Masterchef S04 ep1 : Angela Hartnett, Restaurant Murano, [London]

Interview with Angela Hartnett

Only after the tragic death of Bernard Loiseau in February 2003 did Mauro decide to move to Paris to work at Arpege, the legendary restaurant run by Alain Passard.  He would stay there a year and a half working with this true craftsman of the kitchen, which would allow him the chance to develop his own sense of creativity, his attention to detail and his imagination. In 2004 he carried on his journey, curious to learn about cooking in a luxury hotel, and had the opportunity to work in Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in the Plaza Athenée.  This experience taught him the idea of perfection, refinement and rigour. At the end of his stay in Paris he spent a year at the Grand Véfour. Working with Guy Martin allowed him to develop his own personal style as chef. Early 2009 The Mirazur is chosen as the 35th best restaurant in the world according to the San Pellegrino classification.


It's my own restaurant, owned with various shareholders, some of which are family members.
We're going for four years, it's, modern up here with a strong Italian influence, it's not typical
Italian as in antipasti pre, second et cetera, using seasoned vegetables, don't over complicate,
keep things simple. So from that respect, that's how it sort of represents food wise. 16:52

My mama on this side, she was Italian. She was born in Italy, emigrated over here, her children
were born here and I'm sort of second generation. I am also being Italian background, we cook
for those at Kevlos, cooked a lot, so from that respect, I grew up cooking, like to, was quite
good at it. I liked the idea of running a business that was basically my thing. I never thought I'd
be doing this level or this degree or in London I thought I'd be running a little local restaurant,
you know, close on Saturday and then I just fell into it, three jobs,finish college, worked in
some local restaurants, then worked in really good one, in came Britain, and then from there,
went to Barbados then came back to London. So I worked with Gordon Ramsey.17:53

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

The first restaurant in Cambridge was the Blue Ball, which was like a local brasserie, then a
pub,which was very good food and then to a very good restaurant called mid- Summer House,
so that was a really lovely one. And then in Barbados, then when I came back to London and
worked for Gordon at the Opera chin. It is a , all the successes were really hard. I think people
always think, oh, we started off and just fell into all this success, it's been working out when we
were there, seven in the mornings, mid nights with us, you know, really push, push, push and
that was his job.18:44

When I started, didn't even have one stove. We got one stove like six weeks after I started. We
worked really hard, he was really inspirational, very demanding, very particular, but very
inspiring, you know, he really graphed with you, you know, made you want to think and really
fulfilled you, pushed you for ambition, which I thought was fantastic. 19:20

When I worked with Marcus and Patrice, then we did a cuneal together, went to Dubai for him,
so start with him, you know, all in all,seventeen years with loads of different restaurants.You
know I opened up a restaurant in Glascock with him and David, so we just did a lot of that
which was great and that's why I liked doing, so it was interesting.19:55

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

So I was quite lucky that Gordon let us do what we wanted to do, so there wasn't a case he
suddenly like he said to me,what you're going to change when you buy it and I say nothing, the
only thing I'm going to change is the stationery because I'm doing the food I like to do, I'm
running it the way I wanted it because I have that level of freedom with him. I think if I' been
restricted and I didn't,then it would be a slightly different case, but because I was very free to do
what I wanted I, we just carried on. We just developed the food as we've gone on and on. 21:20

It's probably got more advanced, maybe more technical, it certainly developed but Diego and I
have a very similar style, because he's my head chef so he's been influenced by me, cause
we've worked together for so long and now he's developed in his own style and we pick things
up from each other. But he's keeping the essence of the, it has to be seasonal and it's got to taste
good. I don't want to put anything on the plate that is super less. You know just for the sake of
putting it on, it’s going to work, yea, it's like point. People remember taste, they don't remember
rubbish, You know I was recently in Paris, a three star and it was a tomato salad,which probably
the best tomato salad I'd tasted in my life, because they were the best tomatoes in the world.
There was a little bit of soya on there,there was a little bit of red cabbage, a little bit of red
onion, it was superb, you know, so you can't not buy. 22:24

Jewellery Theatre Elements

It's more Italian influence in the theme of it, but I suppose is French techniques we use in the
cooking, but you can't take away how France has influenced cooking. You know from Berlin to
Boston, you know, whatever,you know it's French style cooking but it's much lighter, there's
less butter, less reduced sauces, less having a simple, cuisines gone light,like generally, we cook
food, we want to eat and I think that's the most important thing. I look at it and say yea, I want
to eat that, I don't want to put food out and give to a customer and thinkactually I'm not proud
of that, then I think you're failing.23:011

Rather tasty menu. We have five different, six different areas of cooking of fish made
vegetarian pastas, starters and people make up their own. So some people have five, six courses,
some people have three, some people have four, it's really up to them.23:43

It's all based on what's in season. That's where it starts off. I come up with ideas of what, do it to
the chefs, so we do it together and say this is what I'd like on the menu, let's work around these
ideas. They start developing them, then they taste it, I'll tweak it again and I'll tweak it, you
know. Then it comes together as you know a finish dish we're all happy with. You know, they'
might put dishes on and then if I come in and go, oh, I'm not happy with that, let's change that,
it's a team effort, that's an easy, that's the only way to do it, you can't be so under to do
everything, it's pointless, people don't develop, people don't push their own ideas, you've got to
work together.24:35

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

With cooking, it's a constant, one of the things I'd probably use more of, but we never did, there
is a bit more spice in there. Some more nuts in there, some more techniques like that, use it,
things like if you call it granola, or moose, little garnishes like that, you know and just, more of
a Skavanian influence I suppose,that's coming out from it, putting spice crumbs on plates, you
know, a little bit of purees and stuff. So i think in that respect, it's developed more. 25:16

We had a fabulous table recently, spent over ten thousand pounds on wine and food.They had a
lot of food, had a lot of wine, but they were great. But not massive bottles, they just had a lot of
it so it was great for us. When I was at the Cutout Martin here, that we had NektonYaris day,
July the eleventh, when all the bombs are off in London, so he was the only one in the restaurant
and he sat right infront of the window and I said you kidding me, get in (laugh), straight away
from infront of the window, but now we've been lucky here, we’ve done well.26:04

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Angela Hartnett, Restaurant Murano, [London]