Masterchef S01 ep6: Shane Osborn, Pied a Terre Restaurant, [London]
Interview with Shane Osborn
I am standing at the bar and saying good night to the customers and they start speaking to me in French. I say 'I am sorry I speak a little bit of French but not much'. They then ask 'Where are you from?', I reply 'I am from Australia', they say 'Oh no, I can't believe it. Australians don't cook like this!"
Pied a Tere is a small gastronomic restaurant in Charlotte street, it has been
opened for 10 years, and I ma the third chef. David Moore is the original owner
and he is still here, and runs the front of the house. Our philosophy is just
great food, great wine and a very relaxed atmosphere.
KM – How did you get to Pied a Tere.
Well I am originally from Australia so I came to England in 1991, and just
basically fell in love with Europe, the food and the style. Then I worked for
Marcus Wearing at L’Orangerie, which is now Petruce. After that I worked I
worked at the Square with Philip Howard for a year and a half and then I came
to Pied a Tere as Sous Chef.
KM – And this is under who?
Under Tom Aitkens.
I started cooking when I was fifteen years old, my mother was a chef for
caterers so I started working washing dishes, peeling eggs, chopping salads at
11/12 years old.
KM – What were your first recollections when you hit the kitchens here, when
you started working in a brigade, compared what you were used to in
The difference in produce going back to 1985/6 when I first started working in
Australia - produce was pretty poor. And when I came over here just the
availability of products was completely different. The ingredients, it was like
coming to another planet, there was a lot of food that I had never seen before
and the level of professionalism and how hard the people actually work.
I realise when I came to London that I wanted to learn - different styles of
restaurants and different styles of food - so I went to work for Marcus because
he was so precise and his technique was spot on and that the food was just
outstanding and then after that it was very good safe food.
KM – What do you mean by that?
Well Marcus has a philosophy that he will cook what he knows very well
KM – He is very conservative.
KM – He is not avant-garde.
He won't be going to a Chinese shop in China town and trying to buy Soy
Sauce or different Asian ingredients, because he wants to cook within his
boundaries, and he does that extremely well.
KM – So how do you characterise Phil by comparison.
Phil is a great character he is very spontaneous and Phil likes to... he is like a
mad scientist - he has done like a biology degree - he has that philosophy of
food, he really likes to try things out. His strong point is that he has a fantastic
palette, and he likes simple marriages and very fresh food.
I started here as Sous Chef with under Tom
KM – What was Tom like comparatively?
Tom was always wanting to be better and ..
KM – When you say that what do you mean?
He was wanting to do things that nobody else was doing, for instance he was
wanting to do 4 or 5 petite fours for a table of two, he did 13 different types of
bread, he wanted to be pushing the boundaries so far.
KM – What makes your cooking different?
Well I like to work on simply marriages – a lot of simple marriages where they
work off each other. A little bit of intelligent cooking and eating, for instance we
have got a sea bass dish with green olive and vanilla emulsion. And the green
olive and vanilla works so well together, it is an amazing combination.
KM – So you are looking at textures and taste.
Yes, texture and tastes bouncing off each other and combining it together -
last week we were just trying out a flavour together, we did basil ice cream with
fresh pecan and combined the two - took a mouth full of the ice cream and
took a bit of the pecan and you had a flavour of turmeric and curry.
Don't use any veal stock at all, use brown chicken stock which we make from
chicken wings: and then vegetables ménages: fruit juices as well which we
make into sauces, we do the whole variety - a lot of light vinaigrettes as well.
I am standing at the bar and saying good night to the customers and they start
speaking to me in French. I say, “I am sorry I don't speak really speak French,
I speak a little bit of French but not much”. They say, “Where are you from?” I
say, “I am from Australia”, they say “Oh no I can’t believe it. Australian's don't
cook like this”.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Shane Osborn, Pied a Terre Restaurant, [London]