On 12 March 2018, Blue Boar Restaurant at Conrad London St James will launch “aSPiRING Chefs”, a fresh initiative and new seasonal menu, with dishes designed by the junior chefs in the kitchen under the nurturing wing of Executive Chef Michael Riordan. This innovative approach to designing a menu will allow the young chefs to develop and grow in their careers, whilst also supporting a great cause, with a £1 donation from every booking going to Hospitality Action.
With a wealth of culinary experience from some of London’s top hotels, Michael Riordan is dedicated to mentoring the professional development of the junior chefs in his team at Conrad London St James. Having trained at Westminster Kingsway, Michael is passionate about giving back to his college, and recruits many junior positions within his kitchen from the school’s graduates. These recruits are among the junior chefs who have been given the unique opportunity to take part in “aSPiRING Chefs” testing their creativity by contributing a dish to the new spring menu.
From the menu, starters will include Cromer crab cannelloni with squid ink crisp, mango, avocado, radish and ras el hanout created by Justine aged 22, and Hampshire watercress and baby gem veloute with wild garlic toasts and chicken oyster by 20-year-old Reille-Samuel. Among the main courses, Emmanuel has created Cornish plaice with confit chicken wing, fermented kohlrabi, pickled radish, and watercress purée, whilst 24-year-old Luca has designed a dish of Cod, garden peas, crab and squid ink tortellini, with lemon and dill butter. Finally, for something sweet, the desserts include Annabelle’s Rhubarb pistachio tart with strawberry leather and yogurt sorbet, and Onna’s Gin and tonic granita with elderflower jelly, grapefruit compote and yoghurt sponge, both 21 years of age.
Furthermore, as an extra incentive for each junior chef to throw themselves whole-heartedly into the challenge, there will be a prize up for grabs; the young chef to sell most of their dish throughout the duration of the spring menu will be rewarded with a Michelin-star meal for two in a restaurant of their choosing.
The spring menu will be available for lunch and dinner in the Blue Boar Restaurant at Conrad London St James from 12 March to 4 June, with £1 from every booking during this time being donated to Hospitality Action.