What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
I remember being given a freshly bake brandy snap when I was four or five [and] I couldn’t believe how nice it was!
How do you balance the classic appeal of The Goring’s heritage with a contemporary menu in The Dining Room and your own creative flair?
We have kept the more popular elements of what The Goring has traditionally served, refined them and made them lighter, while introducing more modern dishes that sit alongside them on the menu.
As the chef who helped gain the restaurant its first Michelin Star, what does this achievement mean to you and the restaurant?
It means an awful lot to be recognised by an organisation whose opinion is still so highly regarded. We have many loyal returning guests here at The Goring and off the back of that the restaurant has always been successful, but rarely talked about in foodie type circles. We are not a new opening or offering an ultra-modern dining experience, so the fact that Michelin took it upon themselves to come to inspect us and take us seriously for what we are doing is a huge honour.
How have you evolved as a chef since you took over at The Dining Room at The Goring?
I now have to manage a much bigger team with much higher levels of business and to get consistency in that situation requires a very different approach—more planning and a lot of infrastructure.
How would you describe the atmosphere in The Dining Room’s kitchen?
Calm, busy, hardworking and a pleasant environment to work in.
What are some of your favourite dishes on the menu?
- Yorkshire grouse, smoked celeriac, bacon, walnut and grape.
- Roast halibut fillet, warm buttered crab, English peas, horseradish and preserved lemon.
- Milk chocolate ganache, salted peanut caramel, milk ice cream.
What has been the most memorable moment you’ve had at The Goring so far?
Cooking for Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino world champion professional boxer.
What do you think the biggest misconception about The Dining Room at The Goring is?
I think the biggest misconception is that The Goring Dining Room is slightly boring and old-fashioned, however I hope that by introducing more modern elements to the menu and building on a bigger team of chefs, this view is now a thing of the past.
Which restaurant would you most like to get a reservation at?
SaQuaNa in Honfleur Normandy.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in the kitchen?
Kitchens are always going to be hard environments, get used to it.
The Dining Room at The Goring, Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW