frith Street
London W1D 4SG
info@koya.co.uk

PRESS

1. Observer Food Monthly Awards 2012

2. The Skinny Bib (Review), Oct. 2010

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

20130301-105835.jpg

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: TOM SELLERS

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

Normally, I do not like using words like amazing, wunderkind, or repeat some “clichés” heard many times, but the Nottingham-born Tom Sellers is one of those extremely talented young chef who at 25 years, has already opened his first restaurant. And not a restaurant in the countryside with a few clients per day, a restaurant in London!

Looks like Tom Sellers’s path has been continuous and flawless. He started very young, he worked for Tom Aikens and he makes passes at Per Se (Thomas Keller), Trinity (Adam Byatt) and Noma (René Redzepi). In 2011, he tested its “cuisine” and concept by launching a pop-up restaurant “Forward” and now in 2013, he open the highly anticipated “Restaurant Story”.

I am convinced that his style evolves, to refine, but we can already see in Tom Sellers a cuisine rooted in British “terroir”, highly personal and creative. There is certainly an influence of Noma in “this complexity of simple appearances,” where each dish, each product has a few things to tell.

As Corneille said: “Aux âmes bien nées. la valeur n’attend point le nombre des années”.

A “Story” to follow…

__________________________________________________________________________

Q+A WITH TOM SELLERS (www.restaurantstory.co.uk ):

1-(Scoffier) What is the philosophy behind your “cuisine” in general and at “Story” particular?

TSellers– My food is British, seasonal and driven by history. Telling a story through food and the influences that food has had on my life is important to me. I have found myself in food and my own style, which isn’t over-worked or over-influenced by anyone in particular. It is me on a plate.

2-(Scoffier) How do you explain the concept behind your new restaurant “Story”?

TSellers– I always wanted to call my own restaurant Story since I started cooking and that has never changed. Food, eating and ingredients all have a story to tell, and it was on that basis the concept came about

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

TSellersBurnt onions from eating hot dogs at the fairground. That flavour is one of the strongest childhood memories I have of food and eating.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

TSellers– I use whatever is seasonal and the best of British. We have so many fantastic ingredients at our fingertips in the UK and I’m lucky to be working with some great suppliers. I’ll call up and they’ll tell me about something amazing and I have to find a way to use it. I’m also a big believer in seeing where your produce comes from and taking the team along to see as well. I’ll be doing this with the kitchen team at Story so they too can better understand the food chain and meet our producers

5-(Scoffier) You worked for chef Tom Aikens, at Per Se, at Noma and with chef Adam Byatt (Trinity). What you learned at these restaurants?

TSellers– So much. Firstly, how to cook and what it takes to work in a professional kitchen. Then I learnt how to manage and organise not only myself but others. I learnt how to get the best out of myself and the people around me and how to get the best out of flavours and ingredients. Finally, I learnt how to look at food differently.

6-(Scoffier) Is there any other people who inspired you in the kitchen?

TSellers– The other chefs I have worked with have all given me inspiration. But inspiration also comes from all sorts of unexpected places, not just the places I’ve worked at.

7-(Scoffier) How do you develop (process) your recipes? What are your source(s) of inspiration?

TSellers– I look to the history of food, things that are iconically British; what is amazing that season; and incorporating flavours and ingredients I love, for example gin. The recipes are developed over time and through testing, there isn’t really a short-cut.

8-(Scoffier) I had the chance to interview several talented young English chefs, the restaurant scene looks very dynamic, creative, original. But is it easy to open a restaurant in London now? Your pop-up “Foreword” was a necessary step?

TSellers– It’s not easy to open a restaurant in London at all. There are too many moving parts, it isn’t just down to me, my food and what I think is right. Finding the right site, surrounding yourself with the right people and constantly pushing forward all the time is the only way to keep it moving. Of course there are set backs, but I’m focused on the goal of opening, then the real work starts. The pop up was a necessary step, a shop window if you like for Story. I’ve had a great career and worked in some fantastic places but it’s always been cooking other people’s food. Foreword allowed me to cook my own food and the response was both massively encouraging and humbling.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Tom Sellers?

TSellersRecipe: Bread and dripping: a candle made from beef fat that runs into an old fashioned candle well. Then home-made bread used to dip into the fat and mop it up with.

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef (maybe a book…) and for your restaurant?

TSellers– My goal is to have a restaurant that people are proud to work at and proud to come to. That’s it!

