Claire Clark and Angela Hartnett interview – 2008 Chef Conference

22 May 2008
Claire Clark and Angela Hartnett interview – 2008 Chef Conference

Britain's two most high-profile female chefs, Claire Clark (the French Laundry) and Angela Hartnett (Gordon Ramsay Holdings) treated audiences to a live interview.

Both had taken time out of busy schedules - Clark making the trip from Napa Valley and Hartnett from her preparation of the opening of two new ventures in London - to take questions at the conference.

"It's like no other kitchen I've worked in," said Clark of the French Laundry. "The cleanliness in unbelievable - and it's very quiet and focused. Thomas Keller is great for inspiration. He might come up to me and hand me a piece of paper with ‘popcorn' or something written on it and I'll really work on making a dish from that."

Hartnett, who first worked under Ramsay at Aubergine ("where he was still very much the new kid"), admitted that her fronting both the York and Albany boutique hotel and Murano (a high-end Italian) at the same time was unfortunate timing.

While Hartnett admitted enjoying the television work she had done so far, she added that she didn't want it to become the main focus of her career.

"It wasn't the plan when I left the Connaught to do two things at once - but fortunately they're in the same city," she said.

Though Clark enthused about the produce, team spirit and kitchen ethos at the French Laundry, she acknowledged that she missed London and that the valley was sometimes something of "a ghost town". She didn't, however, disclose whether she'd be coming home anytime soon. "I can't say that," she laughed.

Read an exclusive interview with Angela Harnett before the Chef Conference here >>Nathan Outlaw and Glynn Purnell Masterclass - 2008 Chef Conference >>Anthony Demetre and Will Smith masterclass - 2008 Chef Conference >>

David Everitt-Matthias video masterclass - 2008 Chef Conference >>

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