Adam Byatt, named as ‘one of the great talents of London’ by Phil Howard, chef at the Square, is exclusively available to to Create’s private and corporate clients. We caught up with him to find out what inspires him and, most importantly, his favourite dishes!
Where does your inspiration come from in the kitchen?
When you choose to cook by the seasons you can’t help but be inspired by great British produce that has a short window. This almost dictates the menu for us but ultimately we cook for our guest’s pleasure and allowing impeccable ingredients to shine is what makes them happy.
I dine out a lot, I read a lot and I immerse myself with food so when looking for new ingredients or ideas it’s this back catalogue that generally provides the spark.
What’s your very favourite dish to cook?
There is no doubt in my mind that cooking a non-prime price of meat slowly for several hours provides the perfect mechanism to create layers and depth of flavour. There are many processes that can all add to the greatness of a simple piece of meat. One of which is the waiting process which is important when taking an oxtail, shin of beef or a pork belly to its optimal eating point. Cooking such as this gives me the greatest pleasure because we are able to spend three days making a dish ready for eating and we are able to provide our guests with dishes they are unlikely to comfortably cook at home.
What’s the most unusual/rare ingredient you like to cook with?
I’m a fan of the lesser used cuts such as monkfish cheeks, chicken oysters, cod tongues and sweetbreads but mainly because they offer up a whole new flavour and texture profile rarely experienced from that animal.
However, with everything so readily available and accessible now it is probably the quality of ingredients that we are able to source that makes cooking joyful. We have over 45 suppliers of food items at Trinity and work with individuals who specialise in single artisan produce that simply are not made in quantities that would satisfy a supermarket. It’s the quality of these ingredients that are the rarity in my book.
Who’s been your favourite guest at your Clapham restaurant, Trinity?
The ones that have visited us over 50 times, to which there are now many. It’s these regular guests and our constant desire to exceed their expectations that keeps our business striving forward.
We have seen a great number of celebrities, a splashing of royalty and enough food critics to last a lifetime, all nice to cook for of course but it’s our local regulars that remind me why cooking in a great local neighbourhood restaurant is what makes me tick.
What has been your best experience since being in partnership with Create?
We have worked closely to morph my philosophy with Create’s exemplary standards and attention to detail. This is what has made our partnership work and achieved great results at some amazing events.
Cooking the seven course dinner at the Royal Academy was amazing to be part of. Cooking in such an iconic building was a real honour for me.
Which chefs have most inspired you?
Chefs don’t make naturally good business men and women, we simply have too much generosity of sprint and our nature is to give and please. So any chef that runs a privately owned establishment with happy staff, satisfied guests and a healthy balance sheet deserves all the recognition they can get.
For food and consistency it would have to be Phil Howard, a great friend, an inspiration and undoubtedly one of the best natural cooks in this country. There is an incredible new generation of talented cooks coming through now, that are paving the way with food such as Isaac at The Clove Club, James Knappet and James Lowe, it’s wonderful to see their approach to food and dining.
If you lived anywhere else other than London, where would it be?
I’m pretty sure I could have loved living in NYC but that was pre children, my wife and I love the place. HK ticks a lot of boxes for me and I would love the opportunity to take my kids there and live for a couple of years. But in reality I live in Wandsworth where there is a wonderful community, open spaces, great restaurants and schools and I really can’t see us living anywhere else right now. Until I ditch everything and move to isolation in the country and become a hippy that is.
You cook a lot with your children, what is the most important thing you have taught them?
My son Jack and I love to forage, hunt and fish. I use every opportunity to teach him about the joys of following food from river, ocean and pasture to plate and connecting with the ingredients and their source.
These are life lessons that I hope will stay with them forever, I guess it’s the one thing I know I could impart in them well… Whatever my kids end up doing I only care that they are confident adults and have a great palate!
Lastly, which kitchen is the most high pressured environment to impress in, Master chef, Saturday Kitchen or the Great British Menu?
Without doubt the Great British Menu. You are absolutely alone and cook everything for yourself. There is a lot of pressure in that kitchen but the food that comes out can be amazing.
I was very disappointed not to have gone further in last year’s GBM with what I know was a great menu of delicious food but you know what they say – don’t believe everything you see on telly!
Speak to the Create team to discuss having Adam’s menus and presence at your tasting and event.