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The Interview: Chef James Hackney

The Interview: Chef James Hackney

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Cape Cod’s only AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four Star resort is the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, and James Hackney is the chef at its signature fine dining restaurant, twenty-eight Atlantic.

Hackney’s most recent post was executive chef at Boston’s legendary L’Espalier, where his farm-to-table-inspired dishes and seasonally changing menu garnered legions of fans. Originally hailing from Leicestershire, England, he was inspired to begin a culinary career by working in his parents’ inn in the English countryside. Hackney would eventually move onto the title of chef de partie at such esteemed restaurants as Blantyre in Lenox, Mass., in addition to Charlie Palmer’s Aquaterra in Palm Beach, Fla.

At twenty-eight Atlantic, his menu is focused on native, seasonal ingredients. Offerings may include parsnip and almond cream chowder with pork belly and fried steamers; Atlantic halibut over sea beans, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes; and lavender-roasted organic chicken with sweet onion purée and turnips.

What was your first restaurant industry job?

Stapleford Park, in Leicestershire, England, a country house hotel started by Rick Tramonto and Gail Gand. Unfortunately I never got to work with them directly but the foundations they set up had some classic American dishes that gave me the bug to cross the pond.

When you first walk into a restaurant, what do you look for as signs that it’s well-run, will be a good experience, etc.?

My first interaction with the staff; a quick acknowledgment that is warm and welcoming. Also, a sense of calm but with an upbeat attitude. This helps put me at ease and makes me feel that they are in control. There is nothing more distracting than seeing things going wrong!

Is there anything you absolutely hate cooking?

I don’t like cooking with ingredients that are of poor quality.

If one chef from history could prepare one dish for you, what would it be?

Fernand Point, Foie Gras en Brioche. The father of modern French cuisine and at a time when you could stuff lobes of foie gras with whole truffles. It also reminds me of eating pork pies as a kid. My favorite!

What do you consider to be your biggest success as a chef?

Hitting the 10-year mark at L’Espalier. In that time I wrote a cookbook with chef Frank McClelland, relocated the restaurant to its current location, retained five-star status for the restaurant throughout my time there, and then became the executive chef at Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. What is most rewarding is seeing young cooks becoming chefs in award-winning restaurants and opening their own spaces.

What do you consider to be your biggest failure as a chef?

Failure is a harsh word. I like to say missed opportunity. I worked with people who went on to work with Marco Pierre White. I would love to have had that opportunity to be there when he got his three stars or any of the great French Michelin-three-star chefs.

What is the most transcendental dining experience you’ve ever had?

Dim sum in Chinatown when I first came to America. It was amazing to see all the different types of food and just the amount of people waiting to get in.

Are there any foods you will never eat?

Durian fruit is one of those that I am in no rush to try.

Is there a story that, in your opinion, sums up how interesting the restaurant industry can be?

The industry brings all types of people together from all over the world and from all walks of life. I have worked with people who came from royal blood lines that are being taught by someone who came into country illegally, hardly any English. And they were the best of friends! It’s an industry that just requires you to roll up your sleeves and jump in. Hard work, passion, and teamwork will help you climb the ladder of success, wherever you come from.

Cornwall has produced some of the best chefs cooking in Britain today. It’s easy to see why – with access to some truly incredible produce (particularly seafood and dairy), the finest catering colleges and multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, it’s rightfully earned its title as one of Europe’s top foodie destinations. One of the latest chefs to come out of the county and contribute to the UK’s thriving food scene is Tom Brown. A protégé of acclaimed Cornish chef Nathan Outlaw, he’s now known for incredible cooking in his own right, rising through the ranks of some incredible institutions. But, as with all chefs, the road to Michelin stardom started at the bottom of the culinary pecking order.

‘I got into cooking by accident,’ he explains. ‘I was working up the road at my local pub in Cornwall as a kitchen porter, and had fallen out of love with being in a classroom at college. I started helping out making pizzas and doing a bit of prep, and got hooked. I loved the creativity, the sense of pride and the immediate gratification that comes from cooking. Seeing the produce come in, I started to become more interested in the sourcing side of things and the food itself. I liked finding ingredients that were absolutely perfect and required little to no cooking.’

By this point Tom had finished his apprenticeship and was eager to take the next step in his career, but wasn’t sure where to start working locally. Cornwall had the produce, but Tom wanted to get some experience in a nationally recognised kitchen. ‘I was quite cut off from the rest of the cooking world down in Cornwall,’ he says, ‘so I just wrote to every TV chef I could think of. It was 2008 and Bryn Williams was on Great British Menu – he called me himself and invited me to go and do a stage in his restaurant. I remember him getting in whole fish, entire salt marsh lambs, things like that I’d never seen that before. It made me realise I wanted more than a kitchen that churned out pub food, and after a stint working in places around Falmouth I ended up working with Paul Ripley at Rick Stein’s restaurant.’

With experience in the kitchens of Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar and the St Kew Inn, Tom developed a natural affinity for cooking fish and became even more interested in the sourcing side of things. ‘I was quite new to the industry back then, but it felt like using local produce and really caring about the ingredients was a huge thing that was only just getting the attention it deserved,’ he says. ‘When I was at the St Kew Inn with Paul the scallops were hand-dived from very close by, guys were catching fish in Padstow and bringing it over and there were farms literally at the end of the road which we’d work with. I’d never seen that before so it was a new thing for me at least, but now it’s very much the done thing and almost sacrilege not to – which is good for everyone involved.’

Elevate your St George’s Day dinner with a virtual Masterclass from Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie

Whether you’re a particularly patriotic foodie who wants to pay homage to the best of British grub, or you’re just looking for an excuse to brush up on your cooking skills and indulge in a three-course feast, Wellocks at Home have the perfect solution. Their new virtual masterclass will help you to upgrade the nation’s beloved roast courtesy of Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie.

Though there’s a hopeful light at the end of the tunnel with regards to restaurant reopenings, many of us are keen to continue developing the home cooking skills learned over lockdown – and aspiring masterchefs can do just that with the latest instalment from Wellocks at Home, the nationwide premium ingredient delivery service from the suppliers to many of the UK’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Hosted by James MacKenzie, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass in Beverley, East Yorkshire, participants of all cooking abilities will prepare and enjoy an exclusive three-course menu for two.

The masterclass, priced at £70 and accessed via, features recipes from Pipe and Glass’s sensational seasonal menu and represents Mackenzie’s signature style of imaginative British cooking, using high quality local and seasonal produce to create hearty yet modern pub-style dishes. Ahead of the masterclass taking place, participants will receive a stunning box of high-quality, measured ingredients to create the fine-dining feast, and can work through the chef’s expert instructions by following the preparation and masterclass videos at their leisure over the experience weekend. £5 from each order goes to Wellocks at Home’s charity partner, Springboard’s FutureChef, which aims to inspire young people to explore food and cooking as a life skill.

Starter: First of the Season English Asparagus with a Crispy Cacklebean Egg, Yorkshire Chorizo and Lovage Mayonnaise

Main: Wild Garlic Roast Crown of Chicken, Morel Mushrooms, Potato Fondant, Creamed Curly Kale and Smokey Bacon Crumb

Dessert: Baked Dark Chocolate “Millionaire” Pudding

The editorial unit

The virtual masterclass is available to purchase until midnight on 15 th April, with ingredients being delivered on 22 nd April ahead of the masterclass weekend (23 rd -25 th April). Order your box here.

The 15 Best Lines From Gordon Ramsay’s FT Interview

Big Shouty, Big Sweary Gordon Ramsay, who is now 50, has been speaking to the Financial Times about, well, everything. In the interview, there are some spectacularly Ramsay-esque lines. It seems middle-age hasn’t forced him to sit on the fence on any issue and he still enjoys the F-word. Here are the 15 best lines from the interview:

1. About nothing in particular, he suggests: “Things can be fucking brilliant. Things can be good, and fucking well deserved. And fucking congratulations.”

2. He recalls the evening of the U.S. Presidential Election in November last year: “[Trump] completely fucked my dinner. I’ve never seen a dining room fucking curdle and go so silent in all my life. At the beginning of the dinner it was looking like Hillary, and by dessert they had a new president. It was a shell shock.”

3. His routine, described in the same staccato way he instructs his recipes: “I got up this morning at about half past four. Quick hour in the gym, then took the dogs for a walk, got back and woke them all [his family] up. And yeah, hit the ground running.”

4. He can look after himself: “I’m not very good at being babysat.”

5. On his physique: “I’m a big guy, I know what to do.”

6. On Marco Pierre-White is he says, succinctly: “Crazy motherfucker.” He goes on later to say, “Marco pushed us. Oh my God, that guy was ruthless, but fucking brilliantly ruthless, because he just wanted the best, and if you didn’t give him the best, he’d let you know.”

7. About the industry that no longer has too many hallmarks of his influence: “In general, British restaurants are “way less pretentious than we were in the 90s”.

