Chef of the Week – Chris Underwood, Executive Pastry Chef, Belmond Cadogan Hotel in London

Belmond Cadogan Hotel Chris Underwood

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
2 years this August pre-opening team.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
Making cakes with nan and mumSkills learnt mostly on job training.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Seasonality, banter and creativity.

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

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Vitaprep blender.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Street food, minimalism and obviously the obligatory lockdown sourdough!

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Giving up and confidence in their abilities.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Autumn & winter – the versatility of using vegetables in my desserts.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
My creation of pea, dark chocolate & coconut (Masterchef with Adam Handling).

How do you come up with new dishes?
Eat the seasons is a great website and also food pairing websites.

Who was your greatest influence?
Tom Aikens.

Tell us three chefs you admire
-Thomas Keller
-Michael Caines
-Grant Achatz

What is your favourite cookbook?
The Flavour Thesaurus.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Including myself…? Ha ha!

Pre lockdown:
-Dom Robinson
-Gareth Ward
-Liam Dillon

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Da Terra.

Belmond Cadogon Hotel