5 Questions to Fred Dickieson, Head Chef at The Taste of Silence restaurant and Dans le Noir ? in London
Be a chef in London: what is your background working in a restaurant?
My background started on a pig farm next to the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny island off the coast of Canada. I moved to London at the age of 19 and dove straight into a restaurant that served British food from oysters to beef and kidney puddings. My experience has included spellbinding events with Lorna Wing in the Naughties, along with events coordinator at ICA- thru to owning my own gastropub restaurant, working with Tom Conran and a seminal 2 years with Fergus Henderson at the inception of St. John. I am the meatballs at Leon and after 3 years working with the still spellbindingly humble and earnest Neal’s Yard Dairy, I had the supreme honor of being the Late and unmatched in innovations of artisan cheesemaking- Mary Holbrook’s cheesemaker. I eat, sleep and breathe food, making it, producing it, cooking and eating it- quite often mid meal thinking of my next!
Be a chef in London: how do you design a menu for a restaurant?
Designing a menu is a totally collaborative process. I learned a lot about this from creating bespoke events with VIP clients with both Lorna Wing and at the ICA. You need to listen and understand the event, space, person and allow all of the possibilities in- whilst clearing out what the client doesn’t want! It can be done alone, but having an epic kitchen brigade and an hospitable service team-who always have elegant take on firsthand knowledge and feedback.
Be a chef in London: what is your favorite dish?
Anything at St John, London or ANYTHING at any time at Chez Denis, Paris. my Mom’s western omelette, or my grandmother’s clam chowder- octopus from the giant bbq at Nonna Rosa, Mola di Bari.
Be a chef in London: what is your most unforgettable memory about food?
So many, the first steak with my Dad and his pals at the age of 8, key lime pie made by my auntie Joycecool. Or even my first meal with my partner of 24 years.
Be a chef in London: What “The Taste of Silence” represents to you
As a chef, I feel we have a splendid wide multipurpose space with we can do practically anything. The comptoir is being widely accepted. The tapas bar will be fun for interaction and the “a la carte” offers a supreme selection for the vegan diner.
It needs to be fun, and normal except for the creative potential of exploring different means of communicating as a chef at DLN- we have already added super touches and tweaks to the existing menu, a perfumed a table cocktail, a little zip here, a crunch there, all to stretch and expand the limits of the team of the whole theatrical experience.
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