_____________________________________________________________________

NOTE: For once, there will be no recipe because the restaurant will open in April. In the meantime, here is the menu:

MENU -STORY-

Six course – £45
Bread and dripping
Burnt onion, apple, gin and thyme
Scallops, cucumber, and dill ash
Beef cheek, stout and cauliflower yeast
Hot toddy
Bread and butter pudding

Ten course – £65
Bread and dripping
Burnt onion, apple, gin and thyme
Scallops, cucumber and dill ash
Crab, smoked leek, rapeseed, pear and lovage
Heritage potato, radish butter and barley grass
Lamb bread, sheep yoghurt, wild garlic
Beef cheek, stout, and cauliflower yeast
Hot toddy
3 bears porridge
Bread and butter pudding

20130306-102016.jpg

FURTHER INFORMATION

RESTAURANT STORY/Chef-owner Tom Sellers
201 Tooley Street
London SE1 2UE
dine@restaurantstory.co.uk

PRESS

1. Big Hospitality, January 8th, 2013

2. Pop-up/New York (Video by Libby Andrews), April 2012

3. The Telegraph (Review), June 4, 2013

Credits at Ed Tyler for the photographs.

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

Read Full Post »

20130131-124534.jpg

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: JAMES KNAPPETT

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

To start 2013, I discussed with excellent English chef James Knappett happens to us with a concept a few different, Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs.

After working like Head chef for Marcus Wareing (at the Berkeley) and passages at The Ledbury, Per Se and Noma, chef Knappett returned to its lands to open Bubbledogs & Kitchen Table. It is still unusual to find the “gourmet hot dogs” paired with a Champagne bar, with bonus “The Chef’s Table (19 seats)” behind it!

Beyond the very interesting idea of ​​Bubbledogs, there is The Kitchen Table, the playground of the chef Knappett. A place where the chef can create and serve a “Tasting menu (11-12 courses)” that put out the best products of the season. A bit like Christian Puglisi (Relae) but in its own way, chef Knappett often works with 4 ingredients or less to showcase perfectly the product, its color, its essence.

This restaurant is more than just a “concept”, it is a chance to see a “maître-artisan” maximize the flavors front us; finesse and originality!

Q+A WITH JAMES KNAPPETT (www.bubbledogs.co.uk ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your “cuisine”?

JKnappett– At Kitchen Table our philosophy is to showcase the ingredients by only using 1-4 ingredients on a plate at the same time, and not turning their flavours into something which no longer resembles the original form. We like to use a lot of British ingredients, but do also vary these with foreign additions such as lemons, limes and mangos. We also use a lot of wild herbs, berries and weeds which we forage ourselves, and these play a big part in our cooking.


2-(Scoffier) How do you explain the idea behind your concept “Bubbledogs”, that you have created with your partner/wife Sandia Chang?

JKnappett– We wanted to open a wine bar that supported the growers in Champagne. We also wanted a Champagne bar that had no pretentiousness and glitz. Therefore, as a food option we wanted something humble and accessible to all ages and all social statures. We also wanted the public to receive and think of food and wine matching in a different and more open minded way…and Champagne goes with everything!

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

JKnappett– Dandelion and Burdock

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

JKnappett– I love liquorice and try to always have this on the menu; also yogurt plays a big part in our cooking.

5-(Scoffier) You worked for Marcus Wareing (The Berkeley) and did internships with several important chefs (Noma, Per Se, The Ledbury), what you learned at these restaurants? Is there any other people who inspired you in the kitchen?

JKnappett– Thomas Keller and René Redzepi played massive parts in my training – they taught me to show food and staff respect, and also the art of finesse.

6-(Scoffier) How do you develop (process) your recipes? What are your source(s) of inspiration?

JKnappett– I develop our recipes by involving the whole team; from the juniors to the seniors everybody is involved. Inspiration comes solely from the raw ingredients and it’s from these that we then build the dishes.

7-(Scoffier) Why the choice of a pairing (hotdogs) with champagne? Is there room for small producers in your Champagne list?

JKnappett– Sparkling wine is always a great and traditional match with oily and salty food such as caviar and charcuterie. So, why not hot dogs? Small producers are our speciality – our list features only grower Champagnes.

8-(Scoffier) I had the chance to interview several talented young English chefs, the restaurant scene looks very dynamic, creative, original. But is it easy to open a restaurant in London? There are advantages for a young chef?

JKnappett– I wouldn’t say it is easy to open a restaurant anywhere; London might have the advantage of a lot more people but the extra costs equal this out.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of James Knappett?

JKnappettRecipe: Pigeon

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for your restaurant?

