Tony Fleming

While less experienced chefs can be prone to over-complicating and over-garnishing dishes, Tony’s own style is remarkably restrained and uncluttered. Prime ingredients are showcased in all their natural glory; Tony takes time to develop relationships with his suppliers, and it shows. On the menu at The Baptist Grill – the main restaurant at L'Oscar – Tony once again showed a deft touch with fish and seafood, alongside a range of clever vegetarian and meat dishes.

A straight-talking and lively character, Tony still believes it is of prime importance that a chef’s career is built on solid classical technique and regimented precision, but he is not inclined to take food too seriously either. 'Eating should be all about pleasure,' he says, 'and if you take the pleasure out of it there's no point doing it.' He stands staunchly against tasting menus for this reason – 'I just find the whole thing a bit over-contrived and not a pleasurable experience,' he explains.

As for his own enjoyment, Tony remains a chef's chef to the core, and is still at his happiest behind the stove. 'I like being with the team, by the stove, with the ingredients, doing the dishes, creating and doing the service,' he says. 'That's where the fun is. It's like, 'Why would I let someone else do that?' That's still the best part of my day, and the thing that will always take precedence over anything else, I think.'

At the beginning of 2020, Tony left L'Oscar to return to D&D London, ending his three-year stint at the hotel. Now at Le Pont de La Tour – a renowned restaurant with thirty years of history – he is reinvigorating the classical dishes that made it famous with his huge amount of experience.

Three things you should know

During his tenure, Tony was in charge of both The Baptist Grill at L'Oscar and The Baptist Bar downstairs and Cafe L'Oscar – an all-day brasserie next to the hotel lobby.

Tony credits his expertise with fish and seafood to Jeff Galvin, who he worked under at Marco Pierre White's Oak Room, before he became head chef at Angler.

Tony prefers to cook with classical technique such as charcoal grills, hot pans and foaming butter rather than more modern methods, unless it really benefits the ingredient