What have been up to recently cooking-wise?
As usual, I have been experimenting a lot with my ingredients and plating decisions. I am currently working on finding the perfect balance between proteins, carbs & sauces I choose to use.
Describe your culinary style…
I would describe my style as simple yet different. I always follow seasonality and cook with ingredients that are fresh and current. I respect the nature and so its appreciation can be seen in my presentation, shapes and plating. I experiment with curing, fermenting and preserving a lot. That said, I also respect French cuisine and its long-lasting techniques too, I integrate it into my own dishes.
What would you say was the main main focus/concept for the restaurant?
The main focus for INK was definitely food. That is why we chose minimalistic and modern interior for it. We wanted people to really concentrate on the food and to truly experience it. For me, it was always and still is about the different textures hidden in everyday’s products and ingredients. I can find 14 different textures in a simple beetroot and so my main goal was to share that vision with people.
What do you think has made the restaurant so successful over the last three years?
Hard work, creativity & being the idiot that I am. Truly believing that it is everything I have. Giving it my best and more every day.
What led to the decision to close Ink?
Circumstances. In the world, Europe mainly. Mostly in my head though. Feeling caged with my new ideas and not being able to develop them due to the mentioned circumstances.
Were there any doubts about making the move?
Definitely. INK was, still is and will always be my first step into this wide world of gastronomy that is so fast-pasted and exciting. I feel that I stood by its name and given it my best. I exposed myself to this different world with it and made my first statement. I have grown as a chef and as a human-being so much since opening INK though that I do not think there could be a better time to end one journey than now.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
Coming from nowhere and learning about the culinary world first hand, I would have to say that the best part about it all is the community – amazing fellow chefs, ability to travel and, of course, the clients coming from all over the world to experience something you create. When two people trust you and what you do enough to get engaged whilst eating your food, well, that is something else.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
If I could go back in time, I would not change a thing. I feel ecstatic about the journey that I have been through already. If I changed even the smallest bit about it, I would not be the man I am today. I am full of gratitude and I still have so many things to achieve.
What’s next for you/ What projects do you have lined up?
The steps that I am taking for at least a few months now are simple – my goal is to get my head together again. Running your own business can get hectic and so what I would really like to concentrate on for some time now is just being a chef. In the long run? A solid, even more down-to-earth and creative project with a new concept for all the people who enjoy my cooking and creativity. But do follow me on Instagram in the meantime because that space is about to get busy again!
Find out more about Martyn’s culinary career