JKnappett– Our goal at Bubbledogs is to cook food and serve drinks as best we can, and for both our guests and us to enjoy what we do. Awards etc. are lovely but as long as everyone’s enjoying themselves then it’s just a bonus to us.

RECIPE: Pigeon, Onions, Elderberry, Fresh Almond

20130208-183107.jpg

(Details of the recipe are not available)

FURTHER INFORMATION

KITCHEN TABLE at Bubbledogs/Chef-owner James Knappett
70 Charlotte St.
London W1T 4QG
info@bubbledogs.co.uk

PRESS

1. London Evening Standard, Review by Fay Maschler, Oct. 17, 2012
2. The Independant, Oct. 21, 2012
3. The Skinny Bib (Blog), June 16, 2012

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2013

Read Full Post »

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: OLLIE DABBOUS

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

Just open the restaurant Dabbous (with the mixologist Oskar Kinberg) has already received several accolades. It was written in the sky that this young chef with an impressive career would one day open his own restaurant.

Indeed, after starting with Raymond Blanc (Manoir aux Quat’Saisons) and worked with Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), Ollie Dabbous has done stints with influential chefs: Andoni Aduriz, Pascal Barbot, Heston Blumenthal, Wylie Dufresne, Pierre Gagnaire, René Redzepi. Before eventually becoming Head chef of Texture.

This is at Texture that has developed and refined a unique cuisine, pure, natural, elegant based on an undeniable sense of creativity. There are a lot of light and the research of flavors in her cuisine, just to see a dish now recognized as Fig Leaf Ice Cream or the recipe below Celeriac with Moscatel Grapes, Burnet, and Toasted Hazelnuts.

Despite a desire to be casual and unpretentious, he hides in Dabbous a great chef!

 

 

 

 

Q+A WITH OLLIE DABBOUS (www.dabbous.co.uk ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics? What is the concept behind Dabbous?

ODabbous– Simply to make the food taste as good as it possibly can, in the most restrained and natural way.

The restaurant and bar were always intended to be mutually conducive to a fun night out as opposed to just a meal out. We hope to offer stripped-down fine-dining, devoid of any pretension or ceremony, served in atmospheric surroundings by a friendly and enthusiastic front of house team. Nothing more, nothing less.

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

ODabbous– Feels like a long time ago now! I’ve always loved bananas and custard.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

ODabbous– Perilla, camomile, lemon verbena, acorn syrup, fig leaves, sea vegetables, virgin rapeseed oil, various teas, fennel pollen, grains and cereals, smoked butter.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires your cuisine?

ODabbous– Inspiration comes simply from the ingredients, then pursuing how to make them taste as good as they possibly can. Sometimes that takes a lot of work, sometimes very little.

5-(Scoffier) You have developed a unique signature at Texture and the restaurant has earned many accolades. What differentiates the cuisine of Dabbous to that of Texture?

ODabbous– Firstly, Texture is 100% Aggi’s creation, and I’m not taking any of the credit for what he and Xavier have achieved. That is their signature, though I hope I was of some help setting up the restaurant and laying the foundations of what is now a thriving establishment. I’m delighted to see them doing so well after what were initially hard times. They should both be very proud.

The cooking at Dabbous and Texture is very different, though we share many fundamental priorities: such as sourcing, clarity of flavour, lightness and seasonality.

6-(Scoffier) How do you develop your recipes for your Tasting menu? What are your source(s) of inspiration (Nature, team…)?

ODabbous– There are various ratios that always work for salt/fat/acid/sugar/starch, whatever you are making, which form the building blocks foéér my recipes. Then just persistent refinement and improvement until you are happy enough for the dish to leave the kitchen. I’ll never serve anything I haven’t eaten. Then should anyone not like it, that is their prerogative.

7-(Scoffier) Question of chef…. I look at your menu and I saw Beef tartar with Cigar oil, Whiskey & Rye. Everything is about balance, but (I am curious) how do you create your cigar oil and you balance it all?

ODabbous– This dish came from a desire to create a slower-building, earthier warmth than black pepper or horseradish give a tartar. We combine whisky, honey, virgin rapeseed oil and toasted cigar to create a seasoning that is at once nutty, smokey and earthy, with a warmth and spiciness from the whisky and cigar. The dish sounds bombastic but is actually far more subtle than it reads.

8-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Ollie Dabbous?

ODabbousRecipe: Celeriac with Moscatel Grapes, Burnet, and Toasted Hazelnuts

9-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others?

