Next time you’re in London, we highly recommend you try Elliott Grover’s cooking for yourself with a trip to CUT at 45 Park Lane.
Introducing executive chef Elliott Grover
November 03, 2022
How did you start your career?
When I was just 15 years old and living in Cornwall, I emailed chef Mark Hix at The Ivy restaurant in Covent Garden asking for a job. At that stage, I was more interested in earning money than learning to cook – but to my surprise, he offered me a trial at Scott’s Mayfair. My dad drove me to London and after a trial period, I was given a permanent job at Le Caprice. I’ll never forget spending my 16th birthday in their kitchen and being made to feel like part of the family. I like to think that my story is a good example of why you shouldn’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
What inspires you?
My recent travels to California have had a big influence on me. Working alongside Wolfgang Puck, and Matt Hurley who runs his CUT Las Vegas restaurant, has given me a wonderful insight into a really vibrant and energetic food scene. In California, the chefs spend much more time in the dining room than they do here in the UK. This is something I brought to CUT at 45 Park Lane because it’s great to meet and interact with our diners and good for our younger chefs to see and appreciate what it’s all about.
What new additions have you brought to the menu?
Steak remains at our fore, with newly introduced tomahawk and porterhouse steaks, but I was keen to expand our offering. Having grown up in Cornwall, I’m naturally a huge fan of seafood so you’ll find oysters, langoustine and scallops on the menu. One of my favourite new dishes is the native lobster pasta with a garlic butter and tarragon sauce. If I had to pick one desert island dish, it would definitely be this.
What else can we expect?
A regularly changing menu that works with the seasons to offer the best flavours. I recommend the grilled mixed shellfish of the day, our jumbo Australian tiger prawns with red chilli jam and green mango salsa, or a classic Cornish Dover Sole à la meunière with preserved lemon, parsley and brown butter. I’m also currently looking at sourcing great game and grouse. When it comes to dessert, our executive pastry chef, Niamh Larkin, makes the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten.
What’s your signature dish?
The must-try dish I’ve recently brought to the menu is our lightly fried whole seabass. For a bit of theatre it’s a dish we finish tableside by pouring a sticky pineapple sweet and sour sauce onto the hot skillet for a wonderful sizzle and fragrant aroma. It’s the kind of dish that once someone orders it, everyone else says, “I’ll have that too!”
Can you share any top tips with us?
I highly recommend making your own garlic butter as a quick and easy way to transform fish and seafood. Simply chop fresh garlic and mix it with softened butter. You can also add chopped chilli and herbs if you like, then freeze it to use as and when you’re ready. This little trick is perfect for impressive dinner party dishes.
Tell us about the ingredients you use
We have a wonderful relationship with our suppliers, which is the key to our success. If you have the finest ingredients, your job as a chef is so much easier. We serve tender English beef on the bone from Aubrey Allen and delicious British Wagyu. Wright Brothers and Celtic Seafood supply all our seafood and are true experts in their field. We’re also constantly updating our menu to include seasonal fruit, and I make a point of having daily chats with our suppliers to discover what their best ingredients are that day so I can build the menu around them.
Tell us about your love of food
I cook to make people happy and that makes my job really rewarding. It’s why I love to go out into the restaurant and ensure our diners are happy. I adore zingy Asian flavours such as ponzu and yuzu. My girlfriend is a fellow chef so we spark ideas off one another, and she’s a great help by being my biggest critic and a fan of what I do. When we go out to dinner though, there’s no ‘shop talk’ as we both appreciate that food is there to be enjoyed.
What do you eat at home?
A classic lasagne and prawn pasta dish are two of my favourites. I also enjoy making my own pizzas and, as an occasional treat, starting my day with a full English breakfast or eggs Benedict.
45 Park Lane
45 Park Lane is a vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel. An invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.
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