Josh Angus is head chef at Hide Ground, the more casual floor of the three-storey, Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant that runs as a joint partnership between Ollie Dabbous and Hedonism Wines. Vincent Wood checks up on how being listed in last year's guide has changed his approach, and what he has planned for the future
How has receiving a Michelin star changed the kitchen at Hide Ground?
I would say the pressure has been relieved a bit. Obviously we've got to keep it and that's a hard thing, but I've worked in five or six different Michelin-starred kitchens now, and I think keeping the star is easier than getting the star.
The talent that we're getting in is a little bit better, but I don't think it's changed too much. Overall, if anything, we were saying from day one that this was the standard for which we were reaching. We've got the systems in place now and I think it's all about consistency and making sure people don't let things slip. We need to remind people that this is what we're here for; we're here to keep that star.
What kind of systems?
The seniors are always walking around testing everything that gets made, then it gets labelled with their initials, so if I think it's wrong, the senior gets in trouble, not the junior. Different kitchens run different ways, but because of the size of our operation, we have to run it like this.
Is a second star something you're aiming for?
It's a direct goal. At the start we wanted Above and Ground to be judged separately. Unfortunately, it wasn't seen that way by Michelin, but they'll do whatever they're going to do and I'm happy either way, because I'm doing Michelin-starred breakfasts and afternoon teas.
The goal was to get two stars upstairs and one star downstairs, so we'll just keep doing what we're doing and pushing ourselves.
How do you approach kitchen management?
For me, the days when you can be aggressive and shout and throw pans are gone. Don't get me wrong, I do that sometimes - the stress levels obviously get to you and it does happen - but I want to train and respect and treat the guys how I would want to be treated. With the new-age chefs, you want to make sure they're looked after and I make sure I lead by example.
Is there anything new coming out of the site?
We've started running brunches -it's just a different thing we're trying out to attract a different crowd. Obviously we're trying to incorporate a few breakfast dishes, but it's running from midday to 3pm. It's the same kind of style as the rest of the offering - simple food led by amazing ingredients, simple on the plate and executed the best we can. It's just food people want to eat, really.
You need to create an account to read this article. It's free and only requires a few basic details.
Already subscribed? Log In