Who To Look Out For This Year
2015 already looks like being a year of gastronomic excellence. The popularity of TV shows such as MasterChef has raised the profile of cooking as a career, and it’s now hipper than ever to create haute – and for that matter basse – cuisine. Not only that, innovation and experimentation has been given a boost by the trend for pop-ups and street food: promising talent can gain business experience without great financial penalties if things don’t work out as planned.
With a mixture of well-established and fresh new faces, Britain in 2015 is set to be a foodie paradise.
Despite appearing at the National Television Awards while still recovering from a knee replacement, the grande dame of British baking shows no sign of losing career momentum. The latest of her 70 books, Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect…, was released in September 2014, having been written in between appearances on four different TV series.
As Chef Patron at South-East London’s Restaurant Story, Tom Sellers has brought echoes of his working class upbringing into the fine dining experience. His signature dish is a candle made of beef dripping, the fat and juices collected from roasting meat: the candle is lit at the table and diners dip their bread into the melted fat.
Sellers credits this fertile culinary imagination to his training at Copenhagen’s Noma, the restaurant that is said to have revolutionised Nordic cuisine. With this sort of pedigree, no wonder Restaurant Story gained its first Michelin star a mere five months after opening.
The ‘Colour Palate’ experience at the Art of Dining pop-up in West London is one of the many platforms Parr has created to showcase her enthusiasm for fusion food. A concept created together with set designer Alice Hodge, every course consists of shades of a different colour, presented on dishes and tablecloths to match.
Trained at Moro, the restaurant famous for pioneering a synergy of Spanish, Middle Eastern and African flavours, Parr presents food that takes us even further afield to South East Asia and India. In 2015, expect to see menus featuring her latest obsession: chilli sauce.
Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias
Currently delighting the patrons of Bristol’s Casa Mia with a seasonal blood orange and thyme dessert, these brothers first learned to innovate from YouTube videos. After cutting their teeth as restaurateurs by opening their first fine dining restaurant, the now defunct Fratelli, the Sanchez-Iglesias brothers returned home to revolutionise the family pizza and pasta joint.
Now the proud bearer of a Michelin star, Casa Mia’s menu is always driven by seasonal produce. The brothers aim to offer a multi-sensory dining experience with furnishings and décor to reflect the changing tempo of the year and to evoke long-lost childhood memories.
By far the most classically trained chef in this compendium, Turner is famous for using his lofty pedigree (Simpson’s in the Strand, The Savoy, Claridge’s) to make fine food accessible to the man and woman in the street. His latest restaurant venture is Turner’s, a bistro serving a reasonably priced traditional British menu to holidaymakers at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis.
On the other side of the kitchen door, Turner is enthusiastic about nurturing new cooking talent. Through his involvement with the Springboard FutureChef initiative, Turner encourages young people to consider careers in hospitality, helping to safeguard Britain’s reputation as a country where great food is readily available.
In recent years, Britain’s cooks have expunged the country’s past record of providing awful food served with bad grace. It’s now a nation with a vibrant and affordable gastronomic culture, filled with pop-ups, street cuisine and more traditional restaurants.