ODabbous– To have a steady team both front of house and in the kitchen that enjoy what they do and are proud to work there. You are only as good as the people you employ, and a working environment based on pride, not fear, underpins that. I’m lucky to have the team in place that I do; I just want to improve the working hours for everyone as it is overwhelming right now. That is my most immediate goal.

I don’t care for awards or accolades: as long as the customers have a good time and I am happy with the food I serve, then that is enough. This job is too hard to do forever. I’ll do this for a while then disappear and set up another business doing something completely different, though most likely design-based.

RECIPE: Celeriac with Moscatel Grapes, Burnet, and Toasted Hazelnuts
INGREDIENTS & PROGRESSION RECIPE
-1 Celeriac
-1 Lemon
-100g Extra virgin olive oil (fruity as opposed to peppery)
-50g Moscatel grapes
-5g Moscatel vinegar
-1/2 bun Salad burnet
-50g Toasted hazelnuts, lightly seasoned
-Salt
1. On a Japanese mandolin, cut fine lengths of the celeriac, as wide as possible, just 2mm thick.
2. Blanch for 10 seconds in simmering salted water (30g/1l) then refresh in salted ice water (30g/1l). Dry on a tea towel.
3. Juice the trimmings, bring to just under a boil to clarify, then pass through double muslin and chill over ice. Season very lightly with salt and lemon juice.
4. Halve the grapes, deseed, and add a single drop of moscatel vinegar to each half.
Assembly
1. Dress the celeriac sheets very lightly with salt, lemon and olive oil, then divide between 4 bowls, along with the grapes and hazelnuts. These elements must all be room temperature.
2. Top with burnet leaves, and pour in the chilled celeriac juice (ice cold).
(Incredibly simple, yet far more than the sum of its parts).
FURTHER INFORMATION
DABBOUS RESTAURANT & BAR/Chef-owner Ollie Dabbous
39 Whitfield Street
London (UK)
W1T 2SF
PRESS/LINKS
1. Review, The Independant, February 26, 2012
2. Fay Maschler/review, The Evening Standard, February 2, 2012
3. The Skinny Bib Blog (review), January 23, 2012
(Credits for the photos: Restaurant Dabbous)
Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2012

Read Full Post »

JamesLowe/©JLowe

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: JAMES LOWE

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

I had the pleasure to discuss with the other two members of the Young Turks (Isaac McHale, Ben Greeno) a past few months, and to finish off and complete the trio, I invite youto discover the excellent chef James Lowe.

In talking with James Lowe, I discovered an ‘’Électrons libres’’ (probably as McHale & Greeno) with a very simple philosophy, an iconoclast with strong opinions about ‘’sa cuisine’’ and the gastronomy in general. Some thought that the chefs develop after several years only.

Lowe’s cuisine is strongly influenced by his time as Head chef of St John Bread & Wine and his work with the chef Fergus Henderson, but also with its passage in the kitchens of Fat Duck and noma. He shares with Henderson the philosophy ”Nose to Tail’ and it is completely guided by market products, the British market’s of course!

Follow this chef, its events, its future restaurant because that will be for chefs like James Lowe that we will go to a restaurant in a few years: a simple cuisine, creative food, a strong personality and a social conscience in harmony with its environment.

 

 

 

Q+A WITH JAMES LOWE (www.youngturks.co ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?

JLowe- I would say that my food is a very commonsense’ in attitude, it’s heavily produce driven, quite pared back and uncomplicated. I like using British produce the majority of the time because I’m proud of being British and I honestly believe that we have not only some of the best, but also some of the most interesting produce in the world.

2-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your concept The Young Turks?

JLowe- With the Young Turks we wanted to draw attention to a new kind of British cooking, one that focused on our excellent native produce, brought vegetables to the fore and sought to be creative without being pretentious or complicated. We want to encourage collaboration and helpfulness and use it as a platform to share ideas as a way of moving forwards.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

JLowe- Well, my parents love telling everyone that ‘all I used to eat was bacon’, so I’m going to go with that. A bacon sandwich is certainly still one of my favourite things!

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

JLowe- I would say that there are certainly suppliers that I use often, I have specific farms that I buy pork, lamb and beef from. Then there are the suppliers that take on the ‘middleman’ role, these people are massively important since they are able to find and tell
you what is currently at its best. When it comes to foods I would say that it varies with the seasons. In winter I use all sorts of game and load my menus with it, whereas in the summer I do far more vegetables dishes.

5-(Scoffier) Do you share the philosophy of Fergus Henderson ‘’Nose to tail eating’’? Do you have another chefs or anybody else that inspires you in your cuisine?

