With his sights set very firmly on obtaining a third Michelin star, I knew that I was in for a treat. Arnaud Bignon is one of just twenty-two chefs in the UK with two Michelin stars, yet his restaurant, The Greenhouse, is very much a secret haven. It’s tucked away in a tranquil Mayfair mews on the ground floor of a block of mansion flats, partially hidden by box hedges and bay trees. So it was with some irony that my first taste of Arnaud’s cuisine was not a few stops away on the Tube but a few hours on a train to Langho, Lancashire.
I was attending night eleven of the culinary extravaganza that is Nigel Haworth’s Obsession. There was a real air of excitement as we sampled the delightful canapés prepared by Nigel and his team; not only in anticipation of Arnaud’s menu, but because myself and my dining companions (including Great British Menu banquet winner Michael O’Hare) were going to be at the coal-face, eating at Northcote’s Chef’s Table, so we could see the preparation of the dishes in full.
It was an extremely well-oiled operation, with over 100 covers to be delivered. Yet calmness reigned under Arnaud’s expertise and truly meticulous plating.