Masterchef S04 ep8 : Sean Burbidge, Petrus Restaurant, [London]

Interview with Sean burbidge

Sean Burbidge began his career in 1993 as Apprentice Chef at the Sutton Arms in Stokesley whilst studying for his NVQ. Having completed his training, Sean went on to gain experience in a number of hotel kitchens before joining Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in August 2003 as Chef de Partie under Head Chef, Simone Zanoni. Sean progressed to the position of Sous Chef at the restaurant and in March 2008 left London to launch Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versailles. Once again under the direction of Simone Zanoni, Sean spent two years in Versailles and assisted the restaurant in gaining two Michelin stars in its first year of opening..


Sean Brennidge and we're at Petrus restaurant.

Petrus is a restaurant that has been around in London for about 15 years now. Since we moved to this site 2 ½ years ago.
Obviously, we’ve been trying to develop a restaurant of fine dining style but with a relaxed atmosphere.

Gordon first opened the restaurant only around 13 years ago and five years in St James history [13:45] and then five years in the
Berkeley Hotel and then Gordon [Ramsay] relocated the restaurant here.

I have worked for Gordon for the last nine years. Five years at hospital road, then I went to Versaille. Here I spent a year and a
half there and then I came back to start working on the opening of the new Petrus.

It’s there we look for the food and the produce that we use. Some of the produce that we use are amazing and what it takes to
get it from wherever it comes from to plate.

I want too sure the real reason that I got into it. It’s just something that I was really interested in and to be honest, when I was
about 14 I told my parents that this is what I want to do. My mom is quite a good cook as well. So I started cooking a little bit at
home and it went from there really.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

When I first start, I started working on the weekends. My parents looked for a good restaurant around the area. And so at 14
years old, I was lucky enough for someone to take me on working in their kitchen. I used to work Saturday lunch and then it
develop to Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner. Just pep that sort of stuff, vegetable prep mainly. And then by the time I was
probably about 15 I was working some Friday nights, Saturday all-day, Sunday all-day.

I think it’s the environment, the people that you work with, the pressure. I don’t know when you sense something, and it’s
perfect, you know it’s such a reward when people comment on what you have produced.

Well I actually left school and start an apprenticeship there. So I did NVQlevel 1, 2 and 3. Then I worked in a few country houses
around the Northeast. And then I wanted to work in one of the best restaurants in the country. So I started looking in the
guides, food guides and apply for a job at restaurant Gordon Ramsay and I got offered a junior position there.

It’s a hard environment to work in, but to get so much back from it. The more you put in the more you get out. So it was stuff
and you either love it or you don’t.

The week before we opened, we did a lot of tasting and we build up a sort of a style consistency throughout the menu.
Obviously Gordon was there for the tastings he said what he liked, what he didn’t like. And then you know it was just about
creating good food people want to eat.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

When we first opened, we kept the dishes quite simple. Three elements probably but just done well. Because obviously with the
brand-new team, two chefs, you know, it takes a while to build up that confidence and skill within everyone to work together
properly. And each time, since we moved forward and we changed the dish on the menu, we checked to try to take it forward;
more complex, different styles and techniques of cooking.

Probably one of the most popular dishes would be chocolate spare. That’s been on the menu since we opened and so popular
we can’t take off.

It’s different ingredients coming into season and going out of season and that’s when we’re looking at changing an entire dish or
just changing a certain element on a dish.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

The food is slightly designed towards the wine in a fact that it’s not like ten different ingredients on a plate. It’s quite a balanced
food I think. People generally when you come to a restaurant you don’t come for the wine, you come for the food first and the
wine follows.

We use a lot of amazing produce, scallops, handaive [20:20] ,langestines [20:21], foods of Scotland, when in season grouse, hare.
So we use what we want to use and what’s great quality at that time of year.

We have a lot of Arabs in the neighborhood at this time of year. Generally they want simple food, really simple, you know
boiled rice and things like that that we wouldn’t normally do.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

We use a mass of different techniques sort of our main course at the moment like when we have grouse on a specialthat will be
with black bridgeau [21:19] which works well. Other sauces just maybe beef with a red wine sauce, a nice balance of different
flavors and techniques.

We had a group of six guys playing poker there one night during the meal which is quite unusual. But I think whoever lost paid
the bill.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Sean Burbidge, PetrusRestaurant, [London]