JLowe- Absolutely, Fergus is brilliant, my first meal at St John was one of the things that made me want to be a chef.  I think ‘Nose
to Tail’
fits in with a common sense approach to foods, it’s very satisfying to break down an entire animal and fit all the parts into your menu in various ways. Heston (Blumenthal) has also been a huge inspiration, both in terms of eating at The Fat Duck before I started cooking, and talking about food and restaurants whilst working with him.

6-(Scoffier) I saw that you have strong opinions on the restoration and the cuisine, and it is a difficult business! How do you see your first restaurant: small, fine dining, several important partners?

JLowe- I’d like the style of the restaurant to be fairly similar to the food: pared back, unfussy and honest. The menu will be around £30 for four or five courses at dinner and more of a list menu at lunch that would allow people to snack or eat more quickly. I’m hoping that people will be as receptive to the idea of no choice in a restaurant environment as they are at one of our events. I also want to somehow recreate the vibe and atmosphere that we have at a Young Turks gig in the restaurant – it’ll be a real challenge to maintain that energy in a permanent location.

7-(Scoffier) How do you develop (your inspiration) your recipes and construct your menu with Isaac McHale for each event?

JLowe- Each time we plan event we look carefully at what produce is available at that time and then where can we get it from. Next, we look at where we’ll be working and what limitations that places on us. The inevitable restrictions are what make the menu writing
process for a temporary event so interesting. The food has to fit the venue and be feasible to pull off to our standard. As an example our last event was on a car park rooftop in a very small kitchen equipped with a small oven and a massive grill, so we based the food loosely on a Turkish Ocakbasi, but done in our way.

8-(Scoffier) I know you were in MAD event (August 2011), what have you learned? Before, have you been influenced by René Redzepi and the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto?

JLowe- The MAD symposium was very interesting, there were talks on plant neurobiology, agricultural policy and farming sustainability.  Combined with the energy of the people in attendance and some great meals in Copenhagen I think it would be hard not to come back inspired from the event.

I didn’t eat at noma on this last visit but I think René has certainly had an influence on me. I first ate there about six years ago and was amazed at the quality and type of produce that was on display, I felt that what he was doing in Copenhagen was definitely possible in the UK, surely the same sort of ingredients would be available over here? People are just so busy in the restaurant industry that it’s hard to stop, think and look around for alternative ways of doing things. I think that was also one of the goals of MAD – to make people stop and think about what they were doing, the consequences of their choices – and I’m sure most of us who were there have done.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized of your cuisine?

JLowe– Recipe: Raw forerib, oyster, elderberry capers and chickweed

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef or for The Young Turks? Do you think about write a book, a television show, an event outside of London?

JLowe- Personally, my main goal is to get my restaurant open, get cooking for people and to be busy. I’d like to do other things in the
future but for now I just need to get a site! As for the ‘Turks, we have invites and plans to do a few things outside of the UK including Australia with the TOYS crew, Sweden at Bastard restaurant and to cook in Paris, which I really hope we get round to sorting out because it would be great to take British food to these places.

RECIPE: Raw Forerib, Oyster, Elderberry Capers and Chickweed

RawForerib/©PaJorgensen

Ingredients & Progression Recipe

-400g Well marbled, aged forerib

-Dijon mustard

-Olive oil

-Unripe elderberries

-Coarse salt

-Cider vinegar

-3 native oysters

-150g vegetable oil

-Vinegar from elderberry capers

-Salt

-Beef dripping

-200g Sourdough

-Chickweed or wild watercress

Method

Beef

1. Separate the beef from the fat and connective tissue. Chop the beef fairly roughly into 5mm dice. Chop the fat into 2-3mm dice.

Elderberry capers

1. Pick the unripe elderberries after the blossom has fallen but before the branches (and obviously the fruit) turn red. Mix with twice the weight of coarse salt, cover and refrigerate for 2 weeks. Rinse the salt off the berries. Bring to the boil enough cider vinegar to cover the berries completely. Drop the berries into the pot, bring back to the boil and pour into preserving jars and seal.

 

Oyster emulsion

1. Open the oysters. Strain the liquid from the oysters and keep. Blend the oysters to a puree then add the oil at a slow rate (as if making
mayonnaise). Continue until the emulsion is very thick. Add some vinegar from the elderberry capers and salt to season.

