Favourite Tables

Author Archives:

Awards_Main

Favourite Tables Top Ten Restaurants

Posted on

The Favourite Tables Top Ten Restaurants from the last twelve months has been compiled from the number of visits to the restaurant’s page on the Favourite Tables website. This was then weighed against the social marketplace of active “Facebook” likes. More weight was given to restaurants with the most recent new likes on Facebook.

Unlike some other “lists” which are compiled from single “Food Experts” comments or the hit and miss “drive-by” reviews some “Travel” websites favour, the Favourite Tables list has been formed from analysing the locations that were most popular with ordinary people using the website to find great places to eat. With the restaurant’s social media activity across Facebook, where real people “like” a restaurant because they genuinely had a good experience and Twitter for follows and re-tweets were added as a rating.

The cumulative total creates a list of the most popular and best-loved restaurants: 


Topping the list is the very popular – Adams Restaurant in Birmingham

Head Chef: Tom Shepherd’s recent Interview with Chef’s Table HERE

Tom Shepherd Profile Adams_001

 

 

The Top Ten UK Places People Have Wanted To Eat At:

 

1) Adams Restaurant – Birmingham   Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 14.43.03

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/adams/)

Position Last Year – 03

2) Ynyshir – North Wales

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/ynyshir/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – Highest New Entry

3) Romulo Cafe – London

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/romulo-london/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – New Entry

4) The Dining Room at Chewton Glen – Hampshire

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/dining-room-chewton-glen/)

Position Last Year – New Entry

5) 64 Degrees – Brighton

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/64-degrees/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – 01

6) Lympstone Manor – Exmouth Devon

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/lympstone-manor/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – 04

7) The Old Downton Lodge – Ludlow

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/old-downton-lodge/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – New Entry

8) The Coal Shed – London Tower Bridge

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/the-coal-shed-london/)

Position Last Year – New Entry

9) Pale Hall – North Wales

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/pale-hall/) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – New Entry

10) Prevost – Peterborough

(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/prevost) – Head Chef Interview HERE

Position Last Year – 05
A few restaurants have proved very popular recently and are just outside the Top Ten simply because they have only been listed for a short period so when looked at over the past twelve months the count of visits was lower.

Notably:
Alchemilla – Nottingham (http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/alchemilla/)

The Hand – North Wales (http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/the-hand-at-llanarmon/)

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.52.28

Chef Cyrus Todiwala sits down with Chef’s Table

Posted on

Cyrus Todiwala

 

Favourite Tables recently sat down with Bombay-born chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE the Chef Patron of the iconic City of London restaurant, Café Spice Namaste, and the eponymous Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. Heathrow is soon to be followed by a New Opening of the same name at the brand new Lincoln Plaza London in Canary Wharf.

Cyrus is a champion of the environment, sustainability and follows closely the ethos of his Parsee community to undertake good works for others. He recently launched the ground-breaking Zest Quest Asia, a student culinary competition designed to develop skills and raise the profile of Asian cuisine ably supported by wife Pervin Todiwala and the Master Chefs of Great Britain.

He is an Ambassador for The Clink Charity and Patron of the British Lop Pig Society. He appears regularly on BBC Saturday Kitchen, has written numerous best-selling cookbooks, and has his own line of hand-crafted pickles, chutneys and sauces.

With such a busy schedule we made the most of the time we had and fired off our questions…

 


 

Q: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”

CT: “Dhaan Daar Nay Vaghaar” — quite simply, Parsi-style daal with rice and caramelised onions and garlic. Or breakfast prepared by my wife Pervin.

Cyrus-Todiwalas-dhan-daar-nay-vaghaar

 

Q: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?

CT: I would have wanted to get a degree into agricultural studies, I have always loved nature, plants and the soil.

 

Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

CT: Le Gavroche

images (1) images download (1) download

 

Q: Have you ever been presented with a dish/ingredient that you just could not eat and where was that?

CT: I once struggled miserably with fermented tarantula. It wasn’t the most appetizing, but I ate it, partly to look good…choke!

TarantulaDish

 

Q: Which city or country is the most innovative in terms of food?

CT: I feel it’s London. Here you find creativity and novel ideas everywhere, every day.

 

Q:  What is set to be the next ‘new’ ingredient? And which in particular interests you?

