Favourite Tables

Tag: Nikkei Nikkei

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This Place and This Chef are “Mint”

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Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Chef Paul Sowden was not initially destined for a culinary career. Having, in his words, done well at school, Paul was set to join the RAF as an officer trainee. But whilst on the induction programme it was discovered at the last minute that he would not be fit to fly aircraft. Other military careers were offered but Paul left bitterly disappointed he would not see the world from the seat of a fighter jet.

Pot Washer – That was a role taken for necessity and Paul found himself working in a local Leeds hotel where one weekend due to kitchen staff not turning up he was press-ganged on to the hot section and loved it. Becoming a regular in the kitchen he progressed quickly taking on more responsibility. A chance meeting with an other chef and advice of “stop working with frozen ingredients” and “use the best and freshest that local can provide”, saw him move to an up and coming central Leeds restaurant Sous le Nez where his skills developed quickly, becoming the senior person in the kitchen. The chef that gave the advice of not using frozen was Simon Gueller of Rascasse and he persuaded Paul to join the kitchen team ( briefly working alongside Daniel Clifford, what ever happened to him??)

Next few years saw Paul returning to Sous le Nez, work for the Tomahawk Hotel Group and take on the challenging but rewarding role at a Hotel/restaurant near Nottingham. A chance meeting with the new owner saw Paul heading up the team and starting from scratch developing the restaurant concept, menus and securing supplier agreements – that Hotel was the Clumber Park Hotel

Moving to London in 2010 Paul had the fortune to meet with the team behind the Mint Group, a successful entertainment group in London and, for a initial period of three years, he worked on a “development kitchen” basis changing the menus across three restaurants. The company operates Koko in Camden, Mary Janes in EC London and Bison and Bird in Clapham.

Around 18 months ago, Paul and the management team at the Mint Group embarked on a project to create a new restaurant, bringing together the vibrancy of Miami South Beach, the food cultures of Latin America and the precise exactness of Japanese food preparation and presentation. Mommi on Clapham High Road is the first of this restaurant style to be opened by the Mint Group with a few other cities earmarked for future openings.

Seabass&Cauliflower[1] Beef Fillet, Daikon, Lemon[1]

BeefTatakiSalmonTartare[1]

Mommi has received some great comments from diners who talk about the relaxed fun atmosphere, DJ music and fabulous cocktails hitting the right notes with locals and those that travel just to see what this unique combination is about.

Favourite Tables acknowledged that as Executive Chef at Mommi he has probably had very little spare time on his hands over the past year so any restaurant he said were his favourite tables would obviously be something special… so Chef where have you visited again recently?

Restaurant Pakta in Barcelona, Spain.  This is one of the first restaurants in which I experienced Nikkei cuisine. It has become a firm favourite for my wife and I

Pakta_Shot Pakta1 Shot 2015-07-30 at 15.08.13 Pakta2 Shot 2015-07-30 at 15.08.29 Pakta4 Shot 2015-07-30 at 15.08.47 Pasta Shot 2015-07-30 at 15.07.12 Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 15.07.38

 

I also have a “Favourite Tables” place which serves simple dishes packed with flavour. They are not great on the whole Twitter and Facebook thing. I’m not sure they even have a website but The Stockpot in London’s Soho, has been a secret pleasure of mine for a long time.

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