8. He helpfully reminds us of the opening line from No Shit, Sherlock: “Money has made life easier.”

9. Given the troubles he’s had being in business with his father-in-law, he proffers some wisdom: “One lesson to any young chef out there: never mix family with business.” He expands, with trademark eloquence: “If one of my daughters’ boyfriends asked me for a pint in a couple years’ time and said, ‘Hey Mr Ramsay, I’m thinking of setting up this burger chain. Would you be interested in investing?’ . . . You can fuck, right, off. With a capital F! And two capital Fs at the end!”

10. As if anyone didn’t actually know that Ramsay was seldom in the kitchen anymore, he recalls an encounter on a plane: “Yesterday, the stewardess on the plane was taking her mum to The Narrow [his London gastropub] and she asked, ‘Are you cooking there?’ I said, ‘Are you fucking mad?’ I don’t go and put Yorkshire puddings in the oven on Sunday lunch.”

11. Without actually swearing he says: “[Swearing is] an industry language. Chefs cook better when they swear.”

12. Politics isn’t for him: “Let me just say, thank fuck I’m not in politics. Jamie can campaign for all he wants. Keep me out of the political world, I have no interest whatsoever.”

13. Michelin like him, so he likes them: “Michelin understand the pressure of business. I know that the Good Food Guide and the AA Guide are all out high-fiving one another and comping bills, you don’t do that with Michelin. They’re there for the public, they don’t give a damn about the name.”

14. His maître d’ at Aubergine, Jeanne Claude Breton, kicked out a Michelin inspector the first time the Red Guide attempted to try his food: “[Breton] came down to me and his hand was shaking. He said, ‘This gentleman’s just given me his card.’ I said, ‘Jean-Claude, this is a fucking Michelin inspector, why has he given me his card?’ He said, ‘I’ve just kicked him out. Well, he didn’t confirm his table, so I gave his table away.’ [Now] I laugh about it.”

15. One Ferrari wasn’t enough, but he’s not going brag about it: “I grew up dreaming of a Ferrari black horse, so now that I have a few, it’s exciting but I don’t want to push it in people’s faces. That’s the difference. I don’t like showing off.”

The best al fresco terraces opening across London this April

In a few weeks’ time, Londoners will finally be let loose on their favourite bars and restaurants to enjoy a safe al fresco drink or meal with up to five of their friends. Though you may be tentative to make any plans for outdoor dining given the changeable nature of the British weather, we can assure you there are many places in the capital that are worth braving the rain for come 12 th of April. Check out our list of top terraces below – and remember, these tables are booking up fast, so be sure to reserve a seat for your nearest and dearest. The best thing about this selection? You can check back for further updates.

Allegra in East Village

Located just seven minutes (via train) from King’s Cross and with views of London’s skylines, Allegra’s 50-seat rooftop terrace is one of the Capital’s hidden gems. On Wednesday 14 th April the team behind Allegra at Manhattan Loft Gardens will launch Happy Burger at Allegra. The four-week pop-up will offer a concise and playful menu prepared by Chef Patrick Powell. Throughout the month, Happy Burger at Allegra will welcome a series of chefs from London restaurants including Perilla, Mangal 2, Anglo Thai and soon to be launched Planque in Haggerston. Book a table here.

Alto by San Carlo at Selfridges London in Marylebone

Popular alfresco dining spot, Alto by San Carlo, is set to welcome back diners when Selfridges London reopens. The idyllic outdoor setting has an open top roof and sides so customers can dine under the sun or stars, come rain or shine. In the event of rain, the restaurant will be covered by the roof, but the sides will remain open. The terrace and bar will also be open with comfortable lounge seating providing the perfect spot to soak up some rays whilst enjoying a cocktail. Book a table here.

American Bar at The Stafford in St James’s

If you’re looking for a touch of sophisticated luxury with your first al fresco drink of 2021, look no further than the American Bar at The Stafford. Their beautiful, cobbled terrace is Mayfair’s hidden gem – the ideal venue for catching up with friends and family in the spring sunshine. Executive Chef Josef Rogulski is the man behind the menu, blending hotel favourites with more exotic flavours and techniques from across the globe. The drinks are always a knockout, whether it’s a classic cocktail or a bottle of something great, chosen by Master Sommelier Gino Nardella. Book online here.

Arros QD in Fitzrovia

The new terrace outside Arros WD, tucked away behind Oxford Street, is ready to open on 12 th April. With tables for couples, tables for six and their signature sharing paellas, this is the place to be. From the three-Michelin starred chef Quique Dacosta, Arros specialises in Valencian paella cooked over wood fire – the authentic way. Try these sizzling pans of rice, served with classic alioli and then topped with seafood, seasonal veg, rabbit and chicken, all conjuring up the feel of a night in the Med. Book online here.

Bala Baya in Southwark

On April 12 th , Bala Baya, the acclaimed Southwark restaurant inspired by the sites and sounds of Tel Aviv, will re-open it’s sun blushed terrace and mezzanine. To celebrate, Bala Baya’s colourful terrace will see a festival inspired transformation. Eran’s Israeli-inspired menus offer a hands-on, hands-in approach to family-style dining that focuses on the enjoyment of fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients. Book a table here.

BAO in Borough and Soho
Inspired by the late night grill bars of Asia and located at the edge of Borough Market, BAO Borough will open its doors on 12 th April with outdoor sheltered seating available for diners. With a focus on grill items, diners can take their pick from Chilli Chicken Wings with Aged White Soy, Mapo Aubergine or the Classic Bao. BAO Soho will also be opening its doors, serving guests a selection of Baos and small eats. Tables and chairs will scatter the streets of Soho, and guests can take a sip on BOA classic cocktails including Strawberry Negroni, Bao-Hi or an old fashioned. Book a table here.

Bar Douro in London Bridge

A little slice of Portugal in London, Bar Douro London Bridge’s restaurant and wine bar will open on 13 th April, complete with both an extended outdoor terrace and authentic Portuguese sharing plates. Bar Douro’s rustic terrace spilling out into Flat Iron Square is a great spot to enjoy a Churchill’s White Port and Tonic alongside a superb array of classic Portuguese plates, whilst relaxing in the sun. Book online here.

Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill

One of west London’s most iconic restaurants has unveiled plans for its al fresco offering. This stunning Georgian mansion in the heart of Notting Hill will offer not one but two outside areas – a delightful 20-cover rear garden and a terrace immediately in front of the building that has been extended to accommodate up to 50 guests. Here guests can feast on an array of dishes created by Beach Blanket Babylon Head Chef Jan Pace. Perfect for a bountiful brunch, leisurely lunch, decadent dinner or anything in-between, these deceptively simple but masterfully created brasserie favourites include the likes of Aromatic Crispy Duck Salad with Chilli and Ginger and Linguine Chilli with Aglio Olio. Book online here.

Bermondsey Larder in Bermondsey

Robin and Sarah Gill’s modern neighbourhood restaurant Bermondsey Larder will be reopening on 14 th April with a new al-fresco dining spot. The terrace will allow groups of up to six to enjoy Gill’s much-lauded menu, highlights of which include Farmer Tom Jones’s Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke, Pulled Aubergine and Mushroom Flatbreads and a gorgeous split mackerel and sea salad dish which is perfect for sharing with friends. Book online here.

Bisushima in Charing Cross

For only the best Japanese food and delicious paired drinks, look no further than the newly launching Bisushima terrace, located on the roof top of the Page 8 Hotel in Covent Garden. With panoramic views across Trafalgar Square, it’s the idea spot for watching the world go by. The luxurious new roof terrace is covered and heated and decked out with the comfiest of outdoor furniture, what more could you want? Book online here.

Brat at Climpson’s Arch in Hackney

Michelin-starred Brat restaurant will reopen its popular dining terrace at Climpson’s Arch in East London. The daily menu will continue to showcase native seasonal produce sourced from some of the best producers in the UK such as Dan Cox’s Crocadon Farm in Cornwall and Calixta Killander’s Flourish Farm in Cambridge. Along with Brat favourites, diners can expect new dishes of Roasted Game Rice, Fried Pork Chops with Anchovy and Hay Butter and Tomatoes with Aged Mutton and Grilled Cep Mushrooms. Book a table here.

Cafe Murano in Bermondsey

The Bermondsey branch of Angela Harnett’s Italian venture Cafe Murano will be opening its terrace on 12 th April. The renowned chef will be serving up her signature fresh, seasonal dishes they way they should be enjoyed: al fresco. Offering up authentic flavours with a neighbourhood feel, it’s likely to be the closest to the Mediterranean you will get this spring. Book a table here.

Coppa Club in Tower Bridge and Sonning

Coppa Club’s signature igloos at Tower Bridge and Sonning are reopening on 12 th April. Their igloos and terrace will undergo a seasonal transformation reflecting the country in bloom, perfect for those looking to welcome the arrival of the spring equinox. Coppa igloos offer a moment of escapism and intimacy, seating six guests in comfort against beautiful backdrops of the Thames at Tower Bridge, Sonning riverside, Brighton Square in the Lanes and Cobham village. Book a table here.

