Steven Edwards – Head chef at etch. on becoming a chef
Etch. celebrated their second birthday in early 2019, and it is also the month Steven Edwards and his team achieved the top spot at the Brighton Restaurant Awards for best restaurant.
Since then Steven and his team have gone on to feature in the top 100 restaurants in the UK and the AA has rated them as one of the highest-rated restaurants in Brighton and Hove alongside Duncan Rays’ Little Fish Market.
RB Jobs talks to MasterChef winner Steven about the industry, his training, background and what he looks for in a chef.
What do you think is the best thing about being a chef?
The best thing is being able to create dishes and have trial and error experiences of flavour combinations.
Where did you train to become a chef?
I trained at Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire. The reason I chose there was that it was near to where I grew up in Windsor and offered a fine dining modern apprenticeship.
Who has been your biggest influence?
I would say working with Andrew McNaughton and Matt Gillan shaped my career a lot. Andrew taught me how to cook and Matt refined my style.
What is the philosophy that shapes your approach to what you do?
The philosophy behind etch. is to celebrate local and British produce using monthly changing tasting menus.
Offering a choice of five, seven or nine courses; dishes are created using two main ingredients to showcase the fantastic produce provided by our suppliers. Unusually no spice is used (not even pepper), the flavour is increased by reducing and enhancing ingredients to get the purity of taste. What motivates me is perfecting our repertoire of dishes. Replacing the weaker dishes with stronger ones means we can only get better.
What would you change in the industry if you could?
What did you want to do when you were growing up?
A professional footballer.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a chef?
A Sunday league footballer.
Any kitchen mistakes that you would like to confess?
Not any that keep me awake at night. I remember my first day as an apprentice and not knowing what chervil was.