Nicolas Pasquier is head chef of Albert and Michel Roux's Roux at the Landau in Marylebone, London. He tells Emma Lake about the restaurant's relaunch with a new "informal, ingredient-led dining concept" earlier this year
How did you get into hospitality?
My only passion is to cook. I wanted to be a chef ever since I was a child, maybe around five or six years old. It's just my passion and always has been!
What was your first job in hospitality?
What made you head across the Channel to the UK?
I had been at the same restaurant for eight years and it just started to become a bit boring. I wanted to change country to challenge myself a bit and I had some friends in London.
I wanted to work in a very good Michelin-starred restaurant and I got the opportunity to work at L'Atelier de JoÁ«l Robuchon as a commis and sous chef. It was very interesting because you work with the best products in the world - fantastic.
You then moved on to Roux at the Landau. How have you found working with the Roux family?
The whole family is very famous and they cook very nice, classic French food. That is my type of food. My style is very classic.
What's your favourite thing about your job?
I can't say just one thing. A large part of the job is to work with the best produce we can find here in England, to create dishes and to work with a good team.
It's the best job ever to be a chef - it's my passion. For me, it's just amazing to see guests enjoy themselves.
What was the ethos behind the relaunch?
To take an exceptional product and show it at its best. When I worked in France I was 20 minutes from the sea and the fish was not as exceptional as what I have here. We can source some amazing fish. In London you can find what you want.
How big a role did you have i the planning?
In terms of the menu and dishes, I can do what I want. All my dishes are tested by chef Michel, but I am free to do as I wish.
How have you approached management?
If my team want to try something, they can try it and I will taste it. I'm not just stuck on my idea or my recipe. If you have a better recipe, bring it to me. We discuss a lot as a team; we speak a lot. If I want to develop the team's potential, we have to work together every time to show our best.
Who is your mentor?
Chef Albert and the Roux family. They have remained a family business and that is the spirit I like.
What are your goals?
To get a Michelin star. After that, I don't know. In the future I would like my own restaurant back in France, somewhere small by the sea.
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