Existing as a quintessentially British gem sitting snug in Mayfair, The Chesterfield oozes charm, personality and some seriously yummy food. In light of this, we caught up with Head Chef Nathan Hindmarsh, whose aim is to “showcase British cuisine at its finest, tempered with international touches, using only the freshest ingredients of the highest quality.” Having recently launched a plant-based menu to run alongside the Chelsea Flower, Nathan talked me through his use of locally sourced ingredients and plans for the menu.
How did you come to work at The Chesterfield?
I actually just went through the typical stages. I was really young at the time; it was in 2008 and I’d just finished my Diploma to be a chef and alongside that I worked in an Italian restaurant. A scroll online for jobs led me to The Chesterfield all those years ago and I’m glad it did!
And you worked in Paris for a while?
Yes. I worked here for four years and then I went to Paris for just over a year and a half – I’d always wanted to do a stint there so it was a fantastic experience. My time there was spent cooking wonderful French dishes at Restaurant L’audacieux.
You’ve just launched a new menu! Tell me all…
We were looking at introducing some more vegan options to put on our menu, what with the ever-increasing popularity of the plant-based diet. The Chelsea Flower Show provided the perfect opportunity to trial some new dishes, playing with floral aesthetics and colour.
You focus on the provenance of ingredients throughout the menu; where do you source from?
We use ingredients as local to London as possible. So, English wasabi from Hampshire, asparagus from Wye Valley, apples from Kent and so on, in the hope to always stick to a British radius.
Tell me about some of the food on the plant-based menu?
One of my favourite dishes on the menu are the cauliflower steaks which we water bath in a wild garlic oil and then we grill it and serve it with a burnt cauliflower puree and lots of shaved truffle on top. There are also various other creative dishes such as the carrot, squash, coconut and lentil dahl with coriander, green chilli and wild black rice and for dessert we have a wild strawberry dish with strasberry and pineberry with oat crumble and that comes with strawberry and basil sorbet and coconut yoghurt.
How’s the menu performing so far?
Really well seeing as it only launched this week! We’ve had great feedback on the cauliflower steaks and lots of people have been ordering the menu so that’s great news.
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Come and try the new Chelsea Flower Show Inspired Menu at The Chesterfield Mayfair, created by our Head Chef @nathanhindmarsh 💐 . . . #chesterfieldmayfair #chelseaflowershow #thechelseaflowershow #london #mayfair #food #foodie #foodporn #foodphotography #newmenu #flowerfood #chelseaflowershow2019
I love the sound of the vegan chocolate mousse – is that popular?
Yes, that’s a great dish! It’s actually a dish I learnt to make in Paris but I’ve tweaked it to make it vegan by replacing milk with soya milk and using a vegan chocolate.
Sounds delicious to me. So, is this a menu you’ll run when Chelsea Flower Show has finished?
It was meant to be up until Friday or Sunday as a Chelsea Flower Show only menu. However, I think we’ll keep some of the dishes from the menu and introduce them into our summer a la carte menu which is set to go live at the end of June!