The Caterer

Chef Revelations: Elliott Lidstone, head chef, the Empress, Victoria Park, London

19 April 2013
Chef Revelations: Elliott Lidstone, head chef, the Empress, Victoria Park, London

What was your first job in catering?
Excluding the brasserie in Plymouth, after returning from France as part of my catering college course I started as commis chef at the Chewton Glen hotel in Hampshire. It was my home for the next six years.

What do you do to relax? Walk along the canals in East London and spend as much time as possible with my wife and new baby daughter

What is your favourite cuisine? I love Turkish food. Where I live there's a large Turkish community and I've never had a bad meal in any of the local restaurants

What's your favourite hotel?

What's your favourite restaurant? Restaurant Sat Bains

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Raymond Blanc. When you look at the calibre of chefs that have passed through Le Manoir it's incredible. The last time I met him he was piping swan meringues with a smile on his face.

Which ingredient do you hate the most? Filo pastry

What is your favourite drink? You can never go wrong with a large G&T although I'm a big fan of real ales

Who gave you the greatest inspiration? Marco Pierre White. When I was 
at college I had White Heat and didn't put it down. Also, Alan Murchison, my boss for six years at L'Ortolan and a little while at Chewton Glen.

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take? A Big Green Egg with all the accessories

Describe your ultimate nightmare A never-ending service, with no KP and no extraction

What's you favourite film?The Big Lebowski - Jeff Bridges really is the Dude

What's your favourite book?Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

What is your favourite prepared product? Pasteurised egg yolks

Who would be in your fantasy brigade? Alan Murchison; Will Holland; Sat Bains; Nathan Outlaw; René Redzepi; Simon Jenkins (Cafe Royal London); Michael Lacy (KP La Becasse); and me on sauce

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