CT: These aren’t so much ingredients, but tastes and processes.  Umami and fermenting have certainly made a comeback. I’ve already run two master classes on them.

 

Q: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/restaurant food, what would they be? 

CT: There are so many misconceptions surrounding restaurants. Not all restaurateurs are making money hand over fist, and neither are we all ogres when it comes to staff welfare, which is sometimes what the media makes us out to be. In fact, restaurants have to work very hard to survive and landlords and councils need to be more considerate towards owners and operators.

Tough it may be, but it’s also true that the restaurant industry is open to people from all walks of life, and regardless of age, it can offer career opportunities. You could be starting out your career or making a change, or wanting to develop new skills. All the industry asks for is the right attitude, aptitude and the desire to work. The restaurant industry can help solve unemployment problems so long as Government is understanding and flexible with us. How? By taxing us less so we can be allowed to flourish.

Q: Have you been featured or would you like to be featured on any TV food programmes. Are these types of shows a good thing for the restaurant industry and chefs?

CT: I have been featured and would definitely like to be featured more. On whether these shows are a good thing for the restaurant industry depends on how well the programme is made and the light it shines on the industry. This is how impressions are made. Young people are either motivated or disillusioned by what they see, and producers have a role in seeing to it that the right message gets across. Chefs do benefit immensely from these food programmes. But the danger is they can also relay the wrong impression to young budding chefs, who then feel that getting on TV is an absolute necessity.

p03dk6dh p02hwpr1

 

Q: How important is a Michelin star? A growing number of chefs and restaurants have recently asked that they be removed, because of the pressure – your thoughts.

CT: It depends on how much you desire it. It’s this desire and determination, and sometimes desperation, for whatever reason, personal or professional, that can drive some to insane lengths. Michelin is a recognition of all round standards, though it has also become such a status symbol that some obsess over it, adding to the pressure. Perhaps some are giving it up because they discovered that they chased it for the wrong reasons, or perhaps misunderstood its core meaning. Maybe the fear of losing the stars is simply too great. On a personal note, the media and the industry do give great importance to it, to the extent, it seems that those who hold Michelin stars then belong to an elite club. But Café Spice Namaste has held a Michelin BIB Gourmand longer than any other in the Michelin Guide and we’re very proud of this. It means good value, good food. Maybe this is what most people are looking for today.

 

Q: What do you think about negative reviews?

CT: Unless totally justified, I think sometimes they’re not as honest as they ought to be. At times, reviews can be quite vindictive to the extent of destroying an establishment. But sometimes a negative review kick-starts the recognition of weakness and can drive one towards achieving excellence too. One incident, one bad interaction, or just one bad day for the restaurant or individual does not mean that the place is bad or that all staff are indifferent. So I think a review should be backed up by more than one or two visits.

 

Q: If you received a call from Buckingham Palace with a request for Chefs who have received an OBE to prepare one dish each for a Dinner for The Queen and a small group of visiting dignitaries, what would be your dish?

CT: I would still do what we prepared for Her Majesty during the beginning of her Diamond Jubilee tour, the “Country Captain” or Indian Shepherd’s Pie. I think that would stand out by providing a real cultural connection with India. It will help showcase how the very first spice influences weaved their way into Britain, leading to the current desire for spices and hot food. It would showcase Britain today as the most multi-cultural nation in the world where people don’t just mingle and live together but take part in one of the most important things in life — good healthy eating made using top quality ingredients!

 

Recipe2

 

Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu that you have created in the past 6 months and why.

CT: “BEEF XACUTTI”. It’s always challenging to put this curry on the menu except if you are in Goa itself. Being one of the most intricate and labour – intensive curries it can let you down heavily. It is performing extremely well on the menu and is impressing diners as we had hoped it would, making all that effort that went into it worthwhile.

 

beef-xacutti

 

Q:  If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

CT: Oh, there are too many! The reason, moment, or event would play their part in my choice. For one, I would like to cook alongside a regional Italian master to showcase the similarity and the link to one’s Persian heritage. Franco Tarusho would be the most likely companion as his style of cooking is brilliant. Though retired now, I still have a very deep respect for this grand master. Having said that, Mr Mosimann is my hero and perhaps doing a selective menu with him would suit me very well!

