04 Dec 2013

An interview with Group Head Chef, Neil Armstrong 0  

Posted in Behind the scenes, Food & drink, Staff interviews, Working at Radisson Blu Edwardian

We caught up with Group Head Chef, Neil Armstrong, over a three course meal at Trunk Warren Street to get to know him, what influences him and find out more about the 3 new concepts of the new restaurants at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels.

Sheperds Pie at Scoff & Banter

So Neil, tell us about the three new restaurant concepts, Scoff & Banter, Steak & Lobster and TRUNK London.

Scoff & Banter is our biggest brand, we’ve launched it at 8 of our hotels. It’s about traditional British food, cooked well, usually with a subtle twist. It’s also about the banter, creating atmospheres where people want to stay and talk.

Steak & Lobster, is, well exactly what it sounds like, all about the two signature dishes, steak and lobster. The best ingredients and quick service.

TRUNK London is what we describe as world eclectic. The menu takes inspiration from around the world and brings together the best flavours and cooking styles.

What made you want to be a chef?

I started off when I was 15. I left school and took a part time job and it grew from there really.

What made you want to be a chef?

I started off when I was 15. I left school and took a part time job and it grew from there really.

Are there any chef’s that have influenced you?

When I was a kid I used to look up to Marco Pierre White, back when he was at his prime, back in the early nineties.

Do you look at what other chef’s do to try to get new ideas?

I try to get involved with as many chefs as I can, I like talking to other chefs. In Manchester it’s quite a close knit circuit.

What’s the best thing on the menu here?

The best thing on the menu I think is the lobster ravioli with brown shrimp butter at Trunk.

Lobster Ravioli at Trunk

When you go home from work and you are just cooking for yourself or your family, what would you cook?

I like snacks, like tapas style snacks, like olives, hummus that type of thing.

Would you ever eat a ready meal from a supermarket ?

No I wouldn’t

So it’s not true that chef’s just want to eat junk food or something simple  after cooking nice food all day?

Well, it’s true for some chefs.

What about when you host dinner parties, do you feel pressure to impress?

When I have dinner parties I always do sharing tables, so I do small dishes like 15-20 dishes, like a tapas style.

What’s your favourite flavour?

I like herbs and garlic and those kinds things. I like Thyme, that’s my favourite. And garlic – it’s good for the heart and the blood.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I like a bit of cooking, I go to the gym a lot, keep trim. I go back home on the weekends and take the boys to football and help out at the local football team.

Where do you like to travel?

Girona in Spain is the capital of food at the moment. I love tapas, everything about it. What’s popular in Britain now is small plates. It’s great, you can experiment.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do you prefer steak or lobster?

I prefer lobster, because I love fresh seafood.

Lobster at Steak & Lobster

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