What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Earliest memories would be perfecting how to cook pasta at secondary school. Food Tech was the class I most looked forward to.
What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
Pierre Koffmann, he is incredibly knowledgeable and I am privileged to have been mentored by him. He has taught me skills that I use every day and without him I wouldn’t be where I am.
Describe your culinary style…
Modern European.I like to use a few simple ingredients that come together to produce a dish that has maximum flavour, looks great on the plate and also excites the customer.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for the menu at Launceston Place?
My main goal right now is to ensure that every person who dines at the restaurant has a memorable experience. We’ve got a great team here and as well as wonderful local support, I’d like Launceston Place to become a destination restaurant.
What do you think makes a restaurant or menu so successful?
A consistent menu, happy, fun and knowledgeable service and exceptional food.
Name one of your favourite dishes on the current menu and explain why…
My favourite dish on the menu is ‘Carrot, Lovage, Caraway and Yogurt’.For me the taste is big in flavour but the ingredients speak for themselves. I have used simple methods of cookery and have expanded on the presentation so the food looks pretty but each component is obvious to the eye.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Salt and black pepper.
What interesting trends and themes do you see happening in gastronomy?
There has been an enormous boom in the fine dining scene recently. Chefs are now looking more specifically at the ingredients used and in essence, the food has simplified.As a chef, I always strive to work with the freshest of ingredients and maximise it’s potential.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
I think most memorable would be opening a new restaurant and then winning Evening Standard’s Restaurant of the Year in 2016 when I took on my first Head Chef role at The Woodford.
What’s next for you/what projects do you have lined up?
My main priority is to ensure Launceston Place is a success and continues to deliver consistently. I’d eventually like to do some more television work and down the line I wouldn’t rule out sharing some of my recipes.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Raspberry and chocolate mini rolls or a Cherry Bakewell, depending on the day.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
The Ledbury – it looks incredible and I love what Brett Graham does, and his approach to cooking.
Find out more about Ben andthe cuisine atLaunceston Place here…
+44 20 7937 6912