What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Every year, I used to go for long walks in the forest with my grandma to get snails, mushrooms and berries, and then helped her to prepare everything for our family dinners.
What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
I think that inspiration is everywhere and most of the time, it’s found outside of the kitchen. Discovering new places, shopping, museums, books, every sort of art, is very inspiring. But the best for me is to be in contact with nature and practice running and hiking. Climbing mountains is feeding my soul, and it is where I feel at home and very inspired. When you leave for a long journey in mountains – on an empty stomach! – you are discovering the beauty of everything around you. Then, when I come back home I draw, and often start the first steps of a new dish. Being creative is not my hobby – it is my way of life.
Describe your culinary style…
My culinary style is modern French cuisine using different techniques and flavours inspired by my international background.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at Célesteat the Lanesborough?
The main concept at Céleste is really to use the best of British ingredients. It is imperative to work with local products and seasons.
How did you feel when the news was announced that Célestehad one its first Michelin star this year, only one year after opening?
It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. I feel very proud mostly for my team. An opening is never easy, so this is an amazing achievement for all of us.
What do you think makes a restaurant or menu sosuccessful?
Consistency and quality on daily basis, a regular change in the menu in using seasonal products, understanding the Londoners’ expectations, and providing a good balance between price and quality.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
The most indispensable ingredients are undoubtedly the vegetables. I enjoy cooking them and bringing a humble ingredient up to a different level, using different seasoning and cooking techniques.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?
For mecooking is giving a lot of myself; sharing my sensibility. Cooking is loving people. The aim is to offer my guests a cuisine full of emotion and memories. Making a dish memorable – its flavours and textures – can be hard to achieve. That is why it is so important for me to meet my guests during or at the end of the service.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
The first Michelin star! It is an important moment in a career and a first achievement for having worked so hard all these years.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
The best advice when you start your career in this world is to work with passion. “Love what you do; Do what you love!”
What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?
To keep the consistency and high standards at the Lanesborough, keep working hard, and get a second Michelin star for Céleste.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
Jiro in Tokyo.
Find out more about Florian Favario and Célesteat the Lanesborough here |www.lanesborough.com