Neil Borthwick

How long have you been at the restaurant?

I am one of the directors so have been involved since the beginning. We opened the doors in October 2013.

Which was the first restaurant you worked in?

I first started working at the Coll Earn house hotel, Auchterarder, when 14 years old and trained as a commis chef under Ken McPhee. The first Michelin star kitchen I worked at was at Gordon Ramsey’s Scottish restaurant Amaryllis.

What was the last London restaurant you went to, apart from your own?

Taberna do Mercado

What or who has been the biggest influence on the way you cook and why?

Michel Bras has been my biggest influence. I worked for him in France when I was younger, he has a great energy in the kitchen. Each morning we would go to the market choose the local ingredients & foraged herbs, each day creating a new menu with the seasonal ingredients.
Phil Howard too who I worked with at The Square, he taught me about flavour profiles.

What is your personal signature dish?

Quail, remoulade, hazelnut pesto & foie gras

Which other chef’s do you most admire?

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, I think he produces a lovely delicate and delicious style of food.

What’s the best part of your job?

The people who come through the kitchen doors, all the personality’s I get to meet.

And the worst?

The new trend customers have for complaining after they left the restaurant. I would rather they said something at the time so we could make sure that they left with a smile on their faces.

What would your last meal be?

Whole grilled sea bass, panzanella & green salad, enjoyed in the sunshine with friends.

Do you have a chef’s shortcut that you can share with us?

I don’t do shortcuts – it takes the same amount of time to do something properly as to something badly!