 

Franco 220px-Anton_Mosimann_2011

 


 

My Favourite Tables  – Two restaurants I have visited and why?

 

Restaurant (1): Green Papaya, Mare Street, Hackney, London.

191 Mare Street, London E8 3QE, England. www.green-papaya.com

Well, we dine here more often than not. It’s the place for us to relax and chill, enjoy some good food and very friendly staff. We know the owner very well too. We’re never disappointed.

13995382_1134466066623809_7912441530324631371_o 13925848_1130422180361531_3667849398054661413_o 13963010_1134482459955503_8324843667530288804_o

 

Restaurant (2): Good Earth Cromwell Road.

Address: 233 Brompton Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 2EP. www.goodearthgroup.co.uk 

GE-Holdpage_Page-Images6 GE-Menu-Image3_1 31244802_6090508584855_9197940732336275456_n

 

 

 

 

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Park House featured

Matt Waldron, Head Chef at Park House Cardiff Talks to Chef’s Table

Posted on

 

October-Food-LR-194a

Matt Waldron, Head Chef at Park House Restaurant Cardiff

Matt started his career in a small country house hotel named The Glen yr Afon in Usk, completing his apprenticeship in cooking.  His interest in food science lead him to complete a degree in culinary arts and food science in The University of West London.  Staying in London Matt worked his way through some very established restaurants with Helene Darroze at The Connaught Hotel being his most influential.  After two and half years there it was time to come back to Wales.  Working as Sous chef at Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth from the opening of the restaurant until it gained a Michelin Star taught him a lot about running a restaurant and all that goes with the territory. After completing his time there he then moved on to work for Gareth Ward at Ynyshir, which holds a Michelin Star and 5 AA Rosettes.

Matt took over the kitchen at Park House in the summer of 2018 and has immediately had an impact. Matts style of cooking is based on exquisite flavour using Welsh produce from the coast and off the mountains. He has cultivated strong relationships with farmers and works closely with small local suppliers which gives him the ability to handpick the produce to ensure it’s the best he can get his hands on.

Park House 002 Park_House_004 Park_House_002 Park_House_001

 

 


 

CT: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?

MW: Working for Helene Darroze in The Connaught for 3 years influenced me massively.  Her philosophy of using the very best products and treating them with respect and care.  Seasonality was a massive part of her menu.

Helene-Darroze

Closer to home a big influence is Gareth Ward at Ynyshir.  The way he creates his dishes, works closely with nature, the acidity of dishes, and just the simplicity of his dishes to the eye makes one of the most amazing restaurants in the UK.

gareth-ward-770x770

 

CT: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”

MW: My mums Sunday dinner.  Roast beef, roasties, and all the vegetables from dads garden.  Cant beat it.

 

CT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

 

MW: Piazza Duomo in Northern Italy. The food at Piazza Duomo is inspirational due to the use of local food products from his kitchen garden and around Alba.  They have such amazing produce in that region and Enrico Crippa just showcases it at its best.  It is his take on Italian food with influences of Japan visible in his dishes.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.07.51 Piazza_Duomo_02 Piazza_Duomo_01 pzd-ristorante-perfezione

 

CT: What do you think about negative reviews?

MW: I think negative reviews can be a good thing.  No one is perfect and sometimes things don’t go to plan, but that’s life.  You have to see in what context the review was written in.  If used properly negativity can be flipped into positivity, ideas to improve something, maybe something that hadn’t been spotted before.  All reviews whether positive or negative are a good thing, but the people that write reviews just to get something for nothing should stop, it can be quite damaging to a business.

 

CT: If you received a call from Buckingham Palace asking you to create a Dinner Menu using the best of Welsh produce what would you feature?

MW: The main event would definitely have to be Preseli lamb, for me, it’s the best lamb around.  The abundance of seafood we have around us I would definitely have to use the crab from Solva and our vegetable guy who has an organic veg farm. His vegetables are incredible.

browncrab 16664884_10154196481880841_1297570762556213934_o 8114131625_62d5706ccb_k Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 10.30.03

CT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu in which you use foraged ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?

