10 MINUTES WITH SEVEN PARK PLACE
London’s best-kept dining secret, Chef William Drabble, whose passion was sparked in his grandmother’s kitchen, is all about the produce: farm to table, sea to plate. He describes his cuisine as modern British-French, fresh and flavoursome in dynamic combinations, that after seven courses leaves you just pleasantly satiated.
We had the summer menu: Carpaccio of hand dived scallops with white asparagus and samphire that sang in the mouth, and opened the repertoire for the lobster tail lightly poached in Gewürztraminer, balanced with the sweetest purée of new carrot and ginger. From that, we rolled into Drabble’s famous Saddle of Lune Valley Lamb, charged up with crispy sweetbread and braised tongue, garlic mash, and caramelised onions. The flow of one taste to the next was extraordinary, from sea to land to sky, with the earthiness of farm vegetables to add texture and freshness. Four hours later, a memory was made. How would you best describe yourself as a chef? My style has been heavily influenced by my childhood in Norfolk. I learned the importance of cooking with fresh produce from an early age of 9. It is the essence of my dishes. What’s the concept behind Seven Park Place? We are lucky enough to have some of the best produce here in England, but the French know how to use fresh produce the best. I spent time in France, gathering inspiration and absorbing techniques used. This is really the concept behind Seven Park Place; we take a mixture of quality artisan ingredients and produce, sourced from the very best suppliers. What is the one dish you hold close to your heart? Lune Valley Lamb. The supplier is a dear friend and the care he takes over his herd is exceptional. There are lots of herbs in the grass, which adds to the flavour. As a result, his lamb is the best. What does a Michelin star mean to you? To be running one of the smallest Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe really sets Seven Park Place apart. It is a huge compliment that people enjoy the food and come back again. How would you define modern British fine dining? There is a lot more interest in the provenance of what is on the plate. Top class restaurants are not about stuffiness and formality anymore, but rich and enjoyable experiences, and we offer exactly that. What inspires you as a chef? My grandmother. She was a great cook and worked for the Earl Fitzwilliam in Yorkshire. 7-8 Park Pl, London. Tel: +44 20 7316 1600. www.stjameshotelandclub.com
Griddled fillet of seabass with Jerusalem artichokes, parsley purée, and Port jus Native lobster tail with cauliflower purée and lobster butter sauce
Chef William Drabble