Last week our members joined us for a special lunch at Hide on Wednesday 4 September 2019. Hide is a restaurant and bar by Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous. Set over three floors, flooded with natural daylight and enjoying views across Green Park, Hide offers the very best food and drink in a refined but relaxed setting.
Exec chef & co-founder Ollie Dabbous joined our members in the Hide & Seek Private Dining Room located on the mezzanine floor to describe the menu he had created and explain the beautiful design of the restaurant. We caught up with Ollie to find out more about Hide and his career.
The Nth Degree Club: Where are you from and where did you grow up?
Ollie Dabbous: I was born I Kuwait City, and grew up there and then we moved to Surrey when I started school.
The Nth Degree Club: Do you have any special memories from the kitchen when you were growing up?
Ollie Dabbous: I always used to make an overly ambitious dessert for Christmas day when growing up. The kitchen looked like a warzone by the end of it!
The Nth Degree Club: Where did you do your training and what was your first job?
Ollie Dabbous: I trained predominantly at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons under Gary Jones and Raymond Blanc. I started there as a commis. My first actual job was a holiday job in Trattoria Cammillo in Florence, aged 15.
The Nth Degree Club: When and how did your passion for food start?
Ollie Dabbous:I simply enjoyed eating, so to pick up a pan is natural next step. It also helped that I grew up in tandem with increased media coverage of cooking and a collective improvement of London’s restaurants.
The Nth Degree Club: What is the first dish you created?
Ollie Dabbous: When I was 6 years old, the first thing I made was profiteroles, with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
The Nth Degree Club: What advice would you give to aspiring chefs?
Ollie Dabbous: It should be the only thing you want to do. It is too hard a career path to pursue otherwise. If you want to progress, don’t chop and change too much; work your way up the ladder to learn more. Taste everything, question everything, and understand that presentation and concept will always be secondary to flavour and technique. Finally, develop your own style and be completely comfortable within that.
The Nth Degree Club: What can we expect if we visit your current restaurant?
Ollie Dabbous: Hide offers a sense of luxury and quality, whether enjoying a simple coffee & croissant or a full-blown tasting menu. Everything is done in-house wherever possible. There is also a uniqueness to Hide: from what is on your plate to your surroundings, you could be nowhere else.
The Nth Degree Club: Tell us about your signature dishes.
Ollie Dabbous: In Above, I suppose it would have to be the “Nest egg”: gently cooked egg with toasted mushrooms, smoked butter and parsley. It is simultaneously: simple, comforting & theatrical. On Ground, it would be the “Warm acorn cake, smoked caramel & Cornish clotted cream”: essentially our version of a sticky toffee pudding. It’s shape mirrors our famous staircase, and is a perfect vehicle for many of the 5000-odd spirits on our list.
The Nth Degree Club: Where do you think food trends are heading for 2020?
Ollie Dabbous: A continuation of lightness and simplicity, and customers’ continual increased expectations.
The Nth Degree Club: If you could cook with one other chef, who would it be?
Ollie Dabbous: I have a couple of mates that I used to work with at Le Manoir that now have restaurants abroad: Lennox Hastie of Firedoor in Sydney and Rupert Blease of Lord Stanley in San Francisco. It would be fun to cook with those guys again.
The Nth Degree Club: If you could create a menu for four famous people (alive or dead), who would they be, and what would the menu be?
Ollie Dabbous: It would just be a table for John Steinbeck and his family. He has given me a lot of pleasure over the years. I would be nice to return the favour. I’d keep it simple, but maybe with a European twist to give him a taste of something new.
The Nth Degree Club: If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would you go for a special meal and what drink would you pick to go with it?
Ollie Dabbous: Probably sushi & sake in Japan. I have been before but it was a long time ago and a boozy trip, rather than a cultural one. I would be good to re-address that!
Find out more about Hide https://www.hide.co.uk