Head chef at London’s Michelin-starred The Clove Club and “Britalian” restaurant Luca
In London, there is so much to see. From world-class hotels like The Dorchester and Claridges to brilliant food from my friend James Lowe at Lyles Restaurant, or Quo Vadis in Soho for a very British kind of cooking: simple, seasonal and delicious, in a restaurant filled with history.
For pure pleasure, my favourite dish has to be the white Alba truffle risotto we had at The French Laundry in Napa, California, five years ago. They charge crazy money for it, but they put a crazy amount of truffle on it, so it is very good value for money. It was a “wow” moment. As good as food can get.
Last year I went to Naoshima island off the south coast of Japan. The island has many installations all over it. We spent the night in a luxury yurt and cycled around the island. It was like a childhood camping holiday; it was dreamlike.
Borough Market is the original and still the best in London. An amazing place to buy food for dinner, while grabbing some cheese to bring home from your trip, foodie gifts, and just the magic, real-life interactions that markets bring. They are social levellers; people from all walks of life meet and queue to buy and sell. There’s great food there, smiles and a nice atmosphere. It’s the people-watching and observing interactions I love.
I am currently reading The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall; fascinating books on geopolitics and how, even today, it is still shaped by the rivers and mountain ranges and plains and seas that surround nations.
Food-wise, I love The Last Food of England by Marwood Yeatman and The Scots Kitchen by F Marian Mcneill.
Barrafina in Drury Lane, London, is a good place for dinner. Croquetas, a salad, some simply cooked shellfish and coca; a Mallorcan flatbread with spinach and raisins. A few glasses of sherry and a Rioja and that’s a pretty perfect little meal.
I try to have fewer wild nights, but I love Happiness Forgets in Hoxton Square for cocktails.
I’m an ambassador for the Great Britain campaign, and came to Hong Kong earlier in 2018 to support the Great Festival of Innovation. I am proud to showcase the amazing food and drink Britain has to offer. Since ancient history, when the Romans came to Britain for the oyster beds, to the fact that we catch 80 percent of Europe’s quotas for edible crab, to the hand-caught scallops and langoustines that catch the Eurostar daily to appear on the menus of the three-star restaurants of Paris – we have always had raw produce that has been the envy of the world.