28 May 2018

Q & A with Anthony Raffo

How long have you been cooking and what made you decide to be a chef?

I’ve been working in kitchens since the age of 15. I never really got on well or enjoyed school and there was a course where I could leave once a week and go to the local college and cook to get a GNVQ. I first did it to get out of school for the day and hang around college which was much more relaxed. But after the first day I fell in love with the kitchen.


Can you talk us through your style of cooking?

I wouldn’t really say I have a style as such. I do like to use predominantly English ingredients and keep them as raw and fresh as possible. I’m not a fan of heavy jus lots of butter and cream etc. I cook what I think will work well together and plate it as beautifully and unique as possible.


Which chef has influenced you most during your career?

There have been many chefs that have influenced me through my career such as Esben Holmboe Bang from Maaemo and Rene Redzepi from Noma. Lately I’ve loved the food coming from Merlin Labron-Johnson from Portland and Mark Jarvis from Anglo.


What are your favourite garnishes to use when plating up?

This is a extremely difficult question as every dish is different. I love using wood sorrel and black wood ants on savoury dishes and desserts I enjoy that fresh citrus flavour. Also dill tips are very good at freshening a dish, but one of my favourites has to be nasturtiums.


What is your favourite product to work with?

Again, this is a very difficult question with no one answer. King crab, scallops, mackerel, lamb, cucumber, nasturtiums to name a few. A very good all rounded for me is nori I use it in sweet and savoury dishes it’s just great with that pure umami taste. Another would be toasted hay again I use itin sweet and savoury dishes in all sorts of ways from an infusion to an ash.


What does the future hold for you as a chef, what is your ambition? 

You never know what the future holds, although what I’m working on now is looking for investors to help open my own restaurant. To have that stage to create and showcase what I’m capable of and push for something I can be very proud of and enjoy would be a dream come true.