Crazy Pizza in Knightsbridge

This spring sees the long-awaited opening of Crazy Pizza’s Knightsbridge location along with a beautiful outdoor terrace just in time for the longer spring and summer nights. For those looking for the perfect al fresco spot to soak up the sun, Crazy Pizza Knightsbridge is the perfect place, located on the idyllic Hans Crescent within the newly refurbished Knightsbridge Estate and just a stones throw away from Luxury Emporium Harrods. From April 12 th , the restaurant’s year-round heated terrace will open to customers, followed by the official restaurant opening on 17 th May. The stunning outside terrace will seat 24 guests and provide front-row seats to the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge Estate. Book a table here.

Coya Angel Court in the City

As the weather gets warmer, in the City, Coya Angel Court’s Peruvian-inspired terrace is the ideal place to dine outside post lockdown. The tucked-away space will be open from 12 th April for guests to use as a city escape. Every Monday to Friday the outdoor bar will be open to enjoy food from both the lunch and dinner menu as well as sipping on one of Coya’s famous pisco sours. Book a table here.

Darby’s in Nine Elms

Robin and Sarah Gill’s restaurant in Embassy Gardens features a central oyster bar topped with green marble where guests can sip on an ice-cold Guinness paired with the finest Dooncastle oysters alongside native seafood, mussels and pickles from their bar menu. The circa-20 cover terrace has been extended and is on a first-come basis. Book a table here.

Dinings SW3 in Chelsea

Masaki Sugisaki’s West London Japanese restaurant will be welcoming diners to its idyllic, 20-cover terrace from mid-April. Located a few minutes’ walk from Sloane Square and open daily from 12.30pm to 5.30pm, the full Dinings SW3 menu – dishes which bring together traditional Japanese techniques with European culinary influences – will be available. This includes Masaki’s celebrated sushi and sashimi creations alongside Dinings SW3 favourites such as the seabass carpaccio, sumi-yaki fruits de mer (from the charcoal grill) and Cornish lobster sliders. Book a table here.

Dishoom in Carnaby and Shoreditch

Fans of Indian food rejoice, for the Verandah at Dishoom Shoreditch will be open from 12 th April for bountiful breakfasts, lazy lunches and lavish evening dinners. The Verandah will be open daily from 8am-11pm Monday to Friday and 9am-11pm Saturday and Sunday, inviting guests to enjoy a selection of dishes from the restaurant’s iconic menu, inspired by Bombay street food. The good news isn’t just reserved for North Londoners: the Dishoom Carnaby terrace on Kingly Street will also open daily from 12 th April from 12pm-11pm Monday to Sunday. Both restaurants are welcoming walk-ins for outdoor tables. Alternatively, book an indoor table from 17 th May here.

Fallow in Mayfair

The sustainability-focused restaurant concept on 10 Heddon Street, Fallow, opened weeks before the UK’s first lockdown, and has gone from strength to strength since, receiving critical acclaim as well a Bib Gourmand from Michelin. The menu, designed by Head Chefs Will Murray and Jack Croft, focuses on “root to stem” and “nose to tail” dishes, with roughly half of each menu being plant-based. Murray and Croft, formerly of two Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston, share a passion for pared back, creative cooking with a particular emphasis on championing ingredients usually discarded by restaurants including chicken scratchings, veal tail and cod’s head. Book a table here.

Fenn in Fulham

On 13 th April, Luke Wasserman, Toby Neill and Johnnie Crowe, the team behind popular Hackney restaurant Nest, will open Fenn, a new seasonal British restaurant on Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham. Inspired by Fulham’s proximity to the Thames, Fenn takes its name from the old English word for “low-lying wetland”, symbolising the restaurant’s commitment to serving locally sourced, British seasonal dishes. Fenn’s terrace will open on 13 th April with the inside restaurant following on 18 th May. Book a table here.

Folie in Soho

From Tuesday 13 th April, Folie, the opulent restaurant and bar on Golden Square, where Soho meets Mayfair, will reopen its doors. Celebrating the dining and drinking culture of the Riviera, Folie is excited to return re-energised with a new larger terrace – perfect for al fresco dining, from laid back lunches to intimate dinners, in the heart of central London. Founder Guillaume Depoix and Executive Chef Christophe Marleix have designed a spring menu to celebrate the reopening, including seasonal dishes focusing on the Italian and French Riviera. Book a table here.

Galvin Bistrot and Bar in Spitalfields Market

The recently opened French bistrot and bar located just next door to Galvin La Chapelle spills out onto the corner of Spitalfields Market, featuring classic bistrot dishes such as steak tartare and confit of duck. New dishes of Cod and Lobster Brandade, Pavé of Cod with Leeks and Mussels in a Mouclade Sauce (a cream based lightly curried sauce) and Slow-Cooked Beer-Braised Pork Cheeks with a Black Pudding Parmentier also feature on the menu. Book a table here.

Granary Square Brasserie in Kings Cross

Granary Square Brasserie is set to re-open it’s terrace on Monday 12 th April with a showstopping install. With both impressive views across Regent’s Canal and Granary Square’s floor-level fountains, the terrace will provide a chic haven to retreat to this spring and summer season. To celebrate the re-opening, the brasserie is launching an array of merriments, including a beautiful, themed terrace, a series of showstopping, carnival-inspired live DJs and entertainment, and a limited-edition cocktail menu for guests to enjoy as the days get longer and lighter. Book a table here.

Gunpowder in Tower Bridge

Indian restaurant Gunpowder has opened the terrace at their restaurant on Duchess Walk, which overlooks Tower Bridge. Featuring a series of individual dining pods, the terrace can accommodate groups of up to six to dine on Gunpowder classics including their Mustard Malai Broccoli, Chaat and Norfolk Potatoes and the (famous) Gunpowder Lamb Chops. Their drinks list features a series of Indian -slanted cocktails and London’s largest Portuguese wine list. Books a table here.

Hawk’s Nest in Shepherd’s Bush

The Hawk’s Nest reopens its outdoor dining space and bar in Shepherd’s Bush on 12 th April. The hidden gem is one of very few spots in West London that can host groups outside until the rest of the hospitality world opens later in the year. At the heart of the community, The Hawk’s Nest has also become a destination in its own right, with people travelling from across London to sample the delicious hot pizzas and classic cocktails. To book a table visit their website here.

Hicce in King’s Cross

Hicce, the British, wood-fired restaurant from Pip Lacey known for its seasonal menu and sharing plates, boasts a 70-seater terrace on the ground floor on Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross and an 80-seater terrace upstairs. Diners can enjoy dishes such as Tempura Parsnip, Curry Sauce, Raisins, GreenChili and Almonds and Monkfish with Radicchio, Hazelnuts and Naturgium while sipping on vermouth direct from a tuk tuk outside the restaurant on the expansive terrace, ideal for al fresco dining. Book a table here.

Hide in Mayfair

Hide will re-open its terrace on the 12 th April, welcoming diners to enjoy views over leafy Green Park while tucking into Hide’s curated seasonal menus which executive chef Ollie Dabbous has become renowned for.The alfresco dining space, featuring heaters and parasols, will seat just over 35 for all-day dining, providing the perfect spot for the warm spring and summer months ahead. Serving breakfast, lunch, aperitivo and dinner, the menu will feature favourites from the à la carte menu at Hide Ground and cocktails from Hide Below. Book a table here.

Homeboy Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms

Irish bartending duo Ciaran Smith and Aaron Wall are set to second site, Homeboy Embassy Gardens, this April 12 th . The pair will open with their wraparound terrace and the full venue will open on 17 th May following COVID guidelines. The new bar is set to become a destination bar with a neighbourhood feel. This Dublin duo’s first bar, Homeboy Islington, is now the “northsider” to this new “southsider” venue. The much larger site will be offering an Irish whiskey focused menu alongside signature and classic cocktails and with a food offering of brunch through to a la carte and Sunday Lunch at the weekends. Book a table here.

Jamavar in Mayfair

Jamavar, the much-loved Indian restaurant in Mayfair, co-founded by Samyukta Nair and her father Dinesh, will this April launch its new summer terrace. Set in the heart of Mount Street with its beautiful Queen Anne revival style architecture, amongst neighbours Balenciaga, Christopher Kane and James Purdey, the terrace looks out onto Tadao Ando’s water feature Silence. Enclosed with box hedging and period railings, then covered with a grand mustard yellow awning, the terrace will have seats for just 8 guests. There will be heaters and soft throws to keep away the chills on those cooler summer nights. To book a table call 02074991800 or e-mail [email protected]

Kerridge’s Garden Grill at Corinthia London in Westminster

Corinthia London is delighted to announce that the team behind Kerridge’s Bar & Grill will open an outdoor pop-up restaurant – Kerridge’s Garden Grill – from 12 th April-16 th May 2021. This 46-cover terrace will be located on a mezzanine level (directly above The Garden, where the hotel’s Executive Chef André Garrett’s Mediterranean-inspired menu will be available daily, also from 12 th April). At Kerridge’s Garden Grill, Head Chef Nick Beardshaw will be cooking seasonal dishes from an open Synergy grill. This new pop-up space surrounds the glass dome atop Corinthia London’s Baccarat chandelier (in the Crystal Moon Lounge), and will be transformed into a garden oasis. Bookings can be made by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 7321 3244.

