Tell us about the move for The New Angel and what it means for the restaurant…
This move is essential for the growth of the restaurant, although only moments away from the previous location, the new premises are going to be bigger and better. We will have spaces for private dining, a proper reception area, a larger bar area and also hopefully an outside space for customers to enjoy during the warmer months. We will also have a much bigger kitchen, which means that I will finally have the space to execute all of the ideas I have been creating over the last few years whilst I have been away from a restaurant kitchen. It’s going to be pretty special!
What can guests expect at The New Angel?
The style of the restaurant and food will still be the same, but diners will be able to enjoy much more flexibility, for example they will be able to use our private dining spaces for functions, corporate events and celebrations. These private dining rooms are also going to have a really creative feel to them. Our larger bar area will also mean that it’s easier for customers to come in just for a drink if they want to, as it will be much more of a bar in its own right.
Have you decided on the menu?
The menu will be determined by the seasons, as it was before. So, what’s in season when we open at the end of September is what will go on to the menu. I will also be bringing some new and exciting ideas into the mix as well, that have been inspired by restaurants I have visited in France, now that I will have the space to properly execute them in my new kitchen. I will also be incorporating the elements that our customers love, which I now have a very good understating of from the year that we were open at our previous location.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
I visit France at least twice a year and these holidays are always a combination of driving and trying new restaurants and hotels and seeing what chefs over there are doing. I am completely in love with France and so I would say that this has a very significant influence over my cooking. In terms of other chefs who have inspired me, Raymond Blanc has been the most influential. I love his enthusiasm and I worked for him for quite a few years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Living, eating and enjoying food in Singapore. I was born there and lived there until I was 8. I remember, when I was 8, telling my mum that I was going to be a chef when I saw a chef wearing his big chef’s hat. I was lucky to spend my early years in Singapore, it was such a fabulous place to eat and it’s even better now.
Describe how you see your own culinary style and how it has evolved over the years…
Having worked in France there is always a French influence to my food. Equally, I have a very classic background. The fact is though that for me, a classic background is fine as a basis, but it’s essential to keep moving on with the way food and dining evolves. Nowadays I present my food differently and I also have a different approach to ingredients, which of course are the most important element to compiling dish. I am not a fan of any techniques or trends that involve adding chemicals, I am not that type of chef. I strongly believe that food needs to be as natural as possible and that there really is no substitute for ingredients that are completely in season.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Olive oil, garlic, onions and fresh herbs. I would also be pretty lost without chocolate!
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
There have been lots, but I think that my biggest accolade was receiving Michelin stars across three of my own restaurants.
What’s next for you?
I want to carry on establishing The New Angel as a premiere restaurant in London. We had an amazing start during our first year of opening and we have built up a really lovely local clientele base. Now though, with these bigger premises, I want to really showcase exactly what I and the team can do. I want The New Angel to become a destination restaurant and for word to spread far and wide across London and beyond.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
Alain Ducasseà l’Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Find our more about John and The New Angel here |www.thenewangel-nh.co.uk