Reworking England’s Seasonal Produce with Amandine Chaignot

  • Chef Amandine Chaignot of Rosewood London's Mirror Room.

    Chef Amandine Chaignot of Rosewood London's Mirror Room.

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What’s your cooking style and what makes it unique?

That’s a really tough question. As a Chef, I think our cooking style is always evolving and developing. I want my cuisine to be easily understood. I want the diner to focus on the friends and family they are with and not spend too much time trying to decipher what my food is. I am really passionate about seasonal produce and the quality of the products we use in our dishes in the Mirror Room. This current menu is inspired by the winter harvest and the woodlands and you can see the seasonality throughout with the venison, grouse, mushrooms, etc. The menu will change and evolve with the seasons.

What are some current trends in the international culinary industry and how do they affect you and your work in the Mirror Room?

I think Instagram and social media have a strong influence on the cuisine Chefs are producing. There is a pressure now to make sure that everything looks beautiful—not just in person but also for the everyday person trying your food. I am a fan of Instagam and social media but I’m also a bit cautious. Chefs all around the world can see what you are creating. It’s a great source of inspiration but you also want to protect what you are creating and be careful that other Chefs don’t steal your ideas.

Chicken quenelles with sauteed mushrooms and poulette sauce by Amandine Chaignot.

Chicken quenelles with sautéed mushrooms and poulette sauce by Amandine Chaignot.

The two cities may not be too far from each other, but how is working in London different from Paris? 

I would say that Paris is more focused on French cuisine and French ingredients. In London, you have much more variety and international influences. You can find Indian, Greek, Peruvian, and more in smaller restaurants and fine dining options. In Paris, the markets give you the best opportunity to meet and discover local growers and suppliers. It’s a different experience here in London but you can find amazing, top quality local products.

Tell us more about the Mirror Room.

The Mirror Room is a gorgeous room with a really relaxed ambiance. Decorative mirrors, low lighting, and lounge seating offer diners an elegant yet relaxed dining experience with warm and approachable service. I think it’s really nice to find fine cuisine in a less formal atmosphere. You can make yourself comfortable in a living room atmosphere and enjoy restaurant quality food. It’s the perfect match for me.

Seared grouse carpaccio with smoked salsify girolle purée.

Seared grouse carpaccio with smoked salsify girolle purée.

In your opinion, what makes a dish stand out?

It’s a dish you’ll remember afterwards and keep thinking about. It can be difficult to create a stand-out dish as people have different expectations and aren’t looking for the same thing in their food. For example, some are more sensitive to acidity, some to bitterness, some don’t like certain herbs, etc. I would say the Chicken Quenelle at the Mirror Room is a good example of my cuisine. It can sound super traditional but when you add a twist you can have a hit. I can’t wait to play around with the truffles!

When does the Mirror Room’s current special menu end?

We don’t have a specific date, but when the seasonal ingredients are no longer available, we will change the menu. I am currently working on the next menu. I am thinking of making it a bit less meat-heavy but am still working on ideas!

For more information, visit Rosewood London

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