Kolamba in Soho

Kolamba will be opening their terrace in Soho on 12 th April, serving up vibrant Sri Lankan faire in the heart of London. Get ready to be tempted by curries and traditional sambols as well as range of veggie and vegan dishes as the smell of cononut and cardamom spills out into the street. Some of the tables will be kept available for walk-ins, but if you prefer to plan ahead, you can book a table here.

Lost in Brixton in Brixton Village

A rooftop paradise hidden within Brixton Village, Lost in Brixton is the ideal spot for catching up with missed friends over Latin American-inspired cocktails and local craft beers. The venue will champion its neighbouring restaurants, showcasing food from within the Village itself, including Fish, Wings & Tings (Caribbean), Jalisco Brixton (Latin American-inspired dishes), Okan Japanese restaurant, and The Joint (family barbecue). Live music from local talent, as well as DJs, will be providing the party atmosphere all summer long. Book here.

LPM in Mayfair

One of London’s chicest hideaways and best kept secrets LPM will launch its beautiful Mayfair terrace on 12 th April on Brook’s Mews. The critically acclaimed restaurant is thrilled to welcome friends old and new to enjoy the world renowned Riviera-inspired cuisine created by Raphael Duntoye. His food champions the best in produce, showcased in confident simplicity, paired with a newly formulated cocktail and extensive wine list. Nestled in the heart of Mayfair away from the crowd, the hidden terrace is open from 12.30-3pm and 6pm-11pm ad holds up to 30 people, offering the perfect way to enjoy a touch of al fresco this summer. Book a table here.

Malfy at Harvey Nichols

Malfy Gin have taken over the Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge Fifth Floor outdoor space to launch the Malfy Gin’s Lemon Grove Terrace, available until 27 th June. The space is transformed into a Mediterranean escape where guests can enjoy la dolce vita, sipping on delicious cocktails and dining with an Italian-inspired spring menu – exclusive to the terrace. Book a table here.

Mariage Frere’s Iced Tea Terrace in Covent Garden

Luxury French tea emporium, Mariage Frères, will open its chic Tea Terrace for al fresco dining and drinking on 12 th April, serving refreshing iced teas, chilled champagne and cocktails alongside picture perfect afternoon teas. With Covent Garden welcoming shoppers and visitors once more, the terrace is the perfect place to watch the world go by and celebrate the city’s rebirth this spring. To book a table email [email protected]

ME London’s Radio Rooftop in Covent Garden

Radio Rooftop, ME London Hotel’s iconic bar with panoramic views of London will re-open on 12 th April, where guests can enjoy the changing views of the capital stretching from the Shard and St Paul’s downstream to the London Eye and Big Ben in the west. Located a stone’s throw from the bustling streets of Soho, Radio Rooftop presents an incomparable space in London, where guests can enjoy live music and DJ sets alongside the sophisticated food and drink offering for which ME London has become renowned. Book a table here.

Native in Mayfair

This April, wild food pioneers Native will open the Native at Browns Courtyard, part of their new home at Browns Brook Street, Mayfair. Filled with abundant foliage, the space will act as an extension to the Native at Browns space, offering fans of the restaurant the opportunity to dine al-fresco ahead of the restaurant’s official opening this May. Opening on Monday 12 th April, the secluded courtyard is one of the few addresses in Mayfair with significant outdoor space. Open throughout the day, it has room to accommodate 40 diners. Co-founders Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis have created a Garden Snacks menu which features a selection of small dishes, cocktails and wines by the glass. Book a table here.

Nine Lives Alley in London Bridge

The team behind Nine Lives cocktail bar will return with its al fresco incarnation Nine Lives Alley this spring, with the Mexico City-inspired street scene, located on the cobbles of Holyrood Street in London Bridge. Alongside a DJ, killer cocktails and crafts beers, chef El Tigre will return to the street with his lauded Tigre Tacos. Cocktails will be on rotation, depending on what ingredients are available on the day from neighbouring markets, as well as Howling Hops Tropical IPA and Asahi beer served Karakuchi style. Book a table here.

Novikov Outdoors in Mayfair

All the elements that have ensured Novikov’s place at the forefront of the London dining scene – the much-loved Asian and Italian restaurant classics, the superlative wine and cocktail list and the exemplary service – will return in a glamorous al fresco Mayfair setting called Novikov Outdoors. 16 tables – seating up to 50 customers – offer an inspired combination of signature Asian dishes including Scallop and Truffle New Style Sashimi and Miso Black Cod together with Italian Restaurant delicacies like Burrata with Sicilian Datterino Tomatoes and Seabass with Spinach & Crudaiola Sauce. Tables should be booked in advance, although six will be left for lunchtime and evening walk-ins. Bookings for Novikov Outdoors can be made via e-mail or by calling 020 7399 4330.

Opso in Marylebone

Reopening this April, Greek restaurant Opso will bring a slice of Athenian opulence to Marylebone’s dining scene, with the launch of their Spring terrace. Winding its way around the restaurant, this features intimate tables for two, four and six diners, seating a maximum of 40. Guests are invited to dine on a new seasonal menu of modern Greek dishes including homemade delicacies, traditional recipes and a raw bar whilst the bar team serve glasses of Greek sparkling wines, rosé and signature cocktails. Book a table here.

Padella in Borough Market and Shoreditch

Pedella, the popular pasta bar serving up fresh, hand-rolled pasta with a range of delicious fillings, will be opening from Monday 12 th April for outdoor dining. Both sites in Borough Market and Shoreditch will be welcoming back customers to their outdoor terraces, so for anyone in need of an Italian fix, it’s the perfect spot to spread out onto the pavement and indulge your carb cravings. Book a table here.

Paradise in Soho

Paradise Soho opens its new terrace with Drinking & Short Eats, inspired by the eternal energy of Colombo, and its roadside eateries serving street food. The terrace is a 30-seater outdoor space will have snacks of Beetroot and Banana Blossom Cutlet Croquettes, Crab Patty Empanadas with Unumiris Mayo Mutton Shoulder Rolls with Fermented Chilli and Northern Spiced Pork Belly Skewers with Kithul Molasses. The drinking menu includes a selection of natural, biodynamic wines and Sri Lankan-inspired cocktails. Paradise unwraps Sri Lanka’s rich food culture drawing on family recipes influenced by Portuguese, Malay, South Indian and Dutch cuisines. Book a table here.

The Parisian Cafe at St James in St James’s

Located on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place, The Parisian Cafe at St James will open its terrace outside the five-starred Sofitel London St James hotel for alfresco dining, serving its fare of modern European dishes. Guests can enjoy starters of dressed crab with whipped butter, sourdough and bitter greens nduja tartine with endive and fried hen’s egg, or a dozen oysters whilst sipping on a refreshingly light spritz. To follow, grilled minute sirloin is served with chophouse butter and garlic croute, or lemon sole comes with capers and parsley in a burnt butter sauce. The terrace is open daily from 12pm-10pm for walk ins only.

Pergola Paddington in Paddington

Pergola Paddington is a beautifully leafy, outdoor venue tucked away near the canal in West London. This summer, Pergola Paddington will host bookable beach huts in partnership with Miraval Rose. Inspired by the French Riviera, the huts will resemble classic Provençal-inspired sandy beach clubs decked out with Riviera touches. The cosy huts will be bookable for 6-10 people and will offer special packages to purchase for the table. There will also be a Moet & Chandon Champagne Garden Terrace, which will transport them to the beachside luxury of a Hamptons Beach Clubhouse without leaving the capital. Book online here.

Riding House Cafe in Fitzrovia and Rail House Cafe in Victoria

With an extended terrace seating 120, both covered and heated, Victoria’s Rail House Cafe is a perfect place to gather with groups up to six for drinks or dining. Imaginative all-day menus will be revealed closer to opening, but weekend brunch is sure to be a fixture. Sister restaurant Riding House Cafe in Fitzrovia will also reopen on 12 th April, with a covered outdoor terrace on Great Titchfield Street.

Sam’s Riverside in Hammersmith

Sam is reopening his outside terrace from Monday 12 th April, operating two sittings at lunch and dinner every day. The seafood restaurant will be running a special Reopening Menu alongside a selection of their favourite oysters and fish dishes. They also have some great new cocktails for customers to try and a new wine list ready to pour. Book a table here.

