Question time with David McIntyre, executive chef at CUT at 45 Park Lane
As an executive chef, David McIntyre knows a thing or two about exceptional food. Hear about some of his favourite dishes and most memorable moments.
What’s your career highlight so far?
I would have to say moving from California to London and launching CUT at 45 Park Lane with Wolfgang Puck. It was great to be involved in the initial concept for the restaurant and see the entire hotel come together. From the first day the restaurant opened it was a success and that’s something I’m really proud of.
What’s been your most memorable moment?
There’s always an exciting buzz when we have a guest chef in the kitchen. All of these collaborations with have been memorable in their own way but the Alain Ducasse one was definitely a standout experience. Another favourite was with James Knappett of the two Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchen Table. He’s a great friend of mine and the atmosphere in the restaurant that night was amazing, as was his outstanding food.
What’s your food philosophy?
Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Often the simplest recipes with just four or five ingredients make some of the best dishes. I think more people would be inspired to be more adventurous in the kitchen if they tried simpler recipes. Cooking should be a joy not a chore. Simple accents such as the right spices, vegetables or sauce can make all the difference.
What’s your favourite dish at the restaurant?
We offer a few Asian inspired dishes, such as our popular tuna tartare cones and my personal favourite Hamachi sashimi with passion fruit ponzu. I’ve had a real passion for Asian food since working at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck and CUT Beverly Hills.
What would your desert island meal be?
Porcini mushroom risotto is my all-time favourite dish; it’s something I never grow tired of. Those earthy flavours and rich creamy texture create something that’s so much more than the sum of its individual ingredients.
What do you cook at home?
My wife is an excellent cook, something I really appreciate after a long day in the kitchen. We tend to eat out a lot too, which might seem like a busman’s holiday but it’s all good research. When I do cook at home, especially if we have friends and family around, I like to get the barbecue out. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I love barbecuing fish, chicken and vegetables. It’s great for steak as well but I tend to save that for the restaurant.
How do you feel about food trends?
As a chef I’m always interested in food trends and knowing what’s popular but I only use them for inspiration. Cooking for me is about following my passion rather than trends, food has to taste good and look good on the plate.
What can you tell us about your Wagyu beef?
We’re known for having the best selection of Wagyu beef in London. We offer three different cuts – tenderloin, sirloin and ribeye. It’s all 8.5 rated and from the Kyushu region of Japan, which is associated with tastiest Wagyu and the finest marbling.
What’s the secret to cooking steak?
Firstly, use a good seasoning salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Remember to take the steak out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperate before you start cooking. And last but not least, give the meat time to rest before serving to ensure it’s really tender and juicy – these things can’t be rushed. My favourite steak is still an American ribeye, cooked medium rare so it just melts in the mouth.
What’s your favourite childhood dish?
Having grown up in California I’m still a big fan of American classics. As a child I loved cola cake, s’mores and corn cake. Now, thanks to our delicious CUTcakes & Tea, I’m still able to enjoy all these treats whenever I want. I’m so pleased it’s been successful, as pioneering an American afternoon tea in London was a real passion project for me.
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