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.
Thursday 28 February 2013
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.
interviewThe producer and activist, Trudie Styler, whose film 'Filth' is up for five film awards, is tapping into the industry's neglected female talent
musicBlack Sabbath have pulled off one of rock music’s great comebacks – against all odds
interviewHer estate has become the nation's glossiest food empire
theatreTheatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
food + drinkFestive snacks don't have to be fiddly, says Bill Granger
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Food & Drink
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Increases in tourism, the introduction of new...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Data Management & ...