Launceston Place in London was awarded a Michelin star just a year after your arrival in 2012. Describe the moment you first found out the great news…
At first, I didn’t believe the news. I think it took a good ten minutes for it to actually sink in. I kept thinking it was a wind up!
You worked at Michelin starred restaurant L’Ortolan in Reading before arriving in London. How does life as a chef in London compare to life as a chef in a restaurant outside the capital city?
Life at Whatley Manor had a great deal more balance than life here in London. I used to be able to run 10k in the afternoons in between shifts which was a great release from the kitchen. We also only used to open for dinner. Here at Launceston Place we do lunch as well so it’s an all round different ball game. The pace of business and life is just totally different. In London you have to travel either side of work, which eats into the day - in Wiltshire I cycled home in 10 minutes!
What’s the signature dish on Launceston Place’s menu at the moment?
To be honest, we don’t really have signature dishes [at Launceston Place]. We are still growing and the food evolves constantly. Popular dishes are the cévennne onions with cèpe marmalade and hare with red cabbage and baked potato.
Do you have a favourite British ingredient that you’re utilising in the kitchen at Launceston Place at the moment?
I’m lucky to work with some great suppliers and I’ve just got my hands on the very first shoots of wild garlic for our beef dish; they aren’t any more than 1 inch long. I love it when the weather turns towards spring as everything comes alive.
Describe your culinary style in three words…
Clean, approachable and flavourful
Do you have plans in the pipeline? Another star perhaps or a different award?
I think for Launceston Place the main focus is for it to keep growing and become a restaurant that has real longevity and a fantastic reputation, both in London and worldwide.
If not a chef, what else would you be doing right now?
Lead guitarist in a great band. [!]
If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world, just for one meal, where would it be and why?
I would fly to Laguiole in France for a visit at restaurant Maison Bras (formerly Michel Bras). It is the place that has stuck in my mind the most out of all the restaurants I’ve visited. The place, setting, people and food are all in perfect harmony…
If I couldn’t get a table there then I would go to Japan. The food scene is on fire over there.