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Festive Taste of London 2015: Scott Hallsworth

Festive Taste of London 2015: Scott Hallsworth

by Felicity Spector Monday, November 2, 2015

Felicity Spector spoke to chef Scott Hallsworth before his upcoming appearance at the Festive Edition of Taste of London this winter – a huge force in bringing modern Japanese cooking to London, his dishes and flavours have already proved a huge success with diners and critics alike.


Felicity Spector has worked in national television journalism for nearly thirty years, but has now combined her day job with an increasing interest in food writing in her spare time.

From Australia via the kitchens of Nobu, chef Scott Hallsworth has already been dubbed one of London's hottest chefs. On top of this, he's managed to transform a pop-up into three highly successful restaurants and has many other ventures on the go besides. But if you can't score a table at Kurobata – fear not: Scott is bringing his brand of contemporary Japanese food to the Festive Edition of Taste of London; from the popular pork belly steamed bun to a sticky miso grilled aubergine dish that's turned into the surprise hit of the show.

With so many ventures on the go – how on earth has he found time to fit in the festival too? ‘It is tricky’, he admits, ‘but it's all about delegation. We always find time for Taste. It's really great to connect with people and chat about the ingredients we use or the techniques, the kind of people who go there are really enthusiastic – they love what we do.’

It's a logistical challenge, working out how much to prepare and what will sell: ‘We nailed it pretty well at the summer festival – we just about ran out by the end, and we always try to involve as much of the team as possible.’

The rapid growth of Kurobata has been quite a ride. ‘We're still heading upwards – we've signed off on a fourth place, and there's interest abroad too: we're just trying to do everything as well as we possibly can.’

Scott's passion for Asian food was born in his Australian upbringing, with its fusion flavours and myriad ingredients: it was part of his culture. His time as head chef of Nobu just served to seal the deal. ‘It's a love affair which just clicks – and you just know. There's so much inspiration, such a rich history and a great tradition to draw from, you never stop learning.’

Taste of London offers a chance to go back to his roots, serving up dishes to a waiting crowd, now that his life has become one of a restaurateur. ‘I make a point of trying other chefs' food as much as I can: it's always inspiring, and it's important to know what's out there. It's not just part of the job – it's part of genuinely loving food.’

If previous experiences at Taste are anything to go by, though, Scott might not have much time for a leisurely wander around. Last time the crowds at his Kurobata stand were so hectic they had to set up a special queueing system. So if you fancy trying the pork bun, the top-selling aubergine, duck ramen or a Miso Yaki jumbo shrimp with barbecued cabbage – go early. And don't say we didn't warn you.

 
 

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Festive Taste of London 2015: Scott Hallsworth

 
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