Chef of the Week: Jordan Sclare, Executive Head Chef at Chotto Matte, London
How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have worked at Chotto Matte for 9 years.
Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I got tasked to cook a family meal as part of a school project when I was 7. The pleasure of achieving such a positive reaction from my family sparked my desire from a young age to become a chef. I learnt the foundation of my cooking skills during my apprentice years at the Savoy Hotel and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
My favourite part of being a chef is working with great ingredients and getting creative with new recipes and flavours.
Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Yellow chilli from Peru, fresh herbs from my garden and lots of love!
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
A Japanese chef knife.
What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Instagramable dishes, Chino Indian fusion and sushi burritos.
What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
I think chefs let themselves down when they do not take on constructive customer feedback. It’s an invaluable component of progression.
What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Summer, I love preparing fresh raw light salads, al fresco dining and of course, a BBQ.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
It would have to be my BBQ Octopus anticucho.
How do you come up with new dishes?
I start by researching food trends, getting inspired by eating out, market research and listening to what guests want. I then, write down ideas and practice making and tasting the dishes. I make changes as many times as it takes to get it perfect. I sometimes taste and change a dish 20 times before it makes it onto the menu.
Who was your greatest influence?
Kurt Zdesar, developing food with him and understanding his philosophy on the importance of perfect, simple taste has been a big part of the restaurant’s success.
Tell us three chefs you admire
- Gordon Ramsay – he has achieved so much in his career and working for him at a young age taught me a lot.
- Virgillio Martinez – chef at restaurant Central. This was by far the best dining experience I had in Peru.
- And of course, my wife!! One of the world’s most improved cooks!
What is your favourite cookbook?
Accounts of Cooking by Ryori Monogatari.
Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Jahdre Hayward at restaurant Haywards is certainly one to watch.
What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Fat Pundit in Soho.