Scott’s in Mayfair

Mayfair restaurant Scott’s have announced their new installation in line with the much-awaited reopening of its iconic terrace on 12 th April, created in collaboration with Perrier-Jouët Champagne. Inspired by Pantone’s Color of the year, “Illuminating Yellow”, and with a nod to Nina Simone’s renowned song, Feeling Good, the Mount Street façade and terrace has undergone a colourful yet elegant yellow transformation designed to dazzle and delight. Depicting strength and hopefulness, whilst being uplifting and symbolic of sunshine, the vibrant installation hopes to bring a smile to both those dining on the terrace and passers-by alike. Book a table here.

Smokestak in Shoreditch

On Monday 12 th April, in line with government guidance, Smokestak will re-open its terrace and welcome guests to its Shoreditch home once again. Diners are invited to sit al fresco under a bespoke new canopy and can expect a barbecue-led menu including much-loved favourites and innovative new spring dishes from founder David Carter. Diners can take their pick from a new menu of snacks and starters including: Chipotle Caramel Wings and Salt-Baked Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnut. Book a table for four to six here, or walk in for smaller groups.

Smoking Goat in Shoreditch

Shoreditch favourite Smoking Goat has a covered 60-seater terrace on Redchurch Street. The kitchen centres on carefully sourced ingredients, with Thai herbs and vegetables grown in Cornwall and Dorset and underrated, native seafood from Cornish waters, serving up a mixture of comfort dishes from the woks and spicy seafood from the open barbecues. Book a table here.

Swift in Soho

The multi-award-winning cocktail bar, Swift, in central London, has a terrace that leads out into the vibrant streets of Soho. In keeping with the elegant decor of the bar, the heated seating outside creates the atmosphere of drinking in a romantic European city. The cocktail menu celebrates its local neighbourhood and draws inspiration from Soho’s eclectic and multi-faceted culture and is the perfect place to stop for a pre-dinner drink or nightcap and watch the world go by. Book a table here.

Tate Modern Riverside Terrace in Southwark

Although the Tate galleries remain closed for the time being, from Saturday 17 th April, on the bank of the River Thames, the Terrace at Tate Modern plans to reopen, serving stone-baked pizzas, craft beer and ice cream from British family-run Jude’s. Visitors can also enjoy a cup of Tate coffee, which is roasted in the Tate Britain Coffee Roastery: a converted WW2 brick-built bunker situated within the historic grounds of Tate Britain. The space will offer outdoor seating, great views of the idyllic waterfront and the option to eat on the terrace or take-away. For more information visit the Tate website here.

Tayēr + Elementary in Old Street

Award-winning Old Street cocktail bar Tayēr + Elementary has a newly opened terrace which leads out from their all-day casual bar Elementary onto the lively streets of East London. Guests can enjoy cocktails, a selection of the bar’s signature cocktails, and wine-based sharing carafes alongside uniquely delicious, mouth-watering food selection from their chef partners Kitchen FM. Tayēr + Elementary’s outside terrace is ideal for any occasion, whether you’re looking for a cocktail pit-stop, or an afternoon grazing over small plates, and sharing carafes with friends. Book a table here.

The Cheese Truck in Paddington

From Wednesday 14 th April, Mathew Carver, Founder of The Cheese Truck, The Cheese Bar and Pick & Cheese, will be mobilising The Cheese Truck to celebrate the end of lockdown and bring delicious British cheese to the people of West London. Parking up in Paddington Central, the team will be serving their sought-after grilled cheese sandwiches with a pop-up terrace beside the canal, perfect for those looking to enjoy alfresco dining this Spring. The Cheese Truck pop-up will be open midday-8pm every Wednesday to Sunday from April 14 th until Sunday 16 th May. Check out their Instagram here.

The Farrier in Camden

The Farrier, a new neighbourhood pub and restaurant headed up by a three-Michelin-star-trained chef, will be launching in London on 15 th April, opening up its alfresco terrace and hidden courtyard with firepits. The Farrier promises modern rustic comfort food at its best, alfresco Sunday sharing roasts and an extensive selection of artisan and natural wines. Camden Market’s first ever pub, it’s housed in beautifully restored horse hospital and stables buildings. Book a table here.

The Ivy in Soho and Kensington

The Ivy Soho Brasserie and The Ivy Kensington Brasserie will be re-opening their beautiful, heated and covered terraces on 12 th April for outdoor dining. Situated in the heart of Kensington and Soho guests will be able to catch up with friends and loved ones al fresco whilst enjoying a delicious selection of wines, cocktails and much-loved Ivy classics including chicken Milanese, shepherd’s pie and the ever so indulgent chocolate bombe. In line with government guidelines, guests will be able to reserve tables of up to six guests from separate households, subject to availability. For further information or to make an outdoor reservation, please visit The Ivy Kensington and The Ivy Soho Brasserie websites.

The Macallan Manor House at Rosewood London in Holborn

Inspired by the Scottish Highlands and The Macallan Estate, The Macallan Manor House is an immersive terrace, located in the heart of Rosewood London’s iconic courtyard. The terrace will be reopening on 12 th April and will evolve throughout the seasons, reflecting the estate’s countryside setting so that guests can enjoy al fresco dining all year round. The all day dining menu will include delights such as grilled octopus alongside native breed chorizo and aioli and potato, comté and caramelised onion pie with parsley sauce. Book a table here.

The Prince in Hammersmith

The Prince is a converted pub in West Brompton, transformed into a beautiful English garden set across three floors, with a retractable roof protecting against the unpredictable English weather. This summer, guests will be able to enjoy a selection of refreshing summer cocktails list and food from brand new restaurant pop ups. Filth&Co, Boludo, Rudie’s and Nonna Madonna will continue to serve burgers, latin street food and Neapolitan pizzas. As sporting events start to return over the summer, The Prince will be the perfect place to watch fixtures such as rugby, tennis and the Euro 2021 with a private room dedicated to showing sport on large screens for up to 80 people. Book a table here.

The Wigmore Summer Terrace and Garden in Marylebone

This summer, the popular pub within The Langham is beginning service outdoors with the Wigmore Summer Terrace and Garden. The space has been transformed into the ultimate city garden, complete with beautiful wooden benches and a newly erected pergola, adorned with climbing vines and fresh greenery. There will be other flowers and foliage from plants and hanging baskets, an outdoor bar area serving refreshing Hendricks G&Ts and cold beers on tap and, should the British weather take a turn for the worst, heat lamps and covered areas to escape the rain. As the new Summer Terrace and Garden will be an extension of The Wigmore, the food offering will include well-loved classics as well some new specials, all overseen by Michel Roux Jr. To book a table, visit here.

Wild by Tart in Belgravia

Tucked away in the quaint Eccleston Yards in Pimlico, Wild by Tart was founded by friends Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones of catering company Tart London. On their 24-seat terrace, guests can enjoy their relaxed all-day dining menu, focusing on big flavours and seasonal, sustainably-sourced ingredients, often from their respective family farms in Northumberland and Somerset. Highlights of the wood-fired pizzas include Tamworth pork, nduja, roast garlic mascarpone, fennel and basil pizza and goat’s curd, nettle, and heather honey pizza. Book a table here.

Yauatcha in Soho and the City

The expansive double wraparound terraces overlooking Broadgate Circle at Yauatcha City have recently been revamped, providing a sophisticated urban destination for guests to catch up over dim sum and expertly prepared cocktails. Over on Broadwick Street, enjoy dim sum and patisserie whilst soaking up the atmosphere from the heart of Soho at Yauatcha Soho.

28-50 in Covent Garden and Marylebone

Independent wine specialists 28-50 Wine Bar & Kitchen Covent Garden and 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen Marylebone will open up both terraces for guests to dine outside whilst sampling executive chef Julien Baris’s new seasonal dishes. Highlights from the new menu include freshly caught seafood platters including mussels, rock oysters, prawns, clams and crab, which pair perfectly with 28-50’s varied wine-list with vintages chosen from their own vineyard in the French Alps.

Challenged by the Chefs

The approach of restaurant chefs to recipe development differs greatly from that of editors of cookbooks and food magazines for the home cook. While researching and writing articles and books, then, my challenges include scaling down the amounts of ingredients to work for a small dinner party instead of a busy restaurant converting grams into ounces and liters into cups and making sure all ingredients are included in the directions or method. Many times, home cooks do not have the same equipment in their kitchens as the restaurant chef, and that must be noted and changed.

My friend Kemp Minifie, a former editor at Gourmet magazine, shared thoughts on working with chef recipes. “They know what they’re talking about,” she says, “and they’re slanting it in chef lingo. I think a lot more people today, because of having watched Food Network and cooking shows, are a little more versed in the terminology. But I’m still not sure whether they fully understand it.”

Of course, just understanding chefs isn’t always enough. Minifie says, “I think that a lot of times chefs are not going to tell you the little something extra or special ingredient that makes their food unique. It’s their trade secret. But,” she adds, “I must say we learned at Gourmet that a lot of great ideas come from chef’s recipes.”

