Exclusive Interviews

Pip Lacey discusses her food heroes, eating crocodile, and Great British Menu

Today’s interview comes from Pip Lacey, Head Chef at Angela Hartnett’s Murano in Mayfair. Pip will be competing on Great British Menu next week, so make sure you tune in!

Pip Lacey Great British Menu

What inspired you to compete on Great British Menu 2015?

My boss was obviously a massive inspiration to compete on GBM. I thought it would be a great achievement for me to compete in something Angela has also done. My personal ambition was also a factor…to see how far I’ve come and how I would stand up against my peers.

Who is your food hero and how have they influenced your style of cooking?

I have a few food heroes. Angela is definitely one of them. Every time I see Angela, I learn something new. My old Head Chef Diego is another but my original hero is Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut). When I first became a chef he was the one that taught me the ground rules. He showed me from start to finish how to cook ingredients; he didn’t just tell me. It’s so important to physically show someone. He also showed me how to respect the products we use and how to make them taste the best they can. I’ll never forget his dedication.

Did you receive any words of wisdom from Angela Hartnett about competing on the Great British Menu?

Angela told me to be myself. One thing that’s great about Angela is that she is the same person on screen as off. I listened to that advice so hopefully I am too.

Which dish at Murano that you have created are you most proud of?

Such a difficult question. I’m proud of all the dishes. We had a crab ravioli with tomato water on this summer that flew out, and now the best seller is a beef fillet dish with beetroot carpaccio and a mushroom and Crozier tortellini. It’s the guests that have their favourites, so it’s usually these popular dishes that I become most proud of.

How hard was it to avoid creating ‘restaurant’ dishes on Great British Menu?

It’s difficult to change my thought process on creating non restaurant dishes as I’m at the restaurant most days. So, I took a different approach and treated the brief like I did when I was a designer. This really helped…I think!

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

Crocodile in a Walkabout in Glasgow many years ago. That was weird.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Duck Soup in Soho.

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