Biggs admitted that they’ve had to polish the dishes they serve in London. The hands-on method so appealing to diners in laidback Rock is less well received when patrons have just come from – as Biggs succinctly remarked on TheStaffCanteen.com – ‘shopping in Harrods’. He’s a man who recognised his market and acted accordingly.
It’s testament to Biggs that he’s succeeded in reaching fine-dining status without ripping the heart out of what made the Outlaw methodology so effective. Describing the work that goes into deceptively simple dishes he explains: ‘We might have gone through five stages to make that sauce but on the plate it’s just a sauce.’ Fresh and honest ingredients are refined and presented as delicately balanced plates so exceptional that team Outlaw’s goal to get a reputation ‘for the best seafood and fish in London’ seems easily achievable.
For Biggs, whereas once he was ‘very worried about technique and presentation over flavour’ his onus is now on produce; his food ‘ingredient-based’ rather than led by trends. He’s passionate about seafood, recalling that when he worked in Rock he relished fish so fresh ‘it had just stopped moving, then there it is on the chopping board.’ He maintains ties with local suppliers and captains and still sources the majority of the restaurant’s fish from Cornwall. Not one for signature dishes – preferring a menu that continually reflects the seasons – he is, however, fond of mackerel. Just don’t ask him how he feels about tomato ketchup.
Biggs is not one for food heroes, preferring to take an egalitarian approach to cuisine. He respects those who love food. When quizzed on sustainability, he believes that there are plenty of fish in the sea, it’s just that Brits are ‘blinkered in what they eat’ and offers appetizing alternatives instead. He worships at the altar of the ‘Three Fs’: food and fish, of course. And football.