MW: My favourite dish on the menu at the moment has to be the pork belly, shiitake mushroom, pickled sea weed and smoked eel.  The pork belly comes from Pembrokeshire, the seaweeds are all picked from Barafundle bay 10 minutes from my house in West Wales.  We pick the seaweed every Monday then process it for the week ahead.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 12.19.46 MW_Pork

 

CT: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

MW: Charlie Trotter.  His food is very classic, looks immaculate and focuses on seasons.  He introduced America to food styles not seen before, very bold for the time.  He was ambitious and wanted everything perfect, from the minute you walked in the door.

7609088

 

 

My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?

Restaurant (1):  Gareth Ward at Ynyshir.  The food is exceptional.  There is a continuous development there and the place keeps getting better and better.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.24.30

 

Restaurant (2): Restaurant Frantzen, Sweden.  It’s a combination of relaxed atmosphere and incredible food.  There is no stone unturned there, the attention to detail is out of this world.  If I could afford it I would eat there once a month.

B3-rbElu Frantzen Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.27.28

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
DINE-166_featured

Chef Stuart Muir of Dine Edinburgh talks to Chef’s Table

Posted on

Stuart Muir Dine

 

Chef Stuart Muir is the executive head chef at DINE in Edinburgh. He was born in Stranraer in 1969 and education at Stranraer Academy. His ambition at school: “I always wanted to be a chef. There was nothing else I ever really wanted to do”.

Growing up in is very remote part of Dumfries and Galloway and it’s untouched wilderness, he learned many skills that still serve him well today including how to tie his own Flies for fishing the local rivers for wild trout. His father would also take Stuart shooting for pheasant, duck, geese and pigeon on the nearby moors bring the birds home and hang them up in the families garage. He understood from an early age how to pluck and gut the catch and then alongside his mother in the kitchen the skills of cooking fresh game and fish. This upbringing forged his passion for local, seasonal produce that has been present throughout his career to the opening of his own restaurant, Dine in Edinburgh.

To this day he still holds the accolade of being the youngest Scottish chef to be awarded a coveted  Michelin Star.

Chef’s Table wanted to find out a little more about what other influences help space his menus today of classic brasserie style dishes with an emphasis on Scottish seasonality and locally sourced ingredients.

 


 

CT: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?

SM: For me, it’s always been Rick Stein for his love of seafood and travelling. His innovative dishes never fail to impress.

Rick Stein

 

CT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

SM: Eleven Madison Park in New York. Owned by esteemed chef Daniel Humm, its evolution in food and culinary experience has put it top of my wish list. I’m desperate to try the famed ten-course tasting menu.

Daniel-Humm-01-1

34746457_10155438414117256_7910762063339716608_n  32469653_10155387400877256_7526979221881618432_n  31946807_10155369423692256_7841164678108545024_n  Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 11.03.29

Website – https://www.elevenmadisonpark.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElevenMadisonPark/

 

CT: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/restaurant food, what would they be?

SM: Dining out and experiencing great food made with locally sourced ingredients doesn’t have to be expensive. When we launched Dine back in 2015 we saw this gap in the Edinburgh market so this has become what the restaurant is all about – affordable yet innovative seasonal fayre in relaxed luxury surroundings.

40658663_1901155326858877_2805122610797477888_n 41685438_1905702599737483_6023171151323201536_n 43127986_1914443622196714_1726943385501040640_n 43666450_1917337681907308_260246220381880320_n

 

CT: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question” 

SM: Grilled langoustines with garlic butter and some crusty bread washed down with Charles Heidsieck’s Blanc des Millénaires

4890 s977190505684116513_p513_i1_w1000

 

CT: What is the one piece of kitchen equipment you could not do without and which would you never use or want to see in your kitchen? 

SM: I couldn’t be without my specialist set of knives and there are other’s in the kitchen I wouldn’t use or try.

chefs-knife-roll-bag-pure-leather-carry-case-wallet-chef-dexter

 

CT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu that you have created in the past 6 months and why.

SM: I am loving our hand-dived scallop starter dishes which comes in various incarnations. It’s also a customer winner too.

41733120_1905702449737498_304780504345870336_o

 

CT: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

SM: It would have to be legendary French chef and restaurateur Georges Auguste Escoffier. He popularised and updated French cooking and his disciplined methods and techniques made him a modern cooking visionary.

Escoffier

 


My Favourite Tables– Two restaurants I have visited and why?

