Meet Alex Von Riebech
Alex is the Chef and owner of Limetree Kitchen, a modern European restaurant in Lewes, East Sussex.
He opened Limetree in 2011 and is passionate about local, seasonal produce which is exhibited in his ingredient driven menus.
Limetree Ktichen serves a lunch menu five days a week (Wednesday to Sunday), including a hearty Roast every Sunday, and an evening menu Wednesday – Saturday.
Which is your favourite restaurant restaurant in Sussex?
At the moment I am loving Chilli Pickle. Having grown up in South London and with family born and raised in India I have been spoilt with genuine Indian food all my life.
This modern Indian restaurant is second to none in terms of flavour and presentation and the attention to detail always impresses me.
What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?
I love working with the “cheap cuts” and offal as they are often either avoided or neglected.
I believe that if an animal is good enough or unfortunate enough to give up its life, the least we can do is to use as much of it as possible.
They are more labour intensive than other cuts, but this just makes the final product all the more satisfying. Pig’s heads, ox tongue and liver find themselves as a preference.
Who inspired you to cook?
I have cooked since I was 4 years old, with both my mother and grandmother being excellent cooks. It has just been something that I have always done.
Did you always plan to be a chef?
No, I was studying philosophy at university and hoping to spend my time surfing!
What was it that got you into cooking?
My mother and grandmother always encouraged me to cook and it was all part of being in the family, that everyone mucked in and I hated washing up, so I would always opt to help cook!
Where were you trained? Give us a few details and would you recommend it?
I trained on the job starting at a French restaurant in Birmingham, when I was studying. After that I worked in various restaurants and pubs in and around Brighton. I loved learning on the job as it has allowed me the freedom to experience different styles and varieties of food in a real environment. There is no substitute for experience in all walks of life.
Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?
Start with the best ingredients that you can afford.
Rest meat: it really makes all the difference.
Favourite kitchen gadget?
Paco jet. Make the smoothest ice creams, sorbets and purees. Also you can puree fresh ingredients through the base mix allowing you the freshest flavours.
Funniest kitchen incident?
Setting my sous chef’s trousers on fire. Sounds more dangerous than it was, but watching him have to wander around for the rest of the day with his bum hanging out… priceless!