When you pick up a book in a shop, the first thing you do is to check if you recognise the author and if you like their previous work. We follow pretty much the same process when choosing restaurants. If there’s a good chef, there’s inevitably going to be good food, so knowing your Nigellas from your Gordons is pretty important stuff. Wise up on the hottest (cheeky cookery pun) chefs in town with our list of six chefs to watch…
Who: Move over Heston, there’s a new creative in town
Restaurant: Story Restaurant
Why: Tom Sellers may only be in his twenties, but he already owns a Michelin-starred restaurant. I, on the other hand, cooked the correct portion of pasta last night, so who is the real success story here? Seller is part of the avant-garde foodie set and his dishes will definitely match up to your wacky expectations. Ever fancied coal in your food, or sat in a restaurant and wished the candle on your table was made from beef dripping? Yeah, us neither, but it’s still pretty damn cool and such dreams can now become a reality, thanks to Sellers and his classic British barmy-ness.
Where: 199 Tooley, Street London, SE1 2JX
Who: The Australian achiever
Restaurant: The Ledbury
Why: After achieving a Michelin star just nine months after taking the helm at The Ledbury, it’s clear that Mr Graham isn’t a man who does things by halves. Praised for his attention to detail and adventurous flavour combinations, Graham has gone from strength to strength. However, he is yet to achieve his dream of setting up a restaurant in Newcastle (not the one Cheryl Cole resides in, but the one that’s about two hours away from Sydney).
Where: 127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AQ
Who: The Culinary Director
Company: Company of Cooks
Why: Originally from Finland, Puolakka has worked in the likes of Harvey Nichols, Aubergine, La Tante Claire, Pierre Gagnaire and Skylon before becoming the culinary director of Company of Cooks, a private and corporate catering company. Earlier this year she joined forces with Portrait Restaurant’s head chef, Steve Beadle to launch their new menu which featured the likes of venison tartare.
Where: 109 – 125 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ
Who: The patisserie pro
Restaurant: Pied à Terre
Why: Marcus Eaves first discovered his knack for pastries, when as a teenager, he was home alone and decided to make a strawberry sablé (not what we would have done if we’d had free range of our parent’s drinking cabinet, but hey ho). Still only in his twenties, Eaves has set the bar well and truly high for his peers and looks set to achieve even bigger things in the coming years. Just make sure your mum doesn’t hear about this guy, as you’ll never hear the end of ‘look what other 20 somethings are doing with their lives’ at family dinner.
Where: 34 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NH
Who: Sibling success story
Why: This family pairing went to a very modern cookery school. In fact, it’s pretty much one we’ve all enrolled it – yep, they learnt how to cook from Youtube. The video sharing site helped them to see what goes in the kitchen of top restaurants without actually having to go there and wash a billion dirty dishes. They went on to achieve a Michelin star in 2008, so those hours spent on the internet seem to have paid off (we should probably search for something other than ‘funny cat videos’ next time we’re online). They are known for their seasonal desserts, which combine tasty flavours like orange and thyme and come in bespoke containers in the shape of the fruit they are using for the season…a little better than your average fruit bowl then.
Where: 38 High St, Westbury Village, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3DZ
Who: Chef and co-founder of Dabbous and Barnyard
Why: Ever since it received rave reviews when it first opened in 2012, Dabbous has been a permanent fixture on lists of restaurants to visit in London (when it first opened you were lucky if you could even get a table, with the waiting list being a year long, it was that popular). The Michelin star soon followed as did his second restaurant, Barnyard and a cook book simply named Dabbous.
Where: Dabbous, 39 Whitfield St, London, WIT 2SF,UK
Who: The 2014 winner of MasterChef: The Proffesionals and Head Chef at Rocca
Why: Anyone who has seen the MasterChef know the gruelling challenges they go through to impress the judges, so you know that whoever is declared the winner is clearly a very good chef. The last winner Jamie Scott, the sous-chef from Arbroath, started off his career at 14 working in his parent’s (cooking is clearly in his blood with his mother being the first woman to be a sous-chef) and now Marcus Wareing has described him as one of the future chefs of the country.
Where: Rocca St Andrews, The Links, St Andrews, KY16 8JQ