  1. Paul Tamburrini’s eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh is a blend of French cuisine and Scottish ingredients – it’s an exceptional experience for the diner and I love his passion for locally sourced produce, especially game.

3-1024x682 Lunch-Plate-1900x1374-1024x741 59-1900x1374-1024x741 PT-6-1900x1374-1024x741

Website – www.paultamburrini.co.uk

2) Frog by Scottish chef Adam Handling in Convent Garden is another favourite. His technical skills coupled with inimitable cooking style makes for an outstanding experience.

0002_the-frog-13th-15th-september-2017-47 0003_the-frog-13th-15th-september-2017-41 0008_the-frog-13th-15th-september-2017-1 0007_the-frog-13th-15th-september-2017-13

Website – www.frogbyadamhandling.com

 

Michelin starred Stuart Muir is executive chef and co-owner of the multi-award winning brasserie, Dine. www.dineedinburgh.co.uk 0131 218 1818

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]

War of the Roses, a foodie battle of epic “portions”

Posted on

freemasons-war-of-the-roses-event-20181

Thursday 29th November sees the return of the much anticipated War of the Roses, with The Freemasons’ Lancashire lad and Chef Proprietor Steven Smith taking on Yorkshire lad and Head Chef / Patron Josh Overington, of Le Cochon Aveugle, York – in a battle of the two counties.

Tickets are £70 per person with an optional £40 per person to include a wine package.

Tickets for this event have always sold quickly so booking early is recommended.

Guests will be treated to a six-course meal Two Starters, Two Mains and Two Desserts and will be armed with scorecards detailing each course from both chefs. All six courses will be scored individually up until the end of service and you decide who will be victories – either Yorkshire or Lancashire.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 15.39.22 Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 15.39.04

War of The Roses Menu

Soup
Veloute of Woodland Mushrooms, Fondue of Proctor’s Kick-Ass Cheddar, Truffled Cheese Hotdog

Scallop
Hand-dived Scallop Baked in the Shell with Sea Urchin Butter

Lamb
Roast Rump and Kofta, Miso Aubergine, Mint and Yoghurt

Hare
Hare ‘A la Royal’ with Quince Cooked with Saffron

Vanilla Slice

Warm Chocolate Mousse
With Sea Salt Ice Cream, Pepper Tuile and Olive Oil

button-2

 

The Battle will take place at Le Cochon Aveugle in York

 

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Fox Supper_featured

Punjab Curry Supper returns to The Fox at Lyng

Posted on

CURRY SUPPER WITH CHARLIE[1] copy

 

CURRY SUPPER WITH CHARLIE[1] copy

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
tipi main

Forget the Indian Summer, how about Christmas in a Tipi

Posted on

Have you planned your Christmas party or Christmas Dinner… No, a bit early?

Favourite Tables has been adding Christmas and even New Year menu’s to restaurant Showcase pages on our website for over 5 weeks now. Some locations are now reporting SOLD OUT days.

So with hundreds of menus coming across our desk every day and the Bah Humbug of “it’s only September” the ones that catch our eye are just that little bit special. Like Christmas in a Tipi from the team at The Maybush:

Christmas Tipi Evenings copy

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 15.20.47

 

 

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 18.15.25

Look what we discovered in Soho…..

Posted on

We were recently invited to a “Private” event in a Soho basement. The only information shared with us was that multiple guests could interact at the same time…

Yes we were intrigued!!!!

It turns out that the creative team at Inamo Restaurants had invited favourite tables to the Interactive Private Dining/Event video games room…phew

To be found below the Inamo Soho restaurant (http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/inamo-soho/ )

Inamo has always been inspired by technology, great food, and interactive fun. The Games Room is the next stage in that evolution. A unique private area to the heart of Soho with its own bar and private dining options. Double wall projections span more than 150 inches, there’s a choice of over 150 games on popular games consoles, and up to 8 players can game simultaneously. Yes, it’s massive.

A fantastic fun and flexible location for kids and adults alike! A sneak preview video can be seen below showing the projectors in action.

