Talk us through your current role at the Four Seasons Hotel London and the type of cuisine that is explored
My current role is to lead, develop and improve our culinary offerings throughout the hotel – this includes menu development and execution, culinary training & development of my culinary team, which incorporates our events & front-of-house teams, too. I am also heavily involved in sourcing food supplies, supplier visits and in building lasting quality supplier partnerships.
Another part of my job is to use my experience and skill in handling and managing the business and financial part for what falls into my direct responsibilities. This includes food costs, recipe development, menu costings, new culinary revenue streams and more.
We have an array of different cuisine styles to offer here, from Italian to modern British, Indian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian Cuisines.
Have you always been passionate about becoming an Executive Chef?
Yes, for me it was a natural thing to do from the start, and my early goal was always to work in iconic places and been able to lead Culinary teams at them.
Talk us through your journey into the industry
I started out studying Horticulture with the aim to take over our family business of wine making & distilleries, but after graduation I realized that it was not for me. So, my next step was to do an apprenticeship as Patisseur, after which I had to do 18 months of National Service. After that, I took on another apprenticeship as Chef and that’s when it all started.
I then worked for the next ten years in 2- and 3-Star Michelin Star restaurants in France, Germany and Switzerland – Aubergine, Tantris Munich, Jamine, Auberge de I’III, France, Freddy Girardet Switzerland. Following this, I made the change from Restaurants into Hotels, always keeping a keen eye on Iconic Places including Peninsula Hong Kong, Oriental Bangkok, Waldorf Astoria New York, Badrutts Palace St Moritz, Claridge’s, The Dorchester, and now my position at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane.
Give us an insight into your daily role
Usually, I am in around 7am; greeting my teams, checking on our Bakery, going through the fridges, checking the orderings, as well as going through various handovers. After this, I spend some time with my breakfast Chefs and observe the service, checking our fresh food deliveries, too.
Come 9am, I am attending our virtual hotel morning meeting, then our daily Kitchen morning meeting, then onto the new menus, recipes & costs. By noon, I am on the pass during Lunch Service, and then ordering and recruiting before a kitchen meeting with the afternoon shift, then on to the pass during Dinner Service again. I usually finish my day around 10 pm.
How do you feel now that Hospitality is open again?
It is great to be open again, as hospitality suffered immensely during these past few years of the pandemic and lockdowns. We are all looking forward to an exciting, busy Christmas and New Year and to a full recovery for everyone.
What can we expect on the Winter menus? What flavours and ingredients will be present?
We are embracing seasonality, which includes winter warmers like Lancashire Hot Pot, Duck Cassoulet, Vacherin with Black Périgord Truffle, plus another week of the White Alba Truffle Season. Then it will go straight to the French Black Truffle Season, game like Pheasant, Venison, British Wagyu and Japanese Kobe Beef.
What is one ingredient that you feel is underrated yet is so versatile?
For me, it is Celeriac, mostly common in stocks and sauces, but even better salt-baked, slow-cooked or roasted – the choices are endless and delicious when properly prepared.
How important is it in your opinion to use seasonal ingredients?
Very Important – ingredients in season are at their best and we Chefs have to do very little to enhance the flavour, as everything is at its peak.
What is one of your favourite dishes on the current menu and why?
Tronchon of Turbot, with Veal Sweetbreads, and Champagne Beurre Blanc. Turbot is the King of fish when cooked on the bone and we don’t find that all to often on the menu anymore, mostly because Turbot is more expensive. But cooked on the bone in order to contain the natural juices is absolute heaven for me.
Tell us in a few words, why people should come visit The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and what culinary delights await!
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is a wonderful property to stay at or visit – it is a Park Lane stalwart and Four Seasons’ most established five-star hotel, closely situated to some main London attractions, shopping, Royal Palaces, Royal Park, museums, and art venues.
Our Amaranto Restaurant is an excellent place to dine and enjoy exceptional modern British and Italian cuisine. We also have On the Terrace, a unique outdoor dining offering to Mayfair, which comes complete with outdoor heated pergolas and luxurious blankets for the winter months, and The Amaranto Bar which offers a lively atmosphere, an award-winning Negroni Menu and delicious bar bites.
For our events venue and catering space, we have The Ballroom with lots of natural daylight flooding in – rare for London establishments – and we offer bespoke culinary cuisine styles tailor-made for customised needs, and of course, our choice menu selector and fabulous buffet options.