We spoke with Michelin-starred chef Adam Byatt to learn more about the inspirations behind his impressive culinary success – as well as his current seasonal heroes and favourite dining hotspots.
What inspired you to become a chef?
My mother was a great cook and I was ‘academically challenged’ shall we say. I kind of fell into it with an apprenticeship at Claridges hotel that not only gave me clarity on what I wanted to do but inspired a life in food.
Describe your style of cooking?
Ingredients led, classically routed yet current and accessible neighbourhood dining. My three restaurants offer a variety of offerings from family bistro to casual dining and Michelin star fine dining.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Ultimately I just try to make food that deeply satisfies people, that’s the starting point. The ingredients we buy, the seasons, my amazing team and eating out often jogs my memory of ingredients I should be cooking with again.
What’s your favourite dish on the current menu?
New season asparagus with iberico ham and buttermilk beurre blanc. It’s simple and elegant yet clever in its execution and utterly delicious!
Do you have any role models?
I think that ship has sailed. I’ve been on my own now for 16 years. I’d like to think I am a relatively balanced role model for a lot of my younger team.
Any tips for aspiring chefs?
There are no short cuts but cookery can provide the most fulfilling life if you are willing to put the graft in and if you are not truly passionate about food, forget it.
Where’s your favourite restaurant?
I have many but had a wonderful meal at Noble Rot recently and often frequent the Dairy, Peckham Bazar and Chez Bruce. I’m very much about south London!
What would you liked to have been if not a chef?
Honestly I’ve never really thought about it. I started cooking at 16 and have worked on the stove ever since. I love may things such as fishing, shooting, cars and travel but it’s great that these can provide my escape rather than my job.
PLUS: Adam and his team are thrilled to announce that talented chef Yoshiko Wada will be returning to Upstairs at Trinity every Monday evening throughout June for a series of unforgettable supper clubs – find out more here.