I couldn’t speak English but I was thrown in with Gordon Ramsay’s demanding chefs
Meet the head chef at One Canada Square
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