Eric Chavot: My life in food

After abandoning his first kitchen apprenticeship at 14, Eric decided he definitely did not want to be a chef. Offered another chance at White’s Hotel in Bayswater, he took it and has seldom been out of the kitchen since. He has worked in some of Britain’s best kitchens including those at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, La Tante Claire and Marco Pierre White’s The Restaurant. After earning two Michelin stars at The Capital, he is to open a new restaurant, Brasserie Chavot, at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair next week.

 

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

It’s actually the same piece of equipment. At work my Kitchen Aid stand mixer is my most used piece of equipment, but in my flat it’s the least. I can’t be without it at work, we use it constantly. My one at home is a beautiful grey graphite one. It’s a work of art and I wouldn’t ever get rid of it, but I never use it. It takes forever to get it out of the cupboard, so there it stays.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

That’s an easy one. I know a place where I could eat and still have change. I’d go to Cinnamon Soho, it’s part of Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Club. I go there at least once a week (it would be my third time this week).

What do you eat for comfort?

Can a Frenchman say baked beans on toast? The first time I ever tried baked beans, I thought they tasted like a mixture of beans and jam and I wondered what was wrong with you people. But now with a dash of Worcester sauce and some chilli flakes, you can transform them into something brilliant. Put them on some hot buttered toast – now that’s perfect comfort food.

If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

You can’t do that to me, that’s not fair! It’s just too hard to decide. If you really insist then I suppose I’m not coeliac so I’d keep the bread.

What’s your desert island recipe?

I’d make it something exotic. Perhaps some deep-fried soft-shell crab with mango salsa. It would need a bit of coriander and chilli, so it would be a sweet and spicy dish.

What is your favourite restaurant?

There are so many, but I suppose I’d choose Le Champignon Sauvage, owned by David Everitt-Matthias. I’ve known David since I was 21 and we still try to meet once a year. We’ve really been through thick and thin together and it’s great to see the evolution of both him and the restaurant.

What’s your favourite cookbook?

The Complete Robuchon. It’s a bit like Larousse Gastronomique. It’s very good because for a good chef this is like a lexicon. It’s a great reminder if you forget something.

Who taught you to cook?

There have been quite a few people who influenced me. I suppose the cooking gene came from both my mother and ­grandmother because the heart of our family was in the kitchen – you couldn’t get away from it. That’s where it all started.Later in life, it was Pierre Koffmann, who I worked with at a pop-up restaurant at Selfridges.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment