I couldn’t speak English but I was thrown in with Gor­don Ram­say’s de­mand­ing chefs

Meet the head chef at One Canada Square

The Wharf - - Wharf - | Laura En­field

Meet the new head chef at One Canada Square

Upon dis­cov­er­ing One Canada Square’s new head chef trained as a chemist, you may en­vis­age him hunched over a work­bench con­coct­ing out­landish dishes a la He­ston Blu­men­thal.

But Brazil­ian-born Rafael Li­uth has drawn more heav­ily on his de­gree in nu­tri­tion when cre­at­ing the new menu at the Ca­nary Wharf restau­rant.

“I am try­ing to of­fer re­ally light, fresh and sea­sonal dishes so you won’t find much but­ter or dou­ble cream,” the Bark­ing res­i­dent said in heav­ily ac­cented English.

“I like to use su­per­foods like quinoa and don’t re­ally like to mix a lot of flavours in a dish – four or five at the most.”

This in­flu­ence can be seen in his use of lemon zest, olive oil and edamame broth in place of rich sauces. But Rafael has also added some Latin Amer­i­can flavour with bar snacks such as a cas­sava and jerked beef cro­quette.

He was born and raised in the trop­i­cal beach cli­mate of Espírito Santo, in south-eastern Brazil, and grew up eat­ing the nine-hour bar­be­cued meat the re­gion is fa­mous for.

His favourite meal is the cu­pim cut of beef, which comes from the hump of zebu cat­tle – al­though he has grown fond of fish and chips and sausage and mash since mov­ing to Eng­land three years ago. The 34-year-old’s first mem­ory of food was aged three cour­tesy of his Ital­ian grand­mother.

“I re­mem­ber the flavour of her cock­tail sausages in some­thing like puff pas­try with a sauce.,” he said. “I have never found that flavour again and it is the kind of mem­ory that, even if you find it, it will never be the same.”

It was to Italy he went when he de­cided to be­come a chef. He had given up his job as a bio­chem­istry teacher and trained as a nu­tri­tion­ist with an eye on bring­ing a healthy phi­los­o­phy to the kitchen.

“I only planned to go for a year to see what would hap­pen but I never went back,” said Rafael, who worked in ho­tel kitchens be­fore

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