At the Chef’s Table with Daniel Kent of Wiltons
Daniel joined Wiltons in 2011, having previously worked at some of London’s finest restaurants such as Le Café Anglais, Skylon and The Wolseley. He initially went to university with the idea that he would become a Restaurant Manager. However, upon graduating, he fell in love with cooking, having been previously inspired by the many Sunday lunches at his aunt’s house where she would put on a feast of local Yorkshire produce and sherry-laced trifle! He has a firm belief that use of great ingredients and an exceptional team behind him is the perfect recipe for a world-class establishment. He has enjoyed re-introducing many of Wiltons classic dishes as well as showcasing many of his own creations.
Question: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”
Daniel: A cep risotto, it’s a classic but I absolutely love this dish.
Question: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?
Daniel: I loved History at school and I had a brilliant teacher who really got me interested in it and I think it made me want to be a History teacher. But then came the part-time job in the kitchen and I got the hospitality bug.
Question: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)
Daniel: Faviken in Sweden, the whole experience is so far away from what we do here it really appeals to me.
Question: What do you think about negative reviews?
Daniel: I hate them! We have let the guest down, but you have to look at them and understand where we let them down, was it the cooking, the ambience or not understanding why they were visiting our restaurant and in turn, how do we make them feel comfortable as our guests. We have to make the reviews a tool to understand how we can improve. We have a policy of not questioning the guest if they have made the wrong choice of wine or dish and we will go some way to replacing it if they let us know during the meal we are more than happy to correct it there and then.
Question: If you received a call from The White House to say the President was in town and wanted a British Dinner Menu at Wiltons what would you feature?
Daniel: We know now that President Trump is in love with American Food but I think we would have to bring him back to his ancestral roots with some amazing Scottish salmon and the amazing products we have in the United Kingdom, be that the beef we use to make the consommé or the oysters that are paired with it. I’m sure he has a sweet tooth as well so he won’t go wrong with our formidable Summer pudding…
River Yealm oysters with jellied beef consommé and horseradish
Steamed Wild salmon with asparagus and watercress
Summer pudding the best of British products.
Question: What is your favourite dish on the current Wiltons menu/s that you re-introduced from the long history of the restaurant?
Daniel: The Cropwell Bishop twice baked soufflé is the dish that I reintroduced as it was on the menu in the past as a Souffle Monico and it is a dish that has really found a following with our regulars. We even put it on our private dining room menu as people have asked for it several times… I think it’s the balance of the cheeses we use the texture of the soufflé that seems to have the guests wanting more and even asking for the recipe!
Question: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?
Daniel: I would love to cook with Thomas Keller as I think he has a level of perfection that is inspiring and I love his use of using producers who are driven in their fields. I would love to talk to him about how he has trained so many talented chefs through his kitchens and how he uses his “on the pass moments” that he posts on Instagram to inspire his team and of course how I can replicate the infamous oyster and caviar dish.
My Favourite Tables– Two restaurants I have visited and why?
Restaurant (1): J Sheekey’s it’s a little dinner treat for me and the wife before the theatre and I love that it gets me brownie points for the intimate and romantic feel of it. @JSheekeyRest
Restaurant (2): Noble Rot, I just love Lamb Conduit Street and how this restaurant has found its place here, brilliant food and wine, the table just by the fireplace in Winter is brilliant. @noblerotbar
|Address:||Wiltons Jermyn Street|
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