To serve

1. Allow the beef to come up to room temperature (over 21C), add olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper to season. Place on the plate in a very shallow layer. Pour half the reserved oyster juice over the beef. Blitz the sourdough into crumbs and fry in the beef dripping until brown and crispy. Scatter these crumbs and the elderberry capers over the beef. Pipe blobs of the oyster emulsion evenly over the beef. Add a layer of chickweed or wild watercress tops.

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Young Turks/Chef James Lowe (London)

www.youngturks.co

PRESS REVIEW

1. A New Movement…, by Bruce Palling, WStreet Journal, April 2011

2. The Young Turks at Franks Cafe (Video), August 2011

3. Catch them if you can, by Nicholas Lander, Financial Times, April 2011

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2011

Read Full Post »

ChefPaulFoster/©PFoster

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: PAUL FOSTER

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality, but do not forget those who work in the countryside!

The rural Suffolk is the perfect place for Paul Foster to take the time to refine his cooking and develop a unique signature on the outside of London. In a short time, we can already say that he is actually doing the Tuddenham Mill (Boutique Hotel & Restaurant) a gastronomic destination in England.

Paul Foster completed his apprenticeship in famous restaurants (Le Manoir,WD-50, etc.) but it is truly as sous-chef at Sat Bains (his mentor) he learned the most and he developed his style. Foster’s cuisine is very personal, progressive and rooted in the British terroir (Suffolk country), and he is a fan of foraging. Certainly one of the best young English chefs of the moment and a perfect example of what Harold McGee said recently: ‘’Cooking is no longer national or traditional-it is now personal’’.

One of the chefs who will upsets the British cuisine in the coming years and Tuddenham Mill is (actually) in my Top -5- Fine dining in England!

 

 

Q+A WITH PAUL FOSTER (www.tuddenhammill.co.uk ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine at Tuddenham Mill and what is it main characteristics?

PFoster- The food is very natural and very British. My main focus is Purity of flavour. I look at every ingredient and think how can I best
extract it’s flavour. I don’t like manipulation of food, or dishes that are overworked. Like most chefs I am inspired by the greats but I leave it at
inspiration and never follow or copy trends. I always avoided the pointless ‘spheres’ ect. Things like that should be left to the people who do it really well. It is horrible to see concepts bastardised. I am happy to say I if you asked me to show you spherification then I wouldn’t know where to start, that should be left to places like el bulli as they do it very well.

2-(Scoffier) You are in the area of Suffolk. What are the benefits of working outside of London?

PFoster- When you are off the beaten track customers have to make a journey to dine with you. A journey brings with it different experiences and emotions. We have 15 stunning bedrooms, and 12 beautiful acres of land. Ultimately we want to make Tuddenham a food destination. But it is important to us that we give the guests that bit extra.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

PFoster- I grew up in pubs and one of the most memorable when I used to help my dad out in the cellar was malt, at the time I wasn’t aware of what it was, I just knew how good it smelt. It wasn’t till I started cooking and I smelt some malt extract It took me right back to childhood. I don’t use a huge amount in my cooking but I do make a malt bread which is now just over a year old and ageing very well indeed. The aroma when it is freshly baked is outstanding.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

PFoster- I cook with the seasons so certain items I won’t have on all year. I do have sea buckthorn on nearly all year round I am a huge fan of the native berry grown by the ocean.

5-(Scoffier) I had the chance to discuss with other talented chefs from England and several chefs talk to me of chef Sat Bains like an inspiration. You worked with him, is a mentor for you? What you have learned with him?

PFoster- A huge inspiration, his voice is always in my head. I use it as a tool to keep pushing myself. From Sat, as well as cooking techniques and philosophies I learned leadership, how to motivate and inspire people, and self discipline. Self discipline is very important in many ways
it’s about knowing when to stop if a dish is ready and not over working it. It is also about questioning everything you do, asking yourself is this good enough? Does it taste amazing? And if not you have to have the bollocks and discipline to start again.

6-(Scoffier) Foraging is very popular actually, you even organize days of foraging with *Miles Irving, a pioneer and expert in England. Why is it important in your cuisine?

PFoster- Foraging is huge at the moment, and it is very important to know what you are picking and using as there are some very deadly yet innocent looking plants out there. It is something I have always had an interest in. Right from the early days of just using wild garlic, plums, cherries, mushrooms, and nettles. I always wondered what else was out there to eat. Whilst at Sat Bains, I met Miles Irving and was impressed by his knowledge and passion. We worked with each other to giving advice on how we use the ingredients. After I had settled into Tuddenham Mill I organised a foraging walk with Miles and some of our customers. It was great to go on foot with Miles, his knowledge.