In my interview with chef/owner Marc Swierkowski, of Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant in Wareham, I asked if he ever left out one of his trade secrets in a recipe. “Yes,” he admits, “I have done it a few times because this is a business.” I asked another friend, culinary historian Anne Mendelson, author of Stand Facing the Stove, the story of the two women who wrote The Joy of Cooking, for her thoughts on chef recipes. “I think women chefs are more connected to reality,” she says. “Many started out as home cooks or bakers. Many are more adapted to writing recipes because of their background in their home kitchen.”

Another challenge: When I travel to Italy and collect recipes there, it is twice the work to present them to American cooks. For example, on my last trip I asked for four torte (cake) recipes from restaurants and pastry chefs. If I liked the dessert, I would go into the kitchen and photograph the pastry chef while she or he wrote the recipe. Then I look at what I was given, the ingredients written in Italian, using grams, liters and Celsius. There may be one or two lines of instruction. No details. Each recipe needs translation and formatting, using ingredients found in the U.S. Ingredients are very different in Italy, so I sometimes substitute an ingredient to make it work.

Here are four recipes from four Cape Cod chefs three who own restaurants and one high-end restaurant and resort chef. Many of these recipes have multiple parts, and you may want to use some of the ideas to add to your own meal, rather than slavishly following the whole recipe from start to finish. For example, try chef James Hackney’s salsify puree as a side for a grilled steak. Chef John Wilson suggests using his recipe for Sweet & Sour Sauce for brushing on pork chops or chicken when cooking on the grill and serve the Corn and Jalapeno Relish as a side dish. The same advice is true when you look at chef Martha Kane’s recipe for Pan-Seared Atlantic Halibut. The Romesco Sauce can be used in several ways, such as tossed into pasta or served with any variety of fish or even chicken. Try the Fingerling Potato Salad with one of your summer BBQ recipes. In chef Swierkowski’s recipe for Stuffed Squash blossoms, the Zucchini Pesto is delicious served as a first course.

Wine suggestions: for summer, lighter varieties are the rule. Depending on your individual taste, the goal is to compliment the food. Here are a few ideas. A dry rose, a French chablis, Albarino from Spain or an Italian Vermentino. Also, do not rule out a light Pinot Noir. Ask your server for a suggestion. Many restaurants import wines from smaller vineyards. They can be a pleasant surprise.

Chef Jackson Boxer on hedonism, fatherhood and falling in love

Or Tabasco. Or radishes. Or any gastronomic topic for that matter. So filled with enthusiasm is the man currently being lauded as London’s hottest chef that even a casual mention of a foodstuff can trigger a soliloquy about foraging for molluscs or lead to a back-of-your-hand tasting of a special-edition hot sauce. It might even lead to a Proustian reverie about the ‘fiery, intense excitement’ of the first radish he grew himself on his granny’s farm.

Strutting around the poured concrete floors of his rhapsodised-about new restaurant, St Leonards, in Shoreditch, in brown leather workmen’s boots, turned-up Uniqlo jeans and a white T-shirt, whistling along to Prince ‘sex jams’, 33-year-old Boxer seems in his element. He’s all double entendres, jovial winks for the make-up artist and jokes about when the naked part of the photo shoot will begin. Were it not for his grey oilcloth apron, he could be the lead singer of an indie band: Alex Turner with an Aga. But when we sit down to chat at one of the putty-coloured suede banquettes, there’s a real sense of shyness to this award-winning chef.

Boxer says that the idea for the restaurant, a collaboration with Andrew Clarke, his friend and former chef at Brunswick House, came about, like all the best ideas, over a ‘very drunken lunch’ at his artist mother, Kate’s, farmhouse in West Sussex. ‘Andrew and I were both incredibly run-down and feeling like we needed to find the joy again,’ he recalls. ‘We were very hungover thanks to bottles and bottles of tequila after dinner service the night before. We dragged a sirloin of beef we’d aged for 60 days and a four-kilo brill and turbot down on the train to my mum’s for lunch. My brother [Frank, owner of Frank’s rooftop bar in Peckham] also turned up rather worse for wear, along with my godfather and dear friend, Jeremy Lee [the chef-patron of Quo Vadis]. We fired up my mum’s 13th-century bread oven and got a fire going outside and roasted everything with some herbs we picked from the garden and we just felt so inspired again.’

Boxer is quite the raconteur. Despite the initial reticence, his stories are all seasoned with wild gesticulation, a filthy laugh and a sprinkling of famous names. Given his family tree, that’s hardly surprising. His grandmother is the legendary food writer Arabella Boxer who, having written more than a dozen books, still lives in London aged 84, while his grandfather was Mark Boxer, editor of Tatler, who founded The Sunday Times Magazine in 1962. His father, Charlie, owns the much-loved Bonnington Square deli, Italo (former employees include Tom Adams and Jamie Berger, who went on to set up Pitt Cue).

‘Growing up, my parents were formidable cooks,’ he says. ‘We were raised vegetarian and an amazing feast would materialise from nowhere, effortlessly. One of the greatest things I learned from them was to not take food too seriously.’ His upbringing in Stockwell sounds the epitome of bourgeois bohemia. ‘We lived quite communally in a big house with lots of my parents’ friends, so my brother and I had a very carefree existence,’ he tells me. ‘There was always an adult around to read to us or talk to us or play with us.’

After a stint at his local primary school in Stockwell, he was a boarder at Christ’s Hospital in West Sussex. ‘I was quite badly bullied there but it was intensely character-building,’ he says. ‘I learned what I’d let people knock out of me and what I’d hold on to.’ At 16 he came back to London and joined the sixth-form at Camden School for Girls. ‘It was exceptionally good fun,’ he says with a smirk. ‘That’s also why I’ve really forced a mixed gender environment in my kitchens. Boys and girls are good for each other.’

It was around this time that Boxer started babysitting for the children of influential chefs Margot and Fergus Henderson (as you do). ‘Margot would wake me up at 2am and drag me into the kitchen for a whisky and round the table you’d have Sarah Lucas and Michael Clark and Mark Hix. It was just this wonderful blend of art and fashion and dance and food. I’m not very creative but I’m very turned on by other people’s creativity.’

It’s an ethos he cultivates among his own social circle, which includes Florence Welch and Benedict Cumberbatch (he cooked for the actor’s 40th birthday feast), gallerist Jay Jopling and fashion designers Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard. McMafia star James Norton is an old friend from Cambridge — Boxer studied English and philosophy — and he was one of the first through the doors at St Leonards.

Given that Boxer wrote his first cookbook aged six — ‘I had a recipe for half a strawberry stuffed with edible flowers and chives’— starting his own restaurant, Brunswick House, at 23, in an ‘insane antiques shop’ on a Vauxhall roundabout, probably didn’t seem that precocious. ‘I had no idea what I was doing,’ he admits. ‘Loads of people told me I was bonkers. You kind of have this audacity of f*** it. I was basically the only member of staff at first, but we only had about 20 people coming through the doors every day.’ Ten years later they regularly do more than 200 covers. In 2012 he set up Rita’s, the Hackney cocktail bar and diner that was madly popular for a time but has now closed, and before St Leonards he was devising the menu for Mayfair members’ joint Chess Club.

Boxer says that his relationship with his brother, who initially ran the bar at Brunswick House, has always been close but competitive. ‘Frank is 18 months younger and at school he was athletic and good looking and popular, whereas I was introverted and bookish. He started his Campari bar at 22 and financially it’s exponentially more successful than Brunswick House will ever be. He’s much better at splitting his work and personal life than I am.’ As ‘lapsed Gunners fans’ they regularly get together to watch a match or have dinner together. Current favourites include Bright in Hackney and 40 Maltby Street. ‘Frank is the first person who’ll tell me when I’m being an a***hole and expecting too much from people,’ he says.

The notoriously rock ’n’ roll chef lifestyle meant that Jackson’s 20s were ‘pretty excessive’. ‘This is an industry notorious for its self-abuse and obviously a small amount of that can be very good fun. In your 20s you thrive off that repetitive adrenaline, but then you think, “Do I want to do this for ever?” Andrew and I, like many of our peers, have struggled through some very dark bouts of depression. There was a lot of reckless hedonism and it was about ego and I wasn’t looking after myself.’ He won’t be drawn on the details — ‘I’ll leave it to your imagination!’ — but reveals, after a bit of prodding, that he would ‘quite frequently get girls sending phone numbers to me over the pass and things like that’. He also admits that ‘cooking for someone and being cooked for is very sexy’.

It was at Brunswick House that he first met his partner, Melissa Thompson, then a stylist working with industry legends Alister Mackie and Katy England and now a designer who co-founded the shoes and accessories brand Atelier Bâba. He refers to her as his ‘wife’ even though ‘we’re not married, but only because we haven’t had time’. The story of their first weekend together is typically long and fantastically romantic, and involves a screening of the ‘psychotically violent’ film King of New York under the Hungerford Bridge, ‘getting kicked out of the Savoy for being basically barefoot’, ‘drinking expensive brandy at Racine in Knightsbridge’ and ‘screaming and crying at each other in the street’. ‘I thought if this is what life is going to be like with you — it’s crazy but I’m all in.’

