The Wordobe talks simplicity, success and Scandinavian style with Harry Faddy of Aquavit London
One of London’s most exciting chefs, meet Harry Faddy, Head Chef of Aquavit London. Manning the restaurant’s Scandinavian stove since its opening in 2016, Harry helped the the restaurant secure a Michelin star within the first 12 months of business, and has continued to impress with his simple yet sublime menu.
The Wordrobe’s editor Sophie Ritchie caught up with Harry to find out what it takes to earn such swift star success – and where he likes to dine when not in the kitchen…
What inspired you to become a chef?
I have always loved food, and was lucky enough to have a chef as a mum, but never really considered cooking as a potential career. After finishing my A-levels, and I took a year out to travel, and saw cooking as a good potential job to travel with when I returned. However, I soon fell in love with the buzz of a busy kitchen, and never looked back.
Where did you train? Tell us more about your culinary background…
My mum taught me to cook from a young age. Family gatherings and holidays always centered around food and I was an enthusiastic assistant.
After I started working in professional kitchens for a couple of years, I eventually went to train at Westminster, whilst working in the evenings and weekends. I loved learning the classics, something I think is really important for chefs to do.
What’s your favourite autumn dish?
The best thing about being a chef in Britain is the seasons. When the days become shorter and it turns a little cooler, there’s nothing better than a slow braise. Maybe using some of the abundant game and funghi available at that time of year. Put it in a pie crust, or a bowl of fresh pappardelle and I’m a happy man.
Do you have any role models?
My mum is one, for sure. She had a successful business serving food she believed in. She was a bit before her time and championed healthy whole food before it became fashionable.
What does hospitality mean to you?
Hospitality means the desire to make someone happy. That feeling when you leave a restaurant after a good meal is very special. The idea of making that happen for others is what keeps me going.
Name three of your top restaurants.
Moro in Exmouth market has been a consistent go to for years, it’s honest cooking and the service and atmosphere in the restaurant is so warm and welcoming.
101 Thai kitchen in Hammersmith is the best thai food in town in my opinion, and a place at the bar at the Palomar in Soho is hard to beat for a fun night out.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
Read more books. Proper cooking books, and not just ‘cheffy’ books teaching smoke and mirrors. You learn the most as a cook by cooking at home for loved ones. Train your palate by cooking and eating food from all around the world.
What does it take to secure a Michelin star?
Consistency and attention to detail! Treat every ingredient with respect whether it be a carrot or a fillet of beef and understand how to prepare it best.
What’s next on the cards?
Who knows? I’d like a place of my own one day, but I’m in no rush.
Hungry for more? Book a table via aquavitrestaurants.com