Pierre Minotti, sous-chef
A day in the life
Pierre Minotti has been with Hélène Darroze at The Connaught for three years working closely with the head chef to support the running of the kitchen – where there are plenty of opportunities to create new dishes. Here Pierre talks about his work and what inspires him.
What’s different about working at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught – and what do you most enjoy about it?
I’ve learned a new philosophy of cooking while I’ve been here. We’re always focused on new, seasonal produce – and creating dishes that really show respect for that produce.
Because of the seasonal focus, I really enjoy the fact that we’re always working on creating new dishes – using ingredients from France especially, but also Italy, England and even Japan.
I feel like I’ve really grown up at this restaurant. I worked in all the different kitchen sections before becoming a sous-chef, and now I’m learning management. It’s really interesting.
What does a typical day look like?
Every day starts with checking the deliveries to make sure all the produce we need is there, followed by a discussion with our suppliers about what will be best for tomorrow.
After that, I make sure all the different sections in the kitchen are ready for service. Between lunch and dinner we’re usually working on a new dish – there’s always a new challenge.
What inspired you to become a chef?
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mum. I knew very early on that I would be a chef in the future.
Is there a season or ingredient that excites you?
I love spring, for the vegetables. I always look forward to working with ingredients such as asparagus, fresh peas and beans.
What’s your favourite dish that you’ve created?
I remember one especially, which I worked on with Head Chef Alex Dilling. It was a scallop confit in butter, seared on top using a blowtorch, served with Jerusalem artichoke chips and a sorrel and black pudding purée. There was an interesting play of textures which made it really different.
What does it take to be a top chef?
A lot of time – and more importantly, passion. We’re working all day long and have to be ready for anything, such as having to create a special, one-off dish for a guest during regular service. You always have to be ready for these kinds of challenges!
My ambition is to one day be executive chef in a Michelin star restaurant. And after that, I think I’d like to achieve some stars of my own.