Philip Branch

How long have you been at the restaurant?

7 years at Hawksmoor with the last 5 years Hawksmoor Guildhall.

Which was the first restaurant you worked in?

Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor.

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

Peckham Bazarr.

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

I’ve done a lot of travelling over the last 10 years to places such as USA, Peru, Spain and Hong Kong. I always enjoy visiting local restaurants and markets first thing in the morning to find inspiration.

What is your personal signature dish?

I love BBQ in all its forms whether it be slow smoking something over many hours or firing up the grill for a quick cook. It tends to be what I spend most of my time off doing.

Which other chef’s do you most admire?

Whenever I travel anywhere I always l look up if Anthony Bourdain has done a show on the area. His attitude to food right from high end fine dining to food from a market stall was an inspiration to myself and many chefs I’ve met.

What’s the best part of your job?

Every day is completely different and throws up new challenges to deal with. It’s rarely boring.

And the worst?

The shift you have to work can be hard especially with a young family at home.

What would your last meal be?

Touring the Tapas Bars of San Sebastian.

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

Just to buy good produce to start with. I often see people have all the newest and best and most expensive kit but just use the cheapest meat they can find. If you start with a great product you don’t have to do much to it to serve a great dish.

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