 

For an evening with your colleagues or a birthday party with a difference, the Games Room is the perfect location. Featuring 2 x PS4s, 2 x Wiis, and Atari gold for retro games, with Chromecast & Apple TV, you can play, drink, eat, sing(for those of a Karaoke persuasion!), watch TV (e.g. live sports), and even project your own content onto the walls for a private presentation, screening, or just showing off your favourite images, videos & music. Perhaps just a games night taking on your mates at Fifa18 on one projector, and watching a live football match on the second, or Wii tennis and a Grand Slam?

Contact Maria, the Party Manager, by email to events@inamo-restaurant.com or call 020 7484 0500.

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
kids.restaurants2

Is this the “Perfect” answer to eating out on a Sunday with young children?

Posted on

 

The very creative team at Mommi are about to launch “Kids Corner” during their Sunday Lunch and Brunch service times. So what is Kids Corner we hear you ask? As any parent will know, dining out with 1 or 2 “ankle biters” – to quote Mrs Doubtfire – in your party, can from time to time become, shall we say challenging.

The little darlings can become bored with sitting still, eating their meal and finishing the main before dessert. A single sheet of A4 and a few dodgy crayons is not going to keep them “entertained” for long while you try to appreciate the culinary masterpiece Mommi are presenting you with. If only you could have your own private Children’s Entertainer on hand. Well, abracadabra!! An innovative,  clever link-up between Mommi and The Kids Table does just that!

Children will be entertained in a purpose designed area of the restaurant in the pop-up children’s corner service for restaurants run by fully vetted and validated The Kids Table personnel. The team will keep an eye on the nippers while they enjoy craft, games and face painting; meaning mums and dads can enjoy a long leisurely lunch…and finish a sentence. And what delights are on offer, check out the menus HERE

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 16.02.41 IMG_1555-Edit-Mommi-Low-Res-Proofs-600x450

 

A soft launch with a dedicated Friends & Family day, on Sunday 23rd September,  gives you not only the opportunity to enjoy some fabulous food but also to enjoy a 25% discount off your bill.

By invite only – contact hello@wearemommi.com to get you and your Mini Mommi’s on the mate’s only list. Just don’t tell everyone at the school gates!!

 

page1image1816832
[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Caxton_Chef_main

We meet with Alex Boyd Executive Head Chef at Caxton Grill for Chef’s Table

Posted on

Alex Boyd

 

Alex Boyd grow up in Aldershot and then at the age of 18 moved to London. For two years prior to moving Alex travelled to Westminster College to study for a Professional Chefs Diploma having decided at the age of 12 that a chef is what he wanted to be.

In his second year at college, one of the work placements he attended was at Scotts of Mayfair. Two months in, Alex was offered a position in the kitchen. Not wishing to give up his college position he studied and had the theory in the mornings and worked the late shift at Scotts in the evening, gaining invaluable experience and as he says “best thing I ever did” As a commis Alex worked on all stations and was always asking questions.

His culinary CV continued with time working for Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire. The “very tough environment” of a Michelin kitchen under Chef Koffman instilling lessons that remain with him today. His career includes working at the Montcalm Hotel, where he progressed from Chef de Partie to Senior Sous Chef in just three months and the Bluebird Restaurant, Chelsea. He was then involved in the launch of the V Restaurant & Bar in Hong Kong, where he spent three years learning new skills and experimenting with a variety of local ingredients. Alex then returned to London to join L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, another two Michelin starred restaurant, before his appointment as Head of Catering at the Lawn Tennis Association. Here he spent six years before leaving for a senior role as Executive Head Chef at The Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London.

 

He is now Executive Head Chef at the St. Ermin’s Hotel and for the Caxton Grill. We chatted to him in the Private Dining room of the Caxton Grill. That morning Alex had already been busy up in the Roof Kitchen Garden on top of the hotel checking on the 350,000 Buckfast honey bees that produce the St. Ermin’s Hotel’s own honey and the homegrown fruits and vegetables utilised in his inspired new afternoon tea and Caxton menus.

 


 

Q: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?

A: Racing Driver – I could have been the next Lewis Hamilton…

Karting

Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

A:  Alinea in Chicago. I think Grant Achatz is just amazing he is so far ahead of other restauranteurs. So innovative in the plating and the way desserts are served direct on to the tables, definitely somewhere I want to visit.

