Having already earned three AA rosettes and having worked alongside Jean-Christophe Novelli during his illustrious career, Chris Wheeler has now chosen to undertake perhaps the biggest challenge of his life in the kitchen to date by taking on the Great British Menu! If you want to sample his food for yourself, check out his restaurant Humphry’s at Stoke Park here. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on the GBM experience.
Aside from your own, which restaurant have you really enjoyed eating at?
For casual dining, I love the Ealing Tavern in Ealing, and for more fine dining my favourite at the moment is L’Enclume .
You are well-known for taking on challenges such as recreating the Olympic Torch as a cake. How did you transfer this flair into providing dishes capable of wowing the judges?
As you will see, I took to the theme in a very creative way. The joy of Great British Menu is the fact that you get to go all out on flair and have fun! I always love a challenge. Some of the ideas were a bit nuts but I loved it!
What aspect of appearing on Great British Menu was the biggest surprise to you and why?
The kitchen is small with only two cooking work surfaces between three chefs, so that surprised me.
Which dishes and chefs have inspired you on your own culinary journey?
Marco Pierre White. 20 years ago I had the great privilege of eating his tasting menu at the hotplate when he had his restaurant, Harvey’s, and to this day it is the best meal I have ever eaten. Also Jean-Christophe Novelli was a great inspiration to me. His scallops Mille feuille were magical!
What advice would you give young people who are keen on entering the industry?
Get as much experience as possible, don’t be shy about tasting unusual food, and remember that one day long hours will equal success.
Finally, which ingredients have really inspired you recently?
I ate some beef from Brookfield Farm in Dorset. It literally melts in your mouth and I’ve incorporated it into some of our Humphry’s dishes.
Categories: Food News