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Lockhart Catering Blog

Posted by Lockhart Catering on Thursday 18 July 2019


Chef Insight Series continues with an interview & demo with Roux Scholarship Finalist 2019 Ryan Baker

Recently we were delighted to welcome Ryan Baker to our London Innovation Centre.

Ryan is a Roux Scholarship 2019 finalist, has worked under Frederick Forster at Plateau, John Williams at The Ritz, and is now moving on to Corinthia under the tutelage of Andre Garrett. Keep reading for our full interview and details of the dishes he cooked up for us.

Watch The Instagram Highlights Here

Tell us a bit about your history & where you currently work

I did the academy of culinary arts scholarship at Bournemouth, I did a placement at Boodles during this time, then stayed there for 2 years after. I started at Plateau after this working under Jeremy Trehout, Frederick Forster came along a year later where I worked up to Sous Chef. After this I got a job at The Ritz London for 7 or 8 months working under John Williams, then this summer I’ll be joining the Corinthia London as a Junior Sous Chef. Andre Garrett has recently joined the team there and is looking to make some changes so I’m looking forward to joining the team and getting started.

What’s your preferred cooking style?

French would be the one. That’s what I was trained in, and pretty much everywhere I’ve worked has done French cooking. It’s a very good base for every other cuisine out there. Theres a reason it’s always taught in colleges. That would be the cuisine I have the most knowledge about. It’s not just that though - I enjoy it as well. Theres a lot of room for innovating in Classical cooking; as there are many different techniques you can apply to a dish to give different textures, looks and put the wow factor onto a classic dish. A lot of modern cooking techniques such as Sous Vide means you can make a very simple dish into something that could be worthy of a Michelin star.

First dish out from @roux_scholarship finalist @ryan_baker94 previously of @theritzlondon at our #London #Innovation Centre! A stunning courgette & basil purée, with turned baby artichokes and courgette ribbons presented on #Artisan #stoneware. --------- #chefs #chefsofinstagram #chefseye #chefstagram #ritz #ritzlondon #londonevents #londoncatering #hotel #hotels #restaurants #food #foodie #foodporn #foodphotography #instatakeover #foodstagram #tableware #starters #mains #dessert #networking #business

12 Likes, 1 Comments - Lockhart Catering Equipment (@bunzllockhart) on Instagram: "First dish out from @roux_scholarship finalist @ryan_baker94 previously of @theritzlondon at our..."

You recently competed in the Roux Scholarship 2019, what was that like & was that your first taste of competition?

I’ve done one other competition before when I was around 17, it was called the CSMA competition. It was a group of around 20 private members clubs that host the competition. I came 2nd in that as I was 5 minutes late in the main course, which could have given me the top spot if I'd have got the dish out on time. I asked Frederick (Frederick Forster, from Plateau) is there something out there that I can do to gain more experience on top of my role and showcase what I can do? He suggested the Roux Scholarship as he had won it back in 2001.

The final was at Westminster Cooking College; they give you books to study and on the day they tell you the dish they want you to make using the reference books. The first dish was a Monkfish Blanquette with a champagne sauce, an asparagus mousse & seasonal veg garnishes that we had 2 hrs 30 mins to make. You had to serve half of it plated, half of it in a cocotte to be served at a table. It was your interpretation of that dish - so you had the room to show off your own flair & ideas which was great.

With 2 Ritz delegates in the final, what one thing about The Ritz means it produces so much talent?

I think there are a few different things that come together that make it impressive. The Head Chef John Williams is very good. His guidance & overseeing of the kitchen and people’s development, progression & learning is very good. It’s a French kitchen, so I learned a lot even though I was only there for 7 or 8 months. If you’re there for a few years with the level of cooking they're doing, it will provide you with a lot of skills in the future. The kitchen is very good itself as well which gives you the tools you need to do high quality food on a daily basis in a fast-paced environment. And finally, it’s also a world-renowned name so it stands any chef in good stead for their next step.

Could you describe your first dish & why you’ve chosen it for us?

Courgette & Basil puree, turned baby artichokes cooked in white wine, lemon juice & herb stock. And courgette ribbons. This has been chosen as it’s very seasonal and light so it’s perfect for the summer weather, and I personally like the dish as it’s one of the dishes I did for Andre for my trial at the Corinthia.

Could you describe your second dish & why you’ve chosen it for us?

Panfried Halibut with a watercress emulsion, confit fennel, broadbeans & champagne sauce. This is something I created at home, it looks elegant but also took what was in season & come up with something restaurant-worthy with flavours that I know work well together.

Finishing touches from @roux_scholarship finalist @ryan_baker94 with his panfried halibut with watercress emulsion, confit fennel, broad beans & champagne sauce presented on #Artisan #stoneware. ------------ #chefs #chefseye #chefsofinstagram #chefstagram #ritz #ritzlondon #londonevents #londoncatering #hotel #hotels #restaurants #food #foodie #foodporn #foodphotography #instatakeover #foodstagram #tableware #starters #mains #dessert #networking #business

5 Likes, 0 Comments - Lockhart Catering Equipment (@bunzllockhart) on Instagram: "Finishing touches from @roux_scholarship finalist @ryan_baker94 with his panfried halibut with..."

Could you describe your third dish & why you’ve chosen it for us?

A raspberry tart with a case made from sweet pastry, with creme diplomat which is creme patte & whipped cream to make it more summery & fresher. It’s a simple dish but done well it’s a really nice dish. Served with this we’ll have some Chantilly cream & a raspberry twill.

Dessert dish of Raspberry Tart with creme diplomat on Artisan Tableware from @roux_scholarship finalist @ryan_baker94 at our #London #Innovation centre. Thank you Ryan, and stay tuned for the interview! ------- #chefs #chefseye #chefsofinstagram #chefstagram #ritz #ritzlondon #londonevents #londoncatering #hotel #hotels #restaurants #food #foodie #foodporn #foodphotography #instatakeover #foodstagram #tableware #starters #mains #dessert #networking #business

8 Likes, 1 Comments - Lockhart Catering Equipment (@bunzllockhart) on Instagram: "Dessert dish of Raspberry Tart with creme diplomat on Artisan Tableware from @roux_scholarship..."

Our sister company CCS have produced Recycled Plastic Jackets this year for the National Chef of the Year finals; have you noticed Sustainability starting to affect our industry?

It definitely has. There is only so much fish in the sea, for example. As an industry, we have to be aware that we want to serve good food that the customers do want, but there is only so much that you can take before it dwindles. It’s reflected in the price of the product so it affects our dining experience. But it’s a very serious issue that we have to get on top of before it’s too late; we don’t always think that there won’t be wild cod or sea bass available one day, but that’s the way it will go. There’s a difference in the quality, taste & size of farmed fish compared to wild. For example if you don’t let the fish mature then it won’t be the best cut of meat that it could be – turbot for instance, if you want a good cut you have to have a 7kg fish, and farms don’t always produce this.

If you couldn’t have been a Chef, what would’ve you have done?

Something to do with Science. It was cooking & science I excelled at school but it was cooking I chose in the end. I couldn’t say something specific, but definitely something scientific. But it’s very hard seeing myself doing anything else.

About Lockhart

Bunzl Lockhart Catering Equipment’s 2600 sq. ft. showroom has been designed as a showcase for our company vision, which is to bring "innovation and inspiration to the preparation and presentation of food". The Innovation Centre incorporates Front of House displays, several fully functional demonstration areas such as a mixology bar & commercial Kitchen, and an array of displays from leading brands.

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1 Comment(s)  

Lockhart Catering 18/07/2019 10:00:00