After nearly 33 years in the kitchen I would like to think that I have pretty much seen every type and style of food trend come and go. Styles such as: Nouvelle Cuisine, Street Food, Molecular Gastronomy, Foraged Foods, Nordic Cuisine, the list is endless. Over my career I have been fortunate enough to have eaten in some really fantastic places. But my fondest memories of food hasn’t always been in the 3 star establishments. It has sometimes been in the most random of places, and those types of meals are the ones that stick clearly in my mind.
When considering a meal out, the type of places I like to go to are the restaurants that treat food with respect and simplicity. Yes, of course I like the Michelin star restaurants (especially if someone else is paying!) but for me it is all about the quality of product and the skill of the chef who has done very little to the dish, but has still managed to elevate it to another level.
David Steel – Food Inspirations
One of restaurants I really find inspirational and always go back to is St John. A restaurant that takes the most humble, if not unusual ingredients, and creates flavours which are mind blowing. ‘Real chef’s food’ as I like to call it.
Another place is the Hope and Anchor in Waterloo. I remember the first time I ever went there; it was a real random visit. It was a cold wet Monday near Christmas and we just happened to be walking past and decided to drop in for a quick bite to eat. The menu was very simple, focusing only on what was in season. I remember we had snails and bacon to start, followed by duck hearts. We then ordered a whole shoulder of lamb to share. This had been beautifully slow cooked and just fell off the bone. The lamb was placed in the middle of the table, served with wilted brussel tops and a fantastic mashed potato. ‘Help yourself’ the waiter said, so we did. It was brilliant!
The People Who Inspire Me
Over my years in the kitchen I have always tried to move with the times and try my best to adapt and learn all different styles of cooking. When I am asked where I get my inspiration from, that’s easy! It is the chefs I have worked with over the years. These are the people who inspire me. I can honestly say I still love what I do; I always take a great deal of pride in my work and always cook with a passion. You are never too old to learn, listen and take advice from others. The day I don’t feel the same way, is the day I know it is time to stop.
For a chance to try some of David Steel’s recipes follow this link to our recipe page