Two years later their daughter, Roma, now five, was born and 18 months ago they welcomed their son, Ruscha, to the Boxer brood. ‘It did seem young [to settle down] as we were in our mid-20s, but I didn’t want to keep falling in love,’ he says. ‘It was like, “I love you, let’s see if we can make this work.” It’s been challenging but I feel so lucky to have this extraordinary, clever, beautiful person to share parenting with. They went on holiday for a few days without me last month and the feeling of emptiness was profound.’ He says he can imagine having a large brood like fellow chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey. ‘I love having children, I could go on having children for ever,’ he says. ‘But I’m intensely aware that I’m not around for a lot of the heavy lifting because of work. I’m very hands-on when I’m around, but I’m not always around.’

Home is a ‘beautiful if somewhat ramshackle house’ in Stockwell with his dad, Charlie, living in the attic. He says that being away from his children has been the hardest thing about opening St Leonards. ‘For the last year I’ve been able to get up in the mornings with them, take my daughter to school, sleep-train my son, but since opening this place I’ve been working six days a week and on Sundays I just sleep, so it’s been a real wrench. Even in the last few months I’ve noticed my son’s not as close to me, which is painful.’

Although Boxer admits he still likes a drink to wind down after a busy service, today he claims the extent of his social life is the swings in his local park. ‘We hang out with the kids with a cold bottle of white wine, some cheese and some crackers,’ he says. ‘Or we get the paddling pool out in the garden — heaven!’ He’s writing a book — ‘recipes and long-form essays about food and the way it entwines with the rich experience of being human’ — and it sounds like only a matter of time before he has his own TV show. ‘I’ve shot a few pilots but it hasn’t happened yet,’ he says. ‘I think TV is a great medium for food.’

By now St Leonards is in full swing for lunch and I can tell Boxer is eager to throw himself back into the kitchen. The cool, tranquil dining room is a buzzy mix of couples, colleagues and David Waddington, the incredible talent behind Bistrotheque, dining solo with the newspaper and to whom Boxer blows a kiss. As he gets up to leave I ask Boxer what his last supper would be. He thinks for a minute, downs the last of his double espresso with a dash of hot milk, and gives an answer that seems to sum up his approach to cooking, and life: simple pleasures, elevated. ‘The Outer Hebrides at sunset with Melissa and the children. And loads of caviar.’

5 of the best London supper clubs everyone is talking about

Supper clubs are synonymous with London’s foodie scene, and you’re sure to find a new one popping up somewhere in the city! From an organic communal dinner in Hackney to dinner on a refurbished London Tube carriage, here are the latest London supper clubs everyone is talking about!

1. Dine on an old Victoria Line Tube carriage

Yes, you read right – you can now have dinner on a vintage Tube train! Straight out of the 1960s, this Victoria Line carriage has been fully refurbished but with its original furnishings still on display. Head chef Bea Maldonado hails from Colombia and has created a gastronomic 8-course South American menu featuring her original take on empanadas, ceviche and costillas. Join a communal table with other diners or book a small booth just for you. There are also complimentary welcome cocktails as well as alcohol available for purchase on board. See why TimeOut and The Handbook rated this exclusive Eatwith experience 5 stars and check out our London Community Manager’s personal review!

2. Live & Let Dine – A Bond-themed immersive dinner

Do you like your martinis shaken, not stirred? This stylish pop-up event is the ultimate feast fit for any assassin! Enter into MI6’s secret bunker hidden tucked away in Waterloo for a James Bond-style immersive theatre show and dinner. Over the course of three hours, you’ll be treated to an interactive performance, a 4-course dinner by Chavdar from PopCo, and lots of twists and turns. Plus on Friday and Saturday nights, you can party until midnight in this underground venue.

Will you live and let dine? Find out more about this James Bond supper club.

3. Alice in Wonderland fine dining dinner

Take a chance and go down the rabbit hole with That Hungry Chef Pratap and his legendary supper club, hosted at his private home in Islington. Eat and drink potions concocted by this Michelin-trained chef, and delights like Mock Turtle Soup, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and the Queen of Hearts.

Don’t miss out on this truly unique experience – there are only 14 seats available! Book your spot now.

4. An innovative sustainable tasting menu in Hackney

Previously the Head Chef at the critically acclaimed Vanilla Black restaurant, chef Aidan Brooks now hosts innovative dinners at his home in the heart of Hackney. Passionate about sustainable, local and organic produce, Aidan’s plant-based menus use only ingredients that have been cultivated or foraged in the Hackney borough. More than just a meal, Aidan will accompany and guide you through each of his carefully curated 7 courses. Feel free to ask questions, try new flavors and meet other like-minded people from around the world.

5. Floating dinner on a boathouse

Welcome aboard London’s hottest new venue – a luxury boathouse moored on the Paddington Basin canal. Come below deck for some refreshing cocktails and canapes, followed by an elaborate fine dining menu by the creative minds behind Banquet. The best part? This experience is entirely BYOB!

All hands on deck! This summer there’s only one place to be seen – The Boathouse on Paddington Basin!

Gotto at Here East in Hackney Wick: A canalside trattoria that transports you from industrial London to Northern Italy

Based on the banks of the River Lee Navigation in Hackney Wick is the independent and family-run Gotto, an Italian restaurant with a scenic view of the canal. The eatery was set up by three brothers and a friend who wanted to create a genuine local trattoria reminiscent of the neighbourhood establishments from where they grew up in northern Italy. This is exactly what they’ve achieved. Contrasted against the backdrop of industrial east London, it’s a fun and vibrant place to enjoy a meal.

The menu is fairly simple, which gives the impression of the owners knowing what works and not needing too many frills, which you’d expect from a proper Italian place. A cocktail on arrival is a must: either a bittersweet negroni or a foamy and delicious espresso martini. Pair this with some antipasti such as garlic focaccia or Nocellara olives. In terms of starters, the Burrata Pugliese is mouth-wateringly creamy and goes beautifully with the Deep-Fried Squid. The second dish comes with a mustardy mayo which is unexpected but tasty.

The setting of the canal is really peaceful and it’s easy to forget you’re sitting outside in London – it feels almost like being in another country – and the fairy lights and heaters give a lovely, relaxing ambiance.

Next comes the question every Italophile dreads: pizza or pasta? If you go with the former, the Gotto – tomato sauce, mozzarella, San Daniele ham, rocket and truffle oil – manages to be rich and indulgent but also fresh. Those after the latter won’t be disappointed by the Tagliatelle with Beef Ragu, which is slow-cooked over 24 hours and served with fresh pasta. This is pure, warming comfort.

There’s also plenty of choice for veggies such as Maccheroncini alla Puttanesca or the Summer Veggie Pizza. All the pasta is hand-rolled and the pizza dough is made fresh every morning using only water, salt, yeast and flour.

The wine list is short but sweet – be sure to pair rich and meaty mains with a flavoursome red. We recommend the 2019 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Borgo Sena. The wine can be purchased by the glass, carafe or bottle. For those who prefer beer with their pizza there’s a choice of Camden Hells, Birra Moretti, Hackney Hopster or Broadway Boss.

An Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without tiramisu – and Gotto’s does not disappoint. Super thick but fresh cream, booze-soaked biscuits and a chocolate topping: what more could you want? Wash it back with an espresso for total satisfaction.

Gotto is just one great choice amongst a sun-soaked line-up of canalside terraces at Here East, from Saint Espresso, Mother and Breakfast Club to Randy’s Wing Bar and The Lock Inn. It’s the kind of place you could stay all day, hopping leisurely from brunch and coffee to evening drinks. If you’re in central London, you also might want to pop into Gotto’s sister restaurant, Mele e Pere, tucked away in the heart of Soho.

Lilly Subbotin

To book a table at Gotto, 27E Bay Lane London E15 2GW, call 020 4513 6270 or visit their website here.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen

Sean Sherman , the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef, dispels outdated notions of Native American fare no fry bread, dairy products, or sugar here. The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen features healthful plates that embrace venison, duck, blueberries, sage, amaranth, and abundant wildflowers. This volume is a delectable introduction to the modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.

"Mr. Sherman is joining a vital group that stretches across North America and Canada, using food culture to celebrate and empower native people."—Tejal Rao, The New York Times

Here is real food—our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, “clean” ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his breakout book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy.

Sherman dispels outdated notions of Native American fare—no fry bread or Indian tacos here—and no European staples such as wheat flour, dairy products, sugar, and domestic pork and beef. The Sioux Chef’s healthful plates embrace venison and rabbit, river and lake trout, duck and quail, wild turkey, blueberries, sage, sumac, timpsula or wild turnip, plums, purslane, and abundant wildflowers. Contemporary and authentic, his dishes feature cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes, amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste, three sisters salad, deviled duck eggs, smoked turkey soup, dried meats, roasted corn sorbet, and hazelnut–maple bites.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.

