FOURty seconds with Lee Westcott

22 Dec 2014
2 min read
Head chef of London’s fine dining restaurant Typing Room tells FOUR all about his life in food…

Describe the moment you first decided to become a chef

I never set out to become a chef at the start. I started at the bottom of the ladder, washing dishes as most chefs do. Then rather quickly ended up getting excited of the prospect of cooking and becoming one of the ‘chefs’. From then on I found it was all I thought about and it went from there really.

What was it like staging at Noma and Per se?

Both were incredibly valuable experiences. Noma is in a class of its own where you learn not only to value your ingredients more than anywhere else that I’ve worked but to look at cooking with a whole new perspective. Per se is very military in some ways. You learn a different level of self-discipline. The food is impeccable and I think it relates to the way the kitchen is organized and run. Both very valuable experiences in different ways.

How would you describe your culinary style?

British, seasonal & honest.

Who/what is your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration at the moment is all the chefs of this era in London at the moment that continue to put London on the map as one of the best culinary cities in the world. The scene here is becoming incredibly exciting.

You’re currently heading up the Typing Room restaurant at Town Hall Hotel in London. What kind of experience do you aim to give your guests?

One that they want to experience again & again. I want the guests to feel comfortable that they could sit in the dining room for hours on end without it feeling over-bearing. We offer a fine dining experience here, but without the pretentiousness. Who wouldn’t enjoy a meal while listening to The Doors in the background?!

Name five ingredients you couldn’t live without and why…

Cauliflower – So versatile. So many things you can do with just a cauliflower.

Oysters – Such a unique flavor. The natural saltiness is amazing.

Chocolate – Who doesn’t love chocolate?!

Mint – Probably the most refreshing herb around.

Peas – They aren’t around for too long, but when they are, they are simply best eaten raw!

If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world just for one meal where would it be and why?

At the moment I’d be jumping on a flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil to eat at D.O.M. Only heard, seen & read incredible things.

Or if all flights had been cancelled to anywhere in the world, I’d jump on the tube and go eat at the Ledbury.

The Typing Room

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments

Mr & Mrs Smith