Chef of the Week: Anthony Raffo, Head Chef at Anglo Restaurant in London

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have worked as head chef of Anglo restaurant for one year now.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I can’t quite pin point the exact time or moment I got my passion, like most chefs I was very uninterested and not great at school so I kind of fell into catering. I trained at Highbury Catering College in Portsmouth where I’m originally from.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
For me the best thing about being a chef is having a creative outlet and also having a platform to promote others be it micro-breweries, farmers, suppliers, food photographers, food writers and magazines. Its nice to build a network of people around you.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, butter and vinegar.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
I wouldn’t call him a piece of equipment although he does work like a machine. I couldn’t live without my kitchen porter.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I have noticed a trend coming out at the moment, the use of silicone moulds of all shapes and sizes on a lot of dishes, mainly for tuiles.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
I don’t think there is one defining mistake I see many chefs make, if I’m honest I tend not to follow or watch other chefs to notice their mistakes.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
For me as a keep forager I would have to say springtime when everything is budding and flowering and new young tasty growth.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all my dishes until I get bored of them and think they are too old. I constantly feel the need to create all the time in the kitchen, so a dish I create this week I would be most proud of until I create something else, say a month later, then its that.

How do you come up with new dishes?
New dishes usually come from a single ingredient that I love when it comes into season. Remembering flavour combos I’ve used before with it or trying completely new ones, then I start to consider what technique is best used to make the best for each flavour but works amazing together on a plate.

Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence has to be Nordic chefs I love the ethos of new Nordic cuisine using only what’s best in season and only using ingredient that grow in their country.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Rene Redzepi, Esben Holmboe Bang and Nicolai Norregaard.

What is your favourite cookbook?
The Noma Guide of Fermentation.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I would recommend to watch James Sherwin owner of Wild Shropshire.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Again, a very difficult question as no ones really been opening last year because of covid. Although I had a table booked at KOL as it opened just before all the lockdowns but have yet to go because of everything that has happened we have rebooked for the end of May now.