While many of us saw in the New Year with resolutions, (some lasting longer than others), the Grade II listed Georgian mansion that is Dartmouth House in Mayfair welcomed a new head chef: Lucy Brokenshire.
Lucy was kind enough to take some time out from settling in to tell us a little about herself.
How long have you been a chef?
I have been a chef for 8 years but started out studying Economics & Law with German at Bristol university.
What are your most significant past projects and places of work?
For a year I lived and cooked with Buddhist monks and Bedouin gypsies in the desert.
I have worked as a private live in chef for lots of different people including Samuel L Jackson, Margot Robbie, Colin Farrell, Eddie Redmayne, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
I also opened a vegan restaurant in the Caribbean.
I have cooked a 11-course tasting menu in the middle of the desert with no gas, electricity or running water.
What is your earliest kitchen memory?
When I was 15, I was given Gordon Ramsay’s 3* book and decided it would be a great idea to cook dinner for my family so I invited them all over and tried to cook the most difficult dishes. Needless to say it was a complete disaster, but it didn’t put me off!
Who or what inspires you?
Sat Bains. I love how he thinks about the digestive system when compiling tasting menus so that you don’t end a meal feeling completely stuffed.
What kitchen gadget could you not live without?
Having flown around the world and worked in so many different environments, I have learnt not to need any gadgets. I have cooked a 11-course tasting menu in the middle of the desert with no gas, electricity or running wate
Could you tell us the story of the incredible looking deer dish above.
I was doing a reflective journey dish after a bit of a quarter to mid-life crisis. I wanted to figure out where I had come from and where I wanted to go. The black plate was made especially for me on a 3D printer. The food itself is positioned like the Japanese brush stroke Ensō, denoting learning. The gap in the incomplete circle signifies room to grow and that there are always things to learn and improve upon.
The ingredients themselves were chosen as they were the ingredients I decided to use on the first dish I had complete free rein over. Looking back at that time, the dish was a disaster and I wanted to see how far I had come by giving myself the same ingredients and seeing what I would come up with. A much more well thought out dish in my opinion.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Dartmouth House?
I’m really looking forward to making the restaurant approachable for the English Speaking Union members. I’m also looking forward to doing some really creative and imaginative events that have the wow factor, where we really push the boat out!
What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?
I always have raw chickpeas soaking in the fridge as there is so much you can make with them.
If you weren’t a chef, what career path do you think you would have chosen?
Graphic design or art. Definitely something creative.
What country would you love to visit?
Iceland. I am going for my 30th this year to go whale watching.