Grant Achatz (1)

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 11.18.10 L20_CT_019

Also, I have to say I really want to get to the Fat Duck, not managed that yet

fatduck2

Q: How important is a Michelin star? A chef in France, who has 3 Michelin stars, recently asked that they are removed because of the pressure – your thoughts

A: Its a very interesting topic of conversation. Because you’ve got the customer and you’ve got a chef, and a chef will work hard because for him it’s a status symbol it’s recognition of hours and hours of hard work, pushing the limits, maintaining consistency and training his brigade to put out what you need them to put out. It’s a huge amount of work. From a customers point of view, I think people look to it as a certain standard of food. They like to go, certainly in London, to place they hear about, oh did you know this place has a star, or that place has a star. It can really help business and I think it almost puts you on the map especially in a city where there are lots of great restaurants getting that star elevates you to another status. So, I do think they’re important and I do think the industry needs them it’s almost like getting a BAFTA or an Oscar.

 

 

Q: What do you think about negative reviews?

A: You have to be aware of them but take them with a pinch of salt. I mean it depends if there are constantly negative reviews about a place, that’s telling you something. But if you’ve got a hundred reviews and two of them are negative so the majority of customers are happy, then that’s a good place. I think you need to look at reviews as a bigger picture rather than reacting to one person’s comments. All of the online services like TripAdvisor make it so easy for people to be negative in fact they almost encourage it.  We get it here, but I would personally much rather a customer speak to us at the time and we can sort out the issue and hopefully end up with a happy customer.

Q: Having spent some time in Hong Kong do you use any of the techniques or ingredients from the in your cooking/kitchen now?

A: I would say I’m a lot more comfortable working with asian spices etc. But Chinese cooking is so different to how we cook in the UK. Caxton’s menu is modern British so it would not be appropriate to bring too many Chinese influences into the kitchen, but I do have the techniques if required. There is one dish I would like to maybe try on the menu. I had it a couple of times whilst in Hong Kong, it’s called Scallops baked in Crab Milk. It’s almost like a very light crab mouse with the scallops baked through it. Like a savoury blancmange but full of flavour. I’m trying to emulate it but not totally successfully yet.

 

Q: What are your personal favourite dishes that are currently on the Caxton menus: A) to cook and B) to eat

A: To eat it would be one of the starters. Beef Carpaccio its done with Basil Dressing, smoked almonds and parmesan. We use fillet of beef from a farm we work closely with, in Sussex. It is incredible beef and which we dress with pickled shallot rings, basil leaves and little parmesan croquettes.

Caxton Beef (1)

To prepare would be a salmon dish. We cure the salmon for an hour and then sous vide at 42 degrees to get a really soft melting piece of salmon. Served with Horseradish Cream, Pickled Cucumber and a smoked salmon foam.

Alex Boyd

 

Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any chef past or present who would that be and why?

A: oh wow… anyone? Then It would have to be Anton Mosimann he’s an inventor of modern gastronomy, nouvelle cuisine. He was right at the forefront of that and an incredibly knowledgeable chef. I’ve heard he has thousands and thousands of cookbooks, a room full of them apparently and that he is a real gentleman. That would be an incredible opportunity.

 

Anton_Mosimann

 


My Favourite Tables– Two restaurants I have visited and why?

 

Eleven Madison Park

Last year In April I had the chance to visit again 11 Madison Park in New York. The night we were there was the day it was announced they had won the Best Restaurant in the world. Everything about this restaurant is amazing. I would suggest to anyone going there to try the Baked Sweet Potato because whats put in front of you looks just like a piece of baked potato, but when you taste it it’s simply an incredible depth of flavour and texture.

38676785_10155561632742256_191915021574340608_n 34746457_10155438414117256_7910762063339716608_n 32469653_10155387400877256_7526979221881618432_n 31946807_10155369423692256_7841164678108545024_n Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 11.03.29

Website – https://www.elevenmadisonpark.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElevenMadisonPark/

 

Kitchen W8

I used to live just down the road from here and my wife and I started going when they first opened. Phil Howard is behind the concept and it recently got its first Star. Right from the beginning, you could see that they just wanted to serve really great food

Screen-Shot-2014-08-04-at-18.33.34 Rhubarb-gallery-3 Mackerel-gallery-2 Asparagus-gallery-7 Cod-gallery-5

 

Website – https://www.kitchenw8.com/

Twitter – @KitchenW8

 

 

 

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]