2016 has been Fitzrovia’s year, from the new restaurants and bars opening, to the current restaurants coming together to form the Fitzrovia Collective a series of supper clubs. One chef firmly in the know is Allan Pickett current Head Chef at Picquet and one third of the Fitzrovia Colletive (formerly Head Chef at Orrery and Plateau), so we caught up with him to find out about dried milk skin, top advice and favourite dishes.
How did the Fitzrovia Collective first come about?
It was a chat Ben and I had about doing something locally and he knows Jun very well so asked him to join us in showcasing the area.
What do you think is the recent appeal to opening a restaurant in Fitzrovia?
Well it’s an area that is set to grow massively in the next 2-3 years and update this end of Oxford Street which is much needed.
What is it about a one-off dining experience you like? The chance to be experimental?
Yes, it’s that and serving dishes that might not be on the normal menu. It’s a great way of learning what the other chefs do as well.
Describe your approach at Piquet in 3 words?
Classic, upbeat, reasonable
What made you leave Plateau for Piquet?
The chance to work with Andre Blais and set up my own restaurant. Plateau was very good for me and I was there for a long time which always helps.
Favourite season to cook in? Hearty winter cooking or fresh spring produce?
It’s between Spring and Autumn and they both contain so much seasonal produce.
Ingredient you couldn’t live without?
Salt. I’m finding I use it a lot more in desserts than I once did.
Any particularly memorable disasters in the kitchen?
Only that I ruined 50 lobsters at a 2-star restaurant that I used to worked at!
Best culinary words of wisdom you’ve ever been given (and from who)?
Get your head down and push on lad.
Milk skin that’s been dried???
Pretend we have one chance and one chance only to go to Piquet. Would you suggest lunch or dinner?
Dinner as it come into its own with the theatre of the kitchen.
Finally, the dish we must try? The much talked about/photographed snail pithivier perhaps?
It would be the sweetbread for me as it’s a personal fav of mine.