As the former senior sous chef at celebrity hangout The Halcyon Hotel and long-time head chef of London’s The Spread Eagle, you wouldn’t be shocked to find him in the kitchen whipping up gallettes or des beignets.
But Crane isn’t a dutiful hotelier who pumps out the same stalwart dishes night after night – he’s a chef who makes consistently surprising food for people who take food seriously, ricocheting off tradition to serve his diners cuisine that both impresses and delights.
Square Meal said Crane ‘is clearly at home with the intricate niceties of luxurious modern cuisine’, and even though many of his dishes are clearly inspired, in part, by our neighbours on the other side of the Channel, it’s the diversity of his cooking that gives it pop: Crane isn’t afraid of preparations like tempuras and colcannon to foreground his ingredients.
Presentation is another of Crane’s many strengths. When The Independent named his current restaurant Ockenden Manor one of the 50 Best Places For a Romantic Meal, they credited his ‘extraordinarily pretty dishes free from architectural or painterly pretensions’ alongside his flawless technique and luxurious cooking.
Crane’s efforts have been rewarded with three AA rosettes for his ‘panache and creative approach’, as well as a Michelin star; who knows what might be next?