$34.95 ISBN 978-0-8166-9979-7
240 pages, 6 b&w plates, 115 color plates, 7 x 10, October 2017

Chef Sean Sherman was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana for the past twenty-seven years. He works as a caterer and food educator across the country through his business The Sioux Chef, based in South Minneapolis. He has earned plaudits and profiles in such venues as National Public Radio, Guardian UK, Saveur, and the New York Times.

Beth Dooley is author of many award-winning cookbooks, including Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen, Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, and The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She has also written a memoir, In Winter’s Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.

Mr. Sherman is joining a vital group that stretches across North America and Canada, using food culture to celebrate and empower native people.

Tejal Rao, The New York Times

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is inspired and important. Sean Sherman and his team remake indigenous cuisine and in doing so show us all a new way to relate to food. This book and what it offers is nothing short of thrilling.

Sean Sherman is doing some of the most important culinary work in America. In The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen, he takes a forward-thinking approach to indigenous cuisine, bringing his culture into the light to share with the rest of the world.

Sean Brock, James Beard Award Winner, author of Heritage, and Executive Chef at Husk, Charleston, South Carolina

I am impressed by Chef Sean Sherman’s dedication to a cuisine that has long been lost, his respect for his heritage, and his passion to bring the beauty of this tradition into the world. This is remarkable work and I look forward to learning from this talented chef!

Maneet Chauhan, Food Network Celebrity Chef, founder & CEO, Indie Culinaire

The Sioux Chef provides food for thought as well as for the body. The recipes will teach cooks everywhere how to pay attention to the world around them for sources of ingredients and how to prepare those ingredients. The personal stories—the wisdom they share—will teach all readers about sustainable living—the interdependence of beings, living with the earth instead of on the earth.

There are cookbooks from which one simply cooks the recipes, and cookbooks from which one learns how and why to cook. Chef Sherman’s book is in the latter. It is a cookbook meant to be studied, one where the recipes are not its most important feature, but rather a part of an overall call to reclaim the history and culture of indigenous peoples. Chef Sherman observes that controlling food is a means of controlling power. With this cookbook, he is taking that power and giving it back to its rightful owners.

Foreword Reviews, starred review

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen offers more than just delicious recipes - it offers empowering historical, cultural, and environmental lessons that may hold a key to our future.

Sherman appears less a culinary historian than an avant-garde chef. He succeeds in making authentic Native American cuisine approachable for the home cook.

Readers willing to venture beyond the bounds of convenience cooking can learn much from this thoughtful title. Highly recommended for food history collections.

I admire Sherman’s dedication to continually learning, educating others, and innovating on native cuisine before it is lost to us.

More than just a cookbook, this is an act of reclamation of Native Americans' history – and their future.

National Public Radio/NPR

An edible connection to the gifts of this land—and a celebration of the culinary culture of its indigenous people.

This is an essential book for any kitchen shelf.

How to Use This Book
(Not) Fry Bread

Fields and Gardens
Roasted Corn with Wild Greens Pesto
Three Sisters Summertime Salad with Smoked Trout
Wojape Mint Sauce
Locavores and Trade-a-vores
Salad of Griddled Squash, Apples, Wild Greens, and Toasted Walnuts
Maple Dressing
Spring Salad with Tamarack Honey Drizzle
Deviled Duck Eggs
Duck Egg Aioli
Wild Greens Pesto
Wild Greens
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Corn Mushrooms
Sautéed Corn Mushrooms with Fresh Corn and Fried Sage
Braised Sunflowers (or Sunchokes)
Griddled Maple Squash
Gete Okosomin—Big Old Squash
Cedar-Braised Beans
Crispy Bean Cakes
Three Sisters Mash
Smoked Whitefish and White Bean Spread
Maple–Sage Roasted Vegetables
The Language of Corn
Simple Corn Cakes with Assorted Toppings
Blue Corn Cake Variation
Hominy Cakes
Kneel Down Bread
Sioux Chef Tamales
Old-Fashioned Cornmeal Mush with Poached Eggs
Amaranth Crackers
Wild Rice Cakes
Sorrel Sauce
Summer’s Vegetable Soup with Wild Greens
Missouri River Pozole
Hearty Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Bean Soup
Fish Head and Wild Rice Soup
White Bean and Winter Squash Soup
Wozupi—An Indigenous Farm of the Mdewakanton Tribe, Minnesota
Smoked Turkey and Acorn Soup
Squash and Apple Soup with Cranberry Sauce
Black Bean and Yucca Soup with Warming Spices

Prairies and Lakes
Wild Rice
Real Wild Rice
Tatanka Truck Fried Wild Rice Bowl
Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Chestnuts, and Dried Cranberries
Timpsula Cakes with Cedar-Braised Beans
Smoked Whitefish or Trout
Wild Rice–Crusted Walleye
Red Lake Walleye—the Good Fish Story
Herb-Roasted Fish
Tatanka Truck Sunflower-Crusted Trout
Maple–Juniper Roast Pheasant
Grouse with Cranberry and Sage
Sweet and Sour Roast Goose with Autumn Squash and Cranberries
Seared Duck Breast with Cider Glaze
Sage and Rose-Hip Roasted Duck
Crispy Duck Legs
Rendering Duck or Goose Fat
Duck Pâté, with Dried Apple
Duck and Wild Rice Pemmican
Smoked Duck or Pheasant
Roast Turkey, Wild Onions, Maple Squash, and Cranberry Sauce
Maple-Brined Smoked Turkey
Cider-Braised Turkey Thighs
Old-Fashioned Rabbit Stew
Rabbit Braised with Apples and Mint
Bison Tartare
The Noble Way to Hunt
Bison Ribs
Braising, an Ancient Method
Cedar-Braised Bison
Grilled Bison Skewers with Wojape
Indigenous Tacos
Bison Wasna
Hunter’s Stew
Lamb Sausage
Venison Chops with Apples and Cranberries
Venison or Elk Stew with Hominy

Nature’s Sweets, Teas, and Refreshing Drinks
Sunflower Cookies
Edible Flowers
Corn Cookies
Autumn Harvest Cookies
Amaranth Bites
Chocolate Pecan Bites
Raspberry–Rose-Hip Sauce
Acorn and Wild Rice Cakes
Popped Amaranth Cakes (Alegría)
Wild Rice Pudding
Ricing Moon
Sunflower Milk Sorbet
Sweet Corn Sorbet
Hazelnut Maple Sorbet
Wild Rice Sorbet
Maple Squash Sorbet with Cranberry Sauce
Blueberry–Raspberry–Bergamot Spoon Sweet
Wild Apple Sauce (Savory or Sweet)
Caramelized Seed Mix
Roasted in the Shell Sunflower Seeds
Seed Savers Snacks
Roasted Maple Seeds
Toasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Indigenous Granola
Native Granola Bars
Maple Bruleed Squash with Blueberries
Teas and Refreshing Drinks
Labrador Tea
Cedar Tea
Mint Tea
The Firewater Myth
Bergamot Tea
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Sumac Lemonade

The Indigenous Pantry
Sunny Butter
Indigenous Flours
Wild Rice Flour
Vegetable Flour
Acorn Meal Flour
Hazelnut Flour
Chestnut Flour
Indigenous Stocks
Wild Rice Stock
Corn Stock
Cedar Bean Stock
Fish, Game, Meat Stock
Wild Onions and Ramps
Puffed Wild Rice
Corn Nuts
Dried Mushrooms
Dried Apple Slices
Tapping Trees—More Than Maple
Maple Wine and Vinegar
Native Herbs and Seasonings
Staghorn Sumac
Mineral Salt
Smoked Salt
Culinary Ash

Indigenous Partners and Guides
Chef Rich Francis
Scallops with Three Sisters Reduction and Four Medicines
Chef Karlos Baca
Labrador Tea–Smoked Quail with Manoomin Fritter and Wojape
Chef Lois Ellen Frank
Juniper-Cured Elk with Dried Chokecherry Sauce
Chef Andrea Murdoch
Inca Trail Mix
Chef Freddie Bitsoie
Corn Broth
Chef Brian Tatsukawa
J. D. Kinlacheeny’s Chilchin (Sumac) Pudding
Terri Ami’s Blue Corn Mush
Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz
Two-Fruit Jam Scattered with Seeds
Valerie Segrest
Wild Berries with Amaranth
Nourishing Tradition

Feasts of the Moon
Spirit Plate
Dinner of the Flower Moon, Waabigwanii-giizis
Dinner of the Chokecherry Moon
Dinner of the Midsummer Moon, Moningwunkauning and Aabita-niibino-giizis
Feast of the Wild Rice Moon
Dinner of the Great Spirit Moon, Gichi-manidoo-giizis
Feast of the Sorcerer and the Eagle
Owamni and the Buffalo Sky

Watch the video: interview (June 2022).


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