Fourth Hawksmoor to add seafood, glamour
9 July, 2012
Hawksmoor’s fourth restaurant will have extra glamour and an emphasis on seafood as well as steak, head chef Oliver Clark says in an interview with GQ.
The piece in the leading men’s magazine demonstrates the soaring profile of Hawksmoor, which as Peach Report has reported will open its fourth venue on Regent Street in October.
Clark says the restaurant—tipped by GQ as one of the most anticipated openings of the year—will be Hawksmoor’s biggest yet, with some departures from the previous formula. “We’re going to put more fish on the menu. It’s going to be a bit more glamorous but still in the same Hawksmoor style.” The team have been researching seafood in Cornwall, he says. “It’s a huge change for the restaurant, particularly given that currently they only take ten orders of fish per service… It’s going to have similar atmosphere, art deco interior and hopefully prices, but we’re also going to have properly sourced seafood and shellfish.”
Clark also runs through some of the reasons for Hawksmoor’s startling success, including its stripped-down menu. “What we do here is so simple… everything has to be that exacting degree.” He rates ribeye as the top cut—“everyone loves fillet, but I think for flavour it’s got to be ribeye”—and says a rough grill is essential—“When I first arrived at Hawksmoor, I was a little bit more military so I used to clean the grill right down to the bare metal. It looked lovely but what you want is a thick black crust on it.”
Good sides are important too. “Huw [Gott, Hawksmoor co-founder]’s obsessive in a really positive sense. He’s so particular—we study how potatoes change, the chuff and crust, the amount of fat that goes into the edges, the seasoning, the saturation of the water.” And British beef is essential. “American beef, and to a lesser extent Argentinian beef, is corn fed. That is ultimately not amazing on the palate… We are very loyal to the Ginger Pig [butchery in Yorkshire]—nothing beats the way Tim Wilson treats his cattle and the whole ageing process.”
For the full story, see Hawksmoor’s head chef talks steak and serving fish (!) at its new Piccadilly restaurant.