Steve Drake

Steve Drake

Steve Drake started cooking while attending South End Technical College. Only a few years later, he started working his way up the ladder at The Ritz and earned a prestigious Roux Scholarship. Now he cooks at Sorrel, a modern British restaurant in Dorking, Surrey.

In 2004, Steven jumped at the chance to buy his own restaurant in Ripley, a village in Surrey; the result was Drake’s, which held a Michelin star until its closure in 2016.

In addition to having a kitchen and a Michelin star of his very own, Steven had his early years to thank for one of the most impressive cooking pedigrees in the UK, if not the world – he’s worked with Marc Veyrat, Nico Ladenis, Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room, the Roux brothers and fellow British chefs Tom Aikens and William Drabble.

Speaking to The AA, Steven called his food ‘artisan cooking’, and his multifaceted influences show through in the complexity and imagination of his dishes. He told The Staff Canteen that his own style consists of concentrated flavours; ‘I try not to complicate the food too much… but then I do want to show off a little bit.’

For Steven, showing off can come in the form of surprising concoctions like the cocoa gnocchi he serves with venison or his beetroot sorbet, or it can simply mean making perfect use out of stubborn ingredients, like the blade of beef that he likes to poach in a warm water bath until it becomes temptingly tender.

In 2016, Steve decided to leave Drake's to set up Sorrel, in the heart of Dorking, which opened in 2017. The 40-cover restaurant is situated in a 300-year-old building and focuses on seasonal modern British tasting menus.