It begins with changing the menu I suppose, well maybe not, it’s a process . . . I’ve got a little black book where I write all my ideas down and that idea might not take shape straight away. There are dishes that I’ve come up with five years ago that I still haven’t made . . . they’re ideas.
I like taking dishes that are classics and making them a little bit quirky like the ham, eggs, chips and peas. So when you order it you’re not going to know what you’re getting. It’s about doing something that surprises people a little bit.
The walnut idea … the whole thing is edible. It looks like a walnut, and tastes like a walnut and is filled with something else.
It’s about trying to change textures of things for me. We’ve got a carrot dish on the menu, its different textures of carrot, so we’ve got jelly, we’ve got smoked, we’ve got pickled, we’ve got sorbet, we’ve got a carrot breadcrumb. We try and put a twist on the textures rather than flavors. I like hot and cold together; I like the textures I like the mouth-feel of it, and that’s what we try and create.
The sperification of mango with white chocolate brulee wrapped around it . . . we use quite technical equipment sometimes, calcium chloride and sodium alginate. We make a water bath out of a little bit of salt, calcium chloride and distilled water. We suck the air out of it and then we make a mango puree. We put sodium alginate in that and again we suck the air out of that, then using a melon baller sort of thing – canela they are called – we tip it into the calcium chloride and it forms an outer skin around it. It forms a ball, when you bite into that ball the flavor of the mango pours out. We gently – because its very fragile – gently put the mango sphere into the egg shell and then top it up with the crème brulee and let it set, and that’s the desert so when you stick your spoon into the egg it’ll break the yoke that’s in the middle just like an egg . . . if all goes to plan.
The other chefs here have exactly the same knife for every day kind of jobs; it seems a bit silly but I can’t actually use Sam’s knife I feel like I’m going to cut my finger. His knife feels slightly different to mine in my hand.
When I come into the kitchen in the morning first thing I make is a cup of coffee, I get into a routine with things. So on a Tuesday for instance we generally in the morning will crack on with the sauces … the first thing I do will be to start the sauces. Some things have to be done earlier than others …