7-(Scoffier) How do you develop (your inspiration) your recipes and construct your Menu at Tuddenham Mill?

PFoster- The menus are gradually evolved. When an ingredient is coming into season, I will work on how to best extract it’s flavour the ingredients are celebrated on the menu untill the season starts to close all the time, I’m considering the replacements. I never switch off, I’m thinking of new dishes all the time, on holiday, when driving, when walking home from work after a long day, when I’m foraging and also when I’m sleepin

8-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from new technology (sous-vide etc.) in your cooking techniques? If yes, which?

PFoster- I use technology where it enhances or promotes the ingredient. I use waterbaths, paco jet, ect. but a lot of my techniques are traditional, salting, smoking, curing, most of my fish is cooked classically in a pan. There is no point using equipment for the sake of it or because it is new and a gimmick. When you have a true understanding of the ingredients you are using only then you can decide the best way to cook it.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Paul Foster and Tuddenham Mill?

PFoster- Recipe:Lamb rump and shoulder, Hogweed seed, Clams, Courgette, Yoghurt

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef or for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, others
restaurants?

PFoster- Owning my own restaurant is a massive ambition but a good grounding here at Tuddenham Mill is essential. I want to put the
tiny village of Tuddenham on the map. It is a great opportunity to make a name for myself and to boost the reputation of the Mill. A book is way off, I wouldn’t even consider that yet but would be amazing in the future.

RECIPE:  Lamb rump and shoulder, Hogweed seed, Clams, Courgette, Yoghurt

RecipeLamb/©PaulFoster

INGREDIENT & PROGRESSION RECIPE (Serves 4)

-2 lamb rumps

-1 lamb shoulder on the bone

-1 courgette

-1 lemon juiced

-4 pink fir apple potatoes

-200g palourde clams

-Teaspoon dried and ground hogweed seeds (foraged)

-100ml natural yoghurt

-200ml reduced brown chicken stock

-200g butter

-Salt

-Sunflower oil

1. Season the lamb shoulder and roast very slowly at 120C for 5 hours,
when cooked pull the meat off the bone, re-season and mix in around 100ml of
reduced brown chicken stock. Roll in cling film and refrigerate until needed.

2. Trim up the lamb rumps cut each into two vacuum pack and cook in
water bath at 56C for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Open up the clams over heat, chill and remove from the shells,
reserve in fridge until needed.

4. Slice the courgette length ways on a mandolin, season with sea salt
and a spoon of the lemon juice, leave in fridge for 1 hour.

5. Peel the pink fir potatoes place in a bag with 50g of the butter a
pinch salt and a pinch of hogweed seeds, vacuum pack and cook for 1 hour at 90C.

6. Brown 100g of the butter in a pan add a small amount of lemon juice
and 100ml of the chicken stock, keep warm.

7. When the lamb rump is cooked remove from the bag pat it dry and sear
the fat side in a pan with a spoon of the sunflower oil.

8. Warm the clams in the brown butter dressing, slice the shoulder and warm under the grill. Carve the lamb
rump, season the pink flesh with sea salt and a good pinch of ground hogweed seed.

9. Arrange the ingredients on the plate and spoon over the warm clams. Finish
with spoons of the natural yoghurt.

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

-Tuddenham Mill/Chef Paul Foster

High street

Tuddenham, Nr. NewMarket

Suffolk (UK)

IP28 6SQ

www.tuddenhammill.co.uk

www.paulfosterchef.com

PRESS/REVIEW

1. Review by Jay Rayner, The Observer (The Guardian), June 5th 2011

2. Acorn Award 2011-Paul Foster

3. Skinny Bib blog (Review), July 2011

3. Restaurant Sat Bains

4. Miles Irving, Forager company (UK)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2011

Read Full Post »

Chef Ben Greeno/© FoodsnobBlog

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: BEN GREENO

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a British style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality.

Ben Greeno is a young and very talented chef with a mixed background composed of internships at Noma (Redzepi),MR (Mads Reflund), Paul Cunningham (The Paul) and with his mentor from UK, Sat Bains. With this pedigree Greeno is certainly one of the best chefs who work in a Pop-up restaurant concept!

Indeed, Chef Ben Greeno has decided to start Tudor Road to perfect his style, to devote himself to his passion and set up the embryo of his future restaurant. In a small kitchen very simple, he concocts a market cuisine highlighting the best of British’s terroir with the clean side of Danish’s influences.

A constantly evolving style. We hope a restaurant with more than 10 seats in the future!

