Head Chef - Nik Chappell

Nicholas Chappell joined Great Fosters as Head Chef of The Tudor Room at the beginning of 2014. Previously Head Chef at L’Ortolan,  Nik achieved 4 AA rosettes and helped maintain its Michelin star during his four years there. Prior to that Nik worked under Simon Haigh at Mallory Court working his way up through the ranks from Demi Chef de Partie to Senior Sous Chef 8 years later. Read more about Nik below….

Did you always want to become a Chef?
No, I studied fine art, sculpture and print making for five years and wanted to be an artist with a big studio. Instead I ended up in a kitchen, initially inspired by Lenny Henry’s “Chef” programme which I watched avidly.

Who has been your greatest inspiration in your career so far?
Apart from Alan Murchison at L’Ortolan, whose enthusiasm is inspirational, it would be Simon Haigh from Mallory Court. He taught me so much about food and how it should be – that’s where I learnt the classics.

What is the most distinctive aspect of your cooking?
Hopefully my great passion for food which I would call modern British with Asian and French influences. Seasonality is very important and my dishes are constantly evolving depending on the best produce available. I like to source locally but if I need to go further afield to raise the bar then I will.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love training and developing staff and building a team….although this can also be the most challenging part of my job! There are lots of egos in a kitchen which all need looking after.  

What is the best piece of advice you could give someone considering becoming a chef?
Work hard and put the hours in. Don’t turn up late and don’t make decisions based on salary. You have to love what you do.