Now (November 2011), chef of Momofuku Seiobo and former co-founder of the Young Turks  (James Lowe, Isaac McHale).

 

Q+A WITH BEN GREENO (http://bengreeno.wordpress.com/ ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?

BGreeno- The philosophy of my cooking is based on using the best ingredients I can find and treating them with the respect they deserve. My food is light and clean and I want people to walk away from the table comfortably without the feeling of being stuffed.

Hamashidish/© Foodsnob Blog

2-(Scoffier) Tudor Road is your first restaurant or concept. Can you describe Tudor Road? And it is the embryo of your future restaurant in 2011?

BGreeno- Tudor Road is something I was encouraged to do by Nuno (Mendes) from The Loft Project (+Viajante) after I had spent the 5 weeks cooking there. The original idea behind the space was to use it as a platform for finding a backer for a restaurant of my own, now things are moving in that direction.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine?

BGreeno- In terms of mentors that would Sat Bains, I worked for him on and off over the last 9 years, he has been a massive influence on my cooking and way of thinking. I talk to him at least once a week, food, books or just general rubbish.

4-(Scoffier) I know that you have work with René Redzepi. Do you are part of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto? If yes, are you as strict (just local products) that René Redzepi in your recipes?

BGreeno- Working for René was a massive learning curve. I had a fantastic time during my time in Copenhagen. It feels like home for me. I’m not part of the Nordic Cuisine manifesto, I’m in East London so it’s a little difficult. I still go out every day and pick herbs and plants from the surrounding area I’m pretty sure that is something I will always do.

5-(Scoffier) How do you develop (your inspiration) your recipes and construct your menu (Tudor Road)?

BGreeno- Inspiration comes from the places I have worked, eating out. At the moment I am eating a lot of Asian food and reading about that cuisine too, so the odd little influence is creeping in but nothing too strong, just as background flavors.

6-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces?

BGreeno- I pick all my products myself, I’m very lucky in only having to cook for 10 guests every night I have time to go to the market and talk to the guys with the produce. My friend Isaac (McHale) helps out with supplies too working with the guys from Chegworth on growing vegetables.

7-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from molecular gastronomy or new technology in your cooking techniques? If yes, which?

BGreeno- I’m using a water bath for the low temp cooking but no molecular technique.

8-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Ben Greeno?

BGreeno- Recipe: Chicken + Hen Eggs

9-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as chef or for your future restaurant (your concept)?

BGreeno- The short term goal is doing the kind of food I’m doing but for more people in a proper restaurant! Next year is looking pretty exciting we will see where that takes me.

 

RECIPE: Chicken + Hen Eggs

  

Ingredients & Progression Recipe

-4 hen eggs slow cooked at 64 degrees for 60 minutes

-8 chicken hearts

-8 chicken wings

-4 pickled walnuts

-4 pieces of chicken skin

-8 chicken gizzards

-200g chicken glaze

-20g pickled elderberries

-Mushrooms

-500ml chicken stock

-50g butter

-Crispy bread

-Salt and pepper

1. Braise the chicken wings in the stock and half the butter for approx 45 minutes at 160 until tender, leave to cool until you can handle them and pull the bones out carefully. Set aside.

2. Bake the chicken skin for 25 min. at 180, until crispy.

3. Boil the gizzards for 15 minutes so they soften and trim the bottoms off the hearts.

4. Slice the pickled walnuts into 3.

5. To serve, re-heat the chicken wings in a little of the stock, melt the butter in a frying pan, when it is foaming add the hearts and gizzards and mushrooms, cook for about 2-3 minutes until golden, melt the chicken glaze add the elderberries.

6. Place the walnut, wings, gizzards, heart and mushrooms in the middle of a deep bowl, add the egg on top, sauce the dish with the chicken glaze then add on the chicken skin and crispy skin.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

-Momofuku Seiobo/Chef Ben Greeno

Level G, The Star

80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont

NSW 2009

http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/seiobo/bios/

http://bengreeno.wordpress.com/

 

-Event(s):

1. Young Turks Dinner, The Hempel Hotel, Sunday 19 December 2010, http://youngturksblog.com/

2. The Loft Project, February 3, 2010, http://www.theloftproject.co.uk/news/

 

Review(s):

1. (Review) Momofuku Seiobo by Terry Durack, Nov. 8 2011

2. Gourmet Traveller blogOctober 4, 2010, http://gourmettraveller.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/tudor-road/

3. London’s Pop-Up Restaurants… by Oliver Strand, NY Times, October 5